Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Eight Voice Actors You Should Follow On Twitter

Twitter is a mélange of interesting communities. There are thousands of Tweeple in the voiceover industry. You’ll find a lot of voice actors coming from broadcasting. We like it because it’s indoors, it’s air conditioned, and there’s no heavy lifting. So, this, in no particular order, is my list of folks to follow.

1. Dave Courvoisier (courvo) Dave is the anchor for Channel 8, the CBS affiliate in Las Vegas. You’ll find a lot of blog cross posts, links to his daily You Tube mashup of the day’s headlines, and lots more of interest. So with almost 6 thousand followers, I guess what happens in Vegas gets tweeted all over the world.

2. Austin Keyes (austinkeyes) He’s that big voice you hear on The Celebrity Apprentice, movie trailers, and lots of places around the radio dial.

3. Bob Souer (bobsouer) One of the master story tellers

4. Kara Edwards (karaedwards) Is it coincidence that there are two women on this list from North Carolina? Kara gives you a nice look behind the scenes of a voice actor. And I like her voice.

5. Jeffery Kafer (vooverload) Voice-overload is an internet comic strip that Jeff draws. It’s for and about the voiceover community. Search for the one about Kevin Spacey. Funny, Funny.

6. Ben Hopkin (actingnodrama) Host of the Acting Without The Drama Blog. Good tips on staying “in the moment”

7. Gregory Best (gregorybest) San Diego voice talent. I like reading his tweets. Seems like someone you could have a nice conversation with.

8. Dayci Brookshire (dayci) She’s the Geico Pothole. A Tarheel in NY, and a talented actress so………k, bye!

For those of you Twitterati whom I have forgotten, I’ll catch you on the next list.

--Thanks for reading.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Prose for Pros - 6 Reasons To Hire A Professional

Recently someone asked a question on LinkedIn about whether or not to use a professional voice talent when producing corporate videos. How intriguing.
I’ll bet they got a professional to design and install the sign on their place of business. I’ll bet they use professional plumbers, lawyers, accountants…and those guys aren’t representing your brand.

So why would you want an amateur?

Here’s a few things professional voice talents do:
1. We can give you different options. Ask a professional to read something, then read it again, and they will make different choices.
2. We know how to take direction. Give us a mood, tell us how you want it to sound. We’ll be there. Even if you’re not that specific, we’ll probably ask questions to help both of us zero in on the performance you’re looking for.
3. When all is said and done, it’s less expensive. See above. You’ll spend less time getting the performance you want, AND you’ll get EXACTLY the performance you want.
4. We have better equipment, and we know how to maintain it. There’s a lot of cheap microphones, and free audio editors out there. Bigger is not necessarily better, but good gear stands apart from the rest. We’ve invested, in some cases, many thousands of dollars for the right stuff to make our performances the best they can be.
5. One MP3 is not like another MP3. The compression algorithms are vastly different. You know what I mean if you’ve ever gotten an echo-y, buzzy, clipped voice track from someone.
6. Problems? Well, sometimes it happens. But we do this every day. Usually, we’ve seen most of the things that can go wrong. If it needs to be fixed, we can fix it easier and faster, because we’ve been there.

I get asked many times every year to give advice about getting into voiceovers. I always tell whoever asks to get training. Take acting classes, work with a coach, volunteer to read for the blind, but do something. This industry is about the commitment to deliver the message in a way that gets the desired results for the client.

No matter what kind of project you’re considering, it never hurts to ask a professional.

Thanks for reading.