What Shouldn’t Be Your Metric For VO Success

Hey there!

I get asked a lot about how to tell if you’re “nailing” your work.

It’s all individual, and everyone’s situation is different, but there’s one universal metric that many talent make the mistake of paying close attention to.

Hope this helps!


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Raw YouTube Captioning

hey there it’s David H Lawrence the 17th
and I was going to meet up the other
night and I was asked a question about
how to know what can I look to what kind
of things can I listen for can i watch
for it to let me know that I’m nailing
what I’m doing that I’m really doing a
good job of the work that I’m doing the
auditions and the production work and so
on and then in a coaching session I got
pretty much the same reason how do I
know if I’m doing a good job and then
again today in a meeting with a client
you know how do I know if I’m ready to
do this or to do that or to be to do a
demo or to start putting myself out
there for auditions and so on how do I
know if the work that I’m doing is
competitive is professional-grade and
those are great questions we all know
how difficult it is for us to judge
ourselves but there are some things that
you can start to weed out I think it was
Michelangelo that said creating a
sculpture is not about shaping the
marble it’s about knowing what parts of
the marble to remove to leave the art
behind and I think that’s a really great
way of putting things when it comes to
judging your work and you know I again
I’ve talked about decoupling the outcome
with the actual work itself but in the
case where you really want to know
whether you’re doing something well or
not when it comes to performing one
thing that I can tell you is that there
is a single metric that I see talent
using all the time that isn’t a good
metric to use and that’s the metric of
well I read that perfectly I didn’t make
a single mistake there it’s what I call
reading words well on the page that’s
not your metric for success it’s a game
that we play sometimes especially when
we’re doing audiobooks oh I went three
pages without making a mistake I wonder
at what point you started to think to
yourself rather than think about the
story being in the story
in the moment you started to think
yourself hey I’m doing pretty good here
I haven’t made a mistake in three pages
or a page or five paragraphs or whatever
it is you’re the whole chapter who knows
but that’s not something to pay
attention to and I know it’s hard
because it’s I kind of got to be proud
of that if you if you didn’t make any
pronunciation errors you didn’t stumble
on any words you got everything exactly
the way you wanted it to be but that’s
not your metric for success the metric
for success will vary based on what your
particular challenges are in the case of
the client I was working with we were
kind of taking a look at a challenge
that she had with a sing-song in her
voice in the way she would say all the
sentences with the same melody you know
it’s a pretty common thing that people
have it’s that announcer e cadence that
we all grow up with and we all think is
the is the best approach to doing things
especially become out of radio it’s
really tough so but that’s her you could
have a different thing you’re too loud
or too soft or there’s not enough
delineation between a neutral narrator
voice in audio books and a character you
can’t hear that you’re doing certain
things the good news with her is that
she could actually hear the the typical
singsong cadence of what she was doing
but then she said well at least I didn’t
make a mistake and I thought to myself
okay I don’t want that to even enter
into the equation for you and I don’t
want to enter into the equation for you
either you have no idea how many takes
can be executed when shooting a film or
recording unless you’ve done it already
and you do know and what can happen is
if you’re a stage performer or if you’re
live on the radio or live on television
as a presenter or as a news person you
don’t get a second take and so it starts
to become a metric for success for you
to not make any mistakes but don’t let
that slide over into the world of
auditions and recorded
performance where you can take it again
you can stop and start over again that’s
not a metric you need to worry about so
again on that list of things that you
should be concerned about this ain’t one
of them
just strike it off the list is it a
metric for you let me know or let me
know how you manage to remove that
metric from your list what was it for
you the day you realized I don’t have to
worry about it I can make all the
mistakes I want because I will be
editing them out or somebody will be
editing them out leaving behind the good
stuff so or do you still think to
yourself I really need to get this whole
thing nailed down and make no mistakes
on this page leave me a comment
especially if you’re on vo – go go comm
I’m really excited to hear what you have
to say and that’s where the conversation
really happens where it’s nice and sane
and moderated at vo – go go comm and if
you’d like to join my mailing list I
would love to have you if you look below
this video there’s a subscribe link that
will let you fill out a form and you’ll
know when these videos come out if you’d
like to know in the latest video that
I’ve done has been released well go
ahead and click on that frame there and
YouTube will play it for you I’m David H
Lawrence xvii I thank you so much for
watching and I will talk to you tomorrow.

3 Responses to What Shouldn’t Be Your Metric For VO Success

  1. Suzi Fee July 28, 2019 at 5:57 am #

    I am guilty of reading the entire Harry Potter series to my child in the same cadence. I don’t think he cared, though. He never complained. But I am not a voice gal trying to make a living.

  2. Stuart Gauffi July 28, 2019 at 6:43 am #

    And the moment you realize you’re in the groove, really connected to the story and not making mistakes is the moment you’ve broken the magic and the blooper reel starts.

  3. Chris Buckner July 30, 2019 at 10:17 am #

    I like the idea of making as many mistakes as you need and leaving in the good stuff. Keeps you out of the minds set of trying to not make mistakes. I’ll keep that in mind for long pieces of copy. Thanks for the video David.

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