Tag Archives: Edge Studio

Are There Too Many Voice Talents?

Reality check, with a question:

Do you find it more difficult than you’d thought it would be to get, and keep getting, work as a voice talent in 2015?

I’m not one to wax poetic about the past.  Change is, at best, exciting; at the very least, it’s inevitable. And certainly the voiceover business has changed drastically since I joined it over 25 years ago.

Too Many Voice Talents?

Too Many Voice Talents?

Back then, it was a fairly local, and more personal world. You trained until you knew you could deliver the performance, made a demo based on your suitability to the market, and started marketing your services to recording studios, advertising agencies and (possibly, eventually) casting directors and agents. Marketing, word of mouth and referrals were your golden keys to that first chance, and then you hoped to continue to get hired based on the awesome job you did (and keeping in gentle touch).

So far, sounds pretty much the same, yes? Only, back then, your marketing was to your general geographical location, there were post offices and telephones involved, and most of the time you knew your clients more personally, often got to shake their hands in person.

And – fanfare for the truth – there was less competition. Once you were in that “stable” of voice talents a studio or agency could rely upon, the phone kept ringing. That’s how I built my business. And that part of the business still exists. Most of my work is from word of mouth and repeat clients. Believe me, it’s easier for the client re re-hire someone they trust than to go out and start a brand new search.

But, as you know, things are also very different. Many potential clients have a huge database of voice talents to choose from – and, thanks to the internet, all they have to do is post a project and hundreds of auditions will show up in their mailbox. The work, for the client, is not on the front end (listening to demos, sending invites to those who suit their requirements, then choosing from the handful of hand-chosen candidates) but on the back end – easy to post the project, but harder (I imagine) to sort through the hundreds of auditions that may vary widely in quality.  Casting this way must seem easier, but I suspect it often is not, for the client. However, in this new virtual and pervasive climate, they might not know there are other ways to find voices. Continue reading

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You Are VO-Unique: How To Stand Out and Get Hired

Want to begin or expand your career in Voice Overs? You will hear this question, I guarantee it:

“But there is so much competition. Why even bother?”

Yep. That nay-sayer (even if it’s your own inner thoughts) is quite correct. Sorry, but it’s true…..well, at least the first half of the sentence is.

How to Stand Out in the Voice Talent Crowd

Stand Out and Get Hired - if Red is What they Want!

Stand Out and Get Hired – if Red is What they Want!

Yes, there are quite a lot of people who want to “go into voiceovers”. Newbies constitute one category, especially the magical thinkers who think that all you have to do is make a demo and clear a corner of your kitchen table for a microphone, and the jobs will start rolling in (because they have “such a nice voice.”)  Yeah. Those folks are not the competition – at least not yet. Most of them give up after a few months because it turns out that magic actually requires some hard work and practice in order to happen. But what about those who are VO pros?  Already working in the business? Are they as talented as you? Yep, you bet they are.  If you need convincing, go onto voicebank.net and sniff around, or just listen to Terry Daniel’s Annual Holiday Greeting from VO talents.  Yes, you will hear incredibly talented folks – each unique, hard-working, creative, funny, and also willing to take the time to contribute to the greeting.

So, why bother going into Voice Overs?

Because there is no one like you. What you bring to this business is your uniqueness. All skills being equal (and if they aren’t, then get better at this via study and practice), what will make your voice rise above the competition is simply: you, yourself. Just like in dating, or in househunting, casting takes the right match to work.  You will not – YOU WILL NOT – land every single

QTIP = Quit Taking It Personally! :)

QTIP = Quit Taking It Personally! 🙂

audition. Even the Superstars, Voiceover or otherwise, lose out on some gigs. So –  Q-TIP  (Quit Taking It Personally)! If you are good, then the client will choose you for the right  project.  And be glad to have finally found you. Sure, in this business, you will hear, “Sorry, you just don’t have the sound we’re looking for.” But you will also hear, “You are perfect for this! Where have you been?” (yeah, gotta love that)

So – How do you embrace your own VO Specialness? Continue reading

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Your Voice Over Business: Why Keep Investing?

(Short answer: Because it pays off!)

Is Your VO business a "dead shark"?

Is Your VO business a “dead shark”?

“Alvy Singer”, in the movie Annie Hall, says:

A relationship, I think, is like a shark. You know? It has to constantly move forward or it dies. And I think what we got on our hands is a dead shark.

Don’t let your voice over business be a dead shark. There is always more to learn, always ways to get better. And once

VOVirtual

click here to register!

excellent way to do this is to register for Voice-Over Virtual, coming soon.

No, you do not need to save up for plane fare, or hotel rooms! This is a virtual conference (hence the name). But don’t let that fool you…or think you won’t get anything out of it. You will more than make your investment back.

Okay, listen: I’ve been a successful Voice Talent for many years. Sure, “success” keeps getting redefined as my life and ambitions progress, but still. I do make a living communicating someone else’s words into a microphone and into a listener’s ears. Every once in a while I sit back and remember: This is so cool!

A major reason I still work is that I keep investing in my business, and honing my skills.

Example?:Lately I notice my audition-to-booking ratio is getting better (yay!). Why? I invested in some coaching and classes to hone those skills, especially in sounding more “conversational” – and it has paid off.

Another one?: I was feeling frustrated when first learning Twisted Wave app on my iPad. Hated recording while traveling. Felt stupid. The solution? One webinar with George Whittam. bingo! Now I know what to do, and love the app…therefore more likely to send auditions and projects even while on the road, if I choose to. Investment made the obstacle disappear.

So – what’s in your way? Chances are you will be able to dissolve some of those obstacles by investing time – and, yeah, some reasonable bucks – on your VO future.

Whether you’re just starting out in this amazing biz, or working hard to keep current clients while marketing to new sharkones, this remains true: You must invest in your business to keep it alive, to help it grow, to help you to grow – as an artist, a businessperson, a skilled talent in all the forms that this ever-changing business requires.

This is what makes your business thrive – what makes you thrive. Don’t let your business become a “dead shark”. Move ahead! Voice Over Virtual is the best way to get moving – right now. You’ll be glad you did.

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Your Voice Over Business: got a Plan?

Imagine you want to lose, say, five pounds. So you make a plan (lower-case p). You decide to give up wine,  to eat fewer carbs, or count points, whatever….yet it somehow doesn’t happen. Things get in the way. You open the fridge and can’t make a decision, so you just grab the Frosted Flakes and milk as usual. And, before you know it, it’s back to deciding to put it all off until tomorrow, or next Monday.

What went wrong?

You had a plan, but not a Plan (with a capital P).

Now imagine a Plan.

You take ten minutes on Sunday to list 7 breakfasts, lunches and dinners you

Hard to get the job done without Scaffolding

Hard to get the job done without Scaffolding

love that fit your plan(repeats are fine, too – hey, it’s life), and a few snack ideas.  And, right then, you choose 1 from each list to pencil in for Monday – or, for some, make a rough-out for the week.  Also make sure you have the “tools” you need – and, if not, make that shopping list and plan when you will buy them – or go get them now (preferably when not hungry). Then, place some tools on the counter for breakfast – the measuring cup, whatever will give you “activation energy” to remind you of your plan and make it easy to make the right decision. Continue reading

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Why I’m Not a Voice Over Superstar- Yet

I recently heard from one of my agents, someone who represents me in Chicago. We hadn’t had any contact in awhile, so I was checking in to see if we should “break up” or not.  You know. Weeding.

What she said was both reaffirming and a wake-up reminder:

The reaffirming part: “You are an amazing talent.  I was just on your website and it is incredible.”  (Thank you!)

The wake-up call? : “In our market – most all clients want to audition in person... They won’t accept taped auditions.  I have had clients hear your voice and like it but want to record locally and not by distance.” (Aha!)

Jumping Up a Voice Over Level

There it is:  Sometimes you’ve gotta live in the Big City if you wanna get work there.  If you want to jump the level, like in a video game.

what now workshop

At Edge Studio, yes in NYC

Honestly, I am really happy with my voice-over career so far. I have regular clients, new interest in my work every week, several agents, local/national/international clients – and, most importantly, I pay the bills doing what I love while also being there for my family, friends, and other passions of my life.

Pretty fortunate, right? Continue reading

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The “Sound First Impression” for Your Business: A Voice Over Talent’s Worth

What is the “sound” first impression of your business? When a potential customer calls on the phone, accesses that explainer video on you-tube, or takes your virtual tour, do they hear the quality you want them to feel?

That’s the question for many small businesses, who don’t budget for a professional welcome or on-hold message because they think it doesn’t matter. Is this you?

Does the Voice Over Matter?

Put on your customer hat for a minute.  How much does that first impression count for you? Have you ever wanted to hang up on a call because the first voice you heard sounded completely uninterested in you, or – worse – just too annoying to listen to?

Yesterday I taught an “Investigate Voice Over” workshop for Edge Studio, and as we explored VO opportunities beyond the more-obvious “cartoons and commercials”, we got to the telephony category.  One student shared that he had recently called a local junkyard (his word – do those even exist anymore?), and had been so surprised by the quality of the voice on the phone system that his estimation of the company’s image leaped up immediately.  “They obviously cared enough about their business to have a pro on their phone system, and that made me think they would do a great job more me. It suddenly seemed more dignified, somehow, and friendlier.”

What that voice talent did was bust a preconception/misconception about “junkyards” simply by creating a “sound” first impression with his or her delivery that created a totally different image in the customer’s mind.  When it came time to do business, the starting point was way higher than it had been before the call.

Time saved.

And that’s why voice talents make the (hopefully) big bucks.  Or at least should know their own worth, and the value the right delivery brings to the table.  It also means, that there is a lot of work out there to help (yes, we do help!) other small businesses get a leg up on the competition by having that first impression count.

Voice over talents provide a unique service. The right match between talent and business can be at unbeatable marketing tool that helps that real estate office, law firm, beauty salon, or junkyard create a brand that elevates their worth in the customer’s mind.

Whether you are just starting out or a pro who is constantly expanding your client base (aren’t we all?), remember to include other small businesses, often local, who could use your help to create that sound first impression.

And, while you’re at it, how is the message on your phone? Just thought I’d mention it 🙂

Randye’s VO Demos here – yes, including “On the Phone”!

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Best Ever Voice Talent, Actor, Creative, You!

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 🙂

link: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/besteveryou/2012/02/21/randye-kaye

Listen to internet radio with Best Ever You on Blog Talk Radio

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Voiceovers: That’s What I Like About You

So you wanna be in voice overs? Yes. Well, read up, person with that lovely voice. Just check the archives at voiceoverXtra, Edge Studio, or any of the number of fab VO blogs out there, and you’ll get the truth: becoming a professional voice over talent takes lots of training,  hard work, marketing,creating business goals, scheduling action steps, investments of time and money, and an effort to always think ahead.

When I teach Investigate Voice Over classes for Edge Studio, or in answering the inevitable cocktail party  “so how can I get into VO?” question, I make the hard work clear: Voiceover is a business. I don’t care if you have an agent or not – it is still a small business you must run yourself – as talent, salesperson, marketing team, accountant, perpetual student, networker, and often editor and producer.

So – why do we do it? What’s the payoff? The other side of the coin?

Faffcon VO Fun

Like in any relationship that needs work, sometimes we need to be reminded of why we fell in love in the first place. So, dear newbie or pro, here’s my love list.

Why I Love being a Voice Over Talent:

1. Fun! This morning I got to play a baby owl (who spoke English – yeah, animation), this afternoon a16-year-old girl for an audiobook, and then a medical expert who could explain fibromyalgia. That is a blast. Continue reading

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Investigate Voice Over: the first step

Edge Studio Team

Edge Studio Team

Tomorrow night I teach another session for Edge Studio called “Investigate Voice Over.” We call it the “IVO” – and it’s taught frequently in our New York main studio, our CT and DC studios, in Los Angeles, and also via teleclass.

If you’ve ever wondered about the true path to VoiceOver success, I can’t recommend it highly enough. Got the Voiceover dream? Get the truth! And have fun finding out if this business – and make no mistake, it most certainly is a business -is for you, and if you are ready for it.

Every dream can always live if you never pursue it, but if you want to change it from a nice dream to an attainable goal then you must take the first step to see what it takes. The first step is to find out the facts.  Continue reading

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