Quick story: my wife (a university professor), a few years ago, dropped her one and only external hard drive on the hard title floor. That was the end of that drive. But no worries, she said. Off we went to campus, where, in her office, she had a backup program that had all her stuff. Something there had glitched, however. She had all the folders, but nothing inside any of them. She lost YEARS of data, images, lectures, specialized scans…her entire professional life. Poof! Gone. [Read more…] about Jacked Up: Backing Up
If your mic is doing its job—making you sound like YOU—then other than a bad recording environment bringing in bounce or echo from within your recording area, or extra noises outside your booth, like from your dog, kids, passing trucks, or your refrigerator—don’t blame the mic. [Read more…] about Jacked Up: I’m Not Booking, It Must Be My Mic
Recently, I had a class where for the first time, I couldn’t see the students. I was home sick, participating via Skype.
Listening without seeing students allowed me to focus completely on what the student actors said. And I heard other things, too. [Read more…] about Jacked Up: Voice Acting on VO’s “Bare Stage”
A student the other day was all pleased about his new gear. His dad had, without asking, went out and bought a package deal (RED FLAG—well-meaning, but untrained parent, “helping”). The package came with a USB mic and an interface and some cables. [Read more…] about From the Cart-Before-the-Horse Dept.: Eight-Foot Blue Curtains
I recently took the second biggest financial leap of my VO career. The first was the first year or two of lessons and classes, before I’d submitted a single word for an audition. The current leap was buying a pre-made booth, for— let’s just say— four figures.
But I want to be sure you all know that you don’t need an expensive recording booth to have a successful career. In fact, before making the jump to a pre-made booth, I operated in my $100 booth starting in 2012. [Read more…] about Jacked Up: GEAR: The Final Frontier
Everybody has opinions. Social media lets you express them, but only YOU can control them. If you’re getting into business as a voice actor (or any other form of self-employment), you need to add a new filter: How would expressing myself on social media affect potential customers and my reputation?
Want to complain about (pick a topic)? Want to advocate for (pick a candidate)? Want to single out a bad client or lousy experience in VO?
THINK before posting. What benefit would you get for your VO business? What harm might there be? [Read more…] about Jacked Up: Posting on Social Media and Your VO Career
WHAT? I have to be an audio editor, too?
I recently listened to an online webinar where a well-accomplished audio editor gave a class on Twisted Wave, an audio recording app. It runs in the cloud as well as on Mac computers, iPhones, and iPads. It’s my go-to editing and processing app.
It happens every few months: a voice acting student I know is morphing before my eyes into a working voice actor, having been at it for six, nine, or twelve months. They come to me all excited. “I booked my first gig!” (Usually when I hear about that it also includes, “my first audiobook!”)
Oh, great, I say. Are you ready technically? Got your studio together, have your process in place?
I’m greeted then with either a blank look or a confident-sounding, “Oh, I’m setting up my studio this week.”
My reaction (that I keep to myself) is, “How did you do a decent audition without a place set up to record? And why would you accept a job without a place to record it?” [Read more…] about Jacked Up: Carts and Horses
When you make your living talking, you’re bound to run into words you’ve never seen before. And then there are those words you just learned how to say, not realizing that most people don’t even say it the way you do.
Of course, that second group of words will bring nothing but endless surprises when you see people react and you wonder what’s going on. [Read more…] about Jacked Up: When in doubt, ask or look it up!
N-D-who? Non Disclosure Agreements were in the news a year ago with the stories about the fall of Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.
NDA’s are common in VO. You may be asked to sign one before starting in on a project. The NDA can prohibit ANY conversation, emails or writings, photos, and other disclosures about a project. The NDA may apply only to social media—no posts, no selfies, no way, no how, and forever.