MCA-I (formerly ITVA) Fades to Black

MCA-I logoMCA-I (and before the name change – ITVA) has been one of my tribes for a very long time. I was working full-time at General Dynamics in the film and video department when my boss, Scott Crist, told me I should join. So, I did. And through the years, I was active on the local board in pretty much every position, including several years acting as chapter coordinator until a new crop of leaders took over. At that point, I moved to the national board and again did nearly all of the positions, including President of the association.

By that time, the association had started it’s decline. And so, after many years of declining membership and sponsorship dollars, on August 11, 2016 the Board of Directors of Media Communication Association-International (MCA-I) voted to dissolve the 47-year old association, effective immediately.

A little history. MCA-I […]

2017-04-20T20:45:38+00:00 August 21st, 2016|Categories: Announcements, Business|Tags: , , , , |

Voiceover Warm Ups – Breathing and Articulation Exercises

When I moved to the new website format, I removed my voiceover exercise pages, so I am posting the information here on the Blog, so that they are still available to those who have been looking for them! The tongue twisters can be found in this post.

RELAXATION AND BREATHING

  1. Abdominal breathing. Stand erect and place one hand on your abdomen. Inhale moderately and emit a series of short staccato “ha” sounds. Vary the force from strong to slight. Develop the feeling that you are pushing the sound up from your abdominal area.
  2. Lie on the floor and place a book on your abdomen just below your ribs. Breathe normally and feel the muscle activity. The book should rise and fall gently as you breathe.
  3. Breath control — When breath is released too rapidly, you sound “breathy”. It lacks resonance and projection and it fades at the end of a […]
2017-04-20T20:45:38+00:00 June 22nd, 2016|Categories: Announcements, Tips & Tricks|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 […]

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 […]

2017-04-20T20:45:40+00:00 August 27th, 2015|Categories: Business, Negotiating|Tags: , , , , |

Give it away, give it away now

The Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Give It Away” has a couple of lyrics that make me think about the way I live my life and do business. I’m pretty lucky to be doing what I am doing and make a living at it. Still looking to spend more time on the dancin’ part of it, and better do that soon before my agility runs out.

“Lucky me swimmin’ in my ability. Dancin’ down on life with agility.”

At least I am interpreting these lyrics in this way. Not being the type of person who plans, but someone who has a bit of common sense and intuition, I ended up being able to carve out a living doing something that I enjoy. In fact, enjoy to the point where I don’t really consider it work. This gets to be an issue when I don’t take the time to dance.

Later on in the song, we […]

2017-04-20T20:45:43+00:00 November 22nd, 2013|Categories: Business, Negotiating|Tags: , |

I’ll Gladly Pay You Someday for a Voiceover Job Today

Why is it that creative businesses (mostly independent freelancers) find themselves on the short end of the stick when it comes to getting paid in a timely manner? My voiceover friend Paul Strikwerda discussed this phenomenon today in his Nethervoice blog – http://www.nethervoice.com/2013/09/18/when-a-client-owes-you/

Why is it that the sub-contractors have to wait for their money until the prime contractor gets paid. This is not the way it is supposed to work. Paul postulates as to why we find ourselves in this position of being the tail on the dog when it comes to getting paid.

When I was an active video producer, I mostly worked in-house or for a large production company and didn’t have problems with getting paid for what I did, or paying the people that worked for me. There was a much larger machine chugging along with enough accounts receivable to cover the costs of the jobs. I just […]

2017-04-20T20:45:44+00:00 September 19th, 2013|Categories: Business, Musings, Negotiating|Tags: , , , |

With Trepidation I Present “In a World…”

Just what we need, more exposure for the voice over business! So, I am somewhat hesitant to bring this up, but since most of the people who will chance across this post will already be in the business, or already interested in the business, I suppose it won’t do any harm.

From watching the trailer, this looks like a delightfully funny little film about life in the rarefied air of the Los Angeles voiceover market where there is a chance of someone actually hiring you (man or woman, but mostly man) to do a movie trailer.

Lake Bell wrote, produces and stars in the film, with some other familiar real-life voiceover “stars” in the Los Angeles market including Joe Cipriano and Marc Graue. In fact, now that I think about it, this might make a good pilot for a sitcom that takes place in a renowned recording studio in someplace like  – […]

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: , , , |

Does This Mic Make Me Sound Fat?

There is no one size fits all when it comes to microphones. No one price range that will guarantee that a mic will sound wonderful with your voice. It all “depends.” It depends on your own particular physical characteristics. It depends on the room that you are recording in.

But it is always SUCH a huge topic of discussion with passionate opinions on what mics are BEST. It gets as bad as the PC vs. MAC debate.

But it is still interesting to listen to the differences (or lack thereof) between the various mics and their price points – and that is why I am forwarding these links.

Poke around on the net and you can probably find more mic shootouts. I am pretty sure there was another comprehensive blind shootout, but I must not be using the right key words. If you know of others, please post a comment and the link.

2012-07-25T09:48:38+00:00 July 25th, 2012|Categories: Recording, Technology|Tags: , , , , |

Cats: Total Disregard for your Studio

I have a love/hate relationship with my cats.

There are four of them. Not quite the crazy lady with all the cats, but please – someone stop me before I get to that point.

All different personalities…

Lista – the little girl. Skinny and skittish. But sit down and she is right there on your lap with her sharp sharp little claws kneading your tummy.

Louie – chubby tuxedo cat. OK, fat. And when he sits around the house, he sits AROUND the house. (rim shot)

Monroe – orange tabby – AKA Mean-roe – still dealing with his sexuality – finding love in all the wrong places – usually with a random article of clothing.

Ding Tut – the new boy – sort of the color of a Dreamsicle – a stocky, adorable, lover – a head butting, paws around your neck nuzzler.

However, leave them alone and destruction ensues. It always amazes me how they can […]

2017-04-20T20:45:48+00:00 July 23rd, 2012|Categories: Musings|Tags: , |