Live Session THIS SUNDAY – It’s Not Easy Being Me: bringing your own uniqueness to your reads

Join us THIS SUNDAY, April 28th 8:00 – 9:00 PM Eastern Time for our bi-weekly session with Voice-Over Talent/Coach Nancy Wilson as she discusses It’s Not Easy Being Me: bringing your own uniqueness to your reads

When was the last time you really “cut loose” and laughed hysterically, cried, or acted completely out of your mind? laughing

Chances are, you were a kid the last time you can remember being completely uninhibited — back then, you didn’t care what people thought — you were having too much fun – galloping around on imaginary horses and talking to people who weren’t there. Would you do that now? I don’t think so.

But maybe you should.

In the strange world of voiceover, you are required to have fun, whether you like it or not.

“It’s Not Easy Being Me” is about being a successful voice actor by allowing yourself to be the crazy, silly, serious, quirky, dramatic, snarky and the lovable person you really are. Each one of us has a uniqueness unlike anyone else. And believe it or not, casting directors want to hear the real you!

If you are not currently enrolled in our Bi-Weekly Live Training Series but would like to join us for this event for $25, please click here to sign up! 

*Once you have signed up, please check your email just prior to Sunday’s session to receive the link to attend.

 
To Your Success!

~The Such A Voice Team

Live Session THIS SUNDAY on Pay to Play Sites–figuring out which one is the best for you

Join us THIS SUNDAY, March 24th 8:00 – 9:00 PM Eastern Time for the bi-weekly session with Voiceover Talent/Coach Steven Wahlberg as he discusses Pay to Play Sites–figuring out which one is the best for you

Steven will provide an in depth analysis of what these sites are, how they work, the differences between them and how to decide which one(s), if any, are right for you.

  1. What are the purposes of these sites?
  2. Comparing the two largest P2P sites – Voice123 & Voices.com
  3. What other P2P sites are out there?
  4. How much do they cost?
  5. What is the process and how do you get the most out of them?
  6. He’ll also leave time for any questions!  microphone

If you are not currently enrolled in our Bi-Weekly Live Training Series but would like to join us for this event for $25, please click here to sign up! 

*Once you have signed up, please check your email just prior to Sunday’s session to receive the link to attend.

 
To Your Success!

~The Such A Voice Team

Live Session THIS SUNDAY on Source Connect & ISDN

Join us THIS SUNDAY, March 10th 8:00 – 9:00 PM Eastern Time for the bi-weekly session with Voiceover Talent/Coach Ben Marney as he discusses Source Connect & ISDN

ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) & Source Connect: sourcec

  1. What are they used for?
  2. How do they work?
  3. What equipment do you need for each?
  4. How much do they cost?
  5. Do you need ISDN or Source Connect to be successful?
  6. And more!

 

If you are not currently enrolled in our Bi-Weekly Live Training Series but would like to join us for this event for $25, please click here to sign up! 

*Once you have signed up, please check your email just prior to Sunday’s session to receive the link to attend.

To Your Success!

~The Such A Voice Team

Voice-Over Talent/Coach David Tolar has another passion: music!

David Tolar has been a live musician, a studio musician, and a
recording artist for the past three decades.

He is a multi-instrumentalist and records, engineers, and produces
his own music from Chez Nous, his digital recording studio.

He has recorded with a series of different artists including Agona
Hardison, the Big Blue Daddys (yes, Daddys is spelled that way!), and
Lisa Meri, and since 2010, he has released three albums independently:

LOOK! A PONY!‘s 2010 release, “…the rest of the world is wrong…“,
their 2012 followup, “Has Your Mother Heard This?“, and David’s début
solo album, “The Path Of Least Resistance“, released in late 2012.path2

David’s second solo album, “Sandbox Etiquette”, will be released this summer.

Some of the bands he has worked with include:

Savoir Faire
Split Second
No Man’s Land
South Of Nine
Big Blue Daddys
Agona Hardison
Lisa Meri
British Yankees
RAMM: The Paul McCartney Tribute (now called ONE SWEET DREAM)
Mojo Filter
LOOK! A PONY!

It is exciting to see another artistic side to Dave. It’s obvious that his skills as a musician make him that much stronger as a VO talent and coach. We look forward to hearing more of his music!

Live Session THIS SUNDAY on Goals & Business Planning for 2013

Join us THIS SUNDAY, February 24th 8:00 – 9:00 PM Eastern Time for the bi-weekly session with Voiceover Talent/Coach Ben Marney as he discusses Goals & Business Planning for 2013 goals

Topics Include:
  • The reality of the Voice-Over business
  • What should your realistic goals be
  • Long range plans
  • The SMART system to making plans and goals

 

If you are not currently enrolled in our Bi-Weekly Live Training Series but would like to join us for this event for $25, please click here to sign up! 

*Once you have signed up, please check your email just prior to Sunday’s session to receive the link to attend.

 
To Your Success!

~The Such A Voice Team

Live Session THIS SUNDAY on Voice-Over Conferences: When is it time to attend?

Join us THIS SUNDAY, February 10th 8:00 – 9:00 PM Eastern Time with Voice-Over Talent/Coach Faith Coons as she discusses Voice-Over Conferences: When is it time to attend?

With all the voice-over conferences happening in 2013, you may find yourself wondering, should I attend one? Perhaps a better question to ask might be, am I ready to attend a voice-over conference this year? Join Faith Coons as she discusses what you should think about prior to making this decision and if you decide to attend how to maximize your experience.conference

If you are not currently enrolled in our Bi-Weekly Live Training Series but would like to join us for this event for $25, please click here to sign up!

*Once you have signed up, please check your email just prior to Sunday’s session to receive the link to attend.

To Your Success!

~The Such A Voice Team

Live Session THIS SUNDAY on Adding Music and Sound Effects to Your VOs

Join us THIS SUNDAY, January 27th 8:00 – 9:00 PM Eastern Time with Voice-Over Talent/Coach Ben Marney as he discusses Adding Music and Sound Effects to Your VOs music

Ben will cover:

1. Is it something you will need to master to be a successful VO talent?

2. How to add music (in Audacity) *and the general process using other programs

3. Where to find the music and sound effects

4. The costs involved

5. The royalties and fees (ASCAP & BMI)

6. Questions?

 

If you are not currently enrolled in our Bi-Weekly Live Training Series but would like to join us for this event for $25, please click here to sign up! 

*Once you have signed up, please check your email just prior to Sunday’s session to receive the link to attend.

 
To Your Success!

~The Such A Voice Team

Making the Most of Your Facebook Business Page

You’d like to set up a Facebook business page for your voice-overs, but you’re not sure what steps to take to make the most of this free social networking opportunity. You can certainly be successful in landing clients through Facebook, however, it’ll probably be even more beneficial to you in using it as a way to build up your credibility in the voice-over industry with your VO colleagues.

First of all, even if you have a personal Facebook page, it is recommended that you set up a business page specifically for your voice-over business. You can certainly invite all of your friends to “like” your page, but you’re not going to want everyone who “likes” your business page, to see all of your personal Facebook page information.

On your Facebook business page, you want to include your logo in either your profile picture or your cover photo. Some talent prefer to have their logo as their cover photo and then a professional headshot as their profile picture, so that clients & colleagues can relate to them on a more personal level. Others prefer to have their logo as their profile (since that’s how everyone recognizes them) and then put some other industry related photo for their cover–an image of a WAV file, studio equipment and so on. Either option is fine! facebook2

Make sure that your business contact information: phone number, website, email address and any other relevant info is updated correctly. You want to make it easy for others to find your info, if they’d like to check out your demos, your website, etc. In the sections entitled “About” and “Personal Information” you can include information about your voice, training, services, clients, etc. You can fill out either however you see fit, just make sure that you’re not redundant and that you include everything that’s important.

Ideally you should post on your Facebook business page 2-3 times per week, if not more. Once a day would be even better–but you have to have relevant information to post. You should use this page to advertise your VO work, seminars you’re attending, training you’re working on, etc. as well as sharing what other VO colleagues post and other exciting industry news. If your page is always just about you, followers may not be as inclined to check it regularly.

Take advantage of the ability to post in the future! It’s a wonderful tool. You can schedule as many future posts as you’d like just by setting the date and time in the “Write something” window before you hit “post”. You can also see how many people viewed your post afterward which can be a good indicator of the best days/time to post. Obviously you want to capture as many people as possible.

In addition to posting information about your successes and “sharing” information from your colleagues, posting VO industry related articles that you find on the internet, etc. you should also post industry related questions to engage your followers. It’s a great way to start a conversation and build your credibility by posting appropriate information and responding to comments.

With a Facebook business page, you have access to your “Admin panel” this will show you how many posts you have done, the reach (who saw it) and who is talking about (who commented or “shared” your post.) This is a very valuable tool to keep track of. You will also be emailed weekly (or however you set up your settings) the stats as well as new likes each week, how many are talking about it and your weekly total reach.

You should also become familiar with the tabs up top–edit page and build audience. Most of that is self explanatory, but be sure to check out the “use activity log” under the “edit page” tab. That will show you all previous posts and all future scheduled ones.

There are also Facebook ads that you can purchase, if you so choose. You set up a campaign and the target audience, how often you want the ad run, etc. You can find out more information about those here.

Facebook is a great networking opportunity to build up relationships and discover new clients–have fun with it!

Kelly Libatique started booking voice-over jobs while still in his training with Such A Voice Coach Talia Gonzalez

Kelly Libatique started booking voice-over jobs while still in his training with Such A Voice Coach Talia Gonzalez, before he even had his professional demos produced!

We sat down with Kelly Libatique to hear more about his amazing success having just started out in this industry. Congratulations to Kelly on all of his achievements and we thank him for sharing such encouraging words with others looking for that hope & guidance as they venture into this exciting field.klvoicelogo

 

Q: What inspired you to want to get into voice-overs?

 
A: As a theatre actor since college, I’ve been inspired for years to explore other areas of performing. Also, in the last ten years or so, I’ve been a technical trainer and curriculum developer in the high-tech and telcom industries and have used my voice extensively in recorded training material. After being told numerous times over the years that I’d be good at something like this, I’m so glad I made the decision to give it a whirl.

Q: Who was your instructor at Such A Voice & what about that person made them a good fit for you?

A: My coach was Talia Gonzalez, and I can’t say enough about her. In just a couple of sessions, we had found out pretty clearly what I was good at and what needed serious work. And the stuff that needs work STILL needs work. But her coaching and advice from real-world experience was invaluable. She challenged and pushed me out of my comfort zones and made me see what else I could do. She genuinely cared about me getting things right. It’s an investment in time and resources to get one-on-on coaching, but if you’re a newbie, you must do this.

Q: What do you see as your own VO strengths and why you will continue to succeed at this?

A: My strengths are having a strong, authoritative delivery, and if you need specialized or otherwise technical jargon–no problem. I also pull from my stage and camera experience a lot. But one of the things Talia had to knock out of me was my “default” trainer voice. No matter what copy I read, I tended to return to my flat, heavy-handed, “here’s the info” kind of voice. On the plus side though, I have found that many audiobook authors like this voice for the narrative portion. After that, I pull from my acting training and experience to create characters.

Q: What did you take away from Such A Voice that will be the most beneficial to your career?

A: I took away many things from SAV, but I can name two biggies. The first is the need to stay “one-on-one” when recording spots. The Script Analysis, as it’s called, is fundamental, and is especially helpful once you become good at doing it quickly. Without that, I’d still be doing my instructor/radio announcer voice; I speak to the masses, as it were, by instinct, but in VO, you have to be talking to one person. The second is the overall picture about marketing, even to the smaller markets, that many don’t think of. I’ve read a few books from other sources on the subject since, but you need to have an understanding of the business side of VO. Most of us artists just want to perform, that’s where the fun is. But it doesn’t matter how good the performance is if you’re not out there getting heard by the right people. I can almost never attend the SAV bi-weekly live training sessions, but I listen to the recordings and the real-world tips you get there are chock full of great info.

Q: What VO jobs have you booked and/or opportunities that you’ve had since joining our program?

A: I just completed my fourth audiobook and am already enjoying monthly revenue from that. I hopped on to ACX.com and started auditioning and found work right away. My current book is the first of a trilogy series that the author already wants me to do.

Although it’s a ripe market, audiobooks are not for everyone. They are long hours of recording and editing, and the pay is not as good per hour of effort. But the practice is priceless. If you’re not good with mic techniques or the bells and whistles of your recording software, audiobooks will take care of that. ACX has a strict audition process and even before the author or publisher gives the final Go, you need to demonstrate the ability to produce fully edited and ready-to-publish recordings.

I also did a promo for a Russian startup called Instengine. I booked that when Voices.com offered me 30 days for ten bucks. Why not, right? So I signed up and got the offer after auditioning for about 25 jobs. I was told later that was pretty darn good luck. The promo is featured on their homepage at Instengine.com and also on YouTube

After my 30 days on Voices.com, I dropped out again until my official demos were done by SAV. My demos have now just been completed and are featured on the website I threw together — KLVoice.com. So I may hop back on to Voices or Voice123, we’ll see.

Here are a couple audiobooks of mine that are out there now: bobbymeets
In Dog We Trust by Neil S. Plakcy
Bobby Meets His Angel by D. Charles  

Q: What advice would you give to aspiring voice talent?

A: There’s an old saying: A year from now, you’ll wish you’d started today. I guess that sums it up for me and VO. I wish I’d gotten serious about it sooner and received the proper training and knowledge to get a real start.

Going back several years, if you were to make a list of everything you’re NOT supposed to do, I did them all. I bought equipment I didn’t know how to properly use. I tried, lamely, to make my own demos. I used copyrighted music for background on demos and auditions. And it got me absolutely nowhere. (Good thing too or I may have been sued!) Discouraged, I put it all aside for a couple of years and tried to forget about it. But I couldn’t. I knew I wanted to try. Then one day I ran into a class called “You’re On The Air” taught by SAV’s Lisa Foster and my fire was rekindled. I saw, laid out, practical steps I could take to get real training from pros. After doing some research on different companies out there, I found that SAV has a good reputation and many of their students are out there doing real VO work. So I signed up and here I am. And hopefully, someday, I’ll be able to say, “and the rest is history.”  :)

Q: Is there anything else that you’d like to add?

A: You may try VO and find it’s not for you, but that’s just life. If it’s a desire in your heart, you need to just dive in and give it a go. You may be surprised. My situation is this: I have a day job and two boys, ages eight and twelve at home. Under these sometimes crazy, chaotic, and noisy circumstances, I’ve started a paying part-time VO career. You can do this if you have the determination and the right guidance. What’s the Nike slogan?: Just do it. (But do it the right way . . .)

Our Career Consultant Faith Coons is using her voice-over skills on her new radio show: Let’s Talk Health Radio!

What I have learned is that it’s not all about a diet but about changing from within and addressing the core issues that keep us where we are. Then and only then can we change the outside but it has to start with what’s deep inside of us and not by just treating the symptoms. We all have a story and I hope my story inspires and encourages you to start and never give up on your journey to total health and wellness. Or if you have already started to keep going!

Our Career Consultant Faith Coons is using her voice-over skills on her new radio show! You can read all about it on her blog. Her internet radio show, Let’s Talk Health Radio, launches tonight, January 22nd at 8:30PM Eastern.

Join Faith as she shares her story to total health & wellness. You can listen to her show here: Listen Live or click for the replay.

To learn more about the show, you can visit her website. You can also like her FB page.

Faith is using her voice-over skills on Let’s Talk Health Radio and has been successful in obtaining sponsors for her show & as a result is booking more voice-over work! It’s a win-win business all around. We wish Faith the very best in her new endeavor and look forward to listening to her show each week.organicfood4-300x160

Making New Year’s Resolutions that Count!

2013With the start of 2013, be sure to have a list of New Year’s resolutions to focus on over the next year. Not only should these resolutions be fun and important to you, but they should be attainable. To really make the most of this multi-decade tradition, start with a few different areas of your life that you want to improve upon and build your list from there.

Ask yourself some questions to help inspire your resolutions list. Are you happy with your career? Have you been saying for months (or years!) that you want to do something different? Are you currently pursuing something that needs an additional push to get it moving in the right direction? What about your health or your family? Or your hobbies? Be inspired and make a list that counts!

Here’s a Voice-Over Resolutions list to get you started:

- Get the best education possible for your craft. Work with someone who is qualified, flexible, accomplished and is a practicing voice-over professional. Someone who truly loves not only being a voice actor, but also educating others. And don’t forget about your continuing education–as your skills grow your knowledge needs to grow along with it. You never stop learning!

- Be proud of your demos! If it’s been years and you’re using the same demos and not seeing the results you’ve been looking for–or you’re ready to take it to that next level, then it’s time to reassess! If your voice and skill level are more advanced than the product you’re using to market yourself, then it’s time to record a new one.

- Have a solid marketing plan in place. Make a list of businesses that fit your niche, companies that you want to contact. Follow-up with contacts and clients you’ve already made. Focus on your collateral: website, business cards, postcards, etc. Establish your branding!

- Make goals for yourself and stick to them! Where do you want to be in 3 months, 6 months, a year? These can be financial goals, number of clients goals, landing that first TV commercial–you name it, the opportunities are endless.

- Get involved in social and in-person networking. Find (or create) a voice-over meetup group in your area. Join the voice-over Facebook groups, online voice-over forums, attend networking & educational events that are available throughout the country.

- Have fun! As they say, “if it’s not fun, it’s not worth doing.”

Find something that inspires you this year–that engages you creatively and mentally. Whether it be starting a new career, or fine tuning your current one. Find that challenge that you’ve been seeking and go after it!

Such A Voice’s Animation & Audiobook Coach Michael Yurchak has had a busy couple of weeks…

Such A Voice is truly honored to have Michael Yurchak on staff with us. He is an award winning actor, voice-over artist and educator from Los Angeles, CA. His incredible resume speaks volumes!

Michael has had a busy couple of weeks. He shot a recurring role for a Disney XD pilot called Kirby Banks. He also completed recording sessions for an audiobook (The Iron Gates by Margaret Millar) and started sessions on a new Skylanders video game in which he played the character of Hugo. sky

Congratulations Michael- best wishes for a successful 2013, you inspire us all!

Such A Voice Alumni Brian Hart goes from impressions for fun to booking voice-over work!

Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know who you are going to get. I got Ben Marney.

From the moment Brian Hart and Ben Marney first spoke they became friends. “I quickly saw Ben’s professionalism, knowledge, expertise and learned how caring and nurturing he was,” Brian shared with us. “He remains extremely supportive, and is the best mentor a voiceover trainee could receive! It doesn’t hurt that he’s charismatic and modest either! Ben taught me the importance of inflections, marketing, perseverance, technical quality and most of all, to have fun.” As a voice talent, one of the important elements in training is discovering your niche. Brian’s niche is quite varied. “I’ve been told I’m a good story teller; that people want to listen. I think I see beyond the words on the script and tell the story the client wants to convey.” For some talent defining their niche is an obvious match and comes quickly to them, while others it finds them as time goes on. It’s important to define your niche and focus on your strengths and weaknesses. Brian states, “it’s especially important to realize when something isn’t working, as well as when it is.” AFN

If you ask any voice talent what their inspiration was to get into the industry, you’re guaranteed to hear an array of responses, some more common than others. ‘I’ve always been told I have a great voice.’ ‘People enjoy listening to me read out loud.’ We found Brian’s reason to be quite humorous and an exciting journey! “When I was a child, I imitated voices while playing, causing my mother to ask who was with me when she listened behind my closed bedroom door (I was alone). In high school, I imitated a school official as if he was calling our teacher to his office on the school intercom. She obediently left the classroom and went to his office & I was a brief instant hero. I was NOT on the intercom, the impression luckily just worked. Then on to a 16 year military and civilian broadcast career as television and radio news anchor for the American Forces Radio and Television service and radio news anchor or talk show host for a few commercial stations. Why voiceovers? I felt I just wasn’t finished using my voice for a living at this tender old age. Only now it’s fun, not work, and it is beginning to pay off.”

Brian was recently hired as a rapping doctor for a children’s hospital commercial, he recorded a tag for a drug commercial, he’s a story teller for a university’s on-line science presentation and has hopes of using a couple of cartoon voices that he’s developed. “I didn’t imagine this was possible, or know that Such A Voice existed prior to February of 2012. I’m grateful to the company for hiring a quality coach like Ben Marney. He has represented the company to the highest standard and has shown me the way toward my current success.”

When we asked Brian if he had any words that he’d like to share with his colleagues he said: “Believe in yourself. Be honest with results. I’ve had success, but many failures. Learn from the failures and convert the knowledge into success. Don’t overlook any of the training. You can have the best voice, but if you have a technically poor quality audio product, or don’t market yourself properly, it is all for naught. You won’t be hired. All the training is important; every bit of it!”

Congratulations Brian, we look forward to continuing on this journey with you- best of luck!

Big Fish in a Small Market

bigfishWhen you’re on vacation and someone asks you where you’re from, chances are you’ll tell them you’re from the closest big city to your suburb. After all, who’s heard of little Decatur, Georgia? You say you’re from the nearest big city to Decatur, which is Atlanta, because people are likely to be familiar with Atlanta.

Marketing yourself in the voice-over industry is no different. When networking with clients who may need a voice-over artist’s services, let them know you are from a bigger market than your suburb. Even if you’re just starting out, new clients may feel more confident about a voice-over artist from Sacramento, CA, than, say, someone from Elk Grove. People who live in smaller towns always see city people as being pros at whatever they do.

Now that you have established yourself as a voice-over talent from a major city, don’t try to market yourself in the big city. That is one of the big mistakes that new voice-over artists make when they’re just starting out. They receive their voice-over training, they produce their demo reels and then they try to compete with the big fish in a saturated market.

Instead of setting yourself up for this challenge, make contacts with people in the suburbs. Better yet — start with your own! Chances are you’ll know someone in your local area who knows someone who owns a business who needs a voice-over for an answering machine prompt, a radio commercial, a website recording, or a corporate narration. Once you’ve landed that first gig, mention to the happy client that you are available for more voice-over work in the area and don’t hesitate to ask if they can recommend another business that you can contact to offer your services.

With some diligent voice-over technique practice and creative networking skills, you should find yourself with repeat business before you know it!

The Importance of Networking

What are the perks of being a voice-over talent? You get to set your own hours, hang out at home in your pajamas, have crazy bedhead and it doesn’t matter, spend time with your kids whenever you want, deduct a portion of your home for taxes and make a wonderful living doing what you love! The downside–you spend most of the time you’re working–by youself with a mic in your face. Personally, I think it’s definitely worth the trade off, but that’s all the more reason to get out and meet up with other voice-over talent every chance you get!

Networking is incredibly powerful. It’s not just about meeting potential clients and agents, it’s also about becoming known in the voice-over industry. It’s about making friends and building a support system. It’s more than just handing out business cards or sending emails with a link to your website, it’s about nurturing those relationships. A good friend of mine, Tom Dheere, said it beautifully “it’s not about who you know, it’s about how you treat who you know.”

Social networking is a great way to start those relationships. It’s the “water cooler” in the virtual office that we all share. When an opportunity arises where you have a chance to meet these people face to face, whether you’re a brand new talent or a seasoned professional, you will want to take advantage of that.

NThere are many different networking/educational events within the voice-over community such as Faffcon and VOICE and other events that are focused purely on networking like the NYC VO Mixer which I was fortunate enough to attend this past weekend. With an RSVP list of over 500 people that included voice talent, agents and other industry pros–it was a night I’ll never forget. I decided to finally take my own advice and attend a networking event to meet all of these wonderful voice-over friends I’ve known for years! Exchanging hugs and business cards, voice-over stories and connections–it was incredible. I can’t wait to attend the next event- somewhere- with all my voice-over friends and still have the opportunity to make new ones.

I really do love being a voice-over talent- there is nothing quite like it- it is one of the best jobs in the world. Just remember to get out of your PJs and leave your studio every once in a while :)

By Heather Costa
Such A Voice Director of Operations

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