Rather than trying to live blog this evening, I’m just going to pass along what I see are some of the key thoughts. We began with Nancy talking with about some of the core concepts of Nancy’s instruction, the material that forms the basis of many of her private lessons. The thing that is different here is that Nancy (with Anna chiming in from time to time) is doing all the talking rather than the interactive experience that studying with her in Private Lessons is like. (I confess, I like the Private Lessons better; but this has been great review of some of these very basis ideas.
Here are a couple of examples of ways to sound like a real person: Don’t emphasize conjunction words. (and, but, then, etc.) Don’t emphasize “you.” (The person seeing or hearing the commercial isn’t thinking about anyone else listening, so emphasizing “you” telegraphs that this is a [small time] commercial.)
In the question and answer time, one of the questions had to do with “what about those times when the client insists on one of those words being emphasized.” Nancy’s response: Ignore what I said and do what the client wants.
Observations from the demo evaluations: 1 minute and 22 seconds is too long. It needs to be right about one minute. Don’t leave mispronounced words on your demo. Make acting choices and then commit to those choices. Don’t just say the words. Don’t use a slate on a demo unless it’s part of a house reel. Have the first voice that’s heard be our money voice. Don’t lead with a partner voice, because an agent wants to hear money and partner reads suggest “radio” which is the lower paying stuff. Lead with a campaign sound, a Porsche not a Kia.
Lead with our authentic sound, the one that establishes our individual brands. Sometimes, especially for pieces that are TV spots, the background music should drown out our voices slightly, because that’s the TV spots really are mixed.
Nancy has done demos for people all over the world, including people she’s never met in person; by using Source Connect to direct remotely while connected with a studio where the talent lives.
And to cap off the evening, Kara Edwards won a free one year Premium subscription to Voices.com, when her name was drawn out of the hat at the end. (It was a good evening for Kara, as she was also one of the 4 who had her demo evaluated on the spot by Nancy.)
And for more information, be sure to visit BreakIntoVoiceOver.com.