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|

Do You Choose Life or Beauty?

Silkworm and cocoonThe silkworm makes an interesting allegory about choice. In order to get the beautiful silk from the cocoons, you have to kill the silkworm pupae before it transitions into – what is today – a captive commercially bred and not particularly beautiful moth.

Of course, you have to save some of the silkworms so that they can become moths to lay eggs to become silkworms to start the cycle again. Without some balance, we end up with nothing but moths. With no beauty or wealth to feed the moths, we ultimately end up with nothing.

Do you choose beauty (and the wealth that can come from selling the silk) – or do you choose life? Do you chose a little of both?

Most of my choices are not life or death decisions. Do I get a new microphone just because I want one? Do […]

2017-04-20T20:45:37+00:00 March 4th, 2017|Categories: Life, Musings|

Professional Voiceover Development Fun at FaffCon 8

FaffCon 8 Family

Zoom in for a peek at about 120 of my closest voiceover friends at a wild and wonderful voiceover conference called FaffCon – this was FaffCon 8 (out of 10) held just outside of Minneapolis.

After regular strictly organized voiceover conferences started to feel top heavy in trying to sell newbies on coaching, the concept of voiceover pros imparting knowledge and energy to other voiceover pros in a decidedly unstructured, yet remarkably organized way was born in the fertile, funny and creative mind of Amy Snively.

I’m a Founding Faffer and after the first remarkable event in Portland OR, have been involved in the planning, organizing, assisting and even sponsoring all the FaffCons that have followed.

Why? Because it works. Despite not having any featured speakers or a set schedule of sessions planned in advance – somehow we come up with […]

2017-04-20T20:45:38+00:00 September 9th, 2016|Categories: Acting, Musings|

You’ll be hearing from me…sometime…I promise!

CRMThe quest for a workable Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software continues. I don’t know about you, but I am having a heck of time finding one that is simple and integrates easily with my workflow.

Remember FilemakerPro? I used that for a while back in the day. Spent hours creating custom forms and fields to manage my free lance producing / writing / talent business. It was complicated and pretty much stand alone. But then I took a full-time job and the free lance gigs were sidelined for about 9 years. When I got back into the free lance side of things, the world had changed and new easier (?) and free CRM options were dangled in front of me.

I tried Outlook Business Contacts for a while, but during a software update, the functionality disappeared, so I muddled along sorting email into folders […]

2017-04-20T20:45:38+00:00 May 8th, 2016|Categories: Business, Marketing, Musings|Tags: , , , , |

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 […]

T/V is the new TV

11970902691035892752Chrisdesign_comic_TV.svg.hiSo, I’m reading my weekly MediaPost Online Video Insider column and ran across the use of T/V (television/video) instead of TV. It was in an article talking about the separation of content viewing and ad viewing – which will be the subject of another post.

This actually makes a lot of sense to me, but apparently the idea is so new that even Google hasn’t gotten hip to it. I did a search for T/V and nothing came up.

I did find a hysterical bit of education about when to say Tee-Vee, The Television, or the tele from the website Woodward English.

http://www.woodwardenglish.com/television-or-the-television/

But nothing yet on the new T/V.

 

2017-04-20T20:45:39+00:00 January 21st, 2016|Categories: Announcements, Musings|Tags: |

Simply Simplify

SimplifyMost of my adult life has been spent accumulating stuff – tangible and intangible. Lots of stuff. Cluttering up my physical, mental and emotional space. Most of us have stuff – lots of stuff. (I feel like George Carlin! If you have never heard this bit from him, check it out below. A little bit ‘o swearing, but pretty tame compared to most modern comics.)

Anyway, we all have a lot of stuff. We go through our stuff at times, weeding through our stuff and donating it to our favorite thrift store. Sorting through data stuff – deleting or archiving. All of this activity opens up space for more new stuff to gather.

Sometimes we don’t have a chance to decide which stuff to get rid of. Like when your external hard drive crashes and all the stuff on it is gone for good.

Yeah, that […]

2017-04-20T20:45:39+00:00 January 12th, 2016|Categories: Business, Life, Musings, Technology|Tags: , , , |

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 […]

2017-04-20T20:45:40+00:00 October 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 […]

2017-04-20T20:45:40+00:00 September 7th, 2015|Categories: Business, Life, Musings|

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 […]

2017-04-20T20:45:40+00:00 July 31st, 2015|Categories: Business, Life, Musings|