PSA Pie – Dishing it out to the public

PSA Pie – Dishing it out to the public

Posted by John in Articles

– Lay out one home studio

– Fill it with good quality equipment

– 1 or more talent with empathy and subtly

– client who wants to touch heart strings

– One Public Service Announcement

And sprinkle it with realism and connection


For those that aren’t familiar with the term, PSA’s are not just the sad commercials you hear on the air.  Usually the more heart felt commercials come to mind of course, but there are many different types of PSA’s.  Many of them are emotional and work at tearing at your heartstrings, but for the actor, we need to know how to take the emotional and leave it with hope and solution.  Sometimes playing opposite the sad part of the commercial can also make a very successful recipe.

The client truly wants you to connect to the viewer/listener’s emotionally.  This takes a performer who knows how to completely connect and care about the script just as much as the client would.


If you are working with a script that is sad, playing on the sadness isn’t always the best choice.  Sometimes we give a nervous or distant chuckle when we are sad or shocked.  So playing opposite to the emotion can be very successful too.
This is also where we can play with the intimacy of the microphone.  If you know and understand Microphone Placement, then this is a good time to test how well you can work with your microphone (if you have a studio mic).


Keep in mind many listeners are listening with headphones, so you’re speaking right into their ear.  Speak up close to the microphone (which forces you to speak more intimately) and see the mic as a human ear, care as you speak, mean what you say, show that you’ve experienced it in some way or another and feel the scene.  This is the best way to bring this kind of recipe to it’s fullest potential.


There is much more to learn on this topic, so if you’d like to learn more about how to create different personality reads to suit different client needs, don’t hesitate to contact me so I can help you find your perfect recipe.


Until next time

All my best
VO Chef Deb

13 Jan 2015 No Comments


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