Recent Audio Book - First Life - Discovering The Connection Between Stars, Cells, and How Life Began

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Audiobook Recording - Preparation Makes A Difference

Having been through the audiobook recording process now for the first time, I want to share some of the insights I've gained along the way.  In particular, I want to talk about the importance of preparing for the actual recording.

Woody Allen once said about screenwriting, that the writing was the easy part.  He felt that all the hard work was done in the preparation - developing your characters, understanding the arc of your story, creating the back stories that bring depth to the heroes and villains.  After he had all that stuff worked out, putting the story on paper was a piece of cake.

Voice acting isn't screenwriting, but I know now from first-hand experience that the more you've worked over the copy - marking it up where you need to add inflection and where you need to take a breath, making sure you have all of the pronunciations correct, developing the proper character voices - the better your read will be.  If you've done your homework, the actual recording will go so much more smoothly and efficiently.

So get your pencil and eraser out and get to work.  The better you understand the story and the style of the author, the better you'll be able to convey that meaning to the listener.

Here is the link to the audiobook I just completed:

Green Intelligence Audiobook

It's a great listen for anyone interested in how to protect yourself and your loved ones from environmental dangers.  I really enjoyed narrating it, and I hope you enjoy listening!

Keep talking.


Sunday, June 3, 2012

It Looks So Easy...But It's Not

I'd like to digress from voice-overs for one minute if I could, and talk about what it takes to make it look easy.

I was sitting at an amazing concert a few nights ago, enjoying a late spring night out with my wife to see the Zac Brown Band perform.  I will admit that I'm a recently converted country music fan, and Zac Brown is the reason.  A friend of mine hosts CMT Top 20 Countdown, and a few years ago when he first got the job, he told me to watch.  Up to that point I was not a country fan at all.  But being a good friend, I tuned in.  Well, the first video I saw was Zac Brown - - and I was hooked!

Flash forward to this past Friday night, when I was thrilled to be able to cross off "see Zac Brown perform live" from my list of things I want to do before I die.  Actually, I didn't cross it off, because I hope to see them again!

While I was watching and listening to the incredible vocals, the amazing guitar and drum performances, and the way that the members of the band seamlessly blended together to create such amazing music, it dawned on me how much practice, time, and effort it must have taken to get to this point.

Let's face it, the members of this band didn't wake up one day and suddenly find that they were able to perform at such a high level.  Each of them had to practice for years to hone their individual skills, and then practice even more together to make their music and live performances sound and look so amazing.

When we decide to undertake anything in life, even if we're passionate about what we're doing, success will require hard work, dedication, and the realization that we will have to continually hone our skills if we want to get better.

If you're just starting out in the voice-over business, realize that this is a profession that will require life-long practice.  Our job is to make the read seem effortless, to convince the listener that what we're saying is real - not just words on a piece of paper.  Those at the top of our profession make it look (or sound) so easy, but they know - and you know - that it's not.

Watching that concert not only made me appreciate great artistry, it reinforced my belief that you should never stop trying to improve, always seek to learn, and practice every day.  If you do, the producer on your next voice-over gig will say " made that look easy..." even though it's not!

Keep up the hard work, and keep talking!