I honestly wish I had a nickle for every time I’ve an individual I’ve just met comment about “how often someone says they have a nice voice.” The sound of your voice may eventually have something to do with whether or not you get hired for a specific role or job or project; but it’s way at the end of the series of questions that lead those people who are hiring to make their final decisions.
As Marice Tobias so brilliantly points out in her post The “Nice Voice” Myth, assuming that because you have a nice voice means you’re ready to start working in voiceover is a little like assuming that buying a piano will make you a musical virtuoso. You can have the most wonderful sounding piano on the planet, but if you don’t put in the necessary time studying (for years and years!), you’re not going to be making your debut at Carnegie Hall any time soon. (Thank you for the brilliant word picture, Marice!)
The old joke goes “How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice!”
But the real key is the kind of practice you do. Spending 20 years perfecting scales and Chopsticks still won’t get you to Carnegie Hall. It takes study with great coaches, like Marice. And then applying what you’ve learned. And studying some more. And applying some more.
I’ve written previously about my 26 year journey from the start of my professional voiceover journey until I was finally able to go to work exclusively in voiceover. It’s doesn’t have to take you 26 years, or 16 or even 6. But it does take a serious commitment to stop thinking you have this whole voiceover thing nailed because of how many people tell you what a nice voice you have.
To refer again to Marice’s post The “Nice Voice” Myth, are any of those people telling you that you have a nice voice hiring you? If not, then those comments are worth exactly what you’re paying for them. Nothing.
Do the work. Save up your money to study with a truly great coach. And no, don’t go knocking on Marice’s door just yet. She only works with established pros. If you work hard enough and long enough, you’ll get there. Spend some time reading what other working voice actors are saying about the various coaches. Pick one with a truly great reputation and start working with her. Or him. Then invest in some quality equipment and in treating your recording space and in some more study and in a truly knockout demo. And then another. And another. And by that time, you’ll be well on your way.
You may or may not have seen my friend Kelley Buttrick’s post on her site about Jeep. It’s an arresting and original campaign by Kelley to position herself as the logical choice as the next voice for the Jeep brand. Here is just one example from her site:
Kelley’s campaign is brilliant on so many levels. Focused. Original. Audacious. And yet respectful and highly professional. I have no doubt that, even if Kelley doesn’t end up as the voice of the Jeep brand, the benefits of this marketing campaign are going to redound positively for her for years to come.
It’s all ready gained her exposure in a highly visible spot, as her story is featured in Ad Week.
Kudos to you Kelley! May your star shine long and bright.
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.)
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.
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:
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.
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:
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:
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!
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!
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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’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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.