Entries Tagged as 'voice over entrance exam'

batman joins the voice-over workshop


There are somethings on the internet so perfect that you think they are written just for you.

Were that I was so special but I am not. Many voice-over talents endure my similar predicament of receiving phone calls and emails every week from people who have no voice-over experience wanting to get into the industry.

Their sole qualification: their friends or family members say they have a nice voice and they should look into getting started in voice-over.

An artist’s equivalent to that logic would be if someone walked into a freshly painted, single color room and said to the painter “You paint nicely. You should paint something on canvas and sell it to an international renown art gallery.”

When we are together, we chuckle because these callers and emailers don’t understand that a nice voice will not help you launch a career in voice-over. It’s a business…a difficult business that requires a great deal of work. Much of that work doesn’t even involve a microphone.

To be fair of course, one doesn’t know what one doesn’t know…we all experience that throughout our lives when we begin new tasks of all kinds. But the concept of just having a nice voice as the ticket to begin a career in something many of us have spend decades working at and studying for is a bit frustrating for those in the trenches.

The Voice Over Entrance Exam by Peter K. O'Connell Copyright 2009It’s one of the reasons I wrote “The Voice-Over Entrance Exam”. It’s a little bit more direct and honest than many voice-over books out there that encourage people to chance the dream of voice-over. My opinion has been and remains that it’s OK to chance the dream but you’d better have a solid business foundation as your ship’s anchor or you will be forever lost at sea.

So the Batman graphic, used so often in memes across the internet, struck me as so perfect that I added it to my web page for the The Voice-Over Workshop. 

To the creator of this meme, I salute you.

why the hell do you want to be in voice over?!

voice over workshop presented by voice over talent peter k. o'connell

That’s what I feel like saying to every new person that calls me about the Voice Over Workshop and wants to get started in voice over. But I don’t say it; I try to be honest with people but I try not to be brutal.

Everyone….everyone is entitled to their dream and I am not the final arbitrator of talent or career choice. It’s just a dumb vocational decision fraught with lots of challenges, which can prove insurmountable to many. I think a VO newbie might enjoy a career in bomb disposal more.

But today, a Sunday of all days, I got two calls from folks wanting to get started with voice over training. Sunday being a day of reflection for many, these two folks may have reflected on voice over. Or maybe it was a rainy Sunday and they had nothing else to do except search the web, I dunno.

But because they seemed a little unsure of my training process (in spite of my wordy web exposition on the site), let me – again – briefly explain how this works.

1. I’m going to initially send you to www.voiceoverentranceexam.com and tell you to read my free book. I do this not as an exercise in ego but to give you a sense of how honest I will be as a voice over consiliere.

2. Then if you want to go forward, we will pick a Saturday and work for 2 hours on whatever voiceover topic you choose. Yes, YOU pick the agenda (I’m a voice over talent…planning to is too much like work…kidding!).

3. There are no minimum classes – you can do one class or one hundred…there are no discounts for multiple classes. My knowledge bank does not decrease the more frequently I work with you – hopefully you see even more value with more visits…that’s the feedback from my learners, anyway.

4. Yes, the guarantee is still in place…if we go through the lesson and I think you do not have what it takes to be in voice over, I’ll stop the first session, tell you why you suck as a voice talent in my opinion and you don’t pay me anything.

5. No, I really don’t just want to talk with you about voiceover for a few minutes. I know you are a nice person, so am I but I am also a very busy person and I have to draw the line somewhere. Family and finance come before sitting in a coffee shop giving free career advice to someone I’ve never met before. I know, I’m such a jerk even though I say I’m a nice person.

So there, that’s how the Voice Over Workshop operates. Wherever this information ends up on the web, hopefully that gives you a sense of how we would work together…and I hope we do get that opportunity.

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.

“I’ve been told many times that I should be involved in voice over services.”

That is just one quote from one of the many ‘can I be in voice overs too?’ emails I get each week. All of them sincere.

I’m honored that these folks think I’m somehow worthy of the note, thinking that I may be able hand over the magic keys to the voice over kingdom. I’ve not the heart to tell them that no one has yet told me where the bathroom is in this kingdom let alone handed me the kingdom’s keys.

What I always do is direct them to my free e-book “The Voice Over Entrance Exam” which discusses what I believe are the real keys to beginning a career in voice over. It is rarely a fast turnaround career and it is mostly not a highly lucrative business for the thousand who practice it in earnest…it takes time and patience and that erases most of the newer contestants early on.

If today, this is you…you think you’d like to try your hand at voice over…OK.

1. Read my e-book, read other people’s books (there’s a list of some in my book) then decide.

2. If you are serious (and please read and think about those words again) you have options. One of many options is this one.

3. If you’re not serious about being in voice overs, now is the perfect time to realize and admit that – you are obviously an honest and courageous person if you can.

If you are currently a voice talent, feel free to reference this book and share the link with those who inquire to you if you feel the book is worthwhile.

If you would like to become a fan of the book on Facebook, click here and thanks.

As always, I hope this helps.

mary’s thoughts on getting started in voice over

If I were a betting man, my guess that this blog post by my friend and fellow voice talent Mary McKitrick was written not only to help her many blog readers who may be getting started in voice over, but also to serve as a blog reference for her to those newbie inquires she gets and will continue to get.

And it’s a fine read for them…and you.

There’s also this little tome as well.

we’re number 1 – 1 – 1!

So Facebook is kind enough to send me a weekly update on the Facebook Fan Page I put together some months ago for The Voiceover Entrance Exam free e-book that I wrote last year.

I am always surprised and pleased when I see people have become a fan of the page. I hope that means that the book has been read and was helpful to these folks who are fans…that is why I wrote it.

Anyway, today I see the page has 111 fans. So I guess that means we’re number 1 – 3 times over! Uh oh, this is starting to read like a Ralph Hass blog post so I better quit while I am ahead.

Anyway, to everyone who did become a fan, thank you very sincerely!