Entries Tagged as 'audio books'

is bob souer a voice over god?

<em> Male Voice Talent Bob Souer</em>

Male Voice Talent Bob Souer

No but he plays Him in an audiobook. (Ba-dum-bump!)

About four years ago my friend, fellow traveler and sometimes dining companion Bob Souer was booked to narrate entire Bible in the “New King James” version.

Let me repeat: the entire Bible – all 700,000 plus words of it. It’s now been released.

Personally, I’ve always felt there was a bit of divine intervention in the booking because you’ll not find a more kind, Christian man with greater voice over talent than Bob.

If you or someone in your family enjoys absorbing Scripture, this would be an awesome gift, written by some awesome people and presented by an awesome guy.

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


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.

a grand debut


With thanks to David Houston’s blog for the head-ups, major kudos to male voice talent Joe Rodriguez for a terrific audio book debut in the book Ten Mile River. The link features and audio cut of Joe’s work which I thought was really terrific…great character voices! Please take a listen.

I remember Joe writing about this session, his first audio book, on his blog a while back and recall that he was a bit nervous.

No nerves in the performance I heard. All I heard was a great story from a guy who’s developing into a great storyteller.

And should you need a great male Spanish Voice Talent, well there’s a guy name Joe on the International Voice Talent’s page that I could direct you to…

why I absolutely need to work for the Hachette audio-book department


Whether it was just another excuse for a party (which I am totally on board with) or a very clever way to garner publicity (a practice to which I also subscribe) the folks at the audio-book department at Hachette now have my undivided attention and respect.

It was reported in our little downstate paper that Hachette Audio a division of Hachette Book Group USA held a party or more apropos a wake for the cassette tape.

A wake for the cassette tape.

The premise of course is that the cassette tape was long the staple of the audio book industry. Technology today has evolved to compact discs and MP3 files for audio books and other media to the point where you’d be hard pressed to find a cassette player in many households like there used to be.

I love the simplicity of the idea, its creativity and the ease of implementation. Whether it was just for the party or for the publicity I care not. I like the way they think so now I want to be a voice talent working with the party animals at Hachette’s audio-book department.

I’ll bring the pretzels.

peter o’connell’s new commercial demo

A unique title (not) because “my commercial voice over demo” sounded weird to me. Better I speak of myself in the third person like all the self-important pro athletes (not all just some). Mmmm, maybe not.

Anyway, this new voice talent demo was long over due and joins the political commercial demo, audiobook demo and the radio imaging demo as recently re-done.

Got some more work to do on the narration and character voice demos now.

More to come. Let me know what you think (good or bad). I’d rather you be honest. Enjoy


happiness is a great voice class

Although I attend all too infrequently so that I can be at home with the growing fam, I am allowed back in to study occassionally with the great teacher and my friend Toni Silveri of The Voice Actor Workshop here in town.

Quick plug: Toni is bringing into Buffalo her long-time friend Pat Fraley on August 16-17 for two classes. The Saturday workshop “The Silly, The Serious and The Subtle” character voice class is full but there are a few spots left for the class I am attending on Recording Audio Books. Contact Toni through All Coast Talent to reserve your spot.


I was talking with my friend Amy Snively yesterday. She’s a marvelous voice talent in Los Angeles that you’ve probably heard on network shows as a promo voice or as a narrator (her commercial work is cool too). In a wonderfully wide ranging conversation she hit on a theme that that people have brought before me many times: why do you (me) attend voice over classes?

The question is usually meant in a complimentary way (I think) as if to say you’re very talented and knowledgeable about all things voice. You should be teaching not studying.

Well I do teach (if you can call it that, compared to the scores of more thoughtful tutors in our industry) but I am so knowledgeable about voice and about life that I know just how much I don’t know. You may have to read that again to grasp the intent. The point is: there is always something more to learn. Our brains may have a finite capacity for knowledge but I’m pretty sure I’m still only using a ¼ of the tank in my cranium. So I need to keep filling.


Amy wanted me to consider private coaching as all of my learning as been in a group environment when it comes to voice over. She and many of my peers have accomplished great things in this format. I probably should try private coaching to actually compare but my inner-sense (and certainly experience) tells me I learn more in a group setting. Your mileage may vary as we all learn in different ways (best to check under your own hood for directions on preference.)

Maybe I’ll change my mind after I try the private route.

It could be that I “think” I prefer the group setting because of the solitary nature of our business; the chance to interact and work with peers helps renew my joy for voice over. “There are others like me, I am not a freak!” (Or at least the other freaks are very nice and I enjoy their company.)

But I think it’s getting input and direction from my respected teachers and insight from my fellow students that helps me improve so much in both my performance and my mental game. I will grant you that in a workshop setting, you would have to respect and value the opinion of your fellow students for this to be applicable and if you didn’t get a good group at the outset, you’re pooched). There are nuggets of voice over and performance gold all around in a great VO group class.


There is always some epiphany I come away with when I study with Toni and the rest of the class who are by and large some of the most talent and under credited voice talents I have worked with in twenty-five years. Their talents and mine are always magnified under Toni’s tutelage.

Last night I was encouraged to use a narrator voice that to my ear sounded awfully but the class went nuts over it!

That to me is just one great example of why voice talents need to study: we as voice artists cannot rely constantly on our own ears to ensure our performances nor can we rely on the clients’ ears. Why?

Our ears are too used to and accepting of our own VO quirks and short cuts that can (long term) hamper our performance. And clients are not professional voice talents; they’ve hired you because you sound great to them so even if you know you offered a slightly flawed performance, they may love it. Well great, the check cleared and the client’s happy but should that in itself be enough? If you are a true voice professional, I say no.


As we approach VOICE 2008 in Los Angeles in early August, there’s a lot of talk now about voice training. That event will bring together voice talents from around the world with some tremendous teachers – it’s a group learning setting where I know I would learn lots but I am not going. Why?

Cost? Not really as I have airline mileage points and hotel stay points that make travel a minor cost issue and certainly the show is not cost prohibitive. But as I told Amy ultimately the time and travel commitment is – I have to justify to myself taking a lot of time away from my children and my wife to pursue my professional education. And I’ve already done a lot of training this year.

Deb Munroe who is based out of Vancouver, B.C., came into Toronto a few months back to hold an advanced training of her Mic & Me Workshop. It was a two day event but I came up for only one day. What a fireball of energy Deb is! She’s a very focused teacher who helped me further my “everyman” persona is a great way. She’s a charmer and a go-getter who really helped everyone with their VO needs. You’ll see her at VOICE. Please tell her I said hi.

Stevie Vallance presented her Tooned In Workshop on character voices also in Toronto this summer. She is a multi-talent performer, a three-time Emmy nominee and one-time Emmy Award winner who continues to excel in the animation field, having served as a voice actor and voice director on many network cartoon shows. That was a wonderful vocal work out where I again was introduced to some new talent while also working with old friends.

Combine that with Fraley’s workshop coming up in August and that’s plenty of workshops for me. Though I would love the networking I would do in LA, its very unlikely that I’ll attend….this year.

What have been your training experiences this year and how did they go? Planning on any workshops and what are your goals for the workshops? Let me know.

Thanks for reading.

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