Monday, November 25, 2013

A Blog in Your Own Voice?

What Better Way To Strut Your Stuff?

I took a look around the Internet. There are voiceover video blogs and a few like Rob Paulsen, Terry Daniel and Trish Basanyi who do audio pod-casts featuring guests. But very few, if any, professional voice actors who write a blog deliver that blog in their own voice. To this I ask:

Why the hell not? You're missing an opportunity.

I have to admit that I have only been doing a blog for about ten months. After I had written about six, it dawned on me that my primary craft is not being showcased here. If I'm going to write something, like a blog, every week or so as a component of my total marketing outreach, shouldn't I also voice it as well? It just made sense. So, since May every time I write a blog I also go into the studio and deliver that blog in my own voice. Then I add an audio player featuring that audio at the very top of each blog page.

I regularly read blogs from some of the top voices in our industry. I have also made it a point to visit a lot of other blogs by voice artists. I've found several that feature their demos and examples of their completed projects, to that I say bravo! But very few, if any, voice their own blogs.

If someone has a very good reason not to, I'd love to hear it. Leave your comments below here on the blog page.

So, for now, I guess I'm the Lone Wolf.     

Friday, November 22, 2013

A Tale of Two Truck Stops...

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.

If you believe all you read on the social networks about working voice talent and their prosperity, I am willing to sell you a bridge that connects Manhattan Island and the Borough of Brooklyn.

I am amazed at all the puffery. I know it's part of the marketing tactics. Look like you're working so you can get more work.  Yes, there is some truth in that thought. But how long before the voice seekers realize there's a lot of exaggeration at play?

VO Diner Graphic
Take a drive along the truck routes in the U.S.  Eventually you'll come upon a scene like this:   There are two diners located across the road from each other.  One is a sparkling new structure, handsomely landscaped with a brightly lit and colorful new sign. It has a newly paved parking lot, but there are not many cars or trucks in the lot.   The other diner looks like it has been there for many many years. The doors are a little beat up, the sign is has a few bulbs burned out, reminiscent of the old TV show Hot_l Baltimore, yet the parking lot is full. As a matter of fact, if you peak inside, it looks like there is a bit of a line of people waiting to be seated.  Which place will you select to eat?  I'm thinking that even before you answer that question, I already know the answer.  You'll eat at the busy diner and I know why.   It's just human nature.  If they look busy, they must be good. But are they really? And, how long before they realize it's the same 'ole diner food and that Emeril Lagasse and Giada De Laurentiis are the chefs at that new place?

Some believe that the above applies to the world of voiceover, too.  It's part of the game that is played on a daily basis. Some people also believe that it's necessary in order to get work. So, it has become the norm to flood the social networks with info on all the cool jobs we have landed.  The theory at play here is the belief  that others, in addition to our voiceover peers, will see this and just must  have our services, because they are in such high demand.  I don't know if I can buy into that 100%. I don't think the jobs will ever just come because you are already busy.  But, a voice actor doesn't want to appear desperate and idle either.

So if you look busy, will you get all the work?   Horse Feathers!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Never been fired...

but is that a good thing?


I have been laid off twice in the 50+ years I have been in the workforce but have never been fired from a job, ever. The two times I have been laid off were due to a company-wide downsizing or a departmental restructuring. Each of those times the departure was amicable, without prejudice. They were never personal in nature. I have never done anything to make an employer angry enough to cut me loose. Looking back I wonder if it's good or bad. In the world of voiceover, we rarely know we have been fired. More often than not, we just aren't rehired.
Until a couple of years ago, voice work was always a side line. I always had a core job that paid the bills, fed a family and created financial stability. So I was never concerned with the fact that playing it safe and never taking risks would come back to haunt me someday.

Arguments that it was good for my career.

1. I have always been a good employee.
2. I did my job to the best of my ability.
3. I strived to please, always staying within boundaries.
4. If I didn't feel I fit or wasn't right for the position, I resigned and moved on.
5. I had an impeccably clean resume.

Arguments that never having been fired is a bad career move especially as it relates to my voice work.

1. I never took chances, always played it safe and colored within the lines.
2. I didn't experiment with new concepts or tactics.
3. My creativity was throttled. I didn't give it a chance to fully develop.
4. I didn't have to learn about rejection.
5. I avoided learning how to be corrected and redirected because I didn't take a risk in the first place.

I don't think anyone should get fired. But, but don't let the threat of it hold you back or stifle your creativity. Take the risk. Be bold. “Grab the bull by the horns.” Someday, you'll be glad you did.