Once upon a time, I won the 4th grade spelling bee…by default. I was the last one in a line up of 10 kids to correctly spell Photosynthesis. The only reason I spelled Photosynthesis, right is because the 9 children before me spelled it wrong. I’ve haven’t won any spelling bees since.
These days most of us are armed and ready with our smartphones anchored in our holster, ready to fire back responses with deadly quickness to every opportunity or email that lands in our inbox. That being said, the lightening speed within which we communicate makes it dangerously easy to sound dumb.
I’ve invited Karen Souer to offer her insight into the role of proofreading in the fast paced business of show business.
VL: Here is it’s the $64,000 question, is VoiceOver one word or two?
KS: I believe technically it would be two words, but colloquially one can of course use it as a single word.
VL: How important is correct grammar & spelling in effective communication?
KS: In my opinion, it is vital. Most of our interaction with clients, and prospective clients is made on the basis of text these days, and if your text is poor, you’re not going to nail that critical first impression. You should also watch what you say, don’t forget the ubiquitous nature of the internet means your words don’t go away later.
VL: Do you think oversights in these area reflect not only a lack of professionalism in regards to the business side of VO but perhaps influence a prospective clients opinion of your level of professionalism behind the microphone? Was that a run-on sentence?
KS: Yes, I do think both of those points are correct. People aren’t going to assume that your vocal skills are better than your English usage. Yes, that was a run on sentence.
VL: What are some of the most common mistake you see in written communication from professional voice over actors?
KS: I would say that in a broad sense, it’s usually haste. When our minds are full of the visual information overload that is part and parcel of our daily lives, it is very easy to miss things. It is very easy to write things and miss, skip, change, or misspell a word. Take a deep breath, stop for a moment, and read what you wrote again. If possible, get someone else to read it. This is especially important for those who write blogs.
VL: Why is your dad only the 2nd nicest guy in VO?
KS: That’s a small joke of his. He says that the nicest guy wouldn’t say he was the nicest, so therefore, he’s the second.
About Karen: Karen is the daughter of Bob Souer, the “2nd nicest guy in VO”. She’s a graduate of UNCC with a B.A. in English & Theatre. She runs her own business as a virtual assistant to Voice Over Actors. You can learn more about her work here