Sometimes ya just gotta know when to use a pause to its best effect.
Radio/TV/Comedy legend Jack Benny knew that better than anyone. He even let his writers poke fun at it in what turned out to be a classic exchange on his radio program, when confronted by a holdup man played by Mel Blanc.
Jack Benny and Mel Blanc on the Christmas Show. Different Script. Different Pauses.
Mel: Okay, buddy, this is a stick up. Now come on: yer money or yer life!
(LONG PAUSE….AUDIENCE BEGINS CHUCKLING)
Mel: (Yelling) LOOK, BUD! I SAID ‘YER MONEY OR YER LIFE!’
Jack: (Yelling Back) I’M THINKING IT OVER!!!!
Most pauses aren’t that funny. Like the one I finally gave into today. After an insane workload leading up to the end of last calendar year, January has been calm to say the least. And what I have done, I notice doesn’t have the level of sharpness and energy I’d like it to have. Today, with the community iced-in, and even the phones silent, I should have used the pause to finally work on my studio clean-up…or begin tax prep…or get on the phone and start trying to make new contacts.
Instead, I gave in, and spent the most productive hours of my day on the recliner, under a blanket, with sinus medicine, the ever-present diet coke, and one cat sleeping on my legs and another cat sleeping next to my head.
Sometimes a voice talent just needs to know when to be quiet, and use the pause.
…a status which I’m going to return to right now.
— over and out —