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Tuesday, May 8, 2018

5 Common Causes of Hoarseness

Losing one’s voice is almost always annoying, but for a voiceover professional, it is downright devastating. Time without a voice means time away from the studio. The loss of time is also generally a loss of money. So, avoiding hoarseness is paramount in this industry. This begins with understanding what can cause a problem.

1. The Common Cold! The most common cause of hoarseness is respiratory infection, which begins, most often, as the common cold. At the first sign of cold, flu, or other respiratory complications, it is essential to take precautions to avoid loss of one’s voice. The professionals have several recommendations for treating a cold. For the voiceover artist, the most essential three are blowing the nose, drinking hot liquids, and gargling. Blow your nose to remove mucus, but do so gently. Blowing too hard can cause irritation to the ears, throat, and vocal chords. Gargle with salt water to reduce the risk of a sore throat. Drink hot tea or other warm beverages (preferably without milk or cream) to ease inflammation in nose and throat. Traditional Medicinals Throat Coat Tea is a popular product among voice actors. And simply warm water with honey and lemon can soothe the throat.

2. Vocalchord Cysts or Polyps! If symptoms occur suddenly and without any additional symptoms, consult a physician. It could be a cyst or polyp on the vocal chord. The sooner this is treated, the better for your career.

3. GERD! There are medical treatments for gastroesophageal reflux disease, so do speak to your doctor. You can also ease the trouble at home, which begins with weight loss. Being overweight puts you at much greater risk of this condition. Avoid foods that are known to make symptoms worse. Get more vitamin D in your diet, as it acts as a natural defense against the stomach acid.

4. Allergies! There are many highly-effective allergy medications on the market. Many can be purchased over-the-counter. There are also specialists that can help people get better control over their allergic symptoms. Try to avoid products with antihistamines in them since they are a drying agent and will dry out your throat as well as your mucus.

5. Smoking! This is easy to solve. There is no better time than right now to quit.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Singing Lessons for Voiceover Artists

If you are looking for a way to improve your voiceover prowess, but you simply can’t see the benefits of taking yet another acting or improv class, then you may want to consider singing instruction instead.

You read that right. No need to check your vision. Even if you have never considered yourself a singer, you may benefit from work with a singing coach. There are several ways that this sort of practice can help you improve your skills and push your career forward.

Hearing the Music! Very often in voiceover, there is a musical component. The voiceover is blended to fit with the musical intro or is set against a background rhythm. The ability to hear that music and match it with your own speaking voice will make your end product more appealing to the customer.

Stepping Outside the Comfort Zone! If you are not a singer by nature, but you sign up for classes with a singing instructor, you are forced to step outside your comfort zone. Growing accustomed to doing so will help you take on a greater range of roles as a voiceover artist, which discomfort or fear might prevent you from doing now.

Greater Range! Practice singing often improves a person’s vocal range and stamina. Both of these improvements will have a direct, positive impact in your voiceover career.

Learning to Breathe! If you have been working in voiceover for any length of time at all, then you know how troubling an ill-timed breath can be. Worse yet, losing your breath mid-sentence is downright frustrating and can call for additional takes. Singing classes can help you gain a better understanding of when and how to breath to get the best sound.

Although, hearing pitch, texture, dynamics and tone may be second nature to a natural born singer, being made aware of these things by an instructor will help you with your voice over performances.

Warm-Up Exercises! These are often done very well by singers and completely overlooked by voiceover professionals, yet the benefits are shared by both types of talent. Singing instruction will teach you how to properly warm up your voice, so you get better recordings and face less risk of damaging your vocal chords in the process.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

To Blog or Not to Blog?

This is a topic that I’ve touched on before, but it is worth mentioning again, because it is one of the things most commonly asked of me by those who are just getting started in voiceover.  Looking for a good way to gain some exposure and market themselves, they wonder if blogging is the answer.

While it isn’t going to be enough on its own, handled correctly, a blog can be a tremendously effective tool for a voiceover artist.  I’ve made that claim here before.  However, this won’t be a good fit for everyone, and I try to be very honest about this.  In truth, I suppose a blog could work against a voiceover professional if not managed properly.  Here are a few signs that blogging may not be a good idea for you:

    You Are Bad with Commitment As I mentioned above, blogging is a great marketing tool.  When a regularly maintained blog is combined with several other marketing tools, a voiceover professional can build a strong following relatively quickly, while boosting the SEO of his or her website.  However, all of this depends on your willingness to devote time to the blog.  So, if you know you have a tendency to fail to follow through with things, and are apt to stop what you have started, a blog is probably not the best tool for you.  It may actually harm your reputation, if potential clients find just a few out-of-date posts on your blog. 

    You Are Not a Strong Writer Another thing that could damage your professional reputation is poor use of grammar or spelling.  A voiceover artist is supposed to have command over the language.  The potential client isn’t going to believe that you are capable of doing so, if they find numerous grammatical errors and spelling mistakes in each blog post.  There is, of course, the option of hiring an assistant, an editor, or a ghost writer to clean up your posts.  So, if you don’t feel that you are a strong writer, but do feel that you have something worth saying, consider those options.

    You Can’t Define the Audience You Would Be Writing For  Originally, blogs were seen as a sort of online diary and that’s how many people treated them.  However, when being used for marketing purposes, there should be a clear underlying theme that links all of the posts together.  This also means that, if you hope to build a following, you'd better know exactly who is most apt to read posts on that theme.  If you can’t define your audience or find a topic on which you are happy to write at least once each week, then blogging likely isn’t a great fit.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Location Will Affect Voiceover Income, Even When Working Remotely

Your first big paying job as a voice over professional is so exciting.  There might be some smaller ones initially, which help to pay the bills, but bring little to nothing above and beyond those debts.  When that big one finally comes in, and you receive that check for thousands of dollars, the joy is immense.  And, there also comes the feeling that you have made it.  Now that you have earned money like that, you can continue charging similar rates to future clients, right?  Unfortunately, this is not necessarily the case.

Even though voiceover talent generally work remotely these days, your pay for a particular job will depend on location.  This is something that is hard to grasp, especially when you are trying to build a foundation for your business, and wanting so badly to turn a profit.  The truth of the matter is, though, that even the company that is contracting out the work will be at least partially driven by local economic factors.  While a company in a big urban hub may be willing to pay $4,000 for a radio commercial voiceover spot, a company, of the same size, in rural America may only have a budget of a few hundred dollars for the same type of work.  Although you are working remotely, these companies are operating in entirely different markets and are, therefore, likely to have budget restraints because of where they operate. It's important to find out how what you are recording will be used. Where it will play, etc.

Does this mean that you should always take the job -- whether it pays $4,000 or $400?  No.  There will be times during your voiceover career when you will turn down paying work because it doesn’t pay enough to justify your time in the recording booth.  However, in the beginning, as you are building up your portfolio of work and trying to establish yourself in the industry, turning down work means accepting much greater risk than it would after having built a reputation throughout the industry. But always maintain a healthy respect for the voiceover industry by finding out what you can regarding "going rates" for various types of voice over projects. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

What to Do When You Have Concerns About the Script

As a voiceover talent, you are hired to read the script provided to you by the client. In most cases, that is exactly what you will do. With the exception of the possibility of multiple takes, it will go smoothly. However, there are times when the script is difficult to read in areas or when you recognize a problem with the verbiage.

The dilemma of whether or not to address the concern with the client is one that most voiceover artists will face during their career, and likely on multiple occasions. It is important to understand, though, that you and the client share the same desire -- a good, clean recording. So, if you note problems or difficulties with the script, it is definitely worth addressing them in a professional and tactful manner. First and foremost, introduce the matter as a need for greater artistic direction. Ask questions about what you're reading.

Uncomfortable sentences or phrasing:  If you are stumbling over a particular phrase, simply ask if there is room for some minor rewording to make the sentence easier to speak clearly.

Difficult pronunciation: If the problem is with the vocabulary used -- particularly if it is industry jargon -- consider asking the client to record him- or herself saying the term, or to read it if in a live session, so you can familiarize yourself with the pronunciation.

If the problem is one of reading preference (i.e. how to read numbers), if the script is a short one, consider providing multiple readings, so the client can choose which suits their vision best. If this is a repeating concern within the script, then ask for clarification.

The most important thing to remember is that you need not fear the client. Asking questions is more apt to turn out a high quality product than trying to make clumsy verbiage sound natural.
A rule to always fall back on is... first record it the best you can as it is written. Then, ask if you may record it another way as YOU see fit. That way, you may not "step on someone's toes" (like the copywriter's) but will merely add an optional take to the mix.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Promoting Yourself as a Voiceover Artist

If you want to really make voiceover work into a career for yourself, then you are going to have to showcase skills that extend beyond the recording studio. While reading the various scripts of clients is a big part of the job, it certainly isn’t all that must be considered. In fact, it may prove to be only about 30% of the work that you do. At least 50% of your time will likely be spent promoting yourself in person and online. There are a few ways that you can give your business a big boost. Consider these paths to voiceover success.

Build the Website! It’s time consuming and may even mean hiring out a relatively expensive service, but your website is your home base and it will play a big part in your voiceover career. Potential clients want to be able to visit your site to gain a bit of insight into who you are, what you’ve done, and what sort of professionalism they can expect from you. Be sure that you pay a little more to get a domain name that makes sense for your business. Get the ‘.com’ that bears your name.

Create Content! Although it can be hard to walk away from the studio, when you have paying work to complete, it is important to take the time to create the content that will sell your services in the future. Write the blog posts, record the podcasts, and create playful voice samples that will appeal to the masses (and especially to those potential clients).

Get Social! You can’t avoid it these days and you shouldn’t even try. Social media can be a challenge and it may feel as if you are getting nowhere, but the more social you are online – the more real you are in those interactions – the more potentially valuable connections you can make, which will help you as you build your business.

Appeal to an Agent! It will take quite a bit of promotion before it happens, but if you can get signed by an agent, a lot of the promo work will be taken out of your hands. For many voiceover professionals, this is a fabulous turn of events, meaning that they can spend more time in the studio and less time stressing about how to secure the next job. Before you start reaching out to potential agents, though, be sure that you have a solid demo(s) prepared, and that you have done research into the agents that you are making contact with (not all are worthy of your talent). Not all are a good fit for you and visa, versa. And remember, all agents have to work a "numbers" game. Their main goal representing you is to be able to send out their best audition files, demos, etc. to their clients to fulfill job requests. They are not personal managers. Their job is to present opportunities for their talent... and to please their clients.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

How Voiceover Helped Jennifer Garner Overcome Awkward Moment

If you are considering a career in voiceover, then you know just how powerful words can be, when played over an image or video. Voiceover has changed the entertainment industry, the marketing industry, and even many aspects of general business practice. If you want to see just how powerful voiceover can be, then use the recent example of Jennifer Garner at the Oscars.

During filming, the actress was caught on tape with an unexpected, and seemingly shocked expression. The short clip was already headed for viral status as is, but it wasn’t until Jennifer poked a bit of fun at herself with some well-scripted voiceover that it became an internet sensation.

It was during the performance of Common and Andrea Day that she made the face that had people wondering. Rather than trying to dissect the moment, in an attempt to recall what was really going through her head at that time, the actress had a bit of fun with it. She recorded herself and overlaid the clip with a few different versions of voiceover, saying things like:

“Congrats to The Shape of Water… Maybe I should date a fish.”

“Hey, Jimmy Kimmel, what’s in your wallet? Wait, where is my wallet?”

“Can’t wait to work with Lena Dunham. Wait, did I sign a nudity waiver?”

Her humorous approach proved to win over audiences everywhere. Through the power of voiceover, she turned what might have been a somewhat embarrassing clip into a prevailing self-marketing moment. The clips, along with her brilliant voiceover quips have been shared in countless articles, on news programs, and, of course, all over the various social platforms online.

There is a lesson to learn here, which could apply to you in your own efforts to be discovered as a voiceover talent. How can you use your voice skills to create a viral meme or video clip?
As well as, to keep your sense of humor going throughout your career. As they say, humor is the best medicine.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

How to Choose the Right Voice Actor

No matter what kind of business you run, advertising is a big part of every industry. That's the reason why a voice actor is so necessary for your brand.

The audience connects to a voice, and when you have the one that syncs with your brand, the voice will soon become the mark of your brand. The wrong voice will do just the opposite – it will create a negative impression about your products in the mind of the audience.

It's important to choose a voiceover talent with a lot of care and thought. Nashville-based Rick Lance Studio specializes in all types of voiceover work.

Rick Lance has created his own Americana style of voiceover work, and has been the voice of many a brand over the last 25 years. Radio and TV commercials, web promotions, film/TV narrations and corporate videos are just some of the areas Rick Lance works in. He's also represented by several voice talent agencies across the US and Europe.

Rick Lance isn't only a seasoned voice narrator, but he can also advise you on how to pick the right voice for your brand. With hundreds of clients behind him, an experienced professional like Rick Lance is highly suited for voiceover work, coaching, and consultation.

Choosing the right voice

There are certain factors that can help you choose the right voiceover recording artist for your brand. The voiceover industry isn't small anymore; the moment you advertise your needs, you will have hundreds of hopefuls queuing up or sending you their demos. It is up to you to make the right decision.

Some of the factors to consider when choosing a voiceover artist are:

What emotions best describe your brand? Is it efficiency, positivity, happiness, or something else? Next, look for the voice that invokes all those emotions that your brands stand for.
Take a cue from those national car commercials that are so good at selling an "image... not just a car.

Presenting or storytelling? There is a world of difference between just talking and storytelling. Select a voiceover artist that matches your purpose, whether it's just presenting or storytelling.

Listen to demos. Without listening to a variety of demos, it's hard to make a selection. Look for artists who can handle a wide range of work with ease. Determine the age of your demographic. What should be the proper sounding "age" of your voice talent?

Choose the right accent. An incoherent accent can be a dealbreaker, no matter how good the artist is. Look for an accent that's clear and easy to understand. Or a generic sound may be more appropriate.
By the way, I notice that the industry standards regarding accents has been changing. More and more regional accents are being sought after by voice seekers. Rick say,"Sounds pretty Americana to me. Interesting, over half of my weekly work I record using a slight (almost generic) Southern sound, even though I was not born in the South (rather in PA) but have lived in Tennessee for many years. It's just part of my Americana style/attitude."

Think of longevity. If you don't want to keep changing artists, look for someone who you can work with for the long term. Of course, it may take a little while to settle on someone. But once you find they fit your product/service like a hand-in-glove, stick with them to maintain the consistency and strength of your company's brand.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Tune Your Voice With These Food Tips Before The Voice Over Sessions

Every profession needs some preparations before starting their job or session every day. When it comes to voice artists, the food they consumed before a session plays an important role in the quality of the recording.

If you are a voice artist, irrespective of a seasoned or fresher, you cannot leave your producers unhappy with your performance. A number of food tips will help you to offer high-quality voice sessions at studios and improve your confidence.

Reduce Food and Drinks that Cause Acid Production

Generating acid in the stomach is one of the biggest enemies of voice health. You should avoid the use of food intake that contains reduced caffeine as it creates an imbalance of acid in the human body. It leads to increased acid production as well as loosens the muscles between esophagus and stomach.

Caffeine also causes dehydration, urination, and mucus production. Therefore, you should remove coffee (or at least decrease intake) and carbonated drinks from your menu. The other foods that lead to the generation of acids include alcohol, spicy foods, highly acidic vegetables and fruits, processed chicken, spicy food items, and more.

Hydrate Yourself

If you want a healthy voice at the voice recording sessions, you should hydrate yourself. While drinking water throughout the day is the best choice, you should not take iced water as it tightens your vocal cords. Instead, room-temperature water is the ideal choice to make your vocal tissues healthy. I drink the cheapest bottled water I can find.

Also, food items that contain more fluid content can help you stay hydrated. Especially, vegetables and fruits with high fluid content will soothe your throats between sessions. Cucumber, celery, grapes, apples, and raw tomatoes can also help you in your attempts. How about a hot bowl of soup for lunch?

Avoid Dairy Products

Whenever you have voice over sessions, you should keep dairy products away from your dining table. Dairy and dairy products are notorious for mucus production and make your voice recording sessions painful. It creates problems for you to produce consistent, clear voice throughout sessions and make you worry about your performance.

The milk products include ice cream, yogurt, butter, milk, cheese, sour cream, milkshakes, and more. Reducing your dairy intake, the previous day and completely avoiding just before the voice session is the best choice to save your throat. I recently discovered Almond Milk to pour on my morning cereal. It's non dairy and I can barely tell any difference from whole milk!

Sufficient Vitamin A Intake

Vitamin A has the capacity to keep your mucous membrane and soft tissue healthy. For any voice actor, foods that contain vitamin A is a must intake to keep their overall throat health better. Liver and eggs are important sources of vitamin A, and you also get the sufficient protein supply from these foods for cell repair.

Vegetables and fruits including carrots, orange sweet peppers, cantaloupe, and apricots also provide you the required vitamin A intake. Do you know that cantaloupe has almost 90% water? It helps you to stay hydrated as well.

Final Thoughts

Some simple steps and a little care can help you to make your voice over recording days greater. Any industry where people are "selling their voices" can use these food tips to deliver the best out of them.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

The Best Voice Over Talent at Rick Lance Studio

Are you looking for a voice actor or narrator for a project you have? You obviously need someone with experience in the field and who has the voice and talent to make your project come alive.

No matter what you need the voice over recording for, you want someone with a distinctive voice and a penchant for great story-telling. Well, you cannot go wrong with Rick Lance Studio. With over two decades of experience in the voice recording business, this Nashville-based company is one of the best in the business.

Why Rick Lance Studio?

Rick Lance has a unique voice that is perfect for work in voice over Nashville TN. With his rugged signature sound, you can be sure that he will be a superb leading voice.

He has refined his craft through local theater performances, acting workshops, and on-camera work. Over the years, he has voiced TV and radio ads, audio books, corporate videos,  promos, explainer videos, long and short form narrations of all kinds... for all types of media.

Rick Lance Studio is known for its work in construction and manufacturing, community banking, finance and insurance, outdoor sports and travel as well as agriculture and equine industries – the studio has taken the role of a premier voice in these industries.

Rick Lance has also lent his signature voice over style for film, television and corporate and museum documentaries. His background in music, acting and photography has shaped him into one of the best and most seasoned voice over artists in the USA. There is no doubt that he is the best when it comes to voice over talent in Nashville TN.

Rick Lance Studio has done work as a voice over narrator in Nashville, TN for a wide range of clients, including John Deere, Harley Davidson, Sony Entertainment, Coca Cola, CBS Records, NASCAR, Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede, CNBC India, Edward Jones Investments, and many more.

He has also been the narrator of Addicted to the Outdoors (Outdoor Channel, Sportsman Channel TV), On the Road (Sportsman Channel TV) Flagstar Bank, Rogue Credit Union and Championship Bull Riding, just to name a few.

Get the Best Voice Over Talent

There is no doubt that when you are looking for a voice narrator Nashville TN or voice actor Nashville TN, you want someone with a unique voice and style. You cannot go wrong with Rick Lance Studio.

With years of experience in the business, Rick Lance Studio has a deep understanding of what is needed for every unique project that comes its way, ensuring a job well done every time. No matter what you need, you can always rely on the voiceover talent Nashville TN at Rick Lance Studio to get the job done right.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

How to Make Your Voiceover Project a Success

A stellar voiceover is a crucial aspect of advertising and broadcasting. A voiceover is not only meant to add narration to a video or broadcast but also form a relationship with customers.

Whether you use a single language or create multilingual voiceovers, it all begins with understanding your market and your objectives. When you have the right voiceover, your broadcast will automatically be a success, because people connect with the voice.

Those who regularly work with voiceovers know that they cannot be mastered in a day. Like every work of art, voice overs also need time and effort to be perfect. Since the narration plays such a critical role, there's no way you can depend on luck for its success. No matter what your end project, the following tips will ensure that your voiceover is always a success.

1. Plan in advance: No project can ever be accomplished without proper planning, and it also applies to a voiceover. You first have to consider your target market and your business objectives. What do you want to achieve with the project? What is your budget? What kind of quality do I want? If you don't have your own studio, consider if the studio you want is available. Do not underestimate the impact of a voiceover. When you plan in advance, you not only avoid delays and errors but also save time and money.

2. Get the right voice: Perhaps the most important part of a voiceover is the voice itself. What kind of voiceover artist do you need? What kind of accent, pitch, and tone do you want? Do you want a male or a female voice actor? Remember that the voice is what will leave a mark on your target audience, therefore, choosing the right voiceover talent is vital to the success of the project. If you have enough time, consider having auditions. Otherwise, ask applicants to send a few demos demonstrating different kinds of voiceover work.

3. Have the right script: Even before you seek a voice actor, it is important to have the script for the video ready. This will also help you give proper instructions to the actor. If there is no script, it is hard to explain the visuals to the voiceover artist, which in turn makes it difficult for the actor to deliver the right performance. When the script is ready, the actor takes less time to understand the work.

Rick Lance Studio has been delivering high quality voiceover work to many industries over the last 25 years. Get in touch with Rick Lance for high quality voiceover work with an Americana sound.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Advantages of Hiring New Voiceover Talent

If you have ever required voiceover services, you must be aware of the steep fee that most voiceover artists charge. When your budget is tight, you may want to look at less expensive options, and one of them is getting a newcomer voiceover artist. However, will the quality remain the same?

New vs. Experienced

In the voiceover industry, experience speaks the loudest. The more experience you have, the better your chances of getting good gigs. This also applies to someone hiring a voice actor. The more experience the professional has under his/her belt, the higher the fees he/she will charge. While this isn't a bad thing at all, it can prove financially difficult to sustain in the long run. That's when the need to hire an affordable talent arises.

The main advantage of hiring new voice talents is that they usually charge less than seasoned professionals. When compared to an experienced voice actor, a newbie will always charge reasonably lower rates because he is trying to build a portfolio. But DO expect to pay a reasonable fee! Don't expect them to giveaway their services for free simply because they are trying to establish themselves. That would not be good business practice in any profession.

If you're on a budget, hiring a new talent can be a good thing, especially if this is the first time you're hiring a voice actor or if you've just set up. In such cases, an expensive option may not be possible.

Fortunately for you, several new voiceover talents have extensive training and impressive skills. It helps to keep in mind that every seasoned voiceover actor started as a newbie – this is part of the process. If the newbie you are planning to hire has an impressive background and skill set, then you can feel safe with your choice.

Before you hire the actor, make sure to put them through a variety of tests. Asking them to perform different narrations will help you gauge their strengths and better understand what they have to offer. Even if they present a demo, it doesn't hurt to ask them do a performance live or to record a sample read for you. In that way, you will be able to know their confidence level, strengths, and weaknesses.
Just be respectful of the time the voice actor is giving you.. that may or may not become chargeable with a newer talent.

Rick Lance Studio Delivers the Best Voiceover Talent

For the past 25 years, Rick Lance has been providing voiceover talent to top brands around the country. Over the last few years, Rick has come to be known as "The Voice of Americana–Serving the basic industries that keep America moving." It's a slogan he earned because of his rich, deep, warm voice, and Americana style of storytelling.

Rick Lance Studio has been serving many different industries in the US and abroad over the last two and a half decades. So if you are in need of an All-American, rugged, workin' man, deep, warm and friendly type voiceover talent, look no further than Rick Lance Studio in Nashville.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Should You Walk Away from a Bad Voiceover Job?

Procuring work is one of the most important elements of a job in the voiceover industry.  Because most of us work as independent contractors, we must work hard to market ourselves, to get our demos in front of the right people, and to appeal to those who are hiring.  However, there are times when all of the hard work lands us in possession of a less-than-desirable voiceover job.  Whether it is a truly bad script, a disrespectful producer, or a list of responsibilities that does match the original job description, you may find yourself wondering whether it would be wise to walk away.

Recently, an article published by The Independent told the story of voiceover artist Matt Chapman, who was hired to play the part of commentator for Ireland’s Dancing On Ice.  It was reported that the Irish voiceover star decided to leave the position after just one show.  For some, this was a wise decision given that the pre-recorded work was not appealing to the audience.  Chapman decided to leave, in favor of work with ITV Racing.

Though some would find it crazy for a voiceover artist to walk away from a job, there are times when it is the best decision for all involved.  While you must remain humble in this industry, if you hope to be successful for years to come, and you must realize that not all clients will be easy to work with, there are instances when it is simply necessary to move on.  In this case, Chapman knew that he was out of his element and his work just wasn’t going to jive with the vision of his client, so he opted to return to the type of voiceover work that he is more familiar- and comfortable with.  He, of course, had another job lined up before he walked away, which is something that should be considered if you are thinking about making a similar move.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Voiceover 101: Avoiding the Red

It is easy to spend more than you make when you are getting started in the voiceover industry. You obviously need to have certain equipment, a reliable recording space, the appropriate software, and  demos, at the very least. Of course, these things cost money, but you must make wise decisions if you hope to end the year in the black. Many beginners make the mistake of overspending and therefore are forced out of the industry, back to the 9-5:00 job, in order to afford normal living expenses. There are few areas where beginners are most apt to spend all of their earnings.

1. The Demo  It is absolutely necessary to produce a good quality demo that showcases your best talents as a voiceover artist. This is something that you will likely replace as time goes by and you further hone your skills. While it is an essential tool, you don’t have to break the bank to produce something worth sending to casting directors and potential clients. Many make the mistake of thinking they must hire a professional recording studio and producer. This will represent a huge sum of money that is likely to be much more than will be made on those first jobs. It is often best to create a reasonable home studio, that provides you a quiet space to record, and to put together your own demo samples. There are freelance audio engineers who can help with final editing to give you the clean demo you are desiring, and that service will generally cost far less than the producer and recording studio time.

2. The Microphone The price of microphones for home recording studios vary substantially. While it would not be recommended that you use a cheap variety that does little to block the background noise that will add endless hours of editing, you don’t need to purchase a $1000 microphone to get good quality recordings. You can get a decent microphone ($200-$500.00) and accessories for a tenth of that price.

3. The Agent A voiceover agent can get you in many doors that might otherwise be closed to you, but not all agents are created equally, and most want to see you succeed on your own for a while before they take you on as a client. If the agent is promising a future too good to be true, while charging a steep upfront fee, then stay away. This is a good way to spend a lot of money for very little return.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

What Makes a Voice Attractive?

This may be the question most asked by those considering a career in voiceover. After all, this profession is all about the voice, right?

Over the years there have been many articles, blog posts, and news broadcasts that refer to scientific research, which was intended to highlight the elements of speech that make one person’s voice more attractive than another’s.

It was ruled that:

1. Most listeners prefer an accent and language pattern similar to their own. That, of course, means that your voice is most apt to be enjoyed in the area where you have resided for the largest portion of your life. There are exceptions to this rule, because some people, even after living in an area for several decades, will still hold on to accents from the areas they were born and raised in. Nevertheless, find an audience that speaks like you do and market yourself where that audience resides if you want your voice to be deemed attractive.

2. Deeper pitch tends to be more attractive than higher pitch. It was long known that women found deeper voices attractive in men. However, it has also been found that women’s voices are considered less enjoyable if they are too high-pitched.

3. Last but not least, breathing is an important aspect of voice. If you hope to make it as a voiceover professional, this is the most essential point to understand. When a person breathes too deeply, too rapidly, or in an inconsistent pattern when speaking, people are generally turned off. Consistent, light breathes are less distracting and therefore allow the attractive elements of the voice be heard.

Does all of this matter? To an extent, it does. When you are trying to market your voice to potential clients, you want to provide the best possible demonstration of your speaking voice. Does that mean that you should rush out to take voice lessons? Not necessarily. But, it helps to know where your marketing efforts are going to be most effective and what you can do to make your voice more enjoyable to listen to. This profession isn’t really ‘all about the voice’, but an attractive voice will surely help you along the way.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Create a Blog People Want to Read

Blogging isn’t dead, as many would like to suggest.  It does, however, require a certain finesse and a degree of dedication if you hope to attract readers.  It can be a great SEO boost for your website, while providing worthwhile information to your audience base, if you approach it appropriately.  Consider the following tips as you create your blog space.

1.    Make it Easy to Navigate

Though a blog page is often looked at differently than a basic website page, the basic principles remain the same. A person is visiting this page in search of some piece of information. Make it easy for that person to find it or he or she is likely to surf away onto a new webpage. A lot of white space makes the page easier for the eye to take in, so avoid distracting design. Front and center navigation controls will generally make it easier to get around.

2. Give Them Content

Remember that the visitor came to view the content, so keep that as the center focus. Don’t use misleading headlines in the hopes of attracting more readers, as this can damage your credibility and deter repeat visits. Create high quality content that will keep them wanting more.

3. Headlines Should Be Engaging and Informative

Speaking of headlines, be sure that they are accurate and meaningful. Make it clear what you hope to achieve in the blog post. Avoid overly wordy or length headlines. Clear, concise, and connecting

4. Speak Consistently to Your Audience

When creating a blog post, know who is most apt to visit your blog and speak directly to that niche. Write about things that will interest that audience. Write in a way that will appeal to that audience. Market the content to that audience.

5. Be a Social Content Creator

Don’t just write a blog; be a blogger. That means visiting and reading other blogs. It means subscribing, commenting, and sharing other blogs of interest, and particularly those that are related (without competing) with your brand.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

What Do I Need to Get Started in Voice Over?

There are many people who believe that all you need to start a career in voiceover is a great speaking voice or the ability to do impressions of recognizable characters.  That, however, isn’t really the case.  It can be difficult to gain solid footing in this industry.  Although the web and the many apps, services, and software have made the job easier in some ways, they have also opened the doors for more competition. There is a flood of available talent for those who are looking to hire a voiceover professional.  You have to have the right tools and the right base of knowledge if you hope to be picked out of the crowd.

There are certain physical items that you will need including a reliable computer.  I recommend a laptop, as there will likely be times in the future when you will find that you need to bring your work along on your travels.  While some get by with tablets, I have found that they still lack the full function of a laptop, however the hybrids are showing great promise. I use a MacBook Pro. It's very flexible and super quiet to 

In addition to a computer, you’ll need a good microphone.  Spend a little more to get one with great ratings, as your voice will only be as good as your microphone.

Internet access is an absolute necessity.  Again, it is worth spending a bit more to get truly high-speed access.

Editing software is something you will become very familiar with as you continue your work in the industry.  Start with one that is well recommended, reviewed, and commonly used.  It will make your transition into voiceover much more enjoyable.

A studio is also necessary.  Most will build a space into their home, and that is fine.  Be sure, though, that you can effectively block out background noise and get clean recordings every time.

In addition to the physical elements of building a recording space, you will need to be mentally committed to this profession if you hope to be a success. 

You’ll have to be willing to put in long hours creating demos that truly represent your talents. 
You’ll have to be willing to continue your education, so you continue to improve.

You’ll have to really focus on taking care of your health, and particularly your voice.  That means giving up tobacco, avoiding booze, staying hydrated, and learning methods of avoiding- or treating respiratory illnesses.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Dubbing is Not the Same as Voiceover

The title should say it all, but still there are a lot of people who continually use these terms interchangeably.  In truth, they do not share the same definition. 

Dubbing does generally require voiceover.  In fact, there are quite often two pieces of voiceover work involved.  Dubbing can be used in a couple of ways.  If, for instance, a voiceover recording is completed, but it is later noted that something must be changed, voiceover engineers can get a quick voice recording from the voiceover artist and use that to dub over the error in the original recording.

Dubbing is also commonly used when remaking a movie for an international audience.  The original voiceover may not be understood by the new population of movie-goers, if they do not speak the same language.  Therefore, the studio will hire a new voiceover artist to speak the same story line in the audience’s primary language.  This new recording is ‘dubbed’ over the original, replacing it entirely.

Dubbing work can even be used to replace lines spoken in a movie.  Voiceover artists are hired to speak the lines of the original actors and actresses in the desired language.  This material is used to carefully replace the initial lines.  The hope is to deliver a seamless audio/video experience for the international audience.

Dubbing work can vary greatly in difficulty.  For long pieces, like the international movie example, the voiceover artist will often be required to work in a studio with engineers, line by line, to ensure they can get the audio to match up (as closely as possible) with the movements of the actors and actresses.  On the other hand, a simple dub over of your original recording for correction purposes is generally done quite easily and quickly.

The important thing to understand is that, especially as a voiceover artist, you should not misinterpret these terms or use them incorrectly.  It can damage your professional image.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

2 Methods of Breaking into the Commercial Voiceover Business

There are many avenues that you can travel as a voiceover professional.  You may choose to focus on audiobooks, animation, or corporate style voiceover, e-learning, film/TV narration and so much more these days. Many, though, will choose to do commercial voiceover.  That is the audio that will be used in television-, radio-, cinema-, or web-based advertising.  There are many ways to work your way into this niche of the voiceover industry.  Of course, first you will need to establish your studio, brand yourself a bit – create your website, social networks, business cards, stationary, etc. – and record those demos. Once those initial tasks are completed, you can begin marketing yourself.  This is, arguably, the hardest part of voiceover work, but here are a couple of places to start if you are trying to break into commercial voiceover.

 Voiceover Websites There are several websites, today, that are dedicated to helping voiceover professionals reach the clients who are looking to hire their services.  Some of these are legitimate, and some are less so. It is important to vet the various sites you are considering – check in with the Better Business Bureau, read site reviews, and ask other voiceover artists who you know.  For a beginner, especially, these sites can be a big help.  Often the work procured through these sites doesn’t pay as much, but it is a good way to build up your portfolio and establish some new- and valuable connections in the industry. But some will pay only absurdly low rates. For the good of the Industry, do us all a favor and stay away from participating on those sites. Often, these sites will let you focus on the particular niche that you are most interested in as well, so you can opt to seek out commercial work primarily.

Radio Stations Another way to approach commercial work is to cold call some of the biggest potential clients – radio stations.  Obviously, being an audio-only media, the stations have a great need for vocal talents.  Furthermore, the advertising spots sold are generally the biggest revenue makers for the stations, and therefore are a very necessary part of the business.  Call up and ask for the opportunity to trial recording or to send your demo (whichever they prefer).  If this goes well, you may be able to get yourself listed on their voice roster, which can certainly lead to a boost in your business.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Five Signs Your Child May be a VO Actor in the Future

If you have a child who loves to entertain, it is always possible that the girl or boy will go on to enjoy many hours before the bright lights on stage or screen.  It is also possible that your son or daughter will be a voiceover artist in the future.  Here are a few signs that could indicate he or she will spend some time in a recording booth.

Forever the Entertainer The first sign, of course, is that you have a little entertainer on your hand.  These are the kids who are forever hamming it up for anyone willing to watch or listen.  They always have a story to tell.  They love to tell jokes.  They will happily have a telephone conversation with anyone who may call.  This is a shared trait for those who will love singing, dancing, acting, or voiceover work.

Taking on the Character One of the commonalities between many successful voiceover artists is a love of mimicking on screen characters.  If your child doesn’t just watch cartoons, but tries out the accents or unusual speech patterns of every animated character on the screen, you may just have a VO star on your hands.

Empathetic Spirit These kids are generally the first to understand how someone is feeling.  They want to make others feel better when they are sad.  They feed off of positive moods, but are just as apt to feel down when others are upset.  This empathy makes it much easier for a person to ‘become a character’ on stage, screen, or in the recording booth.

Mimicking Lines I’ve already mentioned a love for trying new accents and dialects, but you may have also discovered that your child loves to repeat favorite movie lines… over and over again.  While it may drive you crazy now, it may just be a good sign for his or her voiceover career in the future.

Others Wanting to Listen Perhaps the greatest sign that your child is made to be a performer – in one sense or the other – is that others gravitate toward him or her.  When audiences seem to form out of nowhere around your kid, it is likely a good sign that he or she has a gift.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Four Secrets That a Professional VO Artist May Not Tell You

If you are entering the voiceover industry, then you are likely to be greeted with mixed emotions by the other professionals working in the field.  You are, after all, their competition, in a sense.  They may offer up some advice and tips, but these are the secrets that you might not have been told in the beginning:

It’s Not All PJs and Comfort Working from home sounds so attractive.  The majority of us started out with the same impressions of the heavenliness of it all.  We’ve all had those moments when we envisioned sinking into a comfy chair with our favorite coffee mug and a laptop.  That, however, is generally not the reality of the situation.  This can be a very stressful- and, at times, boring profession.  You will be forced to market yourself, to manage your money, and to audition.  That means taking on unexpected tasks, leaving the house to meet and greet, and dealing with the frustration of failed attempts.

There is a Stigma Wer'e considered the crazier cousins of stage and screen actors.  It is also a common myth that we are all physically unappealing.  After all, we spend a great deal of time in an enclosed space talking to ourselves.  If we were prettier, it is reasoned, we’d use our skills for television or stage productions. 

You Will Be a Starving Artist There are times, for most (probably all) voiceover actors when the work load dies down.  Those lulls can be really hard on the bank accounts, making you sympathize with other starving artists around the world.

It Isn’t All Cartoons and Accents Take a listen to a lot of voiceover demos and you’ll find that a large percentage are littered with impressions and various dialects.  But, the truth is that your ability to sound like Daffy Duck or to speak with an impeccable British accent won’t be the deal maker that you may expect it to be. Most of the work will require you to speak in a voice much closer to your own. Especially with your "signature" voice.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Teaching, Training and Taking Care of Your Voice

Being a voiceover artist doesn’t necessarily mean what many assume it does.  There are definite perks to having a job that will often allow you to work remotely, and even from the comfort of your own home.  But, this isn’t a profession that you easily slip into to start earning a decent wage.  It takes time, dedication, and, perhaps most importantly, it requires persistence.  You never master this craft and that means that you must keep going out in search of new clients.  You must continue to market yourself to ensure that the future is brighter than today.  And, you must continue to train in order to hone your craft.  For many this means taking regular classes or working with voice coaches. 

Private Coaches One of the more popular methods of improving as a voiceover artist is to hire the services of a reputable voice coach.  These professionals have the knowledge and experience that can help you as you dial in your voice to make yourself as appealing as possible to casting directors and potential clients.  Learn some tricks of the trade, more about caring for your voice, and exercises that can help to better ensure a great recording every time. Maintain your sense of humor throughout.

Tried and True Schools Although most will tell you that there aren’t college degrees in voice acting, the truth is that there are many recognized schools that offer classes and courses that can benefit you greatly on your path to becoming a professional voiceover talent.

Improv and Stage Acting Your voiceover education doesn’t have to be that literal, however.  Many find that they make great strides simply by racking up their hours of practice.  While time in the recording booth will count toward this, you should also consider stepping out of that comfort zone.  Consider trying out for a community play, taking an improv class, or volunteering to help with a local children’s theater program. Or the Library For the Blind. All of that time performing will prove beneficial in your career.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Stay Cool, Calm and Collected for Your Audition

There are times when a client will hire you purely as a result of your demos or a follow up demo recording that you sent his or her way.  There are other times when a telephone call is all that stands between you and the next voiceover job.  However, often, you will be asked to audition – either in person or via recording.  This can be a very stressful time for many VO artists.  Even the very experienced professionals can have a case of the butterflies when approaching an audition situation.  It is important to stay calm, so you can put your best self forward.  Here are a few ways that you can keep your wits about you and stop the shaking.

Be Prepared The most important piece of advice that I can offer is to enter any situation like this with a clear mind.  This means being prepared.  Get up early and allow yourself extra time to get ready before an audition.  Eat a healthy meal and have plenty to drink to lubricate your voice.  Read through any materials sent ahead by the potential client.  If you get a copy of the script beforehand, create a few sample recordings, so you can tweak little spots and have the best possible reading for the audition.  Preparation is the key to staying calm.  You will feel much more confident if you know that you are ready to read when you arrive. Be appreciative of live, in-person auditions. They have become a rarity these days!

Focus on the work, not the people in the room It is so easy to get caught up by the new faces in the recording studio, or in the room with you.  Of course, this isn’t ever going to be as comfortable as reading in the quiet studio you are accustomed to.  Nevertheless, if you are able to stay focused on the project, you can overcome the stress of having others listening in.

Aim to entertain While it is a good idea to focus on the work, once you start reading and get past the worst of the nerves, don’t be afraid to engage your audience a bit.  Read for a reaction, when the script calls for it.  If you can entertain those in the room, then you know you have a much better chance of entertaining those listening to the finished product.

Set aside the failures Don’t let past failures eat at you when heading in for an audition.  You can overanalyze things later.  You can worry about what you did- or didn’t do when the audition is done.  For the time in the audition space, focus only on what lay before you. Actually, temper that "after audition" thought with the idea of just letting it go... blow it off... and don't allow the experience to eat at you. There's alway the next audition!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Three Ways to Become a Better Voiceover Talent

If you are working as a professional voiceover artist, then the goal is obviously to continue to grow and improve your craft so that you continue to be seen as a viable candidate. In fact, you don’t just want to be ‘viable’, you want to be the voice that all others are judged against. There are three things that you must do exceptionally well, though, if you are going to reach that status.

1. Blend with the Brand It is when a person seeing an advertisement or listing to an audiobook becomes so immersed in what is being said that you know you’ve done great audio work. When you speak the message or story in the right way, people will forget to critique your work and will just enjoy what your client intended to say. This is accomplished by adapting to the work in front of you. You shouldn’t be reading every piece with the same intensity, tone, and pitch. You should be adjusting those things to make sure that you are reading the words as they were intended to be read. Malleability is a blessing in this industry.

2. Allow the Message to be the Star This goes along with the message of malleability. For when you read the piece as the client intended, you allow the message to ring through. Those listening will not hear your inflections, your pronunciation, or any other element of speech. They will simply hear what the company or author has to say.

3. Give Your Best Performance Every Time The most important thing that you can do for the sake of your voiceover career is to put your all into every single job. Whether it is a full-length novel or a sixty-second radio spot, you should give it the emotion, the energy, and the dedication that it deserves. When you consistently give a spotless performance, casting directors and clients will notice. It is the very best way to ensure future work and success.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Three Things You Must Cling to When Working as a Voiceover Talent

If you are new to the voiceover industry, I welcome you. This is a profession that is very appealing to many people, for many different reasons. For those who have stuck it out for a year-, two-, or ten, congratulations. While this career path does appear fantastic in the beginning, there is also a big burnout ratio. A large number of people will not remain in the field for long. However, if you can hold on to the following three things, then you may just stand a chance of becoming a staple within the industry.

1. Your Sense of Humor Most who enter the realm of voiceover do so with a happy, go lucky personality. The majority enjoy a good joke and strive to instill a bit of humor in their demo reels. Unfortunately, long hours in the studio and being asked to read through the same scripts over and over again can really put a damper on a person’s mood. It is essential, though, that you hold on to that spark of humor that made you love the job to begin with. Sometimes saying it with a smile and a wink in your voice.

2. Your Health Voiceover work can be very sedentary. Also, most voiceover talents today work out of their own homes. This means very little exercise and the ever-present temptation to go to the kitchen for a snack. Additionally, there is always the concern that illness – a cold, respiratory infection, the flu, etc. – could make it impossible to get clean recordings for a day, a week, or longer. It is very important to maintain control over your diet and exercise plan, so you can stay in good health and reduce the chances of voice-damaging illnesses.

3. Your Patience Unfortunately, when you work in voiceover, there is always a chance that you will come across the occasional client who is never satisfied. The constant critiques and criticism will certainly test your patience. You are also likely to encounter slow spells that will add undue stress to your life. You must hold onto your patience. It will keep you sane and will also make you a more desirable candidate for future work. And be sure and indulge those individual activities that manage to keep your sanity in tact.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

In Voiceover, Sometimes You Have to Take a Chance

You should recognize your niche. It will make it easier to market yourself as a voiceover artist. There will be considerations that you will want to keep in mind as your define yourself as a professional voiceover actor. The typical tone and pitch of your voice may make you better suited to a bubbly, upbeat children’s-book-like piece, or perhaps you are better fit to the mysterious and sinister. Some work better when they are able to spend more time with the character, so they can develop along with him or her. That would likely make them better suited for e-books, movies, or television. Others may prefer the quick pieces that don’t require the same length of attention span. Recognizing these things about yourself will ultimately make it easier to find a niche market for yourself. However, there are times when you should step out of your comfort zone to consider trying for unexpected roles.

Recently, Mashable hosted an interview with John Roberts, who does voiceover work with the animated television series, Bob’s Burgers. John was invited to try out for the role of ‘Linda’ after the casting director discovered some of his work as a comedian on YouTube. The videos featured him imitating his mother in a variety of comedy sketches about his own life. Likely, John Roberts didn’t define his niche as animated, middle-aged, female characters. However, when presented with the possibility, he decided to go for it, and the rest is history.

In addition to recommending that professionals consider stepping away from what makes them comfortable, John Roberts suggests that great voiceover begins with great listening. With his start coming from a career in comedy, it makes sense that he would also recommend watching a lot of stand up to get pointers on becoming different characters. And learning to be ready with your character voices at a moment's notice.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Voiceover 101: Learning by Listening

Honing your craft is an endless process when you make your living as a voiceover artist. You must constantly work to improve yourself, to staying sharper, smarter, and smoother than the competition. There are many ways that you can do this, including taking acting or improve classes, critiquing your own recordings, updating your demo tapes on a regular basis, and by listening to others who have done voiceover successfully.

For this sake of this article, we are going to look into the latter option. Listening is an essential step in the making of great voiceover. There are many levels of listening. You can learn a lot about becoming the character if you find real life people who are of a similar nature, background, or culture as the person you are to portray. You will have much greater results if you really listen to the critiques and feedback from others involved in the project. You can also become a better voiceover talent if you take cues from the greats in the industry.

Some of the very best voiceover artists have recorded countless hours of audio and much of that can be found on the web. You just have to know whose name to search. Although there are many who have done this job very well, the following are ten of those who you should absolutely make yourself familiar with:

1. Mel Blanc, known as the ‘Man of a Thousand Voices’, famously voiced Roger Rabbit

2. Seth MacFarlane, best known for his work on The Family Guy, American Dad!, and Sing

3. Dan Castellaneta, best known for his work on The Simpsons

4. Nancy Cartwright, best known for her work on The Simpsons

5. Tom Kenny, best known for his work on SpongeBob SquarePants

6. Rob Paulsen, best known for his work on Animaniacs, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Pinky and the Brain.

7. Billy West, best known for his work on Futurama, The Ren & Stimpy Show, and Space Jam

8. Tress MacNeille, best known for her work on The Simpsons, Animaniacs, and Tiny Toons

9. Casey Kasem, best known for his work as a radio DJ, but also for his voiceover work in Ghostbusters, The Transformers, and Looney Tunes.

10. Carol Ann Susi is best known for her work on The Big Bang Theory, and the CSI: NY video game

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Why Every Voiceover Professional Should Be Giving Back to the Community

In addition to the good service that you will be doing others (which has been proven to make a person feel better about him- or herself) and the exposure that can from working with charitable causes, giving back to the community can help you grow as a voiceover actor.   That is, if you choose the right type of community project.

The ones that I have in mind, and which I would greatly recommend to all of my fellow peers, involve children.  Whenever you get the opportunity to help out in a classroom, participate in a story hour, or perform as part of a school assembly, you will be doing good for others and for yourself.  How?  All of these tasks involve speaking aloud, while providing a level of entertainment.  If you hope to keep kids engaged, you are going to have to be on top of your game.  Children’s books are generally written with a lot more visual- and verbal- animation intended than books written for an adult audience.  Furthermore, children are often the most honest- and harsh critics.

You can learn a great deal about yourself, practice your character reading, and really get a feel for what works with an audience and what doesn’t when you volunteer your time to the kids in your community.

Don’t know where to begin?  Call up the local elementary schools, daycares, nursery schools, and libraries to ask about local story hour programs.  These are often the best opportunities to work with children in a way that can benefit your career.  This also provides those organizations the opportunity to invite you to participate in something of a similar nature – classroom presentations, assemblies, etc.  Don’t get discouraged if the opportunity to volunteer in this manner doesn’t arrive immediately.  Story hours are, in many locations, seasonal.  Get your name on the list of available readers.  In the meantime, if you find that you are in a slow slump with the voiceover work, you could always consider substitute teaching in an elementary school classroom for a few days.  Call the office of the school for more information on the availability of local substitute teaching opportunities.

And , of course, there are usually opportunities to teach or entertain kids at your local church and related church community activities.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Learning Better Comedic Timing

Look at the men and women who have been most successful in the voice over industry, and you are likely to find one common thread – a strong understanding of comedy and a perfect sense of timing.  Comedic timing is, in fact, one of the greatest tools that you can possess if you are hoping to build a successful career in the voice over industry.  Yet, for many, this skill doesn’t come naturally.  It is something that requires practice and training.  Some would argue that it is not possible to teach the talent, but that is not the case, and many comedians have admitted that they always wanted to be funny, but failed many times before they hit their stride.

Don’t Learn; Unlock It is important to understand, as you set out to improve your own comedic timing that it is not that a teacher will be able to hand you a textbook that will allow you to understand and adapt the skill.  Instead, the right teacher will pull out what already exists within you.  It is, in fact, already within you to know how and when to deliver a punchline.  You already possess the innate abilities needed to perform improv.  You just need to unlock those hidden talents, which is exactly what an excellent teacher or coach can do for you.

Think Outside the Box Acting- and improv classes are widely recommended to voiceover artists, but these aren’t always the settings that teach the timing that you seek.  It is much more about understanding the importance of pause, or melody, or rhythm, and you may just find that you have a better chance of capturing the knowledge that you desire in a music class.  Singing, playing instruments, or even dance can teach you a great deal about timing, and that can actually transition quite nicely into comedic delivery.  These things can also force you out of your comfort zone, which is where you will have to be if you hope to become a success in voice over.  You must be willing to open yourself to new experiences, an array of different characters, and scripts which you might not to choose to read otherwise.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Better Health for Better Voiceover

You are what you eat.  It’s what most healthcare providers have muttered to patients at one time or another.  There is some truth to the saying.  The healthier the life we lead, the better we feel and the more we are able to accomplish.  This is particularly true when you are relying on your body to be your instrument.  As a voiceover actor or actress, you should definitely be considering how you can take care of yourself in order to ensure a long and fruitful... hee, hee...career!

Healthy Eating Since I have already referred to it, it makes since to start with a healthy diet.  This is a challenge.  Although nutritionists, doctors, and personal trainers may argue otherwise, the truth is that there would be far more thin and trim individuals if healthy eating was simple.  There are many temptations in our day to day life, and that can make our best intentions fall to the wayside.  You shouldn’t give up all of the joys of eating, of course.  Enjoy the sweet treats, the big and juicy burger, or the slice of greasy pizza, but do so in moderation and fill in the rest of the meals with vitamin rich foods, because they really can have a big impact on how you feel and how you perform.

Meditate, Do Yoga, Take a Bath, or Get a Massage Voiceover work (like so many professions) can come with a lot of stress.  When you are struggling to keep your anxiety at bay due to a pressing schedule or because of a slow spell, take a moment to breathe.  I mentioned a few options, but there are many, and the idea is to choose the one that relaxes you most. Whatever that may be! High stress levels put us at greater risk of getting sick, gaining weight, and making missteps on our career paths. 

Take a Class It isn’t just the body that needs care, but also the brain.  We exercise to keep the body in shape.  Likewise, we should aim to keep learning in order to keep the brain in peak form. Don’t feel as though you have to limit this to acting and voiceover classes.  Consider learning a new language or study a new culture. Or maybe a new exercise class. 

Exercise The diet is only part of keeping the body in good form.  You also have to be active if you hope to be in good shape.  Exercise has been shown to ease stress, help a person sleep more soundly, clear the mind, and lower the risks of many common but serious health conditions.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Remembering Those Who Hired You First

The voiceover industry, much like the entertainment profession as a whole, can be highly competitive.  You will undoubtedly have to take on several smaller, less attractive roles in order to begin to build your resume before you will be considered for more substantial voiceover spots.  While it will be very exciting when you reach that point when you are being considered for full length novels, animated films, and other such parts, it is important to appreciate those who hired you before you had really established yourself.  And, it won’t just be a matter of convincing yourself to take on a smaller role with a repeat client in order to keep those positive relationships intact.

In the past, on a couple of occasions, I have written a bit about what it takes to secure a voiceover agent, and about how difficult it can be to get that sort of ‘in’ in this industry.  If you are fortunate enough to have been signed by an agent, then you will certainly want to do what you can to ensure that the relationship lasts.  Yet, you also must realize that not all agents are created equally, and there are times when you will have to speak up for yourself in order to make it work with your agent.

It is your agent’s job to sell you, (that is, to a limited degree since a personal manager is more equipped to perform that role) but if you have already been signed, then chances are good that you have been in the industry for a while.  That means that you might have already formed relationships with clients, and that those clients may want to work with you again in the future.  You want to be sure that it is clear with your agent that, while you hope for bigger roles in the future, you definitely want to show appreciation for the clients who chose to work with you in your earliest days.

The repeat work may not pay as much, may not be as widely recognized, but it can serve as the foundation of a highly successful career.  Don’t overlook the importance of client appreciation.
It can help you maintain your integrity in the business world. And we sure can use more of that!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Side Job Ideas for Up-and-Coming Voiceover Artists

While most hope, when entering the voiceover industry, that the workload will quickly escalate and become the full time position that is aimed for, the truth is that it takes time.  Just as in other profession, it takes time to establish yourself as a voice over talent.  The jobs are likely to trickle at first, which means that you may have to take on a side job in order to support yourself, while building up the voiceover business.  Fortunately, in this day and age, there are many part time gigs that can help you make some extra cash, while providing you the malleability of schedule needed to keep operating as a voiceover actor or actress.  Here are a few ideas to consider if you are trying to earn a second income to supplement what you are making in voiceover:

Uber or Lyft: Both companies offer essentially the same service, and both need drivers like you.  If you have a car and know your way around your city or town, then you may be able to make some extra cash carting people from one stop to another. 

AirBnB: This alternative to hotel stays has really appealed to many travelers around the world.  If you have a house, converted basement, or even a spare room that you are willing to loan out to individuals or families, then you can make some extra money.

Turo: Like AirBnB, except for vehicles, Turo arranges for an exchange of cash for a borrowed car without the rental company. You can loan out your ride and make some cash that you need to cover your expenses. 

Rover: Love animals?  Babysit a pup for a night, a weekend, or a week to make some cash.  Dog sitting is a highly desired service, and many dog owners really want to see their dogs spending time in an open space with company, rather than the typical kennel setting.

Wag!: If you don’t really want to bring the dog home (or your landlord doesn’t allow you to), then consider just spending an hour or two with them.  Dog walking is still a viable way to make some extra cash in most cities and the Wag! Service makes it easier than ever before.

Freelancer.com: If you have a talent for writing, website design, marketing, or app coding, then you can make cash doing it as a side gig.  Upload your resume and create a profile on Freelancer.com, so you can start bidding on the huge list of available jobs.