Podcasts, blogs, audiobooks: opportunities for any voicetalent: but do we have all this time?
One of the recurrent reflections in this period of forced isolation concerns the sense of exhaustion that catches us at the end of the day, spent in an overactive way, between recording sessions, physical exercises in the living room, personal cooking show sessions and small domestic maintenance. Not to mention the long television stays in front of the evening press conference with the various counts to further confuse the ideas. I have already dealt with the topic of how podcasters and italian voice over talents in general can seize an opportunity in this context. But how? I have barely completed a couple of books in these two weeks. And normally I consider myself a voracious reader … I listen to little music, some podcasts every now and then. I don’t give myself free time to clear my head. Why should I think the world is out there ready to listen to my thing? Immediate response: do it for ourselves. To sink your nails into thoughts and force them to reveal a definitive answer, a direction that takes us somewhere, that is not the limbo of scrolling a feed or advertisements to be skipped between one news site and another.
The consistency preached by all podcasters and influencers also concerns us, italian voice actors and puts us in front of a superhuman effort in giving body to the voice, meaning to a form. Being just voices: for some it is enough, for others not …
I know well-known voice actors who have opened their production house, others who have tried the path of film direction, still others who have started writing novels, others who do not think about it at all and are dedicated to the art of feeling good with their feet soaking on a beach.
It is in moments like that, when there are no “designers” of what a voiceover talent gives shape, that the fateful problem arises: I have a beautiful voice, I am a good interpreter, I have a microphone and a home studio in Italy . And now?
The actor, the voice actor, the voice of advertising feeds on reality.
The most famous Italian voiceovers have always represented a filter between the world they are called to interpret and reality. Like an actor, more than an actor (friends of the actors I belong to will not want me). Why? An actor puts his autobiographical heritage into play, but above all he needs to empty himself to welcome the character generated by the author inside himself. In the case of the voice talents, of the voice of the radio, this time does not exist. The actor in front of the microphone must leverage his own experience to give immediate emotional responses to the scripts proposed by copywriters, producers, screenwriters. It must be immediately available to offer all its nuances. Obviously he will pay a price, that of a certain homologation to the usual sample of emotions. Anger, happiness, disgust, sadness, to speak of the primaries, can be enriched with innumerable nuances. And the world of voice acting makes only a fraction of it available, to be honest.
So how do we get home from experiences, emotions, to always be elastic, nuanced, enriching? We never lose sight of our true strength, recognized by every good advertising professional: the voice of the commercials is an essential medium to bring the message to its destination, both on the web and through traditional media, the written word is enhanced by intentions.
In these weeks I try to read, listen to podcasts, watch TV series, write and interpret these articles, it allows me to externalize thoughts and reasonings that unconsciously move my behaviors every day. Waiting for the great lockdown to end and for us to fly again …
Meanwhile, the days flow more hectic
I don’t know about you, I sometimes end my days more tired than when the big stop was nothing more than a bogeyman. Between calls, recording sessions in my home studio, links with creatives who want to rightly follow the recording of an advertising text. Eventually I realize that it is already evening and my head is pressed into a mallet made of smartphones, headphones, computers and iPads.
In these moments I curse myself for not having created spaces dedicated specifically to reading, to physical movement (for those lucky enough to have a space in the house), to meditation.
It is necessary to give a rhythm to the day, made of corners where you can practice certain activities, or at least mental spaces: even sitting at one end of the table to work and at the other to feed yourself can make sense. All of our voices will tell it over the microphone, I know for sure, as I am sure that thousands of narrators are just now dedicating themselves to exploring deeply every single emotion of the mental spaces that are created in our particular condition of inmates – not inmates : basically we are only at home, well fed and plump (maybe too much!).
Offer a sense. Praise of silence
I’ll be back on the basic theme: to return you need to fill up. Of sounds, of details. Never as in these days have I listened to the noises. The machines of the garbage collection workers, with the beep beep that testifies to the hooking of the bins and their unloading. The echo of the dogs that are called from the balconies, greet each other, sometimes subject to curses by lovers of absolute silence. The first courtships of the blackbirds at dawn, which had not been felt for years. And, yes, even the ambulance sirens that put anguish in their nervous passage to the hospitals.
Up to the most subtle noises: the refrigerator compressor that attacks and detaches in the kitchen, the glu glu of the radiator that loads the water in the early morning.
Smartphones, tablets, computers are strictly silent. Just the mechanics of my keyboard to keep me company. It becomes music when I’m inspired. A new registration soon. I will be the voice of a television promo. I assemble the equipment, close the soundproof booth and go into session.