Dealing With Direction

“Meet and Respect Your Director”

I talked
Did they listen?
If so, did they think with caring?
Was there an understanding?
Of what I was sharing?

I was their man, of national toot
Not a chance of disrepute
In all honesty, after my introduction
I expected, nay, warranted a salute!

Good, bad, sad, glad, mad, happy, snappy, crappy, nappy, lappy, lippy, snippy, dippy, lead, plead, greed, bleed, smell, dwell, yell, kvell, heavy, light, mean, delight, please, thank you, I don’t care, neat, sloppy, well aware, I told you, scold you, hold you, revere, steer, hear, discover, like, dislike, stand close, lover, joy, annoy, wonderment, dismay, detached, ignore, attentive, pray, brag, gag, lag, ole!

And now for the second question. Oh, the first question was, “Has da harv really lost it?”

Well no. Ask yourselves: “Could you perform if those were the directions that you were given?” Let’s say you have before you possibly the most beautiful flower in the world. Would you need someone to explain what you should be feeling if you were asked to describe that flower? Or your child looks up at you as they take your hand to cross a busy street. What were you feeling at that moment of endearment? Then a friend calls in need of your shoulder. Could you receive that call? Could you be the friend that was calling? Can you merely display joy over being quiet? Well, all of these are questions that actors must ask themselves.

All these are the questions that we all as human beings must deal with on a day-to-day basis. All of these are situations that will appear as the mainstay of commercial copy—your script. And all of these are situations and reactions to situations that a director will be asking you to portray.

You will have ten, twenty, thirty, or sixty seconds to tell any and all within the sound of your voice how you feel at any moment of life’s natural impact. The fact of the matter is that the true job of the director is to function as your audience—to listen with the intent of ascertaining whether or not you have painted with the kinds of strokes that will allow your audience to feel and understand with you. The director is not providing an acting workshop.

What does it mean when a director asks you to pull it back some? Perhaps your strokes are too strong, your colors too vivid. Your performance is just that—a performance. Perhaps all that the director should say to you is a simple: “I don’t believe you.” Or maybe ask you the question: “Who the hell are you talking to?” Each year, we find that our commercial listening audience requires more by accepting less. Less in the way of footwork; more in the way of truth. If our audience could totally have everything they want—have it all their own way, what would they ask us to do? They would ask that everything we say in our advertisements were totally the gospel. That all we said was the truth.

Isn’t it an interesting state of affairs when you consider that every citizen would like their political choice their candidate to be a completely honest individual?

All of us seek the truth, whether it’s buying a new car, or a wonderful boy/girl relationship, the truth wins out. Those of us who can convey their honest feelings and emotions will more than likely manage a great deal of success in our world of voice over.

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