Memorize? Who Me? I’m a Voiceover Talent…

One of the things that separates a voiceover actor from a theater or film actor is memorization. In VO, we don’t have to memorize. While both are “acting,” the techniques are different. And one of the reasons why not all good stage or film actors can make the transition to VO. And vice versa.

I love the fact that I don’t have to memorize. It goes in my eyeballs, rolls around in my brain for a little while, out my mouth and then it is gone. Sometimes I can’t even tell you what I did yesterday!

When I was doing on-camera work as a spokesperson, I used teleprompter or ear-prompter, so I wasn’t memorizing either.

But a dozen or so years ago, I auditioned for a live “radio show” that was going to be done on stage. After the run, I had been bitten by the “acting” bug. It was wonderful to actually […]

2017-04-20T20:45:48+00:00 July 15th, 2012|Categories: Musings, Techniques|Tags: , , , , , |

Down Time: Duties or Dilly Dallying?

I don’t know about you, but I don’t spend hours and hours in my booth, unless I am recording an audio book. Most of the time I am NOT in my booth. When you do mostly spots or short corporate pieces or eLearning, your time in the booth is probably a lot less than the time you spend catching up on Facebook.

But what should we be doing with the time we are not recording? My thoughts on that have changed over the years. And god help the person who has to unravel the mess I am leaving behind because of this change in attitude.

I used to be a lot more organized than I am now. You would think that with advances in software to make our lives easier, that I would have things a lot more together than I do. I have Outlook and Act and Quicken Home and Business […]

2017-04-20T20:45:48+00:00 May 19th, 2012|Categories: Business, Musings|Tags: , , , |

Are You Hopping Mad about Auto Hop?

So the latest invention in the quest by people to skip the very thing that keeps their TV programs on the air is an ad eraser embedded in new digital video recorders sold by Dish Network. Just turn on Auto Hop and ads automatically vanish. TiVo on steroids.

Here’s an article in the New York Times that goes into more detail.

So, how do I feel about that – as a voice talent whose income includes payment for doing announcing for TV Commercials? In some ways, a lot like the chief executive of CBS who wonders how he will produce shows like “CSI” without the support of the advertisers running the commercials. Or maybe a bit like News Corporation who has decided not to run Dish’s DVR ads.

Everyone in the chain is trying to figure out how to snag the eyeballs (and dollars) of the consumers. Consumers […]

2017-04-20T20:45:49+00:00 May 17th, 2012|Categories: Business, Musings, Technology|Tags: , , , , , , |

Matching Your Delivery

The other day I had three sessions in a row with repeat clients for whom my delivery is just slightly different. Pacing, placement, energy, warmth, etc. just a bit different for each project.

One client found me 3 or 4 years ago because they had lost track of the voice they had been using and wanted a voice match. Actually, they THOUGHT I was the same person and after I told them that I wasn’t, they asked me if I could match a sample they provided. I did and we have been doing updates every 5 months or so. This voice is in a slightly different place in my head than my usual signature sound.

Another project was 3 word changes and a new paragraph for a project originally completed about a year and a half ago. The read on this was soft and comforting.

And the third project that day was the […]

2017-04-20T20:45:50+00:00 April 7th, 2012|Categories: Musings, Techniques|Tags: , , |

In Between Sessions

I wish I could say that I was so busy that I had back to back sessions every day and had to squeeze in the bookkeeping, marketing and plant watering. Well, I’m busy enough that I make a living doing this voiceover stuff without the back-to-back sessions. And even if I don’t have projects stacked up waiting, I still have a hard time getting all the other stuff done. But there is simply no way I can actually organize a day with any strict rules on when I am going to do anything.

The day started out like a typical Tuesday. Walk down to the coffee shop for my 7-8 AM solve the world’s problems group, but the phone rang and I had to race back home to get the car to drive out to my mom’s Assisted Living Community to call off the Paramedics. You would think after 7 months […]

Happy St. Valentine’s Day Massacre!

I couldn’t help myself, I had to send out a press release announcing the opening of the Mob Museum in Las Vegas, because it includes a couple of videos narrated by myself and my friend Scott Gentle. Both videos were created by Northern Light Productions out of Massachusetts and are examples of what good video should be – from the visuals, to the editing, to the sound.

I had the good fortune to narrate a longer documentary produced by Northern Light Productions called “Weapons of Mass Disruption,” which tells the more than a little disturbing story of cyber warfare. The script was superb and such a pleasure to read.

Anyway, here is the release about the work we did for the Mob Museum. I can hardly wait until my April […]

The 1% (or whatever it is) in the VO Biz

With all the talk about the 1% vs the 99% these days with regards to Wall Street and Jobs and Taxes, something crossed my eyeballs this morning that shows that this spread exists in other areas as well.

Voiceover actors have been chatting about the jobs being lost to “celebrity” voices for years now…ever since the animated Alladin was released featuring Robin Williams as the Genie. There is no doubt that Robin Williams stole that movie, but it paved the way for more and more celebrity on-camera actors being cast in animated features and fewer and fewer opportunities for working class voice actors.

Written by SCOTT MESLOW – an Atlantic contributor and a film and television writer based in Washington, D.C., who has also written for Campus Progress andWealthBriefing – this article highlights how the “A-list” actors are nudging out the “ubiquitous but nearly anonymous, traditional voice actors.”

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2011/10/how-celebrities-took-over-cartoon-voice-acting/247481/

His main question is whether there […]

2017-04-20T20:45:52+00:00 October 31st, 2011|Categories: Business, Musings|Tags: , , , |

In the Online World, Context is King…

It is hard to get any work done these days because you follow links which lead to more links and suddenly you have forgotten what you went online to do in the first place, but it is almost always an interesting distraction. Sometimes pure silliness, sometimes thought provoking, sometimes good for business. I’m always looking for interesting tidbits that will help the bottom line.

One of the mantras of video has been “Content is King.” With the emergence and tsunami of online video, it may be that the context will be driving the dollars.

Today, I was reading a post from MediaPost and it led me to an article called “Context is King: How Videos are Found and Consumed Online” packed with information from a November 2006 study by Bear Stearns Cable and Satellite analyst Spencer Wang called “Why Aggregation & Context and Not (Necessarily) Content are […]

VO – Just Part of the Total Package

Any video production is a team effort and there are times when all of the elements work so well together, you need to show it off.

I did the VO for this spot produced by the Arthur Agency for New Life Weight Loss Center at Herrin Hospital in Ohio. I give it a thumbs up on creative and execution!

2017-04-20T20:45:53+00:00 October 5th, 2011|Categories: Announcements, Recording|Tags: , , , , |

Tax Form for the Marginally Employed

My voiceover friend Rowell Gormon just posted a link to an important tax document for the army of self-employed working out of their homes.

You must qualify of course. Do you spend at least 8 hours of daylight in your pajamas? Do your medical expenses include naps, toothbrushes, garlic dill pickles, elixirs, etc.? Do you Tweet? There’s a complex formula for that. Don’t Tweet? Sorry, you don’t qualify for that deduction. Oh and be sure to include your time wasting allowance – and your Hollywood Protection Act deduction (100% of the cost of blockbuster movies you didn’t really want to see).

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/04/13/opinion/20100413_opart.html

*Be sure to consult your tax preparer to get the latest form. This is the 2009 form, so I’m sure it has changed considerably over the past couple of years. The Obamamania deduction for inauguration expenses has probably been deleted – however, they may have added an […]

2017-04-20T20:45:54+00:00 July 12th, 2011|Categories: Business, Musings|Tags: , , |