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!
When working with a short commercial script, you don’t have time as a voice talent to “develop” the character as you go along. Part of your pre-recording practice involves breaking down the script to figure out things, like: Who is your character? What is the point of the script? Who is the demographic you’re trying to reach?
Whether you ascribe to method acting or not when it comes to voice overs, asking yourself what was going on the moment before the script begins can be a valuable tool to helping you get into character. Short scripts usually fall into two groups:
1) The character is easy to relate to and the problem or situation tends to be boiler-plate. If these voice jobs are your niche, you usually know what to do with it.
2) The script is so short or vague that you’re not sure what to do with it! Sometimes copywriters don’t flesh out their vision as well as they think do, and you’re left wondering what they’re looking for.
In either scenario, imagining a back story can help you get into character and sound more natural.
Figure out where the script takes place, what your character was doing right before the script picks up, and who he/she is talking to. Pick a scenario and commit to it. Then match your pitch, attitude, volume and energy to fit that situation. Your performance will likely become very natural after that.
Keep in mind that when you play it back, you may find your interpretation didn’t actually make sense at all. That’s OK! Tweak the back story and your character, but make sure to be specific with your interpretation. Fleshing out the character can make the difference between someone with a nice voice reading a script and a professional voice actor acting the script.
Our Instructor/Producer Angela Castonguay was recently selected to act as an extra in the film 42 – The Jackie Robinson Story
Movies… Those fascinating, mysterious, amazing sound and light stories that we love to see. Perhaps more exciting than the actual films are the movie stars that bring characters to life on the big screen. Who among us hasn’t dreamt of being cast in a movie with Sean Connery, George Clooney, or Meryl Streep? Who wouldn’t jump at a chance to be “discovered” when asked to play a role in a period piece?
My stars were aligned when I got the opportunity to be an extra in Harrison Ford’s movie, 42 – The Jackie Robinson Story. 42, a movie about the man who broke professional baseball’s color barrier, is a period piece filming scenes in Alabama, Tennessee, and Georgia. I was selected, along with several hundreds of others, to be cast in a variety of scenes in Macon and Atlanta, Georgia.
This was a new and exciting experience for someone like me, who spends the majority of my day in a 3×5 sound booth with a mic and pop screen! Reporting to the set at 6:00 am followed by wardrobe fittings, hair, make up, and COFFEE! Then that magical moment arrives! You sit and wait to be called to set. You meet other extras, eat breakfast, read your Nook, get a make up repair, meet more extras, eat lunch… All of a sudden the casting director walks into the holding pen (yes, they did call it a holding pen!) and calls your name. You board a small bus headed for downtown. As you get off the bus onto a street that has been transformed into the 1940’s, you see crowds of onlookers lined up behind barricades. They’re waving at you, taking pictures of the scene, the extras, and for a brief moment, you are a STAR.
Now the real work begins. You’re given your directions, a couple of rehearsals, and you are rolling. Five hours later, after walking up and down the same block, with the same extra partner, pantomiming the same hand gestures, mouthing a silent conversation and getting “nose hair close” to one of the real stars, they wrap the scene. This five-hour filming will end up resulting in about 5-7 minutes of film. Hopefully, I won’t end up on the cutting room floor!
I was in several scenes in the downtown area; walking the streets of Brooklyn, walking through Harlem, getting in and out of fantastic 1940’s cars, filming the historic scene at the ball field when Jackie Robinson comes up to bat for the first time. Arriving on set by 6:30 am and getting home at 1 am in 90+ degree Georgia heat. I have a newfound respect for actors, actresses, and EXTRAS!
Given the chance, would I do it again? ABSOLUTELY! I got to see and film scenes with movie stars; Harrison Ford, Christopher Meloni and Chadwick Boseman. I was up close and personal with lights, action, and camera. I was behind the scenes with wonderfully funny wardrobe and hair artists. I was transformed into a 1940’s gal by hair dressers who would burst into Broadway show tunes and do the swing while simultaneously taking out my pink sponge rollers.
The best memories of my first movie gig, however, are all of the EXTRA friends that I made… People from as far away as Quebec, of all backgrounds, all friendly, all those voices to analyze and classify… BIG SMILE AND WE’RE ROLLIN’!
Written by: Angela Castonguay
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!