VAM 128 | Interview with Zach Hanks, Part 1

VAM | 128 Interview with Zach Hanks, Part 1

Welcome to episode 128 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 voice actor, director and teacher, Zach Hanks! You may be familiar with his performances as Garnac in the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Morgan and Custis Pendleton in the video game Dishonored and Lars Halford in the game Brutal Legend.

Not only is Zach a voice actor, but he has also worked as both a voice director and casting director on multiple video game projects including Company of Heroes, Saints Row, and Warhammer 40,000. In addition to all his voice over industry accomplishments, Zach has also taught voice acting as a professor at the Stephen F. Austin State University in Eastern Texas. He currently resides in Atlanta where he is continuing to pursue his own voice over career in addition to founding the Voice Over Career Launch Pad, a service that helps voice over artists learn the skills they need to become business savvy professionals in the industry. I’m very excited to bring you Zach’s story because his experiences are so wide and varied!

In this first part of our interview, we cover Zach’s journey from when he started as a young high school student interested in acting, all the way through the myriad twists and turns of his acting journey up until today. We touch on his training, the challenges he faced when he first entered the entertainment industry as an actor, the lessons he learned going back to school to get his Master’s degree, the success he had as a performer, casting director and booth director after returning to Los Angeles, and even the insight he’s gained from teaching others how to pursue their voice acting goals when he was a college professor. It’s an amazing story filled with surprises! At each step in his adventure, Zach learned important lessons that I think you’ll really benefit from hearing! But I’ll let Zach tell you all about it in his own words!

Download Voice Acting Mastery Episode #128 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)

 

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)

 

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)

 

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)

 

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)

 

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