The 'Best Friend' Read: How To Sound
Natural When Voicing 'Announcer' Copy
January 18, 2017
By Hugh Klitzke
Casting Director and Coach
Hugh MacLeod (great first name), cartoonist and author of Evil Plans (great title) wrote in one of his cartoons:
"If you talked to people the way advertising talked to people, they’d punch you in the face.”
There is great irony in this statement for me, because I remind people in classes all of the time that you cannot, not, NOT sound like an announcer when reading "announcer” copy and expect to be hired to work in the year 2017.
And yet - the copy is still written like, well, announcer copy.
So what do we do?
We talk to people we know. We make it as personal and connected as possible. And we imagine a reason to talk to someone, say - your best friend.
YOUR BACKSTORY ...
Q: Who am I talking to?
A: Drew - my best friend.
Q: Why am I talking to him, and not Tony?
A: Because Drew doesn’t have kids (or a girlfriend) and Tony does.
Q: Where are we?
A: My kitchen.
Q: Why not at Drew’s place?
A: Because I’m sharing the beer I really like with Drew in my place on a weeknight. Because Drew doesn’t have somewhere else to be. He has the time…
NOW VOICE THIS ...
VO: Hey - if life were perfect, magazines would never smell like perfume, dogs would walk themselves, and algebra would really come in handy. Well, look on the bright side, at least there’s AMSTEL LIGHT. It has only 95 calories, but you still get real imported taste. You don’t give up a thing. Who says nothing’s perfect? Amstel Light.
Hugh P. Klitzke is studio manager and voice casting director for a leading bi-coastal talent agency, who in more than a decade has directed over 115,000 auditions for all voice over genres. Based in New York City, he is also a coach specializing in teaching voice over for actors, and blogs at voiceoverfortheactor.com, a twice-weekly blog with helpful voice acting tips.
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