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  • Writer's pictureTom Dheere

Voiceovers And Good Storytelling – The Not Silent Blog 7/31/18

Here’s a lesson in good storytelling…

Over the weekend I went to the screening of the new short film “Killian“, starring one of my favorite actors, Michael Madsen. Here’s the trailer.

It’s a dystopian sci-fi story that explores technology, the corporations that develop them, the privacy issues that result, and how they can adversely affect people’s lives. It takes many of the conversations we’re having about these issues today through a disturbing progression of what the world could be like tomorrow.

I went because I have a small but fun voiceover role as a journalist who is interviewing the creator of InterCell, an implant behind your ear that acts as your cell phone, internet browser, etc.

I went with my Agent 1.22 partner Angelo Panetta (he did an amazing job with the film’s sound) who recommended me for the role. As we were walking from the screening in the East Village of NYC to the after-party, he asked me what the movie was about.  I said, “It’s about family.” He said, “Tell Charlie (writer/director/star of the film) what you told me.” I told Charlie and he said, “Yes! That’s exactly what it’s about.”

His first draft of the script was about family. In later drafts he added the sci-fi aspect to it, but the core remained intact which is why it was such a good film. A lot of $100 million+ films crash & burn at the box office because the makers lose sight of the basic themes that draw people in. They forget what good storytelling is. You’d think they would have people on the payroll to prevent that from happening. Anyway…


Since humans started drawing on cave walls, we have been telling stories. In all good stories the same themes are explored again and again: love, truth, family, etc. These basic emotions and concepts that make us human are what draw  us in. Good films, plays, TV shows, etc. have that. That’s why Hamlet never gets old.

Good voice talents are good storytellers, regardless of the genre. What does a voice talent need to do to be an effective storyteller?

Be the storyteller and not the story. Focus on good storytelling, not on “good” narrating. It’s not about your pretty voice or making yourself sound good, whatever the hell that means.

Understand the story you’re telling. Every voiceover project has a story, whether it’s an epic 10 finished-hour audio book or Uncle Bob’s Used Car Lot. Find the story, find the theme, find the message. What is the story intended to make the listener think or feel?

Be versed in the storytelling genre. Audio book or used car spot, they require the same storytelling skills (seek the truth, determine the audience, etc.), but you need to be adept in that particular genre to be able to effectively tell it. When getting coached in any genre, always remember how the techniques of that genre can be effectively applied to good storytelling.


Tuesday, July 31st until Midnight: register for MAVO 2018 and get $50 off the registration price! Plus, the first 5 who register during that time will WIN a prize on top of the discount! Enter JULYPROMO as the promo code at checkout!! Check out for all event details! We hope to see you on November 9, 10, 11 in Herndon, VA!!!

Thursday, August 2nd @8PM EST: My next Edge Studio Business and Money 201 webinar will be “Rates, Negotiating, and Billing” We’re going to talk about how & why you should build an effect Rate Sheet, how to negotiate rates, and how to invoice your clients. Click here to sign up.

Thursday, August 23rd @8PM EST: My next Edge Studio Marketing 201 webinar will be “4 Words That Will Kill Your Marketing” We’re going to talk about the power of words and how they affect your Systems of Thought as well as your marketing. Click here to sign up.



From my village to yours; this is Tom Dheere, The H is Silent, but I’m Not.

Tom Dheere is a 20+year veteran of the voice over industry who has narrated thousands of projects for hundreds of clients in over a dozen countries. He is also voiceover business consultant known as the Voice Over Strategist and is currently producing the comic book “Agent 1.22”.


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