The microphone is the centerpiece of any voice actor’s studio setup and this week on the VO School Podcast, we put this piece of technology front and center. Join us as we geek out over an exalted but often misunderstood piece of technology!
Do you need an expensive microphone to be a professional voice actor? How much better is a $3,000 mic compared to a $200 model? How do you use a microphone to get the best out of it? Do they require maintenance? And how long should a mic last?
Joining me this week are Dan Friedman and Emmett Andrews. Dan is an audio engineer, producer, voice talent and author from the mountains of Asheville, NC. With nearly two decades in the voiceover industry, he has produced, directed, and provided his voice to thousands of audio productions. In 2010 he published “Sound Advice: Voiceover From An Audio Engineer's Perspective.” A first of its kind in the industry, the book covers audio engineering and studio session etiquette as it relates directly to voiceover talent.
Emmett’s background includes over 20 years in commercial radio, with much of the time spent in St. Louis and Indianapolis. Additionally, he has worked for Sweetwater as both a sales engineer and tech support specialist. He is also a national voice talent with clients like Dell, Long John Silvers, Spalding, Lexus, and Pandora. He offers technical design services for home studio owners and ad agencies. Emmett currently serves as production director for Emmis Communications.
In episode 11 of the VO School Podcast, we talked to Celia Siegel and Doug Melville about marketing and branding as it relates to voice actors. In today’s episode, we put those theories to the test as we take a peek behind the curtain of a brand audit.
Celia shows us her process for breaking down and distilling a voice actor’s personality, their voice, demo, and aesthetic to create a marketable brand. The subject of Celia’s examination is Marisa Blake, who restarted her voiceover career three years ago and is looking to reinvigorate her brand.
Listen in as Celia illuminates her process, starting with a questionnaire that probes Marisa’s history, her opinion of herself, her ambitions for the future and her opinions of the world.
The process is a mesmerizing stream of consciousness that is at times poetic and others incisive.
Welcome to VO School Podcast’s first interview of the year! It’s also the first of a new semi-regular series that will examine the different genres of VO. Today, we begin with audiobooks.
Do you have to have a certain temperament to be an audiobook narrator? How much stamina does it take? How do you land your first book? And how can you reach out to publishers for prestige projects? We discuss all of these things and more! Joining me are two of the world’s top audiobook narrators. They are multi-award winners, respected coaches, and have narrated well over a thousand books between them.
Sean Pratt has been a working actor in theater, film, TV, and voiceovers for over 30 years. He has been an audiobook narrator for 22 years, recording over 950 books in almost every genre and has received eight AudioFile Magazine Earphone Awards, five Audie nominations, and one SOVAS nomination. He narrates for such companies as Blackstone Audiobooks, Tantor Media, Gildan Audio, Harper Collins, Penguin Random House, and Christian Audio. Sean is also the author of “To Be or Wanna Be—The Top Ten Differences between a Successful Actor and a Starving Artist.”
Johnny Heller is a narrator of over 500 audiobooks, specializing in adult, noir/mystery, personal development, history, comedy, and children’s book narrations. His awards and accolades include being the 2008, 2009, and 2011 Best Audio Book winner, a Publishers Weekly Listen-Up Award winner from 2008 through 2013, a 2014 Audie Award nominee for Solo Narration, a 2005 and 2009 Audie Award winner, a double Audie nominee in 2012, one of AudioFile magazine’s Top Fifty Narrators of the Twentieth Century, and a multiple AudioFile Earphones Award winner.
This week’s podcast episode is the final part of our Voiceover Guide. We cover such wide-ranging subjects as voiceover conferences, anxiety and motivation, branding and marketing, and the business and legal practices successful voice actors employ.
What will attending a voiceover conference do for your career? How can you perform your best at an audition when you suffer from anxiety? What is the difference between branding and marketing? What does a Madison Avenue advertising executive look for when choosing a voice talent? And how should you structure your business affairs?
Podcast guests this week include voiceover conference directors Gerrald Griffith (VO Atlanta) and Dave Courvoisier (WOVO Con), psychologist Dr. Chloe Carmichael, author, voice actor and comedian Anna Vocino, marketing and advertising gurus Celia Siegel and Doug Melville, and business savvy brainboxes Tom Dheere and Robert Sciglimpaglia.
Today’s episode of the VO School Podcast is part two of a master voiceover advice guide. I’ve selected the most awesome highlights and important tidbits of information for the new or working voice actor, covering voiceover coaching in episode 5 and VO demos in episode 6. We discuss networking (on and offline) in episode 7, and find out how you can get your first voiceover job in episode 9.
With the help of nine industry professionals who are all experts in their fields, we get to the truth of these oft-misunderstood subjects.
Joining me this week are voiceover coaches Anne Ganguzza and MaryLynn Wissner, demo producers J. Michael Collins and Terry Daniel, networking gurus Tim Friedlander, Jay Preston, and Brad Venable, and business savvy VO entrepreneurs Rachael Naylor and Armin Hierstetter.
This week’s episode of the VO School Podcast is the first of three highlight shows for the holiday season. I scoured the first four episodes to pull together the most important tidbits of information for the new or working voice actor.
Think of these episodes as a pocket guide to starting out as a voice actor, as well as a quick reminder of best practice for those who are more established.
We take a look at the current state of the voice industry, what qualities you as a voice actor need to develop, where you should go for advice, how you can avoid being exploited by unscrupulous coaches and demo producers, and we talk technology as we dive into microphones, audio processing, and file formats.
Join me and seven of the industry’s top professionals as we examine some of the most important factors to consider when starting out in voiceover.
This week’s VO School Podcast is the long-awaited business episode! It’s time to get your business and legal affairs in order and while that may sound intimidating, we are here to help you get there.
How do you structure your business? Are you a Sole Proprietor? An LLC, S Corp, or C Corp? How do you keep track of your expenses? Can you reduce your tax liability? And how on earth do you save for a pension and maintain health coverage in this topsy-turvy industry?
Joining me this week are two business and legal experts who also happen to have decades of experience as voice talents:
Tom Dheere is a New York-based voice actor with over 20 years of industry experience. He’s narrated thousands of projects for hundreds of clients in over a dozen countries. Tom’s experience as a corporate trainer as well as a voice talent makes him uniquely qualified to help both aspiring and veteran voice talents navigate the voiceover industry.
Robert Sciglimpaglia is a voice and screen actor, producer, and practicing attorney. He’s appeared on the History Channel, Discovery Channel, A&E, Nat Geo, The Travel Channel, PBS, and others. He has worked on shows such as "Rescue Me", “Maury Povich” and “30 Rock” and is best known as the DAD on the 2012 Chevy Super Bowl Commercial HAPPY GRAD. Robert is also a practicing attorney and was named as a Super Lawyer by Connecticut and New England magazines. His book, “Voice Over Legal” hit the number one spot on the Amazon Best Seller list in April of 2015 in the Entertainment Law category.
This week on the VO School Podcast, we’re discussing how an actor markets and brands themselves in 2017 and beyond. How you present yourself to the world can make or break your career and we discuss the various approaches that can help you to stand out in a crowded field.
What’s the difference between branding and marketing? How soon should you start your marketing journey? What are the gatekeepers looking for when they choose talent? And what are the major no-nos and turn-offs that will hinder your chances?
Joining me this week are two titans of the marketing world. Celia Siegel is the founder of Celia Siegel Management, widely recognized for building strong personal brands for voice talent. Before creating CSM, Celia was a respected talent agent with stints at CESD, JE, and Wehmann. A brand builder, certified life and business coach, success strategist and talent manager, Celia has advanced the careers of top VO talent for more than two decades.
Doug Melville is Chief Diversity Officer for TBWA\Worldwide, a top ten ranked global advertising agency. Since joining the TBWA, he’s led efforts that resulted in more than $150 million being spent with multicultural and women-owned businesses in the creative space. He’s presented three TEDx talks on the topic and made multiple appearances on Fox Business.
It’s the tenth episode of the VO School Podcast and this week I wanted to do something a little different so we’re taking a look at the psychology of the voice actor!
How does one deal with disappointment, rejection, and self-doubt? What techniques can you use to combat performance anxiety? How do you deal with a person bringing negativity into a session? We also explore tactics to help you get into character, perform at your best in the audition room and recording studio, and how to unwind after a difficult session.
I’m thrilled to have been joined by two fantastic guests. Dr. Chloe Carmichael holds a doctorate in clinical psychology from Long Island University and her Manhattan-based private practice focuses on stress management, relationship issues, self-esteem, and coaching. She’s worked one-on-one with many stars from stage and screen and contributes to media outlets such as The Huffington Post, Fox News, Cosmopolitan, the New York Post, US News, Refinery29, and Forbes.
Anna Vocino is a voice actor, stand up comedian, and food writer. Her voice credits include promo campaigns for ABC, Nickelodeon, Fox Sports, Cartoon Network, and the Tennis Channel, plus hundreds of TV and radio spots for clients like Subaru, Bud Light, Best Buy, Toys R Us, Target, FedEx, Legoland, and McDonald’s. She can also be heard on TV in “The Office,” “Celebrity Death Match,” “The Young & The Restless,” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” as well as “a bajillion video games.”
This week on the VO School Podcast we are talking about voiceover conferences!
Working as a voice actor can be a lonely profession, especially if you work predominantly from home. One way to get out of your booth and meet your peers, agents, producers, and coaches is to go to one of the many voiceover conferences that take place around the world each year.
What exactly is a VO conference? Why should you attend? What can you leave with that you didn’t have when you arrived? How do you choose which conference to attend? And how can you make the most of the connections that you make?
Joining me this week are Gerald Griffith, founder and CEO of VO Atlanta, the biggest voiceover conference in the world. And Dave Courvoisier, voice actor, Emmy Award winner and president of World Voices Organization and the WOVO Conference. We take a peek behind the curtain at the planning of a major voiceover conference to learn how much work is involved in the preparation and oversight of such a major event.