When I created my Voice-Over website with the amazing folks at Artist Upgrade, we wrestled with the age-old question (well, for voice talents, anyway):
“Just” a Voice Talent, or More?
I opted for the latter.
Yes, I am a full-time voice talent. My VO clients are my highest work priority. If you book me, the job will be done on time (well, usually before that deadline), at budget, and to your satisfaction. This is what I do for a living. The only thing standing in the way of your project is a prior commitment to another job – and you will know about that before you book me for your project.
So – does that leave room for the other things in my life? Can I let my clients know that I also do other things? Stage, on-camera, writing, speaking, teaching, broadcasting — or, for that matter, parenting? rock climbing? (well, I don’t actually do that, but you get the point. Maybe you do it!)
You bet. At least, that’s what we decided. Because every other skill and experience in life makes us better voice talents. Continue reading
Last night I taught “Extended Studies” class #4 (of eight) at Norwalk Community College, on The Basics of Voice Acting. Although the topic was “Acting Skills plus Technique: Variety from Both sides of the Brain”, so many of the students needed to hear the VO Business info again that we spent almost an hour reviewing the fact that, yes, it will take work to get work! It reminded me of this article I wrote for Technorati about how my book got to publication at last – and these principles apply to Voice Over as well – or any goal.
Article first published as Persistence and the Ping-Pong Ball on Technorati.
My book, Ben Behind His Voices: One Family’s Journey from the Chaos of Schizophrenia to Hope has launched. Suddenly I have an author’s page on Amazon, and I’m being asked to serve on panels about “how to get published” – on the success side of the table. (Wow. Really? Me? You want my advice?)
Persistence and Publication – (and Voice Overs too)
Well, OK. Here’s what I know, at this point in time, about success.
• Know your gifts. Recognize that feeling in the zone – when you love doing something enough to keep at it, just for the joy of it.
• Improve your skills. Make sure that thing you love to do is good enough to present to the world. We all know someone who thinks he can sing. Enough said. If self-belief is really self-delusion, you are going down a dead-end road.
• Partner. As you’re improving, get some trusted peeps to chime in with their expertise, advice, encouragement, and support. Let yourself be accountable to them. Hard to give yourself a deadline – at least it is for me.
• Persist. This alone will not work without the other three qualities. But the other three won’t get you anywhere without this one. To remind myself, I use a ping-pong ball. Continue reading
Contrary to what some of my friends think, I do not live, breathe and think Voice-overs 24 hours a day. In fact, one of my favorite things about this business (and I’ve been making a living at it for over 2 decades…yeah, I’m that old…) is that it has given me the flexibility to work in other aspects of my life, as things unfold. And – those things contribute to making me a better, more well-rounded, voice talent.
Don’t get me wrong – as with any successful small business, I value my VO clients and serve them well. That’s why over 90% of the jobs I do are for repeat clients. But all VO talents know that to grow your business, the rest of the time must be spent- um, making new friends. Aka marketing. Keep that other 10% flowing in, and keep your best customers happy.
And that’s where the burners fit in – and the size of the flames under them. Continue reading
One of the best things about 2011 was getting to be the intro/outro voice for Elizabeth Hamilton Guarino’s Best Ever You radio show, and also for the
Online VO friends meet in person!
Motivation Marathon created by Elizabeth, and Deb Scott. Today the tables were kinda turned sideways as I became the interviewee – and we talked about voice acting, creative journeys, voice and diction, the value of improv in creating characters, connecting threads in the eclectic work life, what we wanna be when we grow up, life balance in “Acts”, using the gifts we seem to have born with, the value of virtual friendships- and, eventually, my book Ben behind His Voices. Got in some mentions for Dave Courvoisier, Edge Studio, my voiceover credits, and O’Connor communications.
The hour went fast! I think it’ll be fun to listen to…hope so! Feedback always welcome 🙂