Wannabeavoiceactor's Blog

April 21, 2010

Paul Strikwerda

Filed under: Links to Learn From — Tags: , , , — wannabeavoiceactor @ 05:40

Added a link to Paul Strikwerda’s Blog.

There are a bunch of very well written articles here (well, on Paul’s site, obviously not on this site!) about the daily nuts and bolts of VO work, like landing a freelance job, figuring out rates, taking care of your voice, etc. But there are also a lot of articles more in the line of just improving yourself in general, and thereby improving you VO skills, as well as your life.

You can quite enjoyably drop an hour here before you know what happened.

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Forums (or should that be Fora?)

Filed under: Links to Learn From — Tags: , , — wannabeavoiceactor @ 04:59

Opened up a new category of links for various Forums and Message boards out there. I love to poke around on these boards and just pick out a topic here or there that interests me and peruse. All the boards I have put up so far are pretty active, and that is one thing that you have to check when you first hit a board; some of them just die off slowly over time, like the dinosaurs (that whole asteroid thing is something the Discovery Channel dreamed up to pass the time).

Boards and Forums is one of the best way to get up-to-the-minute info on the industry, new software, mics, various ad campaigns, who is doing what commercial, and all sorts of other fun stuff. Often this information is coming straight from real Voice Over Celebrities! VO Celebs are people whose voice you know, but you can’t place the face.

April 20, 2010

BOOKS!!

Filed under: general observations — Tags: , , — wannabeavoiceactor @ 16:12

Well, if you want to be a Voice Actor, you better like to read! Or if not, then you better grit your teeth and do it anyway — a lot!

And while you are doing all this reading, then why not learn about the industry while you are doing it? Even though you probably won’t find a lot of books at your local bookstore on this subject, they’re out there. They are at Amazon, on E-Bay, and also listed on a lot of websites and blogs.

And now they are going to be listed on one more.

I have started a new page called The Bookshelf. I have purchased and read a surprising (to me) number of books on this subject and I will pop a brief review up there and a link to the book.

I will also list a bunch of books that I have not read yet, but will get around to soon.

If anyone else out there would like to review a book, or have one they really like, drop me a comment and we’ll talk.

Corey Burton

Filed under: Links to Learn From — Tags: , , , — wannabeavoiceactor @ 13:51

Just added a link to Corey Burton’s website. He is an announcing great and has been around the industry for longer than most, observing and learning and storing it all up. Now he is letting it all out and there is an incredible amount of info on the site about the development of the industry, the equipment, and VO life in general. He currently has a great piece about the evolution of Voice Over Style and how and why we got from the classic Gary Owens type announcer to today’s “No Announcers” state. Well worth a read if you have any interest in the field. There is also a great forum on the site which covers every conceivable aspect of VO and life in general.

Harlan Hogan

Filed under: Links to Learn From — Tags: , , — wannabeavoiceactor @ 06:34

Added a link to Harlan Hogan’s website. Harlan is a big name in the industry and in addition to doing voice overs, he writes books, teaches seminars, sells his own brand of microphone and even invented a portable voice over booth just for your microphone. There is a bunch of good info, fun stuff and a great listing of books on this site. Well worth a visit.

Tonight’s Voice Acting Class

Filed under: general observations — Tags: , , , — wannabeavoiceactor @ 06:12

Well, I had my third class tonight. 6 of us in attendance and we all worked on commercial scripts and timing and, of course, getting that conversational read.

We were working on dialogues with one or two other people, which can get tricky when some people are supposed to be off mic and some are on, and some are shouting and some are whispering, and some are sharing a mic. There is a lot of moving around and getting in each others way and laughing and missing cues, but after a while you all start to get the hang of it and it is surprising how dang professional you look!

We ended up splitting into three groups and doing fake auditions for a two-person read. We had to work out our best interpretations and then perform it with no direction or assistance, and we didn’t get to listen to the other guys go either. Then we were given some direction and did it again.

At first we all interpreted it a little differently, but mostly along the same lines and with varying levels of moderate success. We were better than we used to be, but not quite ready for prime time, if you know what I mean.

Then, after the direction, we all did it again, and WHAT a Difference!! Man! we were almost like pros! Well, kinda, sorta, almost.

It really gave us a good idea of what we are shooting for. We have learned enough now and practiced enough now to be able to see the goal and even be able to come somewhat close to reaching it, with the right direction and assistance. Problem is, you gotta be able to do it by yourself; and that, my friends, is where the long hours make their appearance.

April 19, 2010

Pat Fraley

Filed under: Links to Learn From — Tags: , , — wannabeavoiceactor @ 23:02

Just added a link to Pat Fraley’s website page on which he has 20+ free recordings covering all sorts of information about voice acting. Pat is a great voice actor and travels all over the country conducting seminars and training sessions. He also has a great sense of humor and is fun to listen to, which is BIG in my book.

Reading!

Filed under: general observations — Tags: , — wannabeavoiceactor @ 22:52

One of the key points that has come up again and again in books, videos, and from the lips of my teacher, is that YOU MUST READ a LOT! And that means ALOUD!

Much like me using all caps, reading aloud can be very annoying! So if you are doing it somewhere near other people, then the natural tendency is to try to do it quietly, or under your breath.

Since a big part of what you are trying to do is work on your volume and breathing, this does not do a whole heck of a lot for you.

So get out somewhere alone and read something – anything! Ads in magazines are good, articles in the newspaper, or just passages from books.

One note here, my teacher told us to read, but he told us novices not to bother to record and listen to it back yet, because we would either:

1. Fall in love with our own voice and then learn a lot of bad habits and not want to change them later, or
2. Hate the sound of our own voice but not really know how to make it better and get all depressed and crappy and just decide to go back to the security of that old job scraping monkey poo off the sidewalk in front of the cage at the zoo.

The Conversational Read

Filed under: general observations — Tags: , , , — wannabeavoiceactor @ 17:04

Well, as any beginning student of voiceover will soon start to understand, the conversational approach to copy, as opposed to the announcer type read, is the Holy Grail of modern commercial voice over. There are other types of voiceovers out there that are a little different, like some movie promos, monster truck rallies, telephone answering systems, etc. but for the commercial market it all needs to be a conversation you are having with someone.

Sometimes you might be an enthusiastic spouse speaking with your other half, sometimes you might be an authoritative expert speaking with an avid learner, sometimes you might be the student speaking with an instructor. Whatever the case (and there are more possibilities than you can list) the most important aspect of the whole exercise is that you are speaking in an immediate, conversational, un-affected, style. Oh, and also you should have had just a little too much caffeine. The range of emotion in your read should be just a little more than you usually think of as normal, unless normal to you means standing outside the local Starbucks and telling everybody about the black helicopters and that nifty tinfoil hat you’re wearing.

The trick is, they tell me, that you have to dig through your list of friends, acquaintances, enemies, whatever, and tell this little story directly to them. You aren’t addressing a crowd, you aren’t addressing some nameless, faceless stereotype, you are literally standing right in front of and speaking directly to this ONE PERSON!

Now I have done this in the privacy of my own home, and I can tell you that it works spectacularly well! And it is EASY! Try this – pick up a new piece of copy and study it for a minute or so and then lay down a recording of how you think it should be interpreted. Do this WITHOUT thinking about anybody in particular.

Now read the copy again, this time pretending that you are saying this directly to your best friend. Close your eyes, see your friend, tell them exactly the way you would if you were just shooting the shit and nobody was recording you and you had never heard of such a crazy thing as voice overs.

Check out the difference between the two recordings.

For me at least, the reads are COMPLETELY different.

Oh, and now for the small print… remember how I said this was easy? Well, down in the bedroom closet with Socks the Cranky Cat as your only witness, it is really easy. Problem is, you gotta do this in front of three different strangers standing on your toes in the 2’ by 2’ soundbooth with no air conditioning, bad breath floating like a green cloud in the air, and an engineer outside yelling at you to get back on mic.

Practice, Practice, Practice.

Terry Daniel

Filed under: Links to Learn From — Tags: , , , — wannabeavoiceactor @ 14:51

just added a link to Terry Daniel’s blog. He has a bunch of very informative videos on Youtube and here as well as written info. I think he just really likes to share what he knows with people and you can learn a lot from him.

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