The fun of working face to face

As voice artists, much of the time we work alone in a booth, closet, or wherever we lay down tracks. Even on those occasions when we do work with others on the same session, many times it is over ISDN connections, so that other talented person or persons we are working with are just excellent voices heard over a wire, with a touch of digital delay to add a little extra spice. Or space.
On Tuesday, I had a session that was very different. I was able to work with the super talented Tanya McClellan and Sam Mercurio on two radio spots for the Tennessee Lottery at the Groundcrew Studios here in Charlotte. And it was the most fun I’ve had in a voiceover session in a long time.
Tanya and I have done spots together in the past, and tend to cut up and ad lib our way into fits of laughing and giggling between takes. Tuesday’s session was no different, as we spun out characters into 10 different directions while we waited. And Sam dropped in his crazy coach, Droopy Dog and gravely cowboy voices to add into the fun. Together, we wrapped up the two spots in about 25 minutes with retakes and a couple of wild lines to give. But the key was the ability to mesh quickly, play off of each other, and walk out of the booth smiling after a great session.
In our semi-isolated work, sessions like this challenge your improv skills, get your mind moving, and your face and mouth warmed up to the task in a way that no solo warmups can do. Even when the session calls for made up words like "scratchegist" and "scratchegy."
Every once in a while, get out of your home studio if you can. Work with some people outside of your spot, as it challenges you in ways you may not have been challenged in a long time. And it adds to the camraderie we so often must generate via blog posts, Facebook updates, and tweets.
I tip my hat to Sam, Tanya, and Gerar at the Groundcrew. You guys made that session the absolute highlight of my day.

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