VAMFR 024 | Maintaining Good Psychological Health as a Voice Actor, Part 1

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VAMFR 024 | Maintaining Good Psychological Health as a Voice Actor, Part 1

Welcome to episode 24 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

Welcome to the first part of a special report on maintaining good psychological health as a voice actor by our special correspondent, Maureen Price!

Maureen has been eager to dive into this topic ever since she joined the Field Report and she’s very excited to share her findings with all of you! When it comes to building a successful voice acting career, developing confidence, which includes learning to deal with rejection, is just as important as sharpening our acting skills or learning solid business practices. When Maureen started interviewing industry professionals about this subject, she was very curious to hear how they dealt with the emotional challenges of being a voice actor and how their approaches to maintaining a healthy mindset evolved over the course of their careers. Maureen’s tactics and thought processes for handling emotional stress have certainly changed since her earliest experiences as a child stage actor! And she’s grateful for that!

In part one of her report, Maureen will be exploring a subject that greatly affects us all as voice actors over the entire arc of our careers. It’s also a topic that she rarely hears addressed in interviews but is of great importance given how far reaching it is. She’s referring to the dreaded “R” word. Rejection. More specifically Maureen wants to explore how to handle rejection in psychologically healthy and productive ways. Since rejection is one of the most common and inevitable experiences we encounter in the voice over world, it’s crucial to develop a skill set to cope with it well. If we aren’t able to handle rejection effectively, we’re all going to have a rough go of things.

To help her explore these sometimes difficult and loaded topics, Maureen spoke with four wonderfully talented voice actors. Firstly, she sat down with Keith Silverstein, an industry veteran whose work includes Torbjörn in Overwatch, Hisoka in HunterxHunter, and Hawk Moth in Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir amongst many, many more. She then spoke with Laura Post, voice actor and now voice director for the anime series Little Witch Academia. Laura’s voice acting work includes Big Barda in Justice League Action, Ragyō in Kill la Kill, Ahri in League of Legends, and Nozomi Tojo in Love Live! School Idol Project. Maureen also spoke with Ray Chase. Ray voices Prince Noctis in Final Fantasy XV, Master of Masters in Kingdom Hearts 2.8 and Puri-puri Prisoner in One Punch Man. Finally, she sat down with Valerie Arem. Valerie is a voice actor, voice director, and educator. Her directing work includes Persona 4 and Persona 5. She voices Francine in The Walking Dead video game, Naoto Shirogane in Persona 4, and Kyra Mosley in Call of Duty: Ghosts. Valerie and her husband Keith Arem run PCB Productions, a studio in Los Angeles specializing in video game recording. They also teach workshops that focus on voice acting for a variety of video game genres. Maureen was especially interested to talk to Valerie given her wealth of experience as an actor, director, casting director, and educator.

Maureen would like to thank all of her fantastically talented guests for being so generous with their time and for their willingness to discuss these topics with honesty and vulnerability. It meant a great deal to her and she hopes that their words over the course of this series resonate and inspire all of us to continue to develop healthy approaches to the psychological challenges that come with the work we do.

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 #24 Here (MP3)

 

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 a 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.

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)

 

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 018 | Interview with Mela Lee, Part 3

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VAMFR 018 | Interview with Mela Lee, Part 3

Welcome to episode 18 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 shares with us the third and final 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, Maureen and Mela talked about the importance of music in Mela’s life and how it enhances and informs her performances as a voice actor. They also discussed Mela’s foray into producing with the anime Skip Beat! and how her perspective as a voice actor was broadened by that experience. They wrapped up the previous segment by chatting about Mela’s web series and how important she believes it is for us to uphold passion and authenticity as guiding principles when we’re creating our own content.

In the final part of this interview, Maureen asks Mela a few of her favorite questions such as “What’s a piece of advice someone gave you about your career that you’ve never forgotten?” This inspires Mela to discuss how her childhood dreams have manifested in her life. She also shares her advice on how we can all get out of our own way creatively in order to remove self-imposed limitations. Mela concludes by recounting the time she jumped far out of her comfort zone by taking an on-camera acting class and how this led her to an important realization about her identity as an actress.

Mela would love to hear from her fans online! You can find her different projects at:
www.MagnoliaMemoir.com
@MagnoliaMemoir on Twitter
mela@magnoliamemoir.com

@themelalee on Twitter and Instagram

@LindbeckAndLee on Twitter

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 #18 Here (MP3)

 

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)

 

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