1. An opportunity to learn about long-form narration

    The bread and butter part of the voiceover business for many people making a comfortable living doing voiceovers these days is long-form narration of one kind or another. This is where I live and where many of my friends live. So, how do you get a handle on this wide-ranging set of voiceover categories and sub-categories?

    My suggestion would be to get in touch with Pat Fraley and check our his new home study course on narration work. It’s a very modestly priced $200 for the 5 week course. (By the way, I get no commission or any other benefit from telling you about this course. I should also note that Pat asked me to offer some thoughts that he has included in this course. But again, I’m not getting any commission or kick-back or fee of any kind for telling you about this course.)

    Pat Fraley is a very well established working professional voice actor, with genuine gift for teaching others about voiceover. I hope you will check our his home study course on narration work.

  2. The single most important part of your sound

    By sound, in this post, I mean the sound of your home studio. What is the part of the puzzle that has the greatest effect on your sound? Your microphone? Your pre-amp? Your audio interface or A/D converter?

    Having a good microphone is important. The same is true for your pre-amp and your audio interface. No question, having good quality gear in your signal chain is very important. But, as my friend Lance Blair reminds us in his recent post Voice Over Signal Chain, the single most important ingredient is your room.

    Cut down on the early reflections in your room with sound absorbing panels and/or diffusion. Tame the boominess of your room with bass traps in the corners. Don’t forget about the ceiling and floor. Reflections come from those surfaces too. There’s a ton of useful information on the Internet and a lot of, shall we say, “hot air” too. Spending your equipment dollars on room treatment will give you much more bang for your buck in improving your sound than buying a new microphone or pre-amp will.

  3. Movember 2015 day 30

    This morning I had my semi-annual dental visit and teeth cleaning. Since it’s been several years since I’ve had a mustache, I had forgotten how strange it feels to have a hairy upper lip while getting my teeth cleaned. It was a slightly strange experience, but not all together unpleasant. Since it’s November 30th today, here is my final Movember mustache photo update:

    Movember2015_day30

    I’ve gone back to the full-face photo for today, as you can see. Also, with this being the last day of our Movember campaign, I’m pleased to say I did reach my goal of $400 and the MVO Movember team got to $1841. Thank you very much for your support through this month.

    We’ll return to writing about voiceover topics in the coming days. I promise.

  4. Movember 2015 days 28 and 29

    With only one day left in November 2015, this is one of my very last Movember posts. That might represent a very good piece of news. I imagine you might very well be tired of seeing photos of my upper lip, like this one from yesterday:

    Movember2015day28

    I tried a slightly different angle for the two photos I’m posting today, concentrating right on the mustache itself as much as possible. Here is today’s version:

    Movember2015_day29

    With all the ridiculous “selfie” shots, my hope has been to raise as much money as possible for the Movember efforts to battle prostate cancer and other men’s health issues. That has gone pretty well. I’ve raised my goal from it’s original $100, 3 times now. First to $200. Then to $300 and now to $400. In fact we’re closing in on that goal, too. There are just $15 needed to push through that barrier. I would be grateful for your help either on my page or on the page of our entire MVO Movember team.

    Whether you are tired of the photos or not, I am grateful you have stayed with me. And thank you for your support!

  5. Movember 2015 day 27

    With only 3 days left in the month, here is how my Movember mustache stands:

    Movember2015_day27

    Certainly not the most impressive showing, but it’s what it is … the best that I can do in 27 days. Regardless of the level of hair on my upper lip, I am very grateful for the contributions made to the Movember cause whether through my page or through the MVO Movember team page.

    Have a safe and healthy weekend and thank you for your support!

  6. Movember 2015 day 24

    My wife Cinda and I had wings for dinner today, taking advance of a special day at one of our favorite restaurants. This reminded me that having a mustache while eating these tasty little delicacies includes an extra challenge. I used up at least two entire napkins wiping my upper lip as Cinda and I powered our way together through our basket of wings. But it was very much worth the effort, both for the delicious food and the lovely company. Here’s the Movember upper lip after washing my face to clean all of the remaining evidence away:

    Movember2015_day24

    As of today I am just 9 dollars short of my revised goal of $300 for this Movember project, raising funds to fight prostate cancer and other men’s health issues. I hope someone will step up to help me get over that milestone. And as always, if you’d rather donate to our entire MVO Movember team, please do so.

    Thank you for your support.

  7. Movember 2015 days 22 and 23

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

    Movember2015day22

    And today, November 23rd:

    Movember2015day23

    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.

  8. Movember 2015 day 21

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

    Movember2015_day21

    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.

  9. 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:

    Movember2015_day19

    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:

    Movember2015_day20

    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!

  10. 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:

    Movember2015_day18

    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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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:

    Movember2015_day17

    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.

  13. 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:

    Movember2015day15

    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.

    Movember2015day16

    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.

  14. 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:

    Movember2015day14

    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!

  15. 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:

    Movember2015day13

    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.

  16. 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.

    Movember2015_day12

    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!

  17. 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:

    Movember2015day11

    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.

  18. Movember 2015 day 10

    Here is my day 10 photo for Movember:

    Movember2015day10

    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.

  19. 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:

    Movember2015_day09

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

  20. 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:

    Movember2015_day8

    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.

  21. 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:

    Movember2015_day07

    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.

  22. Movember 2015 day 5

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

    Movember2015_day05

    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.

  23. 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;

    Movember2015_day4

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

    MVO The Voice-Over Guys Movember TAGLINE

  24. Movember 2015 day 3

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

    Movember2015_day3

    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

  25. 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.

    Movember2015_day02

    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!

  26. 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.

    Movember2015_day01

    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!

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

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