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Theatre of the Mind, Old School 2

September 24, 2012 by david

I was very fortunate when Dick Orkin’s Famous Radio Ranch in Los Angeles hired me. In fact, I like to call my time there “The School of Orkin.”  It was my first in-depth look at what Dave and I like to call “Theater of the Mind.” 

Dick Orkin is an amazing writer and voice over talent who is best known for creating the radio comedy “Chickenman” in the 1970s. He has also written and voiced thousands of commercials, and he's won countless awards for his work. The Ranch specializes in funny radio commercials. Commercials that paint pictures in your mind by using sounds, imagination and a bit of acting. When we refer to Theater of the Mind, that’s what we mean.

On the radio you have no visual cues. You don’t see things flying through the sky, or bananas walking on all fours, or anything outrageous that a writer may dream up. But if it's done well, you can really draw on people's imaginations and make them see the scene you are putting before them.

Even without CGI!

There's a reason voice over artists are often referred to as voice over actors. It’s your job to make us believe. To act like what you’re describing is real. Many times, doing Theater of the Mind means going way over the top. Even if you're being monotone, you still need to do it to an extreme.

Take a listen to these great Theater of the Mind spots by Dirk Orkin, and start working on making us believe!

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