Teleprompter Terms: “VO”

By | 2017-10-02T15:03:00+00:00 November 1st, 2017|Concepts, Terminology, Tips|0 Comments

As we said last week and in the week before then, if you’ve ever stood in on a production that has you read from the teleprompter, you may find in the script you’re encountering some abbreviations you don’t understand.

Not knowing these abbreviations may mean you don’t know what you should or shouldn’t do at the time.

“VO” is one of those abbreviations. What does “VO” mean? Let’s find out!

What “VO” Means on the Teleprompter

When you are standing in and reading a script from a teleprompter during a rehearsal, if you encounter the abbreviation “VO” — especially in parentheses, like “(VO)” — it means “voiceover.”

Practically speaking, what “VO” means is that you will be speaking while video plays over you. Essentially, the frame will cut away from you to video footage, but you will continue talking while not actually in the frame. You are providing a voiceover for the video footage.

When you encounter the abbreviation “VO,” don’t actually read it and say “voe.” Rather, you will probably do nothing except to continue talking while the director cuts away to different footage.


Stay tuned to Stand-In Central for other teleprompter terminology!

Have you worked with a teleprompter when standing in? What advice do you have when working with a teleprompter? Share your tips in the comments below!

About the Author:

Ben Hauck (Editor, Stand-In Central) has stood in on a number of projects shot in the NYC area. In addition to day-playing, he has stood in on major projects for John Oliver (Last Week Tonight), Jason Bateman (The Longest Week, Disconnect, and The Switch), Jason Sudeikis (Sleeping with Other People), Seth Rogen (The Night Before), and Peter Facinelli (Nurse Jackie and American Odyssey). Ben is an actor and improviser, author of the 2012 book Long-Form Improv (Allworth Press), and host of The Acting Income Podcast.

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