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Theatre of the Mind, Old School

August 20, 2012 by dave


Here in the hallowed halls of Voice Over Nation, we are connoisseurs of what we like to call "Theatre of the Mind." That is, audio productions that paint a picture using only skilled voices, judicious use of music and a rich tapestry of sound effects.

This style thrived back in the olden days, when comedy albums featured scripted and produced audio skits. It migrated from the turntable to the radio wave in the late 50s, and was responsible for some of the more memorable radio commercials of the 60s, 70s and 80s.

Ironically, the style has languished in recent times. As the economy has soured and ad budgets have been slashed, advertisers have grown timid about doing "creative" ads. This is ironic since studies have proven time and again that creative, clever, high-involvement radio sells more widgets than simple straight-read commercials.

Well, what goes around will eventually come around. We look forward to the next Golden Age of Theatre of the Mind. Meanwhile, David and I want to highlight some of our favorite past practitioners of the form. Just as art students copy VanGoghs and DaVincis, emulating the masters of voice over can be excellent practice for an emerging voice artist like you.

So let's start with a classic commercial from the man who many credit with inventing the sixty-second radio comedy, Stan Freberg (pictured above).

Watch for more to come in the blogs ahead.

Find your voice!


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