Sunday, December 13, 2020

"If you're coming to San Francisco, be sure to...

 As mentioned in other posts on this blog, pre-pandemic, I enjoy having a nice breakfast in San Francisco on Saturday and then walking through Chinatown and down to Pier 39 where most of the tourists and sea lions hang out. It's a considerable walk from where I start at the cable car turnaround at Powell and Market streets. Most of my breakfasts are fairly simple-eggs,hash browns, sausage/bacon, toast and coffee. And while I love a cup of hot coffee first thing before my city walk, it can often wreak havoc when I need to find a public restroom QUICKLY.  Recently, I added an app to my phone that is GPS driven that shows me where the closest public restrooms are from where I am, at any given time. A real life saver! Amazing. There's an app for everything. It's tough to find a PUBLIC restroom in the city. Most restrooms are for paying customers only. There use to be a small coffee shop in Chinatown I could count on to be my "saving grace" on my walks. It was the size of a few phone booths, but they DID have a public restroom if you bought a cup of coffee. Too bad it closed a number of years ago due to a lack of business. Bummer. 

So, just a heads up. Know where the public restrooms are or get the phone app. As the old Scott McKenzie song says "If you're going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair." I say,"Be sure to know where the nearest public restroom is." (Let's get our priorities in order). 


                                                                  



Thursday, December 10, 2020

A funny voicemail message

 So I have a really wonderful friend who retired well from a metro bus building company right here in San Francisco East Bay. Her name is Diane. She's an independent soul and sometimes brings me unique food dishes that she finds on her shopping trips to Trader Joe's- one of her favorite places to buy groceries. 

We chat regularly about the happenings in the news.  She has a good sense of grumpy humor (most of the time) and seems to be enjoying her well deserved retirement. And there's one thing about her that makes me laugh more than anything. And I've told her so. No, it's not the clothes she wears or her hairstyle. Or her sometimes comical takes on what's going on at any given moment around the world. (Don't get her started). No,it's her cell phone voicemail message. Yes! Her strange and funny cell phone  message! Here it is, just as she says it... "Hi, it's Diane, I can't get to the phone right now. Call me right back." I asked her, ever so politely in jest one day, to think about what the caller is hearing. I told her, "Hey Diane, I called your number and was told to call you right back. So, I immediately did and got the same  message every time. 13 times in a row! I was exhausted." (Insert chuckle here). I suggested she record a simple message like, "Hi, it's Diane. I can't get to the phone right now. Just leave your name, phone number and a brief message and I'll call you back just as soon as possible." That was met with a brief moment of awkward silence on the phone. I took that to mean "mind your own business." Which I gladly did. Truly great friends are hard to come by.


Wednesday, November 18, 2020

"Which way would you like it?"

 Sometimes you'll receive a script to record that contains words that can be pronounced several ways. "Data" comes to mind. Some will say it as (da-tuh. "da" as in
"apple") and others as (day-tuh). Or the word "anti." Some will go with (ant-eye) and others as (ant-ee). Both ways are acceptable. One more. "Multi." You'll hear it said as (mull-tee) OR (mull-tie). Neither is wrong. Check with the person you'll be recording for about how they want it said BEFORE you step to the mike. You'll come off as a pro. And that's the goal, right?


Thursday, November 12, 2020

"Make it conversational"

 I often see producers wanting a conversational tone in the voice over. One part of that is lowering the volume of your voice. Don't shout at the microphone! It's designed to amplify your voice.

And remember, we speak in phrases. Usually, somewhat deliberately, as we think about how to express our thoughts. When reading copy that calls for a conversational delivery, don't go racing through it without pauses. A road runner approach doesn't work for conversational.

I do a lot of educational and training narrations. Using a conversational delivery is spot on. 

Here is a link to an online tutorial I voiced having to do with publishing and plagiarism. 


Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Grand Theft Auto Vice City the Untold Story

On a recent Sunday, I was looking through Craigslist ads and spotted one wanting a voice over for one of the most successful video games of all time-"Grand Theft Auto". I immediately emailed a reply and the producer emailed back with some copy for me to do a quick audition. He liked what he heard and hired me as the narrator. He puts together these types of videos and parks them on You Tube and gets thousands of views.  The one I voiced is about 80's crime and drugs. WARNING: This video is violent. So,  it's up to you.  Here's a link to the video I narrated. It runs about 13 minutes.




Monday, May 4, 2020

Slower is better for on hold messages

So no joke,over the years I have voiced hundreds and hundreds of on hold messages. It's a different style of read. Go a bit slower with your pace so the caller can take in all the information. When you are recording the on hold script and come upon the company's phone number, hours of operation, and address, slow it down. You don't want to go too fast in these sections. All in all, it's a slower voice over than say a TV commercial or radio spot where things move fast .
Remember, when recording on hold messages, slower is better!