Friday is D-Day for me.
That’s the last time I step into a fancy hi-priced news studio and hold forth on the (so-called) news of the day.
38 years of broadcast experience goes with me whenever the camera comes on. Through hard-fought lessons, some osmosis, and lots of work, I’ve come to realize the truth behind what you see on the news, and it’s what constitutes the third of five nuggets of wisdom I’m sharing this week; nuggets that I think also apply to most media today, including voice acting.
#3 has to do with good content — which we all know is “king” right?
But #3 goes beyond the concept of good content to the essence of authenticity and genuineness.
Why is it that so many of the sayings in our culture that speak to this quality of authenticity have to do with swine?
“making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear”
“putting lipstick on a pig”
“throwing pearls before swine”
I guess it’s because pigs ARE kind of ugly.
Like some truths.
Like the news.
And I think people would rather hear the truth and confont the ugliness of a pig rather than be massaged into buying into some “spin” or “window dressing” that’s artificial to make the truth more palatable.
I’ll be honest. Sometimes we don’t have much news to tell you. But the show has already been sold to advertisers, and the time is scheduled right there on your DirecTV listing, so we darned-well better have a half-hour of “news”, by golly.
Oh, we will fill the half-hour, but it’s mostly lipstick on a pig. A bit of window-dressing. If I were a viewer, I’d be disappointed that I was being offered some fluff, not real content.
Is that what you’re doing with your delivery when you audition? Are you making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, but it’s still a pig?
Carrying the analogy even further: is your marketing content a genuine reflection of you…or is it a little puffed-up with window-dressing and lipstick?
How long do you figure you can continue with that shade of lipstick before the client or your agent, or even your peers come to realize the authenticity is lacking?
What’s the one direction you see over and over in your audition calls? “conversational”, “authentic”, “genuine”, “real”, and not announcery.
Your clients are begging for it. They know the magic of authenticity.
Without it, the news is a charade.
Without it, your approach to voice acting is empty.
Can you deliver?