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faffcon 5 registration today at noon eastern time

The first 25 of the 100 spots for FaffCon 5 were reserved on June 29.

Today the rest of the spots for voice-over professionals will be filled on a first come, first served basis.

You can queue up in line HERE.

ok all you linkedin screw-ups, pay attention

After all these years on LinkedIn, I STILL get generic connection requests. That’s just lazy.

I thought it was just me who thought this showed little creativity and a bit of bad manners but after reading a blog post from Amber MacArthur, it’s clear this is not something that bugs just me.

And Amber Mac points out a few other mistakes people make on LinkedIn that you might find familiar.

5 Questions for a Professional Voice-Over Talent – September Day Carter

Today’s 5 Questions for a Professional Voice Over Talent are answered by September Day Carter, a professional voice-over talent based in Atlanta, Georgia.

1. The beginning: When did you know you wanted to be a voiceover talent; how did your career begin (please include what year it started) and then when did your passion for voiceover develop into something professional?

I wanted to be a voice talent since I was 19 and a local DJ told me I had a great voice. At the time, I was very overweight, so I turned down all of his offers for me to come down to the radio station and voice some spots. I went on to become a veterinary technician instead until I got mauled by a dog and needed to find a new career. I had always wanted to try VO and now I had an excuse! I started working in February of 2007 and, through a lot of trial and error, was able to go full time after I voiced for the MTV Video Music Awards later that year. The live announcing was such a rush! I knew that night, I never wanted to do anything else! By the way, that DJ who told me I had a nice voice? Well, I ended up marrying him 11 years later and we have two beautiful little girls, are both successful voice talents, and teach workshops together 🙂

2. What is the one thing you know now that you wish someone had told you when you first started out in voiceover?

That you don’t need a ton of money to get started! Honestly, if you’ve got the goods, you don’t need a lot of other junk that just gets in the way. Be smart about choosing your teachers and never, ever buy retail!

3. What do you see as the biggest professional or personal obstacle you face that impacts your voiceover business and how are you working to overcome it?

Currently my biggest obstacle is learning to juggle two babies and a career! 🙂 But my daughters have also helped my reads calling for a Mom voice. Now, I have a new depth of understanding when the script is discussing healthcare, diapers, busy moms, or even children’s health issues. I’m learning to get them on the same napping schedule so I can get a decent noise floor!

4. What personal trait or professional tool has helped you succeed the most in your career so far?

I think my genuine interest in people has helped me immensely. I try very hard to make real connections with other talents and my clients. I keep track of what’s going on with them in their lives and check in from time to time. Staying involved with them keeps me fresh in their minds as well as giving my outgoing, extroverted personality an outlet in an industry where we mostly work alone.

5. In your development as a voice over performer, who has been the one particular individual or what has been the one piece of performance advice (maybe a key performance trick, etc.) that you felt has had the most impact on your actual voice over performance and why?

Two women helped me begin my career. The first is Catherine Sheehan. She is amazing! I was really floundering at the start, just couldn’t find a way to get a real toe-hold. I came across Catherine’s website one day and cold called her. We ended up chatting for hours! She shared so much information with me, I was shocked! Before, no one would talk to me, return emails, or give me answers. Catherine just put it all on the table. Now, with the beginner workshop I teach, I always remember how generous Catherine was with me and try to bring that same selflessness to my students and teach them everything I know that could help them be successful. The other woman is the remarkable Nancy Wolfson. Nancy is my only teacher. Because I had had moderate success fairly quickly, I really shied away from coaching. I hate spending money and I figured I was doing pretty good on my own, so why bother? But I knew she was a mover and shaker in the biz and I wanted to make that connection. Let me tell you, the woman blew my mind in the first five minutes. She shares techniques that are so exquisitely simple but that make a REAL difference to your reads. So, so many times I’ve been in the booth and if I’m struggling with the script, I can just recall that first lesson and immediately the reads get better

new videos added to audio’connell voice-over talent web site

Just two quick bits of housekeeping that almost nobody but me cares about or is excited about but it’s my blog, so what the heck.

1. Two new videos have been added to the flash video rotation on audioconnell.com from Kwik Bond Polymers and Darien Lake…I hope you’ll check them out.

IF you haven’t subscribed to my YouTube Channel, that’s where I host them and other interesting things so please subscribe and let me know where YOUR YouTube video channel is so I may return the favor.

2. The black stripe at the top of the page has been replaced by a red stripe and to me it looks like new carpet and drapes with a fresh coat of paint added on. Makes me happy and yes, it doesn’t take much.

I warned you this wasn’t exciting stuff. 🙂

5 Questions for a Professional Voice-Over Talent – Dan Nachtrab

Today’s 5 Questions for a Professional Voice Over Talent are answered by Dan Nachtrab, a professional voice-over talent based in Portland, Oregon.

1. The beginning: When did you know you wanted to be a voiceover talent; how did your career begin (please include what year it started) and then when did your passion for voiceover develop into something professional?

It all started in high school. At the time, I was able to impersonate voices heard on concert promotion ads of the day, so I occasionally read the morning announcements at my high school to promote upcoming dances for student rock bands. Fast forward a few years to 1995: My mother sent to me a newspaper “wanted” ad placed by a local ad agency that was requesting voiceover demos for consideration. By luck, the creative director was an old friend of mine who gave me a shot. I started recording at Sonic Arts in Cincinnati for an automotive group in the area. (That job lasted until the spring of 2011. Not a bad run!) Soon after, I signed with a local talent agency. They didn’t have a lot of work coming in for VO, so they put me on-camera. In 2002, I landed a huge gig: the spokesperson for a payday loan company. TV, radio, print, billboard, letterhead; you name it, I was on it. In February 2005, I built the first incarnation of my home recording studio with the earnings from that job. During the same time, a large government contractor picked me up to narrate a lot of industrials and that’s when I began to shift my focus toward making a serious go at full-time VO. I made the leap in July of that same year.

2. What is the one thing you know now that you wish someone had told you when you first started out in voiceover?

Looking back, I don’t think I would have changed a thing. Whenever I was ready for a door to open, it would open, whether it was in my development as a talent, making a new contact to generate more work, or simply becoming mature enough to handle the growing responsibilities. However, I am happy no one told me how hard it was to make a living in VO. My innocence, and possibly ego, protected me and all I saw was a path forward. There wasn’t any room for doubt.

3. What do you see as the biggest professional or personal obstacle you face that impacts your voiceover business and how are you working to overcome it?

Time is the biggest obstacle. This is a journey of 10,000 epiphanies and it takes a lot of patience and dedication to succeed. You can, however, expedite your journey with proper coaching and disciplined practice.

4. What personal trait or professional tool has helped you succeed the most in your career so far?

I have a strong support group including my wife, agents, coaches and a very close group of friends in the business. I talk quite often with them. My wife, agents and coaches advise me on current performance level and managing and marketing the business. My friends help me sort it all out. The great thing about having close confidants is that each of you sharpens the other. We share our latest “light bulb” moments, help out with gear issues and, most importantly, talk about our family lives. In other words, we’re friends with VO benefits.

5. In your development as a voice over performer, who has been the one particular individual or what has been the one piece of performance advice (maybe a key performance trick, etc.) that you felt has had the most impact on your actual voice over performance and why?

Do I have one individual or key piece of advice? No. There have been a few amazingly beautiful and talented ladies in my life, though. I owe each of them a debt of gratitude:

Randy Thomas was the coach of my first workshop. She invited my family to her home afterwards. It was there she opened my eyes to the possibilities ahead and gave me the courage to go after my dreams.

Marice Tobias, who Randy recommended as a coach, gave me the emotional insight of proper performance. Also, she enlightened me on how to see and present myself as I moved up the ladder, which was invaluable information. She is simply amazing.

Nancy Wolfson forcefully opened my ears to hear why I wasn’t booking national jobs. She broke me down and rebuilt me from the ground up. She was the absolute game changer in my performance.

Dave Walsh, my current coach, is not a lady but is beautiful and talented nonetheless. He is a master at fine tuning, creating confidence and consistency, and at being a very good friend.

Lastly, my wife, Niki, who guides and supports me and is brutally honest when needed, designed my website (www.dannachtrab.com) and has given me two fantastic kids.

5 Questions for a Professional Voice-Over Talent – Anthony Richardson

Today’s 5 Questions for a Professional Voice Over Talent are answered by Anthony Richardson, a professional voice-over talent based in London, England.

1. The beginning: When did you know you wanted to be a voiceover talent; how did your career begin (please include what year it started) and then when did your passion for voiceover develop into something professional?

I started out as a trainee sound engineer at The Royal National Theatre (or just The National Theatre, as it was then) and at seventeen, was the youngest ever sound operator in the organization’s history. For one show, I had to shout into a microphone for a regular sound effect and had a really enjoyable studio session. Nearly 30 years later, I’m still doing the same thing!

2. What is the one thing you know now that you wish someone had told you when you first started out in voiceover?

I wish I knew how easy it would be to record, produce and deliver a voiceover from home. When I started out, we all used tape and one of my first jobs was to cut-out all the scratches, pops and clicks from a recording, using a razor blade and editing tape! I think it took me around a day to clean-up about 5 minutes of audio. These days it can all be done instantly with just the click of a button.

3. What do you see as the biggest professional or personal obstacle you face that impacts your voiceover business and how are you working to overcome it?

Time is always an issue. I regularly find that I am fully-booked and trying to please everyone often eats in to family time, with recording in the evenings and at weekends. I wish there was a way to leverage my business, but the problem is, when clients specifically request a voice that you do, there’s no option.

4. What personal trait or professional tool has helped you succeed the most in your career so far?

Loving the job. I’m a great believer in the exercise of imagining the job that is so great and enjoyable that you would actually pay to do it. Voiceovers is mine – I still can’t believe (after nearly 30 years) that I actually get paid to talk into a mic, it’s f a n t a s t i c !!!

5. In your development as a voice over performer, who has been the one particular individual or what has been the one piece of performance advice (maybe a key performance trick, etc.) that you felt has had the most impact on your actual voice over performance and why?

That’s easy! Keeping mega fit (I even wrote a blog post on it HERE). Being a great voiceover (as opposed to a good voiceover) is all about breath control and the fitter you are, the less breaths you need to take when recording a script – and don’t take my word for it, studio engineers will all tell you how they like working with non-smokers. Less editing!