Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Voice-over Legend Don LaFountaine Will Be Missed

We write today with a feeling of remorse after the passing on Sunday of a
man that many consider to be the consummate voice-over legend, Don
LaFontaine. LaFontaine was the voice of more than 5000 movie trailers and
countless other voice-over commercials, etc. You'll be hard pressed to
find anyone out there that isn't familiar with his famous "In A World..."
line that he used to begin so many of his tantalizing movie trailors. The
King of the Voice-Over Industry will be missed, but his legend lives on.
Our regrets to LaFontaine's family.

Voice-Over Union Related News: SAG, AFTRA Together For Ad Contracts: Unions Bargain Jointly on Commercial Pact

by Leslie Simmons and Carl DiOrio

AFTRA officially willing to sort out problems that have been brewing with SAG for over two years concerning joint bargaining for commercial contracts under Phase One for respective members. Click on the title to view full article.

Marketing Your Company With Voice Overs

Such A Voice Voice-Over Producer, Coach & Talent, Terry Daniel writes a letter to his clients & potential clients to let them know how they can benefit from the services of a voice-over artist.



Terry DanielConnecting with your target market is the primary purpose of your advertising campaign, but discovering which channels will work is often a bit of a crap shoot. Now that webinars, online advertising, and podcasting are opening new channels of communication, more companies are working on slogans and messages to increase the presence of their brand. Television and radio advertising still offers a lot of benefits, and each and every one of these sales and marketing channels are made better with the use of a voice over.


Adding voice overs to your marketing strategy helps to differentiate your brand and create a unique message. Whether you're trying to persuade your customers to purchase something, present new information, or just entertain an audience, voice overs can deliver your presentation in a unique way. Effectively delivering your message assists in creating a powerful presence for your business; consider how often a jingle, slogan, or just a single sentence can become a part of pop culture. Having the right voice behind your message can definitely "pump or dump" your marketing campaign.


The 1st item to consider with voice overs is what your target market looks like. Consider demographics like age, ethnicity, and location. If you are selling to clients in the South, for example, you might want to choose voice talent and marketing themes with key elements of Southern culture and a Southern accent. When your clientèle can resonate with the voice and message, they are much more likely to remember the slogan, message, and more importantly, your enterprise.


The second thing to consider is how to hire the right voice over talent. Voice over artists can be represented by an agent, or they might have developed their own web pages and online profile. Some voice artist directories can also assist you to focus your quest; these can be searched by keyword, age, type, and background so you can locate a strong match with less legwork involved.


The third item to consider is how long you will need to contract your voice over talent for. If you're developing a selling strategy that includes various marketing messages and promotions for extended periods of time, you'll need to develop a contract with your talent. If you don't want to keep switching voice artists and destroy the true "voice" of your image, consider how you can negotiate payment for the long-term, and plan on hiring the talent for more than just one campaign at a time. In many cases fees are negotiable.


Voice overs are an excellent way to boost your image and extend a more professional image with your marketing campaign. From radio-advertising to podcasts, the voice over plays an essential role in conveying the right communication to your buyers.

Monday, July 7, 2008

VOICE August 8-11, 2008


At the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Los Angeles, California
Meet the VOICE 2008 Panelists

A few deadlines to be aware of
1. Hyatt's special room rate of $169 (plus tax) at the Century Plaza ends on July 10th. After that the rate goes up! Get your reservations made ASAP! Remember, having a roomate will save you $$. You can connect with others looking for a roomie on the VOICE forum or on Julie William's voice-overs forum
2. All breakout session selections must be made before July 15th.3. The deadline for tickets for the Celebrity Banquet is July 31st.4. Tuition increases to $697 on July 31st . Walk-in registration is $797


Keep watching for an exciting announcement about a VERY special AFTRA event on Friday evening you won't want to miss!
Day Passes are now available for attendance at VOICE 2008 for $225 per day. The Day Pass includes admission to general and breakout sessions on the day(s) purchased. The Day Pass does not include evening events.

Go to Voice website and then select REGISTER to take a virtual tour of our incredible hotel!
GOT QUESTIONS?
Visit the VOICE website.

Click here to view the entire VOICE 2008 schedule!!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Newcomers:Start Your Career Right- With A Business Plan

Article By Heather Costa
Voice Actor & Coach

When I was a little girl I wanted to be the voice of Ariel in The Little Mermaid. Little did I know that it was an actual career!

Over the years I had been told that I have a nice, articulate, appealing voice and that I should do something with it. I spent my childhood in musical ensembles, singing and playing the oboe, and then went on to receive a Bachelor’s in Vocal Performance from the Hartt School of Music, University of Hartford.

I enjoyed singing, but I still felt like something was missing.

MY TRUE PASSION

A year after graduation I met Dan Levine, president and founder of Such A Voice, a voice-over training and demo production company, and I knew instantly that voice-overs were my true passion.

Four years later I am now a full-time voice-over artist, a voice-over coach and producer - and I couldn’t be happier.

When I started my journey into the world of voice-overs, though, I still had a full-time 9-5 office job doing secretarial work at a not-for-profit agency. Although I enjoyed what I was doing, I knew it was only a stepping stone, a source of income as I pursued my dream.

BUILT HOME STUDIO

Thanks to today's technology, I put together a home studio that allows me to serve clients all over the world.

With a home studio, I have been able to market myself via the Internet and provide voice-overs for many different types of businesses - from production companies and advertising agencies to car dealerships, retail stores and more.

And since day one, I have had a marketing/business plan for myself, one that is constantly changing. I recommend that everyone create a business plan because it helps to centralize your game plan and focus on specific goals.

MY FIRST PLAN ...

Over time, business plans can change, of course, and I have created outlines for different aspects of the business.

For example, here is a general outline I used for getting started in voice-overs:

1. Obtain voice-over training & produce a voice-over demo.

2. Build a home studio and become comfortable using the equipment. Also locate nearby recording studios as a backup.

3. Create a web presence with online casting sites such as Voice 123 and Voices.com, and create a personal web site.

4. Begin building a database of potential clients by compiling lists of businesses and companies to contact.

5. Start marketing! Email demos as MP3 files; mail demo CDs; promote links to my demos on web sites.

6. FOLLOW UP! (the most important aspect of marketing).

7. Continue to be a student, learning from producers, other voice talent, casting directors and online resources like VoiceOverXtra.com. Take advantage of networking opportunities by participating in blogs and social networking sites such as IROCKTHEMICVO.com (a wonderful new resource for people in the voice-over industry).

8. Enjoy this new career!

JOBS BEGIN

The very first voice-over job I did was for my parent’s podiatry practice. It was a local radio commercial, and even though I didn’t get paid (it’s okay, I think I got dinner out of it), it was great experience, a lot of fun and a name to put on my resume!

My second voice-over job was with a company that paid a very low rate per job, but they were guaranteeing me monthly reoccurring work. It was also a great way to build confidence and gain experience.

The third job was a regional radio commercial from a referral, and everything took off after that!

Meanwhile, I was still working my 9-5 office job, not focusing on NEEDING to get the voice-over work - but rather, having fun exploring the industry, getting very excited when I would land a job and building my business.

NEED TO CHANGE?

If you ever feel frustrated or you’re no longer having fun in voice-overs, stop and figure out why. What can you do to change that?

This industry is a lot of fun, and the day I woke up and realized I was truly having fun at work, really enjoying what I was doing, I knew I had obtained the success I was looking for.

If you have a great voice, a great voice-over demo, and the knowledge of how to market yourself, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t succeed in this industry.

It is also important to have the love and support of people around you as you pursue your dreams. A positive outlook and the assistance of others will be very beneficial. I would not be where I am today if it weren’t for the constant love and business support of my husband.

Today with over 200 clients worldwide, I love my time behind the microphone as a talent. And I also love sharing my passion with thousands of students all over the country who dream of getting into voice-overs themselves.

The opportunities in the voice-over industry are endless!

“Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with shades of deeper meaning.” - Maya Angelou

Heather Costa is a full-time voice-over talent and also a voice-over coach and producer with the company Such A Voice. Her fast growing success and knowledge in this field have earned her respect in the voice-over industry. Working with students around the country, she has helped launch many voice-over careers. Her VO credits include Finish Line, Second Life, PetSmart, Chase Banking Corporation, Comcast, Prentice Hall, the Educational Testing Service, the Village Voice and eBay.

Web: http://www.heathercosta.com/
Email: info@heathercosta.com

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Fine Art of Breathing: Make Your Voice a Masterpiece!

The one thing that we all do daily is breathe. It’s a necessary part of our existence and we all do it the same way. Or do we? Those of us in the performance arts have learned that proper breathing is essential to giving a great performance. Read on to learn how proper breathing technique can improve your performance.



When it comes down to it, breathing control directly affects vocal control. To have full range of all the nuances your voice, you must have full use of your lungs. Like a painter uses different brushes and strokes for effect in creating his art, you need to develop that same type of control with your breathing. In order for you to create your masterpiece of vocal sound, you need to develop your breathing technique.

One of the ways you can improve your performance breathing is to learn to do it properly. This involves actively using your diaphragm muscles in your abdomen. Some people call this “middle breathing” as your stomach will move in and out as opposed to using your chest or shoulders (considered chest breathing or shallow breathing). Here’s how it works.



Sit up straight in your chair and place your hands in your lap with your palms resting against your lower abdomen. Sit in a natural “attentive” position with your head up as if you are gazing across the room. While holding this position breath in slowly and deeply through your nose and inhale as fully as possible. While you are inhaling, imagine you are filling a balloon with water. The water goes straight to the bottom of the balloon and expands out while it fills up. You should be able to see your hands moving out as your lower lungs fill with air. Pay attention that your chest and shoulders stay in their normal position during your inhale.



When you have inhaled as fully as possible hold your breath for a second or two and then slowly exhale through your mouth. Part your lips just enough to allow the air to escape. Use your diaphragm muscles to push the air out by slowly contracting them and pulling your stomach in. Imagine you are now squeezing the water back out of the balloon from the bottom up. You will see your hands slowly pulling in toward your pelvis. Continue your slow squeeze until you have completely exhaled every bit of air you can from your lungs.



Congratulations! You have now completed your first controlled breath! You should practice your controlled breathing several minutes daily. This exercise is very effective for several reasons: As your lung capacity improves so does your abdominal strength. This also has a positive effect on your vocal cords. There will be less vocal strain simply because you have more air and greater breathing control.


You can hear how effective your breathing control is by making simple sounds (like, la, so, fa, do, etc.) during the exhale part of the exercise. You can control and vary your sound by how slowly or forcefully you exhale. Any variations you do will improve your control as long as you remember to breathe from the diaphragm! So take a deep breath, practice your controlled breathing and wow your producer at your next VO performance!

Friday, March 28, 2008

3 Big Reasons Why You Need Business Cards in Your Voice Over Business

In the Voice Over and Entertainment industry, image is everything. It is imperative that your voice over business project a professional image. One of the most effective ways you can do this is by presenting those you meet with your business card. Here are 3 big reasons why business cards are so effective in promoting your business:

Business cards are a basic staple for marketing a viable business. The practice of using business cards is world wide. This is why applying them to your advertising and marketing strategy works so well. People love using them and receiving them!

Business cards add instant business credibility. Handing someone your business card gives immediate substance to your business. All your contact and website information is there on your card. They can contact you or visit your site to hear your demos.

Business cards project a professional image. Just consider it your “pocket sized Public Relations” person! Exchanging business cards is a great icebreaker for meetings and other business related functions. All the key information you need for people to know is right there on your card. Instead of explaining what you do to each new person you meet, you can spend time getting acquainted and adding to our own list of contacts. Be ready for every opportunity to hand out your card!

Here is a list of reasons why that feather weight business card carries a ton of heavy weight marketing potential:

• Portability –Business cards can go everywhere you do! They fit in a wallet, pocket or even the smallest evening bag. Take them everywhere you travel.
• Friendly and convenient – All your business information is available on one small card. People in general love to exchange business cards. Where else can you have your own little “personal billboard” that promotes your voice over service? You never know who you might meet or need for your next job!
• High rate of return and referral– Your card recipient will associate your first meeting with your business card. If they can’t use your services now, they will have your information to refer you to someone else. That business card you gave out months ago could lead you to a great VO job tomorrow!

Now go out and get your business cards printed up! Keep in mind that your business card is just as important as your American Express card. Make it a point to “Never leave home without it.”

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Grow Your Voice Over Business by Giving It Away!

Volunteering your professional pipes is one way you can build your voice over business. Read on to find out how donating your golden voice can lead to rewarding opportunities for your voice over business.

Building a successful voice over business should not be “all work and no play.” You possess a much needed talent. No matter where you live, there are groups and organizations who would love to work with you! Your next big gig could be stepping up the microphone as a voice over volunteer for charity!

Donating quality time to a local charity or nonprofit is an excellent way to advertise your talent by promoting a worthy cause. There are organizations that desperately need your professional services. They would love to have your professional voice promote their message!

There are several ways you can volunteer your voice over services. You can offer your voice for public announcement spots on radio or television. You can also find organizations nationwide that need great voices to read local news and events for the blind or reading impaired. Nearly every city and town has a reading program to assist the reading impaired.

One such organization is Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic ( www.rfbd.org ). RFB & D have trained volunteers that read textbooks and other printed materials to produce audio books and learning tools for people of all ages. Be aware that organizations such as this require a good deal of commitment and are looking for long-term volunteers to work with.

There are also networks of privately funded radio stations that perform reading services. You can easily find these organizations by looking up Nonprofit and Charitable Organizations online or in your local phone book.

Not all volunteer work involves time in a recording studio. Do you have acting talent? Enjoy speaking in public? You can offer your vocal expertise to MC charity and nonprofit events throughout the year. You may be the next Master of Ceremonies for a show, beauty contest, auction or other live fund raising event.

Many local businesses also make a point of volunteering their time, products or services to charitable causes. You never know who may be listening! The product or service you are auctioning off today could bring you a new client or two tomorrow!

Volunteering your time and talent provides a much needed and welcomed service within your community. Your time is both well spent and well invested. Every donated experience adds to your career portfolio, builds your professional character and opens the door for new business relationships. People like doing business with those that work to improve the lives of others. Investing time in your community is always an excellent investment for your business.

So, grab your phonebook and let your fingers find an organization you’d love to work for! You can make a substantial difference in the quality of someone’s life by simply doing the work you love! Your charitable heart and vocal talent will both shine!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Success Story: Kelly Klemolin

It has been a long road for Kelly Klemolin to get to where she is today. With a bachelors in finance and a masters in business, Kelly started her professional life as an accountant for eight years. One day she found herself experiencing a crushing feeling as though she couldn't breath. She knew something was wrong, and that she just was not happy in her working life. She started searching.

Eventually she left her accounting position to work as an event planner. In her new position, she interviewed wedding professionals to work with her company. Thru these interviews, she met a pastor. During their conversation they discussed careers in radio, etc. The pastor said to Kelly, "I do want you to know, I think you would be great in radio, but you would make no money at it." About six months later, Kelly spoke with the pastor again. He wanted to help Kelly get into radio, so he called a friend that worked at the local radio station. This friend had a successful morning show, but his real success was in the voice-over work that he did on the side. After doing his full time radio work, in three hours a day, this radio DJ managed to make 1.5 times his regular salary! He took Kelly under his wings, let her read some scripts, etc, and he expressed to her that he felt that she had the potential to do voice-over work! Eventually, they started talking about voice-over demos, etc.

Kelly really wanted to make this happen. She started reading books about voice-overs, and did searches online, etc. She eventually came upon Such A Voice. She watched our free intro to voice-over video online, "You're On the Air...How to Really Make it in Voice-Overs". She talked in depth with Ben Werlin at the Such A Voice office regarding voice-overs and what the opportunities were like, etc. Eventually, Kelly made the decision that she was going to do everything that she could to become successful in voice-overs. She signed up for the Such A Voice masterclass and worked with us in July of '06.

Because Kelly was so serious about becoming successful with voice-overs, she quit her day job, got her home studio set up, and registered herself on voice123.com before she even attended the masterclass. That go get it attitude has resulted in a lot of success for her. One year after working with Such A Voice, Kelly has developed a client list of 60+!!! She has worked with DC Goode (Hollywood star) in a commercial for NAGICO Insurance (based in the Caribbean). She also did the voice-over for LG Electronics 3D presentation called "Voyage to the Future" that was shown during the Las Vegas' light show. Additionally, Kelly has worked with many other fabulous companies like Skyguard (navigation systems), Verlo (mattress company), and many many more! Kelly's persistent and innovative marketing techniques (eg; mailing CD copies of her demos in red bubblewrap envelopes to stick out from the crowd), hard work, and great voice have helped her get to where she is, and we'll be watching her closely because we think the future is looking even brighter for her.

Congratulations on your success Kelly! We hope that it will inspire many other up and coming voice-talent to follow in your footsteps.

Friday, February 29, 2008

TIP OF THE MONTH

A great way to continuously attract the listener’s attention when reading through a script to accentuate certain key words. It is your responsibility to identify which words in the script are most attractive and then focus on them. You should circle or underline these words with a red pen so that you will be able to see them coming up in the script. Be sure to begin each sentence with a high pitch. Doing so will provide you with a nice natural range for your voice to work within. Additionally, this will prevent an unnatural spike in pitch when it comes time to accentuate those key words.

Another great point of focus when reading through a script is to consciously avoid umms and ahhs. Instead, leave a short pause in your speech. That pause will increase the expectations of the audience and prompt them to keep listening!



Media Contact:
Jim Chapman
P: (802)-655-0513
E: Publicrelations@suchavoice.com

Friday, February 22, 2008

Meet the Founder

DAN LEVINE, founder and president of SUCH A VOICE, has earned the respect of the industry and has helped launch the careers of countless successful voice-over actors throughout the United States.

Dan Levine is a 1992 TONY AWARD nominee for the score of the Broadway Musical, ANNA KARENINA, and has won many awards for his commercial productions as well, including a national CLIO award, and several local advertising ADDY awards and nominations. As a successful record producer and music arranger/orchestrator, his arranging, and/or production credits include cds for singers such as Leslie Uggams, and several original cast recordings, plus numerous TV shows and commercials. For 17 years, Dan Levine produced commercials for hundreds of clients around the country.

Dan Levine's voice-over seminars, entitled: YOU'RE ON THE AIR, have motivated countless future voice-over artists . He continues to deliver these seminars to packed houses throughout the country. Dan Levine's unique marketing technique has opened doors for talented individuals who might never have made it using conventional marketing methods. His philosophy of just being who you are, and turning your natural personality into a marketable commodity is giving new talented voice-over artists the opportunity to find their inner core, and to use it in a fun, lucrative and productive way.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Such A Voice Instructor Terry Daniel And East Coast Voice Talent Trish Basanyi Nominated For Best Voice Team Award for 2008

Professional voice-over artists Terry Daniel along with co-host Trish Basanyi have been noticed for their work hosting interactive podcast Voice Overs On Demand with Terry and Trish.

Burlington, VT- The Voicey Awards are a series of awards given out annually to professional voice-over artists. The Voicey Awards began in 2007 and identified five prestigious categories: Best Male Voice, Best Female voice, Best New Voice, Best Personal Branding, and the Lifetime Achievement Award. The awards go to the voice-over talent with the greatest effort and contribution to the voice-over industry over the year. Four new categories were added this year including Best Child Voice, Best Teen Voice, Best Voice team Award and Best Foreign voice. The team will be up for the Best Team Voice Award for their work in Voice Overs On Demand.

In October of 2007 Such A Voice Producer Terry Daniel along with his co-host Trish Basanyi, a very talented female voice talent from the East coast, launched their interactive podcast Voice Overs On Demand. “The show really took off!” says Terry. “We currently have an average of 500 Downloads per show a week!” Voice-Overs On Demand has covered a variety of topics on the voice over industry since there initial episode, “Starting out in the voice over Business”. In episode 5 of the show Terry and Trish sit down with David Cicarelli who is the founder of Voices.com. which facilitates the connection between voice-over talent and the work that is available. Most recently they sat down with Talent Agent Phil Cassese to discuss some of the specifics of what an agent looks for in a voice talent.

Trish entered the industry in 2001 with a small restaurant/bar voice-over job. Since then she has worked with Verizon, Pepsi, and Wal-Mart to name a few. More recently she has become the on-going voice for the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City.

Terry has been in the industry since 1994 when he landed his first radio job co-hosting a movie review program for a small FM station in the Twin Cities. “It’s always something I wanted to do. I got my first microphone when I was 8 years old and have never put it down.” You can find Terry hosting Voice Overs On Demand as well as teaching Intro to Voice-Over courses for Such A Voice.

Although Terry and Trish are hoping to take home the award, they are familiar with the stiff competition as Such A Voice student Diane Havens along with counterpart Forrest Rainier have been nominated as well. Both parties will be up against three other pairs for the Best Voice Team Award.


Media Contact:

Jim Chapman

P: (802)-655-0513

E: Jim@Suchavoice.com


Friday, February 8, 2008

Such A Voice marks its 20th year in the classroom teaching the unique field of voice-overs

Tony Award Nominated Composer and Commercial Producer Dan Levine along with the Such A Voice team embark on another semester of into level classes for aspiring voice-over artists.

Burlington, VT- "Hey, You have a great voice . . . you should be on the radio!" That is the common the phrase that peeks the interest of most of our students.  The problem is that there is very little direction when it comes to the industry.  Dan Levine, Tony Award Nominated Composer and Commercial Producer, developed a course for such students 20 years ago. He began teaching his two hour intro course, “You’re On the Air . . . How to Really Make it in Voice-Overs” through various continuing education and adult education departments in the Washington DC area. Today, Such A Voice teaches the class in more than 130 institutions across the United States in more than 30 major cities.  

Most people think you have to be the next Donald Sutherland or James Earl Jones to get voice-over work these days. Not true! In "You're On the Air...How to Really Make it in Voice-Overs" students learn about an exciting and new way to get around the competition and turn voice-overs in into a thriving full or part time business! Voice-Overs can be heard anywhere, from the “movie trailer guy”, to the adult cartoon “The Family guy”.  The non-broadcast (corporate narration, video games, audiobooks, etc.) industry alone has become a 100 billion dollar a year industry. Dan Levine and Such A Voice have unlocked the keys to success in this rewarding industry.

With over 20 years of experience in the voice-over industry, Such A Voice has helped to launch many careers by providing companies and organizations with their expertly trained students.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Jim Chapman

Phone: (802) 655.0513

Email: publicrelations@suchavoice.com