Entries Tagged as 'voice actors'

Voice-Over Mastery 2015

Voice-Over Mastery

Some people would be content to rest on their professional laurels rather than try something new. Most folks don’t like to break out of their comfort zone.

Most people aren’t Randy Thomas.

Likely America’s most famous female voice-over talent, her talents have taken her from radio dee-jay to the voice of Hooked On Phonics to the first woman to announce The Academy Awards©, The Emmy Awards©, The SAG Awards©, The AFI Awards© (to name a few) voice of Entertainment Tonight for almost a decade, years as the station voice for countless local TV and radio stations, author….look, you get the idea.

Where you hear women announcing on live award shows a lot now, Randy is the one who broke through the male dominated field and paved the way for them (when on the rare occasion she’s not actually the one doing the voicing).

She’s still actively working on voice-over (most recently having done promo work for a well-received CNN documentary series) but she isn’t satisfied with just that.

Last year she created a new voice-over educational series called VO Mastery in her hometown of Fort Meyers, FL. The event is open to all voice talents and even folks considering joining the industry (mostly, though, the attendees include people working in the voice-over business).

In 2014 and again this weekend she brought together a series of accomplished voice talents and industry professionals (many of whom are not often seen at these kinds of voice-over conferences) to cover the gamut of performance, technology and business topics.

Last year, three highlight speakers were Joe Cipriano, Melissa Disney and Chris Corley who each offered some terrific insights into how they manage their careers and how what they’ve learned (good and bad) might be applicable to the careers of those listening. It was a great weekend of networking and I picked up some helpful information too.

This year I had a scheduling conflict with a family event so I couldn’t fly in for VO Mastery’s Friday’s reception. I grabbed a 6:30 a.m. flight Saturday via Washington, D.C. to Ft. Meyers and got there a little after noon.

I arrived in perfect time to grab lunch with longtime pals Doug Turkel, Dan Friedman and Celia Segal. What was especially nice about this lunch was whom they had brought along…Jonathan Tilley, who was speaking at the event (on Saturday morning, so I unfortunately missed the talk). But we had a very nice time at lunch. If you’ve not seen any of Jonathan’s videos including his Tedx Talk, you should check it out.

Another person whose presentation I was looking forward to David Lyerly, former Atlas Talent Promo Agent and now New York’s premier voice over coach for network promos. His panel presentation was interesting but what was especially fun was his performance class, where he guided about 20 of us through cable and network promo scripts. Then he and I got to have dinner afterwards.

There were of course other fine speakers as well including Susan Bennett, Peter Rofe, “Uncle Roy” Yokelson, Simone Fojgiel, Pilar Uribe, Zu Rek “Rick” Party, Carol Monda, J. Michael Collins, Don Abbott, Ronald Magaut as well as Doug, Celia and Dan.

Of course, truth be told the BEST part about these conferences is seeing my friends like Doug, Dan, Celia, Roy, Simone, Zu Rek and Randy. But there were other friends there too (most of whom didn’t know I was even coming to VO Mastery) and all of whom I wish I had more time with including Jackie Bales, Rosi Amador, Bev (Come to Welland) Standing, Shelley Avellino, Faith Coons & Kerri Donovan.

Of course, with my old brain, I have likely inadvertently omitted someone – for which I apologize now, no offensive was intended – but I am grateful for all the people I got to meet in my all too brief visit for #vomastery

bob souer wins a 2014 audie award

Voice Talent Bob Souer Audie Award Winning Narrator of Leadership Secrets of the Salvation Army

The Audio Publishers Association announced the winners of it’s 2014 Audie Awards competition on Thursday May 29, 2014 in New York City as part of the annual Audio Publishers Association Conference. In the Business/Educational category, first time Audie nominee Bob Souer won for his narration work on the Robert Watson authored book Leadership Secrets of the Salvation Army. The book was produced by Christian Audio.

The Audie winning recording was directed by Pam Tierney.

The voice-over world is thrilled for our friend Bob!

congrats dave fennoy

Congrats to Voice-Over Actor Dave Fennoy following his D.I.C.E. win as Outstanding Character Performer as Lee Everett in The Walking Dead.

Probably best known for his recent work as the voice of HULU.COM, Dave’s promo work has also been heard on ABC, The WB, Fox, CBS, Showtime, Starz, ESPN, The Disney Channel and TV One.

His commercial voice-over credits include Lexus, McDonalds, Corona Beer, KFC, Toyota, Chrysler, and ATT, Time Life Music R&B/Gospel and Southern Company.

In addition to The Walking Dead, gamers enjoy Dave’s voice work on STARCRAFT II, Metal Gear, That’s So Raven, Ultimate Spiderman, Delta Force, Star Wars, Laura Croft Tomb Raider, and many others.

Dave’s narration credits include programs for National Geographic, Discovery Channel and Science Channel’s popular series, “When Earth Erupts”.

Dave did a great interview a while back with my friend and fellow voice-over talent Andy Boyns…take a look.

audio’connell in grand rapids, mi

As if you needed another reason to go to FaffCon, here ’tis: I used to travel pretty regularly to Grand Rapids, MI but I don’t as much any more. However, at a recent FaffCon I met voice-over talent Anthony Gettig who lives in nearby Kalamazoo and who said “next time your in Grand Rapids….”

So guess where I had lunch today with Anthony, and fellow voice talents Kim Elliott and Dave Bisson? All are a part of Voice-Over meet-up group that Anthony put together after hearing about such groups in other parts of the country during FaffCon.

My thanks to all of them for spending their lunch hour with me.

the blog dump

Sometimes I get a little behind in my blog ideas.

Often, I sift through my web browsing and my google reader and I note so many wonderful ideas for a blog post that I just don’t have time (at that very moment) to write about. So I click “save” or “unread” so I’ll have them in my file.

And then I keep them there and I never get around to them. Then comes a day like today where I am hell-bent on getting these ideas out but there are too many to write up individual blogs posts about and yet I am NOT going let them stay in my blog reader one minute more.

So this post will feature a link to all of them with maybe some notes from me on why I thought this was cool and you can decide for yourself.

Pintrest? WTH?: If you were to look for a pintrest board from me you wouldn’t find squat cause I don’t see a use for it yet, but remember, I am a famously late adopter in Social Media. You know how Courvo gets to everything first? I’m nearer to the opposite end of that spectrum. BUT for those in advertising and marketing (which almost every voice-over talent is, whether they like it or not) I saw that my friends at the logo critique web site, Brand New, have a new Pintrest board. It’s loaded with pins to their favorite logos and logo related stories. I enjoyed it.

Comic-Con: I’ve never been but I hope someday to actually go.

Peter O’Toole is one of my favorite actors, mostly because he was the star of one of my favorite movies, My Favorite Year. This week he announced his retirement from acting. I understand it but I’m still a little sad about it. All his amazing talent, multiple Oscar nominations but he never won an Oscar. That confirms for me what I’ve recently surmised: the Oscars are really nothing more than a 4 hour string of commercials occasionally interrupted by some trophy toting circus performers. Sorry Mercedes.

Evidently, a long talked about movie about voice-over is closer to production. Here’s a link to the trailer and no I’m not in the movie.

Someone who IS in the movie is the great voice actress June Foray. The big news here is June recently won her FIRST Emmy Award at age 94 for her work as Mrs. Cauldron on “The Garfield Show” on Cartoon Network. It’s about damn time!

Also under the about damn time category, George Whittam decries that its about damn time somebody found a decent audio interface for the iPad and iPhone. The winner at this point is the Studio Six Digital IAudioInterface2 as blogged by George via a report from voice-over talent Beau Weaver. The Beau/George report (not be confused with the Huntley/Brinkley report) can be found here.

Benztown Voiceover grabbed a very nice interview Voice Talent and WPLJ Creative Services Director Dan Kelly that I think is worth the read.

Finally, it might have been back in 1957 that Unnouncer Doug Turkel gave me the heads up that Twitter changed it branding, the Floridian knowing well how much I like logo news. And I do/did except I didn’t get on this in a very timely manner. But in case you’re one of the 12 that did NOT hear about the change, here’s a quick summary.

There’s probably more but my laptop battery is dying and I don’t feel like plugging in.

Best always,
-Me

voice over observation and insight

I’ve held on to a blog post from “Not Just Voiceover”, produced by my voiceover friend James Lorenz, since mid-March because I just wasn’t sure what to do with it…but I knew there was “something” there. The post noted:

Actor-singer Zac Efron, who is part of the animated movie ” The Lorax”, says giving voice-over for the film was not what he had expected.

The actor plays the lead protagonist Ted and admits putting his voice down for the part was not what he had expected, reported contactmusic.com.

“It was kind of weird. It was not what I expected. Luckily, I found out we got to record before it was animated, so we didn’t have to fit our lips into their mouths, which I always wondered if people had to do or not.

An “actor” who doesn’t understand voice acting? “Fit our lips into their mouths,” said Efron. Surely, that was a joke, right?

But why was Zac Efron (or Taylor Swift for that matter) the right voice for the movie? I kinda wonder, but do not know, if the casting was more about star power than voice acting skills.

Certainly, my opinion is tainted because this is my business. Further, in fairness, I’ve not seen the movie and maybe the performances by the two young performers were amazing. And movies are a business, not an acting showcase – stars do sell tickets.

But is it right? The answer is, I think, it doesn’t matter because the celebrity voiceover situation is unlikely to change.

But then I came across this AMAZING interview with the great voice actor Billy West produced by Dan Roberts.

There is so much great stuff here but West talking about celebrity voice over made me feel better and not so alone in my opinion.

What do you think?