campaigns

How Have 5 Years Gone By?

In the blink of an eye, it is the end of 2019 and time to set goals for 2020. But this year also marks my fifth year pursuing voice over full time. The foam in my booth has literally turned from bright white to a funky yellow! Five years ago so many things were unknown: how would I juggle being a working mom, how would I find VO clients, how would I run a business as a solopreneur? Now all of those things are still part of my daily life, but I am confidently figuring it out. There is a good rhythm to my voiceover practice. So looking ahead to 2020, I am optimistic that I am on the verge of more good things. and I have always believed that if I don’t say it aloud, or in writing, then the universe doesn’t hear it… so, here are my goals for 2020:

More Radio Imaging

I have worked hard, every single day for the past few years, to grow this side of my business. I hope that in 2020 I can add more CHR and Adult Hits stations to my roster. I continue to reach out to station managers and program directors. I love doing liners, sweepers, and station promos. I am no longer with my manager and my hope is that stations are happier to make arrangements with me directly.

More Commercial Campaigns, Fewer One-Offs

My hope is that in 2020 I book more commercial campaigns and fewer on-offs. Like the work that I did for Anytime Fitness, I hope to book more of this. I love helping a brand emerge and I love being associated with certain brands. I also love working with ad teams continuously and building the rapport that comes with it.

Grow My Repeat Client Base

I lot of my business, about 60%, comes direct from clients. Most of that is from clients that come back over and over again. This year I hope to add five or six more solid clients to my repeat client roster, folks I can work with over and over again and count on for steady work.  Again, like my campaign work, this will enable me to really get to know them. This will also help my continue to build on my sustainable, consistent family income.

More eLearning

I love doing eLearning work. I have some steady clients that I do work with almost every week. This year my hope is to have a few more clients that I do work with regularly. I enjoy all aspects of this work, whether I am playing a character in a training module or a traditional narrator. I love working with the instructional designers to bring these roles to life and make them authentic.

Political Spots

My hope for 2020 is that I can help bring about some much needed change by voicing many blue political spots. I have so many hopes and prayers for our country, and the world, and it is my hope that if a some more liberal folks are elected we will be in a better place next year. I was a political science major in college and I have very strong feelings about what is going on at present. To literally be the voice of change would mean a lot to me. I am very proud of the political demo that I did with Brandon Perry from Adrenaline Studios and I hope that I book a lot from it.

Speak at Conferences and Build relationships with Exhibitors

Since I got into voice over I have been fortunate to attend conferences, many conferences, including WoVo Con, VO Atlanta, VOCation, VO North, and more. I love them for so many reasons, and that is really a separate blog. I am at a point in my career where I want to start giving back to the voice over community that is so very important to me and sharing what I have learned. I have sat in on so many valuable sessions, and now I would be so excited to contribute.

I also love going to the expos at these conferences. I always post about my gear and everything that makes my studio great on my social media. Now I want to start building relationships with the folks who represent at these conferences. Since I represent brands for a living, I would like to build a bridge between the products I use to represent other brands and myself.

Wishing All the Best for 2020

I have noticed on social media that there is a tremendous generosity of spirit in the voiceover community now more than ever. From folks like Bev Standing, Mark Scott, J. Michael Collins, and Kim Handysides to name a few. I am thinking of my fellow voice talents this week and always. I share this joy in our community and am so proud to be a part of these great VO tribe. I wish everyone much success in 2020. I think back to what I learned from Anthony Gettig in the beginning of my career: The rising tide lifts all the ships in the harbor.

Learning from the Best

I’ve said before that it takes a lot to get me to pack up and fly across the country, leaving my twins and my dog, but boy- going to a conference like WoVoCon VI in Las Vegas, Nevada this past weekend sure made me feel like the trip was worth it! Voice over

Time with industry friends goes by way too fast!!

actors from all over the world, casting directors, eLearning companies, and more gathered at the Tropicana to support each other to better our craft, learn about technology, discuss business trends, talk about marketing ideas and best practices, and of course bond! If you have ever been to a VO industry event, you know that professional voice over actors tend to be a pretty friendly bunch, and when you have found your people, somehow a long weekend goes by in the blink of an eye and you leave feeling like you just did not have enough time and you wish you did not have to pick and choose from the outstanding sessions! I moved between some of them and still did not get to everyone. I got to the airport to return home with mixed feelings of joy over what I had accomplished and a long list of people I never got to connect with. But let’s focus instead on the big take aways:

Philosophical Truths

A lot of what I heard resonated with me, but as I sat next to fellow New Jersey voice talent and all around renaissance man Brad Newman, and I soaked in his presentation, I was in awe of his genius. A lot of what Brad said made an impact on me, but when he talked about recurring work bells and whistles went off in my head. One of my big goals for 2019 has been to do more campaigns and fewer one-offs, so I was on the edge of my seat. Brad talked about how in business when preparing to meet a company or when prepping for an interview, you would do your research, learn about their business model and their goals to try to meet their needs as well as you can. He talked about all that we do to understand the end client, so why on earth would we do all of that to only ever work with them one time? Right? I could have jumped of my seat and spent hours discussing just this one aspect of Brad’s presentation, because this really hit home for me.

It is so important to me to do my very best for clients. I understand that they have unique needs and that every job is different, but I am so excited to build lasting and meaningful relationships and to really get to know what is most helpful to them!

Efficiency/Software Tips

In voiceover, we all know we are only as good as we sound. The software often changes and as there are upgrades to our computers, often the DAW we use changes. I work on Twisted Wave 90% of the time. I sat in on a session on Twisted Wave, and then that session led to side chats where I learned so much that will help me better serve my clients! So, I learned a much more efficient way of splitting files. I already split files by markers. Before this weekend, I would manually type in the names of each file, which could be quite time consuming. Well, now I have learned how to use the markers window and to cut and paste from either a word document or an excel spread sheet. See the video here for a demonstration of what I learned in my session with the great Jim Edgar who can be found at JustAskJimVO.studio/JimEdgarvoices.com:

I was also chatting about this and I learned a great cut and paste trick from Dan Lenard. He showed me how to create uniform space cushions at the beginning and end of each slide! If I were the client, I would love if each cushion were the same length.

Pushing Through

I have blogged before about being a migraine sufferer. I happened to have had a pretty bad headache on the Saturday of this conference. It would not go away. I had to miss some sessions I really wanted to see in the morning. I eventually went down to participate, even though I did not feel 100%. To be honest I did not even feel 30%,  and if I were home I would have stayed in all day. But I flew across the country for so many reasons, and none of them included a day of napping. It was not easy for me, but the biggest challenge, bot physically and mentally, was getting through Everrett Oliver’s session. If you have never coached with Everett, he is truly outstanding. He pushes in all the right ways. He makes you go places you would rather not but as an outstanding booth director he gets it out of you. I LOVE working with Everett. And in truth, as a working professional, when booked work comes in, I have to record, so this was a good exercise. I am not shy but I am much more comfortable in front of my own mic than in a room full of people, even if those people are my tribe. I loved every minute. LOVED. I am glad I participated. I hope to work with this amazing coach again soon.

Final thoughts….

Once you start naming names it gets dangerous…So many wonderful people I love were all there. It filled my heart and made me happy. I wish I lived closer to you all. I am so thankful to work in this industry. I hear music in my head when I think of you. Until the next time, my friends. Thank you. Sending lots of big hugs!!!!

Why Now?

If you’re like me, you can’t take your eyes off of the daily news updates. The pundits’ analysis of the state of the state is at once shocking and yet at the same time revealing what we sort of thought was happening. Last night I fell asleep watching Masha Gessen being interviewed by Chris Hayes. She was fascinating, discussing why this whistle blower is so different than past whistle blowers,  because he, unlike others in whistle blowing moments, is reveling the details of something we sort of knew about. She had addressed this in her article in the New Yorker: “Most big whistle-blowing stories involve a revelation: fraud where it may not have been so much as suspected; systematic waste unseen by the public and unnoticed by overseers; abuse of power that we couldn’t have even imagined. The story of abuse of power contained in the whistle-blower complaint released by the acting director of National Intelligence, last week, however, was known in general terms. In fact, it had been covered by the media.” So it is in this context that we are in an election year with minor elections upon us.

At this moment, as a professional voice over actor, how could I not have a political demo? We are in an election year. There will be spots for elections, for organizations, for choices we are all facing. And with the news surrounding us constantly, I want to be a part of the moment of change and lend my voice to these campaigns. The demo was necessary to booking the political spots.

My Background

In voice over, we are often asked why we are different than others in our field. As a kid, I always loved American History. This inspired me to major in Political Science in college. Circling back to voiceover, I am VERY different than other talents because I have not one but TWO degrees from Columbia University, and my undergraduate AB degree from Barnard College was in Political Science. In fact, I graduated with departmental distinction and one the senior prize for the best senior essay (senior thesis) in my field. It was on microcredit loans for women in Bangladesh, and this was in the years before Mohammed Yunis won the Nobel Peace Prize, so at the time it was a hot new topic. A man named Richard Pious was my undergraduate advisor, and he is an expert on the American Presidency. When you are in school and you study whether a president is good, average, or excellent, he is on the committee that rates them. Other famous alumnae from Columbia who share my degree and background include President Obama, Madeline Albright, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay. I am quite proud to be in such good company.

I stayed at Columbia and pursued a Masters of Arts in History. I was in a terminal MA program at Teachers’ College. My passion for academia served me well and I loved my years at the university.

Why does this matter? I am a gal who understands the issues. All of them. For me, this is not simply an acting job. This is my passion. I will not only be able to develop the script as a professional in the field, I understand the script in the context of the current situation and in the context of the big picture.  I get the issues.

Why Adrenaline Studios to Produce my Demo?

I love the team at Adrenaline! As a full time working professional, I have an opportunity to travel a bit for my work. In the past, I have been in Las Vegas and gotten to record work that I booked while staying in Vegas at Adrenaline. I was very impressed with the studios at Adrenaline and I really liked working with Brandon Perry. I have some other industry friends who recently did demos with Adrenaline including Jodi Krangle and Liz de Nesnera. They turned out great! I was so impressed not just with Jodi and Liz’s performance on their respective demos, but also with the production quality! I thought the scripts were great and loved the audio. I also wanted the experience of working with a studio that is known for producing so many political spots, and adrenaline does.

My Goals

My goal is too book a lot of blue spots and be a part of the wave of change that I pray sweeps our nation. My goal is to also work with new clients. I love meeting new people, and this will combine my passion for politics and my work in voiceover. I am excited to meet the needs for political spots in the coming year, whether they are warm and positive, hard sell, negative, and anything in between, I look forward to an opportunity to bring the scripts to life and make a difference!