VAM 127 | Q & A Session 25 – What Makes a Successful Voice Acting Student?

VAM 127 | Q & A Session 25 – What Makes a Successful Voice Acting Student?

Welcome to episode 127 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 an insightful question from Jeremiah of Bealton, VA .

Jeremiah knows that I’ve taught a lot of students in my Voice Acting Mastery workshops and he’s curious if noticed any common elements or personality traits among the most successful students that I teach.

Jeremiah’s question is very insightful, and I appreciate him giving me the opportunity to answer it. In fact, I think it’s so important, I’d like to make it the focus of this entire episode.

It’s true that I started teaching voice acting workshops in late 2010 and I’ve worked with hundreds of students since that time. While every student is unique and each has their own journey that they must take in order to improve their voice acting skills, I have observed some patterns. There are common challenges that many students face and I have noticed that certain types of students rise to those challenges while others struggle, become discouraged or give up.

Let me preface any further discussion by saying that I do not claim to know for sure whether every student who attends my classes will succeed as a professional. I don’t think any teacher can truly anticipate that, because there are just too many variables in play. In the end, it’s always up to the student themselves.

That being said, I can share with you the personality traits and psychological attitudes that I believe can give one the best chance of becoming a professional voice actor. Students who adopt these mindsets tend to be the most resilient in the face of adversity and are the most inspired as they pursue their career goals.

In the episode I give Jeremiah and my listeners 3 pieces of advice:

  1. Pursue voice acting for the right reasons.
  2. Be willing to take criticism.
  3. Be resourceful and proactive.

In this episode, I talk at length about what I mean with these pieces of advice and give concrete examples of the different kinds of students that I encounter. I think you’ll find it very helpful!

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 #127 Here (MP3)

 

VAMFR 022 | Interview with Kelly Moscinski, Part 1

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VAMFR 022 | Interview with Kelly Moscinski, Part 1

Welcome to episode 22 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

This episode is the first part of DanWill McCann’s interview with Kelly Moscinski, the owner and head of casting for The Voicecaster, a busy and well respected recording and rehearsal studio in Burbank, California. Nestled in between several major Hollywood studio film lots, The Voicecaster helps cast and record projects from all areas of Voice Over including, commercials, industrial narration, video games, animation, and more! The Voicecaster office was originally founded back in 1975 and has been in business ever since. Kelly had over a decade of experience in the production side of the voice over industry before she was hired at the Voicecaster, first as an assistant and later as a full time casting director. The previous owner of the Voicecaster admired her passion, commitment and ambition and it was clear to him that Kelly would be the ideal steward for the company moving forward. After three and a half years of working for them as an employee, Kelly was offered a chance to buy the business and she jumped at it. Kelly has owned the Voicecaster since 2013 and the company has flourished under her leadership.

In this episode, we’ll get to know Kelly and her studio as well as learn more about how she got where she is today. DanWill is especially excited to share with you Kelly’s tips and tricks for voice actors to help us perform our best during auditions! From a performer’s perspective, the auditioning process can be very mysterious. So much of it happens before an actor even arrives at the studio to record. Every audition DanWill goes into, he often wishes he could be a fly on the wall to hear the conversation of the casting agents and marketing representatives on the other side of the glass from where he’s standing in the recording booth. DanWill would love to hear what informs their choices and how they finally decide on which voice actor will suit their project. DanWill’s really grateful that Kelly was generous enough to share with us her stories and advice on how to navigate this potentially intimidating process. Getting such insider information has helped him feel more confident when he approaches auditioning and we have a feeling you will enjoy and value her information as much as DanWill did.

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 #22 Here (MP3)

 

VAM 126 | Speech Problems that Might Be Holding You Back

VAM 126 | Speech Problems that Might Be Holding You Back

Welcome to episode 126 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’d like to spend some time discussing how important it is to be aware of what you sound like when you’re speaking. I have watched too many of my voice acting students struggle because they are unaware of what their own voice actually sounds like. Unbeknownst to many, what you hear inside your head when you’re speaking is not what others hear. If you haven’t taken the time to get to know how you actually sound to the rest of the world, you’re missing out on crucial information that can make or break your voice acting career. Not only do you need to be aware of the tone or timbre of your voice, but you also need to become intimately familiar with your habitual manner of speaking and how you articulate words. Like a musician playing an instrument, it’s vital that you understand exactly what kind of sounds you are producing and how they are perceived by others. Without such self-awareness, you will not know how to modify your delivery for different characters you’re asked to play, or how to make precise vocal adjustments in order to communicate effectively to your audience.

For some actors, their habitual manner of speech might be fine for portraying certain characters. These actors may have a sound that is marketable or popular at the moment, so they may not feel the need to spend much time thinking about how they sound. After all, it’s working so far. Meanwhile, other actors may struggle to be considered for parts because they may have regionalisms or enunciation problems which make it difficult for producers to cast them. Regardless of whether you are blessed with a currently marketable sound, or have some speech challenges that you need to overcome, at some point nearly every actor will be asked to play a character who speaks with a different intonation, accent, or vocal quality than the one you use in everyday life. In those situations, you need to be able to modify the way you speak in order to suit the character you’re being asked to portray.

While at first it may seem obvious that a voice actor needs to know what they sound like and how they speak, you might be surprised at how often I work with people who seem completely unaware of either of these things. If someone on the outside points out that they might have regionalisms or limiting speech patterns, they can often become quite defensive. In this episode, I want to explain why this is and help share some useful tools to help you overcome any limitations you might be facing due to habitual speech patterns. Changing how we speak is actually an incredibly emotional topic and can make many people feel uncomfortable. Hopefully by the end of this episode, you’ll not only understand the underlying issues at work here, but you’ll have a far better grasp on what you as a voice actor can do to avoid any speech problems that might be holding you back.
 
Download Voice Acting Mastery Episode #126 Here (MP3)

 

VAMFR 021 | Theme Park Voice Over, Part 3

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VAMFR 021 | Theme Park Voice Over, Part 3

Welcome to episode 21 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

This is the third and final part of a special report on Theme Park Voice Over jobs by our special correspondent, Tom Bauer!

If you haven’t listened to the first two parts of this series, we highly recommend that you do so first. In this episode Tom will be referencing many of the ideas and concepts he covered in part 1 and part 2. In the previous episode, Tom discussed at length the auditioning and casting process for voice over work in theme parks. He started by telling the story of how he broke into working as a voice actor at Disney California Adventure on the “Turtle Talk with Crush” interactive show. He shared his experiences of what the auditioning process was like and how it took him a total of six attempts over multiple years before he finally landed the role of Crush.

He also talked about the different ways Voice Actors can look for theme park VO auditions in the previous episode.

In this episode, Tom will be discussing some of the challenges one may face as a theme park voice actor. He’ll also be focusing on the importance of maintaining a sense of professionalism in a Theme Park setting. We’ll be using the term ‘professionalism’ as a way to describe what is commonly understood in the entertainment industry as ethical and responsible behavior. An actor who is able to maintain a sense of professionalism will inspire confidence in their collaborators, whether they’re working with booth directors to create pre-recorded narration or with fellow cast members bringing characters to life in front of an audience. Conversely, if an actor behaves unprofessionally, their negative attitude can end up reflecting badly on them, damaging their relationships with collaborators and any prospects for future work.

If you’ve been following this special report so far, you’ll be delighted to hear that Tom’s five special guests have returned to share with me their thoughts on overcoming challenges and maintaining one’s professionalism in a theme park environment. We’ll be hearing from Rebecca Lumianski, who is an experienced actor and Consulting Director at Disneyland for shows like “Turtle Talk with Crush”. We’ll also hear from Joe Hernandez, who is the head talent and show trainer for Turtle Talk and a gifted voice actor who was recently featured as the character of Daruk from the video game The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Later, Tom will speak with the husband and wife team of Bill Rogers and Camille Dixon, who provide the official announcement voices for Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, respectively. Finally, Isaac Robinson Smith will also be joining us in our discussion. Isaac is a versatile performer for Universal Studios Hollywood and a former Turtle Talk actor. He provides the voices of Megatron and Optimus Prime from the Transformers film franchise as part of a character meet and greet that Universal Studios audience members can interact with. Tom found a lot of his guests’ insights and stories fascinating during this round of interviews and we think you will too!

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 #21 Here (MP3)

 

VAM 125 | Interview with Richard Tatum, Part 3

VAM 125 | Interview with Richard Tatum, Part 3

Welcome to episode 125 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 my good friend Richard Tatum! Richard is not only an accomplished voice actor, and voice over teacher, but also an amazing producer of voice over demos. You may know him as Rex Goodman in Fallout 4, the voice of Theodore Roosevelt in Civilization VI and Omar Harmozi from the animated series Static Shock. I first came across Richard’s work as a demo producer when one of my students played me her demos and I was blown away by how well they represented her abilities as an actress. Not only was her character demo very compelling, but her commercial demo was impressive as well. When I asked her who had produced them, she introduced me to Richard and he and I have been friends ever since.

In our previous interview segment, Richard and I discussed how he began producing demos for voice actors. He not only shared with us some great advice about what one should put on a demo but he also outlined the mindset one should have when using your demo to market yourself to agents and casting directors.

In this episode we discuss some of the most common misconceptions about demos. We talk about when the best time is to make a demo and how important it is to have professionally competitive acting skills before investing one’s valuable time and money into producing a demo. We wrap up our discussion with Richard’s final advice to aspiring voice actors. His words of wisdom are based not only on his years of acting but also his experience directing hundreds of performers on stage and in front of the microphone. I think you’ll find his insights incredibly helpful.

If you’d like to find out more about Richard’s classes and voice over demo services, please visit his website at:
AbsoluteVoiceOverLA.com
or contact him via e-mail at:
AbsoluteVOLA@gmail.com

Thanks for listening!

Download Voice Acting Mastery Episode #125 Here (MP3)

 

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