Radio production is fun. In many cases, it requires a funny looking face to voice the spot in the correct way. Even when the topic is not funny. Voice talent scrunch their faces to get the word out just right.
I have found that i cannot voice ANY spot without putting my arms in the air like I just don’t care. Apparently this helps me get the words in my head out to the mic.
If someone asks you for a hard sell, DO an actual hard sell. Yell if you have to (turn your gain down of course)…but do what you have to do to get the desired read for your client.
If you cant do it because you are in your home closet and your child is asleep in the next room, then do it later. Or more importantly, re-assess where you are voicing from.
Do not voice slightly louder than normal and hit send. That is not a hard sell. That is a slightly louder than normal read.
But this isn’t about hard sells, it’s about looking like an idiot.
If a script requires you to laugh, do an ACTUAL laugh. Think about something funny, ask your loved one to tickle you…tickle yourself! Start fake laughing till it sounds so funny that you actually laugh at it.
If you are asked to sound conversational, literally try and work that into your actual conversational voice. Think about how you speak to your friends or spouse and use that tone. Newbies and professionals alike have trouble with this one. Not only because they are in front of a mic (some are transfixed by it), but often the text is not conversational.
Which is a fair point…BUT if you can fit those words into your natural cadence, the job will still get done…a conversational read with non-conversational words. Then it’s the copywriters problem to revise it upon hearing it if it still sounds disjointed. But the point is, YOU as the voice talent did your job.
If you are asked to do a silly voice, do a silly voice – this usually requires you to be loud and look like an idiot. And I realize, you need self confidence to do this. But if you are in the voice talent industry, you won’t last long without it. So get some, and start sounding silly.
In my experience, voice talent that don’t want to look the fool while voicing, look the fool later when they are being sent the same types of scripts over and over again. This means you are considered to only have one type of read…ie: not versatile.
If you aren’t versatile, jobs that would have come your way (the old lady character, the mouse character, the angry boss, the busy bee, the goofy mom, the old prospector) are going to someone else.
And what’s left for you, is the announcer tag. BUT there are already a million announcers willing to voice a dignified tag. And you better have a super fine announcer voice to compete with all the others.
If you don’t…then you’d better be willing to look the fool while voicing…because ANY voice willing to look silly, is going to get work.
Because in the end, looking stupid will make you sound great, and that will make you FEEL great when you see all the work in your inbox.