Wordy Wednesdays

On Wednesdays, we look at artist statements or design philosophy statements and discuss the best vocabulary to describe an artwork or design. Today we look at stage actor Josh Davis, who is currently playing Javert in the North American tour of Les Misérables. He also does voice-over work, so I’ve included some text from that page of his website as well.

Here is the text from his About page, in italics

Currently performing the role of Javert in the North American Tour of Les Miserables. Josh grew up in Columbia, Maryland. He attended the University of Delaware and graduated with a B.S. in Business Marketing. Josh is also an accomplished artist and documents his travel in several different mediums. 

And here’s the text from the voice-over page.

From the first time I walked into the booth I knew I would love doing voice overs. I love breaking down the copy, working with the producer to get the right read and figuring out the right voice tone to use for each piece. Whether it’s for a fun dog food spot, an epic car commercial or a soft intimate moment about gastro-intestinal medication I love it all. 🙂

It isn’t very common for theater actors to have artist statements. Some of them have personal websites, but typically they just have a short bio on their show sites. However, actors do have to give interviews, and if they’ve taken the time to write a good artist statement, they’ll be much more prepared to answer a lot of common interview questions.

As you can see in Davis’s first paragraph, this actor talks about his current show, where he grew up, and where he went to school. He also mentions that he makes other types of art in his free time. This is all good information to include in your bio or artist statement, but I’d like to know a little more.

In the second paragraph, we get a better feel for this artist’s inspiration and process. In my opinion, this is the most interesting part of an artist statement, so I appreciate Davis including it. He describes how and why he does voice-over work, and he adds some humor to make it fun.

As for the vocabulary, he talks first about breaking down the copy, which means looking at the script in small parts to decide what it should sound like. He also talks about getting the right read, which means getting the feeling that the client wants. In the final sentence, he’s kind of making fun of the types of commercials he’s worked on to demonstrate the variety of work he’s done, such as gastro-intestinal medication, which is the medicine you take for a stomachache.

Davis has the basis of a good statement here, but I wish he would write a little more. It’s never a bad idea to have a well-written statement of your work, even if it’s not required. If a potential client or employer is considering you, it could be what makes you stand out from your peers.

What do you think of this actor and his artist statement? Do you agree with my comments? Do you have questions about the vocabulary? Do you want to suggest a piece for me to discuss next week? Leave a comment below!

I’ve chosen 5 words or phrases for you to focus on today. They are in bold. If you don’t know them, look up the meaning, synonyms, antonyms, and other forms of these words. You can find links to Merriam-Webster dictionary sites at the bottom of this page.

To see the original statements from Josh Davis’s website, click the link below:
http://thisisjoshdavis.com

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Jessica

I help artists and designers with their English so they can focus on being creative and changing the world.

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