Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Pink Chair: Tweets about "Untrained Narrators"

Lea Hensley (@lea_hensley) has written a Speaking of Audiobooks post titled, "Untrained narrators? I'm not interested" over at the All About Romance blog:

The blog post spawned an hours-long twitter convo  in which a number of different people from the audiobook community (listeners, reviewers, narrators and producers) from all different levels of expertise participated. I've copied my own tweets down in this post, only editing out things like "YES!" or a reference to Highlander for which you kinda had to be there to get ;-)

Anyway, I see that Lea's blog will be hosting a 6 narrator panel in February to discuss "positive solutions - path to success" and I'm hoping that further on, she will hold a roundtable that includes producers/studio directors/casting agents.

@dogearedcopy 10:51am 
At one point all the A-List narrators were untrained narrators.

@dogearedcopy 10:53am 
If audiobook publishers never take a chance on someone, where are the future narrators to come from?

@dogearedcopy 10:57am 
Yes, Big publishers do! Let's think about the past three months when the work flooded the studios. Experienced narrators were swamped bu the books had to go out. New voices had to be found!

@dogearedcopy 11:13am 
We have to take chances all the time. Some work out and some do not.

@dogearedcopy 11:14am 
You have to weigh the risk of the new talent vs the grade of the book

@dogearedcopy 11:16am 
Meaning that you're not going to put new talent on a high-end book...

@dogearedcopy 11:17am
Absolutely, positively QC must be present. I think that's wehere the real issue lies from the user's/listener's end...

@dogearedcopy 11:22am 
Just be a little bit more clear, the free market model of which a certain audiobook pub uses is factoring in the backlash. The risk is minimized is placing the bets on backlist titles.

@dogearedcopy 12:13pm 
Just for discussion's sake, ALL audiobook publishers make these decisions re new talent...

@dogearedcopy 12:14pm 
While not on a Goliath scale, the matrix of of price, availability & appropriateness along with the risk factor are all played out daily.

@dogearedcopy 12:21pm 
And too, what exactly *is* an untrained narrator?

@dogearedcopy 12:22pm 
There are no narrator schools and... workshops may introduce to the business but certainly aren't training grounds. ACting background is no guarantee either

@dogearedcopy 12:24pm 
So is it really about "training" as much as ongoing development?

@dogearedcopy 12:24pm 
And as a casting/studio director being able to identify potential?

@dogearedcopy 12:25pm 
I won't name names, but there have been artistic successes from narrators whose initial efforts were, quite frankly crap.You gotta know when to hold'em /fold 'em.

@dogearedcopy 12:47pm 
Ability to take direction = development. Once a narrator becomes concretized or resistant to direction, it's over.

@dogearedcopy 12:49pm 
But again we get back to getting the newbie in the studio to begin with!

@dogearedcopy 12:59pm 
The reason why actors are generally preferred is bc they understand things like direction, subtext and how an audience responds.

@dogearedcopy 1:01pm
I often find voice over crossovers more of a challenge bc their direction is in regard to information being delivered in a short span rather than the long haul of a full narrative

@dogearedcopy 1:05pm 
... I view audio drama more akin to acting than voice over; but I was actually going back to what looks promising

@dogearedcopy 2:57pm 
I've often decried the extinction of studio directors from the audiobook industry. Now I'm witnessing the passing of casting agents...

@dogearedcopy 2:58pm 
No, I'm sorry but assigning audiobooks is NOT the same as casting.

@dogearedcopy 3:08pm
Honestly, not for the better. It may serve audiobook publishers in the short run in terms of profits, but the backlash will not be worth it. 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this. As a new (20 titles under my belt) narrator, I can certainly ascertain the difference in quality when I have a great person on the recording end of the process who is willing to stop be to give a little direction and be that QC filter. I always *want* to do a great job and having people around who are willing to offer direction makes a huge difference.