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Three steps to successful self-directing.

Updated: Mar 25, 2021

Most of the time you are going to do Voice Over without a director. How does that work? Don't spend hours in the booth on something that should take 10 minutes. Follow this simple trick to get in and out of the booth quickly.

Three steps to successful self-directing. - 4:54

Welcome to the Gift of Gab. Today, I want to talk to you about self-directing. Now this is obviously something that every voice actor needs to be able to do, because we do it all day, every day. We’re in our booth and we are auditioning - we're effectively self-directing our own performance! Now if you’re one of those people who currently gets into your booth and it takes you 20, 30, 40 minutes just for ONE audition because you’re doing take after take, after take, after take, after take... one eternity later... after take, after take, after take and it just never stops and then you have to spend an equal amount of time in the editing chair figuring out what to do with all of those takes and which ones to submit... oh boy... OK we’re gonna put an end to all of that because it’s totally not necessary and there’s a much better way for you to handle it! Self-directing is hard and it can be a really challenging process, and I think when somebody is just starting out, the biggest hurdle with it is that all of your takes potentially sound the same, and you’re struggling to figure out how to make those different takes sound different, and offer something different to the client you’re submitting to. Let me give you some really simple guidelines to follow that are going to help to speed this process along and make yourself directing a whole lot easier, and it's as simple as 1-2-3, that’s the rule. The rule of 3 takes, no more, no less, that’s what you shoot for every single time you self-direct an audition, OK? Three takes. Of those three takes, you should have three decidedly different emotional choices. Now this might be the difference between doing a conversational read, a soft sell, a hard sell. It might be an announcer performance, conversational, and maybe something really intimate, where you draw your audience to you. You’re looking for contrast, you’re looking for options that deliver the biggest difference vocally, so you can kind of juxtapose those takes, and offer your client some thing that shows your abilities and some of your range. Let’s say it’s a character performance. Once again, three takes. You should be selecting, ahead of time, three distinct styles that you could be presenting as the character performance for your script. This just takes a little bit of mapping, it takes a little bit of pre-planning, and trust me, it’s gonna make your life so much easier, it’s gonna take a ton of pressure off in the booth and editing. One of the easiest ways to do this is to have reminders and options available in your studio that give you emotional choices and reference points. All over my studio are all these charts and graphs that have different emotional choices that I can make, based on what’s appropriate for a script. So I can do a quick pre-read, I can look at that script, I can look at some of my emotion charts, I can make three choices, perform those three choices, and then get on with the next audition. It starts making you faster at this process. So three - that’s the rule, OK? 1-2-3, no more, no less. Go out there and conquer your self direction. If you feel like you’re struggling in these areas and you’re not getting anywhere, and you’re just kind of spinning your wheels because you don’t have any perspective, this is where someone like myself can really step in and help you to further your voiceover career along. This is what coaching is all about, guys. If you’re looking for techniques that can help you increase your booking ratio and decrease the amount of time that you spend auditioning, go ahead and go to my website Gabrielle and book some class time with me. Thanks guys! Hey guys, thanks so much for watching. If you want to be featured on an upcoming Gift of Gab, or you just have a question for me that you'd love for me to answer about voiceover and your voiceover career, send it over! I'm happy to do it. You can email me at or shoot me a message on one of the socials. Thanks so much for watching, we'll see you next time.

Gabrielle Nistico, Gabby Nistico, The Voiceover Vixen, The Business First VO Coach, #VoiceoverVixen #VoiceOnFire #BusinessFirstVOCoach Voiceover, Charlotte, North Carolina, Voiceover Demo, Voiceover Coaching Advice, What Not To Do, Working Actors, Los Angeles, New York, Virtual Voiceover Exchange, How to Be a Better Voice Actor, voiceover coaching, self direction, editing, auditioning, making choices, emotional choices, emotional range, self directing, audition process


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