When I first began to study the art of voice overs and script analyzation, I thought that each script had only one interpretation and I had to find that one singular and perfect read using nothing more than the scant clues provided by the client and the hints hidden within the copy itself.
Boy was I wrong!
While it is true that each script has its own “flavor” (for example: a comedic read, a serious read, a thoughtful read, etc.) how you do that kind of read is up to you and your own take and interpretation.
When you are in the booth preparing to do a read for a client, you first do your best to analyze the script using the information you have at hand: direction written on the script, advice from the client or producer, and the clues hidden within the script itself. You then use your first best guess as how to read the script. That initial interpretation doesn’t have to be perfect the first time, but it does need to show that you have done your due-diligence in preparing the read.
As the session continues the people behind the glass will let you know if you are on the right track or need to adjust your approach. It’s your job as a voice actor to listen without complaint to their direction and either adjust your read or reinterpret the script as per their guidance.
When I first learned about this, it took a huge weight off of my shoulders; because for the longest time I thought that I had to perfectly interpret the script from the first read. It just isn’t so.
From time to time on Voice Actor’s Notebook, I’ll be presenting and analyzing scripts so you can see, and hear, my thoughts on how I interpret them. My interpretations and reads aren’t necessarily the only ones possible — you might have a completely different take — and so I encourage you to post a comment or two sharing your thoughts. In this way, everyone in the VAN community can benefit, learn, and grow.