Podcasts Mission Audition Connecting from the Heart with Tommy Griffiths
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Connecting from the Heart with Tommy Griffiths

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One of the most important aspects of voice acting is the ability to convey genuine emotion and appropriate levels of enthusiasm about the subject. Here on the show today to tease out some of the nuances to these ideas is Tommy Griffiths, a veteran from the voice-over profession, and one of our most experienced coaches at voices.com! After a brief introduction to Tommy, his storied career, and early interest in the work, we get into today’s round of auditions for Flow Zone, an augmented reality app for remote offices. We look at nine different auditions commenting on the strengths and weaknesses that each demonstrates, with some of the main points of interest and instruction centering on audio quality, breathing, warmth, and emphatic hesitation. At the end of the discussion, Tommy selects his personal preference from the tapes and underlines a few tips on how to incorporate today’s lessons to get more bookings! So, to hear it all from Tommy and the team, be sure to listen in with us today, on Mission Audition!

About Tommy

A veteran of the Voice Acting industry for more than 40 years, Tommy has voiced projects for radio, TV, promos and sales presentations for clients such as Harvard University, Coca-Cola, Nissan, New Era Caps, Dodge Ram Trucks, Discovery Channel, Chevy Camaro, and History Channel, and voiced the Dad on the cartoon video games of “Caillou”.

In addition to his work behind the mic, Tommy Griffiths Voice Productions provides world class voiceovers, voiceover demos and voiceover coaching for professionals and beginners out of studios in two locations, in Washington, DC and North Carolina. Learn more and connect with Tommy on his website TommyGriffiths.com.

EPISODE 28

[INTRODUCTION]

[00:00:10] AZ: Hello, and welcome to Mission Audition, the Voices podcast that puts real Voices talent in touch with the best voiceover coaches in the world. My name is Andrew Zuber. I'm the Community Manager here at Voices. I'll be your host for the 2022 edition of Mission Audition. Yes, we are back after a small break, we are back. Very excited to get to today's guest, and also, to today's co-host joining me on Mission Audition, is the platinum account manager. I know him affectionately as the mayor of Voices, my co-host, it's Kyle Flynn.

Kyle, how are you?

[00:00:43] KF: Not too bad. Thank you for having me. How's everybody doing today?

[00:00:47] AZ: Very excited. I'm very excited. Mission Audition is, as the community manager, the show that I hear the most about from our Voices talent. When the opportunity to re-launch this came up, I was absolutely thrilled. We're going to hear some real auditions from real Voices talent today. We are going to speak with our special guest, our featured guest, who will be giving some notes, some advice, we’d pick a winner and we are going to award this job to a real Voices talent. All these auditions is real Voices talent. This is real auditions. This is all exactly how the process works. A really cool look behind the scenes and hopefully, plenty of advice and things that can get picked up.

Today, we are going over an internet video, which I can tell you in 2021 was the most hired project category in the entire year of 2021 on Voices. Before we get to the auditions, Kyle, why don't you introduce our guest and our featured coach on voices this month, Tommy Griffiths?

[00:01:39] KF: It would be my pleasure. Tommy Griffiths, a veteran of the voice acting industry for more than 40 years. I think, Tommy had mentioned 43 to be exact. Tommy has voiced projects for every category and type of work that you can imagine. He's done radio, TV, promos, sales presentations for clients, such as Harvard University, Coca-Cola, Nissan, New Era Caps, Dodge Ram Trucks, Discovery Channel, Chevy Camaro, History Channel, and he's also voiced the dad for the cartoon video games of Caillou. Long list there. Almost needed to catch my breath. Tommy has cemented himself in this industry as a true professional.

In addition to his work behind the microphone, Tommy Griffiths Voice Productions provides world-class voiceovers, voiceover demos, voiceover coaching for professionals and beginners, out of his two locations in Washington, DC, as well as North Carolina there. Tommy, I'd like to ask you if you want to fill in some gaps there and talk a little bit more about your journey in the VO world and what led you to it.

[00:02:42] TG: Thank you very much, Kyle and Andrew. My journey began pretty much at the start of my life. I was fortunate enough to be raised in a radio family. My dad was in radio. I was always around it. It was never anything unusual to me. I was always listening. That's the key to succeeding in voiceover is not just speaking, but listening, and we'll get into that.

Then eventually, about the age of 17, I had the good fortune to begin interning in Hollywood, California, for some of the biggest recording studios then. This is during the day when every audition was live. Every audition was done with five minutes notice of getting the script. You'd have to show up, fight traffic to record an audition, or a job. Not only did I benefit from watching the best of the best, these names probably going to be, I don’t know, I'm dating myself here. Ernie Anderson, Danny Dark, and so on. All of these people were the top of the talent pool at the time.

The most important thing for me too, and this helped me as a voice actor, is watching the greatest of the great direct these people. If you were to listen to eulogies for the great directors, all the great voice actors, who would be like, “If it wasn't for this guy, or this girl, I wouldn't be where I am today.” Directing is so important. My mentor, a guy named Chuck Blore, he passed away a few months ago, but lived to a ripe age of 94, 95-years-old. Taught me everything. Direction is everything.

We all believe that having a great voice, a nice voice is the key to success in voiceover. I'll tell you what, there are millions of people in this world with beautiful voices, gorgeous voices that can read, but they don't all get the work. What is it that makes them successful? What makes them the most marketable? Why is it you see these names that always are getting the work, whether it's voices.com, or any other agency, for example. What is it that they do that makes them successful? One of the keys is the audition, and how one would direct oneself in an audition. That is it. You can talk about demos. You can talk about headshots and logos and websites and all that. The key is the performance in the audition. That's how you're going to get the work.

[00:05:12] AZ: Perfectly stated. Auditions is what we are all about here today. I'm really excited to get to the auditions and to speak a little bit about some of the good, some of the things that need a little bit of work and really learn a lot about what goes into a great audition. The job that we posted on the Voices platform for this audition and for this job, it's something called Flow Zone. Flow Zone is an augmented reality application that allows its users to be inserted into a life-like virtual office environment, in order to collaborate with colleagues while working remotely.

This animated product demo introduces viewers to Flow Zone, highlighting the app’s key features and leads them through the user experience. It'll be a blend of screen grabs, and animated clips of the augmented reality aspect of Flow Zone, to help viewers gain a glimpse into the multi-layered channels, through which the app is experienced. That gives you an idea of the product we're talking about. Kyle, why don't you talk a little bit about the artistic direction, the type of character, the type of read that we're looking for, for this product?

[00:06:10] KF: Definitely. For this project, there's some specifics there that are going to paint the picture of who we're looking for and what type of voice we're wanting. For this project, it's going to be looking for a narrator, who is a millennial, who loves working from home, but needs to eliminate the distractions and connect with their co-workers. This voice needs to be relatable, easy to understand, and confident as they walk the viewer through the benefits of using Flow Zone. There's cool quality to the way they communicate, and the way they sound, like they're speaking with a smile and excited and happy about the product that they're walking you through.

[00:06:44] AZ: Tommy, having heard that artistic direction and that job detail, you have an idea of the style of voice and the type of read that you think would be successful in this situation.

[00:06:53] TG: Absolutely. You should pay attention to that direction, especially from the client. Quite often the clients, they don't know what they want, until they hear it. It's your job as a voice actor, to figure that out, by using context clues, by finding the intent of the writer, by understanding what the message is. As Kyle said, describing the direction. Sound like you're smiling, sound upbeat and all that. That's wrong. You don't want to sound upbeat. You want to be upbeat.

You don't want to sound like you're buying into all of this. You truly want to buy into it. The audience, the general public, their BS meters are so sensitive, they peg into the red when they hear something that is not genuine. To try to sound like you're smiling, as opposed to really feeling it and smiling is so key to the difference between being genuine and just trying to sound like you're genuine. The artificiality is so apparent that it's clear that the people who are really feeling it are going to get the work.

[00:07:57] AZ: Great insights there. Okay. I'm excited. Let's listen into some auditions. We'll start off with things we think maybe need a little bit of work.

[00:08:03] KF: Awesome. The first audition here, I'll play it for you, Tommy. Then, if you want to give us some insights, we'll get started.

[00:08:09] TG: Okay.

[00:08:10] AZ: Not favorites. Here we go. Number one.

[AUDITION 1]

[00:08:13] ERICA: Zone is an augmented reality app that is changing the way people work remotely. Here's how it works. First, install the app and connect it with your VR headset. Open Flow Zone, and your physical surroundings will instantly be transformed into a workspace that will help you focus when you need to connect with colleagues and blur out the distractions of home. Toggle between calming and otherworldly landscapes –

[00:08:36] TG: Okay. I got it. Sorry, Erica. So many breathing issues. There seems to be a lot of processing issues as well. The number one thing that I hear is breathing, and that's key. Often, scripts are not written well. Sometimes there are run-on sentences; they go on and on and on and on. It's your job as a voiceover professional to figure that out. Start with a full tank of air. Breathe in those opportune moments. If you listen back, she takes breaths before the word ‘and’, or wherever she needs a breath, and it calls attention to itself. It sounds unprofessional. There's a lot of mouth noise, and it's clear that that's something that needs a little bit of work. She has a very nice voice, however. I’ll say that.

[00:09:26] AZ: Yeah. I would say, from an untrained coach, it did seem like ran out of gas there, maybe 10, 15 seconds into it. Yeah.

[00:09:33] TG: Think of air as the fuel for the words. The script is a journey. You want to start with a full tank, full tank of air. Then when you reach every gas station, or an opportunity to take a sip of air, do so. The key is to take frequent, tiny inaudible sips of air, rather than occasional big gulps of air randomly. It's always important, too, to figure out on your script, where you're going to breathe. I call it a breathing schematic, or you can just mark, okay, breathe here. Here's a comma, that's good place to breathe. Commas don't always mean pause, or breathe. We'll get to that. Here's a place where I can breathe there, there and there. Make sure, because I know this is a long sentence, take a good breath of air before we get to that. Your script should look like it's just a mess when you're done taking your notes.

[00:10:26] KF: Excellent. Excellent insights. Let's listen to the second one.

[AUDITION 2]

[00:10:29] EDDIE: This content is intended for audiences, 21 and older. Yannis, Eric, Chris. Someone calling in to Marquee 3. Others, EKG. We heard K. Throw this in for later. Just how –

[00:10:44] TG: All right.

[00:10:45] AZ: We get the idea. Yeah.

[00:10:48] TG: That's not an audition. That's a demo. Again, Kyle, what was the direction for the demo sound upbeat, excited about the service, or products? Connecting –

[00:10:59] KF: Relatable? Easy to understand. Confident as they walk the user through.

[00:11:05] TG: All right. Eddie, probably within the realm of what he's doing there in his demo, I'm sure it works. I'm sure there's a place for him for that type of delivery, but has nothing to do with what the client wants here. Don't send demos. Send auditions. Auditions are what gets you the work. Demos are just marketing tools, that at times when the clients may not have a script ready, they just want to hear your voice, you send that. It's the audition that's key.

You want to get more work on Voices? Audition, audition, audition, and direct yourself. Really focus. Take the time to think about all the parameters that matter. Who are you talking to? What is your relationship to the audience? What is your attitude about what you have to say, which is the subtext to the words? If the script, for example is, “It's the best hamburger in the world.” I can say, “It's the best hamburger in the world," and you know I don't care. If I say, “It's the best hamburger in the world.” That's just gratuitous garbage, where I'm vocalizing to – maybe, I think I sound excited, but it just sounds ridiculous.

If I'm talking to you, and I understand a relationship, and I know you love hamburgers, and I tell you, “Man, Kyle. This is the best hamburger in the world.” I'm connecting now. There's a huge difference. Give the client what they want. Don't try to force that, what is it, the square peg in the round hole, or round peg in the square hole is what Eddie was doing there. Demos, no.

[00:12:44] KF: Couldn't agree more. Something that I think is worth highlighting was an experience I had with a talent, where they took this as a practice for jobs that they couldn't get to initially. It was their back-filler. It resulted in and came back and spoke with me and said, “Nobody's listening to my auditions anymore. What's going on?” It does have that impact, where if that's what you're doing, people are going to remember that. They're going to lose that interest in hearing from you moving forward. Because they're going to know that it's going to be a demo. It's not going to be a custom script that they're looking for, and they're not going to be as interested in hearing your recording. It's not only going to affect you on that job. Could affect you on future ones as well.

[00:13:23] TG: If I'm the client, and I'm listening to that, within three seconds, I'm out of there. I don't have the time as the agency, or the client, or whomever making the choice. I don't have the time to listen to all that. That's why demos are so brief. That's why auditions are 15 to 20 seconds. Because they know, we know, everyone knows a good performance when they hear it right away. Conversely, they know a horrible performance when they hear it right away. Or, in that case, an inappropriate submission when they hear it right away.

[00:13:56] AZ: The music, also really jarring to hear off the tongue when you're getting your focused hearing in and you're getting yourself mentally to do that, to get blasted with that stinger music. Jarring.

[00:14:05] TG: Exactly.

[00:14:06] AZ: Okay, let's move on to number three.

[AUDITION 3]

[00:14:09] JODIE: Flow Zone is an augmented reality app that is changing the way people work remotely. Here's how it works. First, install the app and connect it with your VR headset. Open Flow Zone and your physical surroundings will instantly be transformed into a workspace that will help you focus when you need to connect with colleagues, and blur out the distractions of home.

[00:14:32] TG: Okay, Jodie has great enthusiasm in her delivery. There's positives in all this, but is it appropriate to submit as an audition? The audio quality seemed a little bit off, just a little bit crunchy, maybe too over-modulated. As well, her delivery seemed like it was her go-to voice, her default delivery; this over-the-top, excited. If you listen to our next audition, or the next thing on her demo, it's going to sound exactly the same, where she's not really connecting to the meaning of what she's saying.

Quite often, when people – of all the words in that whole script that she put emphasis on, the biggest emphasis was on the word ‘and’. And, what does that say? What about the superlatives? It's the greatest. It's the best. They do more than anybody. Whatever it is, those are the things that you want to impress upon with your inflection, rather than just gratuitously emoting by using vocal range going up and down, and there's no rhyme or reason to it at all, like I'm doing now.

Again, it sounds in my ear like it's working. It feels comfortable, because that's what I'm used to. That's what I mean by default delivery. She really needs to focus on what's being said. What is the message? Then put yourself in that scenario. Talk to somebody that you know, that cares about what you have to say, and deliver that with real passion.

If you can't relate to what's in the script, and quite often that's the case, borrow from something, an experience in your life, borrow from something in your personality. Yeah, this X, Y, Z thing. I don't know what that is. I can think of a lot of products and services that I would recommend to my best friends. I'm telling you, it is the greatest. They do this, they do this and they do this. It’s not, they do this, and they do this and they do this. That's just garbage. I'm not saying that your audition is garbage. I'm saying that it's so important to think about the message, and then deliver it from you, from yourself.

[00:16:48] AZ: Beautifully stated. Let's keep it rolling on. I'm excited about our next slate of auditions. We're going to move forward, as audition number four.

[AUDITION 4]

[00:16:55] DANIEL: Flow Zone is an augmented reality app that's changing the way people work remotely. Here's how it works. First, install the app and connect it with your VR headset. Open Flow Zone and your physical surroundings will instantly be transformed into a workspace that will help you focus when you need to connect with colleagues, and blur out the distractions of home. Toggle between calming and otherworldly landscapes to suit your desired preferences.

[00:17:22] TG: Okay. See how quickly it takes to realize if something is good, or it isn't. That was very good, Daniel. Your energy level, your enthusiasm was appropriate. It wasn't over the top, like the last one we heard, where it’s like, “Da, da, da, da, da.” Or too flat, where it's just under-emoted. Daniel found the sweet spot. Not only that, his breathing was right on. There was a nice pace to his read. It wasn't too slow. It wasn't too fast. If you listen back to this session, you'll hear that he was pacing himself, or slowing down, not with pauses. Because you can talk like this, then pause to slow it down, and it sounds choppy like that. He was just taking his time with the words, in between the thoughts and the ideas and explaining in a very nice voice, what this thing is about. So, very good.

[00:18:17] AZ: Yeah, the word I had written down was warmth. That felt a really warm reading to me.

[00:18:20] TG: Nice read. Yeah, absolutely. He definitely captured the appropriate enthusiasm, appropriate level of warmth, as you say. Again, you don't want to go over the top, you don't want to be too flat.

[00:18:34] KF: I think, going back to artistic direction as we've referenced a couple times, I think he does a great job at nailing the specs that were asked for. Wants to be relatable, wants to be easy to understand, but also wants to be confident in how they're speaking and communicating, while having that cool quality. I think, he nailed all of those. I'm there with you. I think that was a great audition.

[00:18:53] TG: It could be a shorter audition. I don't know if they're – sometimes their direction, we want 50 seconds, or this entire script. Be careful when clients ask for an entire script to be read. You don't want to be taken. I know, voices.com will protect you from that thing. They’re really good about that. Overall, just be a little bit weary, if they want the entire script read from beginning to end. You should be able to deliver 20 seconds or so. That should be enough for them to understand that in Daniel’s case, you're going to be shortlisted.

[00:19:25] KF: Definitely.

[00:19:26] AZ: I think, it's interesting to know, even in this exercise, that was the longest we listened to one, and it was 25 seconds. You really do know pretty quickly if you're in the right direction or not.

[00:19:35] TG: For sure.

[00:19:36] AZ: Speaking of, let's move on to audition number five.

[AUDITION 5]

[00:19:39] MALE: Flow Zone is an augmented reality app that is changing the way people work remotely. Here's how it works. First, install the app and connect it with your VR headset, open Flow Zone and your physical surroundings will instantly be transformed into a workplace that will help you focus when you need to connect with colleagues and blur out the distractions of home.

[00:19:58] TG: Big. As a big one. That was loud, but that's okay. You don't want your levels to be too low, because it just – it rings of an inferior audio quality when the audio is too low. He seemed to be shouting a little bit more than really speaking to someone. I like the energy and the enthusiasm. I would just dial it back a little bit. Also, if we go back eight seconds or so, I didn't understand a word. There's one word in there that just didn't work.

[00:20:27] AZ: Yeah, there's a tricky part of the script. I'll play that again for the six-second, though.

[00:20:30] TG: Listen how long the sentence is, too. He gets through it well with a breathing, but it's like, “Da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da.”

[00:20:40] AZ: Here it is again.

[00:20:41] MALE: Here's how it works. First, install the app and connect it with your VR headset, open Flow Zone and your physical surroundings will instantly be transformed into a workplace that will help you focus when you need to connect with colleagues, and blur out the distractions of home.

[00:20:56] AZ: That line between the opening the app and your colleagues. I feel like, that's a real separator in the quality of these thing. That's a tough line to get through.

[00:21:04] TG: What was that last line, blurred out the – Blurt out the distractions at home?

[00:21:08] AZ: Blur out your surroundings. Yeah.

[00:21:10] TG: Blurt out? Blur out?

[00:21:12] KF: Blur out.

[00:21:13] TG: Okay. It was not clear.

[00:21:15] KF: I'll give a little kudos on Tommy said there, the breath there, that's a tough sentence to get through. He did really well with the breathing. Tommy, would you agree, I think that's a portion of the script, where as you mentioned earlier, dissecting a script, you need to give yourself a space, or look at that script in a way of, okay, where's the natural, not necessarily pause, but just to slow it down a little bit? Where's that natural point of catching my breath and continuing in a way that's not going to jumble those words together, and really bring them to life?

[00:21:47] TG: Frequent, tiny sips of breath. I don't know if we have the time or not, but if you play that sentence again, and I wish I had the script in front of me, there are plenty of opportunities to take little sips of breath, without going “Ba, da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da.” You can go, “Du, de, da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da. Da, du, dot, dot, dot, du, da, da, da.” To me, its just sounds more natural.

[00:22:10] AZ: Yeah, absolutely.

[00:22:11] KF: KF: Agreed. Let's see how audition six takes on that sentence.

[AUDITION 6]

[00:22:14] DAVID: Flow Zone is an augmented reality app that is changing the way people work remotely. Here's how it works. First, install the app and connect it with your VR headset. Open Flow Zone and your physical surroundings will instantly be transformed into a workspace that will help you focus when you need to connect with colleagues, and blur out the distractions of home.

[00:22:35] TG: You can hear how David took those little sips of breath in that last sentence, where it wasn't just word after word after word after word after word after word. We don't speak that way, naturally. By the way, we're not trying to be conversational. Conversational is the way we're speaking now, and it doesn't work. We're recording for formal presentations, for productions. There needs to be a sheen to it, a certain shine. That is not conversational.

However, there's a way to deliver within the realm of the production that's natural. There's a difference between natural and being conversational. He pulls this off by being very natural. I don't know if I necessarily would have taken breaths where he did. It seemed to work. His voice is very nice, very pleasant.

One thing I'd love, and here's a little tip for you. If you could go back to the first three seconds of his audition, listen to the hesitation, not a pause, but a hesitation after he mentions the client’s name. That allows the name of the product, or service, you just burn in for a second. He’ll do, “Flow Zone, da, do, do, do, do, do, do, do.” Rather than, “Flow Zone does this, this and this. Flow Zone does this, this and this.” It allows it to register in the listener’s mind. Go ahead.

[00:23:53] DAVID: Flow Zone is an augmented reality app that is changing the way people work remotely.

[00:23:58] AZ: Upbeat. Yeah.

[00:24:00] TG: That is key, anytime that you mention the client name. It's not a hard and fast rule, but quite often, it's a great opportunity to, “Coca-Cola does this, this and this. Dodge Ram Tough. That's what we do about do, do, do, do, do.” You just give it a beat. It's like a micro-pause. Not a real pause, but a hesitation. He did great with that.

[00:24:24] AZ: We’ve got three more. Let's take listen for our last three auditions. This is number seven.

[AUDITION 7]

[00:24:29] ADAM: Flow Zone is an augmented reality app that is changing the way people work remotely. Here's how it works. First, install the app and connect it with your VR headset. Open Flow Zone and your physical surroundings will instantly be transformed into a workspace that will help you focus when you need to connect with colleagues, and blur out the distractions of home.

[00:24:49] TG: Okay, Adam has a nice voice. The enthusiasm was there. Quite often, when we're trying to generate enthusiasm, we'll crank up the pitch of our voice and we'll be up here the whole time. Speaking, “Flow Zone does this, this and this, and this and this and this and this.” Really, the more pleasant tones in your voice are down here. Not down here, but just medium range. It feels like, we're being enthusiastic. It feels like, we're connecting with more energy.

When we're talking like this, and really all we're doing is just speaking with a high voice. I can speak very, very enthusiastically about anything, about any subject, and so can you by just slowing down, bringing your voice down. You don't have to be up here to sound excited. You can be down here and be even more excited.

The other problem with speaking from that range is when you're up here, the only other place you can go is down. If you start mid-range, you can go up and down, and that provides more dynamics in your voice. Voices.com is an excellent place to find work, to learn to practice, and find the auditions that work for you. Hear how I could go up and I could go down.

[00:26:06] KF: Absolutely.

[00:26:08] TG: If I'm up here the whole time, I can't do anything but go down. It gives your voice, your vocal range, more opportunities for dynamics.

[00:26:16] AZ: Excellent. I could tell you, just talking to you, my own speaking now, I'm very conscious of where I am and where I'm going. It's contagious.

[00:26:25] TG: That's the thing too, with voice coaching, it's not just about doing voiceovers and auditions. It works in your daily life as a communicator.

[00:26:34] AZ: With that in mind, let's take a listen to our eighth audition.

[AUDITION 8]

[00:26:39] ERIC: Flow Zone is an augmented reality app that is changing the way people work remotely. Here's how it works. First, install the app and connect it with your VR headset. Open Flow Zone and your physical surroundings will instantly be transformed into a workspace that will help you focus when you need –

[00:26:58] TG: Yeah. Eric does a really good job of generating the warmth. You can hear the smile in his voice. To get a smile in your voice, you don't necessarily have to be smiling. Sometimes, you'll be coached, or directed to, “Just smile when you're speaking.” I can be smiling right now and just sound like I don't give a crap. I can also just have a straight face, and I can sound like I’m really smiling, because Flow Zone is the best. Flow Zone, give it a shot. All your friends will love you for the rest of your life. Flow Zone. It's not always about the physical smile. It's about what are you doing vocally, that sounds like a smile.

Don't be afraid to smile. I'm not saying don't do that. Also, don't be afraid to take the physical posture. Adopt a physical posture that makes sense emotionally with a script. If you're gesticulating, if that's what you need to do, do it. Just don't hit the mic, which I do all the time. Sit up straight. Let your diaphragm go to work. If it's a big, bright script, sit up and be big and bright and love it. If it's just a little bit more casual, a little bit more intimate, if you will, the mic proximity is what that's about. Body language can absolutely affect how you sound. It’s not just what you do with your vocal cords, or your mouth, etc. I thought Eric did a great job of presenting that with a smile.

[00:28:27] KF: I think, that's a really strong point there. Tommy, I think a lot of times in the world that we are with VO now and how everybody's looking for a more natural, genuine sound, I think, body position is something that's overlooked often. I think, it's something that can really help you feel more natural and help you feel more genuine and how you would normally speak and how your body goes along with that makes a lot bigger difference than I think some people give credit to.

[00:28:52] TG: Absolutely.

[00:28:53] AZ: All right, we have reached our final audition of the show. Let's take a listen.

[AUDITION 9]

[00:28:59] DAN: Flow Zone is an augmented reality app that is changing the way people work remotely. Here's how it works. First, install the app and connect it with your VR headset. Open Flow Zone and your physical surroundings will instantly be transformed into a workspace that will help you focus when you need to connect with colleagues, and blur out the distractions of home.

[00:29:19] TG: Okay. Dan sounds very natural. Nice, even, delivery. It's a little bit flat. Some of the words could be articulated a little bit more crisply. I like his natural presentation. It doesn't quite have the spark, or the sheen that some of the other auditions do, but I would shortlist that for sure.

[00:29:41] TG: There we go. Tommy, you've heard all nine auditions. We've, really, I think ran the gamut of what you expect when you get a prompt like this, or a job like this. There was depth, there was warmth, there was some missteps in audio quality, there was some levels, there was a demo thrown in there. All that considered, where would you be leaning to award this job?

[00:30:01] TG: Well, if I were – I can't really get inside the client's head, but I was impressed with David's audition. There was just something about it that resonated. It was a combination of what he folded into his delivery that works, of all that we heard. Yeah, I think that one. It was natural, very nice voice. His breathing was right on. Congrats to David. By the way, he just happens to have five stars there. I don't know why. I don't know where that came from.

[00:30:31] AZ: Let’s listen to it one more time. We’ll give another listen to our winning audition.

[AUDITION 6]

[00:30:35] DAVID: Flow Zone is an augmented reality app that is changing the way people work remotely. Here's how it works. First, install the app and connect it with your VR headset. Open Flow Zone and your physical surroundings will instantly be transformed into a workspace that will help you focus when you need to connect with colleagues, and blur out the distractions of home.

[00:30:57] TG: Okay, yeah. There are better places to take breaths in that script and where he did that, but it was very natural, very fluid, and nice. I like that. I like his voice. I can understand why there would be five stars there, for whatever reason. That was fun. I really enjoyed that. I mean it’s –

[00:31:14] AZ: I'm glad. It was great to have you.

[00:31:16] TG: It's all about the audition.

[00:31:17] AZ: Absolutely.

[00:31:18] TG: I do a thing. If you go to my website, tommygriffiths.com, you'll see I do a thing. I've done this with voices.com. By the way, I think I'm not the oldest, but been the longest running coach on voices.com, since the 1930s, I believe, I started. No. Actually, maybe close to 10 years. I do this thing, the Audition Diagnosis. If you've been auditioning, and you're not really moving the needle, and you want to do a consult about your audition. It's 30 minutes or so. Just go to my website and make an appointment.

It's all about the audition. The demo was one thing. Demos are important, but you got to nail the audition. You got to speak from the heart. What comes from the heart goes to the heart. That's the way you're going to communicate ideas genuinely, unbelievably, and without any artificiality at all. It's not trying to sound like what you think you need to sound like, or emulate. It's really believing in what you're saying.

There's a three-step process to that. It's all part of, and ultimately lies in directing yourself. You need to direct yourself. If you don't take direction from yourself, you're not making choices. If you're not making choices, you're just again, reading in that default delivery. Making choices of who you're speaking to. Again, what is your attitude? What is the subtext of the words in the script? Your tone is going to generate additional depth to the meaning of the script. Make choices. If you don't make choices, you're just reading words. If you're just reading words, you're doing what everybody can do.

Again, there are people, millions of people with beautiful voices that can read. You're going to compete more competitively, I guess, if you direct yourself and make those choices, and be as selective and be as specific as you can be with your direction. Visualize the scenario in which you're saying these words. Talk to someone specifically, and make it come from you.

[00:33:21] AZ: Beautiful. Tommy Griffiths, thank you so much for guiding us through this exercise today. We really appreciate it. You can find Tommy on our Voices roster of coaches, voices.com/coaches. He is the featured coach this month. Or, Tommy, where else can folks get in contact with you, if they're looking for some of that expertise?

[00:33:37] TG: tommygriffis.com is my website. Phone number is there, 757-404-0833; my email address and all that. When you're looking for a coach as well, ask the coach, "Why? Why are you coaching and doing voiceover?" I find that it helps me in my work. You have to be best at the basics, no matter what it is that you're doing. You must conquer the foundational techniques that are important. It helps keep my head in the game. Plus, I enjoy it. I really do.

[00:34:07] KF: Awesome.

[00:34:07] TG: I thank voices.com for the relationship we've had for years and years and years. It's been wonderful.

[00:34:13] AZ: It's truly been our pleasure, Tommy. I can speak for that. This isn't the first time we've had the chance to do an exercise like this together. It really is our pleasure. Thank you very much for joining us.

[END OF EPISODE]

[00:34:24] AZ: That is it for another episode of Mission Audition. Be sure to subscribe and leave us a review on your podcast catcher of choice. We'd really appreciate it, and helps us move on up in those rankings. If you're looking for something like the Flow Zone, or any other script, you can find free sample scripts on the Voices blog, that is voices.com/blog. There are every kind of style of script you could possibly want.

You can get your practice and you can make a demo. Or you could audition for the next episode of Mission Audition. Just check the Voices job list on your platform for the opportunity to audition for next month's edition of Mission Audition. How about that? Catchy little sign off. My name is Andrew. I've been joined by Kyle, and of course, our guest of honor, Tommy Griffiths. We are signing off and saying, thank you so much for listening to Mission Audition.

[END]

Tara Parachuk
With more than a decade of diverse marketing experience, Tara is dedicated to creating a consistent brand voice in the content she creates. Combining her passion for impactful communication with data-based trends in consumer behaviors and social trends, she seeks to delight audiences with insightful and actionable ideas and concepts that can be applied to their own personal and professional lives. As Manager, Communications and Content, Tara works to ensure the Voices brand voice is clear and focused across all media channels through the use of technical skills and innovative strategy, while also prioritizing a healthy work-life balance for her team.

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