Are You Hitting the Mark?

No matter what we do in life we need to know if what we are doing is hitting the mark. This takes the ability to know what DOES hit the mark and then comparing it to what we are doing.

Self-Evaluation techniques are something that I have been teaching to introductory voiceover students in the class I have been teaching at San Diego City College since 1999. Prior to that I did a private seminar with the same focus. I also share the self-evaluation mantra with my peers at conferences and in social media.

As voice talent, much of what we do these days is in a vacuum and we need to apply these skills to not only our auditions in order land work, but in many cases to the job itself as so much of it is self-directed.

This takes knowing when something is […]

2017-04-20T20:45:37+00:00 April 20th, 2017|Categories: Acting, Communication, Life, Musings, Techniques, Tips & Tricks, Writing|

Who will step in when ISDN goes away?

Live Audio Recording OptionsHere in Southern California I still have my ISDN lines at a reasonable cost and regular clients who use them. However, the same cannot be said for talent in other parts of the county. Monthly rates have skyrocketed to as much as $700 (or more!). And in some parts of the US, you can’t even get new lines if you wanted them a whatever cost you might be willing to pay.

ISDN has been the de facto leader of the pack for professionals for many years, but the times they are a changing.

The challenge is finding a secure, simple, stable, high-quality, fast and cost-effective solution. While simplicity is not the most important factor in a preferred solution, we are more and more used to plug and play solutions, so simplicity may in fact become a driver in this battle. The ability […]

Smart Phones Mean Business

Mobile Shopping imageI love my smart phone. A Samsung Galaxy 5. It does everything – except FaceTime – but there’s Skype, Facebook’s talk feature, Google Hangouts and other alternatives if I need to spend some face time with someone across town or in another time zone.

My smart phone gets me out of my studio and I can stay connected with my business. You never know when an emergency voiceover will pop up. And if you are not in the media production business you might not realize just how often there actually is a voiceover emergency. Had one on Monday. The call came in at 2 for a 3 o’clock session with a client on the East Coast.

The flip side of having a smart phone is that it keeps me connected with my business. There are times when it is good to […]

Yes, we have no bananas…

Bananas“Yes, We Have No Bananas”  (the Louis Prima version here in this link) says…

He just “yes”es you to death, and as he takes your dough He tells you
“Yes, we have no bananas
We have-a no bananas today
We’ve string beans, and onions
Cabashes, and scallions,
And all sorts of fruit and say
We have an old fashioned tomato
A Long Island potato But yes, we have no bananas
We have no bananas today”

How does this apply to our business? Bananas = Time.

While I don’t have empirical evidence of this, most voiceover people can usually balance all the projects that show up on their “doorstep” and meet client deadlines. Particularly if you are doing self-directed short form work.

However, there are times when you are actually too busy to take on another project on any given day or week. In most cases, the client can wait for you to work it […]

2017-04-20T20:45:40+00:00 November 15th, 2015|Categories: Business, Communication, Negotiating|Tags: , , |

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 […]

2017-04-20T20:45:41+00:00 July 15th, 2015|Categories: Business, Communication, Musings|Tags: , , |

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. […]

2017-04-20T20:45:41+00:00 July 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 […]

2017-04-20T20:45:41+00:00 June 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 […]

2017-04-20T20:45:41+00:00 June 19th, 2015|Categories: Communication, Musings|

It’s all about the story, and the pictures, and the music, and voice at the end

I don’t often post twice in a day, but my day was interrupted by Online Video Daily – one of the MediaPost enewsletters I get and after watching this video, I just had to pass it along.

What an charming, heart-warming little story this is – don’t be surprised if you find yourself a little choked up by the half-way mark as you start to see where it is going.

2017-04-20T20:45:48+00:00 July 25th, 2012|Categories: Communication, Musings|Tags: , , , , |

Am I on Twitter?

So, I keep seeing this question pop up on various social networking groups…

“Are you on Twitter?”

Well, yes, I have a Twitter account. @ISDNVoiceover

And I have people who actively follow my tweets. Or have at least clicked on the link to Follow Me. And many of them will probably see this post when it gets fed to the various places it gets fed to when it is published.

But am I ON Twitter? Not very much.

I still don’t get it. Unless I am using it all wrong, it seems like a pull website. Where I have to go to it and pull the information. OK, Facebook is that way too, but for some reason I WANT to go to Facebook and check out what is happening. I just don’t find myself drawn to Twitter the same way.

Perhaps I just need someone to break it down for me. Talk to me like I’m […]

2012-07-03T12:00:16+00:00 July 3rd, 2012|Categories: Communication, Marketing, Musings|Tags: , , |