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  • ABC- three reads in a row, in some variation, in the same take.
  • ADR – Automated Dialog Replacement. Confusingly, not automated – or automatic- at all.  The process of re-recording dialog to replace production audio.
  • Alts – Alternate lines in a script, to possibly be used in the final cutdown.
  • Announcer – The reader in a script that isn’t a ‘character’.
  • Avail – Checking an actor’s availability to POTENTIALLY book a job. NOT a booking.
  • Booking- A confirmed job. As an actor, you are told you have a booking.
  • Booth – The soundproofed room that the actor performs in.
  • Button – An ad-libbed improve an actor inserts at the end of a script
  • Buy-out – A flat fee, including both session and usage. No residuals.
  • Call time – Time scheduled
  • Call-back – A curated audition- the actor has been chosen by the client to re-audtion. Usually a small group received a callback, or sometimes only one or two people.
  • Cans – Headphones
  • Cold Read – Reading a just-received script with no time to prep.
  • Conflict – Typically only seen in union gigs, a conflict references working companies in the same industry, i.e. healthcare, QSRs (quick service restaurants) etc. A conflict means you cannot book if you have a spot currently running in that field.
  • Control Room – The space adjacent to the booth which holds all of the computer equipment, as well as your engineer, and sometimes a director or producer.
  • Copy – the Script
  • Cue – Signal to begin
  • Demo – This can be two things. The first- a voice actor’s reel- usually about a minute in length, and a collection of spots showcasing the actor’s range. There are different types of demos- commercial, animation, narration, etc. The second is essentially a directed audition, specific to a particular client, and used to help them decide to move forward with a full spot.  Sometimes a demo can be used as the final, in which case additional fees would apply.
  • Dialogue – A script involving a conversation between two characters.
  • Gobos – movable sections of soundproofing or reflective material in the booth.
  • Group Read – When multiple actors read live with each other.
  • Hold- Putting an actor on hold for a potential booking. Usually after an avail, before a booking.
  • Improv – on the spot and unscripted speech
  • In-house – Producing the entirety of a spot using producer’s facilities
  • ISDN- Integrated Services Digital Network. Transmitting audio data down a phone line using digital transmission.
  • Level- Setting the volume. “Let’s get a level’ is to have an actor read at his or her planned volume.
  • Line read – When someone other than the talent reads the copy, to explain how they would like it to be said.
  • Mic – Microphone
  • Mouth Noise – noise, such a clicks, heard in the recording from a dry or excessively wet mouth.
  • Non-Union – not affiliated with SAG/AFTRA
  • Pace – the speed copy is read.
  • Patch – a digital connection between phone and recording studio, usually called a phone patch.
  • Pick-Up – Two things. During a session, a pick up is re-recording a smaller section of the script for any reason- technical issue, mispronunciation, or wanting a different read. A pick-up can also refer to a session at a later date, referencing the original session, in which a line or two was changed in the final copy and needs to be re-recorded.  Thus, full session fees would not apply, and a lower rate would go into effect.
  • Playback – playing back the recording.
  • Post – post production- the process of editing, EQ-ing, and mastering audio.
  • Promo – in TV and radio, promotional spots are promoting upcoming programming.
  • PSA – Public Service Announcement. i.e. Anti-Smoking
  • Rate – what a gig will pay/what an actor will charge.
  • Run-through – an unrecorded rehearsal
  • Safety- a read done ‘just for safety’ in case there was a technical issue with the audio just recorded.
  • Session – The actual job. A talent is paid to read copy in a session.
  • SFX – sound effects
  • Sibilance- excessive ‘s’ sound, very high pitched and sometimes reminiscent of a whistle. While sibilance can be worked on by the actor themselves, it can also be controlled using a de-esser.
  • Slate – When an actor announces their name, and sometimes character name, before their read. Typically seen only for auditions and callbacks. Also when the engineer calls out the take number while recording.
  • Spot – a Commercial
  • Tag – Typically the end of a commercial, in which the product name or brand is announced, and usually the tagline- the brand’s signature. I.e ‘Every Kiss begins with Kay’
  • Take- The recording itself. Takes are usually numbered consecutively.
  • Talent- Voice over actor
  • Talkback – The mic the engineer, producer, and/or director use to communicate with the talent in the booth.
  • Time – The length of a spot- in radio, typically :15, :30, :60, in TV usually :30 or :60.
  • Tone – The vocal quality of the read.
  • Union – SAG/AFTRA – The union for actors and performers.
  • VO – voice over
  • Wild line – A single line from the copy read separately from the rest of the script, usually several times.