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Fast Legal Reads: Get Up To Speed
By Understanding What You Say
September 17, 2014

By Hugh Klitzke
Casting Director and Coach

Speedy legal reads are almost like stunt work. There is very specific technique involved in making it go.      

To begin to learn how to accelerate to legal speed, the first thing I suggest is to really familiarize yourself with one specific piece of legal copy - so well that you can hear it in your head. 

Go to YouTube and find someone reading a legal. And hereís a neat trick - if you have an iPhone you can let the Notes app transcribe it for you. Itís not perfect, but it can be an effective start.    

Now listen to it. A lot. And listen to it while reading along. A lot.    
"New activation on a two-year cellular service agreement required. $175 early termination fee. Other charges and restrictions apply. See service agreement for details.Ē      
Now understand exactly what the copy is talking about.    
  • This legal is talking about an agreement. A special agreement. Itís a service agreement. 
  • A service agreement that requires something. What does it require? Activation. New activation.
  • And how long is that agreement? Two years. "New activation on a two-year cellular service agreement required."  
  • It has a fee. A termination fee. But not just a termination fee; an early termination fee that costs One-Hundred Seventy Five Dollars. And other charges and other restrictions will apply to that termination. "$175 early termination fee. Other charges and restrictions apply."
  • You can also find details about the entire thing in the service agreement. "See service agreement for details."    
The more you make the work about meaning - the more likely you are to succeed. 

Do you need technique? Absolutely. And you also need to understand what is going on, especially when technique is pushed to its limit.  
Hugh P. Klitzke is studio manager and voice casting director for a leading bi-coastal talent agency, who has directed more than 85,000 auditions for all voice over genres. Based in New York City, he is also a coach specializing in teaching voice over for actors, and writes VO4TA, a twice-weekly blog with helpful voice acting tips.


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