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Voicing TV Commercials: If You Work
Too Hard, You're Adding Too Much
June 22, 2017

Note: VoiceOverXtra presents a weekend workshop on voicing TV commercials, led by the author in New York City on the weekend of July 15-16. To start or boost your TV commercial VO niche, check the details here. The workshop is limited to just 8 students, and will devote many hours to hands-on recording in the booth.

By Hugh Klitzke
Casting Director and Coach

Adding something is easy: adding value is hard. 

So, are you adding value to the idea in the audition? 

In a television commercial the odds are that your voice over is not the most important element. And in the audition, what is expected of you is to perform in a way that makes sense based on spec, the taste of the market today (not the market 20 years ago), and with an ear to being a part of an overall whole.     

Your part is important - but it is of relative value to the other ideas in the spot (casting, script, lighting, direction, music, cinematography, etc.) 

Your read balances all the component parts. You add a point of view or an energy. You talk to a consumer (or a voter, or a Mom, or a retiree) about what matters to them and why this product or service is the right one for them.    

If you hit a brand name - you are adding too much.

If you work too hard - you are adding too much. 

If you read for a sound and without an emotional intention…  you get what I mean.  

And all of that happens by doing the right thing with your audition and never too much.
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, a twice-weekly blog with helpful voice acting tips.  


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Comments (1)
Dave Harper
6/21/2017 at 8:46 PM
So right and to the point. Hitting names and hearing the sound of a voice instead of the message, instantly signals advertising professional who would say anything for anybody for a few bucks. Somebody who feels like he actually means the message, emphasizes the feeling, simply and naturally, quite honestly without exaggeration, gets across. That's why voice acting isn't announcing or clowning as much as putting your heart on a platter for someone to bite.
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