Monday, November 30, 2009

December Talent of the Month: Heather McCormack

"I used the marketing tips I got from the Masters Program to not only launch my voiceover career, but also my acting career!" -Heather McCormack, Talent of the Month

A recent graduate of the Masters Program, Heather has already taken many of the marketing strategies she learned from us and applied them to help build her voiceover and acting careers. She first got into acting in college, where she enjoyed the creative freedom and interactions she got with other talent. Heather learned to control her voice like an instrument in her theatre classes, and she finds it easy to summon a wide range of tones, emotions and feelings with her voice -- only one of the reasons that makes Heather a great new voice talent.

After she graduated from the Masters Program with Such A Voice's Producer and Coach Brian Thon, Heather took our advice and started marketing herself in her local community and offer her talents to people she knows. She soon found her first professional voiceover artist gig recording a 230-page audiobook for a co-worker of hers!

Heather's current project couldn't be more suited for her. Having just completed her Masters Degree in Psychology, Heather jumped at the opportunity to audition both as an actor and voiceover artist for a video on couples counseling. Her familiarity with the subject area and passion for counseling makes her the perfect candidate. She plans to offer her voiceover skills to the same company for a PSA on couples counseling as well.

Of her early success, she says, "If it weren't for the things I gained from attending the Masters Program, I would not have had the resources or knowledge to find and pursue these jobs."

What Heather finds most challenging about getting started is figuring out a schedule and sticking to it! While she practices her voiceover technique everyday while multitasking work and taking care of her 6-year-old child, it's hard for her to set aside blocks of time to dedicate to researching and making new contacts. "I don't feel like I'm getting anything done unless I have a good 2 or 3 hours to dedicate to networking," she says. "I'm trying to tell myself that 30 minutes' worth of work can still be significant."

When she does find the time, Heather is making connections with people who want to meld creative pursuits with voiceover acting. Unlike traditional voiceover work, Heather wants to work with people who will give her creative license to work with the material. She likes working with NewFiction.com because they record audiobooks in the style of old time radio shows, with each character read by a separate actor. Down the road, Heather would also like to get into character voices and narrations.

Her advice for new voiceover artists? "TENACITY! -- don't let anyone get you down," Heather says. "If you approach everything with confidence and a friendly attitude, you'll go farther than on raw talent alone." And finally, "Don't give up!"

Great job, Heather! Keep it up, and we look forward to hearing more of you!

-By: Catherine Marshall

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

By this point, you're probably napping on the couch or resting your jaws so you can chomp on more delicious Thanksgiving food! In the season of gratitude, we think it's important to let you know what we at Such A Voice are grateful for. First of all, we're thankful for the opportunity to help people achieve their dreams of becoming voice over artists. It is so rewarding when we see our students succeed, especially when they're really working hard at it. We are proud of our training programs and are so thankful that we get to work with professionals in the voice over industry each and every day.

A few Such A Voice folks wanted to chime in and show their gratitude as well. Jim Chapman, Event Manager, says: I am thankful for the constant support of family and friends. I am also thankful for the opportunity to teach others how to approach the game of baseball. I am a big believer that you can learn a lot about how to deal with the success and failures of life by what you learn on the diamond.

Catherine Marshall, Director of Public Relations, says: I'm thankful to be surrounded by loving friends and family over the holidays! I love Vermont, but I am farther away from family than I would like to be. I'm thankful for my loving and considerate boyfriend, who makes me feel special every day. And last, but not least, I'm thankful to work at a company that gives me creative freedom and support while encouraging me to succeed as a budding voiceover artist. We're a close-knit group here at Such A Voice!

Chris Bramley, Business Development, says: I am thankful for the good health of those close to me, working with an awesome group of people, the great relationships I have with my friends in Burlington and all over the world, and for how sweet it is to live in Vermont with the mountains, Lake Champlain, the culture, the music, and outdoor activities.

Kat Maund
, Director of Social Media Marketing, says: I am thankful to have a beautiful and supportive family, amazing friends, music in all forms, and for gut-busting laughter. I'm also extremely grateful to work in an environment that fosters creativity and the pursuit of knowledge in my field. Last but not least, I'm thankful for Charlie, the office dog who so kindly greets me each and every morning when I come to work.

If we were to keep going, it would take days to list everything we're thankful for! Let us know what you're grateful for this holiday season!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Voice-Over Artist Does a Marathon for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

When I received an email from former Such A Voice student Neda Peshut announcing that she would be walking a marathon with Team in Training to help raise $3,800 for research and patient services, I couldn't not donate to her cause. Sure, blood cancer doesn't have anything to do with voice-overs per se, and it doesn't directly tie into our mission as a voiceover training and demo production company, but I was touched that Neda would include us in the list of friends and families likely to support her.

As it turned out, I talked to Neda on her birthday to let her know that we would contribute $100 to The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS). I took it with a grain of salt when she said this was the best birthday present she'd received, but her laughter and positive energy was down-right contagious!

When asked what made her decide to do this, she didn't really have an answer. Having successfully completed her first marathon ten years ago, she wants to see if she is as fit as she feels at a young 53 years old. "Plus, you know, the New Orleans Marathon is a very easy walk, very flat." Not sure a marathon is ever easy, I just responded, "Oh... Right."

For Neda, the decision to do something in her power to help those with blood cancers was an emotional one. A friend's 5-year-old daughter died of leukemia years ago, and the tragedy is something that is still with them today. She joined a Team in Training group in the Los Angeles area, and many of the members of the team are driven to walk the 26.2 miles by a similar loss of family member or friend.

Neda and her team are set to walk the 26.2 miles on February 28, 2010. In the spirit of giving and being thankful for the healthy ones in my life, we are happy to support Neda! For more information, or to make any donation you can, please go to: http://pages.teamintraining.org/los/mardigra10/npesut

Neda Peshut is a successful voiceover artist and actress, living in the greater Los Angeles area.

If you know of a voiceover-related charity, or an organization that works with people who have disabled voices, feel free to let me know on the blog! We are always looking for great opportunities to give back to the community!

-By: Catherine Marshall

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Technique Tip of December: From the Suburbs to the City, and then Back to the Suburbs

When you're on vacation and someone asks you where you're from, chances are you'll tell them you're from the closest big city to your suburb. After all, who's heard of little Decatur, Georgia? You say you're from the nearest big city to Decatur, which is Atlanta, because people are likely to be familiar with Atlanta.

Marketing yourself in the voice over industry is no different. When networking with clients who may need a voiceover artist's services, let them know you are from a bigger market than your suburb. Put it on your website and on your business cards. Even if you're just starting out, new clients will put more faith in a voice-over artist from Sacramento, CA, than, say, someone from Elk Grove. People who live in smaller towns always see city people as being pros at whatever they do.

Now that you have established yourself as a voice-over talent from a major city, don't try to market yourself in the big city. That is the number one mistake that new voice over artists make when they're just getting started. They got their training, they have their hands on their first class demo CD, and then they try to compete with the big fish in a saturated market.

Instead of setting yourself up for failure, make contacts with people in the suburbs. Better yet -- start with your own! Chances are you'll know someone in your local area who knows someone who owns a business who needs a voiceover for an answering machine prompt, a radio commercial, or a corporate narration. Once you ace one gig, mention to the happy client that you are available for more voice over work in the area, if they can recommend another business (or better yet, a person) to contact.

From there, a lot of social and business networking is by word of mouth. With some diligent voiceover technique practice and creative networking skills, you should find yourself with repeat business in a few short months!

For more information on how to get started in the business today, or to talk with someone about financing your voice over training package, contact us at: info@suchavoice.com. We'll get back to you as soon as we can!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Go The Extra Mile: How To Impress Your Voice-over Clients

In a competitive industry like voice overs, it is important to go the extra mile to impress your clients. The more icing you put on the cake, the better chance you'll have of landing another gig with them or be recommended to another potential client. There are tons of ways you can add that extra special something to really impress them, and here are just a few!


1. Make sure that you are able to deliver the services you offer, but if you can't, recommend someone in your network who can! Recommending someone else for a voice job you landed shows integrity and respect for the client's needs. They will probably come back to you because they trust your intentions.

2. @TheVoiceofBrian says: Serve your clients not just with your talent, but build a relationship with them that could potentially get you more work. Be sensitive to their needs and be aware of their work ethic.

3. Brian also emphasized the importance of a speedy turnaround. As soon as your client asks for a spot, record it as soon as possible and send it to them. Same-day delivery shows dedication and really sets you above the rest.

4. Show that you value your clients. The relationship with your client is a two-way street. Just as you would hope your client would refer business to you, be on the lookout for opportunities or contacts they might want to network with. If you hear of an opportunity that will benefit their business, share it with them! They'll appreciate your interest in their business even if it doesn't directly benefit you.

5. Send your clients a note during the holidays, even if you haven't worked with them in a while. The note or card should wish them a happy holiday, and it will also remind them that you would like to continue doing business with them.

What ways are YOU impressing your clients? Are your tricks to go the extra mile growing your voice over career? Share with us!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Meet Jeff Santoro

Name and Title: Jeff Santoro - Online Marketing/Support

Where You're From
: The Adirondack Mountains - Saranac Lake, NY (right next to Lake Placid, NY, where the olympics were in 1980).

Job Responsibilities: Wow, that's a big question. Mainly, I handle all of the technical aspects of our website and internal systems. I also handle the day-to-day finances of Such A Voice. Working with the team on developing our service is also a pretty larg aspect of my job. It's really fun to have an environment that promotes creativity and growth.

Favorite Food: I'm going to have to go with the venison burger with sauteed onions, mushrooms and blue cheese. I got one from the Bearded Frog last week, and I've been craving another one ever since I finished the first.

Hobbies: Playing bass in a Rock'n Roll/Alt. Country band, computers, pool, darts, home improvements.

Destination Vacation: I must say, I really enjoyed Las Vegas. However, I think my next vacation is going to be to Costa Rica.

What are you listening to right now: The Cinematic Orchestra

One piece of advice for aspiring voice over talent: Consistency. Setting a schedule of when you will work on your voice-over career and sticking to it has amazing results. It often helps to reward yourself with something when you've met your set times for the week. You'll find that after a few weeks or months of really sticking to a set schedule that your business will start to grow and compound itself, which in turn gives you more reason to stay consistent. It's the first few weeks/months that make it difficult, so rewarding yourself should help you make it through until the voice-over work is enough of a reward.

Meet Toni Catlin

Name and Title: Toni Catlin, Scheduling Director

Where You're From: I grew up in Woodstock, Vermont, and I have lived all over the States but now reside in Burlington. I studied at both St. Lawrence University in New York and Vienna, Austria. After college I lived in Los Angeles and enrolled in the Musician's Institute where I studied voice, songwriting and guitar, and I worked in a high-end recording studio. After L.A., I lived in Colorado for a few years, where I worked for the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, performed, and instructed ski. I spent the last 10 years in Nashville, TN, where I got a publishing deal, made two CDs and traveled the world with my music, opening for major acts and honing my songwriting and music skills. I also got my degree to teach English as a Second Language thinking that I may one day live overseas! Last year I moved back to my beautiful home state of Vermont (I missed New England & NYC!) I've been loving living here, working at Such A Voice, and building a following with my music in New England.

Job Description: Along with Bethany Craig, I'm responsible for keeping things running smoothly in the scheduling department. That entails acting as a liaison between the students, teachers, hotels, recording studios, and Such A Voice. I try to find schedules that suite the needs of our students and teachers and relay all pertinent scheduling information on to everyone. I also book our sessions with the recording studios and work with hotels and travel agencies to set up our Masters Program sessions.

Favorite Foods: Dark chocolate, good strong coffee, anything ethnic, wine, my mom's homemade Italian specialties, Mediterranean dishes, and the list goes on.....

Hobbies: For the last 10 years I've made my living as a professional songwriter. Singing and writing songs are my passions and so much of my spare time these days is spent continuing to pursue my music goals. I've had some of my songs cut by other artists, so I'm focusing on that these days! I'm also a passionate traveler; I've been all over the world and continue to love the adventure of discovering a new culture. I'm an avid skier and teach part-time at Beaver Creek, Colorado a few times a year. I love anything outdoorsy - hiking, horseback riding, snorkeling, windsurfing, and water-skiing. I also love to bike and I work for Bike Vermont part-time leading bike tours in the summers . I'm a huge fan of film, and I love to take pictures as well.

Destination Vacation: My parents have a place in the Bahamas out on an island, so I love to go there - it's gorgeous! My family also has a resort in the Adirondack Mountains on Indian Lake, which is one of the most peaceful, beautiful places around. Spending time there is a real treat! Italy is another favorite travel spot (I have roots there). I've been all over the country and especially love Florence, Lake Como, and the Cinque Terre Region. Cadeques, Spain is another great place. Ireland - I have toured there with my music and the people are warm and wonderful! Colorado and British Columbia for skiing. Big Sur, California. NYC to get my culture fix!

What are you listening to right now:
Patty Griffin - she's amazing! Michael Buble...I love his song "Home." All of my talented Nashville singer/songwriter friends...

One piece of advice for aspiring voice over talent: I believe that if you have a passion for something it's important to explore it, and you'll find success if you stick with it. If you don't get caught up focusing on the obstacles in your way, or reasons why you shouldn't do something, and just believe in yourself, keep your eye on your goal, and persevere, then you can achieve pretty much anything!

Monday, November 16, 2009

KatWalk Contest Winners!!!

Congratulations to the Winners of the KatWalk Contest!

Thanks for everyone's participation in voting in the KatWalk Contest!

Marshall Blansfield
received the most votes and is the winner of the Masters Program Package. Congratulations, Marshall!

In a close 2nd, Rachel Heffron won the A+ Package! Great job, Rachel!

We are so impressed by the natural talent that many of the candidates have, and we are really looking forward to working with Marshall and Rachel on training their voices and helping them produce their demos!

In addition, they will have their first gig on the books! After their training, we will have Marshall read the Commercial Script, which we will use on our Masters Program webpages. Rachel will read the Narration Script, and we will use her recording on our teleconference website!

Good job to everyone, and keep coming back to our blog to learn more about technique training and things you can do now to prepare for your career in voiceovers -- even before you get any training with us!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

KatWalk Top 5 Finalists!!!

Hey! Thanks for all the amazing submissions we got for the KatWalk Contest! We are still giddy with excitement over the amount of support and participation we received from you, and we spent a lot of time listening and re-listening to submissions so that we could narrow it down to the Top 5 Finalists!

I have to say that it was hard work, and we're just glad that we don't have to choose the winners!

Congratulations to the Top 5 Finalists of the KatWalk Contest:

Lucas Keppel
Rachel Heffron
Josh Keller
Marshall Blansfield
Nell Bradford

To listen to their submissions and to vote on the BEST voice-over, please click for our POLL. After reviewing all of the voice-overs, select the voice-over artist you think did the best job and has the most potential as a voice talent. Please note that you may only vote once, and we are filtering out multiple votes -- so don't try anything sneaky!!

Voting is open now until Sunday, November 15th at midnight! We will announce the Winner and Runner-Up as soon as we can on Monday morning, November 16th!

Thanks again to everyone for participating, and good luck next time on ... the KatWalk!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Contest Deadline Extension!

We are extending the KatWalk voice-over contest just ONE more day for people who were not able to call in their submissions this weekend. Sorry -- we didn't realize the KatWalk was going to be such a popular success -- we actually had over 1,000 people call in!

We apologize to those of you who tried to call the Contest Line this weekend and were unable to leave your submission because the mailbox was full. I was able to respond to many of you personally, and thanks for leaving your voice-over submission on my answering machine!

If you did not already call in your voice-over submission to either the Contest Line or my mailbox, and you wish to do so, please make sure to register with us again and leave your voice-over submission on the Contest Line. Please see the website for the scripts and further details: http://suchavoice.com/contest

Please note that we are only accepting ONE submission per person, and all subsequent submissions will be deleted.

The Contest Line will remain open until midnight tonight, Monday, November 9th. The Top 5 Finalists will be posted on our blog tomorrow, Tuesday, November 10th, for you to vote on. Visit our blog at: http://suchavoice.blogspot.com

Thanks everyone for participating and making our first contest so exciting!

Best wishes,

Cat, Kat, and the rest of the Team at Such A Voice

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Meet Jim Chapman

Name & Title: Jim Chapman, Event Manager

Where Are You From
: I am originally from Cape Cod, MA, but I currently reside in Burlington, Vermont.

Job Responsibilities: I am responsible for scheduling and maintaining the relationships with the facilities that host our introductory course, "You're On the Air...How to Really Make it in Voice-Overs". I am also responsible for any other projects that find their way to my desk.

Favorite Food: I love food! If you put it on my plate and it tastes good, it's my favorite!

Hobbies: Baseball has always been my true passion. I played in college, and now I coach a local team when I'm not at Such A Voice. You can also find me on the golf the course in my spare time. -- P.S. I saw Tiger Woods play this year.

Destination Vacation Spots: I really enjoyed southern California and Las Vegas. I have never been out of the country, and I really want to go to Italy and Greece.

What are you listening to right now: Anything that comes on my playlist. This could mean anything from Lil Wayne to Britney Spears. If it sounds good and I can sing to it, it's probably on my list.

One piece of advice for aspiring voice over talent: Get out there and go after it! I'll say the same thing I tell all of my players: Don't focus on the end result; focus on what you need to do to be successful today. Find the small things like researching and contacting ten new clients a day, regardless of how things turn out. If you get after it and understand that there will be some growing pains along the way, you'll eventually get the results you're looking for!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Talent of the Month of November: Nino Fincher

"I got my first voiceover gig two weeks after I got my demo, and I thought 'this is easy!'"
-- Nino Fincher, Talent of the Month

Nino Fincher is one of those rare voice over talents who, for one reason or another, was landing gig after gig just weeks after her introductory voice over classes. Maybe she knows the right people, maybe she got lucky, or perhaps her background as a personal trainer helped her voiceover training. Or maybe she just has one of those voices that you hear and immediately think she was meant to be a professional voice over talent.

Whatever the case may be, I was even more impressed to learn that English is Nino's third language! Born in the post-Soviet country Georgia, Nino first learned Georgian and then Russian. She speaks English without a hint of an accent, and she has quickly proven herself as a professional voice talent in English and Russian.

She never thought of going to a voiceover agency, as she quickly landed gigs on her own. She started out in the industry the same way as many voice over talents do: by lending her voice for free. One of her first gigs was working for the Victory Ranch, which hosts soldiers going and coming from war. Nino also volunteered with a seminary that was collecting Bible recordings for people in hospitals.

When Nino landed the gig with the international fitness guru Lawrence Biscontini, she was able to meld her background as a personal trainer with her professional voice talent training. In her mind, it was the perfect combination of "Doing what I know, and loving what I do!"

If Nino has had any challenges at all, she says it's marketing and time management. In order to stay on top of things, she tries to set a goal of making 5 contacts a day -- whether they are voice over talent agencies, clients, or other voiceover talents. She says the key is to, "Make yourself known without being pushy or annoying."

What's up next for Nino? She's moving with her family to Abu Dhabi in just a few days, where she plans to learn Arabic and continue working as a professional voice talent in English, Russian, and hopefully Arabic. In addition, she would like to start auditioning for 2-person commercials so that she can get the interaction with other voiceover talents.

Great job, Nino, and keep up the good work in Abu Dhabi!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Katwalk Voiceover Contest!!!



Thanks for watching the Katwalk! Visit www.suchavoice.com/contest to view the scripts and to enter the contest.

Make sure to call in your contest submission before Sunday, November 8th at midnight to be considered for the contest. The top 5 Finalists' submissions will be posted on the blog on Monday, November 9th, and then it will be up to YOU to vote on the winner.

The First Place Winner will receive our premier training package, the Masters Program, that includes technique training, network quality commercial and narration voice-over demos, marketing know-how, and the lifetime support of our staff, which has over 150 years of experience in the voice-over industry.

The Runner Up will receive our A+ package that includes 3 hours of in-studio one-on-one technique training and a professionally recorded and mastered demo.

PLUS both winners' submissions will be used for our Such A Voice website!

Go to www.suchavoice.com/contest to enter for a chance to win some great prizes and amazing exposure!