Imaging In 2018 – Ann Dewig VO

Welcome to “Imaging In 2018” a Blog Series which looks at the developments in Radio Imaging and Production, the future and opinions from across the world.

Over the past few posts, I have focused on Voiceovers with  “Voiceovers – The Producer Relationship”

Ann Dewig

An introduction isn’t probably needed here but Ann is one of the most well-known Voiceover Talents in the world. Her style is unparalleled, unique and incredibly fun to work with. She voices a station in my market (Dublin) and I was really lucky to work with it a few years ago. Anne doesn’t just deliver – she gives you everything and anything you could ever need – extra takes and even suggestions and outtakes throughout. 

Ann Dewig

1. What is your opinion on Vocal Coaches - have you used one in the past and are they worth it?

If it’s something someone wants to try, then absolutely!  I’ve experimented with voice coaches, acting classes, I even saw a sports psychologist for a few years.  I’d highly recommend having that 3rd party POV.  But I guess I’d also recommend hunting around until you find a coach or style that you jive with and ignites your passion.  A coach that works for me may not work for you, and that’s totally cool.  Our voices, styles, ways of acting and learning are all so different that it takes some hunting to find what works.   I also read somewhere that scientists say the brain grows the most when we’re just a little out of our comfort zone, and this may be why seminars and personal coaching sessions can help us grow as artists.     

2. What makes a killer demo for a voiceover? (Different styles/something creative that makes it different)

I’m not sure I have a magic formula for killer demos, but I have a way that I like to approach my own demos, which may or may not work for others. Instead of focusing on what kind of pieces to put in what order for how long, I like to think of it in a more big/picture way. I ask myself: “What do I want to say?” A lot of people know I’m pretty passionate about making a real connection with the audience by being real and genuine. So I personally try to create demos that help to show that real connection. I try to make sure I add my own personality to my demos, read stuff as honestly as I can, and add out-takes or silly moments. Just as long as my demos are mostly about connecting. Also, and this may be a mistake – but I don’t redo my demos a lot.  I wait until I’m really inspired and really know in my heart/soul what it is I want to say. Then I let that passion fuel my demos.

3. You voice hundreds of radio stations, and I’m sure the copy can get repetitive. How do you keep it fresh, especially when you’re saying the same phrases or reading copy for the same collective contests all the time?

This is where acting lessons came in handy for me. Having to read the same acting lines over and over and over and try and find a new approach each time is a lot like imaging copy.  So learning and trying to borrow techniques from the acting community has been fun.  I also have puppets in the studio I like to talk with coz having props can help get me out of my own head/way and see things differently from day to day, or session to session.   

4. What are your current goals as a voice artist?

I really like to tap into pop culture and try to understand the emotional undercurrent that’s kind of driving the music/art at any given time.

There have been periods of apathy where music and art had a “whatever” vibe.There’ve been philanthropic periods where music and art had a “life is good” or “be good to one another” vibe.  I may be wrong, but I feel like after the great recession, things shifted.

And now, after the election and lots of natural disasters, gun violence, etc – I sort of feel like there’s a “tough but broken” thing going on in our society and in art in general and it’s really fun to try and tap into that as a voice artist.  It’s hard enough to read imaging lines in a genuine way, but it’s quite the challenge to try and be able to tap into the undercurrent of emotion and mood of a society at any given moment and add that to the work.

So for me, I think my current goal as a voice artist is to experiment with adding a vulnerable quality to the work. The kind of vibe that says that life is hard. We’ve all known pain and hurt and don’t expect fairytales anymore. But because life has knocked us down, we’re tougher for it. We’re grounded and realistic and can take care of ourselves. I want to spend the next little while tapping into THAT energy. But of course, it’s a risk that could backfire completely.  We’ll find out.  

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