Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash
Hey there, hero!
If you’ve studied with me, you may have heard me remind you to ask yourself what your role is in your production (who are you), and to describe your audience of one (who are you talking to).
They are the go-to questions that need answering when creating your character and making choices about them.
But there are three other questions that we often don’t remember to ask, because they might just not seem as juicy as the two above.
But…they actually are.
Hope this helps!
Links to all episodes
One Step At A Time
Five Ways To Have An Excellent Coffee Date With Me
Five Ways To Have A Crappy Coffee Date With Me
Taking Advantage Of The Wisdom Of The Tribe
How To Be A World Class Complainer
The False Nobility Of The Struggle
Watch Out – The Rules Are Going To Change
“Show Me The Secret, Daddy!”
Coaching vs Consulting vs Facilitating
The Perils of Live Performance And Why Jeremy Kappell Should Not Have Been Fired
Let’s Welcome To The Stage…Failure!
Don’t Confuse Price With Value
Whiteboards In The Hallways
Go Wake Up Your Luck
Playing and Planning
The Two Things Most Talent Try to Accomplish Way Too Soon
10,000 Hours To Become Good At Something? Not Really.
The Curse of Knowledge
The Trick Charlie Munger Uses To Make Better Decisions
Everyone’s A Customer, Not Just Your Customers
“What do you mean, you’re a ‘process guy’?”
Pay Attention To Your Storytelling, Not Removing Your Breaths
How To Conquer FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)
The Problem In Every Commercial Script
The Job In Every Commercial Script
The Secret In Every Commercial Script
How To Pick Your Stage Name
Voice Over Is REALLY Hard. Until It Isn’t.
Helping Make Resolutions Stick
ACX Jobs: They’re ALL SAG-AFTRA-Friendly
Non-Union? You Can Still Open An AFTRA H&R Account. What?
Who Says You Need To “Feel Like It?”
Are You Engaged?
Your Day Job Might Just Be Worth Keeping For A Bit Longer
Want To Learn Something Really Well? Teach It To Others
Don’t Confuse What Works With What You Like
The Lost Keys And The Microphone In My Elevator
My Insane Backup System Plus Two Helpful Tips
What Open Loops Are And Why They Work So Well
Two More Things For Which You Can Use Open Loops
Three Things Not To Say Or Do…When Trying To Learn Something New
Front Burner and Back Burner Project Management
How To Properly List The Accents and Dialects You Perform
My SAG-AFTRA Presentation On VO Demos (Part 1)
My SAG-AFTRA Presentation On VO Demos (Part 2)
A Simple, One-Word Decision-Making Question To Ask Yourself
How You Can Use The MVP Model As A Performer
How Lazy Can You Be?
Avoid The Struggle Porn
The Robocall Equivalent Of Unsubscribe
Saying Goodbye To A “Failure”
Making Your Links Irresistible
HTTPS Is Not Just For Banks – It’s For You
The Threat That Made Me Create a New Page For LAME
The Resource You Must Guard Most Carefully
How New Media Is Using The Oldest Ad Model Ever
“You Could Be Hit By A Bus!”
Killing Customers With Kindness
I Found Out What She Was Podcasting About
How I Answered Voices.com’s Inquiry
Turning Mountains Into Molehills
Motivation: Your Three Big Needs In A Cool Little Package
Go Ahead. Multitask. But Try It Like This.
The Prodigy Game Doesn’t Deserve This Treatment
I Don’t Want To Go Blind
What Fair Markets Are, And Why Voices.com Isn’t One
Trevor’s Three A’s From Apple On Killing Customers With Kindness
Getting Ready vs. Getting Started
You’ll Never Believe Who Got Rejected By Harvard
There Is No Failure, Only Feedback
Who Is Your Most Dangerous Adversary?
73 Videos In, My First Hater Appears
If You’re The Smartest Person In The Room, Do This ASAP
Your Glasses And Crucial Laptop Positioning Info
One More Insanely Over-engineered Piece Of Gear: My UPS
The Crazy Backward Way IKEA Prices Their Stuff
Voices.com Complained To YouTube That I Violated Their Privacy
The Gig Economy: RIP?
For Your Health: Not Perfect. Just Better.
Celebrate Your Isolation!
Mr. Wonderful Is Actually More Wonderful Than I Thought
Let’s Finally Close The Digital Literacy Gender Gap
The Guaranteed Way To Completely Avoid Criticism
The Two Things People Judge About You Within Seconds
Are You Committed? Or Just…Interested?
Audible Retail Samples: Why They Suck And Why It Doesn’t Really Matter
How To Voice Copy That’s Set In Italics
Dyslexia, And The Palindromic Poem. The Wha?
Increase Your Chances Of Being Seen And Heard On Facebook
Jamie Has Some Thoughts About Fiverr
Is Simply Discouraging Distracted Driving Enough?
“Young People Are Just Smarter.”
The Real Purpose Of The “Can You Hear Me?” Phone Scam
Beware Of Overkill
Laying Down The Perfect Slate
An AMA Preview: The Word “Ethnic” – A Slur, Or An Essential Adjective?
10 Rules of Profitable Self Discipline from Napoleon Hill
AMA (Ask Me Anything): Here Are The Answers (Part 1)
AMA (Ask Me Anything): Here Are The Answers (Part 2)
AMA (Ask Me Anything): Here Are The Answers (Part 3)
AMA (Ask Me Anything): Here Are The Answers (Part 4)
AMA Answers Part 5 Plus A Medical Warning
Last AMA Answers (#6): Gear, Services and Success
A 7-Word Reminder: “Don’t correct people when it matters little.”
Do You Have A Plan? And Is It The Right One?
What’s Your Next Big Move? Are You Ready?
Build Your Future On Your Own Platform, Not Someone Else’s
I’m Leaving Facebook: Why Groups and FB Live No Longer Spark Joy
Time To Accept That I’ve Failed At Something – Happily
Crowdfunding Without The Internet: Pulitzer And The Statue Of Liberty
The Amazing Power Of Recognition And Badging
Might We Have A Possible Cause For Alzheimer’s?
Why Podcasting And Radio Are Out Of Whack
Value Enthusiasm, But Value Persistence More
Ten Ways To Make Money With Podcasts Besides Ads
One Quick Question To Find Out How Important Something Actually Is
The Workflow For Producing These Videos (So Far) Part 1
Why Not Wade? And…Why Not You?
Audiobook Narrators: How Paymasters Work, And The One I Recommend
Why Gen Z And Millennials’ Love For Audiobooks Is Crucial
American Idol: It’s All About Story, Not Just Singing
Less Beating Yourself Up, More Talking Yourself Up
Resist Oversharing. Instead, Start A Dialogue.
Vocal Care: It’s All About What Works For You
3 Biases You Should Be Aware Of
3 More Biases You Should Also Be Aware Of
Wow. People Really Grokked Biases. Let’s Tackle Fallacies.
Three More Fallacies You Need To Watch For
What’s Your Imprint?
Fallacy Follies, Volume 3
Two Last Big Creativity-Crippling Fallacies
Fail Sooner To Succeed Sooner
A New Lead Source For Performers: Voice Assistants And Smart Speakers
A Great Way To Handle Trolls and Haters
Quantity Does Not Usually Equal Quality
Is Facebook Truly A Monopoly? No More Than Microsoft Was.
Fear Of The Unknown, Or The Day Before My Surgery
A Strange Aspect To Performing That Should Be Cause For Protest, But Isn’t
Want To Grow? Don’t Go It Alone.
How Am I Doing? I’m Gobsmacked. That’s How Am I Doing.
Why I Give My Agents 10% Of Everything
Not Just Explainer Videos, But Video That Explain Things Spectacularly
Mental Floss To The Rescue: Skills You Can Pick Up On YouTube
What’s Better Than Willpower? Grit.
Regarding Apple’s App Store: Be Careful What You Wish For, Pepper
Of COURSE You Wonder What Porter’s Five Forces Are. Who Doesn’t?
Don’t Waste Your Time: Talk Shows Aren’t Meant To Be Fair
Sooner Or Later, I’m Really Going To Tick You Off
Just Because You Can Do Something Doesn’t Mean You Should
Wait, What? Audacity Records In The Background?!
Enjoy Your First Booking. Pay Close Attention To The Next Three.
Pattern Interruption And The Musicality Of Voice Over
Do You Still Have A Landline? Is It POTS? Wait, What’s POTS?
Increase Your VO Accuracy, And You’ll Increase Your VO Profits
Age Range Isn’t Really A Valid Metric For VO
What Is The Overton Window?
How To Stop Jealousy From Killing Your Progress
Even The Bible (And Game Of Thrones) Has One-Star Reviews
How Much Is Enough To Make Per Hour?
With Royalty Share Plus, ACX Makes Hybrid Stipends Official
Wait, Vices Can Be Good For Your Health?
What A Lovely Thing To Discover: Praise From CourVO
I Figured Out What I Provide: The Onboarding Performers Don’t Get
You Don’t Need Permission To Care Or Contribute
It’s Not Just You. It’s The Superstars, Too.
Do You Sometimes Think Irrationally? Maybe. Here’s How To Stop It.
The Struggle Of Announcer-y Versus Non-Announcer-y Voice Over
How My VAs Support Me And My Team
What Exactly Is “The Cloud?”
The Often “Most Difficult” Concept I Teach
Please Unsubscribe From This List. But Don’t Do This One Destructive, Lazy Thing.
Don’t Mistake The Joy Of Knowing For The Joy Of Doing
Why Giving Yourself Some Simple Homework Can Be Life-Changing
One Weird Trick I Do That Makes My Note-Taking Superhuman
The Worst Thing About The Biggest Money-Making Entertainment Category
What Can We Grab From A Schedule This Strict?
Get Better At Executing Today’s Plan By Starting Last Night
How To Create Useful, Organized Audition File Names
Where To Find Related PDFs For Audiobooks on Audible
I’m Halfway Finished. What Have You Valued Most? What Can I Do Better?
Our Digital Attention Span Is Incredibly Brief
“Serves You Right!” She Actually Has No Idea How Right.
Create A Safe Environment For Self-Improvement
Why I Use One Single Channel For Crucial Communication
The Even Cheaper AT-2020 USB Plus Microphone?
Fred Willard (and Billy West) On Quickly Creating Authentic VO Characters
Leo Makes Your Searching Spectacular
On Asking For Things Performers Can’t Do
How To Battle The Urge of “Efficiency”
One More Best-Of-Breed Way To Brilliantly Complain
Changing Audacity’s Sampling Rate To 48,000 Hz
10 Words Of Encouragement When You’re Stuck
One More Best-Of-Breed Way To Brilliantly Complain
Why You Must Wear Headphones When Recording
Two Cases Where You Might Not Want To Simply “Follow Your Passion”
Having Fun With Headphone Volume
Please Stop Rushing To Perform
Something To Consider: Everyone’s Internal Menu
One Crazy Key To Creativity: Pure, Unadulterated Boredom
For The Sheer Joy Of It
The Most Commonly Consumed Media Is…!
What’s Dangerous For Us To Care About
Please, Clever Copywriters…Stop Using This Term
Wait, Wait…What? They Actually Listened?!
Why You Should Take The Same Classes Twice
How Your Character’s Menu Informs Your Performance Choices
What Shouldn’t Be Your Metric For VO Success
Someone Awesome Who’s Also Rising To A 365-Day Challenge
Union Or Not, Start With Union Rates
O. M. G. Look What Matt Zurbo Did!
So Where Will That Huge Facebook Fine End Up?
The Root Words of “Typecast”
Avoid That One Obvious “That Worked” Sound We Make
Why Union Members Can Audition For Non-Union Work
200 Auditions. 1 Booking. A Ghost. Really?
I Can’t Do One Thing I’m Asked To Do Every Single Day
One Of Your Secret Weapons: Agility
Do Networking Events Make You Anxious? Let’s Fix That.
The Difference Between Mansplaining and Advice?
Project X Is Just About Ready. I’m A Bit Giddy.
Raw YouTube Captioning
hey there hero it’s David H Lawrence the
17th and if you’ve coached with me at
all or if you’ve taken classes or even
if you haven’t studied with me you may
have gotten this from someone else in
your training we often forget we jump
right to the copy we just we jump right
to performing and we don’t take a look
at our character and where our character
sits in the script what what role do
they play are they the hero are they
supporting we we do ask Who am I
you know who as my character what is my
character’s role and I will often ask
you when I kind of sense that you’re
kind of nebulous about it and you’re
paying more attention to the words on
the script who are you talking to who is
your audience of one and that can really
help you define how you approach what
you say and how you say it but there are
three other things that I always ask and
I always hope that my clients ask about
the situation no matter what it is
whether it’s commercials or audiobooks
or or training films or animation or
narration whatever it is these three
questions also need to be answered no
matter what your role is whether it’s
just simply announcer or a character in
a little tiny play you know you’re in a
car commercial and you’re a salesperson
or you’re the consumer you’re the you’re
the buyer or or who knows what you are
that’s the point
so ask who you are and ask who you’re
talking to and be really specific about
both but remember these three things as
well always ask these as well and
sometimes they don’t seem as sexy as
juicy as the the other two oh I need to
know everything about myself I need to
know who I’m talking to I need to know
who my target is right well think about
this where are you if you’re in a car
dealer spot are you inside are you
outside are there people around you do
you have to raise
your voice to be heard over them if
you’re narrating are you talking to a
large group are you talking to a small
group if you’re in animation or if
you’re in some sort of drama or comedy
you know that’s that’s a really
important question ask where am i
because that in informs how loud you are
and how forceful you are maybe even how
fast or how slow you are or if you talk
to somebody under your breath you know
so that’s one where am I
the second one again doesn’t feel that
juicy but it really is
when is this and not just what time of
day or what day of the month or what
season of the year but where are we in
the story are we ahead of a major plot
point you know in a major plot point in
a commercial is presenting the call to
action and why your guy or your product
or service is really awesome is it
before that is it after that are you
helping somebody recover from a painful
situation you know are you are you you
know advertising a repair service you
know somebody’s somebody’s thingamajig
has been busted so where are you in that
story and that’s kind of the wind of
things and the more you can hone in on
that the more likely it is that you can
really specify how you present the copy
and then the third one and this is one
that people just fly right by because
they think it’s obvious in fact I’m
gonna go on a linen say most of the
things that I’m saying here are things
that people fly right by in an effort to
say the words well to not make a mistake
with the words on the page to say a
commercial a copy set of copy for
commercial within 30 seconds or 60
seconds that’s required but that’s not
what was gonna make it great so the
third piece after the where and the win
in terms of things that we often forget
is you know who you are you know who
you’re talking to
hopefully you’ve defined both of those
things very well but what is their
relationship you know you can say I’m
talking to my best friend at a bar okay
are you having a good time with your
has your bestfriend just come to you
with a problem are you looking to ask
your best friend for advice has your
best friend just spoken ill of you
behind your back and you’re upset with
them he’s your best friend leaving
because they’re moving away and you’re
never gonna see them in person or very
rarely what is the relationship that you
have is it salesperson and customer is
it mother and son is it husband and wife
is it is it you know new relationship
what is the relationship and really hone
in on it don’t just do the cursory thing
of oh I’m a sales guy what you know how
tall are you what are you wearing what
think about all these things and I know
all you’re doing is talking when you’re
doing voiceover right but that’s why I
say in the mutual muscles class if you
use those same muscles that you use for
on camera or on stage it can really
flesh out and make really thick the
authenticity and the accuracy and the
authority with which you pretend you you
pretend to be in that circumstance and
you make it a reality when you’re doing
your script and I’m telling you this
applies to everything it applies to
you’re doing a voice for a bank and
you’re telling somebody their account is
overdrawn I talk about how that’s a
story as well it’s a sad story but it’s
a story nonetheless no matter what
you’re doing you will always always do
better if you really hone in on the
details of those questions Who am I Who
am I talking to what’s our relationship
where am i what time is it
what day of the week what month of the
year is it and where are we in the story
when is it in the story I hope that
helps what I would love to do is find
out if you do this all the time and I’d
also like you to say look you know
you’re absolutely right I forget to do
this all the time I just want to get in
get it done and move on to the next
audition I understand that I understand
that and I’m telling you if you just
take a little tiny bit of time and
analyze those questions not just the Who
am I and who I’m talking to
but the questions that surround the
situation you will find yourself doing a
lot better and everything will be a lot
clearer so let me know in the comments
below if this makes sense to you and if
this is something that you do and if so
how do you do it do you often go
directly to my best friend at a bar or
over dinner or over drinks you know
that’s easy but what is it when you
really sit down and analyze where the
story is putting you and what you have
to do let me know give me some feedback
in the comments below I’d love to hear
if this makes sense to you okay and if
you’d like to be on my list I’d love to
have you on my list we are this close to
launching vo heroes com we’ve launched
the website but now we’re launching the
new year and we’re gonna be doing that
coming up soon I’m gonna have some free
training for you I’m really excited
about it I’m developing that right now
as you know I’ve asked you what your
your questions are about what you would
tell yourself if you could go back and
do so I’m looking forward to answering
those questions ok enough I’m David H
Lawrence xvii I thank you so much for
watching and I will talk to you tomorrow