1. Movember 2015 days 22 and 23

    Here is the view of my Movember mustache yesterday, November 22nd:


    And today, November 23rd:


    I realize most of your are reading this post on November 24th, because of how late in the day I am posting this; but that’s the way it is sometimes. Please help the fight against prostate cancer and other men’s health issues through either my Movember page or through our MVO Movember team page.

    And thank you for your support.

  2. Feel the fear

    Do you ever take a moment to think about how fragile is the thread on which your (my) voiceover business hangs? By using that metaphor I am not trying to imply that everything is about to collapse on you, but here’s reality. Any one of us could wake up tomorrow unable to speak. We could be involved in an accident that takes away our ability to see. Or walk. Thousands upon thousands of people, some of whom we know personally, are fighting cancer or heart disease or a myriad of other challenges.

    I don’t mean for this post to be such a downer. I simply want to encourage you to take a moment to feel the fear as Seth Godin reminds us in his post this morning.

    By taking a moment to feel that fear, we can turn our attention to the important matters that are buried in the everyday flurry of our lives.

    Here’s an example, I was thinking over the weekend about a former client. Someone with whom I worked on a regular basis for several years. I did a search in my email archives and discovered to my shame that I haven’t connected with this guy in 3 years. So, I reached out to him with an email this weekend. Just checking to see if all is well with him.

    Staying in touch with clients you value and who value you, this is one of the most important things we do. Yet, in the hustle of daily activity it’s easy to let something like that slip. For 3 years!

    Now, is this fellow going to become a client again? I have no idea. But, what’s important is to stay in touch unless and until we’re told to “go away and don’t bother me again.”

    As I’m writing this post, I’m also remembering another potential client who asked me to touch base with him once a month because he’s confident he’ll have something for me, but needs a reminder so when that opportunity is ready he’ll remember to reach out to me.

    Take a few minutes to feel the fear that is holding you back, the fear that is buried in the busyness of life. And then turn your attention to the important matters that come to mind as a result. And have a great week!

  3. Movember 2015 day 21

    Three weeks in to the Movember 2015 experience and things are starting to take shape:


    I mentioned earlier in the month that my father is currently battling prostate cancer. When he told me several months ago that he had been diagnosed he said that his doctor had given him pretty good news because his tumor is slow growing. My Dad is 84 now and when I talk with him he sounds good and says he mostly feels good.

    Needless to say, all of this has brought home to me how important it is to continue the fight against prostate cancer and other men’s health issues so I hope you’ll contribute to the Movember campaign. If you prefer to give to our entire MVO Movember team, please do that instead.

    And thank you for your support.

  4. Movember 2015 days 19 and 20

    The last couple of days have been filled with lots of little activities that always take more time than was planned; thus we’re combining the Movember posts for these 2 days. Here is the day 19 photo:


    My daughter Karen and I were talking yesterday about the fact that my mustache doesn’t look all that full. We both agreed it’s largely because there are enough grey hairs in there that it makes my upper lip still look more like I need a good wash than it does like a full-fledged mustache. I look forward to the end of the month when we’ll see if it’s become something more visible or not.

    Meanwhile, here is today’s Movember photo:


    The angle and the lighting don’t help all that much.

    While my wife Cinda and I were at the bank making a deposit today, she commented again that she’s not a big fan of the mustache because of how prickly it makes my upper lip. But she’s with me in support of the fight against prostate cancer and other men’s health issues and thus the goal of this whole enterprise.

    By the way, I did increase my personal fund-raising goal to $300, since we’ve smashed through the $100 and $200 goals set earlier. Remember, you’re always welcome to continue to the entire MVO Movember team, if you would rather do so.

    And always, thank you for your support!

  5. Movember 2015 day 18

    This morning my youngest son Brian and I, with some help from my wife Cinda, raked all the leaves from our front yard down to the edge of the street that runs in front of our house. We then made a long windrow of those leaves about 4 feet wide so that next Tuesday a truck with a huge vacuum hose can drive by and remove all those leaves from our property. It feels good to get something important completed, which is how we all felt when we wrapped things up just about lunch time.

    The month of November is over half-finished, but Movember continues all the way until the 30th of this month. Here is today’s photo:


    The upper lip just keeps getting more fuzzy by the day. It’s still not the most robust mustache ever seen, but it is what it is. The best that I can manage in my efforts to help fight prostate cancer and other men’s health issues. Thanks to some generous contributions I have again passed my goal (originally $100, updated to $200) so I think I’m going to raise it to $300 today.

    I encourage you to contribute to the entire Male Voice Over Movember team, if that is your preference. Whatever you choose, including doing nothing if that’s what you’d rather, thank you for your support.

  6. Added to the blogroll

    How about this? A post about something other than Movember! I received a very nice note from Cromerty York a few days ago, asking if I would be willing to add her blog to my blogroll. I have done that very thing today.

  7. Movember 2015 day 17

    Several years ago when our our younger two sons were little, I grew a mustache. With my Movember mustache is starting to resemble an actual mustache and not just look like I forgot to wash my face, I’m remembering some things. In particular I remember needing to brush out my mustache multiple times each day, making sure it stayed in place and didn’t accumulate various bits of this and that. Here is today’s photo:


    I had originally set out to personally raise $100 for the Movember cause, but thanks to several generous friends who have contributed to our entire MVO Movember team I have raised my goal to $200. As I am writing this post, I am currently $4 short of that updated goal. I am confident that we’ll get over that number in the next few days. Who knows? I may have to raise my goal again?

    And as always, thank you for your support in the fight against prostate cancer and other men’s health issues.

  8. Movember 2015 days 15 and 16

    Yesterday was one of those days where every time I started to sit down to write my Movember update blog post, something would come up to distract me so I didn’t get this photo posted:


    I really was a very full day, full to a small amount of travel, taking part in our church service (I love the Sundays when I get to be the lay reader of the lessons of the day) and then various family moments plus a nap to partially make up for a very short night.

    Now it must be said, the short night was totally worth it. Cinda and I drove up to Cleveland for the food show and to visit with our friend Yeni Alvarez. We also got to meet her husband Mark DiCarlo for the first time.  It was such a fun afternoon and evening and ended well after midnight. Then we had to be up very early in the morning to make our drive back home. Thus, the Sunday afternoon nap was very welcome.

    But that was yesterday. Today I decided to try something different and took a shot of my face using the mirror. I think it came out okay and with a pretty good look at how things are developing on my upper lip.


    I am very grateful to everyone who has contributed to this Movember campaign to fight prostate cancer and other men’s health issues. If you would rather contribute to the entire MVO Movember team, that’s fine too.

    And thank you for your support.

  9. Movember 2015 day 14

    As I make this post this morning, I know that later today Cinda and I are going to get to hang out with fellow Faffcon alumnus Yeni Alvarez; something to which we are both very much looking forward.

    Meanwhile, the upper lip continues to grow:


    I’m growing this mustache as part of the Movember effort to fight prostate cancer and other men’s health issues. I’m a member of the MVO Movember group, so if you’d rather you can give to the group as a whole.

    Either way, thank you for your support!

  10. Movember 2015 day 13

    One of the things I do every day to keep my voice in tip-top shape is to drink a cup of throat coat tea, whether I feel like it or not. This morning as I was sipping my tea, I remembered why I don’t normally have a mustache. Here, by the way, is the shot for day 13:


    Having my mustache dip into my tea is a minor inconvenience, nothing like the major challenges a lot of men are dealing with.

    What we’re doing with Movember is to help fight prostate cancer and other men’s health issues. I hope you’ll click through on my Movember link and contribute what you can. If you’d rather give to our entire MVO Movember group, you’re welcome to do that instead.

    And thank you for your support.

  11. Movember 2015 day 12

    My wife Cinda said to me a couple of days ago: “I can’t wait for December 1st.” It turns out that while she supports my taking part in Movember, she’s not so enthusiastic about kissing me when my mustache is at this prickly stage.


    We can certainly use your help in the fight against prostate cancer and other men’s health issues. Click through on the Movember link to make a contribution today.

    Or, if you’d like, support our entire MVO Movember team.

    MVO The Voice-Over Guys Movember TAGLINE

    Whatever the case, thank you for your support!

  12. Movember 2015 day 11

    As I start my post for today I want to say a hearty “thank you” to all who serve on this Veterans Day. Four of my high school classmates died in Vietnam in the early 1970s. My draft status was deferred because I went to college right after graduating and by the time I finished college the draft had been cancelled so I never served; but I am deeply grateful to all those who stand in harms way on behalf of our freedom.

    Here is the latest Movember update photo:


    Yesterday my daughter Karen came up to me and looked carefully at my upper lip. She said from across the room it looked like my upper lip was dirty so she wanted to check to see what exactly was going on. Meanwhile, I am also very grateful for everyone who joins the fight against prostate cancer through this Movember campaign. If you like, you can also contribute to our MVO Movember team.

  13. Movember 2015 day 10

    Here is my day 10 photo for Movember:


    The lighting is a little strange on this one because I took it in my man cave in the basement, but I think you can see that the upper lip is starting to fill in a bit. I am very grateful for all of the contributions that have been made thus far to help fight prostate cancer and other men’s health issues.

    I am doing this in conjunction with my friends in the MVO team. This includes Brad Veneble, Peter O’Connell and joining us recently Fran McClellan and Dustin Ebaugh.

    Thank you for your support.

  14. Movember 2015 day 9

    I’ve seen photos of some of the guys taking part in Movember and they look like they’ve been growing their mustaches for 3 weeks even though it’s only been a week and 2 days. Maybe some started early. I don’t know. All I can do is grow mine at the rate it grows. Here’s today’s update:


    Please join me in the fight against prostate cancer and other men’s health issues through Movember.

  15. Movember 2015 day 8

    When I agreed to take part in Movember this year, I knew that this day was coming and that I would most likely have a pretty scruffy looking upper lip when it arrived. And that’s exactly the case:


    You see, I’m preaching at our church today. It’s not something I do on a regular basis, but as one of the deacons of our church it is something I’m prepared to do. On the off-chance that you both see this note before 10:30 in the morning (Eastern time, US) on November 8, 2015 and you would like to watch and listen, you can do so because our church streams the service live. And if the service isn’t live, the archives of previous services are listed on the right side of the page.

    I do hope, whether you have any interest in my preaching or not, that you will consider contributing to the fight against prostate cancer and other men’s health issues through my page at Movember. Clicking the link will take you right there. And thank you for your support.

  16. Movember 2015 day 7

    While a friend of mine and I were both donating blood this morning, he asked me: “what exactly are we supposed to see in all of these close-up pictures of your face that you’ve been posting?” I pointed at my upper lip. He leaned over closer to me and said. “I see. There is something growing there, isn’t there.” (Sorry if I got the quotes slightly off Paul.) We then talked for a moment about Movember.

    Here is day 7’s look:


    Give it another week and I think it will be clear to everyone that I’m growing a mustache for Movember and hoping as a result that you will help join the fight against prostate cancer and other help challenges for men. I’m doing this campaign this year in cooperation with my Male Voice-Over Guys group. Please join us in this fight.

    MVO The Voice-Over Guys Movember TAGLINE

    By the way, my plan is to create a GIF when November is finished to show the day by day progress through the month. I think it should be fun. I will post it here in early December, assuming I’m successful in creating the GIF in the first place.

  17. Movember 2015 day 6

    I can tell this Movember thing is leaving some folks cold, based on the half-dozen or so “unsubscribe” notifications I’ve received thus far and those are only the email subscriptions. By the time this month is over it’s entirely possible I will have no readers left! Hopefully not, because at least part of the reason I’m doing this is to see if I can discipline myself to do a blog post every day again after a few months of no posts what ever and a few years of only one or two posts a month.

    On the other hand, the main point of all of these Movember posts is to ask you to support the fight against prostate cancer. My Movember page is here. And this is what Day 6 looks like:


    I’m taking part in Movember along with some of my friends who are in the Male Voice-Over Guys group. You can give to the entire group on our Movember group page.

    MVO The Voice-Over Guys Movember TAGLINE

  18. Movember 2015 day 5

    This is going to be very quick today. Here is the latest upper lip photo.


    Please contribute to the fight against prostate cancer through Movember. My father is currently battling this dread disease, so this Movember cause hits close to home. And thank you for your support.

  19. Movember 2015 day 4

    I realize this series of blog posts may be even less exciting that watching paint dry, but the cause is truly excellent. The funds we raise through this Movember campaign help the fight against prostate cancer and other men’s health issues.

    Here is day 4;


    If you would rather you can support our entire Male Voice-Over Guys team.

    MVO The Voice-Over Guys Movember TAGLINE

  20. Movember 2015 day 3

    There is a little bit of visible growth now on my upper lip, as you can see:


    Why am I calling attention to my upper lip like this? Because it’s Movember! I hope you will click the link and donate to the cause through my page. Or if you’d rather give to the entire Male Voice-Over Guys group, you can do that too.

    MVO The Voice-Over Guys Movember TAGLINE

  21. Movember 2015 day 2

    As much as possible this month, I am going to do my best to post a Movember update each day, including a photo of how my upper lip is developing. Clearly from one day to the next, the change won’t be all that dramatic. Here is how things look after one full day.


    Like I said, not much change from yesterday. I hope you’ll consider contributing through my page at Movember. Or if you’d rather, give to the entire Male Voice-Over Guys team.

    MVO The Voice-Over Guys Movember TAGLINE

    And thank you for your support!

  22. Movember 2015

    Today I am bringing my blog out of its state of neglect to kick off a month of fundraising for Movember, an organization dedicated to fighting cancer among men (especially prostate cancer) and helping improve men’s health.

    MVO The Voice-Over Guys Movember TAGLINE

    As I do this, I’m taking part with a group of talented fellows with whom I’m associated professionally, The Voice-Over Guys. Click the link for our MVO group on the Movember site. If you would rather just donate directly to me, you can also do so, here on Movember.


    So, here is photo one. I will do my best to post a new photo every day. Or at least as often as I can this month. Thanks in advance for your help!

  23. I’m on a podcast.

    Michael Lenz has been on his voiceover journey for nine years and for a few years has been blogging about his experiences along the way. He has also started a podcast to help folks who are getting started in voiceover. The podcast is called A Journey into Voice Acting, and is on iTunes as well as his site, Facebook and Twitter.

    The fourth edition of the podcast, released today, features an interview with me. I hope you enjoy the conversation. I sure did.

  24. Bit by bit

    It’s been just under 2 months since my last post. I have no excuse for my neglect, but today is a new day so here we go.

    I was reading a blog post a few days ago written by my friend Amy Dallis called The Secret of Micro Movements. (Amy, her daughter Carissa and her husband Tom write a blog called Creative Crosswalk that’s well worth your time.)

    Amy’s comments in that blog post reminded me of a Monday Morning Memo by Roy H. Williams from over 10 years ago. It’s called Exponential Little Bits.

    Both of these point out one simple fact. If you take even a tiny step toward the goal you are trying to reach, every day, you will be amazed at the kind of progress you make. Not tomorrow. Not even next week. But stick with it, making those little steps day after day and before long you’ll look back and realize you’re much further along toward your goal than you thought you ever could be.

    I am taking this advice to heart. Starting today.

    No matter how well things are going right now, change happens. Things that are hot as can be, eventually cool. Clients leave. Or go out of business. Or get bought out by some company with whom you don’t have a relationship. The landscape of the voiceover world continues to shift. Which means that if you stop making progress toward your goals, stop cultivating new clients, just coast for a little while … things can get very tough, very quickly.

    But they don’t have to. With the power of micro movements, or if you prefer, exponential little bits, coupled with persistence progress is closer than you think.

  25. Working with the Giants

    One of my favorite clients for the last several years is the currently defending World Champion San Francisco Giants, winners of the 2014 World Series. The 2015 baseball season is about to kick off, which means there are new commercials coming for the Giants. Here is a feature I narrated about the production of those commercials.

  26. Added to the blogroll today

    I discovered today (when he emailed me to let me know) that I had somehow failed to include a link to the incomparable Johnny Heller on my blogroll. That oversight has been corrected.

  27. Registration is now open for ACX Master Class

    If you have watched the videos I have posted about over the last several days, or even if you haven’t the window of opportunity to register for the 2015 ACX Master Class is now open.

    It’s not cheap, but if you put into practice what you will learn, you have a good shot at making money narrating audiobooks. If that is what you are hoping to do, then click through and register for the ACX Master Class.

    As I’ve mentioned previously, there is a $200 commission I will receive from Dan O’Day and David H. Lawrence XVII if you mention that you signed up for the class because you read about it here. Please only mention me if you strongly wish for me to get that commission.

  28. Ignore the naysayers, or not

    No matter where you go in life and no matter what you do with your life, you will always find people who will be happy to tell you “you can’t do that” or “it’s too hard to get into that” or some other kind of negative verbiage. Words that attempt to put artificial boundaries around what you can or cannot do.

    Now and then, you may also find a few voices who encourage you pursue your goals and dreams; but it seems to me at least that the negative voices always outnumber those that are positive.

    So, if you have been giving some thought to narrating audiobooks, you are facing a crossroads right now. It’s not the only crossroads you’ll ever face, not even the only one regarding whether or not you can or should pursue your goal of being an audiobook narrator. But it is a real crossroads.

    You can click through to watch the third and last of these preview videos from Dan O’Day and if you like what you see and hear, you can then sign up to learn more about the ACX Master Class.

    Or not. As you wish.

    If you do watch that third preview video from Dan O’Day, you’ll see and hear a number of suggestions about how to pursue your goal of being an audiobook narrator. You’ll also see a number of graduates of last year’s ACX Master Class, who have all ready starting narrating audiobooks, with some solid advice on how you can do what you want to.

    And once again I’ll mention that Dan and his teaching partner in the ACX Master Class, David H. Lawrence XVII, have offered to give me a $200 commission for every person who signs up for the class and identifies me as the one who recommended them.

    Please, unless you really want me to get that commission, don’t mention my name. That’s not why I am posting on my blog about the videos or the class. I’m writing these posts because I believe what you will learn and put into action will prove to be well worth what you pay for the program.

  29. Trust, Dan O’Day, Lies and other thoughts

    (UPDATED NOTE: The links should now all be working again.)

    A year ago my long time mentor Dan O’Day reached out to me to ask if I would be willing to link on my blog to some videos he was preparing about a series of teleseminars on audiobook narration and production that he was going to conduct with David H. Lawrence XVII.The series was and is called the ACX Master Class.

    I watched the videos and, though I didn’t agree with every word, thought they were worth sharing. So I did. A few people clicked through and I know at least one of my friends signed up for the ACX Master Class. I also know she enjoyed the experience a great deal and has good things to say about the value of the experience and what she learned.

    On the other hand, there have been lots of words spilled by way of attack on what Dan and David are teaching, and in particular on the way they are presenting and promoting these classes.

    As I said above, I don’t agree with every single thing said. (Or, maybe it would be more accurate to say that I personally would have presented some of the information in a different way.)

    One specific example is in the new video that Dan has prepared to answer some questions that have been raised and to respond to some of the criticism leveled at the class and the promotion of it. Personally, I would not have included the names and/or images of the people being critical of the ACX Master Class or its promotion.

    If you would like to know more about the specific approach to audiobooks that Dan and David are teaching again this year, check out the latest video.

    By way of a conclusion to this blog post, I want to offer a few thoughts for those who wonder about my connection to Dan and why I am posting these messages and links to these videos. The fact is, Dan has offered to pay me a commission of $200 for each person who signed up for the ACX Master Class and identifies me as the reason they are taking the class.

    But I am not posting this information in hopes of getting lots of commissions. In fact, if you decide to sign up for the class, unless you specifically and fervently want me to get that commission, I’m asking you not to put my name down as the reason you made that decision. This blog is not a source of revenue for me. I don’t do affiliate links except under very rare circumstances and then only when I identify that exactly is going on. Though as I am typing this note, I realize that I failed to make note of this information in my blog post from a few days ago. This blog has always been a place for me to write about what I have learned in my 30 plus years of doing voiceovers professionally and to link to things I think you might want to know about.

    So, back to Dan O’Day. I have known Dan personally since the summer of 1997. I met him online in a forum on CompuServe a couple of years before that. Over the years, every time I have signed up for one of Dan’s classes or seminars, I have received value well above what I paid. I know Dan to be a man who consistently delivers what he says he will deliver, and most of the time more than that.

    While I don’t know him as well as I do Dan, I know David H. Lawrence XVII to be a person of significant talent and insight, with a reputation as an excellent teacher.

  30. Where do audiobook narrators come from?

    For the last 8 years I have been consistently working in audiobooks. Starting in 1983 and through 2006 I had been making a good living in voiceover, but I knew nothing about narrating audiobooks. I also worked in radio for some of those years. Had done some professional theater. And worked a corporate day job for a while.

    Then, through a series of circumstances, I was given an audition to narrate the entire Bible for Thomas Nelson Publishers. (The world’s largest publisher of English language Bibles.) When I was hired for the job, I had recorded a few short stories for a small publishing company; but really I knew essentially nothing about narrating audiobooks.

    Now, starting my first full audiobook project with the Bible (774,000 words, many of them in ancient languages!) was like learning to swim by jumping in the deep end of the pool. I was either going to succeed, or die in the attempt. Needless to say, since I’m here typing this note to you in January of 2015, I did in fact survive. But, I most definitely do not recommend that as the best method for starting your journey as an audiobook narrator.

    Here is a better plan. Check out this video which features a number of people who took advantage of an opportunity to learn about narrating audiobooks through a series of teleseminars last year. Among the people in this video is a retired air traffic controller.

    Air traffic controllers are forced to retire at age 56, but this guy wasn’t ready to just sit around twiddling his thumbs all day. So he started narrating audiobooks. A year ago he was a complete beginner just like you are today. Now, he has more books waiting for him to narrate than he has time to get them all done.

    Don’t jump in the deep end of the pool. Really. There are better plans.

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