Henry Rollins Column: The Weirdness of Auditioning as a Voice-Over Artist, the Joy of DJing, and a New Documentary Recommendation
[The one and only Henry Rollins will be contributing a weekly column and far-reaching reportage to the music section of the LA Weekly. Look for your weekly Henry Rollins fix right here on West Coast Sound every Friday and make sure to tune in to Henry's KCRW radio show every Saturday evening, or online, or as a podcast, or however else you decided to listen to the most eclectic DJ on LA's airwaves.
Maura Lanahan Our eminent columnist, Mr. Henry Rollins!
This installment includes Henry's thoughts on Halloween DJing, voice-over auditioning and a strange new documentary, plus the awesomely annotated playlist for his KCRW BROADCAST #88 for tomorrow, Saturday 11-06-10. For more details please visit KCRW.com and HenryRollins.com]
I don't know what you need. I bet I know what you don't need. You don't need me to tell you what I think about last Tuesday's elections.
I just hope that you voted if you were eligible. I did. Great feeling, isn't it? Between the election and the Sanity/Fear Rally in Washington, DC last week, there certainly has been a lot to consider. The next two years of America will be a lot of things, dull will probably not be on the list.
Last Saturday, I played an hour of music at the KCRW Halloween Masquerade party at the Park Plaza Hotel downtown. What a great time that was. The place was packed with costumed revelers. My single favorite participant was a man in a wheelchair costumed as Dr. Strangelove.
I came dressed up in a Superman outfit I used in a video a long time ago that amazingly, I still had and, even more amazing, still fit. [See photo here.]
Several days before the event, I had already put all the music I wanted to play together and with the help of a good engineer named X, put it all together into one seamless hour long track. Not having to do more than press play at the beginning the set allowed me to spend time doing things way more fun than wait for one record to end so I could play another. I got to jump around and yell like the spaztique I am. I had a great time and managed to sweat through my Superman suit and even the cape somehow. Everyone in the room seemed to have a good time. It sure was over fast.
In other Hollywood news, I went for a voice-over audition a few days ago. I do these auditions all the time. Sometimes there is direction at the top of the page, usually instructing you to not sound like you're selling anything. You see the non-word "announcery" a lot on these sheets as that which you don't want to be. So, you do what you can to try and sound like you're not, I repeat NOT trying to sell someone something, just like the instructions tell you to.
Of course, you don't get the work, but days later you see the advertisement on television and you hear some man with a sparkly, really announcery voice fairly sell you right out of your shoes. Anyway, I went in for audition #9856 at least the other day and the thing that stuck out was that the read was seventeen words and far less interesting than the direction at the top of the page. Dig it:
Male, 30-40, should have a voice quality, range and acting ability. He needs to sound unique, authentic, and believable. Disarmingly sincere. Intimate. Somebody who doesn't have to crank their level to register an impact. A cadence that doesn't feel commercial. Natural. Unaffected. Candid. Real-voice. Intimate with volume. Honest but not recessive. If it sounds like an ad, we're probably not interested.
Ok then. No pressure. Don't over think it. I read the copy a few different ways and soon enough, was in my car and heading back to my office. The outcome? Who the hell knows? They never tell me anything except for "Thanks for coming in."
Are any of you in your car fairly often, hustling to auditions?