Dialogue vs Monologue Mush

Dialogue vs Monologue Mush

Posted by John in Articles

– Combine two or more good Voice Actors

– one professional studio in person


– one professional studio with phone patch (at home)

– One Script with two or more actors

– One Director

– Mix in a few clients to help direct


This is one recipe that requires the right equipment, location and skills.  When you have the privilege to work with another actor on a project it can really help your performance or on the rare occasion, can really test your listening and acting skills.  If you understand how to read a monologue type script (when there is only one person in the script) and truly read it as if you are speaking to someone, then when you have dialogue spots (where there is more than one person talking in the script) it’s even easier to act in the scene instead of sounding like you are reading.  However it really does depend on the skill level of all performers you are working with and how good the script was written or how clever the spot is.

The true key to master this recipe is to know how to listen and react and feed the other performers in the copy.  If you have the luxury of performing with the other actor in the same studio or via phone patch/ISDN/Source Connect this helps a great deal with creating a realistic scene, but many times the performer (especially the at home talent) is performing by themselves and then the two performances are mixed.  If you’re performing after another performer has done their lines, then you will usually have the privilege to listen to their performance to have a good idea of what you are reacting to.  If they are not playing it for you, I highly recommend you request to hear it.  Or have it sent to you prior to your session so you can work on a good scene.


Good actors can work off of any kind of performer, so you have to be prepared to make a scene work, even when it’s not.  The key however to a great dialogue scene is in building the relationship with the characters involved in the copy.  There are many successful commercials that have created interesting relationships that make you want to hear more.  That’s the key to great dialogue, but not all clients are great and creating the right dialogue to make it that way, so our job as performers are to once again be the puppet on the string, and make the copy work.


One thing I try desperately to do when I’m working on dialogue spots is to communicate with the talent prior to the recording.  I try and get a take on what our relationship is in the scene, how long we’ve been in that relationship, where we are in the scene and get a feel for how we gel as people, so we can create interesting dynamics that add to what the client didn’t even know to expect.  This is a great time for us to get creative and add our own two cents, after we’ve given the client what they want.  I love doing dialogue.  I find it the most successful form of advertising really.  People like variety and relationships.


There is much more to learn about dialogue, but this is enough to get your head thinking in the right direction and offer the client even more than they thought they could get.


Until next time everyone

All my best
VO Chef Deb

25 Apr 2014 No Comments

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