VAM 122 | Q & A Session 24 – Should You Pursue a Career that Pleases Your Parents or Follow Your Voice Acting Dreams?

VAM 122 | Q & A Session 24 – Should You Pursue a Career that Pleases Your Parents or Follow Your Voice Acting Dreams?

Welcome to episode 122 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 a very important question from Jessie of Chicago, IL.

Jessie wants to know if he should live a stable, conventional life that makes him miserable, or should he take chances with his future, live unconventionally, and lose everything.

I’m grateful to Jessie for his very philosophical question! It’s actually a really important subject to cover, so I’m going to spend this entire episode making sure I address it fully.

I begin by exploring the false dichotomy that is at the root of Jessie’s question.

While it’s true that making choices about one’s career is not something that should be taken lightly, Jessie’s articulation of the issue is a little extreme.

So I do my best to help Jessie avoid such a no-win scenario by taking a step back and assessing what it is he is really trying to accomplish here. I start by clearly articulating the issues that are at stake for Jessie and for anyone who find themselves in a similar predicament.

It seems to me there are 3 topics implicit in Jessie’s question. 1) his financial well being, 2) his personal satisfaction with his career, and 3) his parents’ respect and approval. While I believe it is possible to achieve success in all three of these areas, it can be challenging depending on your situation, your abilities, and the cultural values of your family.

After exploring each one of these topics in detail, I share with Jessie my own experiences trying to balance what I wanted to do with my life with what was expected of me by my parents.

Because this topic is a concern that many aspiring voice actors have when they contemplate pursuing an artistic career, I’m hoping that answering his question in detail will benefit a great many of my listeners!

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 #122 Here (MP3)

 

VAMFR 017 | Interview with Mela Lee, Part 2

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VAMFR 017 | Interview with Mela Lee, Part 2

Welcome to episode 17 of the Voice Acting Mastery: Field Report podcast!

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.vamfieldreport.com/podcast

In this episode our newest correspondent, Maureen Price is thrilled to share the second part of her interview with the multi-talented voice actress, vocalist, and songwriter, Mela Lee.

Mela’s work as a voice actor spans anime, video games, film, and television. She is also the vocalist and songwriter for her band Magnolia Memoir. We’re very grateful to Mela for taking time out of her incredibly busy schedule to sit down with Maureen for this interview.

In the previous episode, Mela discussed her entry into the entertainment industry and the ups and downs that came along with balancing multiple careers. She also shared her thoughts on the power of a supportive community and the excellence that comes from immersion in your craft. Finally, Mela provided insight into her evolution as a vocalist and a songwriter.

In this episode Maureen and Mela discuss the connection between voice acting and music and how they feed into one another. They also talk about how voice acting has enhanced Mela’s experience as a musician and vice versa. They then discuss Mela’s experience producing the anime Skip Beat! and how being on the production team broadened her perspective as a voice actor. Lastly, Mela and Maureen chat about her web series and the importance of passion and authenticity when creating your own content.

The VAM Field Report will be released on the 1st Wednesday of every month so stay on the look out for it!

Download VAM Field Report Episode #17 Here (MP3)

 

VAM 121 | Q & A Session 23 – How to Expand Your Vocal Range & Change the Quality of Your Voice

VAM 121 | Q & A Session 23 – How to Expand Your Vocal Range & Change the Quality of Your Voice

Welcome to episode 121 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 Adam from Scranton, PA and Matthew from Flagstaff, AZ.

Adam wants to know how he can expand his vocal range.

His is a very common question. I’m often asked by aspiring voice actors how they can expand their vocal range. Usually the question comes from male performers who want to know what they can do to lower or deepen their voice. I’ve almost never been asked how someone can learn to pitch their voice higher while voice acting. Now I’m not sure if Adam is specifically asking for advice on how to speak in lower tones, but allow me to address vocal range from a technical standpoint first. Then I’ll touch on some psychological issues that may be informing why I get asked this question so frequently.

Matthew wants to know how to change the timbre or quality of his voice.

I thought Matthew’s question was a great follow up to Adam’s about vocal range. Matthew uses the word “timbre” which is a very specific term that usually describes the tonality of an instrument. For instance, a violin and a trumpet might be able to play the same note or pitch, but the timbre or sonic quality of each instrument is very different. The technical reason for this has to do with the types of overtones or resonances that each instrument produces which give them their characteristic sounds. This means that you’d never mistake the sound of a violin for that of a trumpet because of their different timbres.

If Matthew will permit me, I’d like to use the term vocal quality in place of timbre in order to address his question. Based on the kinds of sounds he’s trying produce, I believe vocal quality is a more accurate description. Matthew says that he has difficulty performing a raspy character without hurting his voice or throat. Raspiness is more of a vocal quality than a timbre because it has less to do with overtones and more to do with breathiness, sibilance and other vocal qualities.

I help explain my approach to changing the quality of my voice and the importance of avoiding vocal injury when doing so!

I also recommend Kristin Linklater’s book, Freeing the Natural Voice.

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 #121 Here (MP3)

 

VAMFR 016 | Interview with Mela Lee, Part 1

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VAMFR 016 | Interview with Mela Lee, Part 1

Welcome to episode 16 of the Voice Acting Mastery: Field Report podcast!

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.vamfieldreport.com/podcast

In this episode our newest correspondent, Maureen Price is thrilled to share her interview with the multi-talented voice actress, vocalist, and songwriter, Mela Lee.

Mela’s roles in anime include Rin Tohsaka in Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works, Yuki Cross in Vampire Knight, and Erika Karisawa in Durarara!! Mela also plays Tikki in Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir. She has provided background voices on shows like Gotham, True Detective, and The Good Wife. Mela is also the vocalist and songwriter for her band Magnolia Memoir.

Maureen is so grateful to Mela for taking the time to share her insights on her voice acting journey.
In this episode, Mela talks about her entry into the entertainment industry. She had many ups and downs along the way as as she did her best to balance her voice over pursuits with her career as a financial analyst. Maureen and Mela also discuss the importance of cultivating a community of support and the power of being your own advocate. Lastly, Mela shares the evolution of her work as a vocalist and songwriter and how all of her many passions found a way to coalesce into a career path she molded for herself. This first section of the interview is full of great insights!

The VAM Field Report will be released on the 1st Wednesday of every month so stay on the look out for it!

Download VAM Field Report Episode #16 Here (MP3)

 

VAM 120 | How Long Does It Take to Become a Professional Voice Actor?

VAM 120 | How Long Does It Take to Become a Professional Voice Actor?

Welcome to episode 120 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 talk about a pattern I’ve been noticing among my students lately. During class or in private coaching sessions, or even in conversations outside of class, I’ve had some students express either frustration or impatience with their level of progress when it comes to voice acting. More than one student has said something like,” Well, I’ve taken x amount of classes, (sometimes as few as 2, sometimes many more), and I’m still not getting the success I want.” Since this is a common refrain many aspiring voice actors may hear, whether from your peers or from yourself, I’d like to take this opportunity to address how to set your expectations about when you should achieve voice acting success. While I can almost guarantee that those of you who think you should be professionally competitive after just 2 classes are being a bit unrealistic, I can also understand how frustrating it can be not to know how how long you’ll need to study and practice voice acting before you’ll really “make it” in the industry.

This question becomes especially acute for students of voice acting who may have invested a lot of time and money into developing their voice acting skills but are still unsatisfied by their current ability to book work. They can often feel discouraged and self-critical which can lead to a downward spiral of demoralizing bitterness, especially if they compare themselves to peers who may be doing better than they are.

I wish I could provide these students with an official time table that could assure them that everything is on schedule and going according to plan. Unfortunately, developing one’s own artistic creativity rarely conforms to a regular schedule. Growing as an artist is almost never a linear process, because every artist is different. Some aspects of acting may come easily to you while others may require long periods of struggle before you finally achieve a breakthrough. You might ask me how I know this. It’s because I’ve had those same frustrations myself. While I’ve had incredible highs of artistic achievement and fulfillment along my voice acting path, I’ve also travelled through valleys of depression, wondering if I was ever going to be good enough to achieve my dreams. If you’re listening now and feeling frustrated or stuck, please know that you are not alone. Almost every successful voice actor has been there, including myself.

Allow me to spend this episode helping you to set more empowering expectations, and also encouraging you to be patient and honest with yourself. Many great artists have faced challenges like yours and overcome them. This means you can too. I want to share with you some stories that I’ve found inspiring when I’ve been at my lowest. I’ll also discuss how to apply this inspiration to your own artistic journey.

In the episode I recommend the film Vanya on 42nd Street to those who are interested in seeing some amazingly transparent acting. You can buy it here on Amazon.

 

Download Voice Acting Mastery Episode #120 Here (MP3)

 

VAMFR 015 | Introducing the New Lineup of Field Report Correspondents

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VAMFR 015 | Introducing the New Lineup of Field Report Correspondents

Welcome to episode 15 of the Voice Acting Mastery: Field Report podcast!

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.vamfieldreport.com/podcast

Greetings everyone! This is Crispin Freeman, voice actor and host of the Voice Acting Mastery Podcast. For this episode of our sister podcast, the Voice Acting Mastery Field Report, I’d like to start out by thanking all of our listeners who’ve been following this new show so far. For those of you just tuning in, in October 2015, we at Voice Acting Mastery launched the Field Report in order to give our audience some valuable new perspectives on the world of voice acting. Since the industry is constantly evolving and much has changed since I personally entered the field, I was eager to bring in some talented correspondents who could share with us their experiences building voice acting careers in today’s environment.

For the past 14 episodes, we’ve been fortunate enough to have Tom Bauer, DanWill McCann and Ashley Huyge bring us valuable insights on what challenges aspiring voice actors currently face in the entertainment industry. We’ve heard interviews from both seasoned industry professionals and up-and-coming talent, as well as special reports on relevant subjects designed to help you be successful in your own voice acting career! I hope you’ve enjoyed what Tom, DanWill and Ashley have shared so far. In this episode, we’ll be bidding a fond and grateful farewell to one of our correspondents, and we’ll also be welcoming a new one!

Recently, Ashley Huyge’s career has taken her in a different direction. She’s been busy both with her own voice over work as well as expanding her vocal coaching services for employees at corporations. While this is of course wonderful, it also means that she will no longer have the time to devote to being a correspondent for the Field Report. While we will miss her contributions to this podcast, we are happy for her success and we wish her the best in all her endeavors!

Fortunately for us, and for our listeners, we’ve been lucky enough to meet a wonderful new voice actress who has agreed to team up with us! Please join me in welcoming our newest Field Report correspondent, Maureen Price! Maureen has years of experience acting both on stage and on camera and is currently in the early stages of building her voice acting career. She’s eager to share with you her insights and experiences as she explores the world of voice over, and I for one am looking forward to hearing them.

In this episode of the Field Report, I decided to bring all three correspondents together for a round table interview, much like I did in the first episode. I wanted to spend some time introducing Maureen and give our listeners a preview of the unique perspective she’ll be bringing to the podcast. I also wanted to check in with both DanWill and Tom about how their voice acting journeys have been unfolding over the last year. There have been some exciting developments which I’m sure they’re eager to share with all of you!

So please welcome our new lineup of Field Report Correspondents, Maureen, DanWill, and Tom!

The VAM Field Report will be released on the 1st Wednesday of every month so stay on the look out for it!

 

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

  1. Follow this link to the Voice Acting Mastery Field Report 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. Click on “Ratings and Reviews”
  4. Now click on the stars to rate. They look like this:  and click on “Write a Review” to leave your thoughts! It looks like this: Write a Review Button
That’s it! Thanks for giving our correspondents a positive review on iTunes! It helps other voice actors who are looking for this information find it quickly. We’re all very excited that the Field Report is now on iTunes and we’re looking forward to reaching even more people this way!

Thanks for listening!

 

Download VAM Field Report Episode #15 Here (MP3)

 

VAM 119 | Interview with America Young, Part 3

VAM 119 | Interview with America Young, Part 3

Welcome to episode 119 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

Welcome to the third and final part of my interview with the multi-talented America Young! In part 1 and part 2 of this interview, America shared with us her experiences working in almost every aspect of performing! She’s worked on-camera, as a voice actor, as a stunt performer and most importantly for our conversation, as a motion capture actress in video games! We’re very fortunate to have America talk with us about what it takes to succeed in the developing world of motion capture.

In the last episode, America helped define for us what motion capture is and how it differs from the more recently coined term, performance capture. She also explained how her experience as an on-camera actor and stunt performer informs her motion capture work. In addition, we discussed some of the most common practices in the world of motion capture.

As we wrap up our time together, America explains how she creates a character physically when she has very little information to work with. This is a common occurrence in video games where actors are rarely given an entire script from beginning to end to study before they are asked to perform. She also stresses the importance of using your imagination when performing motion capture. The MoCap volume is basically a big empty space that requires you to fill in the details of the world around you with your own creativity. We also touch on how America’s knowledge of geeky subjects like comic books can be both helpful and a hindrance when approaching her work.

Make sure to check out America’s movie, The Concessionaires Must Die!

 

Download Voice Acting Mastery Episode #119 Here (MP3)

 

VAMFR 014 | Interview with Tony Oliver, Part 3

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VAMFR 014 | Interview with Tony Oliver, Part 3

Welcome to episode 14 of the Voice Acting Mastery: Field Report podcast!

In this episode, our correspondent, Tom Bauer concludes his interview one of his personal voice over mentors: Tony Oliver.

Tom first met Tony while taking class with him in November of 2012 and Tom has had the good pleasure of working with Tony since as a voice actor. Tony‘s voice over roles in anime include Rick Hunter in Robotech and Lupin in the Lupin the Third TV series. Tony also worked for many years as a writer and producer on the famous Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers television series for Saban Entertainment. He is also a talented director and teacher, directing such popular anime titles as Gurren Lagann and Hunter X Hunter.

In part 2 of this interview, we learned about Tony’s personal methodology when directing his actors and teaching his students. He stressed the importance of focusing on a character’s feelings and emotions in order to deliver a more believable and natural performance. Tony also gave advice on how to handle rejection and the importance of staying positive and finding joy in your craft to sustain your momentum and maintain your stamina while pursuing your voice acting career.

In this final episode, Tom asks Tony about the differences between directing veteran and younger voice actors. Tony also talks at length about how he became a teacher and how he helps his students ‘get out of their head’ when performing in the booth.

If you are interested in taking class with Tony, make sure to visit the Workshops Page of the Adventures in Voice Acting Website.

The VAM Field Report will be released on the 1st Wednesday of every month so stay on the look out for it!

 

Download VAM Field Report Episode #14 Here (MP3)

 

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