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your assistance, please…

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In doing a little Google Analytics review (which I haven’t done in a while) I noticed that my frequently asked questions page is one of the more popular pages on my web site. Who knew?! (Google analytics, evidently).

This could be for a couple of reasons:

A. Clients are learning about how I can help them and what my business terms are (which is why I have the page)

Or

B. Other voice talents are reading the page trying to learn about how to present themselves to their clients on their web sites

For the purposes of this blog post, I’ll hope for the former and ignore the latter.

So here’s what I would like from you: please look at my FAQ page and give me YOUR ideas for what OTHER questions I could answer for clients about my business that they might find helpful. You can also advise if you think some questions/answers should be changed or omitted.

Any insight you have would be greatly appreciated because as I get older, I know just how much I don’t know.

Thanks!

MEDIA RELEASE – Cosmetic Dental Center & Spa Picks audio’connell Voice-Over Talent for Voice-Over Production

audio'connell Media Release

WILLIAMSVILLE, New York, October 30, 2009 – – audio’connell Voice-Over Talent was contracted as the audio production company for the latest radio spot for the The Cosmetic Dental Center & Spa.

The radio spot featured audio’connell female voice talent Paula, Dr. Robert J. Yetto, owner of the Cosmetic Dental Center & Spa, and audio’connell owner and male voice talent Peter K. O’Connell. The spot promoted a broad array of procedures, including tooth whitening, veneers, crowns, invisible braces, tooth bonding, and dental bridges available at the Cosmetic Dental Center, located in Williamsville, NY.

audio’connell Voice-Over Talent and its sister company, International Voice Talents, provide voice talent and audio production for commercials, animation, corporate narrations, documentaries, broadcast voice imaging, audio books, podcasts and messaging on-hold (MOH). Industries served by the two companies include advertising agencies, media and broadcast production companies as well as both large and small businesses around the world.

Mr. O’Connell also owns Voice Over Workshop, which provides professional voice over training to novice and experienced voice talent world-wide.

audio’connell Voice-Over Talent, International Voice Talents and Voice Over Workshop are all a part of O’Connell Communications, LLC.

-30-

NOTES TO EDITORS

Company Media Releases ON LINE:
http://www.audioconnell.com/media

Company Name Pronunciation:
au·dio·o’·con·nell (awe-de-oh-oh-kah-nel) or au·di-o’·con·nell (awe-de-oh-kah-nel)

Company Name Spelling:
Use lower case letters- audio’connell or audio’connell Voice Over Talent

Company Web:
http://www.audioconnell.com

Company Blog:
http://www.voxmarketising.com

O’Connell Voice-Over Resume:
See resume here

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voice over xtra presents “mastering audiobook narration with alan sklar”

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My friend John Florian runs Voice Over Xtra which is one of the top (if not the top) news sources for all things voice over. He is also a proud member of MCA-I which, as a international board member and chair of the membership committee, makes me doubly happy.

I mention John because he sent me an email advising that he will be hosting a seminar on November 7, 2009 in New York City entitled Mastering Audiobook Narration. This workshop will be led by master narrator Alan Sklar (also an MCA-I member, by the way).

John says Alan is the industry’s “go-to” narrator for dramatic fiction and clear, informative business, medical and educational books. All this time I thought I was that guy! Crap! 😉

Anyway, Voice Over Xtra is presenting Alan’s workshop which will take place at Shetler Studios, Studio 1 244 West 54th Street, 12th floor from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on November 7th. There are some spots available so if you’d like more details you can call 203-459-8834 or just sign up here.

take the time to make it personal

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Over the past four days I have had the specific opportunity to meet a variety of new people who may or may not again come across my professional radar. That’s a really long sentence to describe networking but I could tell your brain needed the workout; no extra charge.

When I decide these folks I have met are database worthy (and if one is not database worthy, he or she is still likely an excellent person mind you), I do two things:

1. I enter them in my database (duh!)
2. I send them a handwritten note

I have thereby doubled my workload. Now I have to do twice as much as I would if I just entered them into my database. And let me tell you, creating hand written notes with my writing sometimes requires a retake or three. That’s a lot of extra time or about 90 minutes yesterday.

And it was the most worthwhile 90 minutes I could ever spend. Recognizing people, acknowledging success, thanking them is memorable. All the Facebooks and Twitters of the world can never have the same personal impact.

Personalization takes time, writing by hand takes even more time and a computer program works faster and more efficiently…but not as effectively.

marice tobias voiceover workshop in atlanta

<em>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</em>

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.

<em>Kara Edwards, Bob Souer and Melissa Exelberth</em>

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.

<em> Rowell Gorman</em>

Rowell Gorman

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.

<em>Kara Edwards, Caryn Clark, Melissa Exelberth, Robert John Hughes</em>

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.

<em>Jill Perry and Pam Tierney</em>

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!

<em>Mike Stoudt, Debra Webb and Beth Whistler</em>

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:

<em>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</em>

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

’cause ya ain’t never done learnin’

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I got a call recently from my friend and fellow voice over professional Deb Stamp who works in lovely Raleigh, NC. She called me to ask about some of the voice over training I’ve done, about my upcoming workshop with Marice Tobias in Atlanta and to discuss some of the training Deb has done. And then of course we also shot the shi…I always enjoy talking biz with Deb.

For the record, I get calls like this and questions like this all the time – why do you train, who do you train with, what goes on in a workshop, why do you need to train since you’ve been doing voice over for 27 years?!

And usually the questions are asked just that fast with little or no punctuation 😉

I’ll answer those oft asked questions (most of which Deb did not directly ask) with the same question most voice over teachers have asked of me at the beginning of their sessions: “Peter, what do you want to learn/take away from this workshop?”

My answer is usually the same: “The more experience I get in my industry, the more I know just how much I don’t know about performing in voice over. There are many ways one can approach a script and performance for an audition or client; many times my ways work and sometimes they do not. So (today) I want to learn your approaches to voice over and see if there are new ideas or twists that I can apply to my work. I’m also interested to get your opinion on my performance and how you think it might be improved or tweaked.”

Is your answer the same? Is it different? It might vary based on the topic of the seminar or you may have a completely different approach to why you consider professional voice training.

Each performer’s needs are different and certainly personal. Some voice over teachers you’ll click with and some you won’t (just like in school).

But the need for regular, professional voice over training is an imperative for everyone in our business…bar none. And I mean no one.

What about your expectations for voice over training? Generally, what do expect to get out of a training session? Or if you care to share, what specifically do you hope to work on with a voice teacher or what are you currently working on with your teacher?