Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Voiceover Workshops in Houston, TX and Voice Acting Techniques Workshop in Tulsa, OK

Voiceover Workshops in Houston Texas: January 19 & 20
(Fundraiser Partially Benefitting Women in Film TV Houston!)
(Private One-Hour Consultation Appointments Available on January 21-23)
Back by popular demand! Voiceover Pro & Coach Bettye Zoller Seitz!
Winner Clios, ADDYS, Golden Radios, Audie Awards! Simon & Schuster Audio Author.
Recording Studio Owner/AudioProducer/Audio Engineer & One of North America's Most-Heard Voice!
For more details go to: www.voicesvoices.com

Voice Acting Techniques Workshop In Tulsa
Instructor: Bettye Zoller Seitz.
Winner Clios, ADDYS, Golden Radios, Audie Awards and one of North America's most well known Voice and Voiceover Coaches!
She is in Tulsa as the Feagin Artist Guest Professor at Tulsa University!
Don’t miss this opportunity to attend her workshop!
Private One-Hour Consultations in Tulsa also Available.
For more details go to: www.voicesvoices.com

Friday, December 07, 2007

Improvement To The "My Stats" Area

Hello all,

We recently released a small improvements to the My Stats area. You can now see how many direct messages you have received recently. This information is now shown alongside the number of invitations you have received to submit auditions or proposals, which was already there. You can access "My Stats" by going to http://voice123.com/web/talent/mystats.cgi

Please keep in mind that our system doesn’t keep track of the direct phone calls you may receive from voice seekers that find your phone number via Voice123. We encourage you to ask new clients how they found you, so that you can keep track of all the new and recurrent clients you get through Voice123.

We appreciate your comments and suggestions, please post them below.

Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
by Alex Torrenegra
Leader and Co-founder

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Improved Link Exchange, use it to increase your exposure on the web

Hi everyone,

We have listened to feedback from voice talents and voice producers like you, and have made many improvements to the Link Exchange feature.

You can use the Link Exchange feature to promote all your websites by exchanging links in your Voice123 profile. And now you can link to up to five websites!

If you have other websites, you can link to them from your Voice123 profile.

Some of the benefits from link exchanging:
  • Increases your website traffic and exposure to clients.
  • Helps to get your website in all the Search Engines quickly.
  • Improves your position in the Search Engines.
Start taking advantage of this great feature, to begin your link exchange click:

This improvement to our system was implemented thanks to the feedback received from users like you. If you like these features, or if you have more ideas to share with us, please comment below.


Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
by Juan Salcedo
Marketing Manager

Thursday, November 15, 2007

"Free Voice123 Exposure" Project Update

Hello all!

This is just a short message to let you know that we have received all your votes and are still working on the "Free Voice123 Exposure" project. The process of selecting the best ones is quite hard. We received very good auditions!

We will be announcing the selected spots soon.


Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
by Juan Salcedo
Marketing Manager

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

What Is A Voiceover And How Do You Do It? (By Bettye Zoller)

What Is A Voiceover?

Radio is the ultimate voiceover. It has often been called, "The Theatre of the Mind." A voiceover can be defined as, "anytime a voice is heard without seeing a person talking." This definition doesn't always suffice however, because voiceover talents often speak in on-camera TV commercials or TV programs. One example is the wonderful and timeless sitcom, "The Wonder Years," and another program that used voiceovers extensively was "My So-Called Life." Today, "Desperate Housewives" uses voiceovers.

Voiceover talents can also "overdub" by synchronizing their voiceover to the movements of on camera actors' mouths as the actors are viewed on-screen. Sometimes, voice actors overdub speech because on-camera actors were chosen for the way they looked but vocally (as actors) lacked some sort of quality the director sought. Other times, voiceovers are used in films and TV programs because the audio sound was not of sufficient quality and must be improved in a recording studio setting (ADR work—additional dialogue recording). On-camera actors are usually cast for the way they look, the image they project, not for their voice skills. Voiceovers are also used to overdub actors' speeches so that the film or TV show can be sold or syndicated in foreign markets.

Voiceover talents today are hired to narrate audio books, anime, cartoons, videos, films, and cable TV programs. They are the voices of toys, talking picture frames, cell phone messages, talking greeting cards, your car's GPS navigation system, and everything else that's manufactured with a computer chip inside of it on which a voice track can be stored and played. Voiceover talents greet you (and annoy you!) on thousands upon thousands of those pesky recorded telephone messages and IVR systems. They talk to you through ceiling speakers while you shop in stores. You hear voiceover talents trying to convince you to buy cosmetics at your department store on a video playing over and over (looping) next to those expensive cosmetic products! The military uses voiceovers in training projects and the educational field also uses voice actors for educational endeavors. Nearly every classroom today, kindergarten through post-graduate study in universities sports a large TV monitor in a corner on which educational videos are played. Sometimes, it seems that a teacher doesn't talk very much anymore. Rather, schools teach a majority of the time with videos.

What Should a Voiceover Talent Strive For, and Why?

The talent' should sound natural and believable (unless voicing a cartoon or character voice, and even then, being a "believable bunny or duck" is probably a worthwhile goal . . .) without revealing there is a written script. The ultimate goal is to sound as if the thoughts being expressed in the script are emanating from the voiceover talent's own thoughts. The voice talent is a communicator who should strive to convey the script's message in the most effective manner.

Stages of Performance

A voice talent should strive to understand the project, its scope, its purpose. The talent should understand what the producer/director/client needs and wants you to do as the voice of the project. This may require questioning the producer or attempting to delve deeper into the project's scope. Never be fearful of asking questions on an audition or a session.

A voiceover talent should:

  • Understand the script and its purpose.
  • Understand the director/producer/client's needs and goals.
  • Determine for whom the voiceover message is intended (audience).
  • Sound natural, believable, and real (even if you're a cartoon or toy voice!).
  • Be skilled at "the cold read," that is, reading something aloud you've not seen previously.
  • Give the script "life," by bringing it to "full bloom" with your vocal rendering.
  • Be "at home" in the recording studio and understand the recording process, never waste studio time, but rather, be quick, saving money.
  • Be a business person, a skilled professional, always prompt, dependable.

No one had all of these qualifications starting out! These are acquired with practice. I always remind my students that, "you have to play to win." I add, "one thing is certain: You'll never know if you could have succeeded if you don't try."

That brings me to the next bit of advice: Listen to voiceovers constantly—on TV, in videos and films (cable TV is a goldmine to learn how to narrate video and film). Listen for voiceovers in stores (on point-of-purchase videos or through ceiling speakers), on the telephone, in the airport, in your physician's office, —everywhere. Learn from voiceover professionals who speak to you constantly, teaching you, every day!

The Voiceover CD Demo
A performer's voiceover demo is required if you're going to get auditions or work!

Having a professional voiceover demo that is created in a recording studio with the guidance of a professional producer is "a must!" A voiceover demo's cost will be higher in NYC and LA. If saving money is important, have your demo produced and recorded outside of these areas! Also, realize that there are substantial differences between what producers deem a "proper demo" in LA and in "the hinterlands." However, it is possible to produce a demo that agents and producers respect in many diverse geographic regions, even in Europe, if you seek out the right producers who know what agents and producers are looking for today. And, of course, compare prices. But also, realize that saving money should not mean settling for an inferior product. Know your producer's credentials and ask for referrals from satisfied demo clients! And never even think of recording a voiceover demo without being well rehearsed.

If the recording studio or the producer tells you that you can "come into my studio and we'll construct the demo that same day," walk, don't run! The contents of a demo should be tailored closely to the client's voiceprint, the talent's personality and voice profile, age, and gender. The sound of a voice usually tells a producer a lot about that profile. The contents of the demo should be chosen well ahead of the recording session date and the talent should be well coached. As for "voice type," for example, a young female voice talent with a wispy rather whimsical voice would have a demo with certain types of material on it while a deep voiced older female, perhaps one with a theatrical flair, would have completely different material on her demo.

Your Mentors

Who will train you? Who will produce your demo? That's most important. You need a skilled voiceover coach / audio producer beside you, guiding you. A demo will illustrate your skills reading voiceover material in a wide variety of areas (the areas mentioned earlier here).

What does a Demo Contain and What Should Be Its Length?

A demo contains short passages edited into a montage about two minutes to two and one-half minutes long. This version, however, will be combined with short edits. I prefer 90 and 60 second versions of the long demo. The short versions are used on websites and as attachments to emails. In this way, the talent and his or her agents have a long version and two short versions to work with for various reasons. I do not favor ONLY the short demo length based on my ongoing discussions with agents in many U.S. regions. The short version is, however, favored by Los Angeles producers with whom I consult. Here, in Dallas and all of the U.S. outside of the East and West coasts, my agent advisors tell me they prefer getting one longer demo and the short edits.

As I explain to all of my students and clients: When I state "my opinion" on an issue, it is not solely, "my opinion." Rather, it is my "take" on an issue that has resulted from my talking with, consulting with, my sources in many locations in the U.S. and Europe. I belong to many professional groups including VASTA (Voice and Speech Trainers Association), AFTRA national committees, SAG national committees, and many voiceover talent agents and producers. I also regularly consult with other voiceover professionals in many diverse locations.

Distribution and Self-Promotion

The next step involves duplicating your CD demo and obtaining a professional CD label. Some talents package a demo with a label plus a front and back cover and CD spine. Others use only a professional looking CD label. Remember: Producers and agents are interested primarily in what's ON the demo, not in its packaging. If the package is fabulous and its contents terrible, you've accomplished naught. You may choose to duplicate and package the CD demo yourself. You may have others do it for you. Either way, it must sound the best. That's most important.

Be prepared to produce quantities of your CD over the first year and on a continual basis throughout your career. Self-promotion should be on-going, year after year. However, don't do large duplication quantities until you're sure you don't want to change the demo. Add some recent voice work to an old demo and rearrange the cuts and it's "all new" (or so it seems . . .). Most coaches and producers agree that a voiceover CD demo should be updated about every eighteen months to two years.

Don't print vast label quantities. Do not have a label printed in large quantities on the CD itself. You may change agents! Your phone or e-mail may change. It happens all the time! I suggest starting with 100 copies of your demo. Then, duplicate more copies as you need them to get signed by broadcast agents in various cities and to start your promotional machine in high gear. After that, plan on distributing about 50 demos per month or more if you can.

And finally, you are ready to distribute your CD demo to your broadcast agents, to business owners, to producers/directors, to people you meet at networking events, and to put your demo on websites (your own and commercial sites that send work to voice talents on the internet). Self-promotion never ends! You are a small business owner and your business is YOU.

Every Business Has a Start-Up Process (Voiceovers Do Too!)

Compared to opening a storefront, starting a new restaurant, becoming a dentist or lawyer, starting your musical or film acting career, the start-up costs to enter the voiceover field are relatively modest. However, you must prepare for routine, expected expenses involved with studying, attending workshops, consulting with teachers and demo producers, creating your CD voiceover demo, and distributing that demo (self-promotion).

The self-promotion never ends, as I said above! And that will cost money – for postcard mailers, business cards, CD mailers, mailing labels, promotional give-away items to get noticed, all of the costs connected with large batch duplication of your CD and packaging, printed brochures, postal charges, networking costs, anything and everything that gets you noticed by those who hire voiceover talents.

Don't overlook free opportunities for publicity: Newspaper and magazine articles, trade publications, newsletters. Join organizations in your area where your visibility can be increased. Make new contacts that can potentially help you. Remember: It's not necessarily "who you know!" It is "who they know!"


You must (like every other business on the planet) create and maintain an internet presence. While your website does not have to be a major investment, it should look professional. I use website building templates provided by my website host sites. If you need help, solicit it from a student or friend rather than spending major sums of money on design that could be spent in other ways. Get started building your website or make sure your site can accept audio files so you can post your demo (s) on it. That's a must!

Be Optimistic and Realistic

I have produced demos for a few of my students who made money from voicing substantial projects immediately. Many have voiced major national commercials that paid residuals for many years to come within the first year after I produced their demo CD. Some have become the favorite voices of producers who use them over and over, creating a steady income stream. Still others decide to start their own businesses, selling their own voiceover jobs (telephone messaging, audio books, commercials). Others for whom I've produced a demo have a slower start, preferring to maintain their "learning curve" and "promotion curve" (not unlike some business owners who want to "build the business" over time). Sometimes, that "slow build." Is a good one. One talent recently told me that he is "building his start in his own way and finding his 'sea legs." Everyone moves at their own "career speed."Bottom line: The amount of time spent on one's endeavors usually is reflected, in direct proportion to the degree of success that one achieves. Part-time effort usually results in part-time work (if any). Perhaps a "day job" or family life means severely limited time is available for promoting your new voiceover endeavors. That's o.k. everyone has their own time schedule.

Start building and keep building!
One thing is certain: If you don't try, you're sure to fail! Good luck!! Everyone was a beginner at one time! Go for it!

Bettye Zoller Seitz
All rights reserved 2007
Ask for permission to use or reprint
Voiceover Talent/Educator Audio Engineer Recording Studio Owner/Demo Producer
Simon and Schuster Voice Talent-Producer/ Dialect and Voice Speech Coach
214-638-TALK (8255)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

New Free Audition Management System

Do you handle castings where you have to get large and cumbersome MP3 files via email?

Do you want to save time and look more professional?

Voice123 allows you to handle all your voice over castings in just one place, for FREE. Any talent you want can submit an audition for your project, even if they're not part of the Voice123 database. Simply send —to any voice over talent you know— a link and a verification code we provide, and they will be able to audition for you via Voice123.

Post a project now!

This is one of the many new features of the New Voice123.


Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
by Alex Torrenegra
Leader and Co-founder

PS. Please let us know what you think, by posting your comments below. Thank you!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Your Stats

Hello all,

We have released a new feature that allows you see some interesting stats about your Voice123 usage and how they compare to all other Premium Subscribers of Voice123. The new feature is called My Private Stats. Among other things, it includes information on invitations, auditions and proposals submitted, and ratings. To see your stats, please visit:
You can also access it from the "My Home" area of Voice123. Check it out now and learn where are you in the voice marketplace!

Note: A beta version of this feature was available for several weeks for testing purposes. We have now refined it and officially released it.

This feature was developed thanks to the input of users like you. Please let us know what you think of it by posting your comments below. Thank you!

Best regards,

Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
by Alex Torrenegra
Leader and Co-founder

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

VoiceOverPedia.org - The Voice Industry Encyclopedia

Hello everyone!

You can be part of what could become the biggest innovation of the industry this year: VoiceOverPedia.org - The Voice Industry Encyclopedia (http://voiceoverpedia.org).

VoiceOverPedia is a web-based encyclopedia experiment for the voice over industry. It will be collaboratively written by its readers on a interactive type of website called a wiki that makes collaboration easy. Many people will be constantly improving VoiceOverPedia and all of the improvements will be recorded in article histories.

VoiceOverPedia is not Voice123’s idea. Voice123 is just sponsoring the ideas that many people have shared with us. Creators of on-line content were collectively awarded Time’s Person of the Year 2006. This prestigious award celebrates the accelerating success of collaboration and interaction of millions of users worldwide. Wikis were the first particular "Web 2.0" trend mentioned. Many agree that the time has come for a community-created encyclopedia for the voice industry, and we agree.

VoiceOverPedia is looking for volunteer contributors and administrators. VoiceOverPedia needs people that can write articles about the industry and also those that can teach others how to properly use VoiceOverPedia and wikis in general. The most active volunteers of VoiceOverPedia will be featured on the home page of VoiceOverPedia, with a link to their biography and bibliography. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, please send a message to info@voiceoverpedia.org to receive further instructions.

I, Alex Torrenegra, will personally direct the initial coordination of all volunteers. Why am I doing it? I am big fan of public participation in the creation and preservation of knowledge. The more we can compile and share, the better our industry will be.

Best regards,

Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
by Alex Torrenegra
Leader and Co-founder

Friday, October 05, 2007

SaVoa's Accreditation Program for Voice Over Artists

On September 23rd, non-for-profit SaVoa launched a new accreditation program for voice over artists. SaVoa’s accreditation process is similar to that in other professions. It is based on peer review – voice talents assess voice talents. Three-member panels are selected at random from SaVoa’s membership of accredited voice talents. Using a predetermined accreditation criteria, each member of the peer review panel independently evaluates an applicant’s vocal and technical deliveries. Here is a cool factor: the evaluations are all blind studies; applicants are unidentified to the peer reviewers.

One of the founders of SaVoa is Erik Sheppard, widely known in the industry already for his contributions to the community. Erik says that the response to SaVoa has been amazing: Numerous voice actors have already submitted applications. Some have even been asked to consider reapplying after they attain more training, several more have successfully completed the accreditation process while the rest wait for their evaluations to be scheduled.

Granted, the ultimate goal of SaVoa is to create a quality assurance mechanism that will enhance the voice over profession and attract clients who value quality and professionalism. It is a concept that has been embraced and supported by many in the voice over community. SaVoa’s home page already showcases the support of industry veterans like Frank Frederick, Connie Terwilliger, and Philip Banks.

Voice123 has been contacted many, many times by people with similar ideas, but they never actually got to implement them. Kudos to SaVoa for having materialized this concept. SaVoa and the voice over community can count on Voice123's support and endorsement of the accreditation program, which benefits both voice talent and voice seekers.

To learn more about SaVoa and the accreditation process you can visit their site at SaVoa.org.

Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
by Alex Torrenegra
Leader and Co-founder

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Learning the skills, no matter what your level (By Debbie Munro)

When I began my venture into the world of voice I was under the impression that I was a natural. When it came to theatre I was correct. Aced every audition I ever went to…so I just assumed that this would carry me through into anything, such as film/TV and Voice. Boy was I wrong.

When I began I managed to land a lead voice over role in an international Cartoon Series titled, “Benjamin Bluemchen” This was a great gig and lasted for a year. In the first 6 months I was getting tons of little roles and some bigger ones within the series and then suddenly nothing. They started bringing in people for other roles instead. I got extremely paranoid and insecure of course and questioned them all….What am I doing wrong? They would say, “Nothing, all is fine. We just want to bring in new talent” I bought that at first, but I knew better.

It wasn’t until I finally broke down and took my first film acting class with Tom Logan (director from LA), that I understood exactly what it was. Tom is an amazing acting coach from LA that teaches half time and directs for the rest; an honest look into the industry. When I was trained in Voice Over, I was trained as a broadcaster. Broadcasters tend to read everything in a sing song fashion and that’s exactly what I was doing; reading every character and every script in a sing song fashion. For my main character who was a roving news reporter, that worked very well, but for my others, not so good.

I decided to take more classes from others (specifically in film and improv) and that enhanced my skills and taught me what I needed to learn to break the habits (Unfortunately with this specific animation house, too little too late). I had made the impression that I read everything as a DJ type style and therefore, I wasn’t seen in auditions anymore. (It’s possible I was just too helpful, I’ve learned a lot about over stepping since then....or not directing, when you’re not the director. Learn from my mistakes).

I tell you this so that you’ll understand even the pros had to learn at some point and continue to do so to this day. They either had to enhance skills they already possessed or they had to discover new ones. Education is key! The more I train, the more skilled I become, the more I can charge. We understand that to pay a lawyer 250.00 per hour, it’s just a part of the process. They paid a lot of money to become a lawyer so you have no problem (well we have to) paying them their scale rate. The more you educate, the more you are worth. Of course experience is all a part of the training process but you need to take courses in order to gain the experience and in my opinion, you should never stop.

Once you’re at a level of professionalism, don’t let that stop you from continuously learning from others. There are always new techniques and new trends and as a professional talent, you must be up on them at all times. There is always someone else who will be prepared in that area if you’re not.

The catch 22 for most is that you can’t afford to take the courses. For many of you, I’m sure this is true, but can you afford NOT to? I couldn’t afford ANY of the courses I took either and they were all expensive. Some cost me over $2,000 to take, while others cost a few hundred. The bottom line is that you CAN’T AFFORD NOT TO! You have to compare it to becoming a surgeon or lawyer or tradesperson. There is education involved. The difference is that in recognized institutions, there are funding options. In this case there usually isn’t so it comes straight out of your pockets. There is always a business loan, and you are starting a business. DON”T LET ANYTHING STAND IN YOUR WAY!

I can’t help you gather the funds, but I can tell you that if you really want it bad enough, then you’ll find a way. You’ll make the sacrifices that you need to in order to follow your dreams. Regardless of what those dreams might be. Make your life count and follow what you love. You can do it but only if you want it as bad as I did. I hope this gives you incentive to move forward and not procrastinate what could be an amazing venture for you.

Until next time everyone... follow your passion and money will come...
To learn more about Debbie Munro's coaching services just follow this link: http://www.debsvoice.com/

Saturday, September 29, 2007

How Are the New Voice123 and SmartCast Doing? Second Update

Hello community!

Several weeks ago we released some stats comparing the improved performance of the New Voice123 with the old system. Today, we are releasing even more stats on this comparison, showing how wonderfully the New Voice123 is doing:

More direct messages between voice seekers and talents!. In the old system we had a monthly average of 3,900 direct messages between voice seekers and voice over talents or voice producers. With the New Voice123, that number has increased by 150% to more than 9,700 direct messages per month!

Many more projects are being posted!. Last month 1,002 voice over projects were created by voice seekers in Voice123! That is 142% more than September of last year and 44% more than May of this year, one month before SmartCast was released. Out of these new projects, 639 were SmartCast enabled!

Those surveyed are happier with the auditions and proposals received. Surveys sent to voice seekers are showing a 23% satisfaction-index increase on the perception of the voice seeker with the quality of the auditions and proposals they receive.

Here is what others are saying:

"I think the new Voice123 is GREAT! I have booked more jobs since the new version came on line than the previous two years I was a member combined! The jobs pay better and I like the feedback system and ‘opened audition’ notification. I only wish more clients would use the rating system and open all their auditions. Overall, the new Voice123 is a HUGE improvement! :)"
Dustin R. Ebaugh - Voice Over Talent

"Guys, you're doing a great job. This is what Web 2.0 is all about. Great web experience backed up by outstanding customer service."
Dan Holleran - Voice Seeker

Do you have a success story with the New Voice123 you would like to share?
Share it by posting a comment on this blog.

Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
by Alex Torrenegra
Leader and Co-founder

Friday, September 28, 2007

PayPal Button Improvement

Hi all!

Today we have released a small improvement to the PayPal button in your Voice123 profile. Voice Seekers will now find a larger and more attractive PayPal button to click to start a PayPal payment.

This is a great time to make certain your PayPal account information is current. To check out the new button and/or update your PayPal account details go to:


You can update your PayPal button preferences at any time from the "Additional Tools" section in Voice123. This feature is available to both Premium and Standard Subscribers.

If you want to learn more about PayPal, please go to http://paypal.com

Best regards,

Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
by Alex Torrenegra
Leader and Co-founder

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Three Small Improvements

Hello everyone,

Three small, but practical improvements have been implemented to better service our talents and voice producers:

First: Now, the budget for each project is also listed on the Invitation Inbox.

Second: When you delete invitations from the screen containing details of the project, you will be redirected to the invitation inbox so you can continue checking on additional invitations immediately.

Third: The voice seeker details screen includes a field called "% of auditions/proposal opened of all of the auditions/proposal received for previous projects during the past six months". Now this field will only take into account projects that have been closed. This way the stat doesn't get distorted by auditions and proposals that had been recently submitted to projects posted by each voice seeker.

These improvements to our system were implemented thanks to the feedback received from users like you. If you like these features, or if you have more ideas to share with us, please comment below.

Thank you!

Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
by Alex Torrenegra
Leader and Co-founder

Monday, September 24, 2007

Tips to take care of your voice (By Gary Terzza)

We use it every day and yet the voice is one of the most neglected parts of our anatomy. Just think about how you use yours: chatting on the telephone, shouting at the kids, clearing your throat - the vocal cords endure a punishing schedule.

Of course if you use your voice professionally the demands are even greater; so how can you make sure you are giving this powerful, but delicate organ the care and attention it deserves?

Don’t misuse, or abuse the larynx. Never smoke and keep away from smoky atmospheres. Don’t shout. If you have a cold that’s affecting the voice box, try and avoid talking.

Dry dusty conditions, even air-conditioning, can dry out the voice significantly, so always take regular sips of water. Try to reduce your caffeine intake as this can dry out the larynx and cause hoarseness. Equally watch your alcohol consumption as this not only has a physiological impact on your voice box, but reduces your inhibitions, making you more liable to raise your voice.

If you use your voice for singing, voice-overs or telephone sales make sure you do some warm up exercises. Gentle humming at a low level can help develop resonance, clear the airways and give those pipes a soothing work-out, but be careful you don’t strain.

Large meals can alter the tonal quality of your voice (ask any singer, or voice-over artist) and this is especially true of spicy foods and dairy products.

For women, hormonal changes such as the menopause, pregnancy or menstruation can have a marked effect on the voice, as can stressful situations such as divorce or bereavement. The voice is the conduit for our emotions, so tension or depression might show in your voice, sometimes in quite unexpected ways.

If you are ever worried about your voice, seek medical advice straight away.
Enjoy your voice and use it as a creative tool, or as an instrument to bring pleasure and fulfilment, but always treat it with great care and respect.

Gary Terzza is a professional voiceover with a client list that includes Channel 4, Channel five, VH-1 and the BBC. He also runs a voice-over master class and is a member of the British Voice Association.
To learn more about Gary Terzza's coaching services just follow this link: http://vomasterclass.com/

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Rating System Improvement


Thanks to your feedback, we have found that some voice talents and producers were staying away from projects with budgets "To Be Defined", as they didn't want to get a bad rating just because of quoting a price that could be considered too high or too low by the voice seeker. We listened and took action.

We recently released a new feature that has the objective of reducing the chances that a voice seeker gives you a bad rating just because of the price you quoted. From now on, the first time a voice seeker rates an audition/proposal with one or two stars we show them a large message asking them if their decision was based on the quoted price. If so, we ask the voice seeker to delete the audition/proposal instead of rating it low. This message will be seen by voice seekers in projects with budget "To be defined".

We will also work on some additional changes that will urge voice seekers in defining budgets by making them aware that "To-be-defined" budgets discourage some great voice talents and producers from submitting auditions and proposals.

You can comment about this improvement below.

Thank you!

Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
by Alex Torrenegra
Leader and Co-founder

Saturday, September 15, 2007

New Coach Partner Program

If you aren't a voice over coach, this message may not be for you. Nevertheless, if you let your voice over coach know, he/she will be thankful.

We just released the Coach Partner Program. A free program for voice over coaches and their students to help them promote their businesses, use Voice123 as a training tool, and help us shape the future of Voice123.

All the details of the Coach Partner Program are available at

Why did we launch this program? We have always had strong relations and open communication channels with many reputable voice over coaches (as a matter of fact, the New Voice123 took into account hundreds of conversations and brainstorming sessions held with many of them). The Coach Partner Program is formalizing some of the agreements we currently have with several voice over coaches, and it is opening the doors to let many more take advantage of it.

As usual, if you have questions or comments, please contact us at


Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
by Alex Torrenegra
Leader and Co-founder

Monday, September 10, 2007

Voice Seekers Can Now Contact Voice Talents and Producers Directly by Phone

Now, when a voice seeker decides to contact a voice talent or producer, the voice seeker will be able to call the talent or producer and speak with him/her directly. The phone numbers of voice talents and producers are now available on the contact form so that voice seekers can place direct calls in order to get projects underway even faster than before! Voice seekers will still be able to send email messages to talents and producers through the contact form.

If you are a voice talent and/or producer, you may want to make sure your telephone information is up-to-date. You can do that by clicking here.


Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
by Alex Torrenegra
Leader and Co-founder

Sunday, September 09, 2007

No More Asterisks If You Were Invited

Good news! From now on when you follow the link to see the details of a project, you will be able to see the script and script notes in full, without the annoying asterisks that were previously visible. Plus, you will now have more information to decide if you want to submit an audition or proposal for a project. Some voice seekers request to hide their contact info, that's what the asterisks are used for.

Please note that the asterisks will be removed only in projects for which you have been invited to submit an audition or proposal. If you haven’t been invited, the asterisks will still appear. Make sure that you are signed into our system when looking at the details of each project so that the system will know if the person opening the page has been invited.

As usual, this improvement to our system was done thanks to the feedback received from users like you. If you like this feature, or if you have more ideas to share with us, please comment down here.

Thank you!

Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
by Alex Torrenegra
Leader and Co-founder

Monday, September 03, 2007

Check Out These Great Topics On The Voice Over Savvy Forum

The Voice Over Savvy community is not just another gathering place. The information, knowledge, professionalism, and camaraderie shared among the participants have transformed a simple forum into a community with a life of its own.

You are welcome to join us in a refreshing corner of the web, where all of us related to the VO industry can find information, share our knowledge, find answers to our questions, or just have a little fun.

The following topics have been compiled by Voice Over Savvy moderators: Erik Sheppard and Colin Campbell. Thank you Erik and Colin for your contribution to the community!

What Makes A VO Artist A Pro
“We have posted our equipment chain, we have posted photos of our recording facilities, we have posted sound clips from our microphones and each has been a good community sharing. I want to propose the following question...”
- Read more and comment at

Using Licensed Music In Spots
“Could someone fill me in on this? If I remember right, can I use up to :08 of a licensed song in a spot, or has that changed?
If an audition requests music, does it have to be license-free? ...”
- Read more and comment at

To Sit Or To Stand?
“When recording VO, do you sit or do you stand up? I don't mean for practical reasons, but for technical/physical reasons.
For me, it depends. If I'm doing soft reads, I sit. For hard-sell and voice acting, I stand. Some may have other reasons for doing it either one way or the other, and I'd love to hear them ...”
- Read more and comment at


Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
by Juan Salcedo
Marketing Manager

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Talents Featured on Voice123's Tutorials

If you joined Voice123 before July 7th, 2007, you may have already seen the tutorials about the New Voice123 released July 9th, 2007. You may also wonder who the voices behind the tutorials were.

Here they are: Susannah Kenton, Mary Baker, Michael Rhys, Scott Pollak. Thank you guys!

You can see and hear the tutorials here:

Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
by Juan Salcedo
Marketing Manager

Closing The Deal (By Gregory Best)

Shortly after I gave my negotiating presentation at VOICE 2007, Alex asked me to write several short articles for Voice123, saying he particularly wanted an article about “closing the deal”. Since I’ve covered this topic only briefly before in seminars I started brushing up on the topic by reading about sales techniques. I knew that negotiating plays a big part in sales, but quickly realized the material was very familiar to me because sales techniques and negotiating techniques both employ the strategies and tactics I teach and use on a daily basis.

Webster’s defines “closing” as to bring to an end, to conclude a discussion or a negotiation, or to enter into or complete an agreement (e.g. closes on a deal). Salespeople strive for an agreement on terms which, among other things, includes the details of the product and the price. Both sales and negotiating are about getting to “yes” or coming to an agreement.

When you go to a car dealership to buy a car the sales person hands you over to the sales manager. The manager then further persuades you that this, specific new car is the one you can’t live without. In this situation, the manager is the “closer” who is there to cinch the deal. In the VO business we mostly work by and for ourselves. For the most part, VO talent doesn’t have the luxury to employ a closer.

When you go through a job checklist with a potential talent buyer, not only are you gathering the detailed information needed to give a good quote, but also getting the buyer to invest both time and energy. The more involved the other side becomes, the more they have invested in you. They’re also invested in helping create an agreement. You are assisting the client in making the decision to hire you.

Since some people are uncomfortable making decisions, you may need to guide your potential clients in making them. One way to do this is by providing the client simple choicesand leading him or her to easy answers. “Is this spot to be done dry or do you need full production?”. Use your checklist to provide simple choices that show why they should hire you. You are helping them make decisions and also showing them you are a professional.

An example of a close is “... When do you need this by? I can start on your project first thing in the morning. Let’s work out the rest of the details and I’ll get started.” There are many ways to close and you should try different variations depending on the circumstances. Be creative. Mark McCormack in his book What They Still Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School says, “The best closing technique might be no technique at all – where the sales pitch seamlessly leads into the purchase and the buyer doesn’t know the difference.” The best sales person, or closer, whenever possible gets to “yes” without their prospective client knowing they were sold. In my opinion, the best negotiating and sales are “win-win” situations where everyone’s needs and goals are met.

Article Written by Gregory Best

Error Fixed!

Hello all,

During the past two weeks you may have experienced the results of an error (also known as “bug”) in Voice123 SmartCast. The error consisted on Voice123 SmartCast triggering invitations to submit auditions or proposals on projects that were very close to reaching its SmartCast audition or proposal limit. As a consequence, you may have received several invitations for projects that, within a few minutes of receiving the invitation, would have reached its SmartCast audition/proposal limit and would not be receiving more auditions or proposals from SmartCast invitations.

This issue has been fixed. SmartCast will no longer trigger these invitations when a project is close to reaching its SmartCast audition/proposal limit. Please note that you may continue to get invitations, from time to time, for projects that are close to reaching its SmartCast audition/proposal limit. This will happen -not very frequently, though- as SmartCast systematically sends invitations until the desired number of audition or proposals has been reached. You will also continue getting invitations for projects that will reach its audition/proposal limit within a few hours of the invitation being sent. This commonly happens with projects that have very tight deadlines and are open for just a couple hours.

Most talents were not affected by this error. If you did, however, we will give you a one-month free premium subscription as an apology. You qualify for the free month if during the past two weeks you received invitations for many projects that reached its SmartCast audition/proposal limit within a few minutes of the invitation being sent. If you think that is the case, please reply to this email and we will research into your account to determine if you were affected by the error. Please allow us up to four weeks to process your request and get back to you.

Finally, thank you to all the talents and voice producers that gave us feedback about the strange behavior of invitations they were receiving. You have helped us pinpoint the error and fix it.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

Best regards,

Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
by Alex Torrenegra
Leader and Cofounder

PS. Please keep in mind that the SmartCast audition/proposal limit is set by the voice seeker when posting the project. If you want to learn more about Voice123 SmartCast, go to http://voice123.com/doc/smartcast.html

Friday, August 24, 2007

More Control for Voice Seekers on Their Voice Over Projects

Starting today, you will be able to determine how you would like to be notified about new auditions or proposals for new projects you create on Voice123. You can receive an email message every time a new audition or proposal is posted, or in groups as five, ten, or twenty new auditions or proposals are received. Look for this question at the very bottom of the project creation form.

To create a new project, visit http://voice123.com/post

We developed this improvement thanks to feedback received from voice seekers like you. Thank you!

Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
by Alex Torrenegra
Leader and Co-founder

Thursday, August 23, 2007

New Feature: Take Your Time


Some talents and voice producers have told us that they were rushing to create their auditions and proposals so that they could make the cut and submit it before a project would reach its limit of auditions and proposals received through SmartCast invitations. Since rushing for an audition will, most of the time, result in a lower quality, we challenged ourselves to come up with a solution. Here is what we did:

Starting today, when you decide to accept a SmartCast invitation to submit an audition or proposal, you will get 60 minutes to do it. We did this in the attempt to give you enough time to produce a quality audition.

You will be able to complete your submission even if the SmartCast audition/proposal limit for that project is reached while you are working on your audition. You can now feel comfortable submitting the best audition and proposal you can for every invitation you accept!

Please keep in mind the following as well:

  • You will be able to secure the 60-minute time frame as long as the SmartCast audition/proposal limit hasn’t been reached by the time you accept the invitation and as long as the project has more than 60 minutes before it reaches its date and time deadline.

  • This feature does not apply to direct invitations. When you get a direct invitation you WILL always be able to submit and audition or proposal even if the SmartCast limit for auditions or proposals is reached.

  • Voice seekers can always close projects manually and, as such, the 60 minute period may be cut short. This doesn’t happen frequently, though. Remember: projects don’t get closed when they reach the SmartCast audition/proposal limit. Projects get closed automatically, when the deadline is reached, or manually, when then voice seekers does it.

We hope you find this feature useful. Would you mind sharing your thoughts about this new feature by posting a comment on this blog?

Thank you for your feedback and continued support!


Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
by Alex Torrenegra
Leader and Co-founder

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

How Is Voice123 SmartCast® Doing?

It is doing great! The statistics speak by themselves:

  1. The average number of auditions or proposals each project receives in the New Voice123 is 32, significantly down from 100+ in the old Voice123. Having projects with too many auditions was the most common complain we received from talents or voice producers, and voice seekers. This reduction is great news for the entire industry!

  2. Voice seekers are now opening more than 80% of all the auditions they get, up from only 34% in the old system. This means less waste of your time and more chances of being heard if you are a premium subscriber.
The end result? Less competition between talents and voice producers on each project and a higher audition-to-booking ratio.

We will publish more stats soon!

Here is what other Voice123 users are saying:

"The old Voice123 was interesting, I would get a nibble for my services once in a while and the clients were all trying to get a deal on how little they could pay for a great voice over artist (such as myself) to create the perfect production. Then along came the new Voice123 and changed everything I was used to seeing in the way of leads for my business. Higher paying gigs, many more leads, and feedback from clients which helped me discern what a client really wanted. It is a change for the future of the online voice over marketplace."
Frank Frederick - Voice Over Talent and Coach

"The website looks a lot better than before, you guys have done a great job, we received lots of very good auditions, and the whole process was great. Thank you."
Norman Chung - Voice Seeker

Do you have a success story with the New Voice123 you would like to share? Share it by posting a comment on this blog.


Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
by Alex Torrenegra
Leader and Co-founder

Monday, August 20, 2007

Voiceover Audition/Proposal Rating System FAQ

Several talents and voice producers have asked us many questions about the rating system. We just released a FAQ about it. You can check it out in here:


As usual, if you have questions or comments, please feel free to contact us at http://voice123.com/doc/help.html

Best regards,

Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
by Alex Torrenegra
Leader and Co-founder

Thursday, August 02, 2007

The New Voice123 and SmartCast®

After many months of expectation and hard work, the New Voice123 was successfully released! With a completely new auditioning system, an improved interface and audio quality, less competition, and better matching of projects, Voice123 is now better than ever!

Some talents were afraid that since Voice123’s SmartCast® does a more accurate matching of projects, they would receive a lesser amount of auditions and in turn land fewer jobs. The truth is that after almost one month of its release, SmartCast® has shown that although talents receive fewer invitations to audition, their audition-to-booking ratio has improved significantly.

To demonstrate this, let me share some statistics with you. Before the release of SmartCast® -- as may still be the reality on other voice marketplaces -- only 34% of all submitted auditions were listened to by the voice seekers. Thus approximately two thirds of the auditions made by talents were a waste of time! Now, since the release of SmartCast®, we see that voice seekers are listening to more than half of the submitted auditions, improving the talents’ chances of being heard and their chances of being hired. As Voice123 tweaks and fixes some small bugs, and the system adjusts itself with more data, we are reviewing this statistic calculation and expect that number to increase as well.

The rating system is another concern among voice talents and producers. But talents who expect an average of good ratings for their auditions don’t need to worry, plus the rating is only one of many factors taken into account by the SmartCast® system, there are additional and more important factors weighing in to deliver the best voices to voice seekers.

With all these improvements, voice seekers are now seeing SmartCast® as a more useful tool to find the appropriate voice for their projects, meaning a better experience for the clients, who are willing to post more projects through Voice123’s free voice casting tool.

Voice123 has been listening to many suggestions from talents and voice seekers on how to keep improving SmartCast®, and we can foresee additional features in the coming months. We will keep the voice over community up to date with the upcoming features, many of them as a response to your suggestions.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The New Voice123 Is Out

Hello All!

The new Voice123 has been released and the system brings tons of new features. Check out Voice123.com to see them for yourself. The most innovative feature is Voice123 SmartCast. Many talents have asked questions about it and how it will change their experience with Voice123. We have written this article, so that you’ll know what to expect.

Increased Audition to Booking Ratio
Voice123 SmartCast will, in most cases, increase the audition to booking ratio of talents and voice producers. The New Voice123 allows Voice Seekers to determine how many auditions/proposals they want. Voice123 SmartCast has been designed so that it will no longer be the quickest talents or voice producers who are able to audition, and then the limit is met. Instead, Voice123 SmartCast will invite the best matching talents first, and give them time to audition; invite a few more, give them time to audition; and so on, until the desired amount of auditions has been received. One of the factors we keep in mind is the amount of auditions the talents have been sending during the past six months (the counter starts July 7, 2007). If a talent has submitted less auditions/proposals, on average, than the other matching talents, he or she may be invited first.

Fewer, But Better Invitations
In order to increase the audition to booking ratio, the amount of auditions each talent can submit will, of course, decrease. If you properly tune up your profile, and submit well-written auditions and proposals, Voice123 SmartCast will invite you to the projects where you may have better chances of being hired.

A Fairer Marketplace
The Voice123 Marketplace had an issue. Twenty-four percent of talents and voice producers would submit 80% of the auditions to public projects. Why? There are many reasons: many talents do not work full time, other talents didn't like the fierce competition the old system allowed. Voice123 SmartCast will now give the chance to the many talents who didn't formerly submit auditions/proposals to public projects. Talents and voice producers that used to submit way more auditions/proposals than average will see a significant decrease in invitations.

Less Competition
During the past six months almost half of the projects posted looking for American-English voices, received more than 100 auditions/proposals. Many of them received more than 400. The new system will significantly reduce that amount and increase your chances of being heard and booked by the voice seeker whenever you submit an audition or proposal.

You Can Now Get Feedback
The New Voice123 allows you to know when your auditions/proposals have been opened and how the voice seeker rated them, along with all others, on the same projects. You can use this information to improve the auditions and proposals you submit. We are aware that one rating may not be fair, but, statistically speaking, if you constantly get good ratings, you can assume you are doing a good job. If, on the other hand, you constantly get bad ratings, then the New Voice123 may not be the place for you.
Voice123 SmartCast takes into account these ratings. Please note that SmartCast takes into account MANY factors. This is just one of them, and it is not the most important.

We Are Just Getting Started
Since we are VERY busy answering all of the questions our users have submitted, we have stopped most of our marketing efforts so that we can handle the volume of questions. This, of course, means that fewer projects than usual will be posted this week. We should resume all of our marketing efforts soon. Also, since Voice123 SmartCast invites talents systematically, it may take a few days for you to be invited to projects that have been posted.

As a Talent, How Do You Measure Your Success With Voice123?
If you are a talent or voice producer, your success with Voice123 should be measured in return of investment. If you get more $ than what you paid for your premium subscription, then you have a positive return of investment. This usually means getting jobs. The New Voice123 will better distribute the jobs that pass through it.

If you are measuring your success based on the amount of "leads" you get or the amount of auditions you submit, then the New Voice123, unfortunately, won't make you happy.

We Are Offering Pro-rated Refund to Talents and Voice Producers
We are confident in our system and in the fact that most people will benefit from it. If you are a Premium Subscriber that paid for your subscription before July 7th, and you think the New Voice123 is not the place for you, please let us know. We will issue a pro-rated refund.

Thank you all for your feedback, patience, and support. Thanks as well to all of you that are willing to give the New Voice123 a chance. We created it for you, and will continue to improve it for you.


Alex Torrenegra
Leader and Co-founder

Thursday, July 05, 2007

The New Voice123 Upgrade Starts Tomorrow Night

As you may already know, this weekend we will be upgrading our system for the official launch of the new version of Voice123. There are two special considerations for you to keep in mind:

  • Our authentication system has been revamped. Therefore, starting Monday, July 9th, you will be prompted to sign in using your password if you have been away from the system too long, so please make sure you know your password. If you don’t remember it, click here and we will send it to you by email.

  • Since this is a major system upgrade, please note that Voice123’s website will not be available as of Friday, July 6th at 10:00 pm ET, and it may be under maintenance until Monday, July 9th at 5:00 am ET. During this upgrade, the site will not be accessible, you won’t be able to answer leads or access your profile.
See you in the New Voice123!

Friday, June 29, 2007

The Wait Is Over: The New Voice123 Will Be Released July 9th!

We are very happy to announce that the release date for the New Voice123 has been set: Monday, July 9th!

Development on this new version started more than one year ago after receiving feedback from talents, voice producers, and voice seekers; analyzing our various options; and choosing the best possible solutions to address the new features. In March of this year we reached alpha, where all the major features and improvements of the new Voice123 have been coded. By mid-June, the system was stable enough to invite talents and seekers to do beta testing of the platform. This was a very important milestone in the development process, and we received extremely valuable feedback from many of you, for which we are thankful, as you are helping to build the most advanced voice casting system ever built.

This version is the biggest release we have ever published, and we expect it will bring major benefits to all our talents, including a superior interface, improved audio quality, enhanced project workflow, and better audition-to-booking ratio. To read more details about SmartCast® and the new features here.

IMPORTANT: Since this is a major system upgrade, please note that Voice123’s website will not be available from Friday, July 6th at 10:00 pm ET until Monday, July 9th at 5:00 am ET. During this upgrade, the site will not be accessible; you will not be able to answer leads or access your profile. Therefore, please plan ahead if you need to use the system around those dates.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Google Audio Ads and Bid4Spots: The Radio Ads Marketplace War

A few months ago, Google announced a new tool for advertisers; it is called Google Audio Ads. It is an extension of AdWords, and connects radio stations to advertisers.

Earlier this month eBay said it had closed a partnership deal with Voice123’s fellow company, Bid4Spots, to start selling radio advertising as a marketplace on the Internet, eBay Media Marketplace.

In similar ways, both marketplaces allow advertisers to place budgets on radio spots through an automated system. Advertisers can choose from hundreds of stations in different regions and cities country-wide. Stations are classified by the kind of programs they broadcast and advertisers can target their campaigns to specific geographic areas, type of listeners, date and time of the day. On the other side are the stations who do the actual bidding like a reverse auction, and the lowest CPM wins the auction.

This makes it so easy for small and medium sized businesses to start advertising on radio, and for advertisers to reach new markets in such an easy way that you can find a voice talent and producer via Voice123, have your radio spot ready in a matter of hours, and then use any of these services to broadcast your radio spot to the desired audience, and all this without stepping away from your desk!

Both say they are currently testing their systems, and although Google started in December, Bid4Spots’ platform is more mature, since they were the pioneers as the first online radio ads marketplace. They just now partnered with eBay.

The war is just starting, and both systems are gearing up to compete for advertisers’ money. Time will tell who will come out victorious, or if there is space for both, as the differences between them attract different customers.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The New Voice123 Will Open to Beta Testers June 15th!

What does this mean to you? This means that you will get to experience the new Voice123, including all of its new features and improvements, in a few weeks. We will notify you via email when the release date is defined.

What is "beta testing"? Beta testing is the last stage of testing for a software product like Voice123. It was preceded by "alpha testing". During alpha testing, members of the Voice123 Team performed thousands of quality assurance tests in the new Voice123. We did it in such a rigorous way, that we expect the beta testing phase to be over quickly.

We will encourage beta testers to publicly share their experiences with the new Voice123 in the VoiceOverSavvy Forums. Check it out after June 15th, so that you can learn more about the New Voice123, even if you are not a beta tester. By the way, you can still apply to become a beta tester. Instructions on how to apply can be found here: http://voiceoversavvy.com/ftopic987.html

We are very happy about making this announcement, as this means that we are one step closer to offering you a better experience! Some of us are also closer to taking a long-expected vacation break!

Friday, May 18, 2007

How Much Are Talents and Voice Producers Charging for Non-Union Work?

Voice123 is the marketplace where union and non-union projects find their best talent. The voice seeker and the talent or voice producer always work together to reach an agreement in terms of the price. Union projects can base their rates on the guides provided by the unions: (AFTRA - USA , SAG - USA, British Equity, ACTRA - Canada, etc), but non-union projects are different. Many voice seekers, talents, and voice producers have asked us to provide them with market information so that they know how to budget their projects. We listened and took action.

Last moth we sent a voluntary worldwide survey to approximately 3,600 active voice over talents and voice producers registered with Voice123. The survey asked for base rates in several different areas (TV, Radio, non-broadcast, local, regional, etc.), and different pricing methodologies (per spot, per minute, per word, and per hour of work). We then crunched the numbers and came up with pricing stats that you can use in helping to determine the budget or price for a voice project. You can access these stats by clicking here.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Check Out These Great Topics On The Voice Over Savvy Forum

We want to express our sincere gratitude to all of those who have helped the forums become what they are - a great gathering place where we all can learn, get help, gain support, or just post what’s on our minds.

Thank you!

Here are some statistics from Voice Over Savvy Forum with all of you, these reflect the amazing growth experienced by this wonderful community.

The forums were born on Monday October 09, 2006 at 10:04 am. Up to now, we have 1,370 users, 19,835 posts, 1,482 topics, and an average of 96.73 posts per day.

The amount and quality of the information and participants in the forum are what make it a necessary stop for those interested in any level of the industry.

Check out these great topics:

My Head is in a Vice Uncle Fester
"Breaths are natural. If you are doing a piece of copy that should sound natural, then breaths should be there, but not overly loud..."
- Read more and comment at

What to Say??
"I currently just have something along the lines of Thank you for taking the time, I have quick turn around, I pride myself on great customer service, look forward to working with you blah blah blah..."
- Read more and comment at

I Don't Know What to Say. PLEASE HELP
"Let this be a lesson to all. You have to use the "KISS" method. Noooo, I don't mean KEEP-IT-SIMPLE-STUPID...I mean you have to KISS their..."
- Read more and comment at

Hot Tea with Honey vs…….
"Thought I'd ask if anybody else knows of ways to pamper your voice or care for a raspy one other than the old stand-by Hot Tea with honey?..."
- Read more and comment at

Let's Share Good Stuff
"Okay, I've been thinking about all the cool stuff we can pass on to each other via this forum. Things like great movie recommendations, how to get glue out of carpet, cheap nights out with the spouse, great vacation spots, and so on..."
- Read more and comment at

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Update on the New Voice123

Two months ago we reached the alpha milestone of the New Voice123. We are now getting close to reaching the beta milestone. Most of the bugs and corrections we found before the alpha milestone was reached have been fixed, and are now being tested. As a matter of fact, almost half of the new systems and features of the New Voice123 have been already approved for beta. Reaching beta means that the system is ready to be tested by many of you. A couple of weeks after beta, the system will be published for all of you to use.

The New Voice123 is full of nice surprises. Here are some we have never before mentioned:

> The New Voice123 will have an improved sign-in mechanism with improved
password protection.

> The new audition inbox will allow to quickly add individual comments or tags to each audition or proposal you get.

>The New Voice123 will allow you to store your auditions or proposals for an unlimited amount of time.

You may experience the New Voice123 before most people do. Simply apply to become a beta tester for the New Voice123. You can find more info at

Thursday, April 26, 2007


Monday we published the article "Should I hire a union or a non-union talent?" In this article, we used the name of a major voice over celebrity with the objective of explaining to inexperienced voice seekers that there ARE voice over talents that can charge a lot of money because they are highly experienced, very popular, and people like to listen to them.

Some people thought that the phrase was a misrepresentation, though the phrase was written unwisely, we did not publish it with any negative intention. We have since corrected the article. We are sorry about the misunderstanding it may have caused.

I wanted to publicly apologize, in the name of the entire Voice123 team, for the misunderstanding. We try hard to interact with the community as much as we can; we have blogs, forums, newsletters, etc. Having such an open door policy means that our chances of saying stuff that can be taken out of context skyrockets. This is no excuse, though, and we have taken measures to try to avoid similar situations from happening in the future.

I want you to know where Voice123 stands: We are in favor of helping the talents unionize so that industry rates go higher. We support, honor, and respect widely known talents - They are models for many of us, because of their skills, experience, and competence. We want talents to get better paid (if you are interested in knowing what Voice123 is doing to help talents receive a better compensation for their work, please check this article). We are here for the duration with the purpose of helping the voice community.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

What is Voice123 doing to help talents get better pay? What can you do?

Many would argue that supply and demand should drive the rates of the market. Unions help as well, significantly, by making sure rates are fair. So, why should Voice123 get involved? Voice123 started because of a dream Tania Isabel, my wife, and I had. She was a voice over and she wanted to make a better living. As a result, we consider one of our goals to work hard to help all voice over talents receive better pay. We try to achieve that on several fronts:

Finding Voice Seekers. Along with our goal of seeking higher pay on each job, it’s necessary to have a large market to drive up the rates and in turn get more jobs! We work hard at finding more and more voice seekers to use Voice123 so that talents bill more hours per day and at a higher rate than ever before.

Voice Seeker Screening. Every project posted on Voice123 gets approved after a tight screening process. We try to make sure the voice seeker is a legitimate and serious business. Every day we discard dozens of projects that do not meet our basic requirements.

Voice Seeker Education. We split our Customer Service Team so that one group of people focuses specifically on voice seekers. This group has now developed techniques to make sure voice seekers understand how rates work and what a fair price may be. For example: we attempt to call every new voice seeker registered in Voice123 and, if needed, we work at increasing the budget they have for their projects. We have also extended our customer service hours so that we can make direct contact with all new voice seekers.

A New Voice123. We are working on a new version of Voice123 that will improve the experience of both the talent and the voice seeker. Voice seekers will have more information on hand to determine what a proper budget is.

Voice123 SmartCast. The new Voice123 will feature Voice123 SmartCast. It will help drive rates higher by intelligently reducing the amount of auditions each project gets, thus reducing competition, and increasing the rates talents and voice producers can charge.

Project Rating. The new Voice123 will allow talents to rate several areas of a project, including its budget. In the near future, when you rate a project, you will teach Voice123 and the rest of the community how you feel about the budget for each project. We will be able to use that information to teach new voice overs and new voice seekers if their rates are good or not. Those who are now undercharging and driving down rates will hopefully learn to work for the proper amount of pay, and voice seekers will not find it so easy to hire talent for less than the standard rate.

More Information. In some instances, the name of the voice seeker is not displayed when they post a project because, unfortunately, some talents used to take the voice seeker’s name, Google it, and then do direct solicitation. Voice seekers value their privacy, and by allowing them to protect their contact information, they come back to Voice123. The new Voice123 will provide more detailed information about the rating record that each voice seeker has earned within Voice123. Talents and voice producers will get to know details about the voice seeker like when it registered, how many projects he/she has posted, percentage of auditions listened to, etc. Talents and voice producers will be able to use this information to determine how serious a voice seeker may be,and adjust their rates and payment agreements accordingly. This, of course, goes hand in hand with our screening process.

Better Matching. The new Voice123 will be able to track if a talent or voice producer submits proposals with high or low prices when compared to other proposals. Eventually, Voice123 SmartCast will be able to match higher paying jobs with talents that charge higher rates. This will motivate talents to charge more, instead of less.

Special Categories. Some of the low budgets we get are for non-profit organizations, student projects, etc. A few months after the new Voice123 is released, we will create special categories for these projects so that only talents that want to help these voice seekers get matched by Voice123 SmartCast.

Working with the Unions. We are working with unions such as SAG and AFTRA, to help voice over talents take advantage of the many benefits unions offer. We know that the more talents join the unions, the higher the overall rates of the market. We are ALL for that!

A New Rate Guide. We are working on a new rate guide for non-union projects. The rate guide will showcase recommended minimums, and will be determined by surveying all premium talents in Voice123. You, the talent, will decide how much fair pay is.

Voice123 Talkback. Voice123 screens dozens of projects every day. Sometimes we make mistakes, and a few get through that are not what we want on our site soliciting the help of our talents. We are working to alleviate this problem. We would also like to hear your ideas to keep this from happening and to better our service to you. That is why we have created a section in the VoiceOverSavvy.com forums to get feedback from the community.

And Much More! We are also working on some other areas that will help, you, the talents to increase your income. Stay tuned!

What Can You Do?

You can do a lot! It is ultimately in your hands to drive the prices higher:

• Don’t submit auditions to projects that you consider are below budget; that will teach voice seekers they will have to pay more if they want to get good talents or voice producers. If you get invited by Voice123 to participate in a project that is below your desired rate, you can simply disregard the invitation. This will actually help you get more invitations in the near future (when Voice123 SmartCast is released), as the system will know that you are selective when submitting auditions. If, in the other hand, you get invited by a voice seeker directly, and you consider his/her budget to be low, you should reply explaining your rate requirements to the voice seeker. By doing this, you can help teach voice seekers what fair prices are.

• Answer the rate guide survey whenever you get it (we are planning to send it periodically).

• Support the unions and help make them better. You have more power within the unions than you may think. Speak out and make them what you want

• If you find Voice123 made a mistake screening the budget of a project, please let us know in Voice123 Talkback, at the VoiceOverSavvy.com forums.

• Spread the word and teach other talents that their support is needed.

• And finally, please have some patience – We are working very hard to get the
new Voice123 online. Your kind words motivate our development team. Your harsh words hurt them. We are humans trying to do our best, and we’re here to serve your needs.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Correction: Should I Hire A Union or Non-Union Talent?

Two days ago we sent our monthly newsletter including the article
“Should I hire a union or a non-union talent?". Unfortunately, the last paragraph of the article contained a phrase that we failed to write properly and we confused many of you. The phrase is:

“Most post-production work is not regulated by unions. As such, rates of post production work will always depend on the agreement you reach with the voice producer.”

This is what we actually meant:

“Some voice over talents can also do post production work themselves (like adding background music, special effects, etc) so that you save time and money. We call these talents ‘voice producers’. Most of this type of of post-production work is not regulated by unions. As such, rates of post production work will always depend on the agreement you reach with the voice producer.”

Where is the confusion? Some people understood that after the recording is done and you do post-production, unions would not ask you -the voice seeker- to pay additional fees. This is usually called "buyout". That is not what we meant. Unions, in fact, commonly have fee structures where you pay depending on the usage and distribution of the produced audio after the recording has been done.

Please accept our apologies for the misunderstanding.

PS. Many voice seekers like you asked us for an updated rate guide for non-union work after they read this article. During the next few days we will be sending a price survey to our non-union talent database (more than 40,000 talents). In our next newsletter we will publish the updated Non-Union Work Rate Guide.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Should I hire a union or a non-union talent?

The voice market has two distinctive types of providers: Voice talents that are members of the unions (union talents), and voice talents that are not part of the unions (non-union talents).
Non-union talents rates tend to be the most affordable ones. Rates vary a lot as there is no market regulation. It all depends on the agreement you reach with the voice talent or voice producer. When you post a project on Voice123, non-union talents will give you quotes of their rates, along with demos of their work.

Union talents charge union rates. Although the rates depend on the union to which the talent is affiliated (SAG, AFTRA, etc.) they all tend to be similar. Union rates are usually more expensive than non-union rates.

"There are some talents that charge rates well over any union or non-union standard. This is usually the case of celebrity-talents. These well-paid talents are likely to be union talents. People is willing to pay more for them because their voices are widely popular.

Some voice over talents can also do post production work themselves (like adding background music, special effects, etc) so that you save time and money. We call these talents ‘voice producers’. Most of this type of of post-production work is not regulated by unions. As such, rates of post production work will always depend on the agreement you reach with the voice producer. When you post a project on Voice123 for post-production work, voice producers will give you quotes of their rates along, with demos of their work.

Check Out These Great Topics On The Voice Over Savvy Forum

The Voice Over Savvy Forum has been continually growing and has now become one of the largest and most important communities and gathering places for Voice Over talents.

At this time, more than 1,200 topics, as well as more than 15,000 posts can be found in the forum, bringing unsurpassed amounts of information related to all aspects of the industry.

The Voice Over Savvy Forum has been continually growing and has now become one of the largest and most important communities and gathering places for voice over talents and voice producers. At this time, more than 1,200 topics, as well as more than 15,000 posts can be found, bringing information related to all aspects of the industry.

See you there.

What's HOT in the Voice Over Market today?
“Style, Attitude and Feeling is what I most often hear as being the key items that most clients seek in a Voice Over Talent...”
- Read more and comment at

The Reasons For What We Do
"Generally the person doing the hiring will either have a "voice in their head" that they are waiting to hear to hire or are waiting to hear something to trigger the hiring desire..."
- Read more and comment at

DLF on Tonight show
“For anyone who didn't catch this.....it is really funny! The Don doing a brief stint on the tonight show with Haley from American Idol.....”
- Read more and comment at

Monday, April 16, 2007

Check Out These Great Topics On The Voice Over Savvy Forum

The Voice Over Savvy Forum has been constantly growing to be one of the largest and most important communities and gathering places for Voice Over talents. At this time, more than 1,200 topics, as well as more than 15,000 posts can be found in the forum, bringing unsurpassed amounts information related to all aspects of the industry.

The Voice Over Savvy Forum has been constantly growing to be one of the largest and most important communities and gathering places for Voice Over talents and voice producers. At this time more than 1200 topics as well as more than 15000 posts can be found, bringing information related to all aspects of the industry.

See you there.

Music in Your Productions
"Emmy-award winning composer, producer, music supervisor and songwriter, shared with us his experience when creating and adding Music in Your Productions..."
- Read more and comment at

Need a good processor
"They're okay, but I'm not overly thrilled with them. At my home studio...where "I" control what's purchased and installed, I use the dbx286a..."
- Read more and comment at

Mic Backstop
"It's a scrap piece if Auralex that I jabbed a hole through with my Swiss army knife and hung on my boom..."
- Read more and comment at

ProTools Edit problem
"Damned good thing I have a fine lady who can figure this stuff out. (I'm the TALENT fer cryin' out loud!)..."
- Read more and comment at

New arrival!
"Greetings all! I am pleased to announce my new arrival. At 1 lb, 14 oz and 8 inches in length..."
- Read more and comment at

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Las Vegas VOICE 2007 Recap,
by Alex Torrenegra.

VOICE 2007, the first conference dedicated to voice overs, was a huge success. Although this was the first event of its kind, it worked out extremely well. VOICE 2007 provided a venue for talents to learn, network, and have fun. Even Don LaFontaine was there!

The conference was, above all, about learning. Never before have I seen so many reputable voice over coaches in one room. The quality of the presentations was great. Of all the conferences I’ve attended, at Voice 2007 I saw more people engaged in the learning process. The reason? Great topics and great presenters. Topics ranged from the psychology behind reading scripts to building your own web site. Attendees even learned strategies to closing deals with potential clients.

Networking was very important as well at VOICE 2007. Many got to meet people face to face after years of having worked together over the phone. Many others were able to find new colleagues. There were, after all, more than 200 talents in attendance! Talents were also able to talk to key members of organizations like AFTRA and, of course, Voice123. Many tough questions were asked. Oh boy! Tell me about it! Yet, I was very intrigued while listening to rich and complex queries about the industry.

VOICE 2007 was also about having fun. I saw people laughing and smiling more than at any previous conference I’ve attended! Attendees had the chance to be in sessions hosted by voice over royalty, Don LaFontaine (3,000 movie trailers to his credit) and Bob Bergen (voice of Porky Pig and Tweety). The entire conference was full of memorable moments, so many that talents cried as the event came to an end.

Throughout all the sharing, learning, laughter, and tears, there was one bad thing that happened: the cigarette smoke in the casino. Although the conference rooms were smoke free, just crossing the casino to get to them was uncomfortable to many, either because they take great care of their voice, or because –as it is my case- they are used to living in smoke free environments like New York. The next VOICE event will be held in a different state, so this shouldn’t be an issue.

In summary, VOICE 2007 is an event that I would highly recommend to any voice over talent that can afford it. Thank you Frank, James, Penny, and all the other organizers, and thank you to all of the voice over talents that attended the event. You believed in a dream and it became a reality, better than expected. I am already looking forward to attending VOICE 2008!

If you want to learn more about VOICE 2007, here is a great recap written by Debbie Munro:

If you want to get a feeling of how fun it was, read this thread started by Lynne Alston:

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

I Hear Voices
your inside source for the voice industry and the Voice123 community

The Features of the Upcoming New Voice123 Have Been Announced!

In our last newsletter we told you that a New Voice123 is on its way. In this issue, you will learn about all of the new features that are part of it!

Click here to see the introductory video.

Don’t have time to see the video? Here is quick summary of the new features:

• A new online voice casting tool where you can invite your own talents to audition, select from a list of talents who you want to invite, and/ or let invite the best matching talents for your project.
• A new project creation system where you can limit the amount of auditions you get.
• A new messaging system to quickly connect you with the voices you want.
• An enhanced similar voices features
• And much more!

The New Voice123 will be released soon. Stay tuned!

View our online version .