"It's a relatively easy way to build a personal business and earn good money. And again, I love that I can do it in my home... in my PJs!" -- Ben Marney, Talent of the Month
Ben Marney came to voiceovers for the same reason as a lot of folks: he has received compliments on his voice for years, and he wondered what it would take to make a living out of using it. His 30 years of experience as a singer, musician, and Pro Tools aficionado didn't hurt either!
Ben participated in the Master Program in September, 2009, with coach & producer Brian Thon and Such A Voice founder and president Dan Levine. For years, Ben has been a full-time professional singer and entertainer, and his deep baritone voice even got him several voice over jobs over the years. Despite this experience, Ben had no clue how to get into the voice-over industry as a full-time professional.
Ben says, "I saw the light in my Master Class, and Dan Levine and Brian Thon showed me the way. The following Bi-Weekly Teleconferences and Guru Sessions with Heather Costa have really showed me the how and where to make this a real business! -- And I'm aggressively following their advice now with very positive progress."
A good ole boy from Texas, Ben quickly found his niche in southern states because of his "down home, real guy/worker a la Sam Elliot style". The list of spots he's done for members running for US Congress or State Senate is really impressive! Not only has he done spots for members in Arkansas, Mississippi and Alabama, but Ben has also done work with Mississippi Farm Bureau, Wrangler Jeans, and Knife River Construction (an Oregon-based company). I should also mention that was all work he did in the the last 2 weeks!
One client was so pleased with his voice-over work that the production company told him: “You have the voice weʼve been searching for to seal this deal, and it could be a gold mine for all of us!”
One could argue that some of Ben's "luck" is from sheer persistence. His wife says he's just obsessed with this business, and it surely pays off. His day starts early around 7:00am, and there are nights that he doesn't call it quits until after midnight. A self-proclaimed "registered night owl," getting up early is the hard part for Ben, but he knows it's worth it. First thing in the morning, Ben checks for auditions on voice casting directories, and only auditions for parts that clearly fit his niche and voice.
Ben follows up with clients after that, and stays on top of new postings throughout the day and even on weekends. He says, "I think it's important to be in the first 5 auditions the client listens to." He also knows that being a voice-over artist means sometimes working later to get the client what they want. He says, "I got the e-mail last week from Knife River at 9 P.M my time (6 P.M. their time), and they wanted a few re-reads by the next morning. I e-mailed them the re- read files at 1 A.M. that night. Because I jumped on it and turned it around so quickly, I impressed them and they gave me the entire account!"
His advice to new voice talents is this: "I think itʼs important for a beginner to do a lot of auditions. Not so much to land the jobs, but for the practice. Itʼs a great way to learn how to quickly do a good read, and then send it out recorded at the highest quality ... This is a very competitive business and there are a lot of very good voice over actors out there that know how to turn around a first class audition quickly. If you canʼt do that, then you canʼt compete, and you wonʼt be successful."
Thanks for the tips, Ben, and congratulations on your successes!