VAM 081 | Q & A Session 15 – How Casting Works & Deciding Which Projects to Audition For

VAM 081 | Q & A Session 15 – How Casting Works & Deciding Which Projects to Audition For

Welcome to episode 81 of the Voice Acting Mastery podcast with yours truly, Crispin Freeman!

As always, you can listen to the podcast using the player above, or download the mp3 using the link at the bottom of this blog post. The podcast is also available via the iTunes Store online. Just follow this link to view the podcast in iTunes:

http://www.voiceactingmastery.com/podcast

In this episode, I continue answering questions from my podcast audience! For those who may not be as familiar with the podcast, in past episodes, I’ve given out a phone number where you can call in and leave me a question about voice acting as a voicemail. From time to time, I’ll pick the most relevant questions I receive and answer them here on the podcast.

For this round of Q & A, I answer questions from Anthony of Ladyville, Belize and Steven of Savannah, GA .

 

Anthony wants to know whether or not producers and directors pursue actors in order to cast them in their projects, or whether actors pursue producers in order to work on their shows.

Many people get their understanding of the acting industry from celebrity interviews or sensationalized entertainment magazines, where it can seem like actors are pursued to play certain roles and can then “pick and choose” which roles to accept. While this can be the case with high-profile on-camera celebrities, it’s not usually true for voice actors.

I explain to Anthony exactly how the casting process works in voice acting and how it differs from on-camera acting casting. I also share the 3 different ways that voice over casting tends to get done these days:

  1. Agencies
  2. “Pay-to-Play” Sites
  3. Direct Marketing

Depending on where you are in your career, and what types of voice acting projects you’d like to pursue, one or more of these casting paradigms might be appropriate for you.

 

The question that Steven is asking is if voice actors decide to limit themselves to one field of voice acting, or whether they audition for anything that comes their way.

I picked Steven’s question because I feel it’s a good follow up to Anthony’s question about the casting process.

I explain to Steven the balance one must strike between discovering what one’s niche is in the voice acting world and making sure not to limit one’s possible employment opportunities.

 

I hope you find the answers useful in your own voice acting endeavors!

If any of my listeners would like to call in with your own thoughts, thank you’s or questions, the number is:

323-696-2655.

Please don’t forget to include your first name and what city in the world you’re calling from. I’m looking forward to hearing from you!

Thanks for listening!

Download Voice Acting Mastery Episode #81 Here (MP3)

 

VAM 080 | Q & A Session 14 – Acting Believably & Putting Emotion into Your Performances

VAM 080 | Q & A Session 14 – Acting Believably & Putting Emotion into Your Performances

Welcome to episode 80 of the Voice Acting Mastery podcast with yours truly, Crispin Freeman!

As always, you can listen to the podcast using the player above, or download the mp3 using the link at the bottom of this blog post. The podcast is also available via the iTunes Store online. Just follow this link to view the podcast in iTunes:

http://www.voiceactingmastery.com/podcast

In this episode, I continue answering questions from my podcast audience! For those who may not be as familiar with the podcast, in past episodes, I’ve given out a phone number where you can call in and leave me a question about voice acting as a voicemail. From time to time, I’ll pick the most relevant questions I receive and answer them here on the podcast.

For this round of Q & A, I answer questions from Andrew of Indianapolis, IN and Ryan from Piscataway, NJ .

 

Andrew finds that when he is reading a script that he tends to rush his acting resulting in a monotone or emotionless performance. He’d like to know how to solve this problem.

The challenge Andrew is facing is that he has a misconception that acting is about “performing” a voice or character other than oneself. This is a common misconception, especially in voice acting where people expect voice actors to be able to perform many different types of character voices.

I explain to Andrew what it takes to make sure you are speaking with your own authentic voice and how to a voice putting on a performance that an audience will feel is inauthentic and unbelievable.

 

The question that Ryan asks segues perfectly from Andrew’s. He finds it difficult to play characters that are very sad or are having intense emotions.

I assume that Ryan is comfortable acting in more casual or everyday circumstances, but when someone asks him to play something more passionate or dramatic, Andrew feels uncomfortable and unsure of what to do next. He may try to increase the intensity of his performance, but it always feels pushed and inauthentic. What’s going on?

The root of the problem is that Andrew is not giving himself permission to go to the emotionally dangerous places that the story is requiring of him. This is a common fear of actors, but it also a necessary aspect of great acting. If you’re playing pretend on a deep level, and you are asked to be believable in some horrible circumstances, the audience will not be satisfied unless they feel you go through that extreme experience. They want to hear you cry or sweat or scream as if you really are going through what the character is going through.

While such emotional vulnerability may seem unappealing or even irrational, I explain not only how important it is in order to create a captivating performance, but also how satisfying it can be to the actor if they commit to it fully and generously give to the audience an intense emotional experience.

 

I hope you find the answers useful in your own voice acting endeavors!

If any of my listeners would like to call in with your own thoughts, thank you’s or questions, the number is:

323-696-2655.

Please don’t forget to include your first name and what city in the world you’re calling from. I’m looking forward to hearing from you!

Thanks for listening!

Download Voice Acting Mastery Episode #80 Here (MP3)

 

VAM 079 | Interview with Grace Rolek, Part 3

VAM 079 | Interview with Grace Rolek, Part 3

Welcome to episode 79 of the Voice Acting Mastery podcast with yours truly, Crispin Freeman!

As always, you can listen to the podcast using the player above, or download the mp3 using the link at the bottom of this blog post. The podcast is also available via the iTunes Store online. Just follow this link to view the podcast in iTunes:

http://www.voiceactingmastery.com/podcast

This is the third and final part of my interview with the very talented young voice actress, Grace Rolek. Grace and I had the good fortune to work together on the show Steven Universe for Cartoon Network where Grace plays Steven’s girlfriend, Connie. You may also have heard Grace’s work in shows like Mulan II, Final Fantasy Advent Children and as the voice of Lucy in the Charlie Brown special Happiness is a Warm Blanket. Grace has been voice acting since she was 5 or 6 years old and is 16 at the time of this interview. I was eager to get Grace on the podcast so she could share with all of my listeners what it took for her to become a successful voice actress at such a young age.

As we wrap up our discussion, Grace tells me what it was like working on such an iconic character as Lucy from the Peanuts. She also discusses how even as a young child actress, she understood how important it was to behave in a mature way when at the recording studio. She ends our chat by giving her advice to aspiring young voice actors, which is the same advice she uses herself while pursuing her voice acting career!

Thanks for listening!

Download Voice Acting Mastery Episode #79 Here (MP3)

 

VAM 078 | Interview with Grace Rolek, Part 2

VAM 078 | Interview with Grace Rolek, Part 2

Welcome to episode 78 of the Voice Acting Mastery podcast with yours truly, Crispin Freeman!

As always, you can listen to the podcast using the player above, or download the mp3 using the link at the bottom of this blog post. The podcast is also available via the iTunes Store online. Just follow this link to view the podcast in iTunes:

http://www.voiceactingmastery.com/podcast

This is the second part of my interview with the very talented young voice actress, Grace Rolek. You may have heard Grace’s work in shows like Mulan II, Final Fantasy Advent Children and as the voice of Lucy in the Charlie Brown special Happiness is a Warm Blanket. Grace has been voice acting since she was 5 or 6 years old and is 16 at the time of this interview. I was eager to get Grace on the podcast so she could share with all of my listeners what it took for her to become a successful voice actress at such a young age.

In the previous episode, Grace and I were discussing a feeling that almost all actors experience: nervousness. Stage fright is a common problem that many actors struggle with. However, Grace had suggested that it was possible to use one’s natural performance anxiety to achieve positive results. So we begin this episode with Grace sharing with us what techniques she uses to help harness her nervous energy and channel it in a constructive way into her acting.

Thanks for listening!

Download Voice Acting Mastery Episode #78 Here (MP3)

 

VAM 077 | Interview with Grace Rolek, Part 1

VAM 077 | Interview with Grace Rolek, Part 1

Welcome to episode 77 of the Voice Acting Mastery podcast with yours truly, Crispin Freeman!

As always, you can listen to the podcast using the player above, or download the mp3 using the link at the bottom of this blog post. The podcast is also available via the iTunes Store online. Just follow this link to view the podcast in iTunes:

http://www.voiceactingmastery.com/podcast

In this episode, I interview the very talented young voice actress, Grace Rolek. Grace and I met while recording the animated show Steven Universe for Cartoon Network. I was immediately impressed by Grace’s skill and her professional demeanor. I became even more impressed when I realized that Grace, who is now 16, had been voice acting since she was about 5 or 6 years old! From her roles in Mulan II and Final Fantasy Advent Children to playing the voice of Lucy in the Charlie Brown special Happiness is a Warm Blanket, Grace has done an amazing range of work for someone so young.

As a voice actor and a voice acting mentor, I’m often approached by young people who worry that they are not old enough to voice act professionally. While I always assure them that it’s possible to voice act at any age, Grace is living proof of that statement. She was generous enough to spend an afternoon talking with me so I can show my listeners what it takes to begin and maintain a voice acting career at a relatively young age. I’m very grateful to her for taking the time to share her experiences with all of you.

I’d also like to thank Andrew Feliciano, the owner of Voicetrax West, for allowing us to record this interview in his studio. Voicetrax West not only provides professional recording services to the LA area, but offers voice over classes as well. You can find more information on the VoiceTrax West website.

Thanks for listening!

Download Voice Acting Mastery Episode #77 Here (MP3)

 

VAM 076 | Building Your Voice Acting Brand, Part 2

VAM 076 | Building Your Voice Acting Brand, Part 2

Welcome to episode 76 of the Voice Acting Mastery podcast with yours truly, Crispin Freeman!

As always, you can listen to the podcast using the player above, or download the mp3 using the link at the bottom of this blog post. The podcast is also available via the iTunes Store online. Just follow this link to view the podcast in iTunes:

http://www.voiceactingmastery.com/podcast

In episode 75 I explained the importance of creating and maintaining a positive and consistent voice acting brand. I gave specific advice on how to start with your “signature sound” and how to make sure your website, e-mail and other marketing items represent you as a voice acting “product” in a consistent way. Building and maintaining a clear brand makes it easier for casting directors and producers to remember who you are and what you have to offer as a voice actor. As I mentioned in the last episode, your voice acting brand should be based on your full name. This makes it easier for potential employers to reliably contact you for audition and job opportunities. I also touched on the importance of backing up your marketing message with absolute professionalism.

In this episode, I’d like to take the idea of branding yourself even further by introducing you to the concept of “external” vs. “internal” branding. You see, your voice acting brand is not only about your signature sound and your marketing materials. These things do promote you by showing others what you can do as a voice actor, but they are only part of your branding story. Things like your demo, your website and other promotional items contribute to your “external” brand. Your body of work as a voice actor is also part of your external brand, since your list of credits and your finished performances show your unique creative contribution to anyone who sees or hears them. As powerful as this is for promoting yourself as an actor, these external brand items are not actually you. They are “reflections” of you. They are the artifacts or manifestations of your brand in audio and visual formats. These external brand items are your representatives; they communicate who you are as an artist to casting directors and producers when you’re not around. But what about when you actually are there, in person, interacting with industry professionals, the press, or the public? How do you apply the idea of branding yourself to your face-to-face encounters? The answer is to develop not only your external brand, but your internal brand as well.

In the podcast, I outline in detail how to develop your internal brand to make sure it supports and does not detract from your external brand. I think you’ll find it incredibly useful.

If you’re enjoying the podcast, I would really appreciate it if you could give me a positive review in the iTunes Music Store! Here’s how:

  1. Follow this link to the Voice Acting Mastery Podcast in iTunes. Your browser should open up to a page listing the podcast.
  2. Click on the View in iTunes button which looks like this:  in order to view the podcast in iTunes. (NOTE: You must have iTunes installed on your computer for this to work)
  3. Once you’re inside the iTunes program, click on the stars to rate. They look like this: 
That’s it! Thanks for giving me a positive review on iTunes! It helps other voice actors who are looking for this information find me quickly. I’m really excited about being on iTunes and I’m looking forward to reaching even more people this way!

Thanks for listening!

Download Voice Acting Mastery Episode #76 Here (MP3)

 

VAM 075 | Building Your Voice Acting Brand, Part 1

VAM 075 | Building Your Voice Acting Brand, Part 1

Welcome to episode 75 of the Voice Acting Mastery podcast with yours truly, Crispin Freeman!

As always, you can listen to the podcast using the player above, or download the mp3 using the link at the bottom of this blog post. The podcast is also available via the iTunes Store online. Just follow this link to view the podcast in iTunes:

http://www.voiceactingmastery.com/podcast

In episode 74, I discussed at length how important it is to develop a public persona in order to interact more fruitfully with the public and with fandom. I described your public persona as the face you show to the public, to your fans, to the press, to anyone outside of your intimate circle of family or friends. Such a persona is not only useful to help you maintain a gracious and respectful relationship with fandom, but can also serve as emotional armor when you feel the need to protect yourself from public criticism. How you design your public persona depends on your own artistic values, and also on the brand you choose to build as an industry professional.

The concept of branding oneself as a voice actor can be confusing, especially when you’re just starting out, so in this episode I’d like to share some tips on how to approach the subject. Having a solid grasp of your own brand can not only help you decide how your public persona will behave, it can also shape your marketing, your overall business strategy, and your personal interactions with fellow industry professionals. Building a strong, positive brand and then staying true to it can help it grow, which strengthens your ability to stand out from the crowd and be remembered by employers, peers, and the public. On the other hand, a weak or inconsistent brand can make you less memorable or even undesirable as an actor.

In the podcast, I explore in detail what it takes to create an effective and consistent brand. I hope you find it helpful in your voice acting endeavors.

Thanks for listening!

Download Voice Acting Mastery Episode #75 Here (MP3)

 

VAM 074 | From Fan to Pro, or, How to Be a “Famous” Voice Actor

VAM 074 | From Fan to Pro, or, How to Be a “Famous” Voice Actor

Welcome to episode 74 of the Voice Acting Mastery podcast with yours truly, Crispin Freeman!

As always, you can listen to the podcast using the player above, or download the mp3 using the link at the bottom of this blog post. The podcast is also available via the iTunes Store online. Just follow this link to view the podcast in iTunes:

http://www.voiceactingmastery.com/podcast

In this episode I want to expand on a subject I addressed in my previous episode, #73. In it, one of my listeners asked about how an aspiring voice actor who may be a fan should approach an established professional they admire. Trying to answer this question made me realize that I needed to spend much more than just part of an episode talking about the fan/creator relationship.

In all my years as a voice actor, no fan has ever asked me what they need to do to prepare psychologically for the huge identity shift that must occur once you’re no longer a fan looking in, but a creator looking out. Maybe it’s because the two paradigms are so different that fans can’t imagine what it’s actually like to be on the receiving end of their own attention, or maybe it’s just a case of “the grass is always greener on the other side”, but being a well-known creator comes with its own challenges, and if you’re thinking of getting into voice acting for the “fame”, there are some things you need to know before you “make it big”.

First, you need to make a decision: Your choices are to “Impress” or to “Express”. Depending on which choice you make determines the nature of your artistic career.

Making that choice also helps you decide on another important skill you need to develop: your public persona. This is how you will interact with the world as public figure. It’s vital that you shape your professional avatar in such a way that it stays true to your artistic values.

I talk about both of these subjects in depth in this episode. It’s heavy stuff, but important if you want to maintain a healthy career, both artistically and emotionally.

Fame can be a very fickle thing and I want to give my listeners the tools they need to deal with becoming a public figure.

 

Thanks for listening!

Download Voice Acting Mastery Episode #74 Here (MP3)

 

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