What's your intention? Whenever you're reading or getting ready for an audition, you need to have a clear through line. What's a through line? A clear line of intention. Today we'll discuss having a good through line and how it helps give us focus and a clear intention when reading commercial voice over copy.
After breaking down the story, think about the following: what are three emotions you can use to convey the message in the script? Then, after choosing these emotions, you'll choose a through line that will connect you to the emotion you're tapping into. A good through line will start with the words "Because I..." then be followed with a clear intention, like: "I care," to show caring and compassion.
But sometimes you need to go deeper than that. The words that you use in your through line can be very powerful. For example, if you choose to express silliness, you may use the through line "Because I'm silly." But that might not connect with you enough to bring you to a silly place. So how about using some silly words? Like: "Because I'm coo coo for Cocoa Puffs."
This is how this exercise works:
1- Say your through line before every sentence in the script, followed by the next line in your script. But every time you say your through line, say it in a different rhythm, tempo, using different energies. (i.e.: Because... I'm coo coo for Cocoa Puffs. Because I'm coo coo... for Cocoa Puffs. Because I'm coo coo for Cocoa Puffs!) You'll notice how your through line will color each line you read.
2- Then, do the same exercise, but this time, you'll think of your through line before every sentence. Give yourself a pause before every sentence to think of your through line. And every time you think of your through line, think it differently, as if you were answering the question: "Why are you doing this?" Answer: "Because I'm coo coo for Cocoa Puffs!
3- We think a lot faster than we think we do. This time you'll do the same as step 2, but without the pause. You're still thinking your through line, but shortening the pauses in between sentences.
Keep in mind that when you're in an audition, you won't have time to go through the 3 steps. You're supposed to go straight to step #3. But I break it down into these 3 steps so that you practice this exercise at home. Then, when this becomes part of your daily practice and can go straight to step #3 with ease and confidence, you'll be able to apply this exercise to your VO auditions and gigs.
Try applying this exercise at your next audition and please let me know how it goes. Until then, may 'The Voice' be with you!
For more great Voice Over tips, info on Voice Over Coaching , Bilingual Voice Over production and Songwriting, please visit the Berne Media Enterprises page. May ‘The Voice’ Be With You, and thanks for spreading the word!