Recording Studio Etiquette

November 19, 2013 by  
Filed under Free Videos

Here are some simple tips on what NOT to do in a recording studio when booked for a voiceover gig!

The Mosquito and the Mentor

July 30, 2013 by  
Filed under Blog

I love almost everything about Minnesota summers – the weather, vacations, and beautiful days at Lake Calhoun and so on. However, towards the top of the list of things that I absolutely hate about this season are mosquitoes!

Tiny little bugs who can very easily make your life miserable just by forcing their way into it! But, do you know what the most irritating part is about being the victim of a mosquito? You more than likely will never see them coming. It seems as if you would not even know that they have chosen you as their prey until they have already gotten exactly what they need from you and all you’re left with is an itchy bump that can easily leave an ugly scar over time.

So now comes the point where you’re asking yourself, “Why is he talking about mosquitoes? What do these bugs have to do with voiceovers?” The sad truth is that mosquitoes have everything to do with the world of business as a whole, including the voice talent industry. There are mosquitoes flying around within this industry on a daily basis, searching for their very next targets. Who are they? Where are they?

The parasitic bugs of this industry are the voiceover training companies that feed off of the ambitions and desires of talented individuals by offering them empty promises, pipe dreams and wishful thinking. All that they have been able to actually deliver, though, is a substantial charge on their victim’s credit card statements and massive disappointments. You have more than likely seen their advertisements, online social media pages and even viral videos. You may have even moved towards the delicious bait that they have placed in the water and stopped just shortly before you realized that it was a trap. Some of you may not have even stopped.

How can you identify which opportunities are legitimate and which are not? It is actually much easier than you think. It all starts with a basic question that you have to ask yourself, “How seriously do I take my career?” If you do not take it seriously at all, then you should not have a problem with finding the best “deal” or the quickest route to learn “everything that you need to know” within a single website that may use those specific quotes as catchy taglines and slogans. That is how some of these predatory companies are able to succeed at hunting down their targets in the first place.

They are fully aware that most humans desire things that they can have right now without delay. We are naturally drawn towards instant gratification and following our instinctive impulses, which is another reason these companies are just like mosquitoes. What draws mosquitoes to us in the first place? Is it the cologne or perfume that we may choose to wear on any given day? Is it the skin that we expose by wearing summer clothing? No! Mosquitoes are naturally drawn to us because of our carbon dioxide emissions – something that naturally happens and is beyond our control.

They really don’t care about you personally. To them, you are just another good meal that will keep their bodies nourished. After they have gotten what they need from you, they do not plan on sticking around just to follow through or stay attached to you. On the contrary, their goal is actually to get away from you as fast as possible so that they can move on to their next victim. Some voiceover training companies behave in the same way. They truly do not care about the individuals that sign up for their programs and online courses. They are primarily just focused on getting exactly what they need from you (i.e. your money) so they will tell you anything they need to in order to achieve their goal.

However, after you have given in and allowed them to bite you, they are going to suck you dry and move on to their next target as soon as possible. They are not going to stay by your side to make sure that you get the personal training and one-on-one mentoring that you need in order to truly be successful. You will just get access to an abundance of generic videos and training materials along with a bunch of generic, mass e-mails that are “personalized” simply because they have your name at the top.

So, you have to go back to the original question – “How seriously do you take your career?” Becoming a success story within this industry is not something that you can do by paying a substantial fee for a bunch of vague information that you could have gotten for free simply by doing a Google search. You need to have someone who is truly willing to invest their time into you to make sure that you get the quality training that you deserve.

Why do you think a cubic zirconium gem costs a fraction of the price of a genuine diamond that is the same size? Why is the original painting of the Mona Lisa worth much more than the thousands of duplications that are being sold around the world today? Because time is not money – time is actually worth so much more than a dollar sign!

You need to invest in a mentor who is going to take the time to mold your skills of coal within the voiceover industry into a high-carat diamond of success. Someone who is going to spend the countless hours necessary to develop you into an artistic masterpiece of voiceover talent instead of selling you a cheap duplication that they have sold to everyone else for the same price. Not a parasitic mosquito that is just going to suck your money out of your wallet, precious time from your day and ambition from your heart before they force you to suffer with itchy bumps of disappointment that they leave behind.

A true mentor is going to be the one that stays by your side from start to finish. This is going to be the person who doesn’t just take your money and run with it, but understands that you are only paying them as a mutual investment. You will be investing your time, money and trust in them and they will be investing their time, knowledge and experience into you. Instead of giving you a bunch of generic information, a mentor will truly personalize their training to meet your specific needs and give you the one-on-one coaching and development that you expect and deserve.

Benjamin Franklin was once quoted as saying, “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” If you want to polish your craft and receive quality training that will allow you to do so, invest in the services of someone that is going to truly involve you in the training from start to finish. They will view you as a person that needs their attention, commitment and time instead of just another sales figure to add along with all of the others. Spray yourself down with repellent to keep the mosquitoes of this industry as far away from you as possible and focus on making wise choices when it comes to choosing the person that will guide you towards achieving your goals throughout your career.

Lowballing Is Normal In ALL Businesses!

June 6, 2013 by  
Filed under Blog

Yeah, I know exactly what you’re thinking right now. After you read the title of this blog, you probably thought, “Oh man! It’s yet ANOTHER blog about lowballing in the voiceover industry!” I know you might find it ironic and even a little funny that I have already made a post advising people to stop blogging about this topic and here I am – jumping on the bandwagon right along with the rest of them. Before you decide to click away or curse me out in an email or private facebook message, bear with me for a moment because I’ve developed a perspective that is much different from many others and just might lead this bandwagon in a completely different direction.

Within this industry (and in the world of professional services in general), it is important to have a “Field of Dreams” perspective when it comes to quality. What do I mean by that? Well, if you are familiar with the movie, then you probably already know where this is going, but (for those that do not), “Field of Dreams” was a hit 1989 Kevin Costner movie about a farmer that follows the guidance of a mysterious voice to plow under his corner in to build a baseball field. The voice uttered one of the most famous movie quotes of all time, “If you build it, he will come.”

His wife allows him to go through with it, but they both later regret the decision when they realize that no one came, they were broke and were about to lose everything. However, that is when Kevin’s character (Ray) started receiving visitors who were actually dead baseball players from the early 1900s. The voice provides him with guidance to help these players fulfill their long lost dreams and goals. Other people believed that Ray was crazy, because he was the only person that could hear the voice and see the players so they kept urging him to change his mind, replant his crops and get back to making money as a farmer. However, Ray ignored them and kept moving forward, helping these players fulfill their dreams. Towards the end of the movie, Ray’s dream was fulfilled as he was reunited with his late father followed by thousands of people driving to the field to watch the game, making it a huge success.

Now, you might be asking yourself, “What in the world does this movie have to do with lowballing in the voiceover industry?” Before you start thinking that I have lost my mind, that I am hearing voices or that I just really love watching Kevin Costner movies, hear me out.

Regardless of the type of work we do or the specific industry that we might be working in when we do it, we always need to focus on providing quality work for quality pay. It is very easy to get so caught up in the playing the game of numbers that you forget about what is truly important. There are so many lowballing parasites that are feeding off of the voiceover industry right now that it can be extremely difficult to survive in this industry. Many people have decided to drastically drop all of their prices and become one of those parasites just to be able to make a little money. Even though that may seem like the key to success, many voiceover talents and artists find out the hard way every year that it is not.

If you focus on building a quality business, then you should not settle for anything less than quality pay for the hard work and consistent effort that you bring to the table day in and day out. There are many more customers out there right now that are looking to spend as little as they can to get what they need than there are customers that are willing to pay quality prices for quality work. However, that latter group is the only group that we should be targeting! We need to be willing to stand our ground and be fully prepared to defend our work, refusing to compromise or jeopardize our quality standards just to be able to work for a client that clearly has no respect for them. You can’t expect to find a diamond in a shop that only offers cubic zirconia and you definitely should not expect to purchase a brand new vehicle that runs great from a salvage yard. Therefore, why would a customer expect to receive anything other than cheap imitations and junk from a lowballing voice talent?

This is the picture that we have to be willing to paint for our prospective clients that are “shopping around” and “weighing their options” but always seem to be leaning more towards the lowballing talent instead. Whenever a client even thinks about using the line, “Well, Mr. Lowballer is willing to do this work for half of what you charge,” I simply will reply with something like, “You would not even be able to receive half of the quality that I can offer you, Mr. Customer, for half of the price!”

We have to be confident in ourselves as professionals. Instead of whining about the different lowballing workers that are hunting down as many clients as they can, focus on taking a stand and reminding your clients why they should stay with you in the first place. Remind them that quality is not something that comes cheap. Even though they may pay a little more upfront, they will get exactly what they need the first time around instead of being forced to pay even more on the back-end to have a lowballing contractor’s work fixed or replaced all together.

Think about it just like you would a poker game. A lowballing contractor wants to make people think that they have the perfect hand, but is really just a great bluffer. Instead of identifying their bluffs and staying in the game, there are so many quality players that willingly giving up their quality hands as a sign of surrender. Don’t give up! Keep fighting by continuously raising the stakes until they are forced to reveal their cards to their clients. That is the moment that we should be fighting for because that is the moment when those customers and clients that insisted on “shopping around” and “weighing their options” will start to realize that they were wrong all along.

Instead of being so quick to match lowballing offers, take a different approach. Do not focus too much on defense, but, rather, focus on a counterattack. Use the work of lowballing talent against them in order to show your prospective clients a sneak preview of what they might be getting by deciding to reject your offer because of a pricing difference. One of the most effective tools that I use is found at this link: //www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMtmeQRuU6k. Whenever someone tries to get me engaged in a bidding war with lowballing workers that charge $50, I simply send them that YouTube link to show them exactly what they can get for $50.

I am not using this YouTube link as a way of bashing this person, so please do not take it that way. I use this as a tool as a two-edged sword to remind myself why I will never compromise the quality standards that I have set for my work just to close a few more clients and it reminds my potential and existing clients about why they should never expect me to do so.

If a client expects quality work, they should be focused on investing the right sound for their project more than the right price. If you build a quality business, quality clients will come! Other people and professionals will try to discourage you, distort your vision and distract you from achieving your goals. That is just because they do not see what you see when they look at your business. They cannot see the successful baseball diamond, because they are too focused on the cornfield. They cannot see the needles, because they are too distracted by the haystacks.

Just as they need to go to a diamond jeweler for diamonds and a dealership for a brand new car, lowballing clients are never going to find the true gems and showroom quality that they expect without coming to you first. That is the mentality that you need to have and fight to maintain, regardless of how many clients seem to be turning you down because of it. I would rather struggle for 10 quality clients that each lead to thousands of dollars of work this year instead of for thousands of clients that only wants to pay me 10 dollars.

Believe in your work. Believe that what you can offer to your client is worth every dollar that they spend for it, even if it is a little more than they expected to pay upfront. This is how you will be able to achieve the success and longevity that you have been dreaming about since you first began this journey. And do not let any lowballing client ever make you think otherwise.

For the record, yes – I do like Kevin Costner movies, but that’s not the point! (Lol) Use that perspective to clear the field of corny lowballing clients and plant the seeds that will allow you to eventually cultivate a field of dream client that will offer you high-quality pay for high-quality work for many years to come!

Show Me The Clients!

May 28, 2013 by  
Filed under Blog

Do you remember how you treated your very first client?

You probably spent hours each day trying to stay in contact with them – through phone, e-mail, text or whatever other form of technology you had available at that time. You were interested in getting to know everything about them, personally and professionally, and made yourself available to them whenever they needed you, right? Why?

Because you knew that they were all you had. If they left, you would have been left with nothing. It is imperative that we do not lose that line of reasoning. View every single client the same way that you did the very first one. Get to know them like the back of your hand; find out their needs and do whatever you can to make sure that they are met.

The last thing that you want is for your clients to feel the need to go anywhere else for something that you can provide. Become a one-stop convenience shop for all of their vocal needs and services. Think about every other successful business today. When they realized that they did not have something that their customers needed, what did they do? They found a way to get it!

Why did McDonald’s start selling chicken sandwiches and salads? Why did Wal-Mart expand into “Super Centers” with garden, grocery and even automobile departments? Have you noticed that the local convenience store up the street is starting to carry more and more products every time that you shop there?

These companies understand that, as professionals, we have to struggle in order to stay relevant in our industry. This is true even if it means that we have to branch off into other industries just to enhance the quality and efficiency of our own services. If you cannot do something for a client but know someone that can, introduce your client to the “other” services that are offered by your company?

If you are a male but your client needs a female for a new voiceover project, introduce them to the other voices that you have available on your roster. You might be scratching your head, saying “But I don’t have any female voices on my roster!” If not, then you better find one! There are plenty of websites available today that can connect you directly to freelance voiceover artists looking for work. Facebook is a great tool for this as well. Put these sources to work for you. The goal is to make sure that your clients only have one name in mind whenever they need the services that you offer – yours!

Building this type of rapport with your customers and clients will make it much easier to ask for referrals and even ask for more business from them. They will be able to clearly see that they are more than just a number to you. They will strongly believe that you do not view them as expendable assets or mere pawns on a chess board that can be given away to the other side without causing any significant damage. They will be able to see that you truly care about them and their needs and will be willing to do whatever it takes to show you just how valuable you are to them as well.

Remember the Academy Award-winning film, Jerry Maguire, with Tom Cruise and Cuba Gooding, Jr.? I’ve only seen it like 89 times! In this movie, Tom Cruise plays a successful sports agent that has an epiphany inspiring him to focus more on truly appreciating each individual client by focusing on their individual needs instead of focusing too much on having an abundance of clients because the only thing that you care about is the commission. Even though his character was chastised and criticized for this and literally had to start his business over again from scratch, he was able to build a more solid foundation based on quality instead of quantity that created a path for him to be achieve an astronomical level of success in the near future!

Have the Jerry Maguire mentality. Be willing to do what your competitor’s don’t so that you can live the life that your competitors won’t! If you view all of your customers as expendable assets, what happens when they are all gone? You are completely out of assets! If your customers are nothing but mere chess pawns that you allow to be taken easily, then your game is going to end much sooner than you think.

Keep in mind the words of Kenneth B. Elliott, Vice President of sales for the The Studebaker Corporation who said that “a customer is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our business. He is part of it. We are doing him a favor by serving him. He is doing us a favor by giving us an opportunity to do so.”

Remember that your customers are the reason why you exist as a professional. They are your family. Their projects are your children. Your clients are your keys to personal and professional success. Take care of them now or someone else will be more than happy to take care of them later!

 

How to Cure the Disease of Negativity in Your Voiceover Business

February 20, 2013 by  
Filed under Blog

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported that companies collectively lose close to $3 billion on a yearly basis because of the negativity within the workplace that is manifested through the attitudes and behavior reflected within the work environment. Can you imagine how much you would be able to do for your business and for your family with even just a small chunk of that loss each year?

Your income and lifestyle may drastically change, would it not? Well, the next time that you are feeling negative yourself or are becoming surrounded and overwhelmed by negativity, the best thing that you could do for yourself and your business at that moment would be to imagine you throwing hundreds and thousands of dollar bills into that $3 billion annual pit. If people that have to punch the clock every single day have to deal with negativity in their workplace, what makes you think that you will not have to deal with even more of it on a daily basis since you are working for yourself?

Even though the voiceover business can be very profitable at times, there are instances where you can go weeks and even months without regular work. Does that give you the right to sulk, sob and whine about your lack of work? No! However, is that something that is very easy to do? Of course it is! There are days where I feel like a punching a hole in my lava lamp! Yes, I have one! Why is that? The simple answer to that question is because it is extremely easy to be negative – especially when you have nothing but negativity around you. Just as it is much easier to reflect on everything that went wrong for you in your business last year than it is to remember exactly when and how you went right, it is easy to become fully clothed by negativity on almost any topic – personally or professionally. What happens when you indulge yourself in the dark world of negativity? Think about that for a moment and the answer will become evidently clear.

You wake up tomorrow morning only to find that you do not have any e-mail messages or responses from the jobs that you submitted auditions for recently. The only people that have left messages for you in your voicemail are bill collectors demanding money from you that you just do not have free to give them yet – especially since there are no clients that are calling you about upcoming projects that they want to hire you to complete. Now here you are – sitting in front of your computer with nothing to do. What do you do at that very moment?

Let’s say that you decide to feed into the negativity. You start whining and complaining to your colleagues, friends and family members through face-to-face chats or even chats on Facebook. You may even just talk to yourself as you pace back and forth in your studio, whining about how all you need is one big break and how you are so upset that you have not been given that big opportunity yet. Hours and hours have now passed. Nothing has been done and you decide to close up shop for the day and do something completely unrelated to your career before going to sleep only to wake up to the same cycle of negativity the next morning.

So, let’s focus on the original question again. What happens when you indulge yourself in the dark world of negativity, though? Nothing! By feeding into that negativity, you are spending your entire day and night complaining about everything that is preventing you from getting ahead but you are not taking the time to truly find out what it takes for you to take one step forward in the right direction. You need to reverse that in order to truly see the light at the end of the tunnel. If you truly do want to feed into the negativity, that is fine but you have to be smart about what you are being negative about. What does that mean?

Think about the simple math. When you add a negative to a negative, you are just getting a sum of the two negatives together so that is all that you end up with – a bigger negative. However, if you take a negative and use it to create a product out of a negative (hint: multiplication), then you will be able to generate a positive result.

You have to be able to have a negative outlook about the negativity that surrounds you. Don’t feed into it, adding to the negativity that is already existing because you will get nowhere by doing so. The key is to transform that negative into a positive product by any means necessary! Instead of complaining to your colleagues and friends, spend that time trying to brainstorm ideas with them about what you can do to get more leads and open more doors. Instead of using Facebook to ventilate about all of the things that are going wrong with your day, use this social networking tool to reach out to prospective clients and customers in order to focus on doing at least one thing right!

By not spending your entire day complaining and whining about nothing being built onto the foundation of your business, focus all of your efforts on how you can add just one brick at a time each day. Negativity is contagious, but (just like any other virus) it can be treated and prevented. You just have to keep your eyes open to the signs and the symptoms of this disease and shut them down quickly through early detection and prompt treatment before it spreads any further.

Otherwise, you might as well just start calculating how much money you will be contributing to that $3 billion pit in 2013.

 

Are Facebook Business Pages the key to Survival?

February 4, 2013 by  
Filed under Blog

Stay with me for a moment, boys and girls, as we take a quick trip down memory lane. Are you ready? Here we go.

A Blast from the Past

Two decades ago, the vast majority of businesses were still trying to adjust to using computers and other forms of technology within their daily operations as the popularity of the internet was beginning to spread like a plague throughout the world. However, you could still run a business successfully without even having a dial-up internet connection in your office. The internet was an optional luxury.

One decade ago, you would hardly find a single business (regardless of the size or number of years that they were in business) that did not have at least one computer and an internet connection. The digital age then required these two core elements as primary factors that played a significant role in the growth and overall success of most businesses.

That was when social media and social networking websites were introduced to the world and Facebook was created by a then-unknown Harvard student from his dorm room. However, you could still run a business successfully without setting up an online profile on one of these websites. Just as the internet was ten years prior, social networking websites were also considered as an optional luxury.

It is Just a Sign of the Times

Things have drastically changed over the course of the last twenty years. If you were still in the industry of vocal arts back then, you may still vaguely remember a time when our voice was the only tool that we needed in order to succeed. Advancements in technology have completely revolutionized the way that we live and the way that we do business today to the point where our voices are no longer enough to get us in the door and keep us there. Why not?

Facebook has been able to evolve over the past ten years from a hobby and personal project of a then-unknown Harvard student into a multi-billion dollar empire that is used by hundreds of millions of people on a global scale. Even though it started out as a personal tool to connect with old and new friends and long-lost relatives, it later embarked on a journey towards revolutionizing the worlds of business and digital marketing forever.

More business owners and upper-level executive seem to be investing more time, money and other resources into building and maintaining an online branding page for their business through Facebook than they do through any other means of traditional advertising. Why is that?

Embrace the Transition, Expand Your Business

The simple and short answer is because that is obviously where the world is headed these days. More and more people seem to be exposed to more advertisements and commercials within a few hours of surfing the internet than they will over a period of a few days of watching television or listening to the radio.

Everything that your customers and clients need is available to them with just a few clicks of the mouse and strokes on the keyboard – including an accessible listing of all of the vocal professionals that you are currently competing against. If you want any chance at making it in this business and continuing to be successful, then you truly do not have a choice but to make the transition and embrace the social media revolution.

Sink or Swim – Which Will You Choose?

Making the choice to not set up your own Facebook branding page for your business and regularly updating it to use it to your advantage is the equivalent of making the decision to put a “Going out of Business Sale” sign on your company today. Just as the tale of time has clearly explained over the past twenty years, we know that there is no going back now.

In the year 2013, all businesses have multiple computers within their offices that they depend on greatly in order to function properly on a daily basis. Not only do they have an internet connection but the vast majority of businesses even offer a wireless internet connection that can be accessed by their customers and clients free of charge. Facebook pages seem to be popping up more than traditional websites, because it is clear that they are viewed more as required necessities than optional luxuries.

The bottom line is that you can either go with the current and continue to enjoy smooth sailing in your business by investing in a Facebook branding page for your business or you can fight against the current by trying to stay afloat without making that transition and it is only a matter of time before you drown your business in the rippling waves of your competition.

Positioning Yourself for Success in the New Year!

December 13, 2012 by  
Filed under Blog

Each year, time seems to fly directly into the New Year almost overnight after Thanksgiving has passed. Before long, Christmas will be here and gone and then we will all have to flip our calendars over to the next month. You may have already begun reflecting on the amazing year that you had both personally and professionally throughout 2012.

Maybe it was your first year embarking on your journey as a voice professional or maybe it was just another notch on your career’s belt that was added along with the many other notches that you have been collecting over the years. Regardless of how you will finish 2012, it is important to make sure that you plan now in order to start 2013 off with a bang!

One of the biggest mistakes that people make in this industry is that they wait for the New Year to begin before they start making plans. Waiting that long to plan how to start means that they are also forcing themselves to wait to actually start working towards the goals and expectations that they have set for themselves and for their business. This simple mistake of waiting can actually kill your business. How so?

As is the case with many other industries that are based on specific talents, the voice talent industry thrives off of momentum. You have to be able to catch the wave right when is it about to rise up in order to enjoy the ride of your life. Otherwise, that wave is going to pass right over you, leaving you stranded in still water or possibly even drowning in the ripples created by your competition. The best race car drivers know that you have to spend the least amount of time at the pit stop in order to win the race, because staying there too long will cause them to get left behind and lose out on the race all together.

Enough with the sports analogies – I think you get the point. Right now, we need to focus on the steps that need to be taken now in order to put ourselves at the front of the line and in a prime position for success immediately after the New Year begins.

One of the best things that you can do for yourself and for your business is use 2013 to start over. What do I mean by that? Treat your business as if you are approaching it for the first time with a fresh approach; work with it as if you are just opening your doors and about to work for your very first client. Why is that so important? You have to leave 2012 completely behind you, because holding on to it too long will mean failure for your business in 2013. Even if you had the very best year of your career in 2012, that will mean absolutely nothing in 2013.

You have to have a fresh approach to your business each and every year as if you are starting at Day One, because that is where you are starting. Update your business plan or better yet, create an entirely new business plan. Try new ways to advertise your services to the world; do not get too attached to sticking with the methods that may have been successful for you in the past. You have to be willing to change what you do today in order to change what you make tomorrow!

Use this time to focus on reflection. Pay attention to the areas that you succeeded in 2012 and were able to grow as a professional and expand your business to new heights. Use those areas as building blocks to create a foundation that will allow you to build even further next year. More importantly, you definitely want to reflect and analyze the areas in which you failed in 2012 and possibly almost ruined yourself professionally, jeopardizing your current image within this growing industry. Those are the areas that you need to truly come up with an action plan as to how avoid those pitfalls and steer in the direction of success in the New Year.

Enjoy the holidays! 2012 is coming to a close real soon. Spend time with your family and friends and make sure that you take the time to truly understand your reasons for being in this business in the first place, otherwise known as your “Why?” If your vision for your professional voiceover career has gotten a little foggy over the past several months or even several years, now is the time to clear things up and get a better look. Just remember, if you wait too long, it may be too late.

If The Mic Isn’t Rockin, Start Walkin!

September 12, 2012 by  
Filed under Blog

When the mic is rockin’, don’t bother knockin’! Okay, so what do you do if it’s just not rockin’ and you’re having a tough time getting your delivery down and you’re stumbling through the entire script? Instead of getting frustrated and stressed out, take a break and come back to it.

That’s right! Go for a walk, turn up some music, make yourself a cup of tea or take a power nap. Fifteen minutes can do wonders! While excessive napping doesn’t pay too well, either does excessive stress. I enjoy running and playing basketball at the gym. It’s great exercise and it always reboots my brain!

The point is to just break away from the studio – completely remove yourself and escape for a bit so that you can refresh! If you force it to happen when it isn’t, your frustration will come across in the recording. The voice is transparent and modulates to express our span of emotions. Any frustration, anxiety and stress will show through, stalling the flow and zapping the energy from your voice.

It’s like a good major league pitcher who just doesn’t have his good stuff on a particular day. If he struggles, the coach takes him out. If you’re struggling during a day of recording, remove yourself from the studio.

So go ahead and break away! You’ll come back to the studio refreshed, full of vibrance in your voice, and ready to deliver!

A Healthy Diet Means A Healthy Voice And A Healthy Attitude

August 14, 2012 by  
Filed under Blog

Towards the beginning of every year, millions of people around the world make the decision to get in shape and get healthier. That day came for me about a month ago.

Up until that moment, I was still fairly active throughout the week by playing basketball. However, my biggest weaknesses came in the form of breaded foods especially the greatest invention that I could not say good-bye to – FRENCH FRIES!

Many people may not know this, but consuming foods that are high in carbohydrates (such as white bread, white potatoes, noodles, etc.) will cause you to feel tired throughout the day. Why is this? These foods have very high levels of sugar, which cause your blood sugar to rapidly rise and require more and more of your energy to become absorbed. Therefore, before you know it, you’re crashing soon after you ate because of all of the work that your body had to do just to process all of that sugar. Many of you may be experiencing this day after day and probably did not have any idea why it was happening. Until I changed my diet, I was just like that.

My body was being negatively affected in two different ways. The first way was my energy was being drained. I felt energized and ready to go when I woke up in the morning but because of what I was eating, I felt bloated and extremely tired in the afternoon. The second way affected my voice. Like many of you, I make my living my using my voice so this was definitely not a good thing!

With the research I have done and because of the negative affects, I decided I needed to make some changes. With doing this consistently, I can now hear and feel the changes in my voice throughout the day. It is much stronger and lasts much longer because my energy levels are higher than they have been in years!

Let me break down my basic day for you and the changes I have made. I have always preached to my voiceover students to stay away from cream in their coffee but was still at times putting it in mine. So now, in the morning, I normally stick with a cup of black coffee mixed with a lot of bottled water at room temperature. Studies have proven that drinking lots of water works wonders for your voice. In the afternoon, I get an extra boost by adding a little bit of honey to a cup of green tea, which makes a great afternoon beverage!

I used to eat a sandwich every day for lunch. I have now cut out bread, potatoes and pasta from my meal choices. I eat a lot of soups, vegetables, fruit and meat/cheese without the bread. To get a little exercise in throughout the week, Tracy and I started running together. It’s been great in so many different ways. It’s great for our bodies, attitudes, energy levels and has even benefited our relationship in general.

Until I jumped on the scale, I had no idea how much weight I have lost just by making these small changes in my exercise routine and diet. Within one month, I have lost 15 POUNDS! Now, that was a nice surprise! I didn’t have to join any weight loss program or follow any hardcore diet to see a drastic change in the way I feel and look. Keep that in mind when you are thinking about the resolutions that you probably made for yourself over the past couple of months. It really doesn’t take much to see a change; you just need to be consistent! If I can do it…so can you!

Please excuse me now as I go to Taco Bell to celebrate my accomplishment. Juuuust kidding. Ha!

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Social Media and the Voice Over Industry

May 20, 2012 by  
Filed under Blog

We’re less than a month away from Voice 2012 at Disneyland! For the second time in four years, I am joined by Dave Courvoisier and Trish Basanyi on stage to present another seminar on social media and voice over industry. This is a subject I am passionate about because it has helped the growth of my voiceover business. I usually book a couple dozen jobs a year from Facebook and Twitter alone. I consider both to be powerful marketing tools. My girlfriend, Tracy’s photography business has benefited from Facebook as well. When she posts photos on her brand page entitled Universal Soul Photography, she usually gets a couple of leads right away. Social media works!

Our presentation at Voice 2012 will be educating yet entertaining. We don’t take ourselves too seriously and we aim to have fun! At Voice 2010, we started with a silly parody song to the tune of “Drive My Car” by The Beatles. It was a great way to start the presentation and loosen people up. This year, I am considering flying through the air on a wire like David Lee Roth did in the “Panama” video many years ago. Ha!

Our presentation is Thursday, June 14th at 8:30am at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, California. It is one of many presentations at Voice 2012. I’ll be discussing Facebook and how it can help your business. Dave will be talking about Google+ and LinkedIn and Trish will cover Twitter. John Florian of Voice Over Xtra describes us as “The Super Socials” and even created a logo for us when the three of us did a webinar for his site a few months back.

Special thanks to James Alburger and Penny Abshire for inviting us back for another presentation this year. This is going to be a blast!

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