Voice Coaches Radio #619: The Art of Self Directing
Uh, you know, I realize you're getting this on a, on a Friday, but yeah, I'm just, I'm just doing me over here, you know? Uh, but, uh, you know, this is what happens. We get questions a lot from students, and I know that, like, when you're beginning and you're starting anything in voiceover. It, it seems like a whole new world and it's just like too many things to think about and like how do I even start and, you know, what can I possibly do, um, to, to make this easier for myself and honestly the, the best advice I have is just like dive in head first and keep doing it and keep listening back and, and keep, uh, keep, keep it on if you will, uh, but you know, when the, the thought of having to I guess do things on your own, right?
The, the thought of being in a studio by yourself and having to I guess direct yourself, and just like, I don't know, hope that you're making the right choices. I know, like, that's the daunting part about it at first. You feel like, I can't do this, I'm, I'm new, or like, maybe you've gone and you've recorded a demo, but you don't actually have any work under your belt, yet you feel like an imposter that first time, especially.
You're like, ah, I'm not really a voice actor, I'm just, I'm just, you know, me. I just, I'm some ridiculous librarian, and I, What am I doing? Or I, I used to be a nurse and why did I think I could do this? Um, well, you got hired. So boom, that's already a good thing. Uh, so somebody liked what they heard, right? Uh, but you know, for me, I, I do a lot of stuff for a lot of, uh, the friends that I've made in the industry over the course of time.
I've got a gentleman, uh, that I have known from the very beginning of my career. And, uh, I may have talked about it before on the pod, actually. Uh, he, he used to, You know, walked by my desk at like 5 o'clock in the morning after I was getting done doing an overnight shift. And he'd be like, ah, I'm stalking you.
And he considered himself my, my very first stalker. His name is Paul. And, uh, I love him dearly. And, uh, to this day, almost 20 years later, he'll be like, like referring to me not even as Marissa, but as Uh, Stalker instead. Like I'm probably in his phone as Stalker. I wouldn't even be surprised. Uh, but, that being said, he does own his own station here in, uh, the Albany area.
And when I had moved back, and he knew that, and, you know, it was the pandemic, and he just wanted to, you know, utilize somebody who, one, knew that could use a few bucks, and, and also that he knew was fully capable of, of doing, uh, the job at hand, and he really just wanted to have somebody that he could go to at any minute's notice and be like, hey, help me.
We need this voiced. Can you do this for us? And I'm basically the female voice of the station. Um, so, you know, anytime that he goes to do the weather or traffic or, in this case, commercials, you hear me. Um, you know, and it's like, you know, this weather is brought to you by blah blah blah. Um, in this case, what just came down the pipeline for me, It's a car commercial, uh, we have a dealership locally in town, um, it's Mohawk Honda and Mohawk Chevrolet.
And, uh, I have been doing these commercials for years, uh, oddly enough, you know, uh, when I did have a, a pretty prominent afternoon show here in town, uh, I did a, a whole endorsement deal for those guys for, uh, I don't know, it was like almost 10 years. I still have an HRV. I had a Civic for a very long time.
I had a CRV before that. Um, so, they're not paying me right now, by the way. Uh, haha. And Paul's barely paying me. But no, I'm just kidding. Uh, but, you know, this is what happens, is like, I'll check my email, and I'll have a couple things waiting for me. Sometimes he shoots me a text to let me know they're there.
Uh, but, what I wanted to do quick, was just kind of run through the things that I do. At this point in my career when, when this happens, like, here I am, I've got copy in front of me, Um, I can have the ability to look it over, Um, I can even kind of give you an idea of what I'm looking at without physically showing you, And, and then I'm gonna give you the sample that was my actual first take of this piece, And you can hear me correct things, And then I will also Let you hear what I sent in.
Um, and honestly, I think what I ended up doing was I just corrected one thing because I had made a realization afterwards. And that first take was really what I ended up keeping. Um, because things Things get easier, just like any other job. It seems so daunting at first, but then all of a sudden, you kind of know it like the back of your hand.
And I've been doing commercials like this for a very long time. Um, they're very conversationally written. This is a 60 second radio script, as it says on the top of this, for January of 2024. It's even titled, Don't Be Fooled, uh, because they have some construction going on. So, uh, they want to make sure people don't, like, drive on by thinking they're closed.
Um, but Basically, as you go through this copy, they have things that are in bold print. Um, they have. Some things that are capitalized within bold print. Letting you kind of already know, hey, there's some direction to follow here. You know, we want you to go ahead and we want you to do what you're gonna do with it, but here are some really important points for us.
And, um, so, as an example, it's like in these first couple sentences, I mean, again, written very conversationally, it starts with, Hey folks, Mohawk Honda is under construction. And the new building is going to be amazing, but don't be fooled. That's all bold print right there. Don't be fooled. Amidst the cranes, trucks, and builders is a vehicle lot with the most inventory we've had in three years.
Now is the time to get the deal you've been waiting for. Now is the time to cash in. Can you tell, based on what I just did, what was not only bolded but also in capitals? You know, it's, as you're looking at this stuff, It's a little bit easier to start wrapping your brain around. So, I'm gonna go ahead and let you hear what my first initial take was before the edits, with the me fixing things along the way.
And you can see how I handled it and you can see where my mind went, but go ahead. You can take a listen now. Hey folks, Mohawk Honda is under construction and the new building is going to be amazing, but don't be fooled. Amidst the cranes, trucks and builders is a vehicle lot with the most inventory we've had in.
It's been three years. Now is the time to get the deal you've been waiting for. Now is the time to cash in interest rates are coming down and we need to move ridgelines, Accord, civics and more. Come in and meet our team led by General Manager Greg Johnson, who makes sure the entire Mohawk Honda family offers you the best experience every time you visit.
And we need to recognize Jake Doyle and MG Nichols for receiving the National 2023 Platinum Level Honda Sales Award. The highest honor in the country for sales consultants, and it's based on volume and customer satisfaction way to go. Jake and MJ. These awards aren't surprising. The Herod and family has been delivering a fast friendly has been delivering a fast and friendly buying experience for generations.
So don't be fooled by the construction. Come visit us today and make sure you're and make your deal at Mohawk Honda on Freeman's Bridge Road in Scotia, where they always go out of their way to please you. Alright, that's me. A little, a little compressed, a little limited in, in that, uh, in that audio. And here's what I was able to figure out in just that one take.
Now clearly you heard me go ahead and fix a few things, right? The other thing is that that clocked out. at about a minute eleven when everything was said and done. So, remember, this was a sixty second commercial. But, I had some edits to make, right? So, what I went and did was I made those edits. Just to see, you know, what kind of time frame I'm working with.
Because to me, pacing wise, conversationally, I thought I, I did pretty well, you know? So, I was like, I don't even know if I want to go ahead and You know, mess with the little bit of magic that might be going on there, so let me just see what I'm, I'm working with. And, when everything timed out, I was like, alright, this is about a minute one, a minute two.
By the time that their guys are done, once I send it in, and, you know, they've, you know, done whatever they're gonna do to it, they'll probably have it at, at sixty seconds. So, I mean, what I have is good, is good, Enough for what they're gonna be needing it for and even if it is 61 seconds. I know being in radio That's not a big deal So the one thing though that maybe you didn't notice that I did what everything was said and done and I didn't notice it in The moment, but it was after the fact I did it right the second time I did not say MJ Nichols the first time I said MG So in order to fix that It's like somebody else might be like, Oh, crap.
I've got to do the whole thing over again. No, you don't. You don't even necessarily need to do the whole full line over again, to be honest. Um, you know, what I ended up doing was I said, and we need to recognize Jake Doyle and MJ Nichols for receiving the National 2023 Platinum Level Honda Sales Award.
That's only half of that sentence. And in fact, I probably could have stopped right at MJ Nichols because, did you notice? I took a breath. That is a good indicator of a good place to edit. Uh, so, these are the little things that we start to notice. Um, you know, I already knew that I had the right kind of energy in there.
I knew that I smiled enough. And, um, yeah, again, timing wise, it all worked out. It was very conversationally done. So, with that being said, Let's go ahead. Let's hear the final edit of what I sent in. Hey folks, Mohawk Honda is under construction and the new building is going to be amazing, but don't be fooled.
Amidst the cranes, trucks, and builders is a vehicle lot with the most inventory we've had in three years. Now is the time to get the deal you've been waiting for. Now is the time to cash in. Interest rates are coming down and we need to move ridgelines, accords, civics, and more. Come in and meet our team, led by General Manager Greg Johnson, who makes sure the entire Mohawk Honda family offers you the best experience every time you visit.
And we need to recognize Jake Doyle and MJ Nichols for receiving the National 2023 Platinum Level Honda the world sales award, the highest honor in the country for sales consultants, and it's based on volume and customer satisfaction. Way to go, Jake and MJ. These awards aren't surprising. The Heritage family has been delivering a fast and friendly buying experience for generations, so don't be fooled by the construction.
Come visit us today and make your deal at Mohawk Honda on Freeman's Bridge Road in Scotia, where they always go out of their
So there you go. That is a finished commercial and, uh, well to, to the voice, uh, concept and aspect of things. And, you know, the other thing that I will say that maybe I left out, it's like, how do you decide mood wise what's happening? You know, when, how exciting something actually is. Now, I mean, in this piece there, there are an occasional, uh, exclamation point, especially near the end, but.
You know, I'm trying to keep that same vibe from beginning to end. You want it to be kind of like down homey. Uh, you know, you want it to be relatable. You want it to be Warm and caring because that's kind of it's like a family atmosphere over at this company and I know that because I've been there but I don't only know it from that I know because they mentioned family near the end, you know, so when you are trying to dissect and you're trying to self direct and things like that.
I mean, these are the things that. I always put in the forefront to make the most important, um, and you know, in this case for me, I did have some direction to follow. Uh, some things were bolded, some things were in, in capitals, but. You want to go ahead and look at it. If it's not like that, well, what would be bolded for me if they were to do that?
What would be underlined? You know, what is of the major importance that should be stressed a little bit more? Um, so hopefully these things help you and, uh, hopefully you enjoyed hearing me a little bit in, in action and not just rambling at you. Uh, but if you've got anything you'd like to discuss, make sure you hit us up at info of voice coaches.
com. Info at voice coaches. com. And if you aren't, maybe not even starting yet, and you, you've had that interest potentially of being a part of the voice coaches program. I just want to throw it out there. We have a couple workshops coming up in the next week. And if you head over to, uh, the, the blog portion of this podcast, there is a URL that'll link you to where you need to go to go ahead and find out some more details for yourself.
Okay. So that is right there up there in the blog post. Find it at voicecoaches. com. And another new episode is coming your way next week. Thanks guys. Be safe.
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This week on Voice Coaches Radio, it’s true, the world of voice over has changes drastically in the last few years (thanks, pandemic!) It’s allowed a lot more opportunity right in the comfort of your own home studio and for Marissa, it’s been a lot of that from the beginning in so many ways. Within her radio career, she’s always had scripts thrown her way for various commercials to do when she had the free time between her work, these days, they pop up in her email throughout the day instead from home. So, how does she dive into each script and what is her process on self directing? Like anything else, it can appear so much more challenging at first, until you get experience, more comfortable and confident and like anything else you’ve ever done it becomes like the back of your hand…but, how do you get there? Today, hear her in action.