…learning curve

a few months ago, I wrote about an epiphany I had while working with some student actors.

shureWell, it’s that time of year again, I have those same students back in my studio – this time they’re recording material for their graduation “showreel”. So far I have worked with about two thirds of the class of 19. It seems in a month or so, as VoiceActors, we might have a little more competition out there in the marketplace. These young actors may be newbies to the industry, but they already have a good solid understand of what it’s all about. There’s some exciting voices in this group – and in the coming weeks I hope to share some links to where they’re showcasing their demos. Working with these students again, I’ve had the chance to reflect on my career and have also had the opportunity to share a heap of my experience with them, and most of them have been “sponges”. I’ve also been reminded of how grateful I am to have had this experience – an experience to learn to be an actor myself – the experience of the last five years working with student actors and their lecturers has been a real bonus to my voiceover career.

So to close this week’s post, a trip through time…
where I started in 1987 and where I am now.

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One Response to “…learning curve”

  • Hey Jas,

    Here’s a topic to discuss with these young actors: Phone Patch Sessions.

    I recently had a recording session with a young voice actor – 17 years old – and after the first session, the agency wanted to do a phone patch with a revised script.

    While this kid was not a working pro, he was willing. I felt it was my responsibility to instruct the agency’s creative director on session etiquette with young actors.

    A few key points came up that I’d like to share.

    1) Don’t expect young actors to nail it. Most are not seasoned working pros. Read and script interpretation is not a gift, it is learned over the years.

    2) Line by line with proper intonation is the best way to coach or direct young talent. (A good producer will know when they need a retake with different intonation in order to piece everything together)

    3) Speak their language when giving direction. Associate the direction with an emotion that they may experience regularly.

    4) Be patient with the talent…and be polite! Having a producer across the glass and a director in your ear is freaky to some people. I’ve been doing this for almost 20 years and it still freaks me out.

    Ultimately, I pulled the old “break the bank” trick. I told the agency the high cost of the phone patch session. They decided it wasn’t in the budget, and asked me to direct the talent. With that, I felt I had protected the talent, and expedited the overall process. The creative got produced and everyone went home happy ahead of schedule.

    Just a share for your young actors. They should know that a solid producer will always be a better friend to them than the director.,,’cause we make you sound great in the mix!

    Cheers from across the big pond.

    Albert Berkshire
    Great Creative.Com
    Kelowna, BC Canada

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