Entries Tagged as 'rants'

a little, tiny Christmas voice-over spanking for my fellow voice talent

Charlie Brown Christmas_ All Right and Trademarks Acknowledged

You are…to every man, woman and child that I know earning a living in the voice-over profession…all talented people of good heart.

If you’re not, well, you fooled me.

But with this sincere compliment offered, I pose this stinging, serious and direct critique that you are free to ignore:

Your Christmas and holiday messages to your clients and peers are NOT the time to wish us well AND let us know your holiday schedules and availabilities. When you do this cringe-worthy act, you unwittingly come off as insincere and desperate as well as seemingly ignorant about what this holiday season is all about for most of the world.

HINT: This holiday season is NOT about you getting more voice-over jobs.

In this one message to your clients at a time of year steeped in a variety of religious traditions for people of numerous faiths that most all people still hold sacred – be real.

Be human.

Be sincere.

Offer your wish, your hopes or just a simple message of good will. Then stop.

It’s not a marketing opportunity. It’s not a scheduling opportunity. If clients need you, they will find you and you will work.

A competitor won’t tell you about your very awkward yet not career-ending mistake.

But a friend will. 🙂

oh radio, oh radio, your Christmas music’s on too ear-ly*

The fact of the matter is radio stations need Christmas music…badly!

Research seems to indicate that stations (Adult Contemporary or Adult Hits formats mostly) that play 24 hours of Christmas music enjoy a surge in first quarter ratings as a carry over. Radio advertising revenues have been on a steady decline (unfortunately) so I get the economic sense of the business decision.

I understand the competitive argument of being first in the market to get your station playing Christmas music…maybe listeners will think yours is the only station in the market doing it (ha!) so they will stay glued to their radio.

Further, I get that retailers are pushing Christmas shopping to start earlier and earlier so you want your station on in retail stores. Sears announced they will now be open on Thanksgiving Day because family is evidently less important than retail profits.

Knowing all that, I still believe you radio people should start your damn Christmas music the Friday after Thanksgiving!

And you don’t care what I think. And I understand.

* Poorly sung to the music of “Oh Christmas Tree”

taking drastic action

Some will think this stuff and nonsense but I have been stewing about something for while and it has truly been bugging me.

Facebook Fan Pages.

Specifically, should I have one for my voice over marketing?

I have one for the Voice Over Entrance Exam and I have my own personal Facebook page…but do I need a “Fan” page? Sheesh!

Social Media clearly has a narcissistic component to it. Rarely are you asking people on Twitter or Facebook or LinkedIn or on your blog how they are doing – more likely you are telling people who, what, when, where and how you are doing.

There is no ME in team but there sure is ME in Social Media.

Yet most of us play the game and often times enjoy it especially when there is give and take, usually always pleasant.

But I guess it’s the term Fan Page that has bothered me (I think Facebook is trying to get everyone to call it a Like Page but you’re basically asking for fans or for people to vote that they like you.)

That’s awkward to ask and seems kinda desperate in appearance when the Fan Page is about me (the e-book is a “thing” and it helps people – I have no problem with a Fan Page there).

I have joined a ton of fan pages for other people and never gave it a second thought. No, I didn’t think they were desperate at all because of their Fan Page.

But I look at myself differently. It feels like I am being egotistical if I do this Fan Page thing. The old comic line “But enough about me, what do YOU think of me?” comes to mind. Again…awkward is the word that keeps coming to mind for me.

From a business stand point, it could help me communicate with people on Facebook who are interested in my voice over business (the same reason I participate on LinkedIn and Twitter). That’s the big “Pro” in the “Pro/Con” debate that’s been raging in my cranium literally for months.

Well, ultimately that was the deciding factor for me and shamefully, I am announcing I have a Facebook Fan Page now (talk about burying the lead). Peter K. O’Connell – Male Voice Over Talent is what its called (for the SEO lovers out there). In this context, it sounds as ridiculous as “Peter K. O’Connell – Male Model” but, in for a penny, in for a pound.

We’ll have to see how long I can stomach this. I make no promises.

Thanks for listening.

World-wide Audition Completion Keys Enjoinment


My dear brothers and sisters in voice over,

There comes a time in each person’s life when they need to use their blog to bloviate, purge and otherwise sound-off on urgent pressing matters of state. Today is that day for me and I hope for you too.

And by state I mean the state of voice over auditioning in our world. Too often we are given mixed directions on how to submit auditions by our various talent representatives. From useless cattle call auditions, to slating to file names and so much more, we are forced to suffer the indignities of reading directions and following through.

Suddenly, voice over has become like a real job and this is completely unacceptable. We are sloth-like, we are sleepy, we are….voice talents!

Join my ridiculous crusade to make our lives better and more importantly to make our lives easier when we audition for new voice over jobs.

Sign your name in the comment section of this blog and begin your path to an easier auditioning experience for all!

Thank you!

Dear Voice Over Agents,

On behalf of all voice talents (none of whom know I am writing this letter which will never be mailed) who are pleased to work in partnership with you to deliver sacks of cash to all our front doors, thank you for your efforts on our behalf. It is appreciated!

We would like to address an administrative (thinking of the right word here….challenge, problem, nope…wait) opportunity that we think will help make all our lives (yours and your voice talents) much simpler and certainly more organized.

Following a week long summit of all the world’s voice over talent at a resort in the Poconos, where there were speakers, group meetings, break-out sessions and even a few make-out sessions, the following document was contrived and entitled:

The World-wide Audition Completion Keys Enjoinment (WACKE)

The root of this WACKE idea is to establish universal standards and formatting rules for each and every voice over audition that, once implemented on the professional level (between professional voice talents and professional voice talent agents), will eventually become the standard for every organization requesting voice over auditions from talent (not that we ever get any leads from anyone other than our agents, of course).

Item 1: No More Customized Voice Over Auditions Ever – It was unanimously decided that we as voice talent have either personally produced or paid ridiculously large gobs of money to have produced voice over demos that clearly outline our individual vocal skill sets and that jonesing by a client to hear his/her brand name melodiously uttered by hundreds of voice talents just so the client can ultimately pick his cousin Morty as the voice talent because he/she owes him a favor. This clearly makes customized auditions a fairly antiquated process.

Item 1, Subsection 1: Because we’re all pretty much voice over strumpets, we will agree to do a customized audition…occasionally!

Item 1, Subsection 2: Cattle Call Auditions Terminated – The practice of emailing an audition to every man on an agency roster because the specs include the word “male” (same for female) must immediate cease and desist. Agents are required to know all the voice types on their rosters and request auditions ONLY from the voice types that fairly match the description set forth by the client.

Item 2: Audition Voice Slating: All auditions will require a voice slate identifying the voice talent performing the audition. The current trend where some agents require a slate and some do not needlessly confuses small minded voice talents (which practically describes all of us on our side of the microphone).

Item 2, Subsection 2: It must be universally agreed upon by the agents where to place said slate on the audition’s audio file. Voice talents will not place the slate at the beginning of an audition for some agents and at the end of an audition for others. Front OR back, pick one and ONLY one from this point forward.

Item 2, Subsection 3: The text for every voice over audition voice slate henceforth will be as follows: “For (Agent Name) and (Client Name), this is (Voice Talent Name).” There will be no variations in text as any character names that might be needed can be included in the file name (See Item 3).

Item 3: Audition File Naming: Henceforth, all voice over audition files shall be named thusly: Client Name, Character Name, Agency Name, Voice Talent First Initial_Last Name.

Example: McDonalds, Announcer, All Coast Talent, P_O’CONNELL

Item 4: Audition File Format: The standard file format for all voice over auditions will be MP3 until such time as voice talents reconvene to recognize a new file format industry standard as dictated by advances in audio technology, assuming there are any.

Item 5: Transmission of Audition to Agent: Forthwith all agents will establish one email address for the receipt of all auditions and it will read as follows: auditions@agencydomain.suffix . Please note that any agent using a public email domain currently (like @gmail.com or @yahoo.com) needs to man-up (or woman-up) and get a professional email domain like most grown-up companies. It’s not that expense…even voice talents have them, THAT’S how cheap email domain extensions are! 🙂

Item 5, Subsection 2: Acknowledgment of Receipt of an Audition: Agents will set up an auto-responder that will issue an email back to each voice talent who has submitted an audition to them.

Adopted herein this Twenty-Fifth Day of August in the Year of our Lord two thousand and nine by the undersigned who are silly (and yet hopeful) enough to believe that such specifications could ever be universally agreed to by….anybody!

sign the darn thing already!


OK, look….it’s a thing with me.

We all have these “things” that irk us. They are small, mundane issues that make us each a little nuts…the things that make your friends say…”what’s your problem?”.

Mine is (well one of mine is) email signatures. Specifically email signatures without key info like phone number (office and cell!) and web site. When I need to contact somebody fast, I often look up their email for their contact info. When it’s not there when I need it, I have a little (internal) hissy fit.

The thing is not all the people with whom I correspond have a spot in my address book. This is mostly due to the fact that I don’t update my contact manager as often as I should.

But just so we’re clear, this post isn’t about what I can do better (my “perfection” is well documented)…it’s about how other people need to make my life easier.

Glad that’s settled.

So here’s the thing, say “Linus*” sends me an email, he would like me to call him and he signs the email just “Linus”.

Uh, “Linus” do you know that MOST email programs have an automatic signature feature wherein you can fill out your complete sig with all your pertinent contact info once and it will appear at the bottom of your email automatically as soon as you open it?

Well, “Linus” now you do. I’m glad we had this little talk.

* I don’t know any Linus although it has, for a long time, been one of my favorite names. However, it has never been one of Mrs. audio’connell’s favorite names, hence in my brood you will find no “Linus”

updating the voiceover blog roll and other rants


About once a year (maybe twice if I’m actually in the mood for it) I remember I need to update the voice over blog roll that you see to the right of this post. (No, no, your other right!)

It contains a list of all the voice over talents who have blogs. Well now that isn’t entirely true, you see, because there are some voice talents who have blogs but seem to be blogging impaired (they start a blog in 2007, write one post and that’s it) or who have content that is regularly so far off the voice over path that it doesn’t qualify for what I want to list.

None the less, either the amont of voice over bloggers has grown enormously recently or I haven’t been keeping up. Now since you and I know that I am perfect and without fault, let’s just say the list has grown.

When doing research on any project its always best to either start with Google or start at the library. In the world of voice over, that library is found at the internet intersection of Bob and Souer where the land’s most popular voice over blog resides. Bob has over 1 million subscribers.

Here? Well there’s just you and me but I pay you a pretty penny to pretend you like reading this stuff so I don’t want to hear any complaints!

Anyway, over at Bob’s blog I found a ton of new blogs (people email him their links to new blogs because, you know, people actually read his blog). So while I won’t say I actually stole my updated voice-over blog roll listing from Bob’s blog, let’s just say I “borrowed” liberally – along the same lines as radio stations borrow their morning newscast scripts from the morning newspaper.

Now bloggers, listen up – many of you have made wonderful efforts in your posts. The graphics are also lovely. But I have one question: where is your “subscribe” button? Do you have one? Do you know that having a blog without a subscribe button is akin to having an Oreo without milk? Correct…it’s just not done or if it is done, it’s just not right!

Some of you have a little text post in teeny tiny letters that whisper “subscribe” on a side panel or worse that the very bottom of the blog. All the while a possible subscriber is hunting all over the place. What’s worse are you poor souls that have no subscribe button at all. RSS is the blogger’s golden ticket, folks! Note the nice big orange logo on the upper right corner of this blog! People will not click on a link to find your posts everyday- blog aficionados use blog readers. And if someone can’t subscribe to your blog, chances are I am not linking to you on this site. Just a little tough love to help your blog’s readership.

OK, rant completed and it is now my pleasure to welcome the following people to the voiceover blog roll (all of whom are welcome to link back to THIS blog, if they haven’t already). But worry not, my link is not a quid pro quo. So please enjoy reading:

alan bainbridge’s blog

amy snively’s blog

anthony mendez’s blog

marc cashman’s blog

dan lenard’s blog

dana detrick-clark’s blog

dave deandrea’s blog

dave temple’s blog

donna reed’s blog

emma clarke’s blog

erik sheppard’s blog

jamee t. perkin’s blog

kat kessling’s blog

lance blair’s blog

lindsay reiss’ blog

matt anothony’s blog

michael flowers’ blog

michael minetree’s blog

mike cooper’s blog

mitch phillips’ blog

russ renshaw’s blog

scott larson’s blog

steve anthony’s blog

t.j. jones’ blog

tom tolces’ blog

Welcome all. Your talents are grand and your insights are immeasurable.

I’m glad to have in this space and to know you as my peer.