Friday, December 4, 2009

My Masters Program Experience

Before I start, I'm pumped to let the "cat" out the bag and announce that Such A Voice is launching its very own *podcast* in January, 2010! While we are still ironing out some details, so far I can tell you that Mel Allen and I will be producing the podcast together. I know what you're thinking: "But you just had your voiceover training! -- How could you possibly offer me any useful information?" I will be the first to admit that Mel is the "Yoda" of the show, and I'm (at best) the "Daniel-san," eager to learn from all of Mel's years in the industry! [Or Mel is Mr. Miyagi and I'm ... ]Although I'm saving a majority of the details for our first couple episodes, I'll share the backstory as to how I ended up as a Masters Program student here at Such A Voice. We first thought it would be a good idea for me to participate in the Masters Program strictly for professional reasons. As PR Director, I'm better equipped to help students, field questions, and work with the media on the classes and workshops if I have first-hand knowledge of our products.

Because I approached this process for PR purposes only, and not as an aspiring voiceover talent, I expected to be more of an "active" observer instead of a participant. Boy, was I wrong about that! Not only was I not able to blend in with the wallpaper because we intentionally maintain a small class size, but the Group Technique Teleconference piqued my interest and attention from the get-go so that I wanted to participate more! This is where I realized how much fun it would be to become a voiceover artist!

I walked away from the first teleconference excited to do my "homework"! I couldn't help but listen to the radio differently, read a book at night with a more dynamic narration playing inside my head, and I looked at everything -- from the back of my shampoo bottle and cereal box to prescription medicine ads in magazines -- as commercial scripts. I listened to TV commercials more than I watched them, and I found myself analyzing them from the client's perspective: who are they trying to target? What's the underlying message here? How did the voiceover artist accomplish that?

All the pieces to the puzzle fell into place during the Masters Program. Working with all types of real copy in small groups and alone sparked our creative energies, and we quickly became more articulate with our analyses and feedback. It was clear that everyone had come prepared to soak up as much knowledge and tips as we could. Brian Thon, Jodi Petersen, and Brendan Coyle provided us with a wealth of voiceover technique tips and marketing strategies to take home with us. By the time I walked into the recording studio, I felt well-prepared, confident, and excited for the professional voiceover artist experience!

Now, my homework is to practice the many techniques I got in my voice over coaching sessions, continue to play with my voice and learn to control my voice in ways I had never thought of. We left equipped with CDs on social media and marketing, and I am currently working on creating my brand, and everything else that goes with that.

Stay tuned for our podcast in the new year, when we'll go more in depth to my experiences in the Masters Program, and you'll get to hear what I've been up to since then!

-written by Catherine Marshall, Director of Public Relations

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