When I first started to write this article, and I wanted to sit down and come up with some examples of different vocabulary in areas of voice over, one of my problems was that I didn’t know where to begin! Think of things like demo and reel. They mean the same thing, but one is a term that for anyone younger than about 25 would be very confusing.
So many people use so many different words for different things. And even when the language is the same, sometimes the intended meaning is different based on how someone hears something. Voice talent come from all walks of life. Audio is very subjective in some ways. A breath or mouth noise that one person thinks of as ‘horrible’ may be barely audible to another. A ‘short’ pause to one person could mean a quarter second, and to another mean a full second. We all develop different meanings to things based on how and whom we work with, and I’ve found in my work it’s very important to coordinate with the talent I’m working with to make sure that we both mean the same thing in as many details as possible.
Although talent to talent interactions are less common, I’ve seen lots of people doing some casting or referrals, so it’s important to check and make sure everything is the same on those occasions. And it’s also important to check with your clients to make sure that you and they understand everything-particularly in the audiobook world as rights holders can come from very diverse areas indeed.
In summary, it’s important when working in the voiceover world to not assume that the person you’re talking to will be meaning the same things you do, so be sure that everyone’s on the same page!