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 Director of Operations Heather Costa, Records Hundreds of Radio & TV Spots for Carrier and Cub Cadet Quarterly!
I have been very fortunate that each quarter, for the past two years, I have been hired to record hundreds of radio and TV spots for Carrier AC & Heating and Cub Cadet, a lawn and garden manufacturer. These spots air all throughout the United States. Back in May 2010 I was approached by a Florida based production company who had found my website while doing an online search. The relationship started out with just a few commercials here and there. Then within a month, they sent me the first large project requesting 44 radio spots and 133 commercial spots for Carrier AC & Heating! I knew I had my work cut out for me, but I was very excited for the opportunity and provided my best work possible with a quick turnaround. With each project since, the number of spots have increased.
I record commercials with this production company on a regular basis (ranging from 5 second tags to 60 second spots,) however, I can always count on receiving those big bulk projects for both Carrier & Cub Cadet once a quarter as the seasons change and it’s time to revamp their marketing!
Carrier uses this production company to create commercials for many of their distributors, such as Mike Morello, Air Pro Services, Baxter Oil Company and more! Cub Cadet does the same, so the projects I record are again for distributors such as Hoyt’s AG Supply, Clermont County Equipment and Gossett Farm Equipment, among others.
I’ve also had the opportunity to record numerous car dealership commercials for them and believe it or not, motorcycles too! I never would have pegged this as a niche for myself, but the client apparently did! It’s wonderful having outstanding relationships with production companies that rely on you and you on them as well. It’s also a great opportunity to share the jobs with other VO talents. I’ll occasionally be asked for referral recommendations for different types of voices that I obviously can’t provide, such as male, Spanish, etc. After all, VO success doesn’t just include booking jobs, it’s also about building relationships.
Click here for some Carrier & Cub Cadet spots that Heather recently voiced:
Sometimes you get to be a part of a project that feels a little more special than just another commercial. I recently booked a radio spot for Connecticut tourism. When I got to the recording studio I learned that CT was the only state to not have had a tourism budget in three years! They were very excited about launching their new 27 million dollar campaign and rebranding CT with the slogan “Still Revolutionary” with an original song recorded alongside the Hartford Symphony Orchestra. Just my luck, a week later I was called back to record additional spots for other local CT businesses too!
Click here to listen to the :30 radio spot
Click here to listen to the :60 radio spot
" …that was the best $150 I have ever earned for a 3 minute job done in the comfort of my own home in my studio that my husband had built." –Anne-Marie Meeks, Professional Voice Over Actor, on her first job after completing the Such A Voice program
All of us have come into voice over work in different ways. Some of us are looking for a change of career, some of us are looking for a supplemental income and some of us are fulfilling a life-long dream much later in life. You always hear stories about artists showing signs of natural talent at a very young age and Anne-Marie Meeks definitely falls into this category.
Anne-Marie partially grew up in Nigeria, with her mother insisting that the children not speak the local lingo. So, she took to watching VHS videos of old movie classics like "My Fair Lady" and learning to mimic "proper English". Soon her family members couldn’t believe how similar she had made her voice sound to the movies and commercials she was listening to. After that a family member, who worked as a TV producer, cast Anne-Marie in her first gig in the 80’s doing a commercial for Star toilet paper. The older she grew, the more drawn into the VO industry she became. The deal was sealed when a classmate did his Engineering thesis on VOIP (Voice-Over-Internet Protocol) and needed a voice to demonstrate his product. He later sold the product with HER voice, and the rest has all been leading up to this point!
Anne-Marie worked with Anne Ganguzza in Dallas, Texas and there was an instant connection. "I loved Anne, she made me feel welcome and relaxed. I felt that we bonded. We first started out with VO in IVR‘s". From there she recorded her demo with Anne, and the first job didn’t take too long to arrive thereafter. "I had done the recording in my pajamas and fluffy slippers, sent it to the client and was really anxious. Within a minute, PayPal alerted me to payment and the client called to say he was pleased. I was so excited. VO Life is sweet!"
Anne-Marie’s advice for people venturing into the world of Voice Overs? "Always be open to constructive criticism, find your niche, everyone’s voice is unique and there is a unique job out there just for you… try your best and STICK WITH IT."
Congratulations Anne-Marie, we can’t wait to hear more of your successes!