“Could you stop doing that funny pause, please?”

While I was recording a clutch of television scripts the client asked me to “stop doing that funny pause.” As gently as I could, I explained why that was impossible.

“Why do you keep doing that?” said the client.

“Doing what?” I said.

“That pause thing.”

“What pause thing?”

“The pause thing you keep doing at the end of each phrase. I’d like you to stop doing it, please.”

“I’m afraid I can’t.”

“Look. I’m in charge here and what I say goes, OK? Stop. Doing. The. Funny. Pauses.”

“I can’t.”


At this point, I explained that the ‘funny pause’ was me breathing.

“I’ve got to breathe,“ I said. “If I stop breathing, I’m afraid it might compromise the recording of your commercial.”


“I’m afraid so. I’d be dead.”

She sighed. “In that case, could you breathe a bit, you know, quicker?”

“I doubt it. I might hyperventilate. And then I’d sound as if I was panting.”

Fortunately, the producer intervened and explained that he could easily snip out the offending pause in the edit. This seemed to pacify the client.

“Fine,“ she said. “But in future could you try breathing a bit less, please? It saves time in the edit.”

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Emma Clarke

Emma is an award-winning voiceover, broadcaster and writer. Want to find out more about Emma?
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