Entries Tagged as 'voiceover advice'

voiceover workshop invited on the “ask me anything” webcast with tom dheere

Tom Dheere & Peter K. O'Connell "Ask Me Anything" Voiceover MArketingI’ve been fortunate to be invited on a number of voiceover related podcasts and webcasts (because the ‘cooking show’ podcasts know I don’t really have that much to offer – as I am a Platinum Member of the Arby’s Best Customer Club).

So it was nice to have the VO Workshop invited on Tom Dheere’s “Ask Me Anything” webcast (part of his VO Strategist business) to discuss voice-over marketing.

Full disclosure, I was not his first choice for the show but his original guest had to cancel last minute. Glad to help out my friend of at least 10+ years just before airtime.

The show must go on! Indeed it did!

We spoke about marketing priorities for voice talents including databases, demos, websites and more. We also took questions from viewers of the live broadcast.

According to Tom, the show went very well. As the guest, I know hosts always say that but the response thus far has been very positive. I know I enjoyed myself.

Hope you enjoy it.

a humble voiceover brag about voiceover humility

Peter K. O'Connell Voiceover Booth 350If you ask most actors, unless the part is really wonky, they are glad to accept the voiceover work they’re offered.

To be an actor, you’ve gotta be acting. We love the big parts (as they often bring bigger money and exposure) but the smaller part also pay the bills and can be a lot of fun to perform (and can get you noticed – you’d be surprised).

I bring this up because I get that “big part/small part) question asked a lot from my students at the VO Workshop. Ego rules some actors to the point where they may turn down work that they feel is beneath them (even in voiceover).

If there was a moral or ethical question within the project…that I understand and I’ve turned down a few jobs (most pro folks have) with those issues.

But small parts…especially character work…have been a nice portion of what I have voiced over the past four decades as a professional voice actor.

A recent case in point is a corporate voice project I was signed to do for Lowe’s Home Improvement stores. With over 2,100 store locations, countless divisions within the chain and over 300,000 employees, I’m sure educating them all is a huge task. Hence their on-going training activities including the project I worked on.

LISTEN TO PETER’S LOWE’S PROJECT….

2 lines.

In the Lowe’s project, I had a grand total of two lines…but they were comedic and payoff lines for the narrator so the producer needed someone who could pull that off convincingly, effectively and comedically for what he had in mind.

And who he had in mind was me. No auditions – ‘I want Peter’.

Remember when I said you’d be surprised how small (and big) parts can get you noticed?

These producers had worked with me before, knew my versatility and knew I could be trusted with getting the right character and versions for their script. If need be, I am very directable but this director let me go and I got him what he wanted.

Bang. Zoom. Done.

My point is, for voice actors, I’ll take jobs like this all day long and gladly cash the checks they bring because there are lots of small parts. Yes, I get lead spots too and I love ’em!

But be humble and professionally enough to graciously take all of it.

Be the person a producer can rely on to always get the job done for them…no matter the size of the role. Size is nice but quantity is great too. Aim for both in your voice acting career. Hope that helps.

 

don’t take your voiceover web pages for granted

Voiceover Workshop Peter K. O'Connell voworkshop.com

This is the graphic I created and added this weekend to freshen up the content on VOWorkshop.com

Wait a minute…don’t ignore that headline about voiceover web pages because you KNOW you do it.

Everyone who has a website usually works really hard at the start to make sure the design and content are current and laid out well and pretty. Oh how hard we work on it!

Then…we ignore it for many months and even years. Don’t deny it, yes YOU do!

As usual, I will throw myself under the bus in this regard — but I know this isn’t just me.

During this weekend, I found myself cleaning up and adding some content to my main site, peterkoconnell.com (also found via audioconnell.com). I had new information to add to some website pages, some new posts that will be added automatically in a few weeks to the main site and blog etc.

But when I looked at the website interface on all my many voiceover web pages, I realized I had not updated page for the Voiceover Workshop (found via voworkshop.com) in years. Plural! As in more than 1, 2 or 3 years. I’m still teaching all the VO stuff to the VO peoples 😉 but I hadn’t touched the web page in far too long.

Did that information change much? No…but I know it is valuable to keep refreshing a web page’s information at least a little every year..and it’s not that hard.

So to the Voiceover Workshop page, I updated some text and added a fresh, colorful graphic…simple. Now I’m happy with the refreshed page and Google is even happier

Mr. “Marketing Guru” (not at all, really) ignored his own oft quoted advice. Ok, it’s humbling and it should be for me.

But now, you can learn from my…well, not really a mistake…from my omission or neglect.

Take a look at the active pages of YOUR voiceover web site. Make an appointment with yourself…set time aside.

Sometimes you will not have to change anything…but sometimes there are reasonable and useful changes in text, graphics, headlines, alt tags or keywords, etc, that you should make. It’s easy but necessary stuff to do to keep voice actor website information fresh for prospects, customers and Google!

Voiceover Workshop website is your store voworkshop.comMy simple advice is don’t take website content updates for granted…try and schedule a 6 month or 12 month check-up with yourself. Be accountable to yourself.

Remember, in voiceover, your website is your store…and your store should be swept, dusted, vacuumed and/or mopped more than just every few years.

apply for the brad venable voiceover scholarship

Brad Venable Voiceover Scholarship audio'connell blogThe noise that surrounds the voiceover industry…from drama with pay to plays, to an endless list of conferences to social media groups to various associations and awards programs is a bit overwhelming. It feel sometimes like the “business of voiceover” has evolved into the “business of the business of being in voiceover”.

Rightly or wrongly, I try and stay away from the noise because for me, it doesn’t add much to my business…but that’s me, your mileage may vary.

What I came across recently was something that actually brought a smile to my face as it seems to be focused on actually helping new voice talents (as opposed to just trying to sell them something).

SOVAS, the group that has produced the That’s Voiceover!™ Career Expo and Voice Arts Awards since about 2013 have joined with a fairly new VO association group called NAVA (National Association of Voice Actors) to create a new voiceover scholarship.

Despite its lengthy title, The NAVA Brad Venable Scholarship in Partnership with SOVAS promises its award will ensure that the recipient receives credible, effective, and relevant training that will further their opportunities for success as voice actors.

Brad Venable and Peter K. O'ConnellOf course, what caught my attention was the fact that it is named after everyone’s friend, voice actor Brad Venable, whose untimely death a few years ago stole this wonderful person from his family, friends and the voiceover industry.

What caught my attention was Brad’s name AND the word scholarship…it took me back to Faffcon when I got to call Brad about winning a scholarship to FaffCon…he won the Fauxditions (unofficial casting call) for The Price Is Right and got to go to FaffCon 2 as the prize! He was also part of MVO and did the Movember fundraiser with us too. Then, early VO Atlantas…the list goes one.

Many more memories brought back happy times while thinking about Brad.

I think Brad would be tickled about this scholarship. He loved helping others, as he had been helped.

So if you’re new to VO and you may need a leg up, check out THIS LINK, get all the details and register if it suits you.

Brad would welcome you with open arms.

nobody cares as much about your voiceover demo as you do

Other than an actor’s voice and personality, there is probably no more important marketing tool a voice actor has than his/her voiceover demo.

It’s how all your training and talent manifests itself — shouting to the world that you are a professional voice actor. The well-produced voiceover demo is the audio personification of your performing abilities. Woot!!!

Oh, and nobody really cares about your voiceover demo.

Sure, people who hire you (producers & clients) will listen to it see if you have and can deliver the sound they want.

Of course agents will listen to see if you’re presenting what’s trending in the voiceover world so they can sell your voice with your demo.

But their interactions with your demo is likely very short….seconds rather than minutes. They listen, they make a decision, they move on.

And yet as voiceover talents, don’t we fret, stress and strain over every syllable uttered, every musical note played and every sound effect…effected. Don’t even get me started on the order of demo segments.

We have but brief seconds to make a great lasting impression.

As insurance, many folks reasonably decide that hiring an expert demo producer will make the process more professional and maybe less stressful. Sometimes that works and sometimes not.

All these thoughts came back to me as I completed production of my Commercial Voiceover Demo.

The demo production process is a little slice of purgatory really.

I fretted over voice types and scripts and intonation and pacing and music and industry trends and on and on as I self-produced my little heart out to create what I thought was a pretty great demo.

It was with that “pretty great demo” thought that I knew I must call on every performer’s greatest asset – if he or she will only ask for it and receive it – humility.

For demos, humility is about seeking and listening to honest feedback from trusted peers. This time, I got it and it saved me from myself.

By way of quick example, I had crafted a demo segment that I knew was perfect…from the voice to the inflection to the mix…this was going to be my lead piece. Heck, I’ve been doing this for 40+ years, right?

The unanimous feedback from my pro friends said that what I thought was a symphonic demo segment sounded to them more like variations of nails on a chalkboard. VERY glad I solicited opinions.

Stepping back further (with that feedback) I then asked one of my peers if he would direct me in a re-recording of the segment. Segment feedback after that said I made the right call. Grateful to all who helped me.

None of the people I solicited feedback from likely gave my demo another thought after we spoke – that’s perfectly fine. They cared but not like I cared about MY demo.

So if the professional feedback on your demo is really good but nobody seems as excited as you about your demo’s release…relax. That’s how it works in the pros. You’re good.

voice talent christi bowen launches tennessee voiceover studio

Tennessee Voiceover Studio Now Open audioconnellIt’s likely you know about my friend and fellow (award-winning) female voiceover talent Christi Bowen. You’ve likely heard her voice on spots and narrations for Adidas, Johnson & Johnson, SportsClips Haircuts and Ritz-Carlton (yes, she’s THAT versatile.)

While keeping her thriving voiceover business, Christi has initiated another venture: the Tennessee Voiceover Studio. Headquartered in Nashville (in the same building as media producer Filmhouse), Tennessee Voiceover Studios’ purpose is to provide quality training and guidance that allows TNVO students to use their creative gifts and build a rewarding career in voiceover.

Christi and four associates do the teaching and training in their studio. If you need to simply record, you can do that too. And the web site is chalk full of helpful and insightful resources.

If you are anywhere near the area, I highly recommend you check it out.