Recently, my husband, Troy, and I went on a cruise to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. We had a blast, and I was still able to take care of my clients while traveling. Believe me, we had all kinds of time to eat and play and get our vacation vibes on, but taking an hour out of our day to make sure all of my regular clients had everything they needed has led to long-lasting, wonderful business relationships. My clients trust me. They know I care. They know they are a priority to me. This has served my career well over nearly twenty years. At the end of the day, in addition to the super fun creative work we get to do. it’s all about serving our clients’ needs. [Read more…] about How I Record On the Go
Curl up with a cozy blanket and a mug of tea, because I’ve got a story for you:
About 18 years ago, I was sitting in the lobby of a local studio waiting for my recording session to begin. I was hired to voice some commercials for a Las Vegas casino client. I arrived about 10 minutes early.
(Side note: It’s always a good idea if you’re recording in person for a live/directed session to get there a little early, but not too early. About ten minutes ahead of time should do it. Otherwise, it gets weird for the staff because they don’t have time to entertain you! If you can print your script(s) ahead of time–if they’ve emailed you in advance–make sure to do so and bring them with you. Also, it never hurts to bring a bottle of water, a pencil, and a piece of hard sour candy just in case your mouth goes dry! Never assume the studio will have everything you need–though most studios do! I just like to come prepared. I’m kind of a Girl Scout like that) [Read more…] about Gratitude is Everything by Melissa Moats
Do you overthink things? Me, too. (I’m a little weird about locking doors. I’m a double/triple door-lock checker!)
Thinking about overthinking makes me think of (bear with me here) voicers I see struggling to make their reads ‘perfect.’ I’m here to tell you that a perfect read is impossible. Heck, perfection is impossible! Who is your ‘perfect’ read for, anyway? You? Your client? Your cat? Millions of listeners? [Read more…] about Are You A VO Perfectionist?
I often say that no two voiceover journeys look the same. This is because we all define success differently!
To you, success might be booking your first voice over gig, or finally getting your home studio tuned in just the way you imagined. To others, success might mean booking voice work on a regular basis or building up enough steady clients to leave their corporate day job. No matter where you are on your VO journey, I’m here to remind you to be patient, present and to take action. [Read more…] about A Take-Action Plan for Every Voice Actor
Building your VO expertise shouldn’t stop when you leave class. Here are three tips for practicing your VO performance!
1. Learn the art of paraphrasing.
Being an excellent voice actor means you know how to get to the heart of the copy writer’s message. We turn written word into spoken word and make it sound natural. In order to do that, we need to understand what the heck it is we’re talkin’ about!
Sure, we want to tell a great nuanced story, work our exceptional mic technique, and be mindful of how we ‘sound’, but are you ever guilty of focusing too much on how your voice sounds and overlooking the key points the writer is making? (We’ve all done it!)
Remember in school, when your teacher asked you to summarize a book or a chapter in your own words? Paraphrasing, baby! As a voice actor, it’s critical to be able to understand the general message of the copy well enough that you can put it in your own words in a sentence or two—well enough that you can paraphrase it!
To paraphrase a script, ask yourself these questions: What’s the main objective of this script? What’s the big idea(s) the writer wants to drive home?
Then, flip the script over (so you can’t see it—no cheating!) and then say, in your own words, out loud, the general message that the writer is communicating. If you can’t say it in your own words yet, read it again until you can…
Boom! You did it!
Next, quickly flip the script back over and begin reading your script again out loud. What do you know? It sounds way more conversational and less announcer-y or read-y.
When you put the copy in your own words, you tap into a more conversational YOU. And that’s what producers want—you!
2. Fall in love with lead-ins.
Another great benefit to paraphrasing scripts is that you can use paraphrasing as a lead-in.
What’s a lead-in? A lead-in is an unscripted word or phrase you say right before you start reading a script. I describe it as a little performance “trampoline” you can use to bounce into your actual “script-reading.”
Holy cow does it help! It’s a miracle worker. Why is that? Well, when you start reading without a lead-in, sometimes it takes a sentence or two of reading before you find your stride or momentum—before you settle in to that script. If you add a lead-in, by the time you get to the first sentence of the script, you’ll nail it. This is super important, because do you know what the most important sentence of the script is?
You guessed it! The first sentence! How your first sentence lands on the ear will dictate whether or not that casting director or client will continue listening.
(Now, do me and yourself a favor and rock that read all the way through, but if you’re gonna stress over any part of an audition… make it the very first sentence. First impressions count!)
I say it all the time, but our VO journey is a marathon, not a sprint, with many starts and stops along the way. Sort of like a VO cha-cha!
For a while, you might feel some major momentum with your VO training, but then, something pulls you away. Life happens, work happens, being human happens. At TVAS, we totally understand. We’ll never make you feel bad if you’ve had to hit the pause button on your VO training because another part of life needed your attention. We get it—we’ve been there. (Just know we’ll be happy to see you when the time is right, and we’ll never grill you on where you’ve been! Ever!) [Read more…] about Are You Doing the VO Cha-Cha?
Everyone’s voice over journey is different. It may take some people a few months to cut their demo and other people a few years. Some people want to go after voice acting full time, while others like it as a side gig. Some folks are animation and character wizards, while others prefer corporate, commercial, and narration work. The variety is what makes VO so special and unique to you! [Read more…] about Top 10 Steps for VO Success
Voice acting is so much more than just talking into a mic. When you’re interpreting your scripts, you should not only think your performance choices like mood/attitude who your audience is, and how you want them to feel—you should also think about the how you’re interacting with the mic itself.
For example, if it’s a conversational script, keep it—you guessed it!—conversational! Think about the volume level in which you’d speak if you were talking to someone sitting right next to you. [Read more…] about Mic Technique & Style Tips
I’ve been thinking about you. Yep! I’m always thinking about ways I can help, support, educate and inspire you. I know you can do this.
You know how I always say, “Reading out loud just 5 minutes a day can be a game-changer in building your overall VO performance skills?” Well, here are a few other ideas to think about: [Read more…] about The Power of 5
Want to know my word of the day? Enthusiasm.
Remember when you were a kid and someone mentioned ice cream? Or a water park? Or camping in the back yard? It was the greatest thing ever.
Enthusiasm is a state of mind. Enthusiasm breeds energy. It inspires action and is the most contagious of all emotions. I think one of my secret super powers in life is bringing genuine enthusiasm to everything I do. When I get up in the morning, I’m excited about what the day holds. I genuinely look forward to experiencing my first sip of coffee, going on my morning walk, and then seeing what creative opportunities await in my inbox! What on earth will I be voicing today? I can’t wait to find out! [Read more…] about The Power of Enthusiasm