22 Reasons for Actors being Caught by the ‘Screen Mumbles’…

Because they are talking to themselves…
Because they are on learned lines which is highly unnatural…
Because they are embarrassed by the script…
Because the new lines came under the hotel bedroom door at 3am
Because THEY came in the hotel bedroom door at 3am…
Because it’s a night shoot – the night after a day shoot – or vice versa…
Because they don’t know WHY they are saying the words…
Because they are in ADR and ARE talking to themselves…
Because we are an ageing population and our hearing is going…
Because they never trained …
Because they never did theatre and found a ‘supported’ voice…
Because they are not on a naturally supported voice because it is not life…and there’s no audience…
Because they are terrified…
Because flat screen TV has shit sound…
Because someone put foley sound and music tracks all over their voices…
Because the music was turned off for the take and they had no ‘soundscape’ in their heads so volume dropped…
Because there IS no rehearsal…

Because their lungs are full of the smoke on set and they don’t want to breathe deeply…
Because the boom operator told them not to yell (unusual)…

Because it is an awful style they’ve adopted that makes them feel real (from the inside)…
Because they are not really communicating any needs to anyone…
Because people keep telling them ‘less is more’ – HOW CAN IT BE LESS THAN LIFE?

In screen there is no audience – so – you don’t need levels to reach beyond the participants of the scene. But you do need to be reaching them – to get or find out what you want or to offer them something. Sometimes directors guide actors to do ‘less’ but they may not be talking about voice levels. George Cukor’s famous advice to Jack Lemmon was about doing less ‘acting’…

That’s all for now kind folks…

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About Mel Churcher

I am an acting coach, voice coach, actor and director.