Multiple Take Gumbo
Combine in a studio
One good voice actor
One professional recording environment
One script with direction
Add several reads in multiple characters – just in case
Edit it down to the best submissions
This is a recipe that is constantly under debate and depending on your skills and who you talk to, this recipe can be a complete success or a total disaster.
There are many skilled professionals who will tell you ONE TAKE ONLY – and in many cases they are right. They state that you are the expert, you should know which one to submit. I agree with them some what, however, I think that the reason they say this the most is because many actors aren’t skilled enough to know what a multiple take really is!
Let me clarify however that if your agent or client asks for one take – you only submit ONE TAKE. Always follow directions. However there are times when your agent won’t state how many takes or will specifically ask you to produce 2 or 3 takes. If you don’t have the knowledge or experience to understand what a multiple take is, then your one really good take, will be a complete failure.
Many assume that if you give a different inflection or meaning to certain parts of the script – while still voicing in the same character/read – then that constitutes a different take, but that is not the idea of multiple takes.
It is very difficult for the actor to make the decision on which take is best. While we are the experts, there is another expert that over rides us, and their mind is very hard to read. The client is truly the expert of their product and what they might ask for, may not even be close to what they want. So for me, play time is a must. Taking risks and voicing with different characters/reads is a necessity to EVERY audition I participate in.
When I say character I don’t necessarily mean a chipmunk. By character I mean, ‘Girl Next Door’, ‘Public Speaker’, ‘Teacher’, ‘Dumb Blonde’ etc. I will pay close attention to the specs to decipher what characters I should chose for the script/clients needs, but I will try on many characters while recording, with multiple takes for each one, and then when I’m editing, that’s when I decide which ones to keep. It makes for a longer process than the typical rip and read, but it allows me to remove the directors hat while I’m voicing, make mistakes that are many times worth keeping, and to stop judging myself while I’m reading. I save all that for the editing room.
I could go on and on about this topic, but I always write too much as it is. So I’ll leave you with that thought for now. If you want to learn how to master this skill, then I suggest time with someone like myself or a coach of your choice will help you know if you’re able to pull it off effectively. Until then, one take only! You will always give your safety read, so maybe it’s time you learned how to think out of the box so you can truly stand out.
Until next time
All my best
VO Chef Deb