Saturday, April 30, 2011

Technique Tip of the Month: Wear Your Headphones When You Record!

You may wonder why on earth you need to wear headphones when recording in your own home studio. I mean, you’re right there, right? You don’t have to listen to a director’s instructions from another room, right? It’s just you, by yourself, so why on earth should you use headphones???

Let me ask you this – how many of you, when you first heard yourself recorded and played back, said these words: “Hey! That doesn’t sound like ME!” I see a lot of you raising your hand. Yeah. You didn’t think you sounded like YOU at all! Here’s what’s weird – you are the ONLY one who thinks that.

Because while YOU are saying, “Hey! That doesn’t sound like ME!”, WE are all listening to your recording and saying, “Um, yeah it does. It sounds EXACTLY like you!”

The problem is, you have been listening to your voice from INSIDE your head – and you are the ONLY one who hears it like this. Get on board with what the rest of us are hearing and ALWAYS use your headphones to record with. Your voice is your PRODUCT. You must have an intimate knowledge of your PRODUCT, and unless you are listening to your voice like the rest of us hear it, you will never know what you actually sound like. Remember, you have to have a good EAR to do great voice overs – headphones will give you that EAR! Use them!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Talent of the Month: An Interview with Anne-Marie Meeks

" ...That was the best $150 I have ever earned for a 3 minute job done in the comfort of my own home in my studio that my husband had built." --Anne-Marie Meeks, Professional Voice Over Actor, on her first job after completing the Such A Voice program

All of us have come into voice over work in different ways. Some of us are looking for a change of career, some of us are looking for a supplemental income and some of us are fulfilling a lifetime dream much later in life. You always hear stories about artists showing signs of natural talent at a very young age, and Anne-Marie Meeks definitely falls into this category.

Anne-Marie partially grew up in Nigeria, her mother insisting that her children not speak the local lingo, she took to watching VHS videos of old classics such as "My Fair Lady" and learning to mimic the "Proper English". Soon her family members couldn't believe how similar she had made her voice sound to the movies and commercials she was listening to. A family member that worked as a TV Producer casted Anne-Marie in her first gig in the 80's doing a commercial for STAR toilet paper. The older she grew, the more drawn into the VO industry she became. The deal was sealed when a classmate did his Engineering thesis on VOIP (Voice-Over-Internet Protocol) and needed a voice to demonstrate his product. Needless to say, he later sold the product with HER voice, and the rest has all been leading up to this point!

Anne-Marie worked with Anne Ganguzza in Dallas, TX, and there was an instant connection. "I loved Anne, she made me feel welcome and relaxed. I felt that we bonded. We first started out with VO in IVR's". From there she recorded her demo with Anne, and the first job didn't take too long to arrive thereafter. "I had done the recording in pajamas and fluffy slippers, sent it to the client and was really anxious. Within a minute, Paypal alerted me to payment and the client called to say he was pleased. I was so excited. VO Life is sweet!"

Anne-Marie's advice for people venturing into the world of Voice Overs? "Always be open to constructive criticism, find your niche, everyones voice is unique and there is a unique job out there just for you....try your best and STICK WITH IT."

Congratulations Anne-Marie, we can't wait to hear more of your successes!

Written by:
Bethany Baker
Such A Voice Marketing Director

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Marketing Tip of the Month: Don’t Limit the Manner Potential Clients Can Contact YOU

"A good rule of thumb for every piece of correspondence that leaves your studio or office: Include your FULL name, your TITLE, your PHONE number and your EMAIL address." -Lisa Foster, Voice Over Actor, Producer & Coach

Some people are “phone” people. Some people are “email” people. When corresponding with your marketing or networking contacts, keep this in mind and always provide BOTH a phone number AND an email address.

“Yeah, I meant to call you, but didn’t have your number handy”. This is NOT something you want to hear from a potential client! By including your phone number in your signature line in your email, it guarantees they will always have it HANDY. Even if you have corresponded with this person dozens of times, and you figure they must have your number if they need to call you, make it EASY for them to contact you.

It can be frustrating when I need to call someone, right after I’ve read an email they sent, and their number isn’t right there on the email! Argghh! Then, I have to rifle through endless business cards, paperwork, contracts, or address books to FIND their number. I can tell you that sometimes, I don’t bother.

So, make it simple for people to contact you. Some people hate using the phone – if you call them and leave a message, consider not only leaving your phone number, but also your email address. Some people hate using email – so, any email correspondence from you should include your phone number.

Make it super simple for people to get a hold of you, no matter what they’re communication preference is!