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Combine several confusing directions

–       A little bit Brighter delivery

–       Add more smile

–       Non-Announcery

–       Non-Actory

–       Girl/Guy Next Door

–       A little more Real

–       More energy

–       Less energy

–       Like it’s your own

With a mixture of several cooks in one kitchen, it’s hard to know exactly what to do when the clients giving you direction.  Let’s face it, EVERYTHING has a voice, therefore every kind of client is allowed to direct what you do.  They don’t know the first thing about what you do as an actor, but they make really good Yogurt.  They are going to decide who is the best fit for the job and exactly how they want it said.

One thing you’ll find out soon in your craft (If you haven’t already) is that we are just a puppet on the string doing what the puppet master wants, but it doesn’t mean that our puppet master always knows what their doing.  That’s the tricky part.  We already aim to please.  We want to give the client exactly what they want, but we are hard on ourselves if we can’t get it right the first time.  We take it personal when they tell us what they want, and we can’t seem to make it happen.

It doesn’t mean you’re no good if you can’t understand exactly what a client wants, and you have to trust that it’s a really hard job to please 5 or 6 clients who all have a different vision.  It’s one thing if you get a job where there is only one client – that’s usually a lot easier, but most companies have a group of inexperienced directors to offer you.  It’s not to knock the client, because I love the client, but when they have the FINAL say, we just have to trust they know what their doing as they see the bigger picture, or humor them enough to think that they do.  It’s not easy.

Clients will always give you the most confusing direction at times.  They will say they want it soft, yet firm, to have a sense of yearning, but not be pushy or how about the latest one I saw the other day, announcery but non-actory.  That’s my new favorite.  It’s all in how you interpret it and continuing to try to make sense of it all.  Don’t judge, just start trying to figure out what they mean so you can help them make you shine.  After all, if they shine, you shine.   But be careful here, you never want to over step.

Even if you know they are incorrect or the grammar is not proper, allow them to hear their script exactly as they asked you.  Hopefully they will hear their mistakes on their own without you having to point them out.  Once you’ve honoured them and their time by giving them exactly what you think they want, then don’t be afraid to say, “I have another option” or “I wonder if we worded it like this, would that still work?”  If you are totally confused by the direction then say, “I just want to make sure i understand this correctly…so I should be authoritative, without selling?”  Whatever your suggestions are, just make sure it doesn’t come across as you telling them what to do, instead your suggestions should look like a second option, so nothing demeans their choices.

If you are voicing from home as an audition without a director present, then do your absolute best to give them exactly what they want first.  Then go through the copy and look for ways to leave them some golden nuggets….to offer reads, or embellishment that will offer you a unique audition.  As long as you show them you are listening to their direction, then you can try something different to follow and in the edit room, perhaps you will come up with two fantastic takes; one that the client wants and one that you KNOW is much better.  Remember sometimes even mistakes in copy aren’t mistakes at all – so do your best to show them you gave it your best shot.  There is NOTHING wrong with doing your own thing as well.  You just have to know what you’re doing if you’re providing more than one option.

I will leave you with this thought: You might know MUCH more than they do, but that doesn’t mean you have to prove it. REMEMBER WHO IS PAYING WHO – DON’T TAKE AWAY SOMEONE ELSES JOB – puppet on the string….with your own personality.

Until Next Time

All my best
VO Chef Deb

My Voice, Mixed Your Way!