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Watching Golden Globes Show: 'What's THAT?'
Keeping Up With Pop Culture - For Voice Over

January 12, 2016

By Dave Courvoisier

Voice Actor & TV News Anchor

Don't ask me where you're going to find the time, but to be a successful voice actor, you're going to have to pay close attention to popular culture.

Watching Sunday night's Golden Globes awards show made me realize how far I'd fallen behind - and I read local and national news to a TV audience every day, three times a day, yet still feel like I'm trailing.

I'd never heard of more than half of the shows up for awards. Mr. Robot? Room? Infinitely Polar Bear?

Sheesh! That's why I'm falling behind: those programs on streaming video channels are replacing broadcast networks, and even cable. Hulu, Amazon Prime, Vudu, Netflix, etc. They're all doing the kind of exploratory script and series development that the fading big TV networks are afraid to do anymore.

And how does this affect our voice over careers?

The death of broadcast TV is NOT the death of voice over opportunities. Rather, it's the birth of all that many more! 

But to understand the needs of this culture, and its advertising survivors - the nuances, the trends - we're going to have to find the time to watch some of this stuff. 


As far as I know, there's no known video version of Cliff Notes for TV. So, where to begin? 

Well, you've already got Internet, right? OK, now go get yourself a subscription to at least two of these new services. I'd recommend NetFlix and Amazon Prime, but they are by no means the only ones.

Trouble is, watching this stuff takes time.

Can you digest it all? No. 

Are there summaries in popular news media and trade mags? Sure, but there's no substitute for experiencing the cast, plot lines, and tenor of each series AND (here's the most important part) sharing it with everyone else. Facebook is good for that, too, but only if you're on the INside, and you know what's going on. 

I still haven't watched the TV series LOST, but I was envious that half of America was talking about it, and I was in the dark (turns out they all were too -.but at least they were doing it together).


Why is this so important? Your delivery must reflect the tone of the newest trends (at least for commercial, promo, and imaging work), and you can't fake that. You just gotta know it. 

Remember how SNL coined the phrasing around "NOT!"? 
Mike Meyers: "I had sex with Madonna ... NOT!" 
Jimmy Fallon: "I wanna be just like Osama bin Laden ... said no one EVAR."
These sayings became part of our culture and our world. 


You've gotta understand the force behind that when you diagnose copy for the right intent of the author and the spot. 

Don't know who Heisenberg is? Sorry! Then you're not going to correctly interpret or deliver the spot about the dangers of blue meth for the drug coalition spot.

Like it or not - and believe me, there are plenty of times I don't like it - voice actors have to be uber-observant cultural customers. It's not enough to live in this milieu; we have to seek it, taste it, understand it, and analyze it.

S'cuse me. I'd like to write more, but I gotta finish Season 7 of Dexter.


Check To Research
Correct Voice Over Reads

By Hugh Klitzke
Casting Director and Coach

In the past couple of years, has emerged as a tremendous resource for research into television commercial metrics; number of views, and where and when commercials were last broadcast.    

But also an EXTREMELY efficient way to investigate voiceover reads.   

For a long time, YouTube was the standard place to search for a commercial to check out the read. (And it still can be.)  

But when you search for a brand on you see multiple versions, and the most recent spots without having to troll through, say, fan videos and consumer reviews of products rather than the commercials themselves. 

Dave Courvoisier is an Emmy Award-winning broadcaster, writer, producer, voice actor, and the main weeknight news anchor on KLAS-TV, Channel 8, the Las Vegas CBS affiliate. He also writes Voice-Acting in Vegas, a daily blog of voice over adventures, observations and technology, and is author and publisher of the book, More Than Just A Voice: The Real Secret To VoiceOver Success.

More Than Just A Voice:

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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Comments (1)
Tracy Elman
1/12/2016 at 8:33 AM
Bravo, Both of these articles are outstanding. Right-on!
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