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 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!

Social Media for your career: The step by step guide

I have several friends who are in the Entertainment Industry. All of them don’t have a clue where to began when it comes to Social media, or better known as Social Networks. There is Twitter, Facebook, and linkedin, just to name a few. I will cover how to get more publicity across Twitter and Facebook in this post.

I know people are busy, so they don’t have time to post to every Social network. But what if one posting could go to multiple Social Networks? Guess what, you can. I will also cover the power of linkedin, why you should tweet at people who should tweet you, proper usage of twitter, proper usage of facebook, everything you need to know to get a good head start in the game.

First off make a Facebook fan page( I am assuming you already have a Facebook).  First off I will cover how to use your facebook fanpage or how to make a fanpage.
1. If you are already logged into Facebook, click here to make your fanpage. When you make your fanpage make sure it is very Descriptive like mine. You need to mention in the title your career like, for example Sams Glam Hollywood Makeup.

Now that you have designed your Facebook fanpage what do you do? Well, first off you want to connect it to your twitter account, so all your status updates will appear on twitter. This feature saves you a lot of time. If you don’t have a twitter account, I’ll come back to this later.
Post important status updates to your facebook fan page like when a music video is coming out, when a song is coming out, or to raise hype tell people ahead of time that a song  or music video is coming out in, oh a month. When your song, music video, Voice Over, Acting, etc. is online for the world to see give links so people can see it and if applicable download it.
How do I get people to like my facebook page?

Well, you could email your friends and family and ask them to like it, but that doesn’t really help get out who you are to new people. Their are two  answers to this question  Twitter and hooking Facebook into your Website. I’ll consider posting a blog about hooking your site into facebook if I get enough comments asking me too.

Now onto twitter.
Sign up for twitter by clicking here or log into your account.
First off, I need to explain what twitter is. Twitter allows you to compose 140 character postings which are referred to as tweets. When you tweet, you can let people know what you ate for breakfast, although that is quite trivial, what you are doing with your career, appearances that people should plan to watch or when a music video is going to come out. The thing to understand about twitter users is that they want to know what you are doing with your career. Why? Because more than likely they follow you because of the career you are in or some other reason that tickled their fancy. You have to be careful how much you put on twitter, so stick to being very professional. When you compose a tweet that isn’t coming from facebook, make sure that it is descriptive, yet short. Like “I just did a voice over for….”, although, if you have signed a Non Disclosure Agreement and are filming a movie or even a TV show you have to be very careful what you put.

Always keep tweets 120 characters short, so they are easier for people to retweet. Retweeting is basically quoting what someone said that you liked and you want everyone that follows you to see it.

People like to add their own words to a retweet like “cool!” or “too bad!”. Depending on what site you are viewing twitter from the retweet may show their username as RT @enteranamehere. So remember, descriptive, but short so it can be retweeted.
Twitter does have a retweet button, but people still like editing retweets, so remember no more than 120 characters if you want it to be retweeted.

Now onto hashtags. What is a hashtag? a hashtag or # sign is a really cool thing to use and is beneficial to your career. If I searched twitter for #voiceover everyone who had posted a tweet with the word #voiceover will show up. While you can search for the words voice over without the hash tag, you will get tons of stuff  that has no relation to the subject that you are looking for. So if I was to say “hey did you hear my #voiceover on…?” everyone who searched that tag would see it. If you want to see people pretending to write a tweet in some famous persons voice #voice over is fine. If you want to see only Voice Over jobs just use this link to the twitter timeline http://twitter.com/#!/search/voice%20over%20jobs

Trending topics sometimes can be important; but usually they have nothing to do with your career. The more a word or hashtag is tweeted the higher chance there is that it will become a trend. Recently the name Ted Williams was trending, because he is a Voice Over Artist who was homeless and made some decisions that impacted his life and career. he was recently rediscovered and  is now doing voiceovers for kraft macaroni and cheese among many other companies. Needless to say he is no longer homeless. I tweeted a couple times about Ted Williams, because I was sick of some narcistic arrogant people saying he only got voice over jobs because he was homeless and that they were going to be homeless so they could get jobs. They failed to realize that he had previously been a voice over actor and had put time and money into it.

I like to tweet helpful things for other voice over actors, like a cold remedy so you can do Voice Overs with a cold. I was very surprised that amber at voicebank.net wrote the    majority of an article around my tweet. Anything you tweet on twitter may be used on other sites and people may use them as quotes like amber did with my cold remedy.  So if you tweet something negative, remember it may come back to haunt you.

Since I don’t want to write a lengthy article on something that facebook has a  a link that explains how to  hook your facebook fanpage to twitter better than I probably could. They also have a page on hooking twitter into your site.

Quick Twitter tip: I am wrapping up this blog post, but please Remember that If you tweet trending words that aren’t in a sentence form and relate to your career, it is seen  as spam. People may unfollow you for this.