Tuesday, 22 October 2013

JR's Usable Advice

Thanks to Google+ I met another groovy  Voice-Over colleague. He's beatnik cool, has a really marketable voice, a playful personality and funky sideburns. He’s Jordan Reynolds. And I just knew early-on he was going to be getting a Debby Barnes Voice-Over Rah-Rah! whether he wanted one or not.

After being drawn to his cartoonish VO mascot, I thought he was the kind of guy any one would love to have as their friend, colleague and/or next-door-neighbour. He seemed fun, helpful, encouraging, thoughtful, engaging and communicative.  And any guy who openly hashtags: “The gorgeous Downton Abbey theme song. #SongsIDontMindHavingStuckInMyHead” has got my vote! He’s also a gifted Voice Actor, Audio Engineer & Producer, Improv Theater Actor, Music Enthusiast, Tech Geek, and Professional Sideburn Grower. (He's obviously another over-achieving Creative, for sure.)
Well, after viewing his quirky vlog, ‘My latest video: Cheap and free ways to record #voiceover and #vocals in a crappy sounding room’, I was eager to read a, ‘Jordan’s Chopped Thoughts’ blog. His ‘Voice Acting Is Harrd’ entry is a good read. First of all, he’s very transparent and writes like he’s gettin’ real. This particular entry is about his reactions to the book he’s been reading and highly recommending: Acting in Commercials: A Guide to Auditioning and Performing on Camera. It details the importance of communication and how to communicate effectively. (…beneficial stuff for any/all VO Actor’s whether they want to do on-camera work or not, he reminds us.)
After he reads the scientific study they’ve conducted that states that, “…only 7% of interpersonal communication relies on the actual words, while 55% of communication results from facial expressions and 38% from the way in which people use their voices.”  He does some basic math and concludes with a sigh: “…essentially, our ability to communicate with our listener in a compelling and effective manner is twice as hard.” (Hence, the title of his blog.) So after reading the book’s suggestion that we must inject a feeling and/or an emotion into what we’re saying, he urges us to go further by asking ourselves a different question. And the question he asks is spot-on and effectual. It actually leads to a more enhanced technique for him and he finds it ‘…much easier to stay out of his head and just ACT!’ In any kind of VO genre this sounds like sage advice. (…and I’m using it.) He even goes a step further by offering us Soundcloud audio samples comparing his different VO copy reads. (…a blog bonus, of sorts.) He’s definitely hit on something that won’t make Voice Acting so HARRD! Rah-Rah! Jordan.
Read it here: