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