Please Stop Rushing To Perform

Hey there!

It happened again.

I was in a remote demo recording session with a client, when I noticed she’d click the record button in Audacity, and immediately begin her read.

This isn’t necessary, and it can be destructive to your performance. Here’s what I mean by that.

Hope this helps!


Subscribe to these videos

All Episodes

One Step At A Time

Five Ways To Have An Excellent Coffee Date With Me

Five Ways To Have A Crappy Coffee Date With Me

Taking Advantage Of The Wisdom Of The Tribe

How To Be A World Class Complainer

The False Nobility Of The Struggle

Watch Out – The Rules Are Going To Change

“Show Me The Secret, Daddy!”

Coaching vs Consulting vs Facilitating

The Perils of Live Performance And Why Jeremy Kappell Should Not Have Been Fired

Let’s Welcome To The Stage…Failure!

Don’t Confuse Price With Value

Whiteboards In The Hallways

Go Wake Up Your Luck

Playing and Planning

The Two Things Most Talent Try to Accomplish Way Too Soon

10,000 Hours To Become Good At Something? Not Really.

The Curse of Knowledge

The Trick Charlie Munger Uses To Make Better Decisions

Everyone’s A Customer, Not Just Your Customers

“What do you mean, you’re a ‘process guy’?”

Pay Attention To Your Storytelling, Not Removing Your Breaths

How To Conquer FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)

The Problem In Every Commercial Script

The Job In Every Commercial Script

The Secret In Every Commercial Script

How To Pick Your Stage Name

Voice Over Is REALLY Hard. Until It Isn’t.

Helping Make Resolutions Stick

ACX Jobs: They’re ALL SAG-AFTRA-Friendly

Non-Union? You Can Still Open An AFTRA H&R Account. What?

Who Says You Need To “Feel Like It?”

Are You Engaged?

Your Day Job Might Just Be Worth Keeping For A Bit Longer

Want To Learn Something Really Well? Teach It To Others

Don’t Confuse What Works With What You Like

The Lost Keys And The Microphone In My Elevator

My Insane Backup System Plus Two Helpful Tips

What Open Loops Are And Why They Work So Well

Two More Things For Which You Can Use Open Loops

Three Things Not To Say Or Do…When Trying To Learn Something New

Front Burner and Back Burner Project Management

How To Properly List The Accents and Dialects You Perform

My SAG-AFTRA Presentation On VO Demos (Part 1)

My SAG-AFTRA Presentation On VO Demos (Part 2)

A Simple, One-Word Decision-Making Question To Ask Yourself

Ready, Shoot…Aim

How You Can Use The MVP Model As A Performer

How Lazy Can You Be?

Avoid The Struggle Porn

The Robocall Equivalent Of Unsubscribe

Saying Goodbye To A “Failure”

Making Your Links Irresistible

HTTPS Is Not Just For Banks – It’s For You

The Threat That Made Me Create a New Page For LAME

The Resource You Must Guard Most Carefully

How New Media Is Using The Oldest Ad Model Ever

“You Could Be Hit By A Bus!”

Killing Customers With Kindness

I Found Out What She Was Podcasting About

How I Answered’s Inquiry

Turning Mountains Into Molehills

Motivation: Your Three Big Needs In A Cool Little Package

Go Ahead. Multitask. But Try It Like This.

The Prodigy Game Doesn’t Deserve This Treatment

I Don’t Want To Go Blind

What Fair Markets Are, And Why Isn’t One

Trevor’s Three A’s From Apple On Killing Customers With Kindness

Getting Ready vs. Getting Started

You’ll Never Believe Who Got Rejected By Harvard

There Is No Failure, Only Feedback

Who Is Your Most Dangerous Adversary?

73 Videos In, My First Hater Appears

If You’re The Smartest Person In The Room, Do This ASAP

Your Glasses And Crucial Laptop Positioning Info

One More Insanely Over-engineered Piece Of Gear: My UPS

The Crazy Backward Way IKEA Prices Their Stuff Complained To YouTube That I Violated Their Privacy

The Gig Economy: RIP?

For Your Health: Not Perfect. Just Better.

Celebrate Your Isolation!

Mr. Wonderful Is Actually More Wonderful Than I Thought

Let’s Finally Close The Digital Literacy Gender Gap

The Guaranteed Way To Completely Avoid Criticism

The Two Things People Judge About You Within Seconds

Prioritizing…Nashville Style

Are You Committed? Or Just…Interested?

Audible Retail Samples: Why They Suck And Why It Doesn’t Really Matter

How To Voice Copy That’s Set In Italics

Dyslexia, And The Palindromic Poem. The Wha?

Increase Your Chances Of Being Seen And Heard On Facebook

Jamie Has Some Thoughts About Fiverr

Is Simply Discouraging Distracted Driving Enough?

“Young People Are Just Smarter.”

The Real Purpose Of The “Can You Hear Me?” Phone Scam

Beware Of Overkill

Laying Down The Perfect Slate

An AMA Preview: The Word “Ethnic” – A Slur, Or An Essential Adjective?

10 Rules of Profitable Self Discipline from Napoleon Hill

AMA (Ask Me Anything): Here Are The Answers (Part 1)

AMA (Ask Me Anything): Here Are The Answers (Part 2)

AMA (Ask Me Anything): Here Are The Answers (Part 3)

AMA (Ask Me Anything): Here Are The Answers (Part 4)

AMA Answers Part 5 Plus A Medical Warning

Last AMA Answers (#6): Gear, Services and Success

A 7-Word Reminder: “Don’t correct people when it matters little.”

Do You Have A Plan? And Is It The Right One?

What’s Your Next Big Move? Are You Ready?

Build Your Future On Your Own Platform, Not Someone Else’s

I’m Leaving Facebook: Why Groups and FB Live No Longer Spark Joy

Time To Accept That I’ve Failed At Something – Happily

Crowdfunding Without The Internet: Pulitzer And The Statue Of Liberty

The Amazing Power Of Recognition And Badging

Might We Have A Possible Cause For Alzheimer’s?

Why Podcasting And Radio Are Out Of Whack

Value Enthusiasm, But Value Persistence More

Ten Ways To Make Money With Podcasts Besides Ads

One Quick Question To Find Out How Important Something Actually Is

The Workflow For Producing These Videos (So Far) Part 1

Why Not Wade? And…Why Not You?

Audiobook Narrators: How Paymasters Work, And The One I Recommend

Why Gen Z And Millennials’ Love For Audiobooks Is Crucial

American Idol: It’s All About Story, Not Just Singing

Less Beating Yourself Up, More Talking Yourself Up

Resist Oversharing. Instead, Start A Dialogue.

Vocal Care: It’s All About What Works For You

3 Biases You Should Be Aware Of

3 More Biases You Should Also Be Aware Of

Wow. People Really Grokked Biases. Let’s Tackle Fallacies.

Three More Fallacies You Need To Watch For

What’s Your Imprint?

Fallacy Follies, Volume 3

Two Last Big Creativity-Crippling Fallacies

Fail Sooner To Succeed Sooner

A New Lead Source For Performers: Voice Assistants And Smart Speakers

A Great Way To Handle Trolls and Haters

Quantity Does Not Usually Equal Quality

Is Facebook Truly A Monopoly? No More Than Microsoft Was.

Fear Of The Unknown, Or The Day Before My Surgery

A Strange Aspect To Performing That Should Be Cause For Protest, But Isn’t

Want To Grow? Don’t Go It Alone.

How Am I Doing? I’m Gobsmacked. That’s How Am I Doing.

Why I Give My Agents 10% Of Everything

Not Just Explainer Videos, But Video That Explain Things Spectacularly

Mental Floss To The Rescue: Skills You Can Pick Up On YouTube

What’s Better Than Willpower? Grit.

Regarding Apple’s App Store: Be Careful What You Wish For, Pepper

Of COURSE You Wonder What Porter’s Five Forces Are. Who Doesn’t?

Don’t Waste Your Time: Talk Shows Aren’t Meant To Be Fair

Sooner Or Later, I’m Really Going To Tick You Off

Just Because You Can Do Something Doesn’t Mean You Should

Wait, What? Audacity Records In The Background?!

Enjoy Your First Booking. Pay Close Attention To The Next Three.

Pattern Interruption And The Musicality Of Voice Over

Do You Still Have A Landline? Is It POTS? Wait, What’s POTS?

Increase Your VO Accuracy, And You’ll Increase Your VO Profits

Age Range Isn’t Really A Valid Metric For VO

What Is The Overton Window?

How To Stop Jealousy From Killing Your Progress

Even The Bible (And Game Of Thrones) Has One-Star Reviews

How Much Is Enough To Make Per Hour?

With Royalty Share Plus, ACX Makes Hybrid Stipends Official

Wait, Vices Can Be Good For Your Health?

What A Lovely Thing To Discover: Praise From CourVO

I Figured Out What I Provide: The Onboarding Performers Don’t Get

You Don’t Need Permission To Care Or Contribute

It’s Not Just You. It’s The Superstars, Too.

Do You Sometimes Think Irrationally? Maybe. Here’s How To Stop It.

The Struggle Of Announcer-y Versus Non-Announcer-y Voice Over

How My VAs Support Me And My Team

What Exactly Is “The Cloud?”

The Often “Most Difficult” Concept I Teach

Please Unsubscribe From This List. But Don’t Do This One Destructive, Lazy Thing.

Don’t Mistake The Joy Of Knowing For The Joy Of Doing

Why Giving Yourself Some Simple Homework Can Be Life-Changing

One Weird Trick I Do That Makes My Note-Taking Superhuman

The Worst Thing About The Biggest Money-Making Entertainment Category

What Can We Grab From A Schedule This Strict?

Get Better At Executing Today’s Plan By Starting Last Night

How To Create Useful, Organized Audition File Names

Where To Find Related PDFs For Audiobooks on Audible

I’m Halfway Finished. What Have You Valued Most? What Can I Do Better?

Our Digital Attention Span Is Incredibly Brief

“Serves You Right!” She Actually Has No Idea How Right.

Create A Safe Environment For Self-Improvement

Why I Use One Single Channel For Crucial Communication

The Even Cheaper AT-2020 USB Plus Microphone?

Fred Willard (and Billy West) On Quickly Creating Authentic VO Characters

Leo Makes Your Searching Spectacular

On Asking For Things Performers Can’t Do

How To Battle The Urge of “Efficiency”

One More Best-Of-Breed Way To Brilliantly Complain

Changing Audacity’s Sampling Rate To 48,000 Hz

10 Words Of Encouragement When You’re Stuck

Seek/Give Mentorship That’s Appropriate To The Journey

Two Cases Where You Might Not Want To Simply “Follow Your Passion”

Having Fun With Headphone Volume

Please Stop Rushing To Perform

Something To Consider: Everyone’s Internal Menu

One Crazy Key To Creativity: Pure, Unadulterated Boredom

For The Sheer Joy Of It

The Most Commonly Consumed Media Is…!

What’s Dangerous For Us To Care About

Please, Clever Copywriters…Stop Using This Term

Wait, Wait…What? They Actually Listened?!

Why You Should Take The Same Classes Twice

How Your Character’s Menu Informs Your Performance Choices

What Shouldn’t Be Your Metric For VO Success

Someone Awesome Who’s Also Rising To A 365-Day Challenge

Union Or Not, Start With Union Rates

O. M. G. Look What Matt Zurbo Did!

So Where Will That Huge Facebook Fine End Up?

The Root Words of “Typecast”

Avoid That One Obvious “That Worked” Sound We Make

Why Union Members Can Audition For Non-Union Work

200 Auditions. 1 Booking. A Ghost. Really?

I Can’t Do One Thing I’m Asked To Do Every Single Day

One Of Your Secret Weapons: Agility

Do Networking Events Make You Anxious? Let’s Fix That.

Project X Is Just About Ready. I’m A Bit Giddy.

The Difference Between Mansplaining and Advice?

Too Late, Melissa. You Already Are.

Help Me Solve A Lovely Mystery!

Speeding Up The Playback On The Audible App

Why Those Other Casting Sites Usually Aren’t Worth It

Raw YouTube Captioning

hey there is David H Lawrence the
seventeenth with just a little tiny tip
that I hope will help make your
performances more natural more easy less
stressful less anxious I don’t know let
me tell you the situation so when I
produce a demo I’ve been producing demos
for people around the world through a
process where I hook up with them via
zoom and I listen in as they record the
clips at my direction
locally themselves using their mic their
space their copy of audacity and then
with each clip that we do for the demo I
have them email it to me as a WAV file
and then I listen to it here in my
studio before we go on to the next clip
just in case I missed something
over the net it you know there was a
popped P or something that I couldn’t
hear over the Internet
and every so often I will hear one of my
clients doing something that I think is
by no is destructive to their reads or
can be probably likely I guess that’s
the best way to put it
there may be a time when it’s not
destructive but it’s far more likely
that it is and this is it
and I don’t know why people do this
you know individually I don’t know why
people do it I think I understand why
people do it in general but let me see
I’ll better strive I’m gonna describe it
for you you tell me if you do this okay
so when you sit down to start to record
an audition or say you’re doing it on
camera audition you’re about to record
yourself doing a scene what’s the amount
of time that you take between the moment
that you start the recording and then
you start your performance now it’s
likely that that time is fairly lengthy
when you’re doing it on camera
performance because if you’re recording
yourself and you’ve got nobody to help
you you have to start there camera
running and then you have to go back and
get into position and you have to kind
of set yourself you’re doing what I want
you to do when you do voiceover
auditions as well but what I what I
heard my client doing in the demo
session I just did this past week with
them is because I have them share their
screen with me and I can see what
audacity is doing I can see how thick
the waveforms are I can see if there’s
any noise I can see all these things
going on what I saw my client doing was
clicking the record button and instantly
starting to talk and it was so apparent
that it was all of the getting set and
the clearing of the throat and getting
ready and all that stuff was happening
prior to the clicking of the record
button and then the starting of the
talking and I’m saying this because it
was like let me let me just try to do an
impression for you okay ready anytime
you’re ready okay
okay now I’m gonna be talking so what I
see happening there is this sort of
anxious moment where okay I’m gonna
click that record button and when I
click that record button I have to say I
have to start talking because otherwise
there’s gonna be space at the beginning
or there’s gonna be some sort of payment
that’s due because I’m wasting electrons
you know I just I understand that it’s
it’s a moment when you’re switching
gears when you’re switching from like
it’s kind of an inertial moment you’re
switching from being at rest to being in
motion right
and my advice to you is if you find
yourself doing that if you find yourself
clicking and then talking just say to
yourself that’s not necessary
click and set yourself back to neutral
check your notes look at the script
think about what you’re gonna do once
you’re done talking maybe you’re gonna
send it off as an mp3 maybe even want to
go get a cup of coffee I don’t know you
decide you want to clear your throat
clear your throat but take the time you
need don’t jump right in and I’ll tell
you why if you do that there’s a very
good likelihood that your face will not
be in a neutral position
whatever face you make whatever however
you hold your mouth when you’re anxious
that’s where you’re gonna be starting so
that moment when you’re like and then
you go that’s not going to be helpful to
you that’s going to in many cases harm
the very beginning of your work so take
your time
everything is free you’re gonna cut off
the beginning of that that empty space
and at the end same thing let it go let
it land and then click you know stop
when you feel like it you’re gonna cut
both of those things off so it’s not
like you have to pay extra to do that
take your time Get Set click the record
button and then do whatever you need to
do to be settled and be your natural
human self don’t gear up gear up gear up
press record and go I see it happening
all the time
I want it not to happen for you please
stop rushing to perform is I say this
because I see it happening and then I
see when I when I help my clients not do
this I hear their performances get
instantly better because they no longer
have that stress that’s sort of Damocles
hanging over their head that they’ve
pressed the record button and now they
have to talk I encourage them to take as
much time as possible and I hear the
difference so my question to you is is
this anything that you’ve ever
considered or is this like am I just a
whack job I I hear it happening all the
time I think it’s a thing but it’s only
been with maybe twenty thirty of my
clients over time so tell me in the
comments below tell me if this is
something that makes sense to you if
it’s something maybe you’ve been doing
and you don’t even know it or you do it
and you think to yourself well I got to
do it because that’s the way I’ve always
done or you know I don’t know what
you’re talking about David this is not
what I do
let me know I’d love to know because
these are the things when I think about
them I go should I share this with
people yeah I really should so that’s
what I did if you’d like to subscribe to
my list and get notified when these
videos these one-a-day videos come out
or when I post a blog about something or
when there’s an event that’s going on
that I think could be helpful to you
there’s a subscribe button or a
subscribe form somewhere around this
video on the page and if you’d like to
see the last episode the very latest
episode I’ve done go ahead and click on
that frame there and YouTube will take
you there and play it for you I’m David
H Lawrence xvii I thank you so much for
watching and I will talk to you tomorrow.

11 Responses to Please Stop Rushing To Perform

  1. Suzan Lorraine July 18, 2019 at 6:23 am #

    Funny you should mention this topic! In addition to learning not to start recording like a race horse, I’ve also found that many times I have to record the very first few minutes of a book at least a couple of times to get the rhythm and cadence and get my body and voice to relax into it for a more natural sound. Good advice!!

  2. Bill Johnston July 18, 2019 at 7:08 am #


    Funny you should mention this. Unconsciously, I have always done what you recommend. I guess it just seemed to be the most natural thing to do. On thinking back, though, I believe the reason is that the practice may have come from my earliest experiences on the stage where I started living in the moment as a part of being ready to make my entrance or waiting for the curtain to go up. Like, my character has a life that’s going on before that and it just continues after that. Does this make sense to you?

    • Todd July 24, 2019 at 6:26 pm #

      I’m so used to old radio, using reels you didnt want wasted tape, so hit record and go. Even later on a digital voicetrack, it starts recording as soon as you hit it. So, click-go. Live, too…On, then talk immediately on pot up.

      Last year or so I heard you say to hit record and start when you’re ready. No rush, tape is not wasted, take the time you need. It really got me noticing how quick I’d been from ingrained habit!

      Now I’ve been intentionally slowing down, and talking when I am set. Hard habit to break, but so much better sounding, especially with dialogue narrations.

      Thanks for the reminder!

  3. David Wandelt July 18, 2019 at 7:09 am #

    As a former broadcaster, I was programmed to do this because, of course, radio is a real-time medium. I used to record direct to carts a lot, too. I find I still do this (i.e., ‘keep it tight’) on phone calls, just from habit, no doubt.

    Now, I just remind myself that there’s no cost involved anymore, just as when taking digital pics, recording per se doesn’t incur any cost; you can just delete anything you don’t ultimately need. As an engineer/geek, I tend to watch costs, but here, it’s not helpful! Just turn the thing on, record when you’re ready/set, and extract the good stuff from the overall session. But I confess, old habits die hard!

  4. Al Kessel July 18, 2019 at 8:45 am #

    Hey David,
    Thanks for the video! And yes, I’ve discovered over the last few years that this IS a thing. I just didn’t realize it affected others. I don’t do much in the way of on-camera or commercial VO work, I mainly concentrate on audiobook narration, but yeah, what you’re describing is what I call righting my ship before I perform. When recording an audiobook, I’ll hit record, then take a couple deep breaths before I start talking. It allows me to, as you said, get back in to a neutral state and allow the authors words to talk through me (yeah, maybe that sounds weird). But by righting my ship, I’m enabled to not be me anymore, and be whatever it is I’m performing.

  5. Kirsten July 18, 2019 at 8:56 am #

    This is something that I do.! I’ve been making a conscious effort, having watched an editing video you made to take time, take a few breaths, beats, whatever you want to call them, take a breath, set my mouth to the first word and then go. It comes out so much better! I don’t know where the sense of urgency comes from to “get ‘er dun”, but I’m learning! I once had a boss who was totally into doing things quickly which fed into my Type A personality… yeah, lets blame him – LOL – NOT, I’m taking responsibility and learning and moving forward. Thanks David!!

  6. Valerie July 18, 2019 at 9:51 am #

    I actually take time even in my pickups when I feel I need it. It may take an extra second or two in the editing but I find it makes the quality much better.

    Glad to know it’s in line with best practice.

  7. Vanessa Blair Seibert July 18, 2019 at 10:02 am #

    When I do auditions, especially for audiobooks I definitely read the audition through a few times before I begin recording. Another VO friend who does audiobooks said it takes her about 20 minutes of reading the book (when she’s doing an actual job) to get “lost” in it like David mentioned.

  8. Janice July 18, 2019 at 10:32 am #

    This is the same overall idea that I tell my piano students.
    “Think and then play”: never, “Play and then think”!
    Therefore: “Think and then read”: never, “Read and then think”!
    It works so well for fine performances!

  9. Chris Buckner July 18, 2019 at 6:16 pm #

    I like what you said about your face not being in a good position to record if you start quickly. Great advice. Thanks for the video David.

  10. David Wandelt July 19, 2019 at 6:56 am #

    As a former broadcaster, I was programmed to do this because, of course, radio is a real time medium. Are used to record direct to cards a lot, too. I find I still do this (i.e., ‘keep it tight’), on phone calls, just from habit, no doubt.

    Now, I just remind myself that there is no cost involved anymore; just as when taking digital pics, recording per se doesn’t incur any cost; you can just delete anything you don’t ultimately need. As an engineer/geek, I tend to watch costs, but here, it’s not helpful! Just turn the thing on, record when you’re ready/set, and extract the good stuff from the overall session. But, I confess, old habits die hard!

Leave a Reply