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  • Writer's pictureDavid Jacobs

Practice Voiceover Anywhere

Enter as Strangers Leave as Friends sign.

I was on Summer vacation recently with the family and we were waiting for breakfast at the Red Rooster Cafe in Beaufort, SC. Above the door on the inside was a sign that said "Enter as Strangers, Leave as Friends". I think this is a pretty common phrase but I looked at it and read it several times. All of a sudden I was seeing it in a different context, that of Voiceover. I started reading it different ways with different intonation. Then I started asking myself questions. What if I wanted it to sound excited? Or surprised, happy, welcoming, and so on. What if this were the grand opening and I was giving a grand opening speech. It would be more of a proclamation.

I realized I was practicing Voiceover. You can truly practice Voiceover anywhere. Find a sign or anything with words on it and try reading it. Read it in different ways, twist it, bend it, what else can you do with it? Now create a scene or a given circumstance as Meisner would say. Where are you and who are you and why are you saying this? Who are you talking to? Now try it again. You will notice these are the same questions your Voiceover coach has asked you. With a given circumstance you have intention and with that you have the key to everything.

A second example. I was doing the wash in Myrtle Beach, SC and the washer had a pay by phone function. Right on the washer were the instructions for how to use this. And that, I realized, was a short eLearning script. So of course I started practicing.

We are surrounded by scripts everywhere we go. Signs, billboards, papers, bumper stickers, ect. You can use all of this to practice. So practice wherever you are. Even if you are waiting for breakfast or doing the laundry in a hotel somewhere.

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