Speaking Naturally Naturally

Lisa Rice wrote this.

While watching television with a close friend the other day, a Gatorade spot came on. It was an athletic anthem. Even a poem of sorts. Voiced in the regulatory time constraint of exactly thirty seconds, it sounded effortless with effort. Forceful without force. Rhythmic yet staccato-like. But above all…natural. I was impressed!

This particular kind of spot is more difficult to voice than one requiring an announcer voice. And they’re wildly popular. In fact, I’d say the majority of scripts I’m asked to audition for require a conversational voice. NO ANNOUNCERS, written in caps, is clearly understood.

One reason this genre requires some finesse is because not all scripts are written in a conversational style even though the client wants it voiced that way. A conversational script works better with incomplete sentences, assumed pronouns and less technical verbiage. Why? Because that’s the way most people speak.

Another reason they take extra skill is because most voiceover talent only see typewritten words on a page. No video yet because it’s probably in the works. What the finished video or audio will look or sound like takes imagination. Even trickier? The tempo because the music usually hasn’t been chosen at that point. The only direction normally given is the type of voiceover needed, a voice age range and perhaps a particular celebrity voice match. In other words, “conversational, between the ages of 30 and 45, similar to Scarlett Johannson."

Really? Really.

So…one hopes to goodness the mark is hit. Pausing a little here. Moving through the script at a believable pace. Placing emphasis on words that need it. Resting oh-so-deftly on words most people would never use in a casual conversation.

Be it non-broadcast narration, explainer videos or broadcast commercial spots, sounding conversational takes effort.

Naturally.

Grateful, Thankful, Appreciative, Awed

Lisa Rice wrote this.

When it comes to blessings, I’m reminded how important it is to count them. One-by-one. Day-by-day. Continuously throughout my life. And in doing so, surprising myself to see all that God has and is doing in both my professional and personal life.

  • The opportunity to record and send clean voiceover files to customers near and far. Collaborating with them on commercial spots, telephony, narrations and e-learning projects in Virginia, California, North Carolina, Indiana, Arkansas, Nevada, Michigan, New York, Georgia, Florida, Minnesota, Canada, Ireland Poland, England, Dubai…the list goes on.
  • A voice. Without it, my career comes to a screeching halt.
  • Family, friends and peers who encourage, challenge, love and support.

And now, for what are you thankful?

Some Scripts Just Fit

Lisa Rice wrote this.

When asked to provide the voiceover for the Grimm’s Fine Foods video below, I smiled. As a mom who has prepared countless meals year-after-year-after-year, one look at the script and it didn’t take long to connect. If you’re a parent or caretaker, you probably will, too.

Truth Or Consequences

Lisa Rice wrote this.

When we’ve got questions regarding pretty much anything in life, it’s way too easy to jump online to look for answers. The danger being that what we think could be the truth might actually be influenced by search engine optimization and astroturf manipulation. What in the world does that mean? Journalist Sharyl Attkisson challenges us to make sure the lenses from which we view truth has been polished with some effort. Otherwise, our beliefs and reactions may have consequences beyond reason.

Behooved to Move

Lisa Rice wrote this.

Voiceover coach Marc Cashman encourages his students to move behind the microphone as much as possible. Keeping both hands at one’s sides significantly hampers a read. When a voice talent acts out what they’re saying their voice will follow suit.

The videos below show this in two different ways. In the first, we see how Walt Disney modeled his animated characters from Alice in Wonderland after each actor’s performance. (Thanks goes to my peer Monte Bratten for the share.)

Conversely, voice actor Brian Hull seems to become each Disney or Pixar character as they sing Adele’s hit song Hello by contorting his eyes, mouth, body and expressions.

Taking this further, sociologist Amy Cuddy explains how our body language not only affects our interactions with one another but can also change our own minds. She’s uncovered some amazing information about power dynamics.

Voice actor or not, anyone is capable of performing to influence outcomes both socially and personally.

Now…how are you behooved to move?

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