Sunday 21 June 2009

Advice for Anyone doing a Voice Over

I didn’t expect Gilles to be, in fact, “Marc.” (So Gilles, Gills and Gilles are in fact Gilles, Gilles and Marc))

I expected to have difficulty finding the address but it turned out too be the same place where I’d auditioned, 7 months earlier.

I hadn’t expect to be offered the job – voice over for a documentary film about cave painting in the Neolithic period – as I had lisped badly when trying to pronounce it.

I expected the Director to be present, instead he had sent an archaeologist whose only direction was “serieux mais pas grave’.

I didn’t expect the sound engineer to smoke though I did expect to have a dry mouth so I had poured myself a glass of water – I just didn’t expect to be coughing so much.

I never could tolerate cigarette smoke, even as a 15 year old experimenting for the first time in a flat in Brussels where I stayed during a school language exchange visit. Standing in front of a mirror I adopted different poses and methods of holding before inhaling, but all intended coolness was destroyed by fits of hacking.

As a misspending-my-time youth I ruined many drug initiations by alerting parents or police with uncontrollable contortion s and wheezing.

Foolishly, I expected to be watching the film as I spoke so that I would be better able to exploit the subtleties of timing and atmosphere that the task demands, but between them the Marlborough advert and the Archaeologist decided that it was unnecessary – I could be humiliatingly cut and pasted.

I didn’t expect it to take such a short time.

One of the advantages for an English man doing a voice over in France is that there is always a high probability that neither the sound engineer, nor any archaeologists present, will understand English well enough to spot to notice Neolithic coming out as Neolisssic.

And I didn’t expect (though with hindsight I should have) that we would spend the remaining time my in-exorbitant fee commanded, drinking red wine late into the summer evening

I was well pickled when I staggered of to find a take away pizza.

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