Entries Tagged as 'voice over training'

nerves are not just for newbies

Voice-Over Talent Peter K. O'Connell shares his marketing insights during a VO in TO Voice-Over Meet-Up at Livingston Studios, May 2014

Voice-Over Talent Peter K. O’Connell shares his marketing insights during a VO in TO Voice-Over Meet-Up at Livingston Studios, May 2014

Recently, I was invited to be the featured speaker at a semi-regular meeting of the VO in TO group, founded by Patrick Sweeney and Jodi Krangle. For professional, intermediate and newbie voice talents, the group used to meet in a billiard room at a bar in Toronto but recently shifted locations to the Livingston Studios in Toronto. It’s an intimate location, with all the VO recording facilities you could want plus a meeting/performance area – which is where the meeting took place.

If you're a good speaker, you get a mug; if you're a great speaker you get a mug AND a t-shirt

If you’re a good speaker, you get a mug; if you’re a great speaker you get a mug AND a t-shirt

Pat asked me to speak about writing a marketing plan for a voice-over business and that part of the night went well enough. Only one audience member almost fell asleep, which for me is an improvement over most of the snoozers I present to 😉

But it was the mixer after the meeting that made the biggest impact on me. A bright, friendly, young woman who wanted to thank me for my presentation approached me. But clearly she had another voice-over matter on her mind that she wanted to talk about, so I invited her to sit down and talk with me.

She was very new to voice-over although she had some performance experience. She had recently done a training session in a studio and was besieged, evidently almost from the moment she walked into the booth, by a case of nerves. She couldn’t get her mouth to do what her brain was asking it to do. Classic symptoms: words not coming out right, breathing irregularly, the whole deal. This perplexed her and bothered her and she needed to talk about it.

We did. I complimented her for being honest enough to talk about it and work through it – that’s a great start to overcoming most problems. I explained – with many embarrassing examples – how I also experienced vocal performance anxiety at various times in my VO career and that when I am in a studio or speaking publicly I still get nervous. She was very surprised by that, given what she had just witnessed.

I explained that I am able to work through it more quickly and seamlessly because of my years of experience performing and presenting but the nerves are still there. And I explained further – that’s a good thing, offering me a heightened sense of awareness to both the work being done and the audience being informed and entertained.

She and I were joined, during the course of our conversation, by two other experienced voice-over pros and fellow Faffers: Mike Pongracz (one of the 3 AmiVos – who still owe me a 3 AmiVos toque) and Elaine Singer. They too offered up to her their experiences with nerves and how they dealt with it (sidebar: sorry to brag but Faffers really do know best how to listen to and help fellow voice talent, with any type of problem better, than any other voice-over group cause I think Amy started the kind of “lend me an ear” VO philosophy – end of brag).

By the end of the conversation, I think this young woman was heartened by the support she received and the insight she was given. She won’t not ever be nervous again but she’ll now know better how to deal with it. And that’s part of how you develop into a professional in this or any other industry: by being just as scared as anyone else but doing it anyway, while everyone else cowers in the corner.

And I offer this story for those readers who aren’t brave enough to talk about their nerves or their performance fears but still want to deal with it somehow. Just know that your fears and obstacles probably aren’t unique. In this case, everyone and anyone in voice-over has and will still have nerves and anxieties. Even us old guys.

Just do it anyway.

dissecting the voice-over audition in toronto

Elley-Ray Hennessy & Deb Munro

Two of Canada’s most creative voice-over coaches and my friends, Deb Munro and Elley-Ray Hennessy, are hosting another interesting voice-over workshop the weekend of March 8 & 9, 2014 (yes, that’s THIS weekend).

It’s called Dissecting the Audition and it will be held at the Asti Livingston’s brand new studio uniquely called 😉Livingston Studios in Toronto.

The big news is while you can attend the whole weekend for $300.00, they are offering a special one day rate (pick Saturday OR Sunday) for $150. A nice deal!

You can get ALL the information on the event by emailing john@elley-ray.com .

jonathan tilley shares the secret of creativity

Voice Actor Jonathan Tilley

Voice Actor Jonathan Tilley

So this morning on Facebook as I was checking the day’s headlines (it’s the world’s new newspaper I’m starting to think), reporter Lisa Biggs shared the story of voice actor Jonathan Tilley’s presentation on Creativity at TEDx in Stuttgart, which is either in Germany or Arkansas.

Having seen some of the creativity in AK, I’m going with Germany as my guess for this event 😉

Tilley as most voice talents know runs the Voice Over Garden (not to be confused with Voice Garden…which is full of poison ivy and the like) so he does coaching and business planning etc in addition to his voice work. I know nothing about the guy except from his videos on VO— the videos I’ve seen are smart and engaging.

So is this talk, which if you work in the creative arts is a talk you should listen to even more closely than you watch.

attending conferences in your underwear

Strange – how many of you were drawn to that blog headline. 😉

But it’s a fact of life – virtual conferences have been around a while now.

It was a business that a friend of mine delved into and she seemed to enjoy it. I myself have never attended or I guess a better term is participated in a virtual conference.

It’s an intriguing idea so leave it to voice-over’s own Rupert Murdoch (aka John Florian) make the idea a reality for the voice-over community.

If you’re a plan ahead kinda gal or guy, you’ve got some time. Voice Over Virtual will take place September 18-19, 2013.

For all the details, you can check out Voice-Over Xtra’s blog post here

the billion $ read fundraiser

Pat Fraley and Scott Brick will be joining Julie Williams for a two hour webinar: “Billion Dollar Read: How to Make Money Reading and Recording Books”

This one night only event is a total fund raiser for one of Pat’s voice-over students, Nicole Nielson, who has been stricken with a horrible and incurable disease.

DATE: Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013
TIME: 6pm Pacific (that’s 9pm Eastern)
COST $47 (ALL proceeds go to cause)

For info or to sign up click HERE

The extensive Billion Dollar Read webinar, will cover such essential topics as:
– How to bid on a book
– How and when to negotiate a higher rate for your books
– When to accept a revenue share deal
– How to negotiate a multi-book deal
– Which books are good revenue share deals
– How to know if a book has “legs!”
– They’ll also direct some talent through efforts at audio book narration.

buffalo and toronto voice talents, listen up

Maybe she’s been nearby before and I didn’t know it but more than likely I think this is the first time Marice Tobias has been in Toronto and my guess is it will be as close as she’s going to get to Buffalo, NY.

I really enjoyed studying with her previously…I hope you’ll take my advice and join her in Toronto on November 24 & 25, 2012 for her Voice-over Intensive for Working Pros. To learn more about the weekend, contact Stacey Stahl.