I had a VO audition for a "real person." Just a gal-off-the-street, talking about the virtues of a hamburger she was eating. Easy, right? Just be natural.
Well, not so easy. I can't imagine a moment during any meal when I might interrupt my eating to declare "the crispy buttered bun really brings it all home"... But I gave it the old college try anyway. Recorded several takes of several of the lines, edited them, then played them for Stuart.
...to mixed reviews. Actually, he thought my audition stunk. "You sound like you're just reading lines." Hmmm. Well, maybe props would help. So since it was lunchtime, I grabbed a sandwich and headed back into the booth. I re-recorded the lines, in between bites, and threw in some yummy-sounding adlibs. I edited out the... uh... 'juicier' takes (no one wants to hear saliva), then put some restaurant ambience under the whole thing. Now, THAT sounded like someone reacting to a hamburger... well, because it kind of was. I mean, it WAS a good sandwich... :0)
Aaaand, I booked the job. The moral of the story is -- don't reinvent the wheel. If you're supposed to sound like you're enjoying a sandwich, don't "act" like you're enjoying it. Break out the deli meats, and work through your lunch hour...