VC Radio

Voice Coaches Radio #478 – Cold as Ice

Voice Coaches Radio, everything voiceover. And welcome to this week's edition of Voice Coaches Radio. I am Josh Heller. She is Marissa Lanczak. We are delighted to have you joining us here this week. Marissa, how we doing? Back in action. Ooh, I love it. Here we go. I love it. I love it. It's springtime. It's May.

Let's have some fun. It is. It's allergy time. Yay. Oh, it's totally allergy time. But things are like going back to normal a little bit. Like, I don't, do we have that curfew anymore? Like restaurants, I think are just like good to go. Like less mask wearing, depending on situations, you know, I'm like super happy about it.

I don't know about the, the, I know that, I think that we're talking about how you, you can go to a bar and not have to buy food. So that's exciting. Right! That's, hey, steps in the right direction, my man. Let's be honest, when's the last time I went to a bar? I'm all about it. I don't even, I don't even know.

Um, I, I, you know, I talk about how, how crappy it is that I can't go out, as if I used to go out. Even when I could. I didn't. I don't. I love the meme that's out there where it's like... Uh, like, I know you think that I'm going to change because, like, things are going back to normal, but I still don't want to hang out.

Like, you know, something ridiculous about the I know you don't have to keep six feet of distance from me, but I wish you would. Yes, exactly. I wish you would. That'd be awesome. Like, you know, I don't want the mask. I prefer to not have the mask on anymore. That'd be great. It's really, uh, it's really bad for my beard.

Um, and that's my main issue with it. My face has been so dry. I'm sure, yeah. So dry. And you know what? I, it made me realize that I have this one type of allergy to like, well, I'll be honest, like really cheap makeup because I don't like spending money on it, but I've consistently from like late last year into this year, all around the top part of my mouth has been like chapped or irritated from cheap makeup.

and the mask because of how like the type of work I was doing right before I started here and now like I've been consistently having it on and like going up and down with it, you know, like to, you know, breathe. Um, so, so it's just, uh, it's one of those things it's pointed out. Maybe when we get rid of the mask, I can go back to my Dollar Tree makeup.

Well, I'll tell you what. So I wear the neck gaiter because of my beard, um, which again, just is just Terrible on the beard, but it also I have been told looks like I have a neck goiter Because you know it either that or it looks like my chin is like Enormous. You're like a cartoon character. Right? It's just absolutely, incredibly enormous.

And it, uh, it's not, it's not working for me. . It's not, it's not working for me. Also, where, where, where it like leaves indents in my beard. Oh my God. Really? Yeah. I don't like it. Uh, it's, uh, on the, on the plus side. I don't have to brush my teeth anymore, but, uh Oh. Well you should probably go back to bed. I still do.

Guys. Come on now. That's disgusting. Um, But, uh, yeah, no, I could do without that. That'd be, that'd be fantastic. That'd be fantastic. But y'all can just, I'm still not gonna go out. Uh, I guess I won't have as much of an excuse for it, but just the fact that I'm lazy and don't like to. Um, because... Just wanna stay in my sweatpants, that's all it is.

Yeah, I mean, that's kinda, uh... And there are things that are gonna stay, and should, and should. Like, a lot of working from home, I think that's awesome. I think that's awesome. Yeah. Um, you know, less, less travel and stay home more. I think that's not a, not a bad thing. Less need for office space too. I think that's kind of helpful for people.

And also, and I think, and I think I mentioned this on the pod before, those plexiglass things in front of cashiers, keep them forever. Always have those. How they haven't had those, I don't know, but I couldn't imagine being a cashier at this point and being like, are you going to breathe on me? Don't breathe on me.

Like, get out of here. I don't care it's not a pandemic. It's, don't breathe on me. I don't want your, your, your viruses. I don't want your, your germies on me. Um, but no, I am looking forward, the only, I'm looking forward to like taking my son out to like places again and like doing things like that. Like, that'll be fun.

Yeah, fun activities. Like, we've been stuck inside for so long. Yeah. Being able to do something like go to the movies is going to feel so foreign but amazing at the same time. Yeah, so my son, so his, uh, his preschool, they had a positive case, so he had been staying home for about a week and a half because he had to quarantine.

Um, luckily he was fine, and our neighbors, they have a daughter who's also five in his class, and so they, you know, basically kind of switched off every other day or so, and we would watch the two of them, and our neighbors would watch the two of them. And so at one point I was watching, watching the two of them, which was a nightmare.

Um. I mean it was fine, but ugh, exhausting. And so at one point I was like, alright guys, let's watch a movie. So I took the couch, we brought down all the stuffed animals, all the pillows, all the blankets, turned the lights down, I made popcorn, and got, you know, gummies, and made juice, and it was the whole thing.

We made it like a movie theater type of thing as best we could. It was cool. Um, and they were into it until like, I don't know, like, for like an hour. Um, because then they were kids, and they were like, Alright, what are we doing now? And I was like, the movie's still going on, guys. And they're like, I don't care.

And so my son is like, getting up, and I was like, Buddy, if this was a movie theater, you know you can't just get up and walk around. And I was like, no he doesn't. How would he know that? He's never been to a movie theater before. Like, how would he know what is the, uh, is or isn't the decorum for that? He had no idea.

So, uh, so that'll be, that'll be something. Also, apparently he's not ready to go to the movie theaters yet. Also good to know. Also good to know. Um, but yeah, no, that'll be, uh, that'll be good. The one thing, the one disappointing thing is that when he was home, Um, I don't know if I mentioned yet, he, they, they were, they had eggs.

They were did tell me that. Yeah. Yeah, did the chicks, the chicks hatch? They did. They did, so they have six of them. Aw, bummer. And, um, and so they've been, they've been seeing them this week, but they're starting to fly out of the box. Aw. And so So, um, we are, on Saturday, uh, picking them up and bringing them to some friends of ours who have, uh, a big piece of land, have some chickens and some goats and whatnot, and we're like, do you guys want some free chickens?

Because they didn't do, they don't have anything to do with the chickens. They're like, we're like, oh, what do you guys do with the chickens after they grow? And they're like, I don't know. Oh my god. What do you mean you don't know? What are you going to do? Like. I don't know. You just hatch them and let them out by the north way?

Like what's happening? Like, hey, figure it out guys. You're on your own now. Hey, go ahead. Cross the like, hey buddy, I know you didn't get to see them get hatched, but you will get to see them grow. And you can go visit them anytime you want. So we'll be, uh, my wife wanted to keep them. She was like, well, we could, she literally, she was like, she was like, well, what if we kept them?

And I was like, we're not keeping the chickens. And she's like, no, I mean, we could, we have space in the backyard. I was like, we also have a fox in our backyard. Oh, let's pass. Yeah. And she's like, well, we could, we could make like a, like a coop. And I was like, who do you think I am? Like, this is a wedding ring, not a Bob Vila ring.

I can't make a coop. And if I did, Come on, you got YouTube, you can do anything. If I did, the hundred percent chance the fox is getting in there. Yeah. Like those chickens are, are, they're dead. They are dead. Those chickens are dead and my son's gonna watch it and it's gonna be a problem. Um, reminds me of another story about a rabbit.

Um, I'll tell you that off air. Uh, anyway, um, what the heck are we talking about today? I don't remember. I literally don't remember what we're talking about. Um, so, oh, uh, cold reading. Yes. Um, man. Whoo. All right. So if you guys have stayed with us this far, thank goodness. Uh, cold reading. So we've had a few people, and I don't know, you mentioned this, Marissa, also, you had a few people kind of, uh, trepidatious a little bit after their demos, thinking about, you know, getting out there, getting their first jobs, and this idea of getting this, uh, This unread, unseen copy, and walking in the booth and seeing what happens.

This absolute cold read. How often does it happen? Is there any way to prepare for that? Um, and, and, you know, the truth of the matter is, it's, it, and this is obviously because we've done it a bit, it's not that big a deal. Does it happen? Absolutely. Um, how often? Fairly often. Depending on what the piece is.

Uh, depending on what the type of piece is. But it is a fairly common thing. Will you have a chance to look through it ahead of time? Usually. Yeah, usually. You'll have a chance to kind of breeze through it. Depending on the situation. Um, also depending on how long it is. So you will have a chance to kind of take a look through it.

But let's be perfectly honest here. Your first read, your first cold read of a piece, is not going to be perfect. Ever. That's for anybody, too. It could be somebody like one of us, who has been doing this for almost 20 years. You know, like, you always have to give it at least one read, to be like, okay, now I know what I want to do.

Yeah, and the fact of the matter is, sometimes they're not even going to tell you what they want. When they first read it, they're just going to have you give it a read because they want to hear your interpretations of it. And then after you do, they're like, okay, so this is kind of what I was thinking.

That's very common. They don't expect you to be able to get that. Your first read is just kind of, let's get our feet wet a little bit. Let's, let's mess around with this a little bit. Can I tell you, yesterday I had somebody, we were going through scripts, right? And, you know, these were ones that She had picked but like hadn't looked at them at all since she'd picked them and like didn't even remember what any of them were really about so like we would get to one and she would start reading it and she'd get through it and she's like Oh, I see now.

Like, I definitely shouldn't have done it that way. Like, you know, and it was funny because, you know, this is new to everybody that we talk to on a regular basis, but you know, even once you get to that point where we start reading a lot of scripts, you are able to make those decisions in your head because we all kind of have, we've heard so many commercials in our lives and just different pieces of audio that we eventually we get that sense of how something is supposed to sound.

You know what I'm saying? Like eventually it just like it makes sense in our heads. It clicks and and we can try to then, you know, emulate that. So and that will come with and that will come with time and with with repetition and again, you should be prepared to read it right and that's why we we talk a lot about that that out loud reading that accuracy reading.

You should be able to read it fairly cleanly, fairly. Cleanly. Uh, you're gonna make mistakes. That's, uh, yeah, you are. And here's what I'll tell people also, and this is obviously, you know, from a demo standpoint, but I will never, ever, have you only do one take. Ever. And I've had people be like, oh, I hope I just, you know, knock this out in one take.

Like, you might, but we're still doing a second take. Always. Even if it's just for safety. We may use your first take, right? I may have you do a second take and be like, No, the first one was definitely the best. Let's keep that, absolutely. But, I'm still gonna have you at least read a second take. Just for safety's sake, just for my own, you know, CYA, just making sure that everything is, is copacetic.

We're doing more than one take. Expect that. And again, expect that each time you do a take, to get a little bit of critique. A little bit more. Okay, cool, I like what you did there, let's try to tweak this here, let's do that there. Um, you know, I'm, I'm doing an audiobook right now, and the author is really bad with commas.

Like, really bad with commas. And so I'll be reading something, kind of like, like you talked about with your student, I'll read something and be like, that, that was no, no, that was not it. And then I'll be like, oh, okay, oh no, I know what he was trying to, yeah, alright. Yeah, now I see. Yeah, mm hmm, Spin back, let's try that again.

That's, that's, that's gonna happen. That's gonna happen. Nobody, nobody first takes it. There's nobody that just knocks, just walks in there and is like, mm, done. They don't. They don't. And even if they're good enough to do that... Which most people aren't. That's, that's still not what's going to happen. That's still not what's going to happen.

No producer's going to have you do that. Right? No producer's going to have you do that. Let alone if you're doing your own, right? If you're self producing, you're not going to let yourself do that. No, if anything you're doing it even more. Cause let's face it, we're overly critical of ourselves. Oh yeah, that's super true.

That's, that's absolutely true. Um, so again, the answer is yes. You will be doing cold reads. And yes, you'll be doing them quite frequently. And no, you shouldn't be worried about them. As long as you are, you know, comfortable reading, and comfortable, you know, cold reading out loud, you'll be fine. You'll be fine.

Will you make mistakes? Yes, you will. Yep. I, I remember I had a student, uh, it was their third class, and they were like, I'm just a little nervous for the demo. You know, like, what if I make a mistake? And I'm like, yeah, what if you, uh, it's not a what if, it's a when. You will. You're gonna. It's gonna happen and they're like, well, what am I supposed to do?

And I'm like, what do you mean? What are you supposed to do? You go back and start it over, right? You're going to make mistakes throughout your entire Career always whether it's a cold read or whether it's your 10th time through That's just the way it goes. Sometimes, the more I do a piece, the worse it gets.

Yeah. Because I start to overthink it completely. Yes! That is the worst! I love to tell people that perfection is not a real thing. It's completely unattainable, even if you're a robot. Let's think about autocorrect, can't we? Because that thing is a robot, and it likes to think that it knows everything, right?

And it doesn't. It always, constantly is getting things wrong. So, perfection is not... even attainable. Like, you just gotta give your best, and your best might be where you screw up a couple times at first, right? And then, all of a sudden, you knock it out of the park completely. You know, so just be kind to yourself, because, first of all, for a lot of people, it's new.

Right? So, this is something new that you've got to grow into. But even if you are 15, 20, 30 years in, you're gonna have mistakes here and there. You just can't get in your own head and own way about it. Yeah, and assume when you walk out of the booth that you're gonna think, I could have done that better.

Because, you're right, you could have. That's always the case. I'll do demos with people, and we'll be going over pieces, and I'll be like, alright, and um, you know, If someone is like, okay, I want to redo that piece, um, because I want to try something different on this line. I want to, maybe, I didn't like the way I said that word.

Can we try that again? Absolutely. Absolutely. Good. Great. Let's do it again. No problem. But what I don't do is when people are like, I want to try that again. And I go, why? And they're like, well, I just think I could have done it better. No. If you have a specific place that you think you could have improved upon and you tell me how, absolutely.

But if it's just a blanket, I think I could have done better. No, because you're going to think that when you do it again and again and again, because the answer is yes, you could have done it better. We all could. That's how we improve you should never walk out of the booth being like I was perfect right nailed it No, that doesn't happen.

No, you're gonna walk out. Yeah, of course, and we should be you should never be fully satisfied You should be happy what you did You should be proud of what you did But you should never think you couldn't be better at it because you could you can always do that Right, and I don't know if I'm you know using hyperbole here But like when you walk out of the booth and think you were perfect, that's when your career's over Because you're no longer, you know, improving.

You're no longer thinking you need to work. And you always do. We always do. So, again, I don't know how true that is. But, I mean, we're, you know, as far as your career being over then. But, again, that's, that's how we should approach this. Like, I think I could have done better. Yeah, you could have. It's just like anything in life.

You constantly want to be growing. If you feel like you have gotten to the point where you're as good as you're going to get, like, then you have to reevaluate some stuff. Nobody's perfect. Not even me. I know, I know, but it's shocking. So close. It's true. It's true. I try. I try. Flattery will get you everywhere.

Um, but good. Yeah, so again, don't be afraid of those cold reads. They're gonna happen. They're not that big a deal. They really are not. And you know, trust me, you can make mistakes, because I do. All. The. Time. Uh, and it's fine. It's fine, right? You get, you get corrected. Again, as long as you're not, like, slipping up on every other word, okay, well then, we need to, you know, check it out.

But again, as long as you're, you know, you're good with your accuracy, you can do pretty well, right? You're, you're making your way through it, and then being able to adapt to what they ask for. The biggest thing that I'm looking for from, from a voice actor in the booth, I want them to be malleable. I want to be able to shape them into what I need them to be as a producer or what the client needs them to be.

And I need to know that when I say, Cool, I like how you did that, but let's try this over here. If they do that, yeah, cool. Take direction, right? Be affable towards it and be able to, uh, you know, to do that. That's all I need. That's all I need. I don't expect you to know what to do. I expect you to do what I ask.

I don't expect you to know what to do. So, that's, you know, again, approach it like that and you'll be fine. And if you make a mistake, great, you will. You will. Get over it. Get over it. Wow. Some, some really harsh light of day advice here on a Friday. Get over it. That's it. Get over it. Come on, guys. End of pod.

Not a big deal. Boom. Boom. Nailed it. Nailed it, guys. This'll be the final pod. This'll be the final pod. I have nothing else to add because this was perfect. This is it. This was perfect. End of career. Um, you know, I feel like, I feel like I could have done this pod better. I feel like, I feel like I could have done this pod better.

It's all right. But. We have another chance next week. Um, awesome. Well, if you have any input or insight in what you'd like to do to discuss next week, um, certainly happy to, uh, you know, to, to acquiesce to that. Let us know, uh, Josh at pod. Oh my goodness. Josh at voice coach. That's the second week in a row.

I've missed my own email up. Josh at voice coaches. Speaking of perfection. Right. It's, it's the most simplest email. It's my name and it's. It's the company. Josh at voicecoaches. com is the easiest and most effective way to get in touch with me. Um, and, uh, and also Marissa or Sam or anyone else here at voice coaches.

Uh, if you have any, you know, topics, any questions, anything, uh, you'd like us to go over to any, uh, any critique. Be nice, but, you know, I'll take it. Um, but, uh, anything you want us to discuss, definitely reach out and let us know. JoshAtVoiceCoaches. com, easiest way to do that. And, uh, and as Marissa said, we will be back next week.

How about that? Heck yeah! And hopefully y'all will be as well back next week. So, uh, hopefully everyone is enjoying the spring and, uh, and the warm up, at least up here. I had a demo the other day that was in San Diego, and they're like, oh yeah, no, it's been like 75, 80 degrees for the last month and a half, and I'm like, stop it.

So everyone except San Diego, hopefully you're enjoying the lovely weather changing. Everyone in San Diego, eh, enjoy your weather, fine. But uh, but no, thanks again for tuning in this week. Let us know what you'd like us to discuss, and uh, and uh, yeah, we'd be happy to do that. So Marissa, thanks so much again for being a part of Zippod, and uh, yeah, thanks all for tuning in.

Till next time. So long, everyone. Visit voicecoaches. com for more voiceover news and information.

This week, Josh and Marissa talk about the prevalence of cold reading in the voiceover field. While this can often be daunting for new voice actors, it needn’t be. They discuss ways to prepare for cold reading and what to expect in the booth.