Get a Kick in the Pants! Get the New Edition of “There’s Money Where Your Mouth Is”

I just sort of fell into the voiceover business. I really didn’t have any training. No school of broadcasting. No acting classes (well, none since the 2nd grade). But I had done a bit of radio in college and that led to some staff announcing while I was in grad school. Grad school led to a job in a TV station, first as a director, then, after deciding that was something that I didn’t want to do for the rest of my life, as a staff announcer. A live staff announcer.

A live staff announcer who didn’t sound like a typical announcer – so the door to my little closet-sized booth would open on a regular basis with people  handing me commercial copy. After a period of time, I decided that I might need to learn a bit more about this voiceover stuff – and bought my first book –

Be Picky!

I pay to play on Voice123. And as each month passes, I am more and more picky about the time I spend auditioning. And yet, I am still auditioning a bit more than all Voice123 Premium Subscribers that also speak English – North American.

I just counted up the auditions I’ve done in the past 6 months…63 auditions. I think I’ve had 2 bookings – could be more, I’d have to do a little database research. A lot of Finalist rankings, but the phone hasn’t rung yet with the gig – and maybe never will. Too soon to tell on some of them and relationships are bubbling I am sure.

Frankly I would be thrilled to have 10 auditions a month from my agents. I’m up to about 8 per month with one agent and the others? Not even close. Of course, I do get booked through agents without auditioning, which is […]

2018-02-06T06:48:19+00:00December 9th, 2011|Categories: Auditioning, Marketing, Musings, Negotiating|

Auditioning the “wrong” way

I followed a link from a voiceover talent (Lori Taylor) on one of the Facebook voiceover groups – there must be half a dozen – so how one keeps up with all that chatter is really beyond me – but this caught my eye.

This well-produced quirky web series is about what NOT to do in on-camera and in-person VO auditions and features two very talented actors who portray a couple of endearing, yet completely oblivious wannabe actors. The series follows their auditions as they show up for commercials and industrials and PSA’s. The scripts are brilliant. Here is the first episode.

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2018-02-06T06:48:20+00:00October 23rd, 2011|Categories: Announcements, Auditioning, Business|

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 […]

2018-02-06T06:48:34+00:00March 2nd, 2011|Categories: Auditioning, Techniques|Tags: , , |

Casting the “net”

As part of our job as voiceover talent, we do a lot of auditions. Some are part of a small select group. Some are more like cattle calls. But that is part of the game.

While wearing my producer hat, I listened to lots and lots of demos and/or auditions with a certain “sound” in my head – pressing the skip button to advance the CD compliation to the next track after a couple of seconds. That was time enough to know if that was what I thought was going to be right for the production. Music cuts – same process. We really do know it when we hear it.

Just sent off an audition for a project that clearly stated that the client was going to listen to lots and lots of auditions in their search for a spokesperson. My Christmas wish for myself is that I am the voice in […]

2018-02-06T06:48:35+00:00December 26th, 2010|Categories: Auditioning, Marketing|

To On-Camera or Not To On-Camera?

After doing fewer and fewer on-camera jobs over the past few years, I find that I don’t jump up and down with excitement when an email comes in with an on-camera audition. It’s a matter of time – and money.

Plus, I have grown so comfortable in jeans and leggings that the idea digging through my closet for business attire for an on-camera audition is becoming less and less appealing. Most of my business wardrobe is getting pretty dated (not to mention just a little snug!). So a lot of time is spent just figuring out what the heck to wear.

Then, you have to put on make-up!!! But since the advent of HD – not too much make up – but just the right amount of make up. This means more time just getting ready to get in the car to actually drive somewhere.

Add to this, the fact that most of these auditions in […]

2018-02-06T06:48:36+00:00November 21st, 2010|Categories: Auditioning, Business|

Audition Reviewing Service? “What was I thinking!?”

I just got an email from Sound Advice (Kate McClanaghan) introducing a new service to help beginning VO practice auditioning in the vacuum of their home studios. Basically, they randomly email you some fresh scripts on a weekly basis, give you a deadline (like real auditions), so that you can practice in your home studio. These are not real auditions for real jobs, just practice.

I downloaded the audio clip explaining the service and was suprised to hear that they are not going to actually critique the read – just the mechanics of the audition – did you slate correctly, meet the deadline, edit cleanly, etc. Yes, I realize that the “read” is subjective – to a point. But there are times when a head slap really helps clarify what the copy is saying – someone to say “What were you thinking!?” It can be hard to slap yourself.

So, what if that kind of service existed […]

2018-02-06T06:48:36+00:00November 3rd, 2010|Categories: Auditioning|

Another set of ears

Interesting stuff happened in my class today. I teach one class a semester at a local community college – an introduction to voice acting class. The assignment was to listen to demos – I gave them and as two places they could hear lots of “demos.”

I told them to listen primarily to commercial demos at this point in the class. And gave them a couple of things to be aware of with each site. Voicebank – depending on which agency you select – will have the “stars.” Many of whom don’t have real “demos” – well, because they don’t need no stinkn’ demos. And in fact, that is what some of the students discovered. Several well known actors didn’t have real demos – just a sample of a spot or two. Others found great demos from both the stars and the non-stars.

On Voice123, I told them that they […]

2018-02-06T06:48:38+00:00August 25th, 2010|Categories: Auditioning, Business|

The Competition?

One of the Social Media Networks on my radar is the Working Voice Actor group on LinkedIn. The group host is Ed Victor, a voice talent now in Florida. He tries to “whack the hornets nest” each week with a topic. This week he posted a question about competition or camaradarie. Are we competing against each other for the job? Or are we simply “trying out” to see if we’re the right fit?

The voiceover community seems to be heavy on being congenial with the competition – probably because we are all different. We offer advice to newbies who may end up auditioning for the same work. We actually like to travel – sometimes long distances – to have a chance to see each other face-to-face.

More and more – as the ways of doing business evolve away from in-person auditions to […]

2018-02-06T06:48:39+00:00July 9th, 2010|Categories: Auditioning, Business, Marketing|

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 […]

2018-02-06T06:48:39+00:00June 11th, 2010|Categories: Auditioning, Marketing|Tags: , , , , , |