Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Insights from the Mentor Program: Lori Linskey

Meet Lori Linskey: Master Program graduate, Mentor Program student and budding Professional Voice Actor! Here are some excerpts from our conversation ...

Me: How did you hear about the Mentor Program?

Lori: I learned about the Mentor Program through an e-mail that I received from Such A Voice. I knew about the mentor program from reading the Such A Voice Newsletter and the e-mail arrived at the perfect time. I had completed my voice over classes, the Master Program and had received my demos, but felt like I needed more guidance and direction. After learning that I'd receive one-on-one guidance and have that special point of contact for all of my questions, I realized that the Mentor Program was just what I was looking for.

Me: Who did you work with, and what were your expectations going into the program?

Lori: I have been working with Heather Costa, and she is a fabulous mentor. She is incredibly supportive and really focuses our sessions on questions or issues that I am having at that time. As you know, when you are new to the world of voice overs, the hurdles that you face span a very wide gamut - from figuring out technical recording or Pro Tools issues to how you market your skills or bill your first client. My expectations were pretty modest going into the program. I knew that I had a lot of questions and wanted to feel that I had one person to go to for answers. I had started surfing the web for answers to questions, which is not always a good source for reliable information. Knowing that I could have an experienced voice over artist that I could trust for honest answers was a very attractive option for me. I also felt that the structure of monthly sessions would help keep me moving forward to make progress as a voice over artist.

Me: In concrete ways, how has Heather helped you get your voice over business off the ground?

Lori: Heather has helped me focus my expectations and goals, which has been a tremendous help. By becoming more focused, it's been easier to move forward. She has also had very helpful suggestions regarding branding and finding niches that would work for my voice. Heather is able to provide constructive criticism on both technical and performance issues in a manner that is really positive. This feedback has been so important in helping me grow and improve as a voice over artist. Heather has also helped me with billing and invoice questions. I was thrilled to get work, but was having a difficult time figuring out what I should charge the client. Heather also identified some background noise issues that I was having so that I could correct them before they stood in the way of getting new business.

Me: Have you been able to land voice over jobs that you wouldn't have been able to get?

Lori: I had gotten a small job from auditioning on an online voice over site and then had an opportunity to obtain more work from the client. Heather helped me by critiquing the audition and also helped me figure out how to put together a proposal for the second set of recordings. Her assistance was invaluable and helped me appear to be more experienced than I was. We all have to start at the beginning, but I didn't want to appear as new to voice overs as I was to the client.

Me: Any recommendations to people who are getting started in the voice over industry?

Lori: I highly recommend the Mentor Program. Being able to receive one-on-one assistance specifically focused on your own questions and concerns is a priceless resource. Knowing that you can ask any question about any issue that you have and that you will have a friendly encouraging voice with answers on the other end of the phone is a tremendous source of encouragement, particularly at the beginning of a new voice over career.

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