.. and this time next week I will be worse.
29th May 2014 is the begining of the Makegood Festival. Yes, perhaps I have been banging on about it a little of late.
It's a huge showcase of some of the hottest, most creative businesses, ideas, innovators and entrepreneurs around today.
I'm delighted (and privileged) to be one of those businesses.
Clare Reeves Voiceovers will be exhibiting at Makegood. The only Voiceover Artist in the show.
I will be surrounded by arty people who make and sell truly beautiful and ingenious things. The visual impact of their products will be stunning.
And then there is me. A voiceover artist. I don't have gorgeous jewelry to sell or even teddy bears with artificial human teeth (trust me, they'll be there). So it will be me, my crew and some kit.
I'm going to be relying on myself and my voice to make the impact that I need to have for the event to work for me.
So, how am I going to compete with all the treasures?
In truth, it's taken some thinking about. But I'm there now! I am branded with my logos and images on EVERYTHING. - banners, postcards, press packs, my clothing choices.. even my hair colour!
It's reflecting the style and quality of my work. I'm all about glossy!
I have an office full of boxes of acoustic tiles and velcro and banners and kit.
During Makegood, I'm going to be using all this as a backdrop to showcase my work through my demos - which you can pop over and have a listen to as well as a chance for you to come and get involved.
You'll be able to give me a line to record for you in a style of your choosing. We will record it and send it to you.
I'm also going to be The Voice of Makegood - providing live announcements throughout the event to help visitors discover what is happening and to perhaps be a little bit showbiz with - if they let me..
So as I reach the 1 week to go stage I can say that I am ready and raring to go.
I'm excited about this opportunity and meeting the people who come along.
Let's just hope I can sleep the night before..
Clare Reeves Voiceovers - Makegood Soundgreat
No, you can't be a voiceover artist if you're a radio presenter.
This would have been a very short post if I had believed that. These two vocal art forms actually complement each other well. Here's how.
OK, yes, I can sound like a BBC newsreader when a VO client requests that. Interestingly though, I tend to find that they want someone who sounds like a BBC newsreader either off duty or who has had a little too much coffee.
Sounding natural on the radio is a real skill and the trend today is for a conversational presenter but one who makes an impact on the listener. Sounding natural is not about getting behind a mic and broadcasting for the first time - that's a bit too natural. It's about training your voice, listening to your off air recordings and working out what you were doing that made that bit sound really good. It is about exaggerating speech a little bit, playing with the mic - VOs know the power of dropping our volume and getting in close to the mic. Mmmm, cosy. Then, stripping it down and being natural and YOU - but with the benefit of consciousness about your sound.
Essentially, as a VO, I can work out in an instant what voice style is required at any given moment and use it on the radio. It's still me, I'm not doing an impersonation, it's just dipping into my tool bag. Radio texture comes from the tone we use to communicate content and tell stories - nothing fake. You can't get away with it unless it's deliberately OTT. With VO, as many of our projects are very short, I can sustain a voice that isn't quite the real me for that time. I can't do that with a four hour radio show!
In radio we focus on an "audience of 1", thinking about them, what they are doing and telling them the story as an individual. This is something I use in VO, it's great for selecting the right tone and pace and provokes you to think about the brief a bit more deeply. Radio teaches the lesson we all know about really understanding the script and what we are selling. It pays to be across the story - if you aren't then you need to ask the right questions. Radio guru Valerie Geller recommends that you know your script so well that if it were to blow away in a gust of wind, you'd be able to deliver the cue and conduct the interview. It's a good thought and would certainly make for telling the story in a personal style.
It's a happy relationship between presenting and VO. I'm delighted I can do both (and that my employers are happy with my double life). The benefits for me are that I can draw on tools from both sides of my work and my aim is that when I'm in the hot seat or booth I don't have to think about it too much, it just happens. Hence an article longer than one line after all.
For more light-heated insights into the wonderful world of voiceover work, make sure you take a look at my Twitter feed, @clareonairlive.
Voice over talent and broadcaster, speaking out.