Category Archives: Such A Voice

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!

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

Such A Voice student Jevon Spencer books his first big gig!

0000616410_PM_1228344706 We sat down with Jevon Spencer to chat about his first big gig! When he landed the job, he sent an email to his voice-over mentor Tom Force and you could hear the excitement radiating off the screen. He booked this job through an audition from his agent and as expected, he nailed it! Here is Jevon’s journey…

My family, friends & even people I didn’t know actually inspired me to consider Voice Over. I wouldn’t have ever imagined Voice Over as a career or source of income. I often hear how I should be on the radio, because of my distinctive voice and it’s amazing I never recognized what others hear. So I finally decided to look more into this Voice Over business, since it was becoming a common topic every time I would talk to someone. The more I began to learn about the industry and strengthening my gift, the more passion I began to develop for Voice Over!

Jevon’s instructor at Such A Voice was the talented Bill Sleeper. However, many years ago, before joining Such A Voice, he discovered Tom Force (who at that time, hadn’t joined SAV yet!) Jevon shared with us that “just starting out and new to the industry, Tom made me aware of my natural imperfections by the way I articulated words. I remember my first session with Tom when he recorded me reading a script. When he played the recording back, there were clear traces of slang, speaking too fast, mumbling, etc… I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Over time and continuous practice, I began to gain confidence, structure and sound more like a professional. After a hiatus from V.O., I had the desire to return and contacted Tom again. He suggested and spoke highly about Such A Voice and that’s how I met Bill. Bill opened my mind to many different facets of Voice Over during our sessions. He helped me polish the techniques I previously attained and introduced me to new ideas overall that would’ve never crossed my mind.”

One of Jevon’s strengths is the natural depth and commanding sound of his voice. With his amazing chops, that sound comes naturally for him, so his focus has been on other aspects of V.O.- bringing the words to life. “I will continue to succeed at Voice Over because of my personality. Every script I read, I search for new ways to connect and have fun with it, as I do with life. I honestly can’t see myself getting bored doing Voice Overs and/or too old not to do it.”

We asked Jevon what he felt was the most important thing that he took away from his training at Such A Voice. He told us that “having a decent voice is a good start but after your sessions and demo are complete, you must be knowledgeable on how to market your (Voice) business to acquire work. Such A Voice provided me with this information and continues to provide valuable Bi-Weekly Teleconferences. The Bi-Weekly Teleconferences have been an important factor with keeping me motivated, learning how to expand my business, thinking outside the box and sharing/receiving ideas with others who understand the V.O. industry.”

Jevon’s Voice Over success began with the booking of a few IVR/Voicemail projects and has now advanced to the recently booking of a major narration project for the Detroit Historical Museum’sDoorway to Freedom” Exhibit. doorway-to-freedom-logo_0

“If you’re aspiring to become a Voice Over talent, I would suggest continuing to practice, practice and practice. Always remain connected and involved in the business, improve your craft, read, take classes, protect your vocal cords and stay positive! Also don’t quit because it seems like you’re not making any progress and/or receiving enough work. I found that Performance, Persistence, Patience & Prayer is Profitable!”

Thank you Jevon for sharing your story with us. We wish you continued success!

VO Talent/Coach Lisa Foster lands a role in an animated film!

Congratulations to Such A Voice Coach Lisa Foster on landing a role in an animated film! img56

“I was delighted to get one of the last audition spots for this film, and even more delighted that they hired me for the role of “Eve” on the spot! Doing a feature length animation film has been on my bucket list for a long time, and this opportunity presented itself at just the right time. I am really looking forward to the production of this film, and cannot wait to bring Eve to life!”

To find out more about Eve, click here.

We’re looking forward to seeing the film Lisa, congratulations!

SAV Alumni Mike Slemmer had fun playing a “Darth Vadar” like narrator

We touched base with Such A Voice alumni Mike Slemmer to see what he’s been up to.

Recent VO work has helped me develop my career or otherwise reinforced some important “old truths”. While I continue to make calls and send emails, utilize Social Media and otherwise be (or try to be) creative in marketing – the axiom that “80% of your business comes from repeat clients” is true. Always being diligent in response and rendering the best “product” possible is foundational to getting repeat business. I applaud those who have broken through and won national spots, and I remain optimistic that doing top-flight work for all whom I now serve will eventually turn into the big break.

Mike landed a couple of projects recently that helped him to test his range and Pro Tools knowledge, respectively. The first was a book trailer “Brannon’s Final Shot”. “This let me use my “Texan/cowboy” character, wherein reading about the book and visualizing both the story and who the readers might be helped me to tell Brannon’s story.”

The second project was a fundraising video for a new service (ithinkschool.com) in which he played a “Darth Vader” like narrator to a Star Wars-like skit. “Delving into Pro Tool’s EQ 3-7 Band and Reverb (D-Verb) I edited the track several times to at least try to sound like James Earl Jone’s 3rd cousin, twice-removed!”

Congratulations Mike- we wish you continued success!

SAV Instructor Jon St. John is the national tour voice for Cirque Du Soleil’s “Totem” show!

We are more than honored to have Jon St. John as one of our instructors. His impressive resume speaks for itself!

Over his 30 year broadcast and union voice-acting career Jon St. John has provided voice-overs for countless commercial, multi-media, and video game projects. Best known as the voice of videogame super hero DUKE NUKEM, Jon is also heard on games such as: World of Warcraft, Half-Life: Opposing Force, Sonic Adventure, Heroes of Newerth, Call of Cthulu, Rochard, Gears of War, Guild Wars 2 and Counter-StrikeYou have probably heard Jon on national advertising campaigns for Toshiba Printers, Old Spice deodorant, and TV promos on Nickelodeon. Jon has also provided various character voices for attractions at theme parks such as Legoland California, and Dollywood in Tennessee.

His most recent accomplishment is landing the role of the national tour voice for Cirque Du Soleil’s “Totem” show. Please click here to see the spot! He is also the national touring voice for Engelbert Humperdink. (Yes, he’s still alive and crooning!) In addition, right now you can also hear Jon as the voice of an auto group in Oklahoma City – Seth Wadley Ford, Lincoln, Volvo & Subaru and he provides VO’s for each of those dealerships on an ongoing basis.

Recently he was hired to do VO’s for all of Zodiac Pools commercials and promotional packages and he’s also now the voice of Taylor Made Golf.

For his San Diego TV affiliate – San Diego 6 The CW, he is currently preparing for the sweeps ratings period which begins next week! He voices and produces all of their radio spots during sweeps which air on 12 radio stations in Southern California.

That’s what’s new in his VO world….

Making the Most of LinkedIn

With 150 million members in over 200 countries, LinkedIn has established itself as a professional social media powerhouse. Below are a few hints & tips for navigating and making the most of LinkedIn.

Much like Facebook, LinkedIn allows a user to set up a personal page as well as a business page. A personal page should be used to show an entire history of your work, much like a complete online resume. You can acquire recommendations from previous employers, colleagues and the like. A business page should be used for the business you currently own or a business in which you function as an employee. Although there are similarities in how both pages are used, your business page should be completely focused on the industry you currently work in while your personal page content may vary.

PERSONAL PAGE:

LinkedIn is meant to be strictly professional, so there shouldn’t be any intimate details or incredibly personal information that appears on your profile.

If you have a business Twitter account, make sure that you link that account with your LinkedIn profile. This will allow you to share updates using your Twitter account. In order to link your account you need to log into LinkedIn, click on ‘Profile’ and then ‘Edit Profile’. In the top portion there is a field called ‘Twitter’. Click ‘Edit’ next to that field and you can add in a Twitter account and choose to import your tweets directly into LinkedIn.

Make sure that your personal brand image is aligned between LinkedIn and what a potential client would find if they did a Google search for your name or your business name.

Include an up to date professional headshot as your profile picture. As always, make sure that this image is consistent with your online brand (it should match your profiles on all sites.)

Your profile information should always be up-to-date and accurate. Add new projects that you’ve worked on and review your information on a regular basis to make sure that it is the most current information you have.

Collect recommendations from past colleagues to establish credibility with future employers or clients. Also remember to recommend colleagues that you respected from past jobs.

Be sure to network! LinkedIn’s focus is networking. Make sure that you find old connections, clients and peers and establish new connections through groups with similar interests to yours. Seek out companies that you hope to work with in the future.

BUSINESS PAGE: 

Create a company profile for your business, linking your personal profile to your company. Potential clients can keep tabs on your company page to see what you’ve been working on.

Make sure that you include your services on your company page. You want to make it easy for people to see what you have to offer. To adjust this, click ‘Admin Tools’ on the right side of the page, then select ‘Add a product or service’. From there you select a category that best fits your service. You can name it, add an image, a URL, contact information and more.

Post regular status updates separate from your personal page to make sure that your company profile doesn’t become stagnant. You should aim to post one or two updates each day from your company page. The content can come from various sources, such as your website or blog.

Check the analytics of your business page to see what people are gravitating towards and what they’re steering away from. You can adjust the lesser-trafficked pages to have content more consistent with the popular pages. The analytics tab is the fourth tab over on the top of the page.

Make sure that you add a plugin to your blog or website that can direct people to your company LinkedIn profile. This is such a simple step and can help drive a lot of traffic to your LinkedIn page. Depending on which blog service you use, the way to go about this varies. If you are having trouble figuring out how to add this plugin, I would recommend doing a quick search on Google.

One of the greatest features of having a LinkedIn company page is that you can create multiple versions of your page that can be aimed at different audiences. Once you create the first version, you can click “New Audience” to create another version with a different description and overview to target that audience.

Working from home- separating work & family time

One of the challenges that voice-over artists face when working from home, is creating a balance between work and family time. Since voice-over jobs can theoretically occupy your time around the clock, as you jostle between time zones, open auditions and deadlines–it’s far too easy to never truly turn off the clock for the day. One of the best ways to avoid neglecting work or family, is to create a schedule for yourself at the start of each day. Make a list of everything you need to accomplish that day, and then break that list down into hourly segments. You should keep your list visible so that you can check things off as you complete them. Your list will serve as a reminder for you and will let you know when it’s time to walk away from the mic–to spend some quality time with your family, relaxing and having fun. 

Such A Voice Instructor Charlie Nardozzi is well-known for his weekly radio broadcasts for the Vermont Garden Journal

In addition to being a successful voice-over talent & instructor, Charlie Nardozzi is the go-to guy for any gardening questions!

Such A Voice instructor Charlie Nardozzi has a friendly, natural, positive sounding voice with a great genuine quality- a sound that certainly matches his personality! Charlie has been involved in radio and television for the past 15 years hosting his own shows and appearing as a guest on numerous other shows. He hosts a call-in radio show on WJOY-AM in Vermont and is a frequent commentator on public radio and often is a guest on their daily magazine show, Vermont Edition. Charlie writes and records his own segments for the Vermont Garden Journal on public radio from his home studio. He also is a frequent guest on nationally-syndicated shows such as Martha Stewart Living Radio and has recorded podcasts, promotions, and commercials for all his shows and events.

Charlie also appears regularly on regional and national television. He has hosted his own nationally broadcast PBS television show called GardenSmart. He’s been a frequent guest on other nationally syndicated shows on networks such as HGTV, Discovery Channel, and DIY. He currently does weekly tips on the local CBS-TV affiliate in the Burlington, Vermont area and has also has written and starred in how-to, web-based videos. He also recently recorded a VO for a video for this product. Certainly right up his alley!

You can check out some of Charlie’s work below:

Here are his weekly broadcasts of the Vermont Garden Journal on public radio.

Here’s a link to his TV segments on the CBS affiliate in Vermont (WCAX). He’s the guy in the straw hat.

Here’s a recording from his weekly AM talk radio show on WJOY.

Charlie, you have certainly found your niche! Congratulations on all of your success!

Successful Voice Talent Natalie Donegan Checks in with Such A Voice on all of her recent success!

We sat down with Natalie to see what she’s been up to and we were very impressed!

Despite studying theater and drama in college (and always having an interest in the arts), Natalie Donegan never had any desire to be in front of a camera or on stage. At 20 years old, she discovered that voice-overs existed, but didn’t have any space in her busy schedule (she was single, had a mortgage and a very demanding job as a sales manager of a daily newspaper) to pursue a possible career shift into voice-overs. 12 years later, Natalie was married, a mom and she was looking for an outlet that would challenge her creatively. That was when she searched out Such A Voice.

When Natalie was ready to step into the voice-over booth, she was happy to have a trained producer, Heather Costa, from Such A Voice by her side “In an area that I knew nothing about I was happy to have someone so well-versed in recording demos. I had invested in Such A Voice to create my demo because I new I needed to make sure I got the best demo I could. When you have an empty resume that is what you’ll be selling yourself with at the beginning! I was on a tight schedule, very eager to get things done, but also extremely nervous… at this point I had never stepped foot into a recording studio, spoken into a microphone to have my voice recorded or even worn audio headphones. Heather kept me focused and to this day I still remember many of the tips she told me.”

Natalie did a great job marketing herself, she attributes this to the fact that she was in advertising sales for 9 years when she entered the voice-over industry. “I am determined and I know how to sell, I’m just selling my voice now instead of a product. When I first started in the business I created lists of local potential clients: advertising agencies, marketing agencies, TV stations, radio stations, producers, telephone on-hold companies and more! I had no problem picking up the phone and calling them to sell myself and get my demo’s out to as many people as I could.” Natalie has since recorded over 100 voice-over tracks, of which almost 50% of these have been telephone recordings. “I recall that amongst the Such A Voice resources there was a suggestion to find your niche. However I didn’t have to find mine… it found me!” When Natalie started recording voice-over tracks to build her resume she accepted any work that she could get, it appeared a lot of businesses wanted to take advantage of her professional, friendly and genuine British accent to represent their companies on the telephone voice mail and IVR messages. Natalie has now tapped into this niche.

“I found myself sitting at home with this great demo and no idea where to start to get my name out or how to land work. The Such A Voice resources thankfully had step by step guidance for what to do to get going. Everyone has heard of CareerBuilder.com, but until I started working with Such A Voice I had never even heard of voice-over marketplaces. Such A Voice pointed me in the right direction and even gave me a free month on Voice123.com which I have continued to be a member of. The Such A Voice resources also gave me guidance on a business plan, marketing plan and legal tips. I am so glad that I was able to do these things at the point when I set up the business from home. Once up and running these are the essential things that don’t get done if not at the beginning. Otherwise you are a ship sailing without a compass.”

Natalie has voiced for over 100 companies in Asia, Canada, Europe, Great Britain, New Zealand and the USA on projects that have included Telephone Voice Mail, IVR, On-Hold, Educational  and Travel Videos, Corporate Presentations, e-Learning, Video Games, GPS Prompts, Radio Commercials and Competitions, Television Commercials, Internet Videos, Tag Lines, plus more. Natalie specializes in Telephone Voice Mail, IVR and On-Hold messages which can be dry-voice only by hiring Natalie directly or if a client prefers their telephone script prepared, recorded, edited and royalty-free background music added Natalie works with Go On Hold.

To continue with her training on Pro Tools and working towards her goal of running her part-time business as a full time business within 5 years, Natalie is also currently a sophomore studying a Pre-Recording Industry Management degree program. “My goal is within 5 years to have gained my Recording Industry Management degree, to be able to offer complete production pieces from my home studio and to run my voice-over business full time.”

When we asked Natalie what her advice was for aspiring voice-over artists, we couldn’t help but nod emphatically as we listened to her answer: “If you are getting into the industry, get a professional demo cut! Use every avenue you have to promote your name. I requested testimonials from every client I worked with and asked permission to quote their company name. Within a short period of time I had an impressive resume for voiceovers!”

I also took the advice of Robert Sciglimpaglia with his opinion on the benefits of a voice talent incorporating as an LLC, after reading this article. So I am now British Voice Over Talent Natalie Donegan LLC.

 

Time for a Career Change?

Perhaps we all at least think about it now and then, in those moments when we realize that we aren’t completely happy in our current job. Some take a moment to make themselves appreciate what they have, but then some of us actually decide to take the plunge. Making a career change can be a daunting task…  thoughts about the risks and the unknown can be overwhelming. As we talk to so many of our students who have actually made the move, we would like to share their insights for those who are making the same considerations. We find that it is much easier to handle mentally (and financially!) if you look at it as the process it should be, rather than a sudden and risky move. This means that you don’t have to put off pursuing your dreams, but you should take your time and make sure you are ready before cutting off all ties with your current stream of income.

Step One: Make your decision. Even though it may be a year or more before you have made your complete transition, you can’t actually begin the process until you decide that you are ready to commit!

Step Two: Preparation. Complete your training for your new career, at whatever pace you need to maintain your current work schedule. Figure out how much time each week you can realistically devote to training for your new career, and fit it into your schedule. This will vary for each person, depending upon the current work load and personal responsibilities you have. Make the most of your situation, but also respect the time you personally need in order to be fully prepared and find success in your new career.

Step Three: Continue to work as you perfect your abilities and set up your own voice-over business. Most importantly, continue to work in your job even as you start to book voice-over jobs. It may take you a year or more before you are booking solid work and earning enough of an income to let go of your old steady income.

Step Four: Complete your transition. The time will come when you will need to weigh out your options. Do you feel that you now just need more time to fully succeed in your new career? Then you may decide it is now time to dive in and let go of your old job- so you can focus on your new one! Or perhaps you are financially dependent on your income and need to continue to take it slowly until you have solidly replaced your old income. Some may find that an adjustment to their old commitments allows them to do both part time and have the best of both worlds.

When it comes down to it, you will want to take both your personal and financial needs into consideration to decide when (or if you should at all) cut off all ties with your old career. The beauty of making this transition into a voice-over career is that you are your own boss. You can help to dictate the length of the process to match your needs. It may take you longer to get there if you have other commitments, but taking your time through the process also allows you to start as soon as possible, rather than waiting for that “all or nothing” moment to arrive!

Such A Voice Instructor and Producer Tom Force has recently booked a new job through VOPlanet!

Tom tells us about his experience and adds a little advice for us all as well, “The audition called for a talent with a Ken Nordine-style of read for a series of beat poetry spots. The client is a well known restaurant in Portland, Oregon called Sayler’s Old Country Kitchen. The specs on the job called for a VO talent that has ISDN access. I don’t, but I knew my friends at Ron Rose-Milagro Post in Southfield, MI did, so I did the audition and forgot about it. Four days later my phone rang with the news that I had the job. We did 3 spots and all went really well. This was a lesson in flexibility. Many of my friends who used to do a lot of ISDN work don’t spend the money maintaining the lines anymore. It’s easier and cheaper to send the business to a local studio who can accommodate the job at a reasonable rate. Now you’re one of their clients which is a great way to stay on the top of their minds and even better with a studio that does lots of VO work. Make sure the studio has a copy of your demos for future reference with their clients. It’s the circle of life in the VO biz kids!”

Click here to listen to the Sayler’s Old Country Kitchen spot, voiced by Tom Force.

Such A Voice Alumni Phil Williams Finds His Niche in Audiobooks

“My wife made me do it!” Phil Williams tells us… and now that he has found repeated success, it turns out to have been as good a reason as any to get into the voice-over industry!

When we asked Phil what made him want to get into voice-overs, we received an unusual response, “Truly, the real answer is my wife made me do it.” We found his honesty and humor both intriguing and inspirational. “I never had some secret, long-held desire to be in radio, or images of Don LaFontaine running through my brain for years ahead of time.” He elaborates, “Quite simply, the opportunity to attend one of the introductory ‘You’re on the Air!’ classes came up in a local college class list, and my wife firmly announced, ‘You’re going.’ We actually drove back early from New Orleans so that I could make the 7:00 PM start time. The 2 hours in that classroom were just pure fun… I came home, told my wife that I thought I’d found a new interest and after some financial considerations were nailed down I signed up a few months later!”

While it sounds a little simple, the truth is that Phil possesses many of the skills that students don’t often realize are vital to voice-over success. Knowing what your strengths are can be key to finding your personal success story. Yes he does have a stunning voice (click here to listen to some samples), but he also has a technical background. This knowledge has helped him to master the needed audio recording and editing skills voice-over artists must learn. He even created his own website and built his own sound booth with a soundless ventilation system- wow! With some basics already nailed down, Phil continued to search for his strengths within the industry by identifying a niche for himself.

“I’ve tried commercials, phone recording, and one time presentations, and finally tried audiobooks… and what I discovered about myself was that more than the money, I was looking for a lasting effect. Audiobooks seem to give me that effect.” Phil shared more details about his most recent success. “My latest audiobook, Rewire Your Brain: Think Your Way to a Better Life has been very successful and a lot of people have downloaded it in a short period of time. With royalty work, that kind of result works quite well. It also makes me feel like I’m making a difference. I’ve even gotten a hold of the author and we’re planning to get together sometime later this year. He’s submitted another work and he likes what I did with the Rewire book so much that he’s hoping I’ll do his next one. Talk about pumping up your enthusiasm!”

Phil has also voiced corporate video narrations, a speech recognition project, an NPR piece and two audiobooks in addition to this project. He is clearly enjoying his new career and offers some insights to his fellow aspiring artists, “Overnight success is probably not on your plate. It only happens once in a while.” He further recommends, “Use every tool in your arsenal. Talk to everybody and anybody who’ll listen, because, like any other job interview, you never know if that person at the super market might be a booking agent, or know one! Have your 30-second self-promotion piece nailed so that you can capture their attention with your capability. Shameless self-promotion is recognized as a strength- NOT a character flaw! My biggest advice is don’t be afraid to try different types of VO work. Everybody said ‘Find your own niche!’ You’re never going to know if you are good at certain types of voice work unless you just try them, and then try them again.”

Phil has also found both networking and continuing education to be crucial in pursuing voice-overs. Plus, remember that inspiration he had to get started in the first place? “My wife… Yeah, remember where you came from, and who helped put you there. Give back! Now that the audiobook niche is helping us, we go out a lot more, and she likes that!”

Best wishes to you Phil! We look forward to hearing about your continued success in the years to come.