Careful What You Ask For

WoVo logo WoVo is an association of voiceover professionals (both union and non-union) seeking to inform and educate about best practices, standards for ethical conduct and professional expertise. It has an online casting engine that features ONLY vetted professional voices, unlike the company being discussed in this blog post.

Remember the commercial actors strike in 2000? Pay-per-Play was one of the big things the union was asking for. The business has never really been the same.

According to a white paper published by Villanova University the convergence of TV and the Internet was the “core” issue. The unions were aware of the technical tsunami approaching, that the distribution of the content was forever changing. Not the actual work, but the delivery of the product.

It is hard to predict the future, but being responsive to changes so that you don’t get so far […]

2018-02-06T06:48:04+00:00November 6th, 2015|Categories: Announcements, Auditioning, Business, Marketing, Technology|

Are you an Independent Contractor? Maybe. Maybe not.

Connie at KCOE-FM Early radio days – KCOE-FM. Their tools, their schedule. MY MIX!

If you are not being paid W2 wages, then you may fall into the category of self-employed, freelance, or independent contractor. Or, you may simply be being paid incorrectly. If this is the case, then don’t be surprised when the red flag goes up and the IRS comes knocking.

The Business Dictionary defines independent contractor this way…(I added the bold.)

Self-employed person (architect, consultant, engineer, etc.) who provides certain services to a second-party called the principal (or client or owner), or to a third-party on behalf of the client. An independent contractor is not under the control, guidance, or influence of the client and, unlike an employee, does not owe a fiduciary duty. The client neither deducts the payroll (or the withholding) taxes from payments to the independent contractor, […]

2018-02-06T06:48:05+00:00October 24th, 2015|Categories: Business, Marketing|

A little (on purpose) down time

Many people have written about the importance of taking time off. It’s good for you according to an article in the Huffington Post – “Taking Time Off Can Improve Health and Productivity.”

A lot of people agree with this – an article in US News and World Report said – “45 percent of Americans agreed that “they come back to work feeling rested, rejuvenated, and reconnected to their personal life” after vacation…”

Some people swear by taking lots of mini-vacations. I’ve talked about that before. My current “job” as a voice talent allows me to take time off pretty much whenever I want – a couple of hours at a time. I do this on a regular basis. Take off on a hike up Cowles Mountain, or down to the Grinding Rocks in Mission Trails. Head out to the beach (when the water is warm enough) to catch some waves on […]

2018-02-06T06:48:05+00:00October 17th, 2015|Categories: Life, Musings|Tags: , , |

Smarty or Arty?

Find

It’s nice to be smart – even a little smart. Because, as it turns out – “intelligence only gets you so far when it comes to creativity.

Intelligence is focused on the details  – add a little experience – and creativity leaps off from there.

Add a touch of luck (preparation meets opportunity) and the level of success can be unbounded.

How did I get here?
Sometimes, I feel a little guilty about the fact that without a lot of effort I have made myself a fine little creative life – one I never really planned to have.

Oh, I know I did a little planning as I started to see opportunities, but it seems as though it was just one foot in front of the other following my instincts and ending up here. My experiences along the way influenced which of the […]

2018-02-06T06:48:05+00:00September 7th, 2015|Categories: Business, Life, Musings|

What Does it Cost for a Voiceover?

HouseSeveral times a month I will get an email from a potential new client or an old client asking me how much would it cost to record – say 2 minutes of audio. That’s all. No additional details.

Intellectually I think we all know that this is akin to asking how much does it cost to paint a house. There are so many particulars involved that it isn’t possible to answer that question without asking a few questions in return. The more information you can provide in the initial email, the better, especially if you have a deadline that requires a quick response.

In the case of the house, you need to know how big it is. How many levels. How many windows. What kind of surface. How much prep needs to be done. What kind of paint. What kind of budget does […]

2018-02-06T06:48:05+00:00August 27th, 2015|Categories: Business, Negotiating|Tags: , , , , |

Predicting The Hot New Flavors of Video Advertising

ChangesNo one can predict the future. Well, a few people have correctly predicted the future. In 1909 Nikola Tesla predicted that we would be carrying personal wireless devices. But in general it is interesting and frequently amusing to read predictions from 100 years ago – even predictions from 10 years ago. And the way technology is changing – even trying to predict what will be happening a year from now is daunting.

The best you can do is study what is happening now and try to respond as quickly as possible to try to ride the wave and then keep checking for the next wave. For example, video advertising. Will it be short and sweet (like a “vine”) or more traditional or will it go for the interactive approach.

We can see that video is not going away – so […]

2018-02-06T06:48:05+00:00August 21st, 2015|Categories: Advertising, Business, Technology|Tags: , |

Won a Media Award Lately?

There are a plethora of global media communications awards competitions, as well as many more local and regional competitions each year. Why do people enter?

Well, when they win, it could be for the marketing benefits – letting your clients and potential clients know that you produce high quality work. It could be that awards competitions touch our deep-seated need to be admired and respected by our peers. Social Media has jumped on board the award bandwagon and sites such as LinkedIn have special areas in your profile where you can list your awards.

If you know that something you have produced is truly fabulous, entering it in a competition could pay back the entry fee in PR. And if your clients are anything like my clients, they love the fact that your work for them is recognized as top notch.

2018-02-06T06:48:05+00:00August 12th, 2015|Categories: Business, Marketing|Tags: , , |

Social Media (read – Facebook) Time Management

Facebook screen shotManaging our time online is taking more and more time. Facebook especially. I know I am missing some posts – and getting posts that I would rather not see. Combine that with all of the designed to grab you Suggested Posts, and I am overwhelmed.

No one really knows the answers, but there are a few “experts” who may be able to help. One of them was just “introduced” to me through a post thread by my friend J.S. Gilbert. His name is Robert Scoble and is touted as a Tech Evangelist. He has a regular blog (not a “regular” blog, but a social media blog to which he posts regularly) called Scobleizer – so if you are not on Facebook, Twitter or Google+, then you are out of luck. (This position raises another issue that I need to contemplate […]

2018-02-06T06:48:05+00:00August 6th, 2015|Categories: Business, Marketing|Tags: , , |

Those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer…HA!

Connie recording at MediaPiu in Italy in 2010 Connie Recording at MediaPiu in Italy in 2010

It feels like summer this summer. As adults, sometimes – maybe most of the time – summer is just another 3 months – just a little warmer. Our schedules stay the same. Maybe we plan a short vacation. If you are in the US, and you work a regular job, you may get some vacation time, you may not.

Apparently we are the only advanced economy that does not guarantee any paid vacation time or even paid holidays. Most employers do give their employees some paid time off – a typical U.S. worker at a private company gets about 10 days of paid vacation and six or so paid holidays per year. If you are in France, bump that up to 30 paid days off per year. Viva […]

2018-02-06T06:48:05+00:00July 31st, 2015|Categories: Business, Life, Musings|

Common Sense Communication…What Not to Say…

Dan Leonard Dan Lenard saying something socially acceptable at a VO Peeps gathering last year.

I was thinking about something someone said to me last night at a networking meeting. The person thought they were being complimentary, and I knew that, but it just felt awkward. I’ve been working out a bit more in the past 6 months or so, but no drastic changes really. Anyway, the intended compliment came out as a comparison to some impression of me in the distant past (many many months earlier) and forced me to find some kind of a response, rather than just a thank you.

We have all been guilty of saying things to friends, acquaintances and strangers that should have been better left unsaid – or phrased differently. I would have been very happy with a “You look great!” rather than a “Your face looks […]

2018-02-06T06:48:06+00:00July 15th, 2015|Categories: Business, Communication, Musings|Tags: , , |