Wednesday, December 24, 2008

"Good Speaking Voice? It may not be enough."

The following is an article contribution to Voice123 by Gary Terzza, a Voice123 Coach from the United Kingdom.

"Has this ever happened to you: You are chatting to someone on the phone or in person and they suddenly comment on your voice; it might be a remark about how deep, husky, or even sexy it is? They may have gone further and suggested you could do radio or TV ads. If this sounds familiar then perhaps a career in voiceovers could be a possibility, but is having a good speaking voice enough? The answer, though, is no. To earn a living, part or full time, using your vocal cords you need something else.

Voice-overs are only partly about the way you sound; they are, also about the way you interpret a script and crucially the way you read someone else's words. The aim of the voice actor is to bring these words to life, no matter how complex, alien or even boring they may be. This is because what the client wants to hear is the idea being transmitted. The vocal talent is in being able to communicate a message clearly and with meaning.

You have to sound like you know what you are talking about, even if you do not. The golden rule of any voiceover is to possess the words; that is to say you have to own them and make them yours. Only then can you truly enrich them with meaning. This has nothing to do with the tonal quality of the voice, but everything to do with the mindset. It is all about the attitude of the reader; does she/he sound convincing? Are they hesitating, or putting in too many pauses? Is there too much drama in a technical piece, or too little energy in a hard sell commercial? Is a corporate video being delivered with frivolity rather than authority, or a charity appeal lacking gravitas? A good director will be able to mould the artist accordingly, but often the talent will be recording at home and have to rely on their own judgement. Learning to trust your own ears is essential.

Also are you able to meet deadlines? The audio track is often the very last element to be considered in a project and the decision about who will perform the piece is sometimes left to the very last minute. That's why agents, production companies and producers want people who can deliver the sound sample on time and within budget. So flexibility helps, as does the ability to record at home for a fast turnaround. Ask yourself if you would take criticism to heart. Many budding voice artists have their egos dented by clients' and agents' comments and this can throw them off course. You need to develop a thick skin. Because voice-overs are subjective, one person's opinion of the way you sound is exactly that, an opinion.

However when you have put lots of effort into a project it can be hurtful to be rejected, but keeping a dispassionate distance can help any bruised pride. Are you prepared to treat your new career as a business? The more professional you are, the more your prospects are likely to take you seriously. Keep tax receipts, issue invoices with payment terms and sell yourself like a true pro. It works wonders. So your natural timbre and pitch are simply not enough on their own to give you a career using your larynx. Always bear in mind there is much more to the mouth industry than meets the ear!"

by Gary Terzza

Voice123 thanks Gary Terzza for his contribution to this blog, as well as, a Voice123 Coach.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

News About Voice123 Training & Forums

This is a quick message to let you know that the next two Thursday's are Christmas and New Year's, and as such we will not be holding the regular Voice123 training as usual. We will use this time to work on a new system to use for training that should be more user friendly.

Also, the Voice123 Premium Forums have picked up activity and I wish to thank all those who contribute, or simply stop by to show their faces. If you wish, please visit some of the current most popular forum threads:

Invoicing: When to do it?

Recourse for Unpaid Talents?

If you have a topic you would like to discuss, please post it here.

OH! One last thing... From 12/22/08 to 1/2/09, the co-owner of Voice123, Tania Isabel, and all management, will be filling in for customer service at various times. Voice123 wants to 'keep the ball rolling' while some take vacations. It is great to have her back with us for this brief period of time.

Our staff wishes you a Happy Holiday season and we are glad to be here for you always as the most reliable voice casting service in the world!

We look forward to working with you all in 2009 and beyond!

Thank you always!

Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
Steven Lowell
Quality Assurance Manager
My Blog

Thursday, December 11, 2008

From Bad Apple to Good Apple

I recently wrote about my issues with a Mac battery that almost exploded. I then wrote about the resolution to the issue. In that last article I gave some unverified tips on how to possibly scale any issue with your Mac to the highest practical level. I asked my readers to let me know if they were successful in using them.

Well, I didn't have to wait for anybody to test them. I had the opportunity of testing them myself. Last Thursday my MacBook Pro died. I did some research online and found the reason. I called Apple and explained the issue to customer service person. He told me that I had to go to an Apple Store or an Apple-certified service provider because they couldn't help me over the phone on this issue.

Following the tips I had written myself, I asked to be transferred to the Customer Relations Department. After a few minutes I was successfully transferred. I explained the issue once again and told the lady (I didn't write her name this time) that I needed my computer fixed quickly. She told me that I could go to the store for an assessment, but also gave another alternative. I could mail in the computer to Apple, and they would take care of the shipping fees. I agreed. The next afternoon (last Friday) DHL arrived with a special box and picked up my computer. Tuesday, at 10 AM, I got my computer back via FedEx. It is working perfectly.

I am happy, now, to report that the tips I gave you seemed to have worked.

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

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Forum Hot Topics & A New Addition to Voice123 (Sort of)!

Hello! This is just a brief email to let you know of the some Hot Topics that are being talked about in the Voice123 Premium Forums:

In other news, there will be a new addition to the Voice123 Team very shortly! Voice123's Operations Manager, Carmen Texeira, whom many of you know already from her time as Customer Relations Manager, will be going on maternity leave to have a new baby boy!

We are all very happy for her at Voice123, and we will equally miss her while she is away! As a part of the Voice123 day to day operations, she will equally miss all of you! If you have time, please read what she has written to all of you.

Thank you always!

Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
Steven Lowell
Quality Assurance Manager
My Blog

Friday, November 28, 2008

Re: Caution! Avoid Exploding Notebook Batteries & Geniuses!

An update on this developing story:

It seems that the store manager of Apple on Fifth Avenue found out about my complaint. He called me and left me a voicemail along with his phone number. I called him back and got an automated answering system. The system told me I had to wait because there were three people ahead of me on the phone. After five minutes of waiting, the phone system once again told me that there were still three people ahead of me. Of course, I didn't wait and hung up.

Yesterday I got another voicemail from Apple. This time the phone call came from California. Following the instructions, I called back Sheila, a member of the Customer Relations Department at Apple (she asked me to withhold her last name). She told me she had read my blog because a Voice123 talent sent her the link (small world!). She explained to me that the objective of her department is customer retention and that they are able to do many "exceptions" in order to keep customers happy. She apologized for the bad experience I had with Apple and asked me if there was anything she could do to make me happy. I answered to her: "Many talents of Voice123 use Mac machines. I don't want them to experience the same I did. Is there a way they can contact you directly if they have an issue with Apple, as I did?". She insisted that most Apple managers should be able to handle issues like the one I had, but went ahead and gave me the information listed on the next paragraph. I went on to tell her two other the issues me and wife Tania had had with our Apple computers on top of my battery issue: First, the battery of Tania's laptop died after her computer had ran out of warranty (her battery didn't explode, it just stopped working suddenly). Second, my MacBook Air MagSafe Power Adaptor broke down in my recent flight to China even though it was only the 2nd time I had used it. Sheila offered to replace my damaged battery, Tania's damaged battery, and the damaged power adapter by sending refurbished replacement and recycling the damaged ones back. I said yes.

So, if you ever have an issue with Apple and you want to escalate it, this may be one of your best and quickest alternatives:

  • Call Apple Customer Service during United States business days and business hours. Their phone number in the US is 800 275 2273.
  • From the phone system menu, select Tech Support.
  • When you reach an actual person, ask him/her to put you in touch with the Apple Customer Relations Department
  • The tech support person, Sheila said, will always ask you for the details of the issue before being transferred. Be patient and describe the issue to the person.
  • You should then be transferred to the Customer Relations Department in charge of customer retention. With some luck you will find yourself to be a happy Apple customer.

I decided to share this with you because many voice over talents at Voice123 have Apple computers and, as such, this info may be handy. If you don't have an Apple computer, your computer manufacturer may have a similar department. A Google search may help you find it. I didn't try these instructions myself. Also, I am not sure how much of a "secret" or "back door" this information may actually be. As for me, I had no idea of the existence of this department before I posted this issue.

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

P.S. If you ever follow these instructions, would you mind letting the rest of the voice community know by posting it in the forums? If they work for at least one of you, I will share them via email with the rest of the Voice123 talent base. Also, if you also have similar tips for other computer manufacturing companies, it would be great if you can share in the forums. Thank you!

P.P.S. I always liked Apple, and would have continued buying their products. Why? Because Mac OS X is very good. It allows me to be more productive than Windows. Having said that, I should clarify that, in my heart, I am not an Apple-guy, nor a PC-guy. I am a geek. I am a Linux guy. Voice123 runs on Linux :)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Come to NYC the Weekend of December 5th!

The Holiday Season is always good fun in New York City. For voice over industry folks, there is even more reasons to come to NYC the weekend of December 5th!

On Friday night December 5th, there will be a Voice Over Mixer from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM. Click here to see more details in the posting provided by Voice123 Talent, Erik Sheppard. The Voice123 gang, Alex, Tania, Juan, and myself will also be there, and we look forward to seeing everyone!

We also heard that on December 6th & 7th, Bob Bergen will be holding a workshop at John Marshall Sound Studios on 9th Avenue at 44th Street. To read about it, check the Voice123 Forum post by Marian Massaro.

We hope to see you December 5th! Be sure to set your Voice123 profiles 'on vacation', too, if you cannot audition during the Holiday Season!

Happy Holidays!

Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
Steven Lowell
Quality Assurance Manager
My Blog

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Caution! Avoid Exploding Notebook Batteries & Geniuses!

I am sure some of you may have already heard stories about this. I have heard them as well and thought that it would never happen to me. Well, it did. Most voice over talents use laptops. Statistically speaking, it will happen to more than one of you. This is story of my MacBook Pro, of how its battery almost exploded, and how it didn't because of pure luck. It is followed by a list of tips on how to avoid this from happening to you (if you only care about the list, jump to the last paragraph).

I recently switched to Apple. I used to be a "PC" guy. I have enjoyed using my new Mac laptop for many months already. Most of the time, I used it at one of my two desks (at home and at the office). I am into ergonomics. As such, I always place my laptop in a metallic base that raises the screen to my eye level (more on this later on). The only complaint I had with my laptop is that, sometimes, it used to get very, very hot. This only happened, though, when I would put the notebook on my lap (I use it while in bed). It would get so hot that I couldn't stand it, even though there were several sheets between the notebook and my lap. I used to solve this issue by placing a pillow underneath it. Also, every now and then, when overheated, the laptop would shut down and I would lose my work. Those issues were not a big deal to me, though. That was until last week...

Last Friday, the trackpad of the notebook suddenly stopped working. It wouldn't click. I didn't care too much as I commonly use a regular mouse. Yesterday, while in a meeting and not at my desk, I noticed that my laptop wouldn't sit stable on the table. I checked the bottom of the laptop and I was very surprised to see the battery had swollen and it was popping out of the notebook... significantly. I shut down the computer. I then tried to remove the battery. I could not do so.

It was so hot that I burned my fingertips. I jumped to another computer and did some research. I found that, in fact, Apple is known for having issues with notebook batteries. I also found out that the trackpad of my notebook wasn't really damaged. What actually happened is that the battery, as it swelled from the heat, pushed its way into the laptop and pushed away other components, causing a malfunction (picture below). There is more. I also discovered that the laptop battery had swollen so much that, by now, it should have exploded or caught fire. This picture shows the faulty battery (foreground) and a battery in good shape (background).

All this time, all these months, I had a faulty battery. It could have caught fire, toasted my laptop, and burned who-knows-what in my home or office along with it. But, why didn't it fail before? After some brainstorming, I figured it out.

It didn't fail thanks to the metallic bases I use to rise the computer. They were actually absorbing the heat, in turn, helping the battery cool off! How? Imagine you have a car that has a faulty radiator, no water in it, and doesn't tell you that it is overheating. You have been able to use it for many months just because you always drive at 100 MPH and the wind is enough to cool the engine. Well, that was my notebook... a fire waiting for its 15 minutes of fame. Anyway, that is the reason why my laptop would work great while on the desks, but it would overheat almost anywhere else.

What comes next surprised me even more.

I wanted a new battery quick and I knew that Apple had issued many battery recalls. Fortunately, I live in the city that never sleeps. I decided to go the 24-hour Apple Store in Fifth Avenue to talk to one of their "Geniuses" (that is the name they use for their tech support team), and get my battery replaced. I went online to book the appointment. To my disgrace, I found out that the only available slots at any given time were for four days later. I decided to go to the store anyway. After all, switching the battery wouldn't take them too much time and it was, obviously, kind of an emergency. I arrived there yesterday, right before midnight... (Before I continue, I must clarify that going to an Apple store in Manhattan is not like going to any other store from any other company. Going to an Apple store in Manhattan is like 'the Studio 54 of Geek Stores', the trendiest club in town where most of the times you have to make a line to get in, and you can only skip the line if "you know someone", and once you are inside the attention you get from their personnel is directly proportional to how cool and hip you look. I just came from seeing the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall...maybe I did not look trendy enough?)

So, I got to the Apple store right before midnight. I showed the battery to the Apple "Concierge". He looked at it with certain level of amazement (it is swollen more than others right before exploding). I asked him if they would replace it. He said "Sure, but you may have to wait around an hour before you can be helped by a 'Genius'". So I waited....and waited. I was later assigned to 'Genius' Sean. I asked Sean why there are so many battery recalls. He explained to me that, for my laptop, the batteries were being recalled because they would overheat and eventually become a fire hazard. I was happy. My research findings were right on the spot - I was now 'Genius' Alex! Sean also checked my computer, typed in some numbers and then said something along these lines of, "Unfortunately, the serial number of your battery shows that it is not one of the batteries that was recalled" (even though my battery was also swollen and, obviously, a fire hazard. "As such, we cannot exchange it for you." He then smiled and said "You can buy a new one for $129 plus tax right away if you want, but keep in mind that Apple doesn't offer any type of warranty on batteries". My jaw dropped. I had never heard a genius speak before and this was beyond any of my expectations. I know I am being sarcastic as I write this, but I am sure you can understand how I felt. I am not a genius and, as such, it is out of my capabilities to understand their complex levels of reasoning. I felt like a five year-old in a quantum physics class. As I didn't want to show how inferior my reasoning was compared to them, I quietly went on to buy the new battery. But wait! It gets worse. As I purchased the new battery I asked them if they would take the old battery and recycle it. The answer, "No. We don't recycle batteries in here."

Okay. I have now made public my frustration. I now feel better and I can give you my tips in how to protect yourself from, potentially, exploding batteries:
  • Never leave your laptop unattended in surfaces that are highly combustible.
  • Configure your laptop so that it goes into sleep mode automatically after a few minutes of inactivity. Theory says that sleep-mode consumes less power. Less power equals less battery heat.
  • When you feel the laptop is getting too hot, plug it into the wall. Most laptops don't use the battery while they are plugged to the wall.
  • If your laptop is getting very, very hot, call the tech support of the manufacturer. Something may be wrong with it or its battery.
  • Regularly check the physical appearance of your battery to make sure it looks okay.
  • Optionally, get a base for your laptop (it may help you ergonomically as well).

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

Disclaimer: Alex Torrenegra is a college drop-out that studied engineering but never graduated. His tips, and burned fingertips, are not 'Genius' -certified tips. Always follow the instructions of your local fire department, manufacturer of your laptop, physician, skincare specialist, and avoid 'Genius' Sean, if possible.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

How Voice Talents Find Work on Voice123!

There are many ways in which one can find work on Voice123.

First, there are your typical SmartCast-'Enabled' projects. You knew about these, didn't you? Did you know that you can find all SmartCast-Enabled projects on the Project Directory?

You can also be directly invited to SmartCast-Enabled projects by the voice seeker, even after they use SmartCast technology to receive auditions. Still, there are some ways you may not be so familiar with:

  • SmartCast-Disabled Projects:
    Some voice seekers use the Voice123 system to directly invite voice over talents, only, using the search talent feature.

  • Direct Invite & Private Messages & Google Search:
    Voice seekers sometimes skip the whole process of creating a project and just go straight for the talent they need! This is a benefit of belonging to Voice123, the most popular voice over casting website. If you offer something unique, make sure your profile shows it, as voice seekers commonly find talent through Voice123 on Google searches.

  • Contracts/Long-lasting Business Relationships:
    Voice123 can honestly say this is where the 'real money' comes from. After working with clients met through Voice123, you will find some want to sign voice talents to contracts to keep doing business in the future. Most of our long-time voice over talents currently benefit from this! Voice123 talents have signed contract with such great companies as ESPN, Disney, History Channel, and even NASA!
Working with Voice123 provides you with incredible exposure, and work opportunities!

We certainly wish you the best of luck and thank you for being a part of Voice123!

Thank you always!

Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
Steven Lowell
Quality Assurance Manager
My Blog

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Faster Audio Players: Audition Inbox Upgrade!

We are excited to announce that Voice123 has upgraded the audio players on your audition/proposal inbox!

Please try it out for yourself to hear auditions from over 50 experienced Voice123 voiceover talents, located world-wide. This new audio player allows for faster demo & page loading, and is easy to use, so you will have time to hear all auditions received in a timely manner!

We quickly mention that the inbox is provided via link using a feature called the 'shared audition/proposal inbox', created in July 2008. We hope you can post a voice casting project on Voice123, and see for yourself!

Thank you always!

Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
Steven Lowell
Quality Assurance Manager
My Blog

Thursday, November 06, 2008

More Voice Jobs Than Ever Before on Voice123!

We are happy to announce that last month over 950 SmartCast projects were posted on Voice123, not including the hundreds of private projects and SmartCast-disabled projects for voice over talents! This is the second straight month in which a record was set! It is good to know that in a troubled economy, Voice123 is still growing as the best place to find voice over work, and voice over talent!

Finally, Voice123 is proud to say that ALL of the entries from the recent political impersonation contest on the Voice123 Forums, were listened to by thousands of voice seekers in Voice123. We have heard quite a positive reaction from them, and we enjoyed being able to showcase your abilities. Jonathan Grey won the full-year subscription for his impersonation of President-Elect Barack Obama.

We hope to do more contests like this through the Voice123 Forums. If you have any ideas regarding how the forums can be used to benefit all members of Voice123 through coaching, contests, or online marketing, please post them! We would love to know what you think!

Thank you so much for being a part of Voice123!

Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
Steven Lowell
Quality Assurance Manager
My Blog

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Updates from Voice123: Happy Halloween!

We hope all is going well! These are just some quick updates from Voice123:

Political Impersonation Contest - Voice seekers and premium subscribers are casting votes this week to give four lucky people a six-month subscription to Voice123, with two winning a possible year on Election Day! Cast your votes here!

Steven's Blog - Apparently, once a week is not enough for me, and I believe there is much to be discussed about Voice123 and the voice over industry. I started a blog of my own to talk about.

Product Development - Currently working on several new developments requested by talent-voice producers, and voice seekers. More info will be made available closer to release date!

Holiday Season approaching Fast - We are also not too far away from the holiday season. Talent-voice producers should be sure to set their profiles 'on vacation', so voice seekers will know who is not available.

Special Forum Category Being Added - There are many charities out there that we all have a special place for in our hearts, so such an addition would be beneficial to those in need.

In the past month, charities like Voice A Thon, or Simon Hill's forum post about a very special charity, Run for One Planet, have shown the world that there are many great individuals on Voice123 who simply care. If you have a special charity or a blog you would like featured there, please add it here! If for some reason, you cannot add it to the forum due to membership status, please send us the info through the customer service email, and we will do it for you.

Voice123 wishes you a safe and Happy Halloween!

Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
Steven Lowell
Quality Assurance Manager

Monday, October 27, 2008

Time to Vote! Well...on the forum for now.

Thank you to everyone for participating in the Voice123 Political Impersonation Contest!

It is now time to vote for your favorite!

Just go to this link here to vote.

The impersonations can be found here.

Thank you so much everyone!

Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
Steven Lowell
Quality Assurance Manager

Monday, October 20, 2008

Political Impersonation Contest Ends This Friday!

This is a quick note to remind all that the Voice123 Political Impersonation Contest will be ending at midnight EST, this Friday night!

Voting on the best impersonation will begin next week! We hope you have the time to submit an impersonation. There are not many Biden or Obama impersonations submitted, so we hope you can contribute before the contest ends this Friday. There will be 4 winners of a guaranteed free six months on their subscriptions, 6-months per candidate/impersonation winner, with a chance to win a full year free subscription on Election Day.

I would like to thank all those who took the time to add to the Voice123 Premium Forums with this contest, and we wish you the best of luck during voting next week.

Thank you always!

Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
Steven Lowell
Quality Assurance Manager

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Helping Children through 'Voice-a-Thon'

Helping the future of the voice over industry starts with our children. Today, we present to you a way you can help students in high-poverty areas with a donation, no matter how small, to the Voice-a-Thon.

The Voice-a-Thon is a joint-effort between Voice123 and Here is how it works:

1. Teachers ask for classroom project materials.
2. Voice123 selects voice and speech-related projects.
3. You choose a project to bring to life.
4. Students learn and thank you with letters and photos.

Click Here to See the Projects and Donate!

Today's public schools often lack the resources for students to receive a proper education. Voice-a-Thon makes it easy for you to make a 'difference', one classroom at a time. You can fund any project that moves you, whether it be microphones or iPods, second graders or sophomores, the Bronx or Nashville.

We hope you find time after auditioning on Voice123 to help our children in need. Of course, your donation is tax-deductible.

"I know of no safe repository of the ultimate power of society but people. And if we think them not enlightened enough, the remedy is not to take the power from them, but to inform them by education." Thomas Jefferson

You can also help by telling your friends about this effort, simply by forwarding this message.

Best regards,

Tania Zapata & Alexander Torrenegra
Founders of Voice123

PS: The Voice-a-Thon is only available to students located in the United States, currently. is working on allowing students from all over the world to ask for your help.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Buying Voice Over Equipment Made Simple!

One of the many questions Voice123 hears from voice over talents is, 'Do you know what the best site is to find equipment for my studio, or how to find training materials?'

So we were happy to help, when a member of Torrenegra Internet Solutions, approached Voice123 for some ideas and opinions on what Voice123 users would like to see. We told Voice123 coaches about it. Now, we are happy to tell you about the release of a new voice over retail website:!

WhereIsTheMic - Voice Over Equipment Store
Gisella Borja, co-founder, has expressed to Voice123 that if you are a coach looking to sell training materials, a voice over talent looking for studio equipment, shopping for pre-amps, or even looking for editing software, this is a great website for you. If you have something you wish to sell, she can arrange the inclusion of your products into the store. The store is already open, feel free to check it out at:

At Voice123, we just hope this site makes it easier to find materials for your voice over career.

Hope you like it!

Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
Steven Lowell
Quality Assurance Manager

WhereIsTheMic - Voice Over Equipment Store
Gisella Borja

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Breaking New Records at Voice123!

Voice123 is proud to announce a pair of new broken records in projects posted!

On September 8th, 2008, Voice123 set a record for posting 58 SmartCast projects in one day!

For the month of September, Voice123 approved over 850 SmartCast projects in just 30 days! In the same month, Voice123 also hosted over 1000 SmartCast disabled projects (private projects)!

That's over 1800 voice over jobs for our premium subscribers, not including direct invites! The staff at Voice123 works very hard to make sure that you find voice over work. We want voice over talents to connect with voice seekers, for new projects and future contracts!

We thank you for using Voice123, now boasting a voice seeker satisfaction survey rate of over 90%, achieved through a combination of both the SmartCast technology, and most importantly, the voice over talents who have chosen to use us. See for yourself why posting a project on Voice123 is the most efficient way of find the best voice over talents in the world!

Thank you Voice123 Community!

Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
Steven Lowell
Quality Assurance Manager

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

'Tis the Season: The Voice123 Political Impersonation Contest!

It is an Election year, of course, so why not have some fun with it? So...

Voice123 is holding a contest to find the best political impersonations, as voted by you, the Voice123 user!

Write your own script, and provide your own political impersonation on the Voice123 Premium Forums! Submit as teams! Submit by yourself! You decide!

All submissions have to be 60 seconds or less!
Voice over talents will be able to post in a special forum category to showcase this contest.

There will be 4 winners of a guaranteed free six months on their subscriptions, 6-months per candidate/impersonation winner, with a chance to win a full year free subscription!

  • Barack Obama
  • John McCain
  • Joe Biden
  • Sarah Palin
The special forum will be locked on October 25th. You can post your impersonation here until that date! We will send you the info on how to vote the week of October 27th to November 2nd!

The winners of the one-year subscription will be announced on November 4th... Election Day!

However, it won't stop there... On Election Day, the winners of the impersonation contest, that have impersonated the newly elected President and Vice President of the United States, will both be awarded another 6-months on their subscription! All contestants will receive free web exposure through the Voice123 Blog and Forum!

Voice123 hopes you will have fun with this contest, and we look forward to hearing from our next Presidents and Vice Presidents of the United States of America! :P

Thank you always!

Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
Steven Lowell
Quality Assurance Manager

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Future of the Voice Over Industry, by Me

Alexander TorrenegraVoice123 just turned five years old and Juan asked me to write about it. Several times before I have written about the history of Voice123. This time, however, I boldly write about the future of the voice over industry as a whole.

Being the president of Voice123 has allowed me to have thousands of conversations with talents, producers, voice seekers, clients, agents, voice over coaches, and union leaders. Each conversation has helped me shape an idea of what I think the future of the voice over industry will be. Some of you will agree with my predictions, some of you won't. Whatever your position may be, please keep in mind that my predictions do not represent my desires. My logic may or may not predict what my heart would like to experience.

Media Fragmentation Will Demand More and More Voice Over Professionals

50 years ago most people in the United States had limited choices to get their information: four nationwide TV networks, a dozen radio stations, and a couple of newspapers in their town. Today, the number of options is almost unlimited for any given person: hundreds of cable networks, millions of online videos, hundreds of radio stations (AM, FM, satellite, HD, Internet), millions of podcasts, and millions of online newspapers and blogs. Each one of those communication channels wants to be unique and have its own content. Many of them require voice overs. This trend is happening all over the world. As the fragmentation continues, more and more voice overs will be required to fulfill those needs.

Home Studios Will Be the Norm

The price of the technology and the equipment required to have a professional-grade recording studio keeps going down. Time, our most important commodity, will be the most important factor when voice overs determine their rates. By recording from their own home, at any time of the day, wearing any clothes they want (if any), voice-over talents will be able to offer more for less. As such, home studios will become the norm for most projects (not all projects, though).

Technology-Savvy Talents Will Prevail

Voice over talents that are tech-savvy will be able to set up better home studios. They will also be better audio engineers, better with editing recordings, better at using online tools as Voice123, etc. In short, they will be able to deliver a better product. Voice over talents that do not know how to properly record and deliver using these new methods are on their way to being extinct relatively soon, and are already facing skilled competition as you read this.

More Jobs at Lower Prices

Voice over talents with home studios will be able to do more recordings per day than talents that have to rely on rented out studios. Less commuting means more productivity, and quicker turn-around time. More productivity means lower prices for the buyers (the voice seekers), but a more steady income for the sellers (the voice over talents). You can think of it as the industrial revolution of the voice over market. From being in an artisan profession, the independent voice over professional will move on to become a service-oriented profession where booking 100% of the working-day time to do jobs will be the objective, and almost a requirement.

Business Skills Will Become More Important than Voice Skills

Having a good voice will always continue to be important, but in a few years a voice over professional will only succeed if they have basic skills in marketing, sales, billing, accounting, most important of all, in how to make their clients fall in love with their service. Given that 'time' is the most important commodity nowadays, voice over talents that help voice seekers save time will be the most successful.

Less Millionaires and a Market of Industrious Professionals

It will be easier to win the lottery than to become a national celebrity doing voice overs. Media fragmentation makes it very difficult for anybody to become a widely-known celebrity. However, on the other hand, media fragmentation has sky-rocketed the demand for voice over professionals. In the past, few voice overs could be full-time professionals. Those that were full-time professionals were making the big bucks. In the future less people will become rich doing voice overs, but many, many more people will be able to have a decent and above-standard style of living by being full-time voice over professionals.

Hourly Rates will Replace "National", "Regional", and "Local" Rates

When the media was not fragmented as it was in the past, it was easy to determine if the recording that a talent was performing was going to be broadcast in a national, regional, or local market. Nowadays, few recordings are meant to be distributed in a specific geographical area. Many recordings are not even broadcast. They are electronically reproduced on-demand. During the next few years, and as the media focuses on delivery-customized experiences to the consumers, almost all voice over talents will be charging for the time it took them to do and deliver the recording, regardless of who will listen to it. This, of course, means that royalties will probably become a thing of the past for almost all voice over projects.

Union Jobs Will Be Less Common

Years ago both screen actors and voice over talents were cast and hired the same way: They had to go somewhere to be cast. If hired, they then had to go somewhere to perform their work. The voice over hiring process of today is very different. Even if screen actors can cast online, we are far, far way from the day when they can record their scenes with their own video-cameras and deliver them online to the producer of the TV show.

Voice over professionals and screen actors rarely have the ability to share focus on both areas, today. Having the existing unions represent voice over talents is as useful as having cab-driver unions represent auto-industry workers. True, they both have to deal with cars and they both want to switch to hybrids as quickly as they can, but their work is performed in significantly different ways. New buyers of voice over services have figured out, how in most cases, dealing contracts under existing unions to hire voice overs professionals doesn't make logistical sense. It won't be long before almost all of the current signatories realize that as well.

Will existing unions adapt to the changes on the voice over industry brought forth by technology? I wish they would, but based on my conversations with them, they know little about the reality of the common, non-celebrity, voice over professional. It will be easier for a new voice over guild to grow than for the existing unions to adapt. On top of that, the relation between voice over professionals and their clients is moving away from being an employee-to-business relation and is becoming more of a business-to-business relation. As a consequence, I think that non-union jobs will dominate most of the voice over market for many years to come.

Voice Over Talents Won't Be Replaced by Automated Text-to-Speech Software

No, at least, during several decades to come. Although advances in this area have been impressive, has a long way to go before voice seekers may consider it a viable alternative. First, current technology still lacks many features that would allow a voice seeker to properly "direct" the computer. Second, if those "direction" tools are ever developed, they will be complex to manipulate. Being a voice over professional is, among many other things, being creative. When a graphic designer is hired to create, the buyer usually wants the designer to add his/her creative touch to it. The same applies to voice seeker. They want a creative person behind the mic delivering something unique. As with graphic designers, technology will continue helping the voice over professionals, rather than diminish them.

I know these are bold predictions and I know that statistically speaking, I may be wrong. Time will tell. What are your predictions? Do your predictions match mine or are widely different? Let us know! Post your comments below!

Happy 5th Birthday Voice123!!!

Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
Alexander Torrenegra
President and Co-founder

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Headshot or Not?

Voice123 knows that many talented professionals in the voiceover industry are also models, actors, sound engineers, etc. A question Voice123 receives quite often is, also mentioned on the Voice123 Premium Forums is, 'Should I upload a headshot or not?'. The answer to this question can only be determined by what you choose to do as a business preference.

Below are just a few reasons for talents uploading headshots (or not), and as everyone is their own business on Voice123, read below, and see if it is the right choice for you:

Uploading headshots:
  • To give the viewer of your page an indication of what voice to expect (e.g. Cathy Faulkner), almost to set the mood for what they are about to hear, or indicate types of work they would like to do.
  • To show that you do work in other areas of the entertainment industry (e.g. Lori Taylor).
  • To remove the anonymous stigma (e.g. Donna Cuddemi) of the online world by showing your face.
  • To display graphic art (e.g. Steven Lowell) that you, or someone you know, has created for your profile.
  • To display artwork or a website (e.g. John Driscoll), descriptive of the type of voice you market.
No headshot? (actual statements made regarding this topic)
  • 'It is a faceless industry. Let my voice paint the picture of my work.'
  • 'If they knew what I looked like, they would not expect that voice to come out of my mouth'.
  • 'I prefer privacy, being that the Internet is public domain'.
We have mentioned only eight reasons, and all of them come from feedback in which Voice123 was told 'what works best for them.'

From the reasoning above, we hope you can think about what may work best for you!

Thank you always!

Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
Steven Lowell
Quality Assurance Manager

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

No Better World Than Don's... From the Heart

Sadly, this morning I came into work, after the last weekend of the summer to find out very sad news that Don LaFontaine had passed away over the weekend.

I must admit...I am somewhat shocked. Last week, on Voice123 Premium Forums, Bobbin Beam was kind enough to post a letter from Don LaFontaine. In this letter, I saw strength and determination to get passed his difficult illness. We at Voice123 are extremely saddened by this loss of an icon to the voice over industry.

To me, Don LaFontaine stood as the first person to really bring the voice over industry into the limelight, and no longer make it a 'faceless industry'. I still remember commercials I had seen him in while taking classes and matter what type of voice I listened to in my voice over class, be it male or female, every student listened to his work and thought, 'I wish I could sound like him.'

In fact, Don LaFontaine taught me the most important lesson about being in this industry in that you have to believe in yourself and be loyal to those you work with. Although he mentions it in the letter, years ago while being interviewed on NBC nightly news, a reporter asked him,
'How can every movie be the blockbuster hit of the summer? Is that possible?'.

Don simply replied, never shaking or doubting, and almost looking as if a friend's integrity had been questioned,

My teacher showing us the interview, paused the tape, looked at all of us and said,
'That it is a very, very smart man.'

We at Voice123 thank Don LaFontaine and will miss his legacy. He gave of himself to an industry, and in the act of opening up about his career to the public made so many people better whether he knew them or not, and changed the face of, or in this case, put a face on an industry.

As a tribute to him, out of admiration and appreciation for all the things he did and how much he contributed with his example to the voice over industry, Voice123 invites those of you who share this feeling today, to record a message expressing your thoughts about him, may our voices reach him and show him how thankful we are. Your message will be published in a tribute web page to Don LaFontaine.

If you would like to participate in our tribute to Don, please click here. (If asked, use the following verification code: 387207).

Our hearts and thoughts of the team at Voice123 go out to the friends and family of Don LaFontaine.

We wish you all the very best,

Steven Lowell
The Voice123 Team

Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

New Voice123 Feature! Activity Information!

Voice123 has released a new feature that will assist voice-seekers when posting voice-over jobs... Talent Activity Information!

This feature was created to let voice seekers know when the last time a Voice123 talent was active before sending a direct invite, eliminating wasted time in waiting for answers and responses.

This was done for the following reasons:
  • Putting an end to bad experiences of you directly inviting talents, only to have the request go unanswered, not knowing if the talent was either on vacation, unavailable, or ignoring the request.
  • Increase comprehensive business communication through the Voice123 interface, to give you a faster and easier experience.
Here are some questions Voice123 has received regarding this feature...

Where is this info displayed?
Right at the top of the Voice123 profile! ex: Caryn Clark

You will see the following information:

How accurate is this information?
  • Very accurate! The info displayed represents the last time the voice over talent was logged on and actively using his/her Voice123 profile and audition inbox. If you directly invite them, they will see it.
  • In addition, talents also have a 'Going on Vacation' feature, which is indicated on their profiles, two reasons to trust that the information you are seeing is accurate, and that a person will be easier to contact!

Voice123 hopes this feature assists you in the future, especially when a project is time-sensitive, where you find you need to look for voice-over talents and to directly invite talents using our voice talent search feature!

We hope this helps you with your next project!

Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
Juan Salcedo
General Manager

Sunday, August 24, 2008

'The Olympic Voiceover Connection' by Bettye Zoller

How do you compare a voiceover performer to an Olympic athlete?
That’s easy.

What can voiceover performers, beginners to advanced, learn from Olympic (or any good, for that matter,) athletes?
We both win gold medals. Yes, it’s true. Athletes win medals and rings and trophies. They can be honored in a Hall of Fame. We voiceover talents win respect from our peers and agents and producers and earn good money . And we can win awards too (I am so proud of my ADDY, CLIO, Golden Radio, Audie Awards in my thirty-four years ‘before the mic.’).

Do you have what it takes to win? Do you believe in yourself enough to jump into the pool at the Olympics or walk the balance beam or win a foot race?
Guess what! We voice talents walk the balance beam in life every single day! Every day is a new game.

Do you have producers or advertising agencies who use you time and again because they admire your professionalism and ability? Where did those qualities come from?
I’ll bet you EARNED THEM! Watching TV last night, writing this brief essay for Voice 123 suddenly occurred to me. I heard athletes talking . They said things such as:

“I will never give up.”
“Yes I can do it and I will.”
“I won’t accept second place.”
“This is hard but I get up every morning to practice at 4 a.m. before school.”
"I have been dedicated to being a success at this since I was six years old.”
"I love what I do and it means everything to me.”

The great broadcaster Ron Chapman (KVIL DALLAS, now retired, and a giant in his field) once told me, “sometimes people say, ‘I am thinking about becoming a radio broadcaster or a voiceover talent.’ And I always say, ‘if you’re just THINKING about it, give it up. You have to be dedicated, you have to want it with a burning passion. You have to starve and want food and turn down jobs to be an intern at a radio station and learn your skills. You have to find the money for workshops and voice demos. You have to work part time on a day job so that you have time to audition for voice jobs. You have to be a great voiceover talent and a pro. That takes time.” Michael Phelps, the amazing gold medal swimmer at the 2008 Olympics, said, “when so many people say that it’s‘not possible, it just makes me want to do it more. I never give up. I’m dedicated to success.”

Are you dedicated?
Or do you, like so many students I’ve taught through the years, say, “Oh do you think I really can do this? I’m so unsure about this.” I always reply, “Well, if you have that much self-doubt, maybe you shouldn’t be doing this. All performers and achievers must have self-confidence and dedication. Find yours.” Others say, “I just don’t know if I should spend money on this CD voiceover demo or not. I know I should spend more money and time on my voiceover career but I just am so doubtful it will ever pay me back.” This is extreme self-doubt. This is extreme insecurity and makes me wonder if this person SHOULD do the demo or the workshop. Over the past week watching the Olympics, we’ve seen performer athletes overcome obstacles, illness, doubt, shyness, and they have achieved historical victory.

Can you achieve victory in voiceovers?
Any career takes persistence and self-confidence. It takes growing and developing and always achieving more than you thought you could. Voiceovers are no exception. Being a voice talent takes courage when the cash flow is meager and you could leave the field altogether and concentrate on a day job.

But you don’t leave the field because you love doing it, yes?
Why do voice talents wear themselves out doubting if they are any good at all? Why do they often keep asking people (qualified or not) if their demo “is good or not?” Do the people they ask know ‘good’ or ‘bad’? Are they professionals in the field? And what does it matter in the final analysis if someone ‘likes’ your demo or not unless they can hire you? The purpose of a demo is to win jobs, not to ‘please people as entertainment.’ Your insecurity in your own talent is showing. Did Mark Spitz ask people if he could swim? Did Michael Phelps wonder if he should compete in the Olympics?

While they studied and trained with experts (and so should you!) they were self-confident, and surrounded themselves with people who were enthusiastic about their prowess. Beginner to advanced voice talent, keep up your education. The Olympic athletes would not have kept progressing had they not continued to grow and practice and study and improve and to believe they could improve! When I first entertained thoughts of entering the voiceover field (and studio singing field), some told me it was not a good idea and that I should keep up my successful career as a singer and actor in live venues (I was a headliner including opening act for Tony Bennett and vocalist with the jazz great Lionel Hampton). I had been on the road for over eight years at that time and I wanted so to get off the road, settle down, have a family. The recording studios offered me a chance to get off that road! I did not listen to the naysayers. I persevered. Soon, I went ‘on staff’ at three recording studios as a jingle singer and later, became a voiceover talent too.

It took almost two years to make the transition and make a really great living wage in the recording studios. I had union benefit s too…health coverage, dental, drug coverage, building a retirement pension fund. I had been making a very good salary as a live performer. I also taught college courses. I was doing fine before the “studio bug” bit me. But this was better. I saw the future. Some with whom I worked at the start of my career in the recording studios had been active for many years when I was a newcomer. They already were wealthy. They owned a house. They drove a nice car. On the sessions, they discussed their vacation homes, their stocks and bonds, their real estate investments. Their children were in private schools.

I was renting. My four month old baby son was without a father. I had to succeed. I had no choice. The recording studios made my life what it is today and I am grateful. Some studio professionals viewed me as extreme competition and did not welcome my presence. It was difficult finding friends in my new home town, Dallas. The competition was vicious. I was lonely and felt as an outsider. It took several years for people to realize (I guess) that I wasn’t going to go away and that I was, in fact, a girl with talent whom they could accept into their professional circle.

Are you dedicated to becoming a voice pro or are you a novice who is simply ‘playing around’ with voiceovers?
Dedication...That’s the most important word. Stick with it. Be positive and assured in your talent. Keep growing. Respect your competition and admire your competitors as you try to achieve greatness. Get rid of self-doubt. It only hurts you.

by Bettye Zoller

Voice123 thanks Bettye Zoller for her contribution to this blog, as well as, a Voice123 Coach.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Hot Topics! Voice123 Premium Forums!


This is just a quick email to alert you to hot topics that are being left on the new Voice123 Premium Forums!

The discussions this past week have even included posts by experienced voice talents and even a voice seeker in an interesting topic on opinions of how to set up being paid once a job is booked!

"I'm interested in saving time. Time, time, time is my biggest factor when working with Voice 123." - Voice123 Voice Seeker

Come see the hottest topic of the past week, or if you have any suggestions on things you would like to see on the new Voice123 Premium Forums, post a thread and tell me about it!

The Voice123 Premium Forums are specifically used so premium subscribers of Voice123, and Voice123 voice seekers, can post their thoughts, questions, and also find coaching and advice on demos and auditions!

By popular demand, we also added a new category: The Copy Writing and Reading Clinic.

Write and/or read copy, and then discuss with others! Try it out! See what others have to say!

Hope to see you there!

Thank you always!

Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
Steven Lowell
Quality Assurance Manager

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Leaving Town? Try Voice123 'Away' Status!

If you are leaving town today, Voice123 is happy to introduce the new Voice123 'Away' status for your profiles, perfect for those who fear they may be contacted while on business or vacation, and cannot get back to the voice seeker or direct invitation in time. Setting your status is quick and easy. Simply go to your My Home section of your account, and click on the link 'Going on Vacation?'. From there, you will be able to type in how long you will be away, and your profile will appear as 'Away' status during that time.

We certainly hope that many of you have the opportunity to try this new feature before leaving town for your next business trip or vacation!

Have any questions you would like to ask Voice123 talents and staff, or maybe thoughts on the best way to use this? Try asking a coach or peer in Coach's Corner by posting in our new Voice123 Premium Forums! (e.g. Check this topic: Speech and voice-over).

Thank you for using Voice123!

Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
Juan Salcedo
General Manager
12 Desbrosses St. New York, NY 10013

Monday, August 11, 2008

"Making Money With VoiceOvers" Conference in Dallas, Sept.6th & 7th

There may never be a better student/teacher ratio at a voice-over conference than this:

More than a dozen top voice-over teachers and celebrities will train and network with just 20 fortunate voice actors at the Making Money With Voiceovers conference, slated for the weekend of Sept. 6-7 in Dallas.
"You will hear top professionals, mix and mingle with people who have attained careers in the voice-over business, and learn so much in a small group setting," says conference producer Bettye Zoller - the national voice-over talent and coach.
She is owner of the educational firm and VoicesVoices recording studio in Dallas.
Attendees will "learn from real-world professionals in the voice-over business what the business is really like, and how they can find success faster and sustain it over a career," adds Zoller.
Held annually, the conference is also a fundraiser for Reading Radio Resource of Dallas, a non-profit organization that creates audio products and radio shows for sight- and learning-impaired people. Also featuring breakfast buffets and catered lunches on both Saturday and Sunday - plus a Saturday night mixer - the event will be held at the Reading Radio Resource Building near downtown Dallas. Hours are: Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information, please visit

Thank you!

The Voice123 Team

Thursday, August 07, 2008

New Voice123 Resource Center!

One of the most recent updates to Voice123 has included a new Resource Center, easier to navigate, including the opportunity to make suggestions on new articles while rating...I mean ranking...wait I mean rating just how helpful the article is.

The most popular article in the Resource Center was actually written by a Voice123 talent, Caryn Clark, titled 'So You Want to be Paid Huh?'.

There are also plenty of articles, webinars, and information that can give one a step in the right direction. If you do not see what you want or would like to add something yourself, make a suggestion and we will find a way to add it for you!

Also, another tool to learn about Voice123, the voice over industry and contribute to the community is to participate in the new Voice123 Forums.

This week's current hot topic is How Do Voice Seekers Rank Audition Proposals?
"I noticed that I received a couple of "Likely hiring" ratings, but never got hired. Is there an explanation? Or could it have just been down to me and someone else...and I just missed being chosen?" - J.C. Haze

This week's hottest category... DEMO ADVICE
"If you find that you are doing the same kind of project (pace, approach, scripts) over and over again, it will be hard to find enough variety to really make your demo stand out." - Connie Terwilliger

We hope you will take advantage of these great tools:

Thank you always!

Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
Steven Lowell
Quality Assurance Manager

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Get That Voice123 Talent You Need

Posting a job on Voice123 is now smoother and easier than ever before! However, knowing how to use Voice123 to request your talent can make all the difference between getting what you want, or getting auditions that do not fit what you need! Voice123 hopes this little information guide will give you some ideas on what to type, to get what you want!

First, the most important step:
Always focus what you type in the form, on what you want (NOT what you DO NOT want). Putting in phrases stating what you do not want may lead to voice-over talent matching your request to record the opposite of what you need.

Second, the more details the better:
Talents, by trade, are creative professionals who follow what you ask them to do. They will do what you ask, if you put the details in there. The talent profiles on Voice123 are very detailed, and even includes additional business services that they offer as talent-voice producers. They will perform what you ask them to read, but if there is little description, words spelled incorrectly, or if proper pronunciations are left out, you may leave them scratching their heads. Using words to describe the read you want will help talents give you a creative effective audition, with proper pronunciations for difficult or uncommon words. All of this cuts down on time, and re-reads.

Try using words like real, smooth, friendly, conversational etc. Tell talents anything that comes to mind that inspired the script. Example:

"The read needs to sound like a friendly guy who has just won a new car. It has to be real, like he is from New York City."

In that small phrase, I used several words like New York City, friendly, real, and also set up the situation at hand! Asking for sound-a-likes is helpful, but it may get you many reads that sound like someone else, and therefore, it may be an impersonation of how someone reads & the emotion is lost. Even in simple things like 'IVR phone messages', you may want to set the mood for the people who call your office, so let them know what your office is like. Example:

"I need a phone message for my company. Our office sells life insurance, so the read should reflect an office with calm and caring people."

Third, always be upfront about fees and requirements:
From experience, Voice123 has seen more productive results when someone posts a job and lets talents know how much they will be paid ahead of time, what they must do when hired, or when production will begin. If you do not know, give as much info as possible as to your situation. We know that sometimes things change, but the most professional talents are more inclined to audition & be more flexible when more budget and requirement details provided. Being upfront about where the project is at in terms of budget and production leaves a talent confident in doing business with you.

Above all, Voice123 has trained industry professionals on Live Chat for you, as well as, in their administrative staff, and a customer service phone and email support. If you are ever curious or need help in creating a project, or do not know what to ask for, we can help!

Voice123 has made great strides in the past two years to make sure that posting a project is easier and gets great results! If you are ready for the quickest, most effective voice casting experience, post a free project and experience it for yourself!

Hope to see you soon,

Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
Steven Lowell
Quality Assurance Manager

Monday, July 28, 2008

Hot Topics! Voice123 Premium Forums!

Since the new Voice123 Premium Forums started just over a week ago, over 400 articles have been posted!

The hottest topics, so far in GENERAL CHIT CHAT!
There are great, helpful discussions currently in COACHES CORNER, too!
A word about medical narration and hospital recording
"...if you like training and medical narration jobs and you've done them before and producers seem to like your work, then go for it." - Bettye Zoller

We also have a new TESTIMONIALS category for Voice123 talents!

Sandy Kelley!
"...Sandy Kelley was quick with her audition and very open to tweaking her spot. She was exactly what I was looking and I will definitely consider hiring Sandy again. She is a real pro." - Darlene L., Voice123 voice seeker

Voice123 appreciates the positive response to the new Voice123 Premium Forums! We certainly hope you will take full advantage of it to meet new people and get efficient answers to all your career questions with categories like DEMO ADVICE or BEGINNERS WELCOME!

Thank you always!

Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
Steven Lowell
Quality Assurance Manager

Monday, July 21, 2008

Conversation with Ed Gambill, Chair of SaVoa

Last week, GM Juan Salcedo and I had the chance of having a conversation with Ed Gambill, chair of SaVoa. It was the first time Ed and I had spoken directly. We learned, as expected, we both have the goal of improving the voice over industry.

What are the results of the meeting?

  • We now have a direct communication channel with Ed and the board of directors of SaVoa. We will continue having conversations with SaVoa to discuss ideas and plans in how to help the voice over community.

  • Voice123 is keeping our plans of featuring SaVoa in the upcoming search feature known as Voice123 SmartSearch, while keeping all the existing Voice123 features that promote SaVoa.

Being a leader in the online voice over industry, we think it is our responsibility to promote healthy online environments with keen awareness of web content that creates negativity for the online industry. Ed agrees with this goal. As such, Voice123 team members and members of the SaVoa board will discuss any potential disagreement in private communication channels, and not in public media outlets.

By doing this, the industry at large demonstrates awareness of potentially harmful web content to Voice123 & SaVoa members, with the ability to negotiate and execute agreements without resorting to negative and unhealthy tactics.

Voice123 and SaVoa are in this together. As the co-founder of Voice123 and certain staff are made up of voice over talent, we respect the efforts of SaVoa.

Ed also made an audio post with his thoughts, which you can listen to at

We at Voice123 look forward to achieving all the objectives agreed upon.

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

Thursday, July 17, 2008

New Ranking System on Voice123

If you have not noticed already, the 'rating system' is no longer being used. The rating system stood as a symbol of what can happen when good intention is lost behind the words one chooses to express it. Voice123 understands that many talents were not rated in the past for the fears that feelings would be hurt or jobs would be lost. The Internet can be short of helpful feedback these days, and as hard as the rating system tried, it was inefficient in accomplishing its goal of letting talents know where they stood versus the competition.

There was nothing to do, but start over.

On the morning of July 11th, 2008, the new Ranking System was implemented, a system in which the feedback from the client on who should be considered for the job will appear in the talents Audition Outbox. Instead of giving stars, you can let the talent know if the talent will:
  • Likely Hiring
  • Considering
  • Maybe
  • Not likely
  • Won't be considered at all
This process also helps you sort the auditions easily for your client based on who you think should be hired. Talents will benefit from your feedback as they will see how they stood against the competition. You will benefit by having an easier way to sort your auditions, based on who you will hire.

We feel this new system is more comprehensive for everyone, and hope it encourages you to leave feedback. We understand why leaving a 'rating' in the past did not seem appealing.

We do hope you enjoy this new feature, and can use it for your benefit in the future!

If you have a new voice project in mind, just post it here to start taking advantage of this new feature:

Thank you for using Voice123!

Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
Juan Salcedo
General Manager

Coaches Corner! Voice123 Forums

You may have heard that Voice123 has opened a new forum geared towards the improvement of the voice over industry, the talents, seekers, and of course, our Voice123 coaches!

The new terms/conditions/goals of the forums are listed here, and we hope you will take a look:

Given that these forums are brand new, now would be a great opportunity to contribute and see exactly what Voice123 is doing. We hope in the future to invite voice seekers to contribute, and make The Voice123 Premium Forums the most effective internet tool for finding a coach, and for coaches, to assist beginners, or talents just looking to brush up on their skills!

These forums will be moderated to protect your business, and make sure that you can offer the finest coaching, services, and advice in a positive environment geared towards helping people work.

Voice123 appreciates all that you do, and hopes you will take full advantage of this new positive atmosphere for growing a voice over career, whether you are a talent-voice producer, voice seeker, and voice over coaches.

To check current discussions, go to: Coaches Corner!

Don't forget to bookmark it to your favorites!

There are many out there just waiting to hear from you!

Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
Juan Salcedo
General Manager

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The New Voice123 Premium Forums!

Voice123 is excited to introduce the new Voice123 Premium Forums!

The mission of the new Voice123 Premium Forums is to provide an effective business and networking tool for all of you, the Voice123 Community. You will find discussions on using Voice123, coaches, ways to improve your chances of working, and other tools through positive discussions about the voice over industry. You can also take part in new ways to improve Voice123.

In the past year, Voice123 has undergone many significant changes to promote a more professional atmosphere for the voice over industry. Although one of Voice123's goals was to strengthen the community of talents, voice seekers, coaches, and careers in the online industry, we felt as if a disconnect with the community had to be addressed. Many of us simply missed having the daily chance to have constructive discussions with you.

The new forums will be about promoting the voice over industry at large, as well as, solutions to help you deal with the harder times. We will also look to invite voice seekers to this forum, and share their discussions and testimonials on what works best.

Above all, this is a forum that Voice123 will use to benefit you, and promote the growth of talents, coaches, voice seekers, and new Premium Subscribers.

The Voice123 team looks forward to talking to all of you again soon!

To start a new discussion or to read and participate in current discussions, just go to

Note: All customer service issues must be reported through Voice123's regular Customer Service channels, and will not be addressed through these new forums.

Thank you!

Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
Juan Salcedo
General Manager

Friday, July 11, 2008

Quick Update: Character Category News!

Hello again!

The Character Category has returned! It is very important to update the Character category on your profile to be matched to projects for that purpose!

Here's what to do:
  • Go into Voice Details in My Profile.
  • In the accents field, a change has been made. You will now see:
    "Please list the accents, dialects, impersonations or characterizations you can perform*"
  • Fill that section out as you see fit for yourself!
  • Click "Save" at the bottom of the page when complete.
  • Go into My Demos.
  • Click on "Upload Demo" at the bottom of the page, and/or edit those demos you already have for character voices.
  • Fill out the form to describe your demo, and you will see a new field:
    "Did you feature accent, impersonation or character on this demo?*"
  • Select the box that fits the demo, and a text line should open up:
    "Which one(s)?"
  • Fill out that section according to the demo you have uploaded.
  • Click "Upload Demo" or "Save" at the bottom of the page.
  • When complete, save the order of your demos!
Just a note that the cache for Voice123 updates every 24 hours, so changes to your profile are not immediate in the Talent Directory and Search Feature.

Thank you to the Characters of Voice123 for your patience with us while we completed this update!

Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
Steven Lowell
Quality Assurance Manager

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Busy Days at Voice123!

The following is a report to let you know what we have been up to at Voice123 this summer! Voice123 is hard at work trying to bring you the most comprehensive voice over casting service!

Recently Released Updates:

  • Voice Seeker project form update: Updated to assist in giving the talent-voice producer community at Voice123 every bit of information needed to record an effective audition, Voice123 is looking to eliminate the 'What do I do?' feeling for both talents and voice seekers with text additions and new parameters to the project form.

  • Voice Seeker shared inbox: Voice123 released voice seeker inbox sharing, which allows voice seekers to send an automated link of their audition inbox to clients, instead of the time-consuming process of downloading each link and emailing it. We hope this will give voice seekers more time to review every audition, and most importantly, the easier our user interface... the more jobs they post on Voice123 for talent-voice producers!

  • Server database update: Voice123 updated its database to allow for a faster and more reliable Voice123!

  • The 'Character' category is back! The 'Character' category had to be adjusted after the Version 2.5 release in March, for talent-voice producers with a character demo.
    If you have a character demo, please update the My Demos section of your profile accordingly.

Coming Soon...
More demo tagging updates! To date, we have had over 12,000 demos tagged! If you have not done so already, we encourage you to take part in this unique experiment, remember you can tag demos right after you submit an audition.

Last, but not least, the rating system is being overhauled. It will not even be called that anymore. The original intent of it was to show how close one talent came to booking a job, but somewhere in between here and the 'stars', the true intention of it was lost in translation. The new version will be geared towards the original request of letting you know how you compared with talents who auditioned along side you, and will assist you more in knowing how close you came to getting hired. Voice123 believes voice seekers will use this new option more than what was set up before.

We are not stopping there. Voice123 has a busy summer ahead! We have much more to come in the future, and much more to do to keep this the most effective casting tool for voice overs!

Thank you for using Voice123!

Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
Omar Duque
Product Development Manager

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Casting Voice-overs? You Can Now Share Your Voice123 Audition Inbox

Voice123 brings you the ability to share your audition inbox! If you have posted a job for a client in the past on Voice123, or for your own projects, you may have dealt with the following:
  • Time-consuming link downloading of each audition you are interested in sharing with your clients/colleagues.
  • Occasional speed-bumps from Flash Player or link downloading.
  • Emailing each demo separately to the client.
Welcome to Voice123 Inbox Sharing!

  • A new way to share your FULL or PARTIAL Audition Inbox with a clients/colleague/co-workers all at once, by sending an automated link!
  • This saves you time, effort, and gives you more flexibility to evaluate each audition effectively.
  • This also gives everyone the full selection of what you have received.
  • You can hide all reference to the Voice123 brand, if you don't want to let your client know your casting tool secrets. (And you can even embed the audition inbox into your own website!)
The link can be found right above the auditions in the inbox:

Voice123 Share Audition Inbox
Simply decide what you want your client to see by checking or unchecking each box, and drop down menu:

Share Voiceover Audition
You can preview the new screen or just copy and paste the automatically generated inbox link!

Voice-over Casting Sample
Click on the following examples of how you can link to the unbranded version and how to include the auditions in your own website (e.g.

Voice123 hopes this saves you time and effort, making your experience faster, smoother, and easier! We appreciate the jobs you supply to Voice123 talents! Post a job again on Voice123 and see why Voice123 received a satisfaction rating of 95% in March 2008 by their clients, and still maintains a rating of over 90% to date!

In Voice123 you start receiving quality auditions within 60 minutes of approval of your project, more than that is just not acceptable in this fast-paced industry!

Coming soon... updates on our Project Creation form and descriptions of new Quality Assurance processes!

Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
Juan Salcedo
General Manager

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Receive Auditions in Less Than an Hour!

Quick voice-over castingsDid you know that posting a project through Voice123 SmartCast gets you auditions in one hour or less? Voice123 has the experience to do things the right way the first time and faster than any other casting alternative!

With our highly intelligent, internationally trained voice over savvy staff, we bring you voices from around the world in any language using a technology called Voice123 SmartCast! Our user interface is simple to use and provides you tools to fill out an effective casting project form, as well as, quick and effective customer service provided by industry professionals!

Our hours of operation are 7am to 12am midnight EST, Monday through Friday. Voice123 even works weekends from 10am to 5pm EST. Voice123 understands that there is always someone in the world who needs a voice over 'yesterday'. We do our best to meet that competitive need, even working holidays. Of course, as always, posting a job is free!

Post a job and find out why Voice123 has received a 95% satisfaction rating from their clients!

Click here to post a new voice project.

Best regards,

Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
Juan Salcedo
General Manager