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voice over question #4


I promise you by this point, Stu is so sorry he tagged me on this he may never blog again. But he should anyway 😉

4. What’s the best book(s) you have read to help you become successful at what you do?

Someday I may write a book about the voice over business and on that day I am going to be really pissed at myself for writing this but its what’s in my heart and my heart’s edit button seems to be on the fritz so here ‘tis: voice over books are not very helpful for being a voice over talent.


If you are at a point in your career where you have no idea about the technical and/or business side of the voice over business, well then you’re really behind the 8 ball and some of those book will be helpful.

Make no mistake here, the authors aren’t bad people nor are they full of beans. They have tips, they have tricks and some shortcuts.

But to be successful in voiceover, you have to be able to perform and performance comes from doing not reading a book (unless it is out loud). Focus on your talent before you touch a voice over book.

You need to get to a group class, especially if you’re new to the business. I do not recommend you go to an individual class. Do that later. First, get with a group. Audit the class, listen to the performers, and talk with them. Assess your own performance either internally or externally based on what you’ve seen. Do you have the voice for the business? No? Stop. Yes? Then go to about 4-6 classes.

Do you feel the passion going to class or does going to class get in the way of other stuff you want or need to do? If it’s because of the teacher or the group, find another one. Chemistry is important, to be sure. Is it not about the chemistry?

If going to VO class feels like a chore, stop! Get off the voice over horse. You’re done.

Go be a lector at church or call a bingo game for charity or offer to help with a local blind reading service. All sincerely noble and charitable tasks for which you will be greatly rewarded.

But you will not make it in the business of voice over so don’t even try.

Ouch? Oh please, not even close. When the door of voice over rejection smashes the cartilage in your nose to beyond repair then OK, maybe a little owie. But what I am doing here is saving you the pain.

You have to want it, this voice over dream. Thousands share that great passion every day. The art of performance has to be so deep within you that you dream about doing the work, not making piles of money or dating Scarlett Johansson (see, you thought we didn’t know).

If you don’t want to perform voice over so badly that a chance to get on mic makes you delightfully happy, if the thought of being picked for a voice acting role doesn’t really thrill you for more than just a paycheck, no voiceover book in the world will help you succeed in this business. Period.

You know, except maybe mine.

So endth the lesson. Blame Stu.

Thanks for reading.

If you haven’t already, we’d be honored if you subscribe to voxmarketising – the audio’connell blog and podcast by clicking the “subscribe” button on this blog.

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voice over question #3


In this episode of “Desperate Bloviating”, Stu asks a very introspective question that takes us Back to The Future.

3. What advice would you give a young VO professional?

If I were me talking to me 25 years ago and I wasn’t allowed to tell myself which stocks to buy, which teams to bet on and which hot girl actually thought I was cute but young me didn’t know it and I blew my shot with her but I’m over it and its not an issue, then I guess the only thing left to offer myself would be voice over advice.

But boy there sure would be a lot more stuff I would like to tell me. Anyway, here goes:

Peter, your professional reputation in voice over is everything.

In business, try and treat people the same way you want to be treated. Talk to people, not at them and for God sake LISTEN. You have two ears and one mouth and your opinion sounds brilliant to you but others sometimes think you are a babbling idiot so stop proving them right and be quiet more! When blogging is invented, then you can babble to your hearts content and people will just delete you and I’ll explain what delete is and what computers are later.

Humor is good, obnoxious is bad. Learn the difference quickly.

You are going to make mistakes, you are going to offend. Make sure it’s not intentional and that it is infrequent. Sometimes these situations will be obvious and sometimes you won’t know who you’ve alienated. When you screw up, own up to it and apologize. It may not fix it, but it’s the right thing (and sometimes the only thing) to do. Then move on.

While you need to be careful not to be arrogant it is OK to be confident. If that line gets blurred, refer to the paragraph above. You are talented but you can build on that talent by learning from everyone in your industry, even the idiots (if they go left, you go right…don’t do what they do)

Finally, appreciate that there is much in your career you can control but much more that you cannot control. Flexibility and patience will be in great demand throughout your life and it will test you mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally. Sometimes you will encounter the odd client who is in a bad mood on recording day and your shirt is his least favorite color and how were you supposed know. Remember what your Dad told you “Don’t let the bastards get you down.”

Oh, you’re going to have at least two children and wife all of whom are too good for you and none of whom you deserve. Take great care of that fortune and try not to be a burden to them.

Our story concludes tomorrow.

Thanks for reading.

If you haven’t already, we’d be honored if you subscribe to voxmarketising – the audio’connell blog and podcast by clicking the “subscribe” button on this blog.

If you really like this post (of course we hope you do), please feel free to bookmark and or promote it by clicking the buttons below on your preferred services.

voice over question #2


Our story continues now with the “Perils of Bloviating” in which a kindly blogger asked a few simple questions in search of a few simple answers only to find out that voice talkers never use two words when two thousand words are available.

2. What habits have blocked you from success?

In the voice over business, like in almost any business, we voice talents can’t get out of our own way regarding our success sometimes and that’s been true for me too. We are called voice artists and that term artist brings with it a lot of baggage including ego, opinion, self deprecation, fear, loathing, lack of focus, self-worth, selfishness and about a thesaurus’ worth of even more descriptions all of which can be the first (but not that last) things that can get in my/your/our way on the path to success.

Learning from history but not dwelling on it was one of the first thoughts that came to mind with this question. The wouldas, shouldas and couldas of this business can haunt you and occasionally that gets in my head too. Sometimes the voice “artist” in us sporadically wants to make us suffer…we need to turn the slider on the microphone of that “artist” voice down to 0.

Lost opportunities, poor choices, slow responses in a myriad of business situations over a career dot everyone’s professional landscape, mine too. The key take away, though is to learn from the mistakes but also learn to let go of the mistake. If your business is in a lull, don’t think about the wouldas, shouldas and couldas but rather the “ares” and “ams”. “We are going to make some calls to prospects today” or “I am going to attend a local networking event.” Positive wins and action achieves.

Another challenge is not focusing enough time to manage the business. Sometimes it’s the work load and sometimes organizing your profit and loss statement just isn’t very interesting. But at the end of the year or at tax time when you’ve found that over the past year you were spending like a drunken sailor and your net profit isn’t as large as you’d hoped or needed, you’ll be sorry you didn’t focus a bit more on the debits, credits and other core elements of the business.

More tomorrow.

Thanks for reading.

If you haven’t already, we’d be honored if you subscribe to voxmarketising – the audio’connell blog and podcast by clicking the “subscribe” button on this blog.

If you really like this post (of course we hope you do), please feel free to bookmark and or promote it by clicking the buttons below on your preferred services.

voice over question #1


Sometimes I am such a schmoe.

Back in March Stu Gray tagged me (which is blog speak for taking a topic one writer has started and either responding to it or building on it “tag you’re it”) about how voice talents become successful.

Well, I missed the tag…it totally blew by me for reasons I cannot explain (or as has become my truthful response “blame the kids”) and were it not for Kara Edwards response to Stu’s tag in her blog, I would have totally missed it.

So thanks Kara and sorry Stu.

But under the heading of better late than never I shall offer my usually long and fairly self effacing answers (I don’t want/like to sound all puffy) to this multiple choice essay test which will prove yet again why everyone in my family was amazed I graduated high school and stunned when I graduated college (both were on the “pity the poor stupid bastard scholarship”….oops, can you say “pity” on the web).

I’ll do this daily (it should wrap up Thursday) so what I lacked in timeliness I will try and make up via sheer bloviating.

1. What habits have enabled you to become successful?

Is there a better word than passion to describe the professional sensation I feel working in the voice over field and managing my business? I get a rush every time someone calls with a new project and the rush is not money based…truly!

It’s a new project, a new creative start. When I get to work with other voice actors in the studio or during a training class, there are endorphins that kick in that are just blissful. When I get to visit with other voice talents and talk about the business I find pure enjoyment. I’m lousy at articulating it (I’m a VO, I need a script!) but I know it when I experience it…maybe you do too.

So to look to habits or tricks to be effective seems to miss the core of anyone’s true success (in my dictionary anyway). You must have a passion for what you do, it must consume you (in a non-addictive, not-so-much-a-hermit way), almost a part of your central nervous system and drive you to succeed. If you love something (voice over) that much, your success isn’t guaranteed but it is more assured because of it.

But I do mean to answer the question.

So with passion as your base, you must have true talent to succeed in voice over and one must be honest about whether that is the case. Talent isn’t a habit but the best habits cannot replace talent. Do you have it? Please try not to fool yourself because our business has too many fools already (see this blog’s masthead as exhibit A).

Just because someone says “you have a nice voice” or because you did the voice for your company’s in-house video doesn’t mean you have talent. Heck there are some radio announcers that aren’t very good but the station needed a warm body (consistent quality has long ago left the radio station biz). Most people, if they are honest know if they really have talent. But if you’re not sure, find an honest, reputable teacher and have a heart to heart. Here’s the puffy part: I have talent and it’s a key part of my success.

Calling on that talent, growing it, requires preparation and training (here’s some habit talk). While I chide radio, it was my great training ground back when radio offered some flexibility. Finding a group or one on one voice trainer is critical. In person is best but phone training is ok too. I don’t go near enough to my classes but every time I do I get energized.

I also often tell the story of being a teenager and reading magazine copy out loud in my room and having my parents peek in quizzically. I still do that today when I have the opportunity and people (well, mostly my wife) still look at me funny. At least I think that’s why they look at me funny. Basically, if you’re a voice talent, use your voice whether someone is paying you or not. Practice.

Then there’s the sales and marketing aspect of the voice over business. While you cannot succeed without passion, talent and training, all of that will get you no where if you don’t know how to market and sell yourself. I focus on it relentlessly (which I think qualifies as a habit) but breaking it down to a habit or trick is difficult except to say you need to scour the globe for leads, you need to track your leads and you need to manage your leads. One could quite seriously write a book on each of those three tasks. But you must learn how to do each of them or your business will fail (was that tough love or just too tough?)

If you had to focus on just one aspect of sales and marketing to make your VO business thrive, it is this: learn the internet. Every damn thing about the internet.

Voice over has become a virtually industry and you will never meet most of your clients (which I think is kind of shame). Your web site is your office. It’s the most construction you’ll likely ever have to do. Make it as easy and effective a place to access and operate as you possibly can. Or find people who know how to help you.

More tomorrow.

Thanks for reading.

If you haven’t already, we’d be honored if you subscribe to voxmarketising – the audio’connell blog and podcast by clicking the “subscribe” button on this blog.

If you really like this post (of course we hope you do), please feel free to bookmark and or promote it by clicking the buttons below on your preferred services.

MEDIA RELEASE – audio’connell Voice Over Talent Unveils Its International Voice Talent Roster

audio'connell Media Release

BUFFALO, New York, April 11, 2008 – – Companies who work globally or whose clients work internationally can now access for free a voice over casting service to have their English language audio script professionally recorded into a foreign language. It was announced today that professional voice talent company audio’connell Voice Over Talent has launched its international voice casting service via the web at www.internationalvoicetalents.com.

“We’ve been offering this service for years through a select group of international voice talents we’ve gathered based on client requests but we’d never sat down and organized it for the web until now,” said audio’connell Voice Over Talent president and voice talent Peter K. O’Connell.

audio’connell’s international voice talent casting service is complementary to its existing female voice talent casting service. Currently, the international voice roster offers professional male and female voice talents speaking Spanish, French, German, Hungarian, Russian, Japanese and French Canadian with more countries being added regularly. Translation services are also available.

“Technology has broken down all the barriers to international voice over production and allowed multi-lingual male and female voice talents to expand their client base. Everyone can now enjoy a service our clients have always enjoyed: easy access to awesome international voices. We can also more easily access excellent voice options for languages we don’t yet feature,” O’Connell said.

A professional voice over talent and audio producer for over 25 years, Peter O’Connell is president of audio’connell Voice Over Talent, a worldwide, English language-based voice talent organization.

Both organizations provide professional voice talent 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 around the world.

audio’connell Voice Over Talent, International Voice Talents and Voice Over Workshop are all a part of O’Connell Companies.
– 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





casting call for foreign language voice demos


Some of my fellow voice professionals who loiter here may have seen my postings on VO-BB, Voice Over Savvy and Yahoo’s Voice Over Group requesting foreign language voice demos.

Well Mr. Social Media VO here neglected to post the darn thing right here! (Babies, no sleep, you know the drill)

I would like to secure your professional foreign language voice demos (male or female) if you can read and fluently speak the following languages (in your versatile pro voices of course):

• French
• Italian
• German
• Polish
• Japanese
• Chinese
• Korean
• Russian
• Hungarian
• Czech
• Portuguese
• Indonesian
• Hindi

Please send your :60 demo and complete contact info to me at peter at audioconnell dot com.

If there is a language you think I’ve omitted (and you’ve got an awesome demo for it), let me know too.

Further, as voice acting instructor Nancy Wolfson did, if you know folks who do foreign language VO very well, let them know about this possible opportunity.