When Each Day in VO Feels Like a Time Loop
I happened to marry a huge Bill Murray fan, and from Quick Change to Groundhog Day, I think I’ve seen all of his top hits, but Groundhog Day is my favorite. As a working mom, having a system to maintain efficiency is really important but unfortunately that same system often makes every single day feel the same. I go into my booth and warm up. I do my most pressing auditions first. Next I tend to all booked work. I submit more auditions. I stop and walk the dogs. I typically eat an early lunch then work on client outreach. Then I go back in the booth for more work and to submit more auditions. Every day is pretty much the same. I meet with my accountability group on Thursdays and I blog on Sundays. Days are the same and weeks blend together. So, as a full-time voice over professional who is booking work, you might be asking what is wrong with this? The problem is the rut the I feel like I fall in. With no room for self-checks and no room to make sure that I am submitting the best possible reads, the Groundhog day scenario perpetuates itself. The best way to break this cycle and for a voice over professional to submit bookable auditions is to work on their craft regularly and to work with top coaches who give solid feedback! In voice over we are constantly being asked why we are different than other talents and those of us who book work know that the answer is seldom our voice but rather that we need to work on our craft to stand out!
Why “The Voice Over Study” Class with Kim and Lisa
It’s important to pick the right coaches and I’ve been blessed to work with many excellent ones in the years that I’ve been in voice over. Sometimes you want private lessons and sometimes group classes can meet your training needs. Right now I wanted to shake things up. Kim Handysides and her daughter Lisa Suliteanu book a lot of work. They understand what is au courant and have created a curriculum across genres to target bookable reads. Kim has been an industry leader for 30 plus years and her talented daughter Lisa has been working steadily since she was 7 years old and has been full-time since finishing university. In case you’re wondering what the vibe of their class is like, it is upbeat, inspirational, clever, and fun. With so many coaches in the industry at the moment, this class is designed to put voice actors on the path to success and enrolling was a great step for me, even so many years into my career!
A Fresh Look at Scripts
In Groundhog Day, we see Phill Conners taking piano lessons and becoming an amazing pianist. This did not happen over night. It took lots and lots of practice. Right now in The Voice Over Study, we work on different scripts and then can use those tools to go back and really work on a script. The more we learn to unravel it, the better our reads become. For me, having fresh feedback on my reads is helpful. It is also just as helpful to pay attention to the reads of the other voice actors in the class, listen to how they approach the scripts, and think about the feedback that they are given. I try to incorporate this approach into both my auditions and my booked work and bring some freshness to it all.
Interact with Others
In Groundhog Day, we see Phil’s relationship with others in the town blossom and develop throughout the film as he gets to relive each day. For me, having an opportunity to meet other voice over actors is really valuable. The other talents in the class are from different parts of the United States and Canada. We are at different points in our careers and we all aspire to focus on different genres of voice over. Still, I think knowing other voice actors is essential to our success, and I am so thankful to be getting to know the other actors in this class as we all learn together.
What’s Current and What is Booking NOW
Just as we see Phil repeatedly attempting to cover the story about Punxsutawney Phil, there are countless ways each script can be approached, so wouldn’t it save a lot of time and energy to understand which reads are actually booking right now? That is the point of “The Voice Over Study,” the nuances of the bookable read are not necessarily my go to read, so I am so thankful for the first few sessions already! For example, the words to emphasize or blend may not be what I had thought of, so this valuable feedback, and the reinforcement of it, makes Kim and Lisa’s class outstanding. In class last week, Kim directed me to hit words I never word have that to enunciate, and the overall gestalt of the read was just a million times better. Her instincts are amazing. Kim and Lisa book A LOT of work on their own, and my goal is to be as busy as they are!
Read Rate/HW keeps As Honest
In class we have homework. We have scripts to prepare and we are also supposed to work on cold reading. I also love this, as both make me more efficient and more effective in my daily work. These tasks are something that I look forward to, as I feel like I am taking control of my career and determining my own path.
If you have a passion for voice over and you want to make your work stand out, do something different, be bold, and take this class! Unlike Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, in the voice over industry what you do each day does matter so get coaching, do the work, and make your career better!