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
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
When 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!
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-Strike. You 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.
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….
Such A Voice Technique Coach/Instructor Bill Brooks has been a Voice Artist for over 30 years and now specializes in International Media and Entertainment. Recently Bill was hired as the English Speaking Voice Talent on an International TV Network based in South Korea. However, it was his most recent trip to El Salvador in Central America that caught our attention.
He has just returned stateside, but now boasts having produced and played a leading role in a stage musical at the Presidential Theater in San Salvador. There were 9 performances with a total of 20,000 attending… but there was something just a little more special than usual about these 20,000 attendees.
The stage musical was a part of the 4-14 Global Initiative, a faith-based initiative dedicated to the educational, nutritional and spiritual enhancement of children between the ages of 4 and 14. In addition to seeing the musical, each of the 20,000 children received a medical examination by a team of U.S. and Korean doctors as well as educational supplies and food.
Earlier this year, Brooks spent one month in the African Countries of Ethiopia and Tanzania where this program was presented to over 100,000 children! Making its way around the world, the next project of this kind is scheduled for September to the children of Harlem. The musical will be presented in the famed Apollo Theater in New York City.
In addition to being a Voice Artist, Bill is a music-recording artist who has just released his 30th CD. He is also an actor, public speaker, producer, and live MC. Bill resides in Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX when he isn’t traveling the world, helping to make it a better place. Thank you Bill for all of the hard work you do, we are very proud to have you as a part of our team!
It is always a pleasure and gives us a great sense of pride when we hear about the professional advances our students have made. We recently asked Susie some questions to let us know a little more about her success:
Q: What inspired you to want to get into voiceovers?
A: I was a big fan as a kid of programs like You Are There, Victory at Sea, etc. I loved Alexander Scourby’s voice and thought he had the very best job in the world. When I started college at the University of Michigan in 1968, I planned on studying theatre and I wanted to learn how to be a voiceover talent—but the times being what they were, I was actively discouraged by my advisors. “Now, dearie, that’s a MAN’s job and a UNION job and your eventual husband won’t want you to travel that much.” My own feminism hadn’t blossomed yet so I meekly accepted their opinions as truth. Many years later (like about five years ago), I was chatting with a friend who is a very experienced sound engineer with a theatrical background like mine. I said I’d always wanted to record and that I loved audiobooks. Next thing I knew, he and I were recording public domain material and trying to market it on CDs. Not so successfully, I fear—too many costs, too many CDs rolling around, but we got a nibble from a company that was licensing such works online and we started selling our works through this site. Then Audible.com came along and, whoopee! We were audiobook artists, but I still had the voiceover bug.
Q: Who was your instructor at Such A Voice & what about that person made them a good fit for you?
A: Nick Kaiser was my instructor and we hit it off immediately! We had a lot of common experiences, being of the same generation and our personalities just meshed. Nick told me that my theatrical background meant that I already had a head start on a lot of voiceover hopefuls and encouraged me—for the first time in my life!!—to release my inner ham and have fun with VO. He also was a strong force against the old voices from my past and kept gently urging me on, letting me know I could do this and finally live my dream. He’s my best cheerleader!
Q: What do you see as your own VO strengths and why you will continue to succeed at this?
A: I love, love, love narration and will continue to seek out audiobook opportunities. I’ve got a million accents and characters in my repertoire, all just waiting to bust out. I’ve also learned that I enjoy commercial work—my first VO job, which kind of walked into my office while I was still getting coaching from Nick, was a website promo for a machine vision company so I got my feet wet early. Since then, I’ve done audio for some physical therapy videos produced by a young friend and have a monthly gig with an English as a Second Language testing company. All of this was just from personal contact and a little bit of networking. Then I landed my first job through Voice 123, using only my narration demo. It’s the first one that came my way through an audition, using the wonderful demos produced by Tom Force (the Michigan radio maestro) and Marshall Block (a great engineer with a rock and roll history that is nothing short of incredible). The client is in Montpellier, France.
Q: What did you take away from Such A Voice that will be the most beneficial to your career?
A: Confidence, confidence, confidence. I always thought I had a good voice but Nick, Tom and Marshall told me I had a GREAT voice so I’m feeling that there’s nothing in the VO area I can’t try. I’m not as swift with recording myself but I’m trying hard and I have some wonderful friends who are helping me. I learned that there are people who love to help you achieve whatever you dream of and I’d like to pass that along to other people like me.
Q: What advice would you give to aspiring voice talent?
A: My best advice is don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t do it! If you’ve got a voice, get good training (there’s this company called Such A Voice that I can’t say enough good things about!) and practice, practice, practice. Do community theatre. Record yourself. Just get out there and do it and don’t waste a huge portion of your life letting someone else’s outmoded ideas hold you back!!
Congratulations Susie, we are thrilled that you shared this experience with us!
Our Voice-Over Career Consultant Faith Coons recently landed her first on-camera gig for a corporate video for Human eSources! This opportunity led to securing voice-over work for the company since she was able to interact with the owner of the company as well as his creative director who hires all of the talent. Both the owner and creative director were impressed by Faith’s professionalism and "do whatever I can to help" winning attitude. This was a great opportunity to learn what happens behind the scenes of all the videos you end up narrating for, so she was able to see the whole process through. In addition to this, Faith can be currently heard in a radio campaign for OmniTrans in the San Bernardino Valley area. OmniTrans is a repeat satisfied client of Faith’s work and she is always happy to lend her voice to their radio campaigns. Here is the latest feedback she received from them:
"Once again, it was a key step to get your tracks in-hand and at the ready. I know what you deliver will be pro-grade, high quality. Thank you very much for the quick reply and turnaround with the reads. I really appreciate your time, talent, and interest. Onward to the next project."
Congratulations Faith, we look forward to seeing more of your on-camera work as you continue to expand your acting services!