In the corporate world, a change agent is a person from inside or outside the organization who helps an organization transform itself by focusing on such matters as organizational effectiveness, improvement, and development. The voice over business, my voice over business requires me to be a change agent. My audition technique just 12 months ago is now antiquated because of the training I’ve had since then (development). My marketing efforts, while not bad, were not as effective as they are today. How I handle my financials from my bookings has taken on a whole new tone. In order to be successful in my business, I need to have the willingness to change. As the song says “Everything must change, nothing stays the same”. I can’t teach myself VO, so I hire a coach (improvement). I’ve come to the realization that I need accounting software (keeping the books straight alleviates stress, which can be heard in your audition!). As voice actors, our concentration tends to be on performance, but if I don’t focus on the overall organizational structure of my business, there won’t be any change. It’s all about evolution, dude. If nothing changes, nothing changes.
Archives for May 2018
Copy can come in a variety of forms. Sometimes it’s buried in an email from an agent. Sometimes a pay-to-play site makes you copy the copy with your mouse and then paste into something useful on your computer. And then there’s long stuff, like elearning or video game sides. These can come in formats oh so handy for the client, and oh so UNhandy for you, like in a spreadsheet! Ugh.
The copy can not only tell you what the client wants you to say, it can also tell you (with help from your word processor) tell HOW MUCH they want you to say, via a word count. That in turn influences how much you want to CHARGE! Yet, that word count can be hard to figure out when copy is spread out in a few dozen spreadsheet cells. [Read more…]
Hello voicers! I had the pleasure of sitting down with our very own TVAS Newsletter interviewer, Joy Kingston! When Joy retired from a rewarding accounting career; she knew she wanted to do something artistic. She had been a painter and songwriter years ago, so when her neighbor said “hey, you have a great voice!”, and told her about Melissa Moats at the Voice Actors Studio, she thought it would be a great experience. She remembers the exact date she started: February 25th, 2017. Once on the mic, she was hooked. Her favorite class at TVAS? The Ongoing Workshops. Joy says the Ongoing classes allow her to practice at her own pace. She always learns a lot from other students and gains new insights in every class from the coaches. Her favorite genres are Narration, Commercial and Audiobooks. In early March of this year (almost a year to the date of her first class!), Joy recorded her first commercial demo. In just a few short weeks since then, she is auditioning for leading brands. Her goals? Well, her super-sweet voice is a natural for children’s toys, animation and cartoons, and she’d ultimately love to do children’s audiobooks. She’d also like to travel extensively. As mentioned earlier, what you may not know about Joy is that she is an accomplished painter; her oil paintings were on CNN’s website for a feature titled “Unknown American Artists”, and she sold a few pieces! She also writes songs, (some with copywrites!). And as you all know, she lends her writing and interview talents to the TVAS newsletter every month. Thank you Joy, for sharing some facets of your amazing life. You may contact Joy at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hey Voicers, I’m feeling inspired, and I thought I’d share. Ya know what 18 years in as a voice over actor feels like? It’s a blend of happiness, gratitude, accomplishment, and yet still always feels like I’m just getting warmed up. I love this business. I can’t get enough of auditioning, storytelling, understanding what my clients needs and creative vision are, and then getting the opportunity to collaborate with them and create together. I love building new relationships. I embrace the privilege to voice for brands both big and small. They’re all big to me. [Read more…]
Hello fellow voicers! In this segment, I am thrilled to introduce you to one classy lady and voice talent, Sandra Segrest. Sandra had been working for over twelve years at the Chicago Tribune in advertising sales when the 2008 recession hit her hard along with so many others. This began her path to becoming a voice over actor. Sandra refused to give in to despair and invested in acting classes and performed in a few community theater productions. She found she didn’t enjoy all the auditions required for acting parts nor live theater. Sandra decided to use her skills and talent by starting her voice over journey. One of her very first voice over spots was voicing an industrial film. Her favorite genre is elearning but she also excels in radio commercials and PSAs. Her portfolio includes PSAs on Childhood Obesity and Hypertension in African Americans for the health district. She has done several TV commercials including her favorite: a credit union commercial that ran in California. In 2012, after moving to Las Vegas, Sandra found our TVAS through the Las Vegas “Meet Up” organization. She enjoys our specialty classes and finds that attending the on-going workshops at least twice a month helps her grow professionally. Please click on the link to enjoy hearing Sandra in a spot she did for the YMCA . While still living in Chicago, Sandra helped her community serving in the ministry. We appreciate Sandra sharing how she became this amazing voice over talent. Sandra can be contacted at her website: www.s2voiceovers.com and email: email@example.com.
There’s plenty of opportunity at the Voice Actors Studio to take “ongoing” classes. They’re how many times a week—twice? You can fill your dance card each month. And it’s good experience. Time in the saddle, time on the mic, time listening to others make choices and time hearing coaches give directions. [Read more…]
Holidays, birthdays, vacation season, and other special occasions sometimes give me an excuse to “take it down a thousand” and slack off my auditions. Yes, we should allow time for friends, family and fun; after all, that’s one of the reasons we work for; to live a happy, comfortable life. But this time of year, a day or so can easily turn into 3 or 4 days or so. Then, when I finally do begrudgingly get back on the mic, I find myself reading copy and saying “I don’t feel that one right now, I’ll come back to it” (I’ll confess: I’ve actually missed a couple of submission deadlines on a P2P because of this), or even worse, “this doesn’t fit me”, when it really does. Procrastination, or “obstruction of progress”, can fill my mind with all kinds of….excuses. If I don’t audition for 3 or more days, I can actually hear the difference in my read when I finally do. So in the meantime, I practice, either reading spots out of a magazine or paper, or mostly while watching TV, my media drug of choice. There are certain promos, tags, station IDs and commercials I like to practice to (“Only By Bravo”, a personal favorite!). I don’t mimic the VO, but I try it in different tones and styles. It may not seem like much, but it motivates and inspires me to what I might want to do down the road, and I’ve even managed to get off the couch and get on the mic after hearing some of them! How do you get to Carnegie Hall, or in VO-Land, win the job? Practice, Practice, Practice!
“Maybe, if you put your disbelief aside, roll up your sleeves, take some risks, and totally go for it, you’ll wake up one day and realize you’re living the kind of life you used to be jealous.”
― Jen Sincero, You Are a Badass
We bring about what we think about. And your powerful thoughts led you to following that creative little voice inside your head (and heart) to get going and pursue your dream of Voice Acting. So many people I’ve mentored along the way have said, “I’ve wanted to do this forever! I’ve driven past your studio for like… two years!” (Some even longer)! Or, “I finally, finally gave myself permission to take the plunge!” Well, we’ve been waiting for you, so we’re glad you finally showed up! [Read more…]