"Brian keeps me going ... He helps me become not just 'good enough,' but the best!"
--Josephine "Posie" Beam, student of the Mentor Program
Posie took the Masters Program back in 2008, but with her farm to run, grandchildren to spoil, and tours at the conservation center -- her priority of getting her voice-over career up and running slipped down in the ranking. Where she lives, no one would know what you meant if you said "voiceover," much less could she find a local voiceover agency. To keep her on track, Posie joined the Mentor Program in January with Such A Voice producer and coach Brian Thon.
Although Posie and Brian only meet once a month for half an hour, she has seen an extraordinary amount of improvement. She has become more confident in her technique, which she says one one of the hardest things to believe. "I used to get stage fright when I would get behind the mic!" Posie says. She also would be too hard on her own voice, and would only compare her work to the "super professional voices on TV." Even though she's been told her whole life that she has a great voice, it took her a while to believe Brian when he would tell her, "Posie, you're already there!"
On technical aspects, Brian has been instrumental in helping Posie get the best sound out of her home recording studio. With Brian's recommendations, she has been able to eliminate the echo that was destroying her recordings, as well as an annoying ticking sound that she would come across in the editing process. No matter what the problem has been, Brian has been able to give her sound advice.
Perhaps one of the best tips Posie has gotten from the Mentor Program with Brian is that she realized she's in a great place to get into the market she's interested in. Whereas before Posie was concerned that she was in too much of a rural setting to find a voiceover agent who could work with her, she now realizes that she's well networked within her community to start doing voice-overs for one of her life-long passions: conservation videos.
Conservation videos, which she says are just becoming professional in quality, are in dire need of warm, voice-over talents. Other than the big names you hear doing voice-overs in nature videos, such as Steve Irwin, David Attenborough, Jeff Corwin, and Sigourney Weaver -- who she says sounds too cold and detached from the subject matter, the vast majority of people doing voice-overs for TV shows and movies do not sound professional at all. Either they dramatize too much for effect, or they don't understand the subject matter well enough to provide a quality narration. And yet, those are the people who are hired for most of the jobs!
Brian has helped her realize that she has a wealth of people who are well-connected in the conservation field to start working on in her very own town. Posie is going to record some tours for the Conservations Research Center she volunteers at, and she knows other people who would like to use her voice for up-coming films, such as one on the Shenandoah River.
Whether or not Posie finds a voice-over agent or not, she's in a great place to land some gigs she can be passionate about!