In the study of Meditation, we are taught to be in the “pause”. Simply, this means to allow for space between thoughts.
In voice-overs, equally important is the pause, also between thoughts, phrases, or sentences.
Working with thousands of scripts over the years, I am always refining the pause, perfecting the timing. It feels intuitive, something you just know. But whether innate or learned, the rhythm of a script is indeed musical. As each script hums along, slow and thoughtful or quick and high energy, the pauses are of utmost importance in bringing it to life, at times making it sound conversational, but most of all, making it sound natural no matter the subject matter.
Even if the words are pronounced correctly, articulately, and with feeling, I will re-record a script if the timing of the pauses doesn’t feel right. Each script has a rhythm, and when the pause is too short, too long, or missing, it sounds off to me. At times, I need to edit out breaths and pauses, in order to fit in all the words required. However, most of the time, I can allow the script to breathe, even just a little, giving it a life of its own.
Perhaps that is what is meant by being in the “pause” … allowing ourselves pause, to truly bring ourselves to life.