Door Prizes are Cool!

Was at a San Diego MCA-I meeting tonight at Phil Ferrari’s studio – the annual NAB wrap-up meeting with stories from members who attended and presentations from the top vendors in the industry talking about their new toys.

3-D is the happening thing apparently. So be prepared, you will need to buy another new TV very shortly.

We had Panasonic, JVC and Sony there with new equipment to show off – and lots of door prizes…not just from the big three, but from our local suppliers (I will add them as I confirm who contributed – Video Gear for sure) and some of our members as well. Luke and Mark always pick up a couple of hum-busters (Empire State Filters) to donate to the door prize pool.

I won some fabulous ear buds from JVC – Marshmallow stereo headphone – and a very cool black ball […]

2018-02-06T06:48:41+00:00April 28th, 2010|Categories: Business, Marketing|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Sense of Direction

I remember a session very early on in my career where I was just NOT producing what the director wanted. It was a horrible experience – and I was dismissed knowing that I had not been able to understand and deliver. I knew this because I heard the producer on the phone with my agent asking if she had to pay for me. Really horrible experience.

 A few years later, I was in a session with 6 producers – each offering different bits of “advice” for the read – and was able to find the “right” read that satisfied them all. Was it simply my added years of experience? Are there any standard words of advice that veteran voice talent can offer a director to help the session run more smoothly with successful results when all is said and done?

My friend and fellow VO talent Peter O’Connell sent a link […]

Auditioning: When is too much auditioning too much auditioning?

I belong to a very active LinkedIn group for working voice actors and the question of the day is about the “Law of Averages.”

Ed Victor says – “My new law of averages in scoring work is frankly “Less is More”. Less auditioning. More work. Is this the beginning of the end for agents and casting directors? Is the writing on the wall? Am I full of it?”

My first response to his question (there may be more):

Most of my work remains referrals, repeat clients and direct hits to my website or to one of the other websites where my demos are parked (some free and some P2P) with no auditioning. I also try to target a few new contacts each week through reading group posts, following links, key word searches.The vast majority of the auditions do seem to disappear into the ether – many never get heard. But I have landed […]

2018-02-06T06:48:42+00:00April 26th, 2010|Categories: Auditioning|

The Power of Face-to-Face Networking

Over the years my local work has dropped way off. Luckily for my continued mortgage payments, work outside the market has and continues to increase. My website placement on the web is a great part of this, as well as direct target marketing, social media, various “agents” around the world and the introduction of pay-to-play websites.

My face-to-face marketing efforts had pretty much dwindled down to monthly MCA-I meetings where I would have the word Voice Talent written under my name on my stick on name tag. That is usually the extent of my “sell” at these meetings – primarily because most of them think that they can’t afford me. I should probably try to change that impression somehow. Or maybe they are right. But I should open the conversation.

But after a rather disappointing 2009 economically, where my electronic marketing efforts were dramatically reduced due to an increase in personal time […]

2018-02-06T06:48:42+00:00April 20th, 2010|Categories: Marketing|Tags: , , |

Technical Specs for Audio/Video Scripts

It is usually a team effort to create an audio/visual presentation. And if the people you are working with don’t “see/hear” the end product the way you do, you may not get the “right” results.

This extends to the voiceover part of the presentation. You may have the entire presentation visualized in your head, but unless there is something on the script that helps the narrator see it (hear it) the way you do, you both will be working a lot harder than you need to.

Be sure to let the talent have as much information as possible about what you are hearing in the way of pacing and attitude and energy. This may mean taking a few minutes ahead of the session to discuss it with the talent. Believe me, for most projects, it is well worth the time. If a rough cut exists, consider sending a file with the interview clips. […]

2018-02-06T06:48:42+00:00April 19th, 2010|Categories: Techniques|Tags: , , |

Stock Music and Sound FX Site

Royalty-Free Stock Video at Pond5

Just ran across this site through a strange email exchange. (That exchange is the subject of another blog post.) Anyway, this site has stock video, music, and sound effects…apparently all user contributed. 50-50 split I guess. The site is pretty fast and easy to use. I downloaded a couple of the free sound effects they were offering just to see how the interface works. It is free to sign up and they are having a giveaway for an iMac this month.

I listened to some of the music and for $5 (hard to find the actual prices until you check out), they sound pretty good for the right projects. My concern, of course, is that this is another watering down of prices for creative content. The Internet and Social Media have changed the way we do business.

2018-02-06T06:48:42+00:00April 17th, 2010|Categories: Marketing|Tags: , , , |

A Dozen “C’s” for a Career in Voiceover Work

My friend Marc Cashman – a voice over instructor and performer has identified and described 12 voice over skill sets that will help you to refine your current skills and develop new ones. Here is the list – the whole article is available at Vox Daily.

1) Clarity

2) Cleanliness

3) Consistency

4) Connected

5) Conversational

6) Cold Reading

7) Chop Chop

8) Coordination

9) Characterization

10) Convincing

11) Control

12) Confidence

2018-02-06T06:48:42+00:00April 13th, 2010|Categories: Business|Tags: , , |

Shut up! And 7 other things to do AFTER reading your script! Advice from Edge Studios

Got this in an email a couple months ago from Edge Studios and found it again going through my InBox. Some great advice here for the beginner and a reminder for the pros…


Shut up!  And 7 other things to do AFTER reading your script!
It’s not just getting the gig that’s important.
It’s making sure the client hires you again.
So we’re sharing 7 things many voice talent forget to do after reading their copy!
1. Shut up when done reading your copy.  Don’t tell your client how you did – you’re liable to contradict their opinion and/or create more work for everyone by opening up a can of worms.  Instead listen to their direction.  Read again when prompted.

2. Conversely, when the job is done, talk.  Thank them.  Request a copy of the finished product.  Request a testimonial.

3. Later that day, send an email.  Say it was nice to work with them.  Compliment them […]

2018-02-06T06:48:42+00:00April 9th, 2010|Categories: Business, Marketing|Tags: , |

Tasked with an impossible name?

One of the things I do every month is record the names, addresses and phone numbers of eye doctors, dentists and lawyers for a couple of large IVR systems for Allstate. Lots of the names are foreign and appear impossible to pronounce at first glance. Finding a source to help with these names with origins from around the world would be great.

I’m checking out the VOA (Voice of America) pronunciation website –

Mike Cain from the Yahoo Voiceover Message board passed this along.

2010-04-07T11:59:06+00:00April 7th, 2010|Categories: Techniques|Tags: , |

Twitter? Facebook? LinkedIn? Email? Smart Phone? POT? Blogs? SEO? What works?

It has been an interesting year – trying to find the right mix of media to keep in contact with my clients and potential clients. Depending on who you talk to, the mix of media can be one or more of the above, in any order and in every possible percentage. What works for you?

I’m finding that my Blackberry lets me get out of the studio, but getting out of the studio means less time to work my network of contacts. And being an early adopter of nearly everything technological (I had a Kaypro), I have had to try out social media as a way to connect.

Can’t say that it is really working for me yet – although I did manage to land a nice project through a Facebook happy coincidence. I joined an e-Learning group the same day someone else did who happened to be looking for female voice […]

2018-02-06T06:48:42+00:00April 5th, 2010|Categories: Business, Marketing|Tags: , , |