VAM 123 | Interview with Richard Tatum, Part 1

VAM 123 | Interview with Richard Tatum, Part 1

Welcome to episode 123 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 first 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.

Like myself, Richard got his training in the theater and even had an opportunity in college to perform on stage with Patrick Stewart in a production of Shakespeare’s the Tempest! After moving to Los Angeles, Richard pursued both voice acting and theater and has made quite a name for himself as a director and adaptor of stage plays. He’s been nominated repeatedly for the prestigious LA Theater’s Ovation awards for his work as a director, and he applies these admirable directorial skills while helping voice actors create their voice over demos.

In the first part of our talk, we focus on Richard’s acting background and how he began his career as a performer. Early on he worked as an actor in a repertory theater company in Philadelphia, but it didn’t take long before he realized he wanted to make the move to Los Angeles to expand his acting prospects. Upon arriving in LA he began working as a tour guide at Universal Studios. This was fortuitous as it made it possible for him to take a workshop with a former tour guide who had become a professional voice actor, the famous Bob Bergen. Bob is probably most well known for being the current voice of Porky Pig, but he’s worked on hundreds of other influential voice acting projects. Bob was able to help Richard learn how to take his existing theatrical acting skills and best apply them in the world of voice acting. Making the transition from theatrical acting to voice acting can be challenging. I know it was for me at times. That’s why I really enjoy hearing how Richard was able to internalize Bob’s advice and apply it not only to his own voice acting career, but also to producing voice over demos for others. I think my listeners will really benefit from this time-tested wisdom.

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 #123 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)

 

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)

 

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)

 

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)

 

VAM 118 | Interview with America Young, Part 2

VAM 118 | Interview with America Young, Part 2

Welcome to episode 118 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 second part of my interview with the multi-talented America Young! America has had experience 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! I was eager to talk to America so she could share her insight with us about what it takes to succeed in the developing world of motion capture.

We begin our discussion in this episode by defining what motion capture is and how it differs from performance capture. We then explore how America’s background in acting and stunt work helped her when she had the opportunity to audition to be a motion capture actress for a Spiderman game. After that, we go into detail about some of the most common practices in motion capture and what you can expect when when find yourself on a motion capture stage.

America has a wealth of information to share so listen closely! You’ll learn how important it is to have a solid background in acting before attempting to perform as a physical character in video games!

 

Download Voice Acting Mastery Episode #118 Here (MP3)

 

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