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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Talent Profiles: Juliette Gray


Juliette Gray is the very definition of class, both as a person and a voice. Recently, I had the privilege of producing a new suite of demos for this class act, and she was a true joy to work with. You can hear her here: http://www.juliettegrayvoiceover.com/

Today, Juliette shares her thoughts on the business with all of you.

JMC:

How did you first get into voice acting?  

JULIETTE:

I had been working for the movie studios in Los Angeles for 15 plus years and although there were times when I really enjoyed it – there were many times that I felt like a prisoner between 9-6 – sometimes later. I had to leave my identity at the door so when the opportunity came to take a lay off I took it.  After a few months of collecting unemployment, the thought of going back into another office environment started to make me feel physically ill.  Then one day I was in an athletic footwear store (which is an almost never for me) and the person who helped me was British and he told me that he was studying voice over.  I didn’t know what that was but he gave me some information and once I went to the first class I felt a level of enthusiasm that I don’t remember having before.

JMC:

As a British talent based in Los Angeles, what has been your experience of the American VO marketplace, and how does it compare to the industry in the UK? 

JULIETTE:

I really don't know much about the U.K. Market, as I never worked in the U.K. as a VO.  From my research I think things are quite a bit different locally although a lot of U.K. talent are crossing the pond to see what we are up to here and how they can get into our market. 

I will say that I have worked for more clients in continental Europe than in England.   That could be because they already have so many British people.  But if I make that assumption then it doesn’t say much about me having a unique style and brand. Its just that I have to work harder at marketing for people over there to find out I exist (therefore I am!) – sorry Descartes.  

I think there is also some disparity being in a time zone where we are not at work at the same time during business hours and the fact that in London at least a lot of the clients like the talent to physically come in.

The good thing over there is a lot of jobs are filled just from demos and not so much from auditioning. As I just completed a Transatlantic reel I plan to market that to England which may be of more interest to them than “just another British demo.”

JMC:

What do you miss about England?


JULIETTE:

Not the weather! Although when the sun does come out you feel you have really earned it compared to Los Angeles where you feel sometimes that you wish it would rain.   

I miss the energy of London and having real walking streets where you can window shop and watch people in cafes.  It has a more NYC feeling than L.A. and that makes you feel more a part of humanity which is a good thing.   

Also the quantity and quality of the culture, art, music, theatre, fashion, food is so fantastic in England.  Yes there is suburbia – but so many of the neighborhoods have been gentrified in parts of town that used to be awful and its great that there is more to London than the west end now.  It gives people a wider perspective on what a good life can offer.

The great thing about England is the proximity to the rest of Europe and being able to take short weekend breaks to other countries and other cultures.

JMC:

What has been your most rewarding VO job?

JULIETTE:
I love the jobs where I actually go to an outside studio to record and where there is a director and it seems more like a collaboration.  I also love working that way because the technical part is with the engineer and I can concentrate 100% on my craft. 

Working for the U.N. news service on projects concerning the refugee crisis, third world problems like no clean water, and lack of medication, especially for children resonate with me.  I did this job several times a week for a year until they lost their funding and it brought about a visceral awareness of the things that are inequitable on our planet and has made me more pro active in feeling we in the west should be less selfish.

JMC:

If you had to start over in voiceover, is there anything you would do differently?

JULIETTE:

I would have done more self marketing. Looking for my ideal client rather than depending on agents and auditions.

It also would depend on when I would have started because the business has changed even during the 7 years I have been involved.  There comes a time with any pursuit where you have to adjust to new paradigms.  I think I have done that.  I still could be better at the tech side of things and I think if I had been I may have gotten further earlier on.

Unfortunately there is not enough coaching in this area.  But if you need it there are people out there who can help.  I used to spend way too much time on jobs that didn’t warrant it because of my poor editing skills.  That has improved but if I continue to get long jobs I will either hire an editor or satisfy myself that I am good enough to do it myself. Because now I realize my time is money.  I didn’t think of it that way in the beginning.


JMC:
What advice do you have for talent just starting out? 
JULIETTE:
Firstly, be honest with yourself about whether you are cut out to do this work.  Do you have some innate talent.  If you are not sure, explore coaching and find a coach that is willing to be honest with you rather than just take your money. 
I was told by one of the top coaches quite soon after I started that it really takes 10 years to reach a decent place on the ladder.  So if you really want to do this you have to have patience. 
Your success is partly people getting to know who you are, and building a liking and trust in you. 
Do your due diligence.  Don't put the cart before the horse.  Figure out what your brand is and what you can offer that is different so you stand out.  
Then…… you will take incremental steps with some detours on the way.  It can be expensive so don’t complain because its an expensive career, but no different than a four year college degree, just a different way of learning that requires more of you to make sure you are approaching things for your individual needs.  Its up to you where you spend your VO dollars – a quality sound home studio is a must and coaching is necessary on an ongoing basis. So is keeping up with the trends because styles change.  Watch different news shows to see what the latest technology is and listen to the commercials for products in your demographic.
Most of all you have to believe in yourself to be able to handle the periods where things are slow and use that time productively for marketing and research. 
If you have to work a day job until you start building your VO career figure out a way to be able to fit things in during working hours.  Maybe explain to your boss that there might be an occasion when you have to disappear for a short time to do an audition, etc. and that you will make the time up.  But don’t get resentful about your job as you still have to be there, and that negativity can show up in your reads. 
Most of all, enjoy the journey and the people in the industry.  You won’t find another area of work like this – so make the most of it. 

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Talent Profiles: Rain Gwinn





Recently, I had the pleasure of chatting with talented voice actress Rain Gwinn about her journey in voiceover. We met at VO Atlanta where Rain took part in my X-Session, and subsequently worked together on her new E-Learning demo, which can be found here: http://www.raingwinn.com/

Today, rain offers a few thoughts about her time in the industry.

JMC

Does your medical background give you any advantage in VO?

RAIN

Having a medical background helps with medical narration of course but even in other less obvious ways. Attention to detail, hours on my feet and endurance.

JMC

What is your dream voiceover job?

RAIN

My dream VO job? Wow, it may sound trite but being able to do this work is a dream! I'm so lucky to be able to do something that I love. My long term goal is to do documentaries and audiobooks. I will get there but I'm enjoying learning and growing as a voice actor along the way.

JMC

What genres of VO are your favorites?

RAIN

I love long form, such as audiobooks and eLearning. Anything related to medicine feels familiar and 'homey.' Commercials are fun and exciting!

JMC

What advice would you give to new talent?

RAIN

Patience and perseverance are key because it won't happen overnight.....but achieving any goal is going to take hard work. There's so much more involved than having a great voice, that's just the start! Find a great coach who is willing to invest in you and your career. Do your research! I I started voice acting at 14, I was a disc jockey and did commercials and live events. I had the coolest job in high school and college! But before I got back into this work, I spent hours and hours doing research, getting caught back up. This field can change rapidly so keep up!




Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Direction Notes: How to Effectively add Energy to Reads


It's one of the most intangible pieces of direction we get as voice actors: "energy."

What does it mean? Where does it come from....and how do we know if we have correctly judged the buyer's meaning? More importantly, how do we inject energy into the reads that demand it?

When I see the word 'energy' offered as a direction point, it tells me that the buyer is looking for someone who is engaged with the copy. One of the great challenges we face as voice actors is connecting with copy that is often boring or full of promotional hype. Even the most conversational and authentic commercials usually end up with some sort of pitch along the way. It's what we do, and even the best actors among us can struggle to stay motivated when we are faced with price points and hyped up adjectives.

A frequent mistake that I see talent make is equating volume with energy. I've directed many sessions where I have asked for more energy, only to wind up being shouted at. NO ONE LIKES SHOUTING! Be careful not to misinterpret a request for more energy as a request for loudness. They are not the same thing. Moreover, that fancy mic that you and your audio guru of choice have perfectly dialed in is going to pick you up just fine....there's no need to get aggressive. The mic is not impressed.

Other talent will take direction for more energy and try to get there with inflection, usually raising certain words in order to create a more energetic feel. In occasional small doses this can be effective, but more often than not it results in a sing-songy delivery that becomes predictable and monotonous. It can even get a bit announcery if words are stretched in the process.

What's the right way to do energy? Two elements that will help make your reads more authentically energetic are pacing, and most importantly, smile. Pacing requires care, because if it becomes too fast it just sounds rushed, but if you are being directed to be more energetic, try kicking the pace up ten or fifteen percent. Then, if appropriate given the content, add some genuine smile. Be careful not to go overboard and become saccharine, but well-judged smile will add real energy to your delivery as your body loosens up and you start to have more fun. Physicality always adds energy to reads, and smiling is just another element of a physical delivery.

Looking to add energy? Add smile and a little tempo, and don't use volume or inflection as crutches, and you'll be on the right track.

Happy voicing!


Monday, July 10, 2017

Talent Profiles: Jim Cooper





This week I'm talking with new talent Jim Cooper, a former commercial production pro, who recently booked his first gig as a professional voice actor. Jim's a talented and interesting individual, and I enjoyed working with him on his delivery and new demos over the past few months, (hear them here: goo.gl/vKgJ54, goo.gl/fAiBFJ.) Discover Jim's perspective on getting into the industry below.




JMC
 
How did you get interested in voice acting?
 
JIM


I'd like to say a white light fell from the sky to guide me into the industry where my talents would be most useful.  But that's not going to fly is it?  OK.  I spent many years in radio but the part I always liked the best was the commercial production side.  Being on-air was cool, but creating commercials was my favorite, letting all my creativity break out and have fun.

JMC

As a new talent, what process did you go through before deciding to pursue this professionally?

JIM
 
I had my own home baking business - does that count?  I attended a VO seminar in Manhattan some years back and was told I was too "announcery" for voice over work - all that radio training was working against me.  It wasn't until recently that a voice inside my head told me it was time to get over myself and get some training.

JMC

What sort of VO work puts a smile on your face?

JIM
 
I have the most fun recording scripts that are fun, witty and well-written, regardless of category. Characters with well defined emotions that I can really dig into.

JMC

What is your dream VO job?

JIM
 
I don't know that I have one yet, as I'm just starting to experience the many facets of this business. On my VO bucket list is recording an audiobook, being part of a cast in a radio drama, and being the introduction announcer for bands at concert venues.

JMC

What have you found most challenging so far in your VO journey?

JIM
 
Patience and keeping expectations real. The first few weeks of auditioning provided many lessons; it took awhile for me to pay attention to them.  For example, it dawned on me eventually that I didn't have to audition for everything; that doing auditions that were outside of where my core talents lie was a waste of time.  Also, having been exposed to advice from many of the top VO talents, the one thing that really struck me was to just be myself - use my own voice.  I don't have to be Sam Elliot or James Earl Jones or Morgan Freeman.  They certainly aren't spending any time trying to be me - that's my job.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Talent Profiles: Mindy Baer

This week I had the privilege of chatting with Mindy Baer, a prolific and highly talented voice actor from the Miami area who recently completed a suite of four demos with me, (Automotive goo.gl/tuD9Ao, Pharmaceutical Commercials goo.gl/8AnE3h, Political goo.gl/xJzeV6, and TV Narration goo.gl/r1xf4T.) If anyone has, "the voice," it's Mindy. I often joke that she is a thoroughbred, blessed with classic pipes that touch the most refined VO notes effortlessly. Check out what she had to say below.

JMC

You've been in the business for awhile. Tell us about some of your favorite jobs.
 
MINDY
 
WOW that's tough....
Over the (many) years of my career, I have enjoyed most of my jobs thankfully. So let's see.....
I LOVED being the Female voice for HSN -it was a great group of people to work with and I had a great run for over 7 years there. I often really enjoy directed sessions, and I absolutely LOVE Promo work - so doing Dateline and Weekend TODAY was awesome. I enjoyed being an animated avocado more than I expected - perhaps thats why I love guacamole so much? Midas Muffler, Volkswagen were memorable as well. And there a several local companies who I will always love and adore as they have been with me from the beginning. Truly a special place in my heart for those!
SO many jobs...SO MANY YEARS ouch!


JMC


How did you get started in voiceover?

MINDY
 
I started as a morning radio personality.  I was on the air in Miami/Ft Lauderdale for almost 15 years.  Not unusual I know, and I have had to work hard to "beat" the radio out of me.

JMC

What advice do you have for new talent?
 
MINDY
 
You have to decide if you want a hobby or a little side money.....or if you want a career.
And Voice acting is NOT easy and it IS acting.

JMC

I understand you are a client of Celia Siegel. How has she managed to advance your career?

MINDY
 
Celia really helped take my career to new levels. Marketing and promoting has never been my strong spot, and she changed that. Celia really helped me find excellent representation i.e. Abrams in Los Angeles. She keeps me accountable and is a partner in my success.

JMC

You specialize in a more traditional, polished sound. What encouragement can you offer talent who just don't do the whole 'conversational' thing?

MINDY
 
Haha!  If I had a nickel for every gig I didn't get because I wasn't natural enough...
I have trained and been coached and I can get there SORT OF.....but I don't beat myself up anymore.  There is plenty of room for all of us in this industry. I focus on what I can do well and just keep climbing the mountain.


JMC

If you had to start again today, what would you do differently?
 
MINDY
 
I would take it more seriously from the beginning, and wished I hadn't waited so long to get the support I need.  For example, I use a virtual assistant (Raquel Wilson from PeachTree Virtual Assistants.) It's been a game changer for me!  And more recently, I wish I hadn't eaten that donut this morning.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Talent Profiles: Kabir Singh

If you haven't heard of Kabir Singh, it's a name you should get to know. With a sound that pivots effortlessly from regular guy to authentically urban, Kabir is spearheading demographic change in the voiceover industry, paving the way with his success for future generations of talent.

I recently had the pleasure of working with Kabir on a collection of new demos, which can be heard at the following links, (goo.gl/dFNmgY, goo.gl/fyRCji, goo.gl/GaRosu.) Today, I interview Kabir about his rise to voiceover success, and his tips for talent just starting out.



JMC

Tell us how you got interested in being a voice actor.

KABIR

I never wanted or desired to do anything in entertainment. I was always a poet at heart. After college, I got a corporate job with lawyers. 2 years into it, I started to realize and feel my unhappiness. After some research I quickly learned that there was zero dollars to be made in poetry (at least in the beginning).

So- I researched “how to make money using your voice” – I came across “The Art of Voice Acting” from James Alburgur.

The story starts here. 2 years of “post awareness” I planned my exit out of corporate America by taking my first class with Marc Cashman and then going deep into study with Bill Holmes. 2008 I got fired and was forced to purse VO. No money. No savings. All hunger. The grind involved daily work, beyond 9-5 in the beginning.

JMC

Is there one job or client you are especially proud of?

KABIR

I am not a fan of the word proud. I know its strange, but sometimes I don’t see my accomplishments as anything to be proud of. However, with all that said, it may be surprising, but my “proudest” client was my first VO job for $100 through Voices.com. Why? Because it gave me hope. It confirmed that a kid who came from a trailer park with 0 connections to the industry – can make this “VO thing” happen. HOPE is very powerful. That 1 job started this journey and gave me belief in my ability to accomplish anything. I felt fearless and I felt even more hungry.

This job will never be forgotten. It still fuels me today.

        
JMC

What advice do you have for new talent?

KABIR

Stay hungry- dam near- starving. Every single day. Hungry for knowledge, hungry for guidance, hungry for self-improvement and hungry to compete with TOP talent. Hunger dies in the land of comfort. 6 years into my journey, successful and very accomplished now, I am hungrier than I have ever been. Fearless to fail and learn from my mistakes. I cannot make this clear enough- I suck. I am not talented. There are 1000’s that are more talented than me. But- I will work harder than anyone (at least in my mind). If my competition is next to me and we are both trying to accomplish a goal, you will have to kill me in order to out-work me. So in summary – stay hungry and be ready to die before you let anyone outwork you (assuming you want to be successful)

JMC

You post motivational videos and have started speaking at conferences.....how does your life story inspire other talent?

KABIR

I don’t even know if my story inspires anyone. I hope it does. I would not be here today if it wasn’t for the inspiration of others. Men and Women that have guided me in my life. Without beating up the story of Kabir too much I can share some snippets:

I am a son of a single mom. I met my father for the first time when I was 10. He died in front of me when I was 13. Up until my 2nd year of College, I was the lonely Indian kid in an all-Black/Hispanic school. My stories of being bullied would bring tears to even the toughest of men. But- I learned a lot through these experiences. One of the best lessons I learned- empathy. Empathy is so powerful and can be very contagious.

What inspires me now? What fuels this hunger? My mom and my sister. My sister has polio. My mom is 66 years old. I see her every day. She is my angel. Each breath I take is for them. I want the responsibility that my father never did. To take care of my mom and my sisters. To provide them with comfort. I am 30 years old, and sometimes I feel 60. What I used to consider a burden in my 20’s, I know see as a beautiful responsibility.

I have this one life. One life to be positive, make something of my-self and help others. I am no body without the help of everybody.

JMC

Your sound can best be described as modern and urban. What advantages and disadvantages come along with that?

KABIR

Urban and modern is in. It won’t be forever and I am highly in tune with that now. It’s the “flavor of the week”, the swag and the personality. I have been able to master this swag and personality and allowed it to become a part of my daily get down. The opportunities are endless and lots of producers are searching for great urban talent. With all that said- the disadvantages are you can become limited in your endeavors and auditions. If you can’t tweak that urban read and really go from urban to just a cool millennial- your opportunities become less. So, you have to develop your “knob of balance.” To be able to tweak your flavor to the right taste. It’s possible, but if you don’t, its extremely disadvantageous.

JMC

If you had to start over again today, what would you do differently?

KABIR

With no ego I must say- Nothing. Trust me when I say- I have failed. Failed demos, failed classes, failed meetings and failed auditions. BUT, each failed memory revealed a valuable lesson. Till this day I can recall each LESSON from my FAILURES. I wouldn’t do anything different because I love my failures.

Thank you for interviewing me and allowing me to share part of myself with whomever reads this. JMC has helped me grow my business unlike any other resource out there. I owe a lot of my successful business strategy to you and I appreciate you very much sir.


Friday, June 16, 2017

Talent Profiles: Jas Patrick






Jas Patrick, (jaspatrick.net,) is one of the hottest young talents in the voiceover marketplace today, with over a hundred jobs booked in the past year alone. It would be easy to call him a rising star, but the 'rising' bit seems unnecessary at this point. With a voice that defines credibility, it's not hard to see why Jas is in demand.

I recently had the pleasure of coaching Jas and completing his new suite of demos, which you can hear at the following links: goo.gl/EAwj5N, goo.gl/jZrcSs, goo.gl/UspL3p. Additionally, I've already hired Jas for a radio spot, and hope to have the chance to do so again.

Today, I chat with Jas about his ascendance in the industry, and his perspective on how to get traction in voiceover.


JMC
 
How did your interest in becoming a voice actor develop?
 
JAS

 
I've always done voices and accents and characters ever since I was a wee little kid.  I loved and still love cartoons and video games.  It's just always something I've done and people would laugh when I did characters or accents so I got a lot of gratification from making people laugh or get excited to hear a funny or cool voice I could do.
 
JMC
 
 Do you remember your first job?
 
 JAS
 
 Absolutely!  There are really two "first jobs" that I will never forget.  I had done some acting and things for videos in music career throughout the years and what not, but my first job as a titled "legit" voice actor was for the Lane Motor Museum.  I did eight radio spots for them--two were a French accented character for their French exhibit and the other six were an Italian character for their Italian exhibit.  I was super nervous and tried really hard to get the spots as "perfect" as I was able!  
The other "first job" was for Snickers and they wanted an Irish accent for an internal video over in Europe.  I'm particularly proud of that one, because I got it in my first week--I believe it was day 5--of going full time, full-on voice acting and I got it off one of the big p2p sites!  The other really cool thing was the Snickers gig was on the 4th of July, and so my wife and I call that our own personal independence day! 
 
Previous to that week, I just studied the industry; listening to podcasts, reading blogs and learning about the industry and how to audition, set up profiles, etc.  There was this sort of unanimous theme in the interviews with the big voice actors that if you got a job in your first week, you were super lucky and definitely doing something right, so getting that gig in my first week really made me feel amazing and I'll never forget it!

JMC
 
You've achieved a great deal of success very early in your career. Why do you think that is?
 
JAS
 
I think some of it is the fact that before I did even a single audition, I studied every podcast, blog, vlog, video and so on of anyone I could find that purported to know the tools, skills and steps to "making it" in the voice over industry.  I would walk my dog Seamus for a couple of hours every morning and just listen to the learning resources online that are free to anyone willing to listen.  I highly recommend checking out the resources sections of numerous online repositories of "how-to" videos and blogs and things about the voice over and voice acting industry!  Don't neglect searching on YouTube as well!  Some of those are all really great!  If you follow the logical steps for you from all those resources and make sure you have great gear and a quiet soundproofed place to record, you will do well also!  
 
The other thing I  think helps me is that I really work hard.  Every day.  If I get an audition, I knock it out immediately.  I will come home from class late at night and always do any auditions I missed.  I'm really relentless with it.  Be a machine.  Great work ethic WILL help you, believe me.
I also train my tail off.  I'm in three classes I physically go to for various acting and techniques and things like that and I also do a skype session for accent training online--so, the more serious you are, the better you will become.  Of course, I also trained with a highly respected coach; BUT only after I had done a great deal of work and training on my own.  
 
I most assuredly recommend getting yourself a great coach--but be disciplined and bring your A-game to said coach!  Get yourself in good shape before you try to run the marathon, in other words! 

JMC 
 
What has been your biggest or most high-profile job to date?
 
JAS
 
I did several commercial spots for GORE-TEX which turned out really cool!  I did a video for the Jordan National tourism board that is a gorgeous video, and I really am proud of how it turned out!  A couple of my super favorites are for video games, including Clash Royale, and I did a really insane character for Heroes Of Newerth that I actually play from time to time--when I'm not slammed in the studio! 
 
But if you just want some big names, I've done Coca-Cola, Ford, Deloitte, Sony, Marriott, Samsung and so on and so forth.  I'm still on the hunt for Blizzard and Nintendo and Sega, though! I'd love to do work for them!
 
JMC
 
What's your dream VO job?
 
JAS
 
A Blizzard game for video games and pretty much any character for any of my beloved TV-MA cartoons like Archer or Bojack Horseman or South Park or something along those lines! That would be a bucket list sort of thing for me.
 
But as far as a more on-going deal..?  I'd honestly love to do more TV Narration stuff.  I've done a bit so far--small things, nothing major; but I really enjoy doing it, so I'd have to say TV Narration would be the dream career.
 
JMC
 
Did you make any mistakes when you first started out?
 
JAS
 
Sure! False contrasts, left breaths in, put inflection where none was needed, gave just plain old bad reads and so on and so forth!  But if you mean did I go down a "wrong road" before winding up on the "correct path"..?  I honestly don't think I did--or at least not so much as it seems to have done any real harm or what not, you know?  
 
I've worked hard to be friendly and pleasant to work with, turn around my jobs super fast and always over deliver--I don't quibble over adding a line or something, you see what I mean?  So, I suppose I work hard every day to correct any mistakes before they can become blunders.  But, we're all human and we make mistakes, just how it goes! 
 
JMC
 
What is the one most critical piece of advice you would give to new talent?
 
JAS
 
Pretty much what I said above, really!  Work hard, be super nice, go out of your way to do a great job and don't have a bad attitude!  Study hard, practice hard and learn whatever you can whenever you can!  This business is organic and you always need to learn and stay on your feet.  But also, enjoy it!  Have fun with it!  Let YOU come out in your auditions and your projects!  Make the words come to life and put your energy and character into what you read!  Even if you don't get THIS job, you might get called for another one!  I guess I'd end with saying, don't be too hard on yourself, though.  Work hard, yes!  But don't beat yourself up or obsess over an audition.  Do the audition, then forget it.  There will be thousands more just like it.  Put everything you have into the five minutes or whatever it takes you to record it, then let it sail away.  No tears!  :)  And best of luck to you!  





Friday, June 9, 2017

3 Things.......

It's Friday, and here are my three thoughts for the week...

GENDER NEUTRAL CASTINGS

This week I've received no less than three castings looking for, "gender neutral," voices. I've heard some buzz about this for a few months, but hadn't yet encountered it myself. It's an interesting trend that may presage yet another avenue for talent to pursue if it sticks. I wonder if perhaps it is a corollary of the Xanax read I talked about a few weeks ago, which seems designed to be as anodyne and broadly inoffensive as possible. What are your thoughts on this emerging trend? Is it a fad, or here to stay?

WOVOCON


If you are looking for a great experience getting together with your fellow voice actors for knowledge-building and relationship-building, look no further than WoVO Con, the World Voices Organization's annual conference. (https://www.world-voices.org/WoVOCon-IV) Coming up in just two weeks in Las Vegas, this fourth edition of the conference promises to be the best yet, with talent flying in from around the globe to attend. If you're there, make sure to say hi!

VALUE ADD

This is a concept I frequently come back to with newer talent. While I'll always defend the need for fair pay as a voice actor, in an expanding marketplace we often get bogged down by terminology that may be too broad to be of service when it comes to pricing. I've seen talent reject jobs that were described as regional or national broadcast for paying too little, when a cursory review of the product or service, (or a simple email exchange with the buyer,) would reveal that by, "national," they mean three nights a week on a C-grade cable network at 2AM for three months. One reason I never post a rate card is because every job is unique. If Dominos wants a New York/New Jersey/Connecticut regional TV spot for 13 weeks, that's one price and a re-bill thereafter. If it's Joe's pizza with one location in each state, it's reasonable that the price won't be quite the same. Think about what the client's overall budget for production and airtime is. If you are getting 2-5% of that, you are getting a fair shake.

Until next week, this is JMC.