Good acting is no easy feat, particularly when the person acting is not an actor. This I learned twice in the last month, when I agreed to help a friend on a video project. Tonight, my friend Michael Norris (Mexi is his self-given nickname) had scheduled for he and myself to do voice-overs in an audio supplement to a film segment shot earlier in April.

The original plan was for him to find a quiet place for us to do the recording, but fate dictated that we end up having to use my apartment (which is far from quiet) as backup. What followed was two hours of technical issues, interruptions, multiple takes and a fair amount of chastising from my brother.

Before either of us got started recording, Norris decided to make a couple of last-minute adjustments to the script, which ended up taking an extra 40 minutes. That out of the way, he recorded his lines. When it came time for my reading, my neighbors had returned home, so the recordings had to be timed perfectly in between their constant stomping.

As we neared the completion of the voiceovers, my brother returned home, and promptly began mocking (though it was all in good fun) our acting abilities. He knew of our previous work on the film segment of the assignment, and offered feedback to Norris on the quality of the script. In response to my brother’s criticisms, Norris wrote him into the script, so that he would have to lend his voice.

Eventually, the recordings were finished, and everything came out clean. There were plenty of laughs, but a lot of frustrations as well. There is a lot that can go wrong in a recording session when so many things need to go right.