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)

 

VAMFR 020 | Theme Park Voice Over, Part 2

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VAMFR 020 | Theme Park Voice Over, Part 2

Welcome to episode 20 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 second part of a special report on Theme Park Voice Over jobs by our special correspondent, Tom Bauer!

In the previous episode, he began exploring the differences between the two main categories most commonly found in Voice Over for Theme Parks: Pre-recorded Voice Over and Live Voice Acting Performances.

In this episode, Tom will be discussing at length the casting process involved in Theme Park Voice Over. He’ll be diving deep into what the audition experience is like and what it might take to get hired to do voices at your favorite park. He’ll also be sharing with you where to find these opportunities to audition.

Tom’s five special guests from the previous episode are back again to share their insights into the casting experience. We’ll be hearing from Rebecca Lumianski, who is a talented actor and Consulting Director at Disneyland for shows like “Turtle Talk with Crush”, and Joe Hernandez, who Tom mentioned previously as the head talent and show trainer for Turtle Talk and a talented voice actor, recently featured as the character of Daruk from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Tom will also talk 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. Last, but not least, Isaac Robinson Smith will be also joining. Isaac is a versatile performer for Universal Studios Hollywood and a former Turtle Talk actor. He provides the voice of Megatron and Optimus Prime from the Transformers film franchise as part of a character meet and greet that Universal Studios guests can interact with. It was really interesting hearing their perspectives on the audition experience for Theme Parks and Tom can’t wait to share with you what he learned!

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 #20 Here (MP3)

 

VAM 124 | Interview with Richard Tatum, Part 2

VAM 124 | Interview with Richard Tatum, Part 2

Welcome to episode 124 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 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, we discussed the beginning of Richard’s acting journey and how his strong theatrical acting background helped him pursue a voice over career. Amazingly, Richard broke into voice acting not just once, but twice! The first time was around 1996 when he got his first agent and started booking voice over work in Los Angeles. Unfortunately, when the actor’s union strike against commercials in 1999 dragged on for 6 months, Richard found that he needed to pursue other employment opportunities outside of voice over. Years later, in 2011, he decided to approach voice acting again. This time around he had a more methodical approach as well as far more experience under his belt. I think it’s incredibly useful to hear what changed and what stayed the same between both time periods when it comes to trying to break into the voice acting world.

In this episode, we’ll talk about how Richard began producing demos for voice actors. Through some wonderful synchronicity, Richard was able to join forces with a colleague of his to start coaching voice actors as well as help develop their demos. Not only do we discuss what you should and should not put on your demo, Richard also explains the mindset you need to have in order to use that demo to market yourself effectively to agents and casting directors. I certainly learned a lot from this segment with Richard and I’m sure you will as well!

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 #124 Here (MP3)

 

VAMFR 019 | Theme Park Voice Over, Part 1

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VAMFR 019 | Theme Park Voice Over, Part 1

Welcome to episode 19 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 first part of a special report on Theme Park Voice Over jobs by our special correspondent, Tom Bauer!

Tom is very excited to explore with you a subject that’s near and dear to his heart, Voice Over for Theme Parks. This particular field of the voice over industry often goes unnoticed by most people because when it’s done well it blends so seamlessly into the experience of the visitor.

It recently dawned on Tom that voice over actors are the hidden artists who provide the audio atmosphere and essential back stories that help bring theme parks to life. From ride narration and live interactive shows, to park-wide announcements and parking lot tram spiels, voice actors help guide and entertain everyone who visits.

In fact, making sure the audience is having the best possible experience is exactly what Tom gets called on to do as a theme park voice actor! Tom’s been fortunate enough to be cast as the voice of Crush the Turtle in a show called “Turtle Talk with Crush” at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California. You may remember the character of Crush as the laid-back, surfer-dude sea turtle from the 2003 Disney/Pixar Film, “Finding Nemo” and its 2016 sequel ”Finding Dory”. If you’ve been a Voice Acting Mastery listener for a while, you may have heard Tom mention his work as Crush in previous episodes of the Field Report. “Turtle Talk with Crush” is a live, interactive experience located in the Hollywood Land area of Disney California Adventure.

Many people ask Tom what it’s like to portray Crush in this sort of interactive experience. They’re also curious how he was able to book this unique job in the first place! As it became clear to Tom that people were genuinely fascinated by this type of theme park voice over work, he had a feeling it might make a great topic for a special report.

Tom quickly realized that even though he worked in a theme park, he didn’t know much about the different types of voice over work that were involved in running it, outside of his experiences on Turtle Talk. As he explored, he soon discovered there were many areas of the resort that utilized talent from voice actors in interesting ways, so he decided that theme park voice acting would be an excellent subject for all of us to learn more about together!

To help Tom unlock the secrets behind this enigmatic topic, he spoke with five distinguished and talented individuals currently involved in the realm of Theme Park Voice Over including:

  • Rebecca Lumianski, a Consulting Director at Disneyland for shows like “Turtle Talk with Crush”.
  • Joe Hernandez, a professional Voice Over Artist and the head talent and Show Trainer for Turtle Talk.
  • Bill Rogers & Camille Dixon, the husband-and-wife VO team who provide the official announcement voices for Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, respectively.
  • Isaac Robinson Smith, a versatile performer who provides the voice of Megatron and Optimus Prime from the Transformers film franchise as part of a character meet and greet at Universal Studios.

Tom would like to thank all five of these talented individuals for taking the time to sit down with him and share their wisdom on the subject of Theme Park Voice Over. He learned quite a bit from each of them as they talked about their various experiences in their respective fields of expertise. I’m sure that 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 #19 Here (MP3)

 

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