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VO4TA: Clarity for character


HPK VO Rule No. 23: “Never sacrifice clarity for character”.


Direction will screw you up, if you let it.  And direction that requests extremes in the performance of the read will distract you from putting an idea over clearly.  

VO4TA: The Best Friend Read


Hugh MacLeod (great first name), cartoonist and author of Evil Plans (great title) wrote in one of his cartoons:


“If you talked to people the way advertising talked to people, they’d punch you in the face”.


VO4TA: Reader Question Jan, 2017


Q: “I'm guessing you've commented on this before... but I would appreciate hearing your thoughts on the ethical aspects of what should be included in a demo...  primarily a commercial demo but other genres as well.


VO4TA: Can a slate be too announcery?


I’ve gone on record here saying:

You either -

    1. Slate consistently

    2. Slate leaning towards your read

    3. Slate completely in your read (especially for some kind of character voice).


Time moves on and I’m refining that thought.  


VO4TA: Why does voiceover casting matter so much?


(HT to Gabra Zackman and her audiobook class at the SAG / AFTRA Foundation)


Thought experiment: imagine an audiobook of Tales of the South Pacific by James Michener.  It’s a memoir, told through the voice of a WWII veteran.

VO4TA: Welcome to 2017


So, I'm there, watching fan streams of cable TV reruns and I hear promos from dead networks.  Discovery Health.  Court TV.  


And I'm listening - cause I can't help myself.


(Man, the New Year’s Eve Broadcast was a nightmare for me.  I couldn't pull myself away!  Pharma, Cola, Fitness, Tech...  I was so distracted, I caught myself once again asking people around me to shush so I could hear the read!  Anyway...)

VO4TA: 2016 Year End


It's been quite a year, Gentle Reader.  I'm not going to bore you with my own year end list. So much has happened, you can find many others to organize it better than I could.


But I'd like to talk about Mr. Richard Adams.  He's among the long list of luminaries we lost.  Yet another piece of the complex emotional puzzle 2016 has been.

VO4TA: Manipulation


A performance’s emotional life comes from our own; the perspective that is our essence, our core. That is why when we speak “from the heart” our voice lives in its most natural register.  It is a voice that comes from comprehension of the text and comprehension of the emotion of the moment, not from the artifice of vocal manipulation by “pitching up” or “speaking down” in the register.

VO4TA: The Christmas Giving Thing


You can tell you are getting to a certain age where you can just go: “So, Christmas… it’s coming. Gimme a hint, okay?” and your sister’s kids comply with lists.  It really takes out all of the stress.  


VO4TA: Sunk Costs


In economics and business decision making, a sunk cost is a cost that has already been incurred and cannot be recovered.  


What are the sunk costs in voiceover?