Sunday, February 22, 2009

How Can I Help You?

Last week, I was privileged to see the Pompeii artifacts on display at the National Gallery of Art. Just a short ride on the metro (subway) to the Smithsonian stop, a quick, chilly walk across the National Mall, and there I was, awestruck, as I stepped back in time to the first century. The wealth of those early Romans was staggering, yet in an instant, all the wealth in the world could not alter the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius.

I found myself making a parallel to our modern economy. Yes, the stock market, people are losing their jobs, and the morale of the country has taken a huge downturn, but what can we do right now to help each other?

My thinking is this. If you are a business owner, marketing a product or service, do you act like a turtle, draw into your shell, and hope for the best? If you're embarking on a career path like voice overs and find yourself without income, are you just going to wait and see what happens? The American Dream was built on innovation and the belief that you can succeed!

If you want to advertise your business, what better way to cut costs than by hiring a voice over artist like myself? I have my on-site studio, and can send my dry voice over audio recording all over the world on an mp3 file through the internet. Whether you're interested in a radio or television commercial, web site audio, corporate narration, or e-learning audio, know that I'd be happy to work with you at a reasonable price with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Most short projects, I can finish and send the edited electronic file to you within 24 hours.

For others just entering the voice over career, there are wonderful web sites that connect you to the experienced wisdom of established professionals in the business. Learning from their articles and podcasts build a depth a knowledge you'll be hard-pressed to find anywhere else.

I wish you well, and hope you are re-energized by creating your own destiny! You've probably heard of "Beware the Dog," but did you know the people of Pompeii actually used that phrase (in Latin, of course) as a joke? Here's why...mosaic doormats were embedded on the floor at the entrance to their homes, because the doors were left open to catch the ocean breezes. May your doors always be open with opportunities and may the winds of financial change swing in your favor!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Life Unlimited

At the beginning of 2009, I truly had not begun to market my voice over career. You see, I had a full-time career in education, and I felt to do that job well, I couldn't start voice overs part time until summer. It turned out that two whole summers slipped by! Amazingly, real life kept intruding on my time as a wife and mother, and I felt my family obligations were stopping me from moving forward with VO work. For one and a half years, I had spent a great deal of time and money getting voice over coaching through Such a Voice Productions , purchasing ProTools software and studio equipment, had a professionally made demo, participated in bi-monthly teleconferences, and made contacts in the real world, the old-fashioned way. When the fall of '08 rolled around, for the first time in 31 years, I was no longer in an elementary classroom. What a feeling to be able to meet-up with friends and neighbors for lunch, dinner, and movies! It didn't take more than a month to realize I wanted more substance in my day. All that changed when I received an email from the production company I had worked with that a mentor program was going to be offered with top-notch voice coaches/mentors/entrepreneurs. I was assigned to marketing guru and voice over talent, Trish Basanyi. So within a couple short months of our contacting each other on Skype and webcam, I've learned so much about getting my name out there on the internet! What good it it to be able to offer a service if no one knows about it? To that end, I've joined many organizations relating to my current career that you can find on my "Contact" page. VoiceOverXtra and Voiceover Universe are two such support sites with interesting articles and upcoming events posted. Continuing to learn from the experts established on those sites are an invaluable resource! Suddenly, instead of me asking to become a friend on Facebook or Linked In, other people are now contacting me! It's an honor to get the requests, and know that others value you and your work. Just this morning, I was happy to see I received a recommendation from a former principal of mine that is currently the Cluster I Director in Fairfax County, Virginia. Yet another recommendation just came in from a member of the Such A Voice team as I wrote today's blog! I marvel at how many contacts I've made in the virtual world! I feel as though I've pushed through the roadblocks that were preventing me from marketing my work. It's wonderful how working with a mentor has made such a huge impact on my career! The most amazing aspect to this business is how time evaporates when I am recording and producing a voice over! According to my youngest son, he told me yesterday that time only stands still only when you are enjoying yourself! Such a wise observation from a 15 year old! As I move forward into this new career, I continue to audition with a positive spirit, and hope for bright future in voice overs. You can follow me on for real-life updates! Why not let me know how your voice over career is going for you?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Following Leads on Facebook

If you are hesitant to peek into another person's Facebook page, guess what? There is a wealth of knowledge at your fingertips! So far this morning, I became friends with many people already established in the voice over industry. I realized that many of the names were affiliated with the wonderful podcasts I've listened to in It seems I just keep absorbing the info like a sponge. It's fascinating to hear not only the wisdom behind the expert's advice, but also the tone, inflection, and cadence of their delivery. Ah, but back to Facebook. I must admit, less than a month ago, I was reluctant to add anyone I didn't know in real-life. My first requests went out to my three sons, ages 24, 23, and 15. First, I must say, I think they were shocked that their mother even knew how to access Facebook, let alone create a fan page! After they each joined, my next helpful online friend became Trish Basanyi. She has been my mentor/coach from Such a Voice, a company that not only produces first rate voice reels, but also provides support from a courteous, knowledgeable staff and bi-monthly teleconferences. I am grateful for the day Dan Levine, owner and producer at Such A Voice, listened to my voice, and sent me on a different career path! The last tip I wanted to share today is the awesome royalty free music library I came across from a new Facebook friend, Kathleen Keesling. She recommended Mark Lewis's Partner's in Rhyme, Royalty Free Music. She recommended a great site! I just went to the site, and was astounded by the collection of music and sound effects. I joined the group, and became their Twitter fan. I envision I'll visit the site often, and I hope you'll check it out! Royalty Free Music and Sound Effects. Download the music and sound effects you need for your multimedia project today at Partners In Rhyme.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Learning in the 21st Century

I've established a workable morning routine! It seems I breakfast with my family, then head into the studio after my son leaves for high school. With my morning tea, I read my several sets of emails, and check two different websites that send me auditions (not to mention checking my Facebook, Linked in, My Space,and Twitter sites). Since I needed to respond to several auditions this morning from Voices 123, I finished several dry voice recordings, edited with ProTools software, and submitted the completed auditions over the internet. If there had been no auditions, I had another game plan. By joining, I was sent a small library of royalty-free music. I wanted to hear each song, then create another demo with music! What fun! But then I remembered that I was also able to listen to podcasts by the same company that had expert advice for many aspects of the VO business. Soooooo, before I could create a demo, I really wanted to hear from other experts. I try to learn from archived articles daily. I highly recommend taking the time to not only further your own career, but to listen to the wisdom of other voice over talents that have established a reputation for quality work in the industry. I'll continue this pattern until I reach the end of the podcasts for this site. Then, there are many more podcasts out there on other websites. In other words, I will never be done with learning! (It must be the former teacher in me that truly feels that learning new things is just as important as doing them!) There was a downloaded ebook (again from the same company) that had great info in regards to promoting a voice over career that I was reading today on my computer. I was completely engrossed today in learning new aspects of this business; I did not leave my studio until almost dark! I realized that my source for all this refreshing learning came straight from being connected to the outside world via the internet. Isn't it amazing how time can fly by so quickly when you're so thoroughly enjoying learning, creating, and producing. I wonder what other VO artists' routines are like? I'd love to find out about your schedule!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Stephanie Ciccarelli @ posed an interesting question...

Blue acoustic guitarVoice Artists, What Would You Do For The Perfect Take?

Written by Stephanie

When you get ready to do a voice over recording, what lengths do you go to in order to get the perfect take?

I asked some of my friends on Twitter and I couldn't believe how far (and how unplugged) some people go to make a simple voice over recording.

Want to know what they said? Read on!

Voice Over Recording = Sacrifices

Recording voice overs takes a great deal of discipline, even sacrifice.

A voice artist may forgo any number of things to prepare their instrument for a performance such as drinking coffee, tea or eating dairy products for the sake of keeping their voice in good form and good tone.

Some go to bed early, preserve their voices by not screaming or shouting, and others have periods of silence where they won't speak at all and that's just sacrifices made on behalf of the voice!

This morning, I thought it would be fun to ask my pals on Twitter whether or not they turned their heaters or air conditioners off while recording voice overs to minimize and or eliminate external noises in their studio.

When I'm recording the VOX Talk podcast the heater is always turned off. During a Canadian winter that isn't the most appealing thing to do, but everyone suffers for their art, right?

I wanted to see if I was the only one, and by golly, you'd be amazed by the number of appliances that get unplugged, animals shooed into the furthest room possible and zany things people will do to get the perfect take.

I know I was.

What Some Voice Artists Do Before Recording

Kara Edwards, a voice artist in Tampa Bay, Florida related, "Yes, I turn everything off. Even though I can't hear it in this new studio very well I don't like taking the risk. My checklist includes heat/AC off, studio monitors off, phone off, appliances off, dog, eh, relieved... let's go!"

Linda Ristig in Washington, DC faces a number of challenges when she sets out to record in her studio but has found plenty of ways to turn what some may see as hurdles into clear sailing. Linda shared, "I turn off heat, phone, fax, and (this is the biggie) make sure our two dogs are in the furthest room away from my studio!"

But wait, there's more.

Linda added, "I also should mention I live with a husband and three sons that are car crazy! When they 'tweak' or work on the '69 GTO or the '72 Corvette, or even the new Mustang, they seem to need to make the engines louder! We now have a new understanding, if I let them know I'm about to record, they'll take a 30 minute break. I've learned to edit ProTools with the engine roar coming from the garage!"

Voice artist Niel Sumter in the Northeastern United States, offered, "I turn off my heat. I have a space heater, and the audible humming does get picked up."

Amid the clamoring to turn off all noise making agents, one voice artist in Miami Shores, Florida, Doug Turkel, swims against the current, opting to actually turn ON his air conditioning. Mind you he is blessed to have a recording booth with silent fans, noting rightly so that, "I'd suffocate without it."

Voice artist Arlene Kahn of Chicago, Illinois says, "I don't (turn off heaters / AC). I do have a humidifier running in the room. I needed to set it on high when it got down to single digits. On high the mic picked up the sound, on low it didn't, so I had to adjust the setting."

What Do You Do For The Perfect Take?

Looking forward to hearing from you,


Here it is, the first of a series of blogs about getting started in the voice over industry. Much of what I have learned, I must give a great deal of credit to Such A Voice Productions. I'll unveil the story soon of how a chance encounter in 2007 put me on a completely different career path I wasn't even looking for! I hope you'll follow along, and add to my postings. I'd love to hear from you!