Blog Archives

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 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

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

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!

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.

 

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.