The place of the voice in the sound identity

In this podcast Lou Panchione interviews Laurent Pasquier, the regular French voice of Mickey Mouse, to find out more about the place of the voice in the sound identity.

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Podcast script

Intro

A We Compoze creation. 

You never forgot your first love. Your clients shouldn't forget you either. I'm Lou Panchione and you're listening, Be Memorable the WE compoze podcast that tells you everything yes, absolutely everything about the powers of sound. We Compoze is a sound marketing agency and with our composer platform, we're finally making sound identity accessible.

Lou Panchione

Today, we have the pleasure to welcome in our studios Laurent Pasquier, comedian, actor, voice-over artist and animator, who is notably known for being the regular French voice of Mickey Mouse. Hello Laurent.

Laurent Pasquier

Hi Lou. Everything is fine, it's going very well. Thank you for inviting me to this beautiful studio. I'm very comfortable with my friends.

Lou Panchione

Great, that's nice. Could you tell us a little more about your career ? Why the voice over then?

Laurent Pasquier

Do you have three days? Is that long? No, I'm kidding. I'm going to go very, very quickly. I'm going to synthesize the thing. I come from the radio and then I went to Lyon where I was in charge of production for many years. But at the same time, I was doing café theater. I was at the École du Nombril du monde, a theater café with Thierry Buenafuente. It is from there that came out Florence Foresti, notably Cécile Giroud. Céline Iannuci. There are great actors who came out of the navel of the world, Café-Théâtre which was at the time also and which continues to be a school of theater. Then, well, I went to the nearby studios in Lyon to do my first voices and I was notably the voice for the waiters of Tintin and Snowy. I did Tintin, I think I was doing the Duponts and then I did TV commercials. And one thing leading to another, I left the radio and I found myself on castings, in particular for Mickey in Paris.
I got it, very happy to be part of the adventure for 20 years now. It is a happiness for me and a pride and a great responsibility because a great voice of thought, a great responsibility, it reminds you something, you?

Lou Panchione

Spiderman, Spiderman? Oh yes, no, I didn't have it there.

Laurent Pasquier

For references. And then? Do you know a little bit about the actor's path? I do dubbing, TV radio commercials, learning, but also shooting and also improvisation.

Lou Panchione

But then, you could say that you've moved on from the voiceover. So I would tell him how to explain a voice, a single, even a face. Since you became an actor too.

Laurent Pasquier

I'm leaning towards that now more and more because I've gained confidence and maturity. I've been working and working to be camera ready and it's working well. No one is complaining about it and I want to keep doing it. More and more.

Lou Panchione

It's OK, very good. We're going to concentrate on the voice and sound aspect since it's the reason why we didn't break much. Could you give us a little demo of the range of your voice? Maybe by saying be memorable in more ways than one. Free to choose which way one can be a little corporate, one a little more fun, one a little more monstrous. I don't know.

Laurent Pasquier

Yes, there are many directions. In fact, the great thing about voice is that you can go in a lot of different directions and it depends on the direction of the artistic director. You can say go ahead, do this to me. Whatever you want to do.

Lou Panchione

Laurent, I want you to be memorable, as if you were a little monster talking to his people.

Laurent Pasquier

A little monster who spoke to his people.

Lou Panchione

Yes.

Laurent Pasquier

Ladies and gentlemen, be memorable, we're counting on you because we little monsters are not very big.
Otherwise, there is the chief. Be memorable ladies and gentlemen.
Be, be memorable, be memorable too.

Lou Panchione

Oh, that's impressive.

Laurent Pasquier

And be memorable. This is more laid back, we're more into commercials.

Lou Panchione

Now I'm reassured when I hear you speak.

Laurent Pasquier

I'm trying to make you feel better. Yes, I am listening. In fact, I work like with a musical instrument. My strings are tuned, so to speak, to the production that I have to do. And so, if I have to be a little bit more directive, I can say hello and welcome to this e-learning on voice. Listen to me, here we go. It's a game, I'll give you that. But if I want to be a little more direct. Hello and welcome to this e-learning on voice. Today, we're more into journalism, etc., but it depends on the direction.

Lou Panchione

In fact, the me who listens to you, I am right in front of you and I have emotions in your different voices. As for the parenthesis, I'm still sensitive so I catch on very quickly. Yes, but it's true that it's crazy how far it can go and especially the effect it has on the audience, on the person.

Laurent Pasquier

Of which you speak of sensitivity. I am a hypersensitive person, I may have a right brain like you. So it's not easy to manage because we have a lot of information and indeed we are hypersensitive. But as hypersensitive people, we are very very very generous and in fact, it is one of the first qualities of this job, it is generosity.

Lou Panchione

Because it takes a lot of energy to give voices like that.

Laurent Pasquier

It takes a lot. So when you are generous by nature, it's a pleasure. On the other hand, someone who is not generous, it costs him and that's where it's complicated. So we have to change his temperament a little bit so that he always gives us.

Lou Panchione

And you Laurent, are you generous by nature?

Laurent Pasquier

I think. Yes, yes, yes. Yes, that's what my family says, my friends say, that's it. Laurent, he gives. "Give, give, give" like Enrico, God will pay you back. Yes. I don't even wait for it to be given back to me. And above all, don't wait for anything.

Lou Panchione

But this is a real one. So that's the definition of being truly generous. Yes, not expecting anything in return.

Laurent Pasquier

That's it.

Lou Panchione

Laurent What are the important elements that need to be worked on in order to have an advertising voice? In fact.

Laurent Pasquier

If you want a commercial voice.

Lou Panchione

The breathing, the rhythm, the timbre, I don't know.

Laurent Pasquier

But above all, the game, Lou, the game, is what makes everything. In fact, we tend to say Oh well, I would like to be a voice-over actor. Yes, but first you have to be a voice-over actor because it requires acting. If you don't act, the emotions won't come through. So you have to be an actor and embody a character. If I want to put charm in my voice, I'll do everything to charm you. But I'm going to fit into the frame of a handsome guy. That is, when you're going to blindfold yourself. Oh yes, it's not Laurent, because I don't have an atypical physique, but when you listen to me, you say to yourself this guy must be very, very handsome. There are clients who say to me "Oh, I don't know how you are, but your voice is like this.
I tell them, well, just keep the voice, ma'am.

Lou Panchione

Well yes, but here it is, we had received Aurore during our first episode. Who is the co-founder of a voice dating application, you would have had a crazy success.

Laurent Pasquier

Maybe, I should start then. No, but it is the first quality Lou, the playing. And then we're going to work on the notes, we're going to work on the breathing, we're going to work on the articulation, the diction, we're going to work on the projection. All these criteria are going to intertwine. I call it Swiss clockwork.

Lou Panchione

It's accurate.

Laurent Pasquier

It's very, very precise. If something goes wrong, the voice doesn't communicate anymore.

Lou Panchione

So, can one become a voice actor without having taken lessons? Without, can we talk about a gift or is it really something that will be worked on?

Laurent Pasquier

Yes, I never took a class, so I'm going to say I had a gift. But then I often say that talent is work. There is no talent without work. If I, if I had the talent of the piano, if I don't play the piano, people wouldn't see that I have the talent of the piano. So you have to work, work. And then you say, ah yes, he has talent, but he worked the guy. He may be good at it, but above all, it's work.

Lou Panchione

And I feel like bouncing off of what I was told. So, to see what it could give, I'll play the game, I'll close my eyes. Can you talk to me, Laurent, as if you wanted to seduce me. Do you want a sentence? That's it. So I want to see if the emotion comes through. In fact, really. I really want to play the game because you're going to play.

Laurent Pasquier

It's difficult, it's troubling.

Lou Panchione

I close my eyes, I play the game.

Laurent Pasquier

Well Lou, I hope you waited up all night for me because here I am this morning and I'm going to walk into that kitchen and you're going to open your eyes and I'm going to be there. Open your eyes and it's me, it's Laurent. And that's it. But you can charm in other ways.

Lou Panchione

Oh yes, yes.

Laurent Pasquier

Hi Lou, it's me. It's much more natural, but it's more sincere.

Lou Panchione

Yes, it's true, we feel the sincerity more than in the version.

Laurent Pasquier

It depends on what we do. It depends where it goes, it depends on what channels it goes through. Of course, in the theater, we won't play at all. We don't play like this at all, we can do it. But more than that, it's more cinema, more radio, more radio soap opera, etc. There you go.

Lou Panchione

Are there any industries, sectors of activity that are more in demand of your voice?

Laurent Pasquier

So yes, for many years now I've been doing a lot of corporate films, corporate because I think my voice is not too deep and not too medium. And there, it reassures, it is safe and it is sincere, technical. That and the e-learning. I do a lot of it, yes.

Lou Panchione

Yes, I've seen what's trending right now. Like how the voice can have an effect on a proof that it can have an effect. Soft stories to fall asleep, meditation, that kind of thing and I see that it's really getting democratized, that way to fall asleep. So the voice could have an effect on sleep.

Laurent Pasquier

It certainly has an effect. Of course, there, it is necessary to control well. To all the producers, they know. You have to choose your cast well and choose your actor well who is going to enter the application. Yes, I see from time to time apps on the App Store and all that talk about these sleep techniques with voices or even his meditation yoga.

Lou Panchione

And it seems to me that there have even been scientific studies that have been done to prove that there are sounds that put people to sleep. So I don't know in scientific terms what happens in the body at that moment, but it can put you to sleep.

Laurent Pasquier

Of course sounds of nature or musical sounds with instruments.

Lou Panchione

Laurent What place do you give to music in an advertisement?

Laurent Pasquier

Wow, the music, it has to match the voice completely. Sometimes, I'm a little disappointed by the mixes of some productions that put too much emphasis on the music or not enough on the music. It's really a middle ground that you have to find so that the voice really matches the music. It must be one, not two levels. There is not one stronger than the other. For me, there is no one-upmanship, that is to say that I must be stronger than the music. The music must be stronger than the voice. No, no, it is necessary that all that, that marries. And that, when we have that, we say that the mix is perfect. But then, you have to see with Jérémy. He'll tell you more about it because he knows the mixing business.

Lou Panchione

My last question would be how does voice impact advertising? Not the impact it has on people, but how does it impact the ad itself?

Laurent Pasquier

In fact, the voice is going to be the identity of the brand, that's why when you choose an actor for a brand, you keep him for a long time. Otherwise, if you keep changing people so much, if it's not the same voice, then I identify more with the brand. It changes their hearing habits and actually people's hearing habits are super important. Habit, it's very good to have habits. Very, very good.

Lou Panchione

It makes them feel better.

Laurent Pasquier

It reassures them, it reassures them, it motivates them.

Lou Panchione

It creates a bond, perhaps between them, for the brand, affection.

Laurent Pasquier

Absolutely. So I have some brands that I love, especially because they have a radio campaign, but because they have a logo that I like, where as soon as you change things a little bit, it becomes more complicated. That's why a track is a brand identity.

Lou Panchione

And an actor.

Laurent Pasquier

And an actor. That's why we don't change actors' voices very much. When you have a regular voice; Bruce Willis is an orphan, he will find a voice, Patrick Poivey is no longer there.

Lou Panchione

There was the French voice of Eva Longoria who I think died too.

Laurent Pasquier

Yes, it's been a bad year.

Lou Panchione

Yes, I think so.

Laurent Pasquier

Yes, yes.

Lou Panchione

But you are there and stronger than ever, more formidable than ever.

Laurent Pasquier

And yes I do sport

Lou Panchione

Yes, this is important.

Laurent Pasquier

Yes, I keep myself.

Lou Panchione

I'm going to choke.

Laurent Pasquier

Careful Lou, you're getting us..., ah no, stay with us.

Lou Panchione

Come on Laurent, one last one for the road. And then...

Laurent Pasquier

What do we drink?

Lou Panchione

Come on, a little whiskey. No? A little sentence, the one you want.

Laurent Pasquier

So I wish you a memorable, long life in the field of sound and I'll see you soon on the air, see you soon friends.

Lou Panchione

Thank you very much Laurent.  

Outro

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