The Guy in the Booth
Saturday, February 27, 2010Watch out, I’m going to gush! I’m doing a little job for Harper Collins Publishing, recording author Thomas Cobb reading his novel, Crazy Heart. Yeah, that Crazy Heart. The one that was adapted for a movie in which Jeff Bridges gives a performance that may very well win him the Best Actor Oscar. And here’s the best part; Cobb’s a nice guy and he can READ. It’s like watching a movie to hear him, and, believe me, that’s not always the case. I’ve recorded other authors reading their works (no names) and the results could be painful. The producer from Harper is Michael Conroy, also nice and a real pro.
I guess you can get from my site that I love the spoken word. It’s why I got into the business. And the spoken word presumes a speaker, i.e., the talent. The good ones are my heroes. They can take even mediocre copy and turn it into something fresh and surprising. How? I’ve been working with talent a long time and I’m still not sure. I think the great ones go beyond the explicit meaning of the words to the heart of the message and have trained their voices to make that heart beat. It takes a special kind of intelligence and a musician’s ear.
Sometimes I’m called upon to direct talent. I prefer to give as little direction as possible. If you have to tell someone which words to emphasize or that it’s important to give the client’s name its due, the cause is not necessarily lost, but it’s on life support. Good talent gets it and just nails it in a few takes. And when that happens, we feel a rush of endorphins that’s like a runner’s high for the sedentary.
So here’s to Tom Cobb and all the guys in the booth. Somewhat in the words of Randy Newman, “They give me reason to live.”
posted by Martin Gleitsman
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