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Voice Coaches Radio #465 -Real World Conversational Reading

Voice Coaches Radio. Everything voiceover. And welcome to this week's edition of Voice Coaches Radio. I am Josh Heller. Delighted to have you joining me as I am each and every week here on the program. Coming to you live from White Lake Music and Post Studios. Here at the Mothership in Albany, New York.

Hope everyone is doing well as we have entered the month of February. Uh, January. Ram, we're already past the first month of the year, and uh, and by the way, uh, I know I mentioned this, uh, what, a couple weeks ago now, that, um, I believe it's either the second or the third week in February, uh, is the, uh, the average time for most people to have given up on their, uh, on their New Year's resolutions, so, uh, We've still got a little bit more time.

Still got a little bit more time before, uh, statistically, um, it's assumed that you're gonna have, uh, stopped trying to drop those resolutions, and I will be checking up on you to make sure that that is not the case for you guys and hopefully imploring you to continue on throughout the remainder of the year.

So we'll certainly talk about that in the weeks to come as we continue on through this 2021. Weather is cold and snowy. It's such a difference, right? You think of winter and I know winter technically doesn't start until the end of December until the You know, until the winter winter solstice went December 21st or 22nd, but you know, it always feels like winter really begins like the beginning of December and such like that.

And December, you know, it's yeah, it's winter. It can be cold. It can be snowy. It's usually not too, too bad, but you know, everyone has their, their lights on yet. The holiday is coming up. It's not that bad. And then you get to January and February, even a little bit into March, but specifically January and February, right.

After we get past new years, people take down their, uh, you know, all, all their fun lights and. Just drive home, and it's dark early still, and it's grey, and it's cold, and it's snowing, and it's, it's miserable. It's what I'm saying, it's miserable. And why I'm still living up here, I don't know. I don't, I don't know the answer to that.

Um, I guess I just have always pretty much done it, except for a couple years where I lived down south, I have, uh, I've always pretty much lived up here. What's interesting is my wife still lives up here, um, and she's from South Carolina, and so she, she spent most of her life living in pretty wonderful weather.

Right? This time of year, pretty wonderful weather, and her friends still live down there, and they talk, and, uh, and I, I, I don't know why she's still up here with me. I, I told her when she moved, when she followed me up north, I told her I wasn't worth it. I still, uh, I still believe that. Um, so, uh, so, so hang in there.

February is, uh, is just beginning, but it's short at least. It's a shorter month, so, uh, we'll be through it sooner than later. And then what is it, March is in like a lion, out like a lamb, or something to that effect? So, we're, uh, we're almost there. We're hanging in there, we're hanging in there. So hopefully everyone is doing well.

Hit, uh, hit too hard by the snowstorm that came up. We got about a foot or so, not too, too bad, um, but what I wanted to talk about today is, uh, is some personal experience that I had very recently that, uh, illustrates something that we've talked about a lot on this program. We talk about it a ton in all of our courses, and that is this idea of sounding conversational.

When you're talking, sounding conversational, when you're reading, right, that conversational reading, that conversational tone that we're always looking for, that that really is what the industry is looking for, for various reasons, we're not going to get into all of those, but we do spend a lot of time talking about how important it is to sound conversational, to not sound, you know, like you're reading, we're not those announcers anymore, those days have come and gone.

Right? Those days have come and gone and, you know, for me, I spent 12 years working in, in sports where I was an announcer, um, and that's, that's what I did. That's what I, uh, I worked on and coming from that to here is, is, you know, is very different and, and, and a little bit difficult, a little bit. It was definitely difficult and still is.

Um, and so, you know, Again, we talk about it a lot, but you know, I want to show you how important it is. So just yesterday, yesterday morning, I was here at the studio and, uh, and had a job yesterday morning doing some, uh, some commercials for, uh, for both TV and radio, some spots for both TV and radio. And it was myself and, uh, and another voice actor here doing some of that.

And we had to do, um, You know some pieces on our own and and then we had to do a couple commercial reads Where we were actually in the same booth at the same time and and we're conversing back and forth and you know Basically, we were trying to you know, we're supposed to be friends We were supposed to be you know just old buddies just catching up on on you know on things and how things have gone and and obviously eventually relating to the to the product at hand, but I'll tell you what, it's, you know, as much as we talk about how important it is, as much as we talk about ways to help you sound conversational, to help you sound more familial, it's not easy.

Especially when you're in the booth and the pressure's on, and it was, and we're reading these lines back and forth, and it was a little bit easier in the fact that we were able to, you know, to share a booth and do this, so we were able to actually look at each other, you know, and try to simulate this conversation, but that's all it was, was a simulation, and the first few reads did not sound great.

It didn't. It didn't. It sounded very stilted, very awkward. And, and at one point, you know, the producer basically was just like, just, just, we're just going to keep doing it. We're, we're, you know, we're, we're shooting at a moving target here. Sometimes we're closer. Sometimes we're farther away. Sometimes the beginning good.

Sometimes the end's good. Sometimes none of them are good. Uh, and so we're just going to keep doing this until we can, until we can get that, that tone down. And it was very difficult to do, right? You had to put yourself in a different You had to put yourself in a totally different headspace. Again, you know, I mentioned we could see each other.

I actually did one take and I basically had my eyes closed for much of it to try to picture myself in the situation where we were trying to be. And uh, you know, it's tough. It's tough. And myself and the other voice actors there, we're seasoned voice actors, we've been doing this for some time and it still took quite a few takes in order to capture this, in order to get this.

And then we finished the first, uh, the first read and went to the second one. Similar. Uh, in style was another back and forth conversational type piece. The tone was intended to be the same, just the different words and kind of a different, uh, different take on it. And again, it took us a whole bunch of takes to finally get to, uh, you know, a semblance of conversation.

So, you know, when we talk about how important it is to sound conversational, how important it is, you know, to have that more familial tone, right. To sound like that friend, that neighbor, that family member. That is so, so very important. And, you know, again, it was just reiterated to me in action in the booth just a day ago.

Uh, and so, you know, I wanted to pass that along that, you know, these things that we talk about, we're not just talking about them in a vacuum, right? These things are things that are in real life need to be, you know, need to be done because that is what is being looked for, right? They wanted it to sound real.

They wanted it to sound relaxed. They wanted it to sound conversational and we had to make that happen. We were eventually able to do that. Thankfully, uh, but it did. It took a lot of time. It took a number of different takes to finally get that with little tweaks here and there, uh, before we finally were able to start to get close to what we were looking for and eventually hit those, uh, those conversational notes we were going for.

It's tough. It's tough. And, and so that's why it is something that, you know, we always need to be keeping in mind when we step into the booth and when we practice as well, that this is what we're going for. We need to continue to hone our skills. Right? I've been doing this for a number of years. The voice actor I was with, uh, who was doing this with me has been doing this for decades.

And still, it took a lot of time to be able to do that. So, it can be difficult, especially when you're first starting out to try to, you know, Capture that and figure out how that is just know you're not alone. It's difficult for all of us Even those of us who do this, you know more regularly than not It still can be a difficult thing to master and it's something we always want to be working our way towards We always want to be doing we always want to be practicing so that it is easier when we get into that booth It's never going to be easy.

It's never going to be something that's just going to immediately happen first take it doesn't It takes time, it takes practice, it takes many takes sometimes, but eventually, you're able to get there. And fortunately for us, we were able to get there eventually, and, uh, and I know that with, you know, with work and practice and some good producing, that, uh, that you guys will be able to get there as well.

But I just wanted to throw that out there. Again, it's something we talk about a lot as, sure, existentially speaking, it is important to be able to do. Well, here is an actual real life example of a time where it was important to do. Wasn't easy! Wasn't easy, but important all the same. So, wanted to throw that your way, just a real life example from me, and from my life and my career, where, you know, we have to practice what we preach.

Practice what we preach. So, again, thank you all for tuning in this week. to discuss here on the program,

Definitely let us know [email protected]. That's the quickest way to get in touch with me, [email protected] for any of your questions, comments, concerns, guests you'd like to have on, maybe you'd like to be on the podcast, maybe you're interesting enough, , uh, so, uh, you know, shoot me know. Let me know again, [email protected].

Best way to do that, of course, you can always visit [email protected], the website. You can find the podcast there as well as all sorts of other materials on, you know, this podcast available wherever you find your local. So again, thanks so much for tuning in this week. Of course, we'll be back next week.

Stick to it, guys. Stick to it. We're already a week plus into February. Still going strong. Still going strong here in 2021. So we'll be back with you next week. Same bad time, same bad channel. And until then, so long, everyone. Visit voicecoaches. com for more voiceover news and information.

We talk a lot about the importance of sounding conversational on Voice Coaches Radio. In this week’s episode, Josh discusses a real world example of this from a recent job where sounding conversational was required.