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Observations, musings and rubbish from the mind of an IVO (International Voice Over)

July 28, 2015 12:26 am

The Dancing Voice-Over Monkey in a box…

It’s been a while since the last blog-fest, mostly because I’ve been away travelling with my famous voice-over PortaStudio™ via Dubai to the UK and back again.

There, I “danced” in my own box to, mostly, my own tune.

However, the “dancing voice-over monkey” title of this little blog-ette is something which sprang into my addled brain when I was living and working in the UAE during 2014 and was obliged to attend many recording sessions at many local studios voicing everything from “on-hold messages” through to some very high-end international radio and TV commercials for clients such as Sony, Porsche, Emirates, Kellogg’s, MacDonald’s, and Toyota to name but a few.

Even though a lot of the commercials I was voicing were the “UAE version” of ads which were already running in other parts of the world, with simple sentence or word changes to serve not only the UAE but also the Middle East in general, I was amazed at how many agency executives as well as people representing the actual client locally, had to attend a session to hear me simply say something as short and sweet as “available now at…”.

What’s even more intriguing is how, on many occasions, each of the sometimes up to six people in the studio would have varying opinions as to how the commercial should be read in terms of emphases, tonality, pace, gravitas, energy and so forth.

But wait, there’s more.

The strangest thing of all was once this dancing voice-over monkey had supplied all possible variations required, the CEO of the company was often called at the end of the session to be played the final take all six had eventually decided on so he or she could hear it and say yay or nay.

You can imagine what it was like when said CEO decided he/she wanted more of this or less of that – or that they didn’t like the delivery, full-stop.

And all the while, the dancing voice-over monkey waits, patiently, until being told to dance the same steps again until the waltz is completed.

Banana anyone?

Next up: “Love and the voice-over artist”…