Working Wednesday: How To Self-Direct With Confidence

self-directNow, you think to yourself, I can finally get down to business and get my voice out there.  You print off the copy for the audition, analyze it, record it, and then you begin to panic. “It sounds pretty good, but I’m not sure if line 2 is exactly right and OMG, the tag sounds a little muddy. How do I know if I should submit it?“ Deciding whether to edit, re-record or simply hit the “send” button can be quite frustrating. Here are a few tips and techniques for how to self-direct with confidence:


Read through the copy and pay attention to the vocabulary and punctuation that is used.  Is it written in a formal or informal style? Are there lots of exclamation marks, questions, and ellipsis?  This can be handy when trying to find the appropriate emotional tone.  


Research the company, product, person, or event on YouTube, Wikipedia, or the web. Attempt to get a feel for the market they’re targeting and what message is being delivered.


Unless otherwise directed by the client, record several versions of the read and submit them all in the same .MP3. Evaluate your reads. Do they show your versatility? If so, it gives the client a choice and showcases your range of delivery styles.


Have you incorporated inflection, expression, and personality in your read?


self-directMentally visualize the one person you could say the words to, or even better, put up a picture of a person that you actually know and talk to that person as you record. You’ll be surprised at how talking to Uncle Fred can make you sound so believable.  


The technical delivery has to be considered as well. Have you been able to edit out all breaths, pops, and clicks?  The microphone is like an eardrum, it hears EVERYTHING!  Train your ear to hear everything, as well.

The amount of time and effort you put into your audition is critical. The better you can make it sound, the better chance you’ll have of getting the gig. However, don’t let your sense of perfectionism keep you from moving forward. Remember, self-direct with confidence!


Finally, a wonderful quote from Claudia Black….

“Trust in yourself. Your perceptions are often far more accurate than you are willing to believe.”


Thanks for tuning into this week’s blog! Join in on the conversation about Such A Voice and hear what other voice talents have to say about what it’s like being a professional voice actor. 



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