Time for a Kick Start

I am a working voice talent. I make my living doing this. And as with most voice talent outside the major markets I find that I rely more and more on my own abilities to self-direct. Especially at the audition phase.

As someone who has been doing this a long time, I have lots of repeat clients, referrals and direct leads from my website – most of which don’t ask for an audition because they know me, or they simply like what they hear on my demos and don’t ask for an audition.

But, oh those auditions…

It is true that the booking to audition ratio is getting worse. More agents receive the same copy – which means many more people end up auditioning for the same spot – where in the past one or two agents would submit just a few of their talent.  This is ancient history. And if you are […]

2017-04-20T20:45:42+00:00 July 9th, 2014|Categories: Auditioning, Musings|Tags: , , |

Advice for Producers is Also Good Advice for Talent

Just ran across this blog post by Marc Scott cross-posted on Voice123. It is aimed at the people seeking voice talent, however it is good advice for both the seeker and the seekee! In fact, as a user of the online casting sites myself, I have a similar set of guidelines as I decide which projects to audition for.

One of the biggies for me is a poorly written script. As a long time award-winning scriptwriter and corporate producer before jumping into voiceover full-time, I wrote many many scripts for other talent to read. A well-written script is ALWAYS easier for the talent to deliver. If you are new to the art of writing a script for someone to verbalize, put your words to the test. Record yourself reading the material aloud before you send it off for auditions. If you have a hard […]

2017-04-20T20:45:47+00:00 December 15th, 2012|Categories: Auditioning|Tags: , , , |

Why Can’t People “Hear” Themselves?

Today it is easier and easier to get feedback on what you are doing. Why don’t people listen? Or perhaps, why – when given good feedback – why don’t people take action to improve what they are doing? Do they simply not hear themselves?

So many people these days have been told by endless “voiceover” coaches that they can make it – all they need is determination – and their signature on the bottom of that check paying for more classes. They stop listening to themselves and never develop their self-evaluation skills.

Most of the forums for voiceover people include critique areas where people can post demos for comments. I’m referring to demos from newbies, not updated demos from people who are making actual money doing voiceovers. You can get honest, yet sometimes highly conflicting advice. And if you follow the subsequent comments to a thread, this advice is often rejected by […]

Conversational Read? Sure – What Flavor?

We get it all the time in casting directions these days – the client wants a conversational read. They specifically tell you that a non-announcer read required.

But what flavor of conversation do they want? There are a lot of different ways to be “conversational.” Just listen to real people have a conversation. In fact, record yourself having conversations with different people.

(It might not be a good idea to record your conversation with the phone company after your phone lines have been down for 3 days. Or your call to the power company after the hot switch of the meter blew out your dishwasher and microwave. Although there are probably copies of those calls and if you run for public office they will surface.)

A lot of the nuances in just what conversational style will be right will come from the particular script you are reading, but Pam Turlow recently blogged about this subject and listed […]

2017-04-20T20:45:56+00:00 March 2nd, 2011|Categories: Auditioning, Techniques|Tags: , , |

Audiobook Insights from VOICE 2010

“Narrating audiobooks is one of the fastest growing niche areas of voiceover!”

This is a quote from Hilary Huber’s Audiobook panel materials for her Friday, June 4th Breakout session. On hand were Scott Brick and Pat Fraley to discuss what skills you need to actually work in this area.

The biggest hurdle for many people with aspirations of recording audiobooks is the simple fact that you have to read aloud for a LONG time. Most people THINK they can do this, but when faced with 500 pages of book – with multiple characters of different genders, ages, ethnicities, etc. – the reality is that it takes much more than thinking about it.

If you have gotten to the point where you can comfortably read for several hours a day for several days, without an excessive number of stops and starts or abundant mouth noise, then perhaps you are ready to market your services.

The current trend […]

2017-04-20T20:46:00+00:00 June 11th, 2010|Categories: Auditioning, Marketing|Tags: , , , , , |

Censored!

I would like to share the g-rated moments that I gleaned from Nancy Wolfson’s VOICE 2010 session on Friday, June 4. Her session was definitely pushing my comfort zone at first, but, hey, if Bob Souer can do it, then by gosh, I can try it too!

First of all some basic f*!#g tips.

  • Active hush – I may need someone to post a response explaning what this actually means, but I think it relates to the next bullet…
  • Avoid Volume and Cheerfulness – instead to add energy use vocal tension
  • Watch the smile (the Joanie Gerber “psychotic” smile may be old-school?)
  • Keep the copy higher than your eyes
  • Keep your body loose – ready to pounce

The x-rated portion of the session was all about using your natural instincts and doing three takes.

  • The Admit take – this is the gut take – no extra words
  • Then “throw down the “f” word” before the key words in the copy. […]
2010-06-09T17:15:15+00:00 June 9th, 2010|Categories: Auditioning, Techniques|Tags: , , , |

Paul Strikwerda Bursts the Audition Bubble

Paul is one of my favorite bloggers. He can stir up the pot a bit at times, which is fun. But usually, he has something brilliant to say about the business.

I’ve been ruminating on auditions lately. About the fact that I haven’t auditioned so much as I have since we moved into a remote casting era. But what I didn’t say (and that Paul says so well in his latest blog post), is that I am extremely picky about what I audition for. I checked my “stats” for the past 6 months at Voice123. I have deleted more than 1050 audition opportunities – and sent in auditions for about 75. Number of actual jobs? Very few from V123. Same basic ratio at Voices.com, but with far fewer audition opportunities.

http://nethervoice.com/nethervoice/2010/02/24/bursting-the-audition-bubble/

Something I talk to my introductory students about is learning to practice so that you actually improve – and not build […]

2017-04-20T20:46:02+00:00 February 24th, 2010|Categories: Marketing|Tags: , , , |

Can’t get away from it – even in Paradise

Just got back from about a week in Hawaii (the Big Island). My first trip – most of it spent driving around the island stopping at every point of interest. Amazing place.

Went over there for a VO Workshop – Medical Mumbo – with Julie Williams. That was one day in Hilo in the middle of the trip. Decided not to drag my laptop studio with me. Just the BlackBerry for email that mostly informed me of all of the auditions I was missing, as well as the ability to post pics to Facebook. It also rang a couple of times with jobs that needed to be pushed back until I got home. Luckily I was able to push them. Most of the time, when you leave home, you lose money.

But because this was a VO workshop, I did have a chance to do one audition that I just didn’t want […]

2017-04-20T20:46:05+00:00 January 15th, 2010|Categories: Auditioning|Tags: , , , |

You Just Never Know…

After all that ruminating about doing so many auditions and lamenting that most people were not casting off our demos (see prior blog post – http://isdnvoicetalent.wordpress.com/2009/12/02/ruminating-again-about-auditions/), I had a direct hit off one of the P2P sites that will result in an ISDN session this morning.

So, you just have to keep everything honed and at the ready…’cause you just never know the path someone will take to find and hire you. Keep your generic demos fresh!

It’s just one part of any good business plan. Scroll back a few posts to see some great responses from a couple of pros on some of the other business thoughts I’ve had over the past week or so.

http://isdnvoicetalent.wordpress.com/2009/12/22/more-on-the-business-of-vo/

http://isdnvoicetalent.wordpress.com/2009/12/21/tangible-and-intangible-assets-needed-for-voiceover-biz/

2017-04-20T20:46:05+00:00 December 23rd, 2009|Categories: Auditioning, Business, Marketing|Tags: , , , , |

Answers about casting from Rudy Gaskins

In light of my recent blog post (and subsequent article on VoiceOverXtra) about the selection process, Rudy Gaskins has some answers in his most recent article on VoiceOverXtra (Part 3).

He offers some fabulous insight in why he would select celebrity vs. working class talent. He also talks the process of selection – not the process of rejection. One question I may ask him is how many custom auditions he listens to and at what stage in his process. The article implies that he casts off the generic demos on the sites such as http://www.videovoicebank.net/.

Check it out – http://www.voiceoverxtra.com/article.htm?id=dyjk7quv

2017-04-20T20:46:05+00:00 December 21st, 2009|Categories: Auditioning|Tags: , , , , |