Thanks to www.VOCareer.com for a great new website. I am looking forward to beginning anew in serving the voiceover market with my best. This new site is much more a reflection of me and my voice.
Archives for December 2018
I’ll be taking a little rest and relaxation for a few days (May 18th – 24th) and I won’t have studio access during that time. Check back at the end of the month for more exciting changes.
The question is, “What is a “compassionate” voice? How is the actor’s delivery different?” In a society where narcissism is arguably preferable over altruism, compassion seems an odd position. While sympathy is often overlooked, people routinely response to the daily tragic events reported by the media with outpourings of aid and well wishes. But a compassionate voice actor knows how to sincerely tap into the reservoir of his or her’s own heart and understand the sentiment of others. So, a compassionate voice actor understands compassion, how to feel it, what it means, and how to convey it in a touching way through voice acting.
Understanding compassion begins with understanding empathy. Dictionary.com explains Empathy to be more of a “…intellectual identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another.” On the other hand, sympathy is defined as “…the feelings or impulses of compassion.” Impulses are fine, but a compassionate” voice actor must make the mental and emotional connection to process and develop real compassion.
Real compassion stimulates actions and makes heart-felt calls changing lives of our children to our elderly. Compassion cuts through sarcasm straight to the heart and soul of the matter. It can guide the heart and mind to receive instruction and consider various options like no other emotion can.
Compassion champions the rights and needs of our families, culture, and communities. The voice talent must be comfortable and able to feel the empathy called for in a project or script and channel that emotion into a performance making for a real connection. In short, a heart – felt emotion must come from the heart.
Easy right? Perhaps, but, I try never to overlook such a basic and powerful position. Compassion is being real and touching the mind through the heart.
I know that’s a funny question because we all assume we can be compassionate. Really?
Compassion is “a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering” (Dictionary.com). Without compassion, you cannot really understand how to relate to others or how they feel.
Do you know how to help alleviate the suffering of another in a caring or sensitive way? Some of the smallest acts of kindness can speak volumes about compassion: a warm hug, conversation (more listening), a word of encouragement, etc.
Genuine heart-felt emotions and tender non-verbal actions can have far reaching effects and rewards. Something as small as a smile can warm your heart and touch the heart of another.
Do you fear showing others your own feelings or disclosing your compassionate responses to others?
Dr. Kristin Neff, Associate Professor of Human Development and Culture at the University of Texas at Austin, has developed a test to score compassion. See how your compassion rates: http://www.self-compassion.org/test-your-self-compassion-level.html.
Go on, you can do it!
Type your new text here.
Voice artist or voice over is one of the most enjoyable professions in the entertainment business. Friends and associates often ask me how to get into voice acting. Compassionate lines in a script sometimes make folks believe it’s easy to be a voice actor. Well, I’ll let you be the judge of that.
To those looking for the opportunity to make their dreams come true as a compassionate communicator or as an over-the-top movie trailer orator, I encourage you to consider my tips on getting into voice acting.
A new voice talent must first “think” like a new business. Below is my short list of how to begin thinking and being a voice acting business.
Consider your reason for wanting to voice act: Think about why you want to be “in the business.” If you want, jot down your reason or reasons. Don’t worry, you can revise it later if you want, I won’t tell.
Drop the attitude, please: Voice acting is what I call a “service business.” All the pros I know have an attitude to serve others with excellence. The pros know that it’s not about having a great voice, but about bringing a script to life!
Start to make connections through the Internet: Start by doing word searches on Do a word search on voice over, acting, etc. Follow talent you find and like on Facebook, Twitter, etc, but in a causal friendly manner. You are seeking to develop new business connections not looking to stalk top voice over talent.
Find out all you can about voice acting for free: Before you sign up for that class that promises to make you a killer demo and voice over star in one year or less, do your homework. There are many sites that offer free advice on how to start developing your craft. You can take out the check book later.
Next time, I’ll will warp up my best tips on becoming a voice talent. So for now, have fun with your homework.
Don LaFontaine and many others have found fame and fortune as a voice talent. These greats perform with seemingly little to no effort and bring scripts and stories to life. My soft, warm, compassionate delivery is only one style of voice acting. Voice actors can be as unique as petals on a rose or as varied as snow flakes. Below I provide a few more of my tips on becoming a professional voice actor:
Find your niche: what you do well. Many new voice talent want to do every delivery and style right out of the gate: compassionate, animated, girl or guy next door, etc. You need to understand your best style and delivery, which usually is not everything. Perhaps your voice is best for e-learning, hard sell, or perhaps for soft, warm, and hart-felt messages. The point is that you can waste a staggering amount of time pursuing the wrong type of jobs. Break the habit now.
Develop a support system. It can take years to become a stellar voice actor and that is with study and perseverance. Disappointments will come, and at times, you will be the one who needs compassion. This can be lonely business. Many folks like the idea of being a voice actor but not the hard work needed for regular practice, quality auditions, continued learning, good home studio skills, etc. Try to get someone to hold you accountable to help keep you on track towards building your voice business goals.
Do it or don’t! Recently I met a guy who said to me, “… I’m trying to do voice overs.” My first thought was, “Why. You are, or you are not.” Decide on who you are and what you do. A voice over artist is a skilled artisan. You don’t want to become someone who spends thousands of dollars on audio equipment and voice training to the become a professional (voice) student and not one (voice) job to your credit.
Know when to quit/know when to stay. Some folks hit the ground running and never look back. But if you have challenges or have tried and still are unable to overcome them, perhaps voiceover is not the right career for you. We all have personal issues, but if your obligations make it almost impossible for you to do what’s necessary to be successful, you may need to take a break or close the business until you can really commitment to your success.
Whatever you decide, voice overs is a unique and fun career. Well, that’s it for now.
Spending time on social media is great for connecting within the voiceover community. The various outlets provide an excellent way of keeping up with trends, events, and innovation in the vo industry. How much time of any given day should one spend on social media? Is it possible to spend too much time on media?
As a self employed voice over artist, I find time management is crucial. I know that many voice artists are verst in computer skills, which is necessary for successfully managing one’s home studio and electronic interactions. However, it is important to plan your time so you are not spending more time on social media than on your voice over work.
Schedule Your Time: If you share your time in many daily pursuits, plan when to check in with social media. Social media is an excellent marketing tool, and provides a great opportunity to connect with potential clients. Still, this is only one tool in your marketing plan.
Make time for your VO craft: Always seek ways to hone your skills. Regular practice helps you to develop a better voice delivery, so as they say, “Practice makes perfect.” Never minimize the need for practicing your voiceover skills over web surfing.
Don’l leave out human interaction: Remember, you are a talent on the move. Compassion, tenderness, and kindness are great attractors within the human spirit. Let your soul show through when meeting others. Personal interactions can lead to new business relationships just as much web connections. Social media should not replace human interaction just give it a different flavor.
Okay, now go for it!
Fill in the blank. “In 2013, I resolve to _______________ for my VO career.” Really!!
If you are like me, you have started, stopped, and started so many things in life. Don’t let your VO career take the same course. Voiceover is a great career as well as an adventure in discovering the facets of your own soul as a voice actor.
I’d like to share with you Voice Talent Manager Celia Siegel’s thoughts on how not to skimp on your VO career in the new year (http://www.voiceoverxtra.com/article.htm?id=6teiw9zw).
The industry continues to grow, and we must grow with it. Consider Celia’s article, and know where your voiceover business is going in 2013.
(Photo credit: Curtis Kennington)
Professional voiceover is a great career, and the field is full of seasoned pros who deliver phenomenal talent. However, even the industry’s best voice talent had a start. Many of those new to the craft are tirelessly seeking and searching to find their position in the VO community. New talents have the potential to bring wonderful benefits to their clients. For producers and clients, working with new voice talent can lead to a great long-term voiceover relationship.
Many new voice talent, with five years or less of experience, are desperately trying to make a name for themselves in the VO industry. This can be a great plus for clients in the following ways:
- New talents may offer discounted rates helping to save the client’s bottom line
- Talents sometimes offer pro-bono work to help build their voice over resume
- New talents can be eager to please new clients and will work hard to get the project right
- When new talents become established, most still offer the best services and rates to their initial clients as a sign of appreciation and loyalty
As with all relationships, even in business, they take work to last. With such competition in the VO industry, there is an ever changing group of voice talent becoming equipped with new voice acting skills ready to deliver their best to you and your bottom line.
Let’s face it, we are all human. As humans, we are basically relational beings. So as a voiceover talent, your job is not to become a loner as you fight your way through the voiceover market forest. In today’s market, successful voice actors learn and cultivate the art of relationships – even online.
Many of us perform voice acting from a home studio. This solo working atmosphere may lead to disconnecting with others on personal and professional levels. While it may be profitable for a while, without human connections, you and your business may suffer. Take care not to loose your edge. Instead seek to develop virtual relationships in the business and voiceover community. Here are a few tips to building on-line relationships for a successful voiceover business:
Remember Clients’ Special Dates. Contact your new or potential clients on the holidays, but also on the owner’s birthday, business anniversary date, and their other special dates. These remembrances provide an opportunity to connect personally and professionally.
Comment on Associates’ and Colleagues’ Blogs. A positive, genuine reply of agreement or encouragement can be seen by the writer as well as their followers and readers. Remember when making your comments, make them brief, genuine, and always positive.
Build your Network of Colleagues through Give and Take. Many new voice talent seek mentoring by more experienced or famous talents. However, it is not advisable to ask a stranger to become your voiceover mentor. Build friendships and look for ways to add to the voice actor’s life or business. For example, look for ways to give and be of assistance to others. In time, you should receive a return on what you have given. The return may or may not be within the same relationship, so don’t get discouraged. The approach works, so keep at it while you look for the right fit.
Connect from the Heart Over Time. People like people who connect, listen, and show concern for others. You want your associates and clients to see you as more than another voice talent trying to nab a job; you want to become the right person for many jobs and business relationships. As others get to know you and your style, they may recommend you as a talent, think of you for specific projects, or at least keep in contact until the relationship pays off for the both of you.
Go ahead, show some compassion and make a (virtual) friend. It will payoff!