If You Start Crying - Don't Stop Narrating!
And More Tips From BookCon Panel ...
June 14, 2018
By Tom Dheere
Voice Actor, Narrator & Coach
As an audiobook narrator, I've always been fascinated by the processes of other narrators. One place to learn this recently was at the BookCon panel, "Into the Booth," on June 1 in New York.
Moderated by Laini Taylor (author of the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series), this panel featured a wide range of narration experience: from narrating one audiobook (Charlotte Voiklis, author/narrator of Becoming Madeleine: A Biography of the Author of 'A Wrinkle in Time' by Her Granddaughters) to narrating over 100 titles each (Marc Thompson of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, January LaVoy of The Diviners series, and Elizabeth Evans of the Throne of Glass series).
The range of experience provided both fascinating and often hilarious experiences and perspectives to share with an eager audience of authors, librarians and fans.
For example, Charlotte, who co-narrated Becoming Madeleine with her sister, talked about the honor of bringing her grandmother's story to life.
One of the other panelists, and I won't say who, has narrated numerous vampire erotica titles, much to the delight of the crowd!
Mark and January talked about the thrill of portraying iconic Star Wars characters Han Solo and Leia. Mark delighted the crowd with his Chewbacca as well as a perfect Admiral Ackbar impression. "It's a trap!"
AUDIOBOOK NARRATION TIPS
And here are some audiobook narration tips I walked away with:
1. Remember that audiobook narration is an intimate experience. The narrator has complete creative control, and is free to make all of the performance choices, especially if you're self-directing. Since you can't change the story, exercise the liberty to interpret, expand, and elevate it.
2. Audiobook narration can make you a better actor in other genres. Examine the overlap of building characters regardless of the medium. Always ask yourself: who is the audience? ·
3. When preparing an audiobook, think less about the attributes of the characters (you can't play tall) and more about the experience the character is going through.
4. Find forums where the fans are talking about the books that you have or will narrate so you can discover why they love it.
5. Audiobook narration is a highly physical endeavor. You have to warm up, eat right, hydrate, power down, and rejuvenate to be effective and have the stamina to narrate regularly.
6. Record snippets of your characters' voices on your phone to file away for future use.
7. If you are so moved by the story that you start crying, don't stop narrating! Unless you're unintelligible, it's a keeper.
BOOKCON - NEXT YEAR
This was a lively and highly informative panel. The narrators were engaging, profound, and bring literature to millions of commuters, the visually impaired, or those who just prefer the auditory experience.
If you're in New York City next year for BookCon, I highly recommend attending panels like this. If you're not an audiobook lover going in, you will definitely be one coming out!
To learn more about BookCon go to www.thebookcon.com.
Over two decades, Tom Dheere has narrated thousands of projects for clients in over a dozen countries and voiced more than 40 audiobooks. He is also a voice over business consultant, coach at Edge Studio, was the marketing consultant for the Voice Over Virtual online conference, and is also writer/producer of the sci-fi action comic book Agent 1.22.
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