Friday, July 1, 2011

Insights from the Mentor Program: Susie Schwarz

"Never in a million years would I have been able to deposit a check to TalkonSusie Voice Overs without Michelle’s help. Susie Schwarz, student of the Mentor Program.

Susie first heard about our Mentor Program while working with Rob Sciglimpaglia. She realized how much she desired a career doing voiceover work while in the studio recording her demo. "Being behind the mic, talking with my hands and taking direction…it was all incredibly thrilling to me! It motivated me to want to put in the time, effort and practice to get to become the best I could be." Rob recommended the Mentor Program as a starting point after she recorded to set up her home studio and hone her skills. "I had such a positive experience with the training program that it just seemed the most obvious and logical choice for me".

Michelle Falzon was a great fit for Susie from the beginning. "Michelle was super motivated, highly-talented with incredible experience. She was just amazingly easy to work with." Susie didn't have any particular expectations going into the program, she was only hoping to improve in general, whether that was in technology, technique or marketing, she knew she had room to grow in all of those areas. Her positive attitude and persevering personality really made her squeeze the most out of the Mentor Program. "If I was willing to put in the sweat equity with Michelle's help and support, then I knew would get something out of it."

Michelle helped Susie in many ways. They worked on technique tricks to help with post-production, analyzing scripts, reading pace, voice projection, inflection and adding certain emotions when appropriate.

Even when Susie struggled with a rough script, it turned into a learning experience. "I was super frustrated with my delivery. I couldn't get it right between the timing, emphasis and tone. Somehow it seemed my brain had completely divorced my mouth, haha! Michelle helped me reconcile the two by working with me on repeatedly practicing the script until I finally got it right. She gave me the confidence to keep at it and not give up, and that was amazing."

Working together, Michelle and Susie have been able to help Susie deliver a more competitive audition. In fact, they work on auditions almost every month. "Never in a million years would I have been able to deposit a check to TalkonSusie Voice Overs without Michelle’s help, and I mean that! I’ll record a spot beforehand and send it to her. She’ll critique it during our session, we’ll practice and polish it so that when we’re done I can submit a more competitive audition. In fact, I had a phone audition right after one of our coaching sessions. The audition direction was to be conversational, emotional and approachable. Michelle and I had just worked on sounding natural and believable. After the phone audition, I felt like it was just a great extension of my training with Michelle, not thinking that I would get the job. BUT I DID!!!! The job was to play the voice of a mother for a military website that was recorded in a studio in New York City. That was a blast!"

Susie is happy to share what has worked for her, "practice, practice, practice!" She sets aside time every day to reach small goals, so the end goal doesn't seem so daunting. She submits auditions that are within her niche, even if they don't seem quite good enough for consideration, just to have the opportunity to hone her skills.

Even though every job is a chance for Susie to grow as a voiceover artist, that's not to say she doesn't have a favorite job! "Recording with, a company that creates interactive programs in NYC has been my favorite so far. When I was in the booth taking direction and recording with other VO talents it was so much fun & exciting, I didn't want it to end! When leaving the studio, I was told that the character I played might be a recurring role, so I’m hopeful I’ll being returning soon. Keep your fingers crossed!"

We will keep our fingers crossed for you, Susie! Can't wait to hear more from you soon!

Written by:
Bethany Baker
Such A Voice Marketing Director

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