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: , , |

There is no math in Voiceover…Ha!

At many a gathering either virtually or face-to-face, voice talent has been known to utter this phrase – “There is no math in voiceover.” It has various meanings for each of us, but usually means that we are grateful that we don’t have to tackle calculus or quantum physics in order to do our jobs.

MathI wanted to be a bio major in college (loved my high school bio classes), but kept flunking chemistry. And one semester I withdrew from calculus before the teacher had to give me the inevitable “F.” OK, so I really didn’t study very hard in school and there may have been some drinking involved (Iowa was an 18 state at the time), but my brain just didn’t want to remember formulas and add and subtract large numbers – much less fractions.

This goes back to […]

2018-02-06T06:48:06+00:00July 11th, 2015|Categories: Business, Negotiating|

Wait, I left my phone in the house…

Modern telephone communication is a wonder – a boon – a time-waster and at times – a nightmare. It can also be an addiction, especially when it comes to our smart phones. In fact, it is a named anxiety disorder – Nomophobia (“no mobile phone phobia”).

From Psychology Today – July 25, 2013

Two years ago Psychology Today said that “Nomophobia- fear of being without your smartphone- affects 40% of the population.” Today, the figure is 64%, according to Pew Research Center.

I know that I feel panicked when I can’t find my phone. But it allows me to leave my office during traditional business hours and still stay connected to my clients. This is a good thing.

Years ago, before cell phones and their predecessor car phones, we all had pagers. Before that, we had no stress. OK, so we still had stress. […]

2018-02-06T06:48:06+00:00July 1st, 2015|Categories: Business, Communication, Musings, Technology|

Usage has Value

One of the lessons free lancers – independent contractors – need to learn in this Internet age is to negotiate a fair price for their work. We see it day after day – people wanting the free lancer to work – well, to work not necessarily for free, but close to it. And in fact, in some cases – people DO expect it for free. It is happening in all creative areas.

Connie_40s_Party_2014 Oh, for the good old days…

You wouldn’t ask the plumber to cut rates by half or more. The dry cleaner. The tailor. The electrician. But on the creative side of things – the graphic artist, the writer, or the voice talent – it seems like a “name that tune” experience nearly every day.

Part of it is educating the people doing the hiring. But the people […]

2018-02-06T06:48:06+00:00June 22nd, 2015|Categories: Business, Communication, Musings, Negotiating|

A Change of S-pace

Coming up on about a dozen years ago, I did a major remodel of my kitchen, complete window replacement and interior repainting. What I learned was that I am actually quite comfortable in a much smaller footprint. I lived out of my back bedroom with one of the bathrooms doubling as the kitchen sink and found it actually soothing. Perhaps because I didn’t have so many choices at every turn.

I had a chance to experience this change of space again recently. After attempting to rid my deck cover of termites using a heat treatment, I opted for the more drastic, but more conventional tent and gas method. The last time I tented a house was probably 20 years ago. It ended badly, with the house robbed as soon as the gas dissipated enough not to kill the perps. I am fairly certain it was an inside job, but it wasn’t […]

2018-02-06T06:48:06+00:00June 19th, 2015|Categories: Communication, Musings|

Alphabet Soup

When a normal person hears the words “alphabet soup” they probably think of the kind you eat with the little noodles shaped like letters. When a voiceover person hear the words “alphabet soup” it means that their mouth is going to be filled with lots of acronyms.

soupOne of the things that endears a voice talent to clients is a talent’s ability to see past the noodles in this word soup and find the broth. This doesn’t necessarily mean understanding every word that is spoken, but it does mean understanding the context and how the words relate to each other.

It helps to have a little bit of understanding about a LOT of stuff. For voice talent who do marketing pieces, informational and corporate communications work – we see scripts for IT, healthcare, the financial business, the military or the government and many other […]

2018-02-06T06:48:06+00:00June 10th, 2015|Categories: Business, Musings, Techniques|

Getting Your House In Order

I am a bad homeowner. About 10 years ago, I had a major remodel done that included replacing all of my windows with new wood dual pane windows. Of course I was told that wood windows needed to be maintained. A coat of paint every few years was part of my responsibility as the homeowner.

Bad WindowDid I do it? No, so the result is going to about $1000 worth of repair and then new paint everywhere – which I will probably hire out because the idea of painting 14 windows and all the trim around the top of front of the house seems like a daunting time suck – plus I don’t have a ladder tall enough to get up to the roof line.

The list of things to do around the house after living here nearly 30 years is starting […]

2018-02-06T06:48:06+00:00June 8th, 2015|Categories: Business, Musings|

The quest to get better without losing who you used to be…

Connie and Liz de Nesnera Connie and Liz de Nesnera on the way to the workshop – Peggy Sue’s 50’s Diner.

I just got home from a weekend workshop in Henderson (just outside Las Vegas) with Marice Tobias. It was an all-woman workshop with 10 working pros held at Melissa Moats new voiceover studio The Voice Actors Studio. Marice does this same thing with all men and also co-ed. The women’s workshop is usually – OK, pretty much always – a lot more emotional therapy along with the voiceover component. It was a wonderful weekend for many reasons and I think it has shown in the auditions and the projects I have done since getting back to my studio on Monday.

Getting coaching is something that a lot of working voice talent does during the course […]

2018-02-06T06:48:06+00:00June 3rd, 2015|Categories: Acting, Auditioning|Tags: , , |

Curiosity Creates Opportunity

Ding Tut sleeping on pile of papersI was thinking about the phrase “curiosity killed the cat” today as one of my cats climbed up on a pile of empty cardboard boxes that were piled high on a work table to see what was going on and everything came down in a huge, yet rather quiet crash – except for the startled yelp of the cat as he was propelled into the air.

Most of us know what curiosity killed the cat “means.” Poking around can have dire consequences. But I was curious as to it’s origin, so I did some Googling and found this info on Wikipedia. It started out as “care killed the cat.”

Ben Johnson, an English playwright in 1598 used something like it one of his plays – followed by Shakespeare in 1599. It evolved into the […]

2018-02-06T06:48:06+00:00May 23rd, 2015|Categories: Auditioning, Business, Musings|Tags: , |