In this brief interview, Gavin Hammon discusses commercial work and his upcoming class at Voice One, The Modern Announcer (Class link and information below).
Aaron: How have commercials changed since you first started voicing them?
Gavin: Initially when I started out, probably about 17 or 18 years ago, most of the commercial stuff was totally conversational. It was just subdued, and everybody was cool and normal, and there were no announcers or anything like that, and I think that over just the past especially 5-10 years it's gotten so much broader in terms of what you can bring to something. There's way more character-y reads in commercials. There's sort of really-really conversational, which sounds like real people ––which happens a lot–– and they're weird and kind of off-putting when you hear them sometimes. It seems like it's opened up a whole lot more.
Everything will say that it's conversational, but then you'll see it on air and it'll be an announcer. So it just seems like it's pretty wide open then in terms of how everybody's approaching it. So my hope with the class is just to get people to be in touch with whatever their own strengths are, because we can all kind of bring something to whatever that commercial’s trying to do. They don't know what they want it to sound like, and if they do they’re probably a little too specific.
Aaron: So what piece of advice would you give actors who want to achieve the modern sound with traditional copy?
Gavin: I think it’s just about addressing and sort of honing in on what you do well, knowing what your strengths are and just bringing that –– bringing out your best read for what you're able to do. And if you can do kind of character-y stuff, there's a lot of announcers that can be really character-y, and then there's a lot of announcers that can be really subdued and really pulled back, or amped up –– it's just kind of finding your strengths and exploiting as much as possible.
10am - 5pm PDT
In-Person at Voice One
414 Jackson Street STE 202, San Francisco 94111
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