The Art of FLUBBING

by Kevin Delaney

Remember the song by R.E.M., “Everybody Hurts”?

I’d like to do a version of it for voiceover artists, called “Everybody Flubs.”

No matter how seasoned a pro you are, you are absolutely going to screw up your read from time to time.

Flubber movieIt happens to the best of us. You trip. You stumble. Everything’s going along smoothly, and then…

For some inexplicable reason, your mouth doesn’t quite do what your brain tells it to!

There’s no embarrassment whatsoever in “flubbing” — what matters is how you handle it when it happens.

My method for dealing with a flub is twofold. First, welcome the flub. That’s right: Be happy that you flubbed.

Flubs often tell you something. They usually mean you’re not relaxed.

When you flub, stumble, or otherwise mess up: Stop, take a breath and a brief moment of silence. Reconnect mentally with the meaning of what you’re saying, then move on to Step Two…

Return to the beginning of the sentence you flubbed, and pick up your read as though nothing happened.

Do not, whatever you do, DO NOT call attention to a flub!

Inexperienced VO artists will often apologize and make nervous jokes about their flubs. Worse, they lay trips on themselves, and give themselves impossible assignments.

If you chastise yourself, and demand yourself to stop flubbing, you’ll only make the problem worse.

You’re a human being, not a robot. Always remember: It’s your human-ness that got you the job in the first place.

Prepare well, be relaxed and worry-free in the studio. Have fun, and don’t stress out about anything, ever!

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Ben Amos January 30, 2013 at 11:51 am

Excellent point, Kevin. If they had speech software that could effectively communicate nuanced human emotion- we’d all be out of a job.

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