My first onscreen role– hey 14

Hey 14, an awesome music video made up of a ton of cool actors and an awesome band is now available to see on youtube. check out the Hey 14 Music Video.  I am highly biased about it,because I am in this video for two seconds and the credits. That day was quite an interesting day. I woke up at 4:30, got there at 7:00 and had a blast the rest of the day! Awesome catered lunch, awesome time with other actors, but now seeing the final product, well, it is totally cool! Hey 14 Music Video I am in :31 and :32 and I am listed in the credits.  Please comment and tell me what you think.

The art of screaming– Voice Over dying, being hit, shot, etc

What type of job would require you to need to know the art of screaming? Most people would say that screaming isn’t an art, but they are wrong. A scream can mean so many different things and in Voice Overs if you scream wrong it could cost you a gig or worse your voice. Don’t do the things listed below, they’re just food for thought. When you drop something on your foot you yell, scream or swear, but you do it with a different inflection then you would if you dropped a burning coal on your foot. When you are punched or kicked you scream or yell in a certain way. Well, Voice Over Actors get to have a fun time screaming, yelling, and dying in various ways all the time. Sometimes a session of dying, yelling and screaming can take three hours… that is a short session. Today I was working on an audition and was trying to get the right death scream down. When you scream so much, you shouldn’t scream from your throat, no you need to scream from your gut. These screams are also called guttural screams, yelling, dying, etc. Have the scream come from your stomach or use muscles in your body like your neck to make the scream sound realistic without using much of your throat. Honestly, I can’t think of another career that requires you to scream, yell and “die”.  Here are my five golden rules for Voice Over Screaming

1. Save your throat for talking, scream from your stomach or other muscles, also known as guttural screams, groans, dying, etc.

2. Don’t submit a weak scream or a scream that is totally out of context to what is happening to the character. If you are being hit you need the appropriate scream or yell.

3. Would you scream or yell that way in real life? If not, do it over again. There is an exception to this rule and that is with video games. You have to be way, way, way bigger than life when you die or get hit.

4. Have fun!!

5. Don’t drive your neighbors insane!

I did the Voice Overs for an iPhone game that is coming out sometime this year that was quite fun to record. I got to make the right sounds for my character being hit by cars, and then the right scream when his guts splatter all over the screen.

I hope you find this quick post that wasn’t written from my iPhone, at least somewhat helpful.

Become a voice over actor— not that simple.

I’ve seen people make voice over acting sound like a get quick rich scheme, make it sound super easy if you pay 600.00 for our training courses, none of this is true. First off, I love voice overs and acting. I am dedicated to my craft, but just like arts and crafts some people can do things that others can’t. I am not trying to say that you can’t be a voice over actor, no, I am saying that you may not be able to be a voice over actor. I am reiterating this, but if you want to read more about this true fact check out my post covering what voice overs aren’t.
Now that you’ve read that post lets discuss trying to Become a voice over actor. The most critical thing to a successful career— or any career for that matter is training. In voice overs it is called coaching. Before choosing a coach try to attend a workshop with them, before attending the workshop look at their imdb profile and see how much experience they have. It is important to note that not everything we do is put onto the imdb. I haven’t put any of the commercials or video game work I’ve done on there, but I will put the best work I’ve done on their soon. It is said that at least a year of coaching is  necessary before making the biggest step in your voice over career that can make or break you— recording your demo. Recording a demo is like a quarterback prepared to win the super bowl, if he goes out there with everything he’s got than he has a good chance of doing well, if he goes out there, but doesn’t know what a football even is, well I think you get my point. The same goes with voice overs, you need to know more than just what are voice overs, you need to know your pigeon hole, everything you can do within that hole and if you’re voice sounds good enough to compete with hundreds of thousands of other voice over actors. How many people are in the pigeon hole I am in? 5. This is so rare, that it basically doesn’t happen. That’s why their is only 5 of us.

You will need to get yourself good equipment. I recommend the blue snowball. It is 80 to 90 bucks and the results are really good. It is the most recommended microphone for voice over actors who are starting out. Now, what editing program do you have? Audacity is recommended by some in Hollywood—- but that’s cause it is free. If you want to get a gig don’t use audacity. Don’t get me wrong, it has it’s place, just not for pro voice overs. I’ve heard a few recordings and immediately think to myself “man they hired someone using audacity.” this program tries to remove background noise, but last time I checked it still wasn’t cutting it for pro grade use. I recommend you getting a 30 day FREE trial of adobe SoundBooth and book some gigs. So, this is a super basic look at becoming a voice over actor. There is no guarantee you’ll make it, you have to be really talented or have a real unique voice to really make it. That announcer voice does not sell anymore. Anyways I’ll post a More in-depth article later when I am not writing from my phone.

Voice Over Acting– is it really a get rich quick scheme? What does it take to be a Voice Over Actor?

The answer to the question is Voice Over Acting a get rich quick scheme, the answer is No, no it is not. A red flag should go up in your mind when someone claims something is a “Get  rich quick job”.   Voice Over Acting is a highly reputable career, but it isn’t a get rich quick scheme. What is Voice Over acting? Voice Over Acting is the voice you hear on Commercials, Video Games, trashcans, toilets, websites, On Hold machines, the “Press 1 to talk to” recordings, etc. Yes, there really are talking trashcans and toilets.

I feel that it would be best if I discussed The DON’TS of Voice Over Acting and the possibility that you may not have a career in it.

Voice Over Acting
is so much fun that I personally don’t see it as a job. What do you need to be a Voice Over Actor?  What you do need or at least really helps is real talent and passion, actually without talent you should just give up, because let’s face it if you don’t have talent, how can you be voice over talent? So all your friends tell you that you should do voice overs cause you have a great voice. That’s nice, but do you have a voice for Voice Overs? Unless your friend is a Voice Over director or a Voice Over Actor, they more than likely don’t know what they’re talking about.

I have listened to so many  Voice Over recordings and one in particular has stuck in my head because of how sad it was. The person put their voice  online in a video. I turned it off within ten seconds of turning it on, because it was horrible. I honestly felt really bad for the person. They truly thought they had talent, when I could not see any talent  in what they presented online.   Only an expert Voice Over Coach should tell you if you really have talent, but as a Voice Over Actor I hear a lot of voices and know which ones are totally wrong or that there are already a million people who sound exactly like that.

If you haven’t had any Voice Over Lessons with a well known coach and you haven’t talked to your coach about putting your voice online, you would be better off not  putting your voice online.

An honest Voice Over Coach will tell you if you have a possible future in Voice Overs.

Voice Over Fact: 17,000 people in the Los Angeles area alone are in Voice Overs. So ask yourself, do you really have what it takes to fight such a fierce competitive market? What sets you apart? What gives you that edge that very few people have?

I hope this posting helped you understand Voice Over Acting a little, or at least what Voice Over Acting isn’t. I will have to write long postings hitting each question in complete detail that I often hear to really clear up all of the misconceptions of the marvelous world of Voice Overs.

I am not trying to keep anyone from trying out for a career in Voice Overs, I am just trying to prepare you for the reality of what it is and isn’t and it ISN’T a get rich quick scheme, because those are all scams.

If you have any comments, questions, or want me to write about something, let me know!!

Voice over audition submissions- Voice Over client hears what you hear or more

this will be a much shorter entry than usual. I want to emphasize on something I am sure you already know, but in case you don’t or have forgotten it this post will help. Have you ever sent in a Voice Over audition that you thought was great, but you didn’t land the job? Yeah, that happens to all of us, but we can make that happen less if we do four important things before submitting the audition.
#1 make sure you fit the Voice Over audition requirements. If they want you to do a commercial as an average Joe, but youre used to being a kangaroo or a squirrel, then this may not be the fit for you.

#2 do they offer enough compensation or are you used to more?

#3 you recorded the audition and cleaned it up. Take a break, come back 15 minutes later and listen to it again. You might hear your voice fall out of character or background noise that escaped you last time you listened.
#4 do you believe what you are saying? Remember that any mistake, inflection, background noise will be heard by your prospective employer. This may not feel like a job to us who love it, but it is and the person on the other side looks at it as such.

Anyways, I hope that helps!

Blue- a company who cares

Everyone who has read my latest blog posts know that my blue snowball microphone broke. I live very close to blue hq, so I called and told them of the problem. I went through everything they said, but due to the rare issue they replaced it for free. I could have mailed it in, but I drove it there instead. It took two minutes for the supervisor to test my microphone and get the same problem as I did. He gave me a new microphone and now I am back in business. Blue snowball is the number one most recommended microphone in Hollywood for those who haven’t made it big yet. It is inexpensive for such a great USB microphone. The quality is great! I wouldn’t need to do much cleaning if I built a box to prevent echoing around my snowball.
In this day and age I feel it necessary to say that I WASN’T paid to write this, in fact I didn’t even tell blue that I had a blog. I honestly express what I think about products. I’ve gotten companies mad at me before, really mad, but that hasn’t stopped me from expressing my opinions.

Creating a professional Voice Over with iPhone 4 Microphone

I previously wrote an article on how my Blue Snowball was broken and that I am currently stuck with only my iPhone Microphone. I also said that I was going to attempt to do Voice Overs with it and tell you how it went. The Voice Over went fine, besides all of the static and noise I heard through my Bose headphones. You should know that you never, ever send in a Voice Over that has an ounce of background noise, because, well, they won’t hire you and even if you do send them a professional Voice Over demo later on down the road they might not listen to it.
So, how did I make my iPhone Voice Over sound professional? I used Adobe Soundbooth. I used the pop and click filter, noise filter, rumble filter, but it still didn’t sound good enough to send in. I then used the mastering filter. I used the fix low muddy end filter, fix hiss filter, fix high peaks, and fix mids. Now I have an amazing professional sounding Voice Over recorded on my iPhone 4! I used the iPhone because it had a microphone, the quality of the microphone wasn’t great for Voice Overs, Adobe Soundbooth is what made it sound so great!

If you have any questions on how to do this just tweet @actorryan or leave me a comment and I will respond.

Help our fellow japan voice over actors

Everyone knows of the ongoing crisis in japan. I personally, have a friend that lives in japan. I started thinking about how so many games, tv shows, and other projects that use voice overs are made in japan. The amount of video games alone that come from japan is astounding. When games come to the USA they need someone who speaks English to redo the voice, so basically japan voice over artists are responsible for creating a need for voice over dubbing here in America.
While you should donate to the red cross and make sure you select the japan disaster without having to read my blog post, this might make you realize that voice over actors just like you need help. I read my cousins blog www.mediatinker.com on what is happening in japan from someone who lives in japan. Tokyo is running low on food, but some areas like sendai need the basics like water!
Now that I’ve pointed all of this out, I hope you will donate to the red cross so people in japan will receive the support they need.
If you want you can tweet @actorryan to tell me if you donated or what you think of this blog post.

UPDATE:
I linked to the red cross of americas official website and to the page where you can click to donate to the japan earthquake and tsunami relief.

Doing Voice Overs without a microphone

Just the title of this article sounds impossible, right? That is because it should be impossible, but like anything I’ve found a way around the issue. See my Blue Snowball no longer functions so no VO. Thankfully Blue will replace it for free. So how am I going to keep doing Voice Overs with out a microphone? Simple. When you are auditioning you can send in your demo or previous recorded samples that match the job; if you have a voice over to record there is still a way to record it. Do you have a cell phone? Do you have Adobe SoundBooth? Do you have a pair of really good headphones? If you have all three of those you are good to go. What I would do is place my cell phone in a position like a microphone with the cell phone microphone faced towards me and then record it. Or you can just use it like a phone, hold it to your ear and record your script via the microphone feature.

I have a pretty good phone. An iPhone 4. It has pretty darn good sound quality and cleaning up a track to sound professional shouldn’t be that hard with Adobe SoundBooth on my side. I will have my microphone fixed soon, but for anyone who is in a similar situation just do what I suggested. I have yet to try this, but I am pretty sure it will go well. I will update this blog post or write a new article explaining how everything goes.

3 beautiful worlds

As most people know this is a guide to Voice Overs, but when it comes to acting there is so much more than just Voice Overs. There are two other “worlds”. Live Theater and On Screen Acting. While all of these sound almost exactly the same, THEY AREN’T! How would I know? I am just a Voice Over Actor right? Wrong. I have been doing live theater acting off and on for more than a decade. I am also working on a youtube short video. I will explain how these worlds are different. Voice Overs you are always on a microphone and you  you don’t want to over project your voice, in theater you have to over project your voice. Most people don’t have the luxury to have a microphone on them during live stage theater, sometimes the leads do, but they still have to project! Another big Difference between Theater and Voice Overs is a live audience. Tonight I performed in the play ‘Oliver!’ for a pretty big crowd. Quick plugin: if you want to catch the play ‘Oliver!’  come to Camarillo Community theater Friday 8 pm , We have a one time only special 2 pm matinee on Saturday Feburary 26th   and  our regular 8 pm show, we are also doing are  regular two pm matinee on Sunday.   Don’t know where Camarillo Community Theater is? It is located by the Camarillo Airport,  If you would like you can say you’ve come to see Ryan (helps me out with a contest). are last day of performing is March 13th! Okay that is enough of the plugin and disclosure. Back to actual blog talk.

So, how is a theater script different than a Voice Over script? Wow, well when you are doing a Voice Over you may read your script in theater you have to have it memorized, know when to do what and when your cue is.  Live Theater and Onscreen acting sound the same right? Wrong. Onscreen acting has the fourth wall barrier; the fourth wall just means that you aren’t allowed to look at the camera nor recognize that anyone else is there if you are performing in front of a live audience. You also do not need to project your voice, you don’t need the pauses for dramatic affect, well not near as much as you do onstage! When you are acting you have things such as green screens, the ability to remove that blemish in a program before your performance is seen by anybody, make your head explode, the possibilities are literally endless when you are on camera. When you are in the theater making your head convincingly explode is much more complex, if not impossible.   When you are doing Voice Over Acting you don’t have to worry about people seeing you, only hearing you.

Which world is the hardest to break into?

Voice Overs is the hardest world to break into. It isn’t that hard to get into a TV show as an extra or even a speaking role when you live an hour from Hollywood. If you don’t live that close to hollywood you can post something on youtube or vimeo and even when you do live that close to Hollywood you still can post something on youtube or vimeo. If you want it to go viral put it on youtube!

I am currently living in two of those worlds and will be filming the third world this weekend(hopefully).

If you have anything to add to this blog please do so!!