This week on the VO School Podcast, we’re exploring the commercial voiceover genre.
Commercial voiceover is one of the most sought-after genres and it can also be one of the most lucrative. So how do you break into this part of the industry?
To find out, we spoke with Alison Freed, a Los Angeles-based voice actor who counts Metflix, AT&T, Disney, Dunkin Donuts, CNN, Buick, Whole Foods, eBay, Twitter, and M&M’s amond her clients, and Roger Leopardi, a 16-year veteran of the industry who has worked with AARP, Sprint, Taco Bell, Go Daddy, Toyota, Geico, McDonald’s, Disney, Nickelodeon, and Michael Kors.
We discussed the skills you need to have and/or learn to not only break in but continue to work in this ever-changing industry. We also find out the importance (or not) of training, what the work is like day-to-day, how you adapt to shifts in style, what’s popular in commercials right now, and what the future of the genre looks like.
This week on the VO School Podcast, we’re looking at vocal health, and how keeping your voice in tip-top condition is one of your highest priorities as a voice actor.
Why is voice health so important? What parts of your body need to be in good condition to perform your best? How can diet affect your performance? How soon should you start building up liquids prior to a session and why is alignment so crucial for developing stamina?
We also walk listeners through a typical preparation routine for a major session, including vocal warm-ups and tips to keep you at peak performance throughout a long or strenuous recording.
Joining us this week is Nic Redman, a voice actor and voice/accent coach hailing from Northern Ireland and based in Manchester, U.K. As a coach, she specializes in accents and dialects, breath, articulation and resonance, voice and text, and character voicing. She has taught at some of the U.K.’s most prestigious institutions including RADA, LIPA, Arts Ed, East 15, ICAT, The Actors’ Guild, and The Actors’ Lab, with her recent accent and character voice coaching work heard on BBC Radio 4.
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.
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.
This week on the VO School Podcast we are talking about voiceover conferences!
Working as a voice actor can be a lonely profession, especially if you work predominantly from home. One way to get out of your booth and meet your peers, agents, producers, and coaches is to go to one of the many voiceover conferences that take place around the world each year.
What exactly is a VO conference? Why should you attend? What can you leave with that you didn’t have when you arrived? How do you choose which conference to attend? And how can you make the most of the connections that you make?
Joining me this week are Gerald Griffith, founder and CEO of VO Atlanta, the biggest voiceover conference in the world. And Dave Courvoisier, voice actor, Emmy Award winner and president of World Voices Organization and the WOVO Conference. We take a peek behind the curtain at the planning of a major voiceover conference to learn how much work is involved in the preparation and oversight of such a major event.
Is it who you know or what you know? It’s both! So this week we have devoted an entire episode of the VO School Podcast to networking! Skill, a great demo, and perseverance are all crucial for a career in voiceover, but if people don’t know who you are it’s all rather irrelevant.
With the help of three extremely talented voice actors who regularly tear up studios across L.A.—Tim Friedlander, Brad Venable, and Jay Preston—we will explore how you can become a network ninja, both online and in-person.
Does walking into a room full of strangers scare you? Are you bamboozled by the plethora of online groups and social media platforms? We delve into all of this and discover that the secret to effective networking is simpler and less frightening than you’d imagine!
I also put Brad, Tim, and Jay on the spot to see if they can put into practice what they preach!
A voiceover demo can make or break a career! As a voice actor, it’s your shop window, your calling card, and your spokesperson. So what makes a killer demo? How can yours be irresistible to casting directors? Where do you go to get one? And how much do they cost? This week on the podcast, we delve into demos with two of the industries top demo producers.
Terry Daniel is a 20+ year veteran of the voice industry: not only is he a voice talent, coach, and demo producer, he is also one of the most well-respected industry commentators.
J. Michael Collins is a multi-award winning demo producer, coach, and voice talent with over 20 years of experience voicing and casting for some of the world’s biggest companies.
Join us as we discuss the dangers of self-producing, how a bad demo can result in you being blackballed, how a good demo is an ambassador, and we throw in a squirrel anecdote for good measure!
This week on the VO School Podcast, we examine the intriguing and sometimes treacherous world of coaching!
Who needs coaching? Where do you find reputable teachers? And what can a great coach do for your career? These are some of the questions we delve into.
I’m joined by two well-respected coaches who offer their services to voiceover professionals across the globe. Anne Ganguzza is an L.A.-based voice talent, coach, and business and technology expert. She utilizes her background in technology and education to help students meet the ever-changing demands of the current voiceover marketplace. MaryLynn Wissner is a legend of the voiceover industry. With 30 years as a casting director for some of the worlds biggest corporations, film and TV companies, and video games studios and over 25 as a coach and mentor, MaryLynn is a highly sought after and widely known teacher at the top of her game.
Join us as we take deep dive into the world of coaching, workshops, scams, plans and social media for cats!
This week on the VO School Podcast, we’re talking technology! More specifically, what you need to set up your own home studio for voiceover.
What is the first and most important consideration? Do you have to spend a lot of money to get professional results? Do you have to be a tech expert? And what common mistakes can you avoid? We also share some insider tips to optimize your recorded sound without having to spend any money at all.
Joining me this week are Amanda Rose Smith, audio engineer and producer from New York City, and Tim Tippets, voice talent, audio expert, and educator from Chicago. Embrace your inner sound geek and join us for a chat about all things audio!
Blog and show notes for the VO School Podcast - produced by Jamie Muffett.