This week, we’re taking a deep dive into the world of promo with one of its most experienced practitioners, Joe Cipriano.
As a 40-year veteran of the voiceover industry, Joe’s extensive resume includes many years as the voice of networks such as NBC, CBS, Fox, ABC, Disney, Sony Television, The Food Network, and many more. He has also worked extensively in commercial, live announcing (including the Emmy and Grammy Awards), imaging and radio. But he’s best known for his work in promo.
What is promo? How does one get into it? What does a typical day look like for Joe? How important are mentors? What are the skills needed to compete? And how do network and cable promo fit into SAG/AFTRA? We answer these questions and more with this week’s VO School Podcast!
This week on the VO School podcast, we’re celebrating our 20th episode by honoring Black History Month with a show devoted entirely to diversity.
This episode is guest hosted by Doug Melville, chief diversity officer for the international advertising agency, TBWA. As a vocal proponent for diversity in all its forms both day to day in his role within TBWA and via his personal outreach on social media and public appearances, Doug brings a wealth of knowledge to this episode.
Joining us this week on the podcast are power couple Joan Baker and Rudy Gaskins, founders of SOVAS (the Society of Voice Arts and Sciences), a not-for-profit organization that helps educate and advocate voiceover around the globe. They organize and present workshops and learning opportunities across America and curate That’s Voiceover and The Voice Arts Awards, a voiceover convention and voice awards show, respectively.
In this episode, we learn how Joan and Rudy established themselves in the industry, how they advocate for talent that come from diverse backgrounds, where they believe the industry is heading, the importance of the human voice, and how the collaboration of technology and voiceover presents new and exciting opportunities for voice actors.
This week on the VO School Podcast, we’re doing something a little different. A few weeks ago, I asked listeners to submit a recording of themselves reading a commercial script and then we’d assess the performance on the show.
Jim Kennelly, producer and casting director of Lotas Productions, along with engineer Sam Ufret and myself played through a selection chosen at random. We get a behind-the-scenes peek at how reads are assessed and why some are picked to be forwarded to a client and why others may not be.
We learn the importance of reading and understanding specs, using your imagination when you read, how pace and energy are critical to garnering or losing attention, the importance of audio quality, and some dos and don’ts that will help you to stand out from the crowd.
The microphone is the centerpiece of any voice actor’s studio setup and this week on the VO School Podcast, we put this piece of technology front and center. Join us as we geek out over an exalted but often misunderstood piece of technology!
Do you need an expensive microphone to be a professional voice actor? How much better is a $3,000 mic compared to a $200 model? How do you use a microphone to get the best out of it? Do they require maintenance? And how long should a mic last?
Joining me this week are Dan Friedman and Emmett Andrews. Dan is an audio engineer, producer, voice talent and author from the mountains of Asheville, NC. With nearly two decades in the voiceover industry, he has produced, directed, and provided his voice to thousands of audio productions. In 2010 he published “Sound Advice: Voiceover From An Audio Engineer's Perspective.” A first of its kind in the industry, the book covers audio engineering and studio session etiquette as it relates directly to voiceover talent.
Emmett’s background includes over 20 years in commercial radio, with much of the time spent in St. Louis and Indianapolis. Additionally, he has worked for Sweetwater as both a sales engineer and tech support specialist. He is also a national voice talent with clients like Dell, Long John Silvers, Spalding, Lexus, and Pandora. He offers technical design services for home studio owners and ad agencies. Emmett currently serves as production director for Emmis Communications.
In episode 11 of the VO School Podcast, we talked to Celia Siegel and Doug Melville about marketing and branding as it relates to voice actors. In today’s episode, we put those theories to the test as we take a peek behind the curtain of a brand audit.
Celia shows us her process for breaking down and distilling a voice actor’s personality, their voice, demo, and aesthetic to create a marketable brand. The subject of Celia’s examination is Marisa Blake, who restarted her voiceover career three years ago and is looking to reinvigorate her brand.
Listen in as Celia illuminates her process, starting with a questionnaire that probes Marisa’s history, her opinion of herself, her ambitions for the future and her opinions of the world.
The process is a mesmerizing stream of consciousness that is at times poetic and others incisive.
Welcome to VO School Podcast’s first interview of the year! It’s also the first of a new semi-regular series that will examine the different genres of VO. Today, we begin with audiobooks.
Do you have to have a certain temperament to be an audiobook narrator? How much stamina does it take? How do you land your first book? And how can you reach out to publishers for prestige projects? We discuss all of these things and more! Joining me are two of the world’s top audiobook narrators. They are multi-award winners, respected coaches, and have narrated well over a thousand books between them.
Sean Pratt has been a working actor in theater, film, TV, and voiceovers for over 30 years. He has been an audiobook narrator for 22 years, recording over 950 books in almost every genre and has received eight AudioFile Magazine Earphone Awards, five Audie nominations, and one SOVAS nomination. He narrates for such companies as Blackstone Audiobooks, Tantor Media, Gildan Audio, Harper Collins, Penguin Random House, and Christian Audio. Sean is also the author of “To Be or Wanna Be—The Top Ten Differences between a Successful Actor and a Starving Artist.”
Johnny Heller is a narrator of over 500 audiobooks, specializing in adult, noir/mystery, personal development, history, comedy, and children’s book narrations. His awards and accolades include being the 2008, 2009, and 2011 Best Audio Book winner, a Publishers Weekly Listen-Up Award winner from 2008 through 2013, a 2014 Audie Award nominee for Solo Narration, a 2005 and 2009 Audie Award winner, a double Audie nominee in 2012, one of AudioFile magazine’s Top Fifty Narrators of the Twentieth Century, and a multiple AudioFile Earphones Award winner.
This week’s podcast episode is the final part of our Voiceover Guide. We cover such wide-ranging subjects as voiceover conferences, anxiety and motivation, branding and marketing, and the business and legal practices successful voice actors employ.
What will attending a voiceover conference do for your career? How can you perform your best at an audition when you suffer from anxiety? What is the difference between branding and marketing? What does a Madison Avenue advertising executive look for when choosing a voice talent? And how should you structure your business affairs?
Podcast guests this week include voiceover conference directors Gerrald Griffith (VO Atlanta) and Dave Courvoisier (WOVO Con), psychologist Dr. Chloe Carmichael, author, voice actor and comedian Anna Vocino, marketing and advertising gurus Celia Siegel and Doug Melville, and business savvy brainboxes Tom Dheere and Robert Sciglimpaglia.
Today’s episode of the VO School Podcast is part two of a master voiceover advice guide. I’ve selected the most awesome highlights and important tidbits of information for the new or working voice actor, covering voiceover coaching in episode 5 and VO demos in episode 6. We discuss networking (on and offline) in episode 7, and find out how you can get your first voiceover job in episode 9.
With the help of nine industry professionals who are all experts in their fields, we get to the truth of these oft-misunderstood subjects.
Joining me this week are voiceover coaches Anne Ganguzza and MaryLynn Wissner, demo producers J. Michael Collins and Terry Daniel, networking gurus Tim Friedlander, Jay Preston, and Brad Venable, and business savvy VO entrepreneurs Rachael Naylor and Armin Hierstetter.
This week’s episode of the VO School Podcast is the first of three highlight shows for the holiday season. I scoured the first four episodes to pull together the most important tidbits of information for the new or working voice actor.
Think of these episodes as a pocket guide to starting out as a voice actor, as well as a quick reminder of best practice for those who are more established.
We take a look at the current state of the voice industry, what qualities you as a voice actor need to develop, where you should go for advice, how you can avoid being exploited by unscrupulous coaches and demo producers, and we talk technology as we dive into microphones, audio processing, and file formats.
Join me and seven of the industry’s top professionals as we examine some of the most important factors to consider when starting out in voiceover.
This week’s VO School Podcast is the long-awaited business episode! It’s time to get your business and legal affairs in order and while that may sound intimidating, we are here to help you get there.
How do you structure your business? Are you a Sole Proprietor? An LLC, S Corp, or C Corp? How do you keep track of your expenses? Can you reduce your tax liability? And how on earth do you save for a pension and maintain health coverage in this topsy-turvy industry?
Joining me this week are two business and legal experts who also happen to have decades of experience as voice talents:
Tom Dheere is a New York-based voice actor with over 20 years of industry experience. He’s narrated thousands of projects for hundreds of clients in over a dozen countries. Tom’s experience as a corporate trainer as well as a voice talent makes him uniquely qualified to help both aspiring and veteran voice talents navigate the voiceover industry.
Robert Sciglimpaglia is a voice and screen actor, producer, and practicing attorney. He’s appeared on the History Channel, Discovery Channel, A&E, Nat Geo, The Travel Channel, PBS, and others. He has worked on shows such as "Rescue Me", “Maury Povich” and “30 Rock” and is best known as the DAD on the 2012 Chevy Super Bowl Commercial HAPPY GRAD. Robert is also a practicing attorney and was named as a Super Lawyer by Connecticut and New England magazines. His book, “Voice Over Legal” hit the number one spot on the Amazon Best Seller list in April of 2015 in the Entertainment Law category.
Blog and show notes for the VO School Podcast - produced by Jamie Muffett.