Why I Almost Went To Court
A month or so ago, I was contacted by a prosecuting attorney in another state. A case was about to go to trial, and one of their witnesses was unavailable to testify but had been interviewed previously. The interview transcript could be submitted as evidence, and the jury would have access to it - however, the state wanted to have the transcript read aloud into the record. Not only would that ensure that the jury would be fully aware of the witness' testimony, but actually hearing the testimony in a human voice, with human inflection, would bring the witness to life and make much more of an impression than silent words printed on a page. Was this a service that I, as a voice actor, could provide?
Tentative arrangements were made. This was a whole new ball game for me - I'm accustomed to rehearsing a script, going into the booth, recording, doing retakes, editing, getting everything absolutely perfect before bouncing it out and sending it to the client. This would be a live read for an audience - talk about voice ACTING! The prosecuting attorney gave me a summary of the case and offered to provide the transcript ahead of time, so I could read through it, make sure I knew correct pronunciations if necessary, and be prepared. I would be in court for one day, possibly two, and I made sure to keep my days before and after clear, in case the courtroom schedule changed.
Fortunately or unfortunately, my services were ultimately not needed. But it showed me that there's a whole area of voice acting that I'd never considered: I can be a witness' voice when the witness can't speak for him/herself. And that has to be one of the most fulfilling reasons to do what I do.