By Marla Kirban
There is nothing to prepare! I could be really sarcastic and write the words “don’t prepare” four times in a row on this blog, but instead, I’ll explain why not to prepare and then what to do when you’re in the booth.
1. What would you be preparing? You booked the job, so there must have been something they liked in your audition or demo to book you. There are people who will be directing you. In fact, there may be a number of people who are working for the client, and they will all have different ideas about how the spot should be read. If you lock down the way you want to read the spot ahead of time or try and replicate the read that booked you the job in the first place, you’re sunk.
2. Come into the session happy. Clear your head of the little stresses of day-to-day living and be present. Be upbeat. Make the session enjoyable for yourself and easy for everyone else. Think like an improv person: arrive ready to roll with whatever happens, listen actively, and be a collaborator.
Take all the suggestions they give you, and don’t take it personally if they have you do the read over and over again. You are not doing anything wrong. They just want to cover their bases on different takes and want many options. You are GUMBY! Remember that flexible green rubber thingamajig? Just give them what they want and they will be happy. You are the solution to their problem.
3. No comments on the copy or rolling of the eyes if their direction doesn’t make sense to you. (It’s natural to look for something to blame if you’re feeling a little nervous, but instead, take a quiet breath, don’t worry about how you’re doing, and then get back on track. Avoid major yoga stretches or big acting class voice-openers at these moments: they broadcast nerves.) You are there to serve. They will call you back if they enjoy you. If you have the best voice in the world and you’re a pain in the ass, you will never hear from them again. Being fun and charming goes a long way.
4. Okay, I’ll admit it. There are a few things you can do to prepare to be in the moment for your gig:
- Get a good night’s sleep
- Don’t party too hard the night before. Alcohol dries out your throat, slows down your brain, and doesn’t smell so great in the booth when it’s coming out of your pores
- Be clean but with no intense colognes or perfumes
- Turn off your phone and make sure nothing else you’re wearing makes noise (bangles, keys on your belt, etc.)
In conclusion: don’t worry and be in the moment!
Coming up: Second Season Show Tweaks
TV/Social Media Producer Debbie Mitchell is an Emmy nominated producer who is a member of the Producers Guild of America (PGA). She is currently a member of the James Beard Broadcast and New Media Awards Committee. Deborah is Executive Producer of Arise On Screen, a global and socially interactive movie review show. If you are a brand interested in Social TV, blogger outreach campaigns, or a blogger or personality interested in television placement, follow Debbie Mitchell @SocialTVDeb and/or email SocialTVDeb@gmail.com, or email Nay Ayache on firstname.lastname@example.org.