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Like, Maybe Someday, Not Sure, But
Probably Will Do It? Waffling Is Defeating
November 20, 2013

By Hugh Klitzke
Casting Director and Coach

Actor: "So - I was thinking about getting into voice over."

HPK:  "Oh, yeah? Cool!"

Actor: "Yeah - like audiobooks or commercials or something."

HPK: "Sure."

A: "I heard they're using a lot of new people in audiobooks now."

H: "Uh huh."

A: "Yeah - a friend said they just need to hear my voice. Like about two minutes or something." 

H: "Well, voice over can be very lucrative. Commercials especially. It's a great way to be a working actor. Audiobooks themselves don't pay a whole lot of money per hour - especially when you take prep time into account, but it's all very good work to be involved in." 

A: "What do you mean?"  

H:  "Well, for example, in audiobooks non union work is more and more common. But there is still a lot of union work around. And sometimes they want you to record and edit yourself. What are they offering?"

A: "Well, I'm not sure."  

H: "Did they say you record yourself or do they have a studio?"

A: "Well, I haven't gotten that far yet ..."

H: "Alright. That's fine. Did they say what they want to hear in that two minutes?"

A: "No, not really. But that I should just send them something ..."

H: "Have you ever listened to an audiobook?"

A: "Sure. On Amazon. They have samples."

H: "What about an audiobook demo?"

A: "They have audiobook demos?"


H: "Yeah. They do."


Please stay with me. This might not be what you think. It's not the lack of knowledge on the part of the actor that kills me. I've been ignorant too. What kills me is the "waffle language."  

This is what I mean:
  • "thinking about getting into"
  • "or something"
  • "heard they're using"
  • "a friend said they just need"
  • "like about"
  • "I haven't gotten that far"
  • "I should just"
  • "I'm not sure"
The more concrete the language becomes, the more you realize how big the challenges are. And that's when can you really confront reality and succeed.
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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