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voice actress nancy cartwright interviews voice over director ginny mcswain

Nancy Cartwright

Character voice acting is becoming very competitive if for no other reason than sheer quantity- if character voice actors had to each be processed through Ellis Island like many of our immigrating forefathers did years ago, the lines to get through the character voice acting doors would seem longer than ever before (“Give me your tired, your hungry, your poor…” that would be your average voice actor).

And as challenging as it now is for a voice actor to be heard over the other voices competing for a role, the challenge for casting directors must be even worse. There is no way a voice over casting director cannot become numb at some point to the hundreds of demos they get…and likely they are missing out on some great talent too.

So in my opinion it becomes even more important to find out what voice over directors are looking for (and listening for) when working with a voice actor. Nancy Cartwright (she of Bart Simpson fame) has conducted a variety of interviews for Animation World Magazine and in late June she published an interview she conducted with voice over director Ginny McSwain.

Pay special attention to Ginny’s criteria for animation voice over. Great stuff there.

voice actors from “family guy” at work

Stewie from Fox TV’s Family Guy

I do love the tv show Family Guy.

The first time I heard Stewie’s voice in a Fox Network promo, I laughed out loud and usually the promos aren’t THAT funny.

It was a treat for me to come across this footage of the “Family Guy” voice actors working on a show. I hope you enjoy it too.

MEDIA RELEASE – audio’connell Voice-Over Talent Produces Caps, Hotels and Displays, All On-Hold

audio'connell Media Release

BUFFALO, New York, July 9, 2007 – – audio’connell Voice-Over Talent, a professional voice over talent service, announced the completion of three message on hold projects.

New Era Cap Company, Inc. – Recently moving to their new downtown Buffalo, NY headquarters, New Era Cap contracted audio’connell Voice-Over Talent to create New Era’s message on hold presentation and to update it periodically through the year. For 85 years, New Era Cap Company has produced highly crafted headwear; their business relationships include Major League Baseball, NHL, NBA and many major colleges.

FB Displays & Designs, Inc. (FBD2) – This message on hold project featured FBD2 president Francine Brooks sharing with callers’ tips on how to improve their trade show experience using her company’s proven products and services. FBD2 delivers tradeshow displays, event and retail solutions to local and national companies, from island exhibits to tabletop displays.

Econo Lodge at the Falls North – This platinum award winning Choice Hotel on the U.S. side of Niagara Falls (Niagara Falls, NY) engaged audio’connell Voice-Over Talent to update guests on hold about new amenities.

audio’connell Voice-Over Talent is a worldwide voice over talent service featuring professional male and female voice talents specializing in commercials, corporate narrations, voice imaging, podcasts and messaging on-hold (MOH) created for advertising agencies, media and broadcast production companies as well as both large and small businesses around the world.

The company also operates Voice Over Workshop to provide professional voice over training to novice and experienced voice talent around the world.
– 30-


Company Media Releases ON LINE:

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:

Company Blog:

O’Connell Voice-Over Resume:
See resume here





social networking plain and simple

smartmob.com friendster pic

From the people that brought you the simply brilliant (and I use those two words specifically) “RSS” in Plain English” (which many of my IT friends are now sharing with their customers by way of easy explanation) and Wikis too comes a terrific new video from the CommonCraft folks on Social Networking web sites.

My thanks to my fellow social networker, marketer and professional speaker Mitch Joel for featuring this video on his Twist Image blog (to which I subscribe via RSS, by the way and you should too).

If you liked to join my network in Linked In, click here.

voiceover show and tell

voices.com 60 second pitch contest

My friend Stephanie from the voiceover service Voices.com sent me an email a few days ago about a new contest they are running through July 20, 2007. You can grab the full details on it here but as a brief summary for those who prefer such things, The 60 Second Pitch is based on the ever famous “elevator speech” in which you have from 30-60 seconds to tell/engage someone (with whom you would hypothetically be riding in an elevator) about your business…in this case, the voice over business.

It’s a great tool for voice talent who haven’t gone through this exercise and terrific for those who want to refine their speech. And the contest has over $4,000 in prizes.

I will NOT be participating.


I am not above contests or competitions, I think they are fun and can bring together some great creativity.

But I’ve got a business to run and I have sales goals to achieve and to be in the contest and win, one would have to share some of the secrets of one’s success, in this case the elevator speech.

I’ve got a pretty great one, one that has served me well and its worth a lot more than $4,000. Even if the prize money were higher (and there’s nothing wrong with $4K worth of stuff) I wouldn’t do it.

The voiceover community is a helpful and sharing community…we’re voice actors and the acting community has usually been a group that wants everyone to succeed. I do too and have helped many folks with my time, talent and treasure to improve their voice over talents.

But while I may teach some everything they know about voice over and running a business, I won’t teach them everything I know. It’s not practical and it doesn’t make good business sense. The contest is not bad for all….its just not right for me.

stunning voiceover recognition

AFN Medaillon

I received a completely unexpected and stunning honor/thank you gift in Tuesday’s mail. With no disrespect intended to those who’ve been so kind throughout my career to bestow honors on me (deserving of none and grateful for all), Tuesday’s recognition may have topped them all.

From the Armed Forces Network, based in Baghdad, Iraq (you may have read about some of the goings on there in your local paper) TSgt. Chris Eder (Kasbah to his listeners on Freedom Radio) sent a thank you note, a certificate of appreciation signed by all the Freedom Radio personalities and an AFN medallion (pictured above) for my efforts to support their station with voice imaging and production.

To me, I was so stunned (not nearly a powerful enough description) because these folks are in the middle of fighting a war (the radio station’s base incurred a direct hit not so long ago). They are living under very difficult conditions yet in the midst of all that crap (much of which most of us cannot fathom I am sure) they took time to say thank you to ME!

My initial thought was: are you kidding?!

Regardless of your position on the war and its consequences, the men and women in America’s Armed Forces all answered the call of their country and are executing the orders they are given on a daily basis. They sacrifice their families, their futures and yes their lives. So if they call me and say hey, could you help out our stations so that the troops can listen to more professional sounding radio…not yes but HELL YES I’m going to gladly help out (as did the score of professional voice talent who joined me in these voice imaging productions free of charge). I do not have their courage; I am not as selfless as they are. But I have a voice.

Darkness has come to my neighborhood as I write this blog during the 2007 edition of July 4th and with that darkness has come the familiar popping and cracking of fireworks from citizens celebrating the independence of the United States of America 231 years ago. Not only in Iraq tonight (or tomorrow) but in locales around the world, United States military personnel may hear those same popping and cracking sounds…but it is live ammunition, not a Roman candle firework. I’ve not the talent of Francis Scott Key but he is on my mind this evening:

“And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.”

No branch of the United States Armed Forces anywhere in the world needs to thank me for my meager efforts…but we all need to thank them for defending us everyday, everywhere. Thank you!