FRONT ROW: Jill Perry, Pam Tierney, Kara Edwards MIDDLE ROW: Peter K. O'Connell, Caryn Clark, Melissa Exelberth BACK ROW: Bob Souer, Rowell Gorman, Alexander Vishniakoff, Debra Webb, Beth Whistler, Robert John Hughes CUT OFF ONLY DUE TO PHOTOGRAPHER ERROR: Mike Stoudt
So I packed a bag on Friday and flew down to Atlanta for the Marice Tobias workshop on Commercial and Narration voice over at the very nice Captive Sound Studios. My friend Bob Souer has been singing her praises for a long time; Kara Edwards and I were talking about maybe attending about 6 weeks ago and since I could see some family while I was there, I decided to pull the trigger.
Kara Edwards, Bob Souer and Melissa Exelberth
It was completely different than ANY other voice over workshop I have ever been to and I have been to many.
I thoroughly enjoyed the workshop and learned much. And while I participated in the workshop, I am at a bit of a loss as to how to effectively summarize it because I think unless you’ve been through it, it’s very difficult to understand it. So my first piece of advice would be to take a workshop with Marice.
A lot of internal performer analysis (as it relates to vocal performance) for each student went on during her seminar. I think we all came away with a specific understanding of how effective personal analysis greatly affects the performance a voice talent gives. That kind of analysis helps performers to get out of their own way. The performance improvement was immediately evident and we (each workshop participant) all witnessed it and experienced it time and time again.
Now, you’ve likely just read that and had no understanding of what it meant. Well, some things must be personally experienced, not just read about. I’m not being coy or mean but instead honest.
Kara Edwards, Caryn Clark, Melissa Exelberth, Robert John Hughes
Each voice over talent (as does everyone) learns in different ways and her seminar needs to be personally experienced, not read about. I would recommend you look at Marice’s schedule and if it’s possible for you, take the seminar.
And if you are especially lucky, you’ll get into a class with as many incredibly talented voice over performers as I did. This might be a record because we had 6 of us – about ½ the class – who’ve been long time friends from the VO-BB. There was an immediate and invaluable comfort level learning, working and performing among friends.
Jill Perry and Pam Tierney
When I signed up for Marice’s workshop, I knew Bob was going and I knew there was a chance my friends Kara Edwards and Caryn Clark were coming (they did attend) but what I didn’t know for sure until I saw the list just before I came that the great character voice actor Rowell Gorman would be there, my pal Melissa Exelberth from New York would be there as well as the lovely and talent Pam Tierney from the toddlin’ town of Chicago. What a gift to have my friends there!
Mike Stoudt, Debra Webb and Beth Whistler
The voice talents whom I had never met previous to the workshop really capped off the experience for me and I am so grateful to have been included among them for a few days: Robert John Hughes, Alexander Vishniakoff, Beth Whistler (thank you for driving to the airport!), Debra Webb (who, I found out in setting up this link shares the same agent as me), Jill Perry and Mike Stoudt (who also shares mine and Debra’s agent).
Two VO folks who couldn’t make the seminar but who kindly came out to join our group at various times throughout the weekend were Smith Harrison and Craig Crumpton.
Not to put too strong a point on it, but there were certain voice over suspects who shall remain nameless (Karen Commins (complete with brand new web site), Lance Blair, September Day Leach) who call Atlanta home but had something (anything better) to do than visit with Team Tobias Atlanta after hours at our various pubs, taverns and dives (sometimes known as the mini-bar)! Hurmph!
And finally, my most special thanks to my family in Atlanta who were so kind to let me stay with (or near) them. They had fresh hay in the stable for me to sleep on and let me borrow the mule’s blanket to avoid frostbite.
I hope you get to enjoy a training experience at least once in your career a unique as the one I just enjoyed.
If you’ve trained with Marice, I would love to hear your general impression of the experience. And if you have already with any professional voice over teacher, tell us about it here.
PS. Here is a shot of the WHOLE group, (including and ESPECIALLY Mike Stoudt) courtesy of Bob Souer’s camera:
FRONT ROW: Jill Perry, Pam Tierney, Kara Edwards MIDDLE ROW: Peter K. O'Connell, Caryn Clark, Melissa Exelberth BACK ROW: Mike Stoudt, Bob Souer, Rowell Gorman, Alexander Vishniakoff, Debra Webb, Beth Whistler, Robert John Hughes