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How to handle bad voiceover direction.






How to deal with bad voiceover directors, because, they are out there.


How to handle bad voiceover direction. - 8:38

Hey guys, it's Gabby. Thank you so much for joining me for another edition of The Gift of Gab. Today, I want to talk to you about being directable in voiceover. What is it? What does it mean? What are the clients' expectations, and how do you live up to them? Stick around!


I want to take a moment today to thank my sponsor, Pozotron, a company that I absolutely adore. I went after them, not the other way around. I approached them about coming on board and being part of The Gift of Gab family because I love what they're doing, and I think that their product is incredible. It has this amazing potential to transform the voiceover industry moving forward. If you do anything in the long-form sector, especially audiobooks, then Pozotron is a tool that you absolutely need to be taking advantage of. Check them out at Pozotron.com. If you have any questions or you want to talk to me about how you can better implement Pozotron into your workflow, reach out. Let's do it.


Being directable—you've probably heard the term by now. It's all about being able to take information from someone else and basically transforming that into a performance. And that's a pretty amazing thing, right? It's not as easy as one might think. If you're very, very new to voiceover, the reason that direction can sometimes be difficult to take is because, I think, a lot of people in the early, early stages of voiceover think that being directable is being what we call line read. It literally means the person basically does the performance themselves, the director effectively performs the material, and then you mimic it. That's a line read.


Voice actors who've been at it for a long time—I think any actor who's been at it for a long time—we hate that. We hate being line read. We don't want someone else spoon-feeding us our performance. That's kind of crappy because what they're basically doing then is they're sort of devaluing the artistry, and they're taking away a lot of the time, the effort, the skill that we put into things. While line reading does absolutely, definitely happen—it happens to all of us in voiceover, no matter what level you're at—it's not what direction is. Direction is really being able to take someone's idea and convert it into a solid performance.


Now, some directors are amazing. They're so great, and they're so generous with their ideas, and they help us. They truly are an asset to the entire production. Relish them because when you meet a really great director, oh man, they're few and far between. You almost want to hug them and squeeze them for being so great to work with and for being so inspiring for your performance.


The majority of directors, especially in voiceover, they don't always know what they're doing. They don't always come to the table with something useful. So, every voice actor has some story that goes, "Yeah, there was the time that I was in session, and they told me to go faster but sound slower." Yeah, that's a thing. My personal favorite, the one I will never forget, is a director that was much, much younger than me, and they went, "Um, I don't know, could you maybe do more but also like, less?" What? It's hard to not just stand there and kind of go blank and not even—you almost don't want to give them the benefit of a response to something that ridiculous, but we have to put up with this. This is real. Like, we deal with this on a regular basis.


The point is that direction is something you learn in two ways. One, you learn it by exposure to lots and lots and lots of directors, and that, in my opinion, is one of the biggest values of VoiceOver coaching. It's not just what you're learning; it's the fact that you're working effectively with different directors. Each one of your coaches is a director in a sense, and they are giving you different types of direct. They are giving you different challenges with regards to direction, and that is really what makes the difference for a well-rounded actor.


We're not here to sort of judge whether one coach is right or wrong. See it more as it's the direction that they're offering you. That's a really cool way of transforming the way you see your voice acting journey. If your coaches are your directors, then getting by working with multiples, this really well-rounded, really robust way of understanding how to work with directors of all types and with all kinds of the demands that directors make upon us. So that is hugely beneficial.


The second thing is that you've got to learn how to self-direct. You have to learn how to challenge yourself to interpret direction in different ways, the same way your coaches challenge you to do this, and ultimately, the same way a client will challenge you to do this. You never look at a script as a static thing with only one interpretation. That's the biggie. Always, always, always look at a script and say, "How many different ways could I do this? How many different emotional approaches are here? How many different character possibilities are there?" Because when you start to think multi-dimensionally like that about the material, right, you're making it 3D instead of it being 2D on the page. When you start to do that, you become more versatile, and you become more directable because you've had more experience with direction.


Directors always know a new talent, always because a new talent can rarely deliver different options in the booth. Their directorial abilities are very narrow. They can only really do one or two things. And so, you don't want that to be you. You want to be extremely directable and very flexible and very fluid with your ability to take direction.


You also have to remain calm in the face of some of the really weird stuff we get asked to do. Not that any of it's bad, it's just, man, we get asked for some goofy stuff sometimes, and you got to roll with it. You got to be able to just kind of keep a smile on your face and go, "Okay, I'm gonna do the stupid-ass thing you just asked for even though it doesn't make any sense, but here you go," and then you let the director realize that that was a mistake on their part.


If you need help with stuff like this, if you'd like more insights into how to be directable and also the different performance types that are going to assist you in being a more diverse talent, check out my website. There's lots of options there. I also want to give a shout out to my sponsor, Positron. If you've not heard of them yet, here's their website. Go check it out. You will not be disappointed. There's a killer offer code that's attached to me, and it's going to give you an opportunity to get your hands on some really great time on their platform for free. Very valuable. Go check it out at patron.com. Bye, guys.



Gabrielle Nistico, Gabby Nistico, The Voiceover Vixen, The Business First VO Coach, #VoiceoverVixen #VoiceOnFire #BusinessFirstVOCoach Voiceover, Charlotte, North Carolina, Voiceover Demo, Voiceover Coaching Advice, Working Actors, Los Angeles, New York, Pozotron, director, casting, direction, bad director, live directed session

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