Tag Archives: VO

Stars in your eyes

For anyone hoping to see pictures of Leslie Crowther, Matthew Kelly or Cat Deeley – I’m sorry to have disappointed you!

No this isn’t about people pretending to be Dolly Parton, Elvis or Cliff Richard (the most impersonated stars on that program which this blog isn’t about).

It is about my view and experience of the star rating systems on some pay to play voiceover sites.

Just to be clear from the outset, this is my opinion and my experience, based on my time with Voice123. Their operation is generally good, and I have got some great work from Voice123. I would recommend them as an option for anyone starting out.

However, I have two pieces of advice when it comes to what you should do with the results you sometimes get on an audition when they rank you with 1/2/3/4 stars:

  1. Ignore it
  2. Ignore it

I feel it’s good advice, I named it twice!

Why ignore it?

Because as a new voice talent starting out it will NOT HELP YOU ONE BIT!

In fact, it could damage your career if you change your approach based on the stars.

The thing is this: the voice seekers aren’t responsible for giving you feedback about the audition. The star system is only (sometimes) used by them to rank how close the audition comes to whatever criteria they are setting for the project.

You could have delivered a fabulous audition, clean, clear excellent in quality. But you get one star because the sound they have in their ‘head’ is completely different to you.

Alternatively you may have delivered a poor audition. But because your voice is the same as what they are looking for they may give you three or even four stars. This is because as a starting point it’s closer than many of the other auditions.

None of these things mean you’ll get the job! Nor are they a reflection of how good the audition was. After all what does ‘good’ mean anyway?

If you need feedback- the ONLY way to get honest and balanced feedback is to have your auditions reviewed by a proper voice coach.

Personally I enjoy working with Gary Terzza, he’s cool.

But of course there are many coaches out there. Choose one by recommendation though, not by putting your finger in the ‘Yellow Pages’ under ‘V’. This is for two reasons:

  1. You would need the Delorian/Tardis to go back in time to when the yellow pages was a relevant tool for finding a service provider
  2. An experienced coach who someone has recommended is going to give you the real support you need during the early days.

For example, with the star system if you’re getting lots of 1’s, there’s the possibility you’re auditioning for lots of projects which don’t match your sound. But you’ll never know why – so you’re still in the dark really.

If you start blindly changing things to increase the number of stars you get on an audition, you could end up removing things which ADD to the quality of your work.

In my experience – send the audition, and FORGET IT – unless they come back to you to say “we’d like to work with you”.

While you’re waiting practice practice practice. And while you’re resting, switch on a bit of UKGOLD* and watch another rendition of ‘Islands In The Stream’!!!

Harry Hill’s hosting the new series of “Stars In Their Eyes” next year – now that’s gonna get four stars from me!

Have a great day!

Steve

* Other daytime TV Channels are available

 

 

Scream if you wanna go faster???

I was reading an article today from Voiceover Herald with interest. (The link to it is at the end of this blog if you’d like to see it).

It was an interesting article, and in the main advocated choosing a professional voiceover person in order to create realistic characters for video games

However, I was sad to see that the section on the ‘freelance’ sites (I think we know which ones) refers only to potential quality issues. This isn’t the main issue – it is that artists are dropping their rates to exist on such sites at all.

This may appear to be in the interests of the client short term – but as it directly competes with those who charge a fair price for their work, it’s surely going to impact the reputation of the industry as a whole in the longer term. In my view clients with a tight budget will end up spending even less of it on the audio in favour of spending more on the imagery/video or other elements of their project.

“It becomes very difficult to revise your pricing once you’re stuck in it”

Of course the article needed to be balanced in its assessment of the options available – we can’t just ignore what’s going on. The challenge though is that people new to the industry could read it as advocating that it’s right to charge nothing or virtually nothing in favour of getting a testimonial. If you’ve been around even a little while, you know that’s not going to help in the longer term, in fact it becomes very difficult to revise your pricing once you’re stuck in it.

A difficult point to address agreed. I’m don’t think I’m a fan of an unofficial ‘union’ or membership/logo approach as I always think these things never get off the ground in the way it’s originally intended – however I could be convinced otherwise! 

I am confident of my personal long term success by sticking to fair rates and providing quality work – however will this become an ‘outdated’ approach if there is a shift in the industry? To be clear, I don’t worry about poor quality work being offered at a low price; I don’t see that as a competition or risk. Also, this is not the view of a ‘Luddite’ – I love technology and enjoy an ever-evolving world and the challenges we are presented with.

I think I know where most of my colleagues stand on the pricing side of things – I’m keen to find out what you think? Are you concerned – do you think it will just ‘fizzle out’ ?

I guess I’m keen to see if there’s a general sentiment that it’s appropriate to challenge how these sites are impacting things, is peer-pressure appropriate and will it be enough?

You can reply directly on this blog if you’d like to in the ‘leave a reply’ section at the top or using the contact form below.

I’d be really interested to hear your views!

Thank you for reading, and have a GREAT day

Steve

http://www.voiceoverherald.com/hire-hire-professional-voice-actors-video-games/

 

The day Walter White made an appearance in my VO booth

I am extremely lucky to have my recording studio in the countryside which brings with it many benefits, not least of which – it’s quiet.

Mainly.

Apart from the odd sheep baaa’ing, or a car passing, I can usually get my recordings done with the minimum of fuss.

However, there’s a fly in the ointment, today. Well, to be specific, in my booth.

Despite their miniature size flies are not only annoying and quite unpleasant, but in an environment where the noise floor is low (about -66 db) their ‘high pitched buzzing’ really causes a problem.

Now, I won’t kill anything – I have strong views on that, unless the thing is going to injure me or my kids, or sometimes if it’s going to steal my food.

But, I work really hard to ensure my recordings are as clean as possible – perhaps a bit too obsessively, but I believe it’s in the clients’ interest.

For any of you not familiar with Breaking Bad, there’s an episode where a fly gets into Walter’s lab – and he ends up spending all day trying to eliminate the ‘contamination’. The irony being, he spends so long on attempting to swat the fly, that he ends up not doing any work.

Here’s a sample of his tribulation…

It was one of my favourite episodes.

Sometimes, I’m a little more ‘Samuel Jackson’  about it…

Substitute the words ‘flies’ and ‘booth’ for ‘snakes’ and ‘plane’ in this clip and you get the picture…

Of course, that was the TV edit, where they substituted a few choice words themselves in post – well we can’t have actual cursing on my website now can we?

Not wanting to kill it, and thinking swearing at it probably wasn’t gonna help, I decided to consider other options.

I did some research and it appears that a housefuly will beat its wings 200 times a second – which supposedly means it generates a buzz at 200 Hz:

http://hypertextbook.com/facts/2000/NancyLee.shtml

So, surely all I have to do is EQ down the 200Hz frequency and Bob’s your uncle?

HA!

Have a look at the actual frequency range it generates as it buzzes past the mic, see and hear for yourself…

WOW!

I achieved this by trapping the little feller in a glass, turning the gain right up, and then releasing it in the direction of the mic – the first sound is me removing the card from the glass, the second is his launch and subsequent flight. Obviously the sound is amplified, so you can see the waveform – but it’s the RANGE which surprised me.

Clearly, eliminating sound across almost the entire spectrum was gonna have a slight effect on the actual recording.

Now the other things which share our house are spiders, and I don’t mind spiders. We share a common goal, given that their primary focus is to remove the very problem I am faced with.

However, we house inefficient arachnids. We’ve got 5 in the bedroom alone – 5 poor quality, ineffective and generally lazy spiders.

So this morning, I decided to rally the eight leggedy team and have a pep talk:

“Good morning, so how was your evening yesterday?”

<silence>

“Ok – it’s gonna be like then is it? Well today Team-S we’re gonna set some targets, I am going to performance manage you – and if you don’t deliver against your quota then it’s CURTAINS for you – and NO that does not refer to a new place for you to hide!”

Sadly, they didn’t respond very positively:

  • Boris and Martin shambled off to a corner, muttering
  • Simba stared at me blankly
  • Dennis had dark glasses on, so I couldn’t even tell if he was awake to be honest
  • And I am sure I spotted Patrick flicking the ‘V’s

There was nothing for it, I just had to catch the fly in the glass again, and let him out of the room. It only took about an hour, and in the meantime there was a gang of ’em poised on the plum tree outside of the window – waiting for their opportunity to take his place.

The second part of this blog was going to be on the subject of time management and setting priorities, but the day is gone now so that will have to wait.

Have a great day

Steve

NB: No flies were harmed in the making of this blog. Some spiders were slightly humiliated – but that’s down to their own shoddy workmanship.

 

 

 

With a little help from my friends…

A first!

What follows is a collaborative blog produced by a bunch us VO artists explaining how we’re using technology to drive the human connection in what can be an isolated business…

With a Little Help from Our Friends

How Monthly Meetings on Google Hangouts are enriching the VO journeys of 6 voice-over artists

By Carrie Afrin, Debby Barnes, Mike Broderick, Mel Elliott, Steve O’Neill, and Guy Slocombe

Beginning in April this year, a group of four of us (Debby, Mel, Mike, and Steve) started meeting once a month on Google Hangouts to talk about all things voice-over, share our experiences, and offer each other support, encouragement, and advice.

The experience has been tremendous – one we’d recommend without hesitation to voice-over artists and voice actors everywhere.

We thought we’d share with you how we started our group, how it works, why it works, and what it means to each of us.

How it began

The four of us had a shared connection:  We’d all taken part separately in Gary Terzza’s VO Masterclass, and subsequently met each other through Google+ and Twitter, although to this day we’ve never met in person.

We got along well and found ourselves sharing tips and advice on social media. Mel had experimented with Google Hangouts with a couple of us to test it for use with a client, and then Mike suggested meeting regularly in a Google hangout, as he’d had a good experience taking part in meetings of the VAU Mic Check.

After a flurry of emails and diary checking we settled on a set date and time to meet once a month, with Steve taking on the duties of sending out the meeting invites on Google+.  (Thank you Steve!)

How it Works

We meet on the last Friday of each month at 11a.m., and the meetings run from 60-90 minutes. Because we’re all based in the UK and in the same time zone, it made it easier for us to find a time when we could all meet.

(If you’re inspired to use Hangouts for your meetings, one thing to consider when using Google+ to send invitations is that it seems to apply different time zones to different accounts, even if you select the same time zone (such as GMT) for the meeting. This is something we learned when our first Google+ invite requested we meet at 4am!)

There is no set agenda or formal structure, although we generally start each chat with an overview of how we’ve each done over the month.

From there the discussions can flow across a wide variety of topics from pre-screening Debby’s brand new commercial demo (which is superb), to hearing about booked jobs or interesting auditions over the past month, to learning how Steve’s sharp, new marketing videos are being received by his local business community, to the tricky issues of dealing with awkward foreign translations, or setting voice-over rates.

All discussions take place in a safe, supportive environment, and everyone has time to speak and ask questions.

It’s worked so well that we’ve even agreed to cross-refer each other to potential clients when our individual voices and skill sets don’t suit a given project.

Why it Works

To a person we’re all positive, supportive, and helpful people who ensure that the group remains an open, non-competitive forum. This is critical to the group’s success.

We take a professional approach to voice-over and are dedicated to mastering the craft (none of us would touch Fivver with the proverbial barge pole).  We’re generally new to the industry (with our individual experience ranging from 6 months to three years), and most of us have come into voice-over after a career change – with the majority having worked in corporate or business – support positions.

Our group also has gender balance (with three females and three males), decent geographic coverage across the UK (the Southeast, Midlands, and North of England, as well as Scotland), a bit of international flair (with 4 Britons and 2 UK-based Americans), and varied voice styles and unique selling points.

What started as the VO Fantastic Four (a tongue-in cheek effort to “Marvel-ise” our little group) has recently grown to the VO Super Six, with the addition of Guy Slocombe who joined us for the first time in August, and Carrie Afrin who will join us in September.

We’ve decided to cap the group at 6, as we feel this would give us the maximum amount of wide-ranging input and advice, while allowing each of us enough time to speak and ask questions.

What it means to us

Carrie Afrin (http://www.carriesvoice.co.uk/) – Female Scottish Voice-over Artist (Scottish Highlands, Scotland)

“I am very new to the group, but I am loving it already!  Everyone has been so supportive of each other, and it is great to have the guys on hand for some feedback on a voice file or a marketing idea.

I like the idea of sharing our marketing efforts and ideas. Sometimes when you try something different in your campaign it can take up quite a bit of time and effort. I’m working on quite a big marketing project at the moment, and I’ve discussed it with the team. This way I can test it out, and if it is successful then maybe one of the others could do it for their campaign. On the other side, if it turns out to be unsuccessful then it is only my time that is wasted rather than a few of us, and the rest of the group know not to bother with that particular activity.

As a group we can test out a lot more marketing strategies than we could individually. The way I see it, increased marketing can only make our individual businesses stronger.”

Debby Barnes (http://www.debbybarnes.com/) – Female American Voice-over Artist (Oxfordshire, England)

What I’ve experienced in this particular posse can never be underestimated.  Sharing lives, stories, experiences, values, and views has been profitable, uplifting and comforting as well.

The individuals involved are marked with the same kind of open, honest, affable and gracious qualities that the Voice-over Community as a whole is marked with.

And because I haven’t enjoyed the luxury of getting to one of the coveted VO conferences yet (…though I’m panting for the day I can!), this Google+ circle has been such a boon.

Voice-over professionals all over the globe share an isolated, home-studio/ “cave-dwelling” lifestyle, so this is a welcome hangout. After all, it gets lonely inside our “caves”.

Mike Broderick (http://www.mikebroderickvoiceover.com/) – Male American Voice-over Artist (Essex, England)                                                   

“For starters, all the members of our group seem to be very good and nice people, and I’m so glad to be getting to know them.

They are incredibly generous, helpful, and supportive. Each has gone out of their way to help me, and I’m very appreciative.

Mel has pointed me in the direction of some sizeable auditions (which ultimately connected me to the Voice Realm and auditions through Marc Cashman) and also recommended me and Steve to a video producer.  Steve has shared his tips for creating great voice-over marketing videos.  Debby has informed me of an excellent demo producer (Anthony Reese) to consider when I need a new demo, and Guy has offered to master music into some of my audio files.

In addition, my compatriot Debby and I have discussed the special challenges and opportunities associated with being American voice-over artists based in the UK.

Every month I’m inspired to hear how the other members of our group are booking jobs and chasing their VO dreams with gusto, and I’m very happy to be a part of their journeys.”

Mel Elliott (http://www.melsbritishvoice.co.uk/) – Female English Voice-over Artist (Leicester, England)

“A request from a client to direct a session using Google Hangouts resulted in my first ‘face to face’ meeting with Steve & Mike.

Having only hooked up on Google+ via the Mighty Mr Gary Terzza, it was a bit of a punt to be honest to ask them to test it out with me before I met with my client for real.

I was astonished how readily they both came to my rescue – fully kitted out Superman style with their pants outside their trousers!  Well, they may well have been for all I could see!  Up until then, other than Gary’s support, I’d pretty much followed the solitary VO journey using the endless streams of information online … and I can tell you I’ve never looked back.

With the infectious enthusiasm of Debby to add to the mix, our first Google Hangout was a breath of fresh air for me – an excited sharing of experiences, pearls of wisdom, and a realisation that we have something special here!

With Guy and Carrie on board now, too, we’re a force to be reckoned with!  The breadth of background, knowledge, styles and skills coupled with a willingness to share it with each other is, without a doubt, a recipe for continued success and growing friendships for us all!  And I for one am delighted to be part of it!”

Steve O’Neill (http://www.steveoneillvoice.com/) – Male English Voice-over Artist (Hampshire, England)

“When I first set out in voiceover, I found the VO community to be the most supportive, accessible, considered, and balanced group of people I have EVER worked with. Whilst we all want success, it does not come at the expense of other VO artists – a truly refreshing balance.

Having the benefit of being able to video conference with like-minded VO people, the monthly hangout is invaluable. It lets me catch up, have a laugh, learn and find out how other people solve the challenges I’ve been faced with, without fear of criticism or ridicule. I find myself being totally honest (a little too much sometimes!)

It also enables me to test my ideas with a group of people who can offer a balanced, considered and – most importantly – real world viewpoint.

At first we had considered various lengths of time, but monthly seems to work, and they don’t half come around quickly!

I love being able to share, critique, giggle and generally keep in touch with reality each month.

  • Debby is our voice of experience, and one of the kindest people I know.
  • Mike offers a truly rounded viewpoint, and loves the ‘tech’ side of what we do.
  • Mel perhaps has the most similar background to me, and defines the word ‘professional’ – she keeps me in order too!
  • Guy brings a wider spectrum of experience, and has some fab tips!
  • Carrie is a tornado of ideas, enthusiasm and energy – can’t wait for our next session and for her to join us.

I would thoroughly recommend meeting up with your own group of peers/colleagues/friends using Google Hangouts, particularly if you’re looking for something informal and straightforward.

I’m looking forward to the next session, gang!”

Guy Slocombe (http://www.guyslocombevoiceover.com/) – Male English Voice-over Artist (North Yorkshire, England)

“After 20 years working in the corporate sector, I decided to change my life and follow my dream of becoming a professional VO artist and actor.

I hooked up with Gary Terzza and then went for it (and continue to do so) at 100mph, with the result of now having clients in the USA, UK, Europe, and India in addition to being on Spotlight.

It was through a conversation I had about ipDTL (Yes, I know, but at least it’s not about the weather) that led me to Mike Broderick’s door.  We were able to help each other out and get a connection via ipDTL in advance of any clients wanting to use this medium.

To me that sums up the ethos of the members of the VO community I have met so far.  We are all in the same boat, locked away in our acoustic-tiled cell with optional bass traps (stop it!) loving what we do, wanting it to be the best and of the highest quality.

Through Mike I have joined the group, and it has been a real pleasure to spend time with fellow VO artists.  We can share our knowledge and experience to help each other, and you know what…we are all unique and bring our own skills to the table.

If someone asks me now whether I can recommend a genuine American voice…Yes I can, y’all!”

For more information about our Google Hangouts group, or if we can assist you with your voice-over project needs, please contact: Carrie, Debby, Guy, Mel, Mike, or Steve via our websites.  We’re always happy to help!

 

 

 

This much I know… 10 things I learned from getting into voiceover

There are people in this business 30 years or more – who have forgotten more than you or I will ever learn.

Even after a few months, you quickly realise that the learning curve is steep.

As a relative newcomer to voiceover, I discovered quickly that the people in this world are the friendliest, helpful, accommodating and kindest bunch of characters I have ever come across.

In my very early days, it became clear that there is a wealth of experience and knowledge out there which is massively helpful when you’re starting out. Now In an effort to give something back, I thought I’d jot down the things I learned VERY quickly about VO – in order to help people aiming to get into this world understand what can happen early doors.

If someone benefits from this list, then perhaps I’ve given a small leg-up to people considering this path. It’s MY experience, yours may be different – but we’re all different so embrace that.

1) It’s not easy

You need time, dedication and tenacity to learn how to do things the right way. Liken it to being a mechanic – you might be able to do a crash course in car repair in a week, but in order to make a success you still have to do your apprenticeship, turn out good quality work, build a customer base, open your business and grow it – and that takes time. If you want an overnight success, don’t bother reading the rest of this.

2) Prepare for rejection

Clients will make decisions about whether you are right for their project or not based entirely on subjective factors. Accept it, and enjoy it. It’s part of the game

3) Get the right kit

Don’t think you can compete with the thousands of others out there by recording into your smart phone nestled in an egg-box, you need to invest in professional equipment. There is lots of useful resource to help you choose, but work hard to find what’s right for you. Equally, don’t overspend in the early days – it’s not a wise investment. Hone your VO skills first in order to learn what YOU need from your gear. £300 will get you started, but do your research and spend it well.

4) Get a coach

If you only take ONE thing on board from what I learned, get a coach who KNOWS their stuff. They can guide you through the minefield of anecdotes and advice. Mine is Gary Terzza and he is FAB.

5) Practice

Did I mention that It won’t happen overnight? It will happen if you apply yourself and work on it every day.

6) Try everything

I surprised myself by getting work on projects outside of my comfort zone. You’re learning a new craft, so you need to learn where your boundaries are too. That means getting things wrong, but mistakes are VITAL because you learn from them.

7) Don’t undersell yourself

If you’re going to spend just 2 hours a day practicing and auditioning, that’s 56 hours a month honing your craft. If you spent 7 working days a month learning to be a mechanic, would you then carry out a full service on someone’s car for 5 dollars/pounds/Euro? Resist the temptation to do cheap work early on, if you want to do something for free – try a charity

8) The wall

There will come a point when you start questioning whether this could deliver a return, if you have to adjust something do it – but if you want success you MUST persist. This ‘wall’ may come at 2 weeks, 6 months, or longer – when it does remind yourself why you set out and don’t let that evaporate.

9) Don’t cut yourself off from the real world

A significant amount of work is to be had online through so called pay to play agencies etc. That’s VO life, but it’s not the whole picture. You need to get out there in your local market and tell people what you can do for them. Use contacts, local businesses – anyone who can help you find out where there’s work, and respect these contacts, you never know when they may have something helpful.

10) Enjoy it

This is a remarkable world, and potentially a life-changer if you can succeed. Don’t lose sight of how interesting and enjoyable it is, even in the tough times. Every recording you make is unique, and could never be replicated by someone else. Cherish what’s unique about you.

11) Who said there have to be 10?

The voiceover world is (as my coach calls it) a contrarian lifestyle. That means working weekends, evenings, quickly, being flexible, doing what’s necessary. But the rewards in terms of satisfaction when that first client chooses YOUR voice over everyone else’s are fantastic, and worth it.

 

If these things are useful to you, then I’ve helped. ENJOY what you are setting out on, you’re about to join the most remarkable group of people I have experienced working with. Use common sense, and a filter when considering the body of advice (including mine!) and you can find your way.

If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. But people in this world have heart and WILL be happy to help you. For more content which I found useful, have a look at the following resource:

Gary Terzza’s VO Masterclass   

The voiceover coach (AUS)

Derek Chappell – the voiceover blog

Marc Scott

George Whittam

Have a GREAT day!

Steve

 

 

Learning to love your mic

About five years ago, I made my first ever ‘professional’ voiceover recording.

It was for a training video and the producer gave me a quick lesson in acoustics; we made an ‘igloo’ out of mattresses and pillows in a canteen – and then we got to recording. When you don’t know what you don’t know, you can have a ‘bash’ at pretty much anything and not worry about the outcome. Indeed at the time I was pretty happy (as was the producer).

But then, a few years later, I started learning about voiceover myself and, before long, one of the elements of the process became an elephant in the booth.

The mic was making me sound terrible.

It was highlighting horrible noises, embellishing errors, amplifying imperfections, and generally making me sound terrible. Flipping microphone. I would step in front of it – and we’d eyeball each other. She would say to me, “Go on – try and sound good, and I’ll mess it up for you”. And she was succeeding. Every session was a battle, every recording a fight.

But then – I went back and listened to those early recordings, and I realised something:

The mic didn’t make me sound terrible – it was doing exactly what I had invested in it to do. It was my ears – they had become educated. I was hearing things I never heard before. I was becoming frustrated at an apparent lack of quality – when actually it was because I was now aware of it.

Some of those things would get better with practice, and they did – and some of them were just ‘my sound’.

If you know me – you’ll know that one of my favourite phrases is:

grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

I thought about this phrase, and considered what I wanted to change.

And then something happened – I learned to love my mic.

Not an ‘obsessed with the technology’ kind of love. But I learned that the mic was the conduit, the link, the solution – not the problem. The mic was my servant, it would do whatever I asked of it – and reproduce faithfully exactly what it heard.

And our relationship changed. It wasn’t the thing highlighting the faults – it was the thing helping me to channel what the client or director wanted. Yeh, sure, some imperfection was going to go along for the ride too – but it was far outweighed by what was good.

The mic was HELPING me to sound good, not the other way round. And like when you learn anything – every visit to the booth meant I was getting better. Suddenly, the mic wasn’t something to be afraid of – it was my partner.

I firmly believe that as soon as that switch was flicked – it was all change.

So when I go into the booth now – I do it with a little buddy, who is on my side, who wants to help me sound the best I can, and who faithfully ensures I do.

Love your mic – and it’ll love you back.

Have a GREAT day.

Steve

 

Help – who stole my ‘off’ switch?

I can’t watch TV, films, or listen to the radio any more.

Ok – well it’s not so much I can’t do it, it’s just that when I do, I’m often listening to the vocal track and thinking:

“How does that sound?”
“I wonder where they recorded it?”
“How would I have done that?”
“Why does that ’emphasis’ work on that word?”
“Why did they choose that sound effect?”

I suppose it’s great that my mind is ensuring I am learning and reviewing things all the time – to develop my voiceover skills.

BUT – it wears me out, and makes it hard to engage with the piece sometimes, particularly if I spot something perhaps a little off or just plain weird.

Still it could be worse; at the moment I am keeping these thoughts to myself – I am worried about when I take the next step, and begin answering those questions out loud to my partner – MOVIE BORE ALERT!

So this week, I have a question for you – what is your technique for switching off?

How do you ensure that the whirring cogs of your brain don’t get in the way of a bit of R+R when it comes to film, tv and (toughest for me) radio?

Or am I alone in this – and losing my marbles a bit?

Answers on a postcard to:

Steve O’Neill’s Lost His Marbles
SWAP SHOP
TV CENTRE
LONDON
W1A 1AA

Or alternatively any helpful suggestions could be kindly put in the comments section at the top where it says ‘leave a reply’ 

(Any unhelpful suggestions will also be considered – for research purposes of course)

Have a GREAT day

Steve