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Throw Out The Announcer!

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

February 23, 2007

Comments (4)

Marc Cashman LogoGetting tired of seeing "announcer" everywhere you turn?

So's Marc Cashman!

Read his solution to this problem here.

How many times have you seen the term “Announcer” or “ANNC” on a script? Hundreds? Thousands? Can’t count that high?

Copywriters write that term on virtually every script they create for voice actors. “V-O” is another interchangeable appellation they give to the person who’ll be performing their script and hopefully bringing their copy to life.

The fact is that the word “Announcer” (unless you’re announcing the arrival of a train on track 49, or reading the legal tag at the end of a spot) is really misleading.

Most of the time, the “Announcer” is telling a story. Even if it’s a sale for ABC Department Stores and they’re having a sale, it’s still a story. Even if it’s a supermarket spot loaded with prices and items, it’s still a story!

When actors see “Announcer” on a script, many unconsciously fall into an announcer-y type voice. It’s ironic that many times the script is accompanied by direction that calls for a “non-announcer-y announcer.” This is all so silly.

Here’s my suggestion and what I tell my students (I teach voice acting in Los Angeles):

Whenever you see the term “Announcer” on a script, cross it out.

Replace it with “Narrator” or “Storyteller” and read the copy like you’d read a story. Because that’s what you are — a storyteller! You might find that this changes and hopefully enhances your performance—and possibly gets you the job.

Good luck!

MARC CASHMAN, Creative Director of Cashman Commercials, creates and produces copy and music advertising for radio and television in Los Angeles, CA. Marc also writes the Ask The Voice Cat blog at Voices.com.

Related Topics: Los Angeles, radio


Comments


    Simple and sure advice, indeed. It actually makes me chuckle a bit because a dear friend of mine is a creative director of promos at NBC in Burbank and as long as I have known him he has always said things like: "All the editing is done, I just need the ANNOUNCE". Talking with an editor of his recently, he said something along the same line: "I finished a :30 & :60, now just gotta get the ANNOUNCE for each and I'm done".

    I like your idea of changing the word to "storyteller"!

    Posted by:

      I love it!

      It's amazing how a seemingly simple act can change your whole take on a read.

      Thanks!

      I'll absolutely be adding this to my toolkit!

      Liz
      --
      Liz de Nesnera
      "Voice Tracks Voiced Right!"
      Reservoir Road Productions
      lizden@gmail.com

      Posted by:

        Agree completely. Whenever I see "announcer" on a script, I first read the entire script, and prepare the same way I'd do for a typical "non announcer" read; know who the the audience is, create the back story, and pull a character out of my "bag" to bring to the party.

        Thanks for listening.

        Bobbin Beam, Voice Actress

        Posted by:

          My feeling has always been that I don't really care what they call me as long as I'm being paid a fair rate! That said, I think the term "Announcer" is a holdover from the golden days of radio when every station had staff "Announcers". A time I remember well - - and miss! I like your suggestions, though.

          Posted by:
          • Ron Altman
          • March 3, 2007 8:59 AM

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