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VO4TA: RE Singing


04/11/17 I wrote: To all my VO folks out there -  have you ever auditioned to sing on a commercial?   


VO4TA: Singing


Singing isn’t a part of commercial voiceover anymore, is it?  You still hear the occasional jingle - but they’re not auditioned like voiceovers.  


I’m trying to remember if I’ve ever directed a singer for a commercial.  I’ve directed them for promos and even for animation theme songs; but never an actual commercial.  

VO4TA: Layout


Direction: Warm, inviting, mellow tone.  Inspirational but not over the top.


VO: “All across the country, from sea…

to shining sea, we’re switching…   

on a new year.”

VO4TA: Casting is not direction


HPK VO Rule No. 33:  Casting is not direction.


When I invite classes to bring their own copy to read for critique, I always specify that they need to bring some kind of direction with it as well.


VO4TA: Pink Trombone


It’s not what you think, philistine…


“From BOING BOING: Neil Thapen's Pink Trombone is a voice simulator: instead of telling it what to say, you individually move the soft and fleshy parts of the mouth, tongue and throat. There's a lot of fun to be had moving around the circular purple tongue control and the bottom lip and hearing the machine sing”.

VO4TA: Omit


Know you are being put on notice…  


If you are called to read a dialogue script of any kind - only submit your read.  Even if you read with someone else - submit only your voice.  Not a helper.  Not your Mom  reading the other role.  Not a coach reading the lines.  Only YOU reading your lines.  


VO4TA: Never lie.


Years ago a young actor suggested I write about this idea: “Actors are very territorial of the information they have and won't give it away, but actors are equally as territorial of their ignorance. They don't want anyone to know how much they don't know. Thus, they keep their mouths shut and forfeit their opportunity to learn (in order to seem) in-the-know. Silly actors. We're so stubborn sometimes.”

VO4TA: All Caps


I’ve been thinking about the all caps “shouting” thing…  


Whenever I’ve seen all caps on a BRAND NAME I’ve never wanted to hear an actor read it with any more emphasis than a Brand Name.  (Does that make sense?)  I don’t see it as something to shout: “Save money. Live better. WALMART.” No shouting.

VO4TA: Three of a Kind


Threes are in a lot of places: “Father, Son and Holy Spirit”, three branches of government, the strength of the triangle in architecture, a group of three atoms in the covalent bond H20...


Pull ten random pieces of commercial copy and you will find groups of three maybe eight out of ten times.  But they can be very different...

VO4TA: Artistry, work and other thoughts


My Grandfather told me when I was too young to understand it - “One thing I’ve learned: it’s not what you know; it’s who you know.” He said it so it didn’t sound anything like a cliche. 

HPK's Upcoming Classes

  • June 24, 2017
    Pomann Sound ,  New York,