What is Focused Core?
Penny Abshire

Lisa has a question for Penny:

Penny,  What is the "focused core"?  Do you mean what you feel is your strongest read?  I am new to your website and can't get enough of it!! I am a former radio DJ who is finally really going to send out a voice-demo, however I am using a broadcasting school studio (I attended many moons ago) and the training is lacking in voice-talent production.  Any information would be a blessing!

Penny's Answer:

Thanks for writing and for your nice compliments regarding the newsletter.  It's fun to put together and even more fun when we can highlight the talents and accomplishments of our students and friends. 

What I meant by the "focused core" is the core of who you are - the "niche" you feel most comfortable in.  So far a commercial work is concerned, for some it's a straight read (for a highly information radio or TV ad), for others it may be comedic reads for radio or TV ads.  For James and I, our focused core in commercial work is dialogue. Because the two of us already have a relationship, we can produce some very believable dialogue spots that sound just like listening to your neighbors having a conversation.

In narration it may be that you really shine in a "storyteller" delivery, either comedic or dramatic.  Maybe you'll be better in a conversational style - or possibly even in a more typical "announcer" style.

See where I'm going with this?  Even though your focused core can be as simple as where you center your voice, it really has more to do with the attitudes, voice characteristics and physicalization you can add to the core to make your voice slightly different and thereby become more versatile. My individual focused core for commercials is my mature, friendly, motherly type delivery - or neighbor. My "mom" voice can be used for commercials for hospitals, new drug advertisement, children's programs, senior programs, etc. I don't even attempt to do a "young" mother voice.  It's not my best or strongest voice - so I just choose to make the mother older and I let the real young mothers out there do those spots - but the core is the same.  Make sense? 

So far as where to produce your demo - I would highly recommend you go somewhere where demo production is their specialty.  A poorly produced demo can do you far more harm than good.  Your money will be well-spent if you find a professional to produce and direct you during this very important part of your VO career.  Ask around and get references from others.  A little time spent in research now will pay off big time in the long-run.

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