Why Reading Pretty is not Enough

My VO Peep Alan Sklar (a generous and talented voice actor) called my attention to this blogpost by the renowned audiobook narration guru Paul Alan Ruben.  Paul’s blog for audio book narrators is here. Audio Book Narrators Blog.

Paul has lots of insightful and true comments here about the need for directors in audiobook narration, and the current money-saving trend toward home studios and self-direction. Randye Kaye and some voiced titles Yep. Can’t stop the trend, I guess, but his advice is golden. Here’s a quote:

Here and Now acts to remind the narrator that they are never – absolutely never – reporting what’s happening, they are living it. I often remind talent, let’s try that line again. And remember, you are living that line through the point of view of whom or what you are talking about.

So many of my voiceover students think “reading pretty” is enough to get work – audiobook or otherwise. This comes from a lifetime of hearing “you have such a good voice, you should do voiceovers.” They often seem surprised when there is so much more to a voiceover performance than having a nice voice and reading without stumbling (much).

BenVoices1 I am about to embark on a project to voice the audio version of my own book, Ben Behind His Voices: One Family’s Journey from the Chaos of Schizophrenia to Hope.  Still hoping to be picked up by a major house that will bring me into their studios to record so I will have those other sets of ears – but my back-up contract would call for me to self-record and self-direct.  Paul’s advice will guide me, in that case. Thanks, Paul!

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