Posts Tagged 'Voice123.com'

App-lying Myself

And my microphone is where ……?

A few months back, I landed my first piece of paid voice over work but I couldn’t say much more about it at the time.

But now I’ve recorded my first pieces, it’s about time I did.  You may have already heard about Kaliki, a new platform that converts print publications into streaming audio apps.  What makes it different is that it uses actual voice over artists to read the articles from major national and international newspapers and magazines, so they can be heard via mobile phones.  And I’m one of those voices!

After getting the booking (I’m one of a number of voices here and in the USA) through an audition on Voice123, I was allocated my publication – Conde Nast Traveler.  I’m delighted to be recording apps for such a prestigious mag and, while I’m not the only voice of this particular publication – I know of at least two others – I’m hoping it will turn out to be regular work.

If my first features were anything to go by, my knack for foreign languages might come in useful as well.  One piece was about a resort in Costa Rica, so I was able to throw in a little Spanish pronunciation, while another was about massages in Thailand – both getting and learning how to give them.  Thai isn’t part of my repertoire, but I think I got the place names about right, even if one or two of them took some rehearsing!

When the finished versions of my first recordings have been uploaded onto my website, I’ll post the link so that you can listen to them.

A number of international and national magazines, as well as daily and Sunday newspapers, will all be available on Kaliki, read by different voices, of course.  To find out more, check out this article from last autumn on CNet, http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13746_7-20118201-48/with-kaliki-you-could-listen-to-this-article-in-your-car/, which also includes a link to a Kaliki demo.

And, before you ask, there’s been no mention of location recordings.  With the wonders of modern technology, I have to say the chances are slim.  Hey, you can’t have it all!

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Fair Shares

Sharing is an integral part of the voice over world

Everybody I spoke to before I plunged into the voice over world left me in no doubt as to how competitive it is.  And they were absolutely right.

Even though everybody’s voice is unique, there are plenty of others going after the same jobs as me.  All of my work comes through web sites at the moment, with varying degrees of success.  But when a voice seeker is asking for 50 or 100 auditions for a gig, or you discover yours is just one of several hundred submitted, you soon get the picture!

But I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how generous other voice overs are when it comes to sharing knowledge and experience.  Yes, it’s a competitive business.  But it’s not cut-throat.

All of the sites I use provide resources to a greater or lesser degree.  From my comparatively short experience, Voice123.com and Voices.com provide the most extensive, the most recent additions being royalty-free music and other additional sounds and royalty-free video.  Both sites actively engage their members through a number of channels: on their sites, it ranges from on-line forums where you can find out more on just about any aspect of being a voice over artist, to regular training newsletters or videos.  More widely, Voice123.com also publicises the work of its members through its own YouTube channel and both sites, as well as others like VoicesPro and Bodalgo, also tweet regularly.

However, access to on-site resources is often only available to subscribers, so for newbies who don’t want to pay up just yet, another way of tapping into the network is via LinkedIn.  Here, most of the voice over websites have a group and they’re free to join, as are other voice over groups, such as London Voiceovers and Voice Over Ninja.  As well as sharing news and knowledge, some of them run discussions on topical subjects, with varying degrees of relevance to the voice over world.  More specialist groups, such as Social Media For Voice Over Actors, can be especially useful when marketing yourself, as can those on associated subjects, such as Twitter and blogging.

If you’re just starting out, or are a comparative new arrival like me, they are all invaluable.  Whatever your career, you never stop learning, even more so if it’s part of the fast-moving media world.  Regardless of whether I stay in this industry for one year or twenty  one, these sites and groups will continue to be a precious source of information.

But none of them would be half as valuable if it wasn’t for the generosity of the voice over artists themselves.  It’s truly remarkable and is probably the most open-minded of all the industries I’ve worked in.  And given that, at any one time, there’s a whole clutch of us going after the same gig, it made me wonder why.

One reason could be the comparatively solitary nature of the job.  Most of us work from home and, to a greater or lesser extent, by ourselves – with as much silence as we can muster!  It’s not like going to the office and interacting with colleagues, nor is there the banter or exchange of ideas that you find in a more conventional working environment.  So its place is taken by a virtual community, where you can build knowledge, keep up to date and develop contacts with other voice over artists.

Staying positive and focussed is one of the biggest challenges of working by yourself at home and contact with others in the same business, even if it is through a virtual community, can help and even inspire.  I resisted working by myself for a long time before finally biting the bullet.  I didn’t think I was disciplined enough and felt that I would seriously miss the company and stimulus of other people.  And there are times when I miss the latter: the sites and groups that I use on-line don’t totally replace them, but they do help.

Given that I’m still new to the industry, I didn’t anticipate being asked for my advice and experience so early on but clearly this culture of sharing is inherent at all levels.  My mentor, Gary Terzza, recently referred an aspiring voice over to me so I could give them an idea of the practicalities involved in setting up and getting work – the real picture, warts and all.  Just as no two voices are the same, no two voice over artists are the same, but I hope what I’ve given them so far helps in making a decision – and I’ve referred them to this blog, of course!

Pull The Udder One!*

Very amooosing .....

 

It’s arrived!  The ad that I affectionately dubbed The Cockney Cow dropped into my inbox today, complete with my version of a Cockney accent.

Made for Aimia Foods in Merseyside, it’s aimed at the catering trade and will be broadcast on the internet.

And it’s rather a giggle:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUvvKRjlkx4&feature=youtu.be

Thanks to Voice123.com for sending me the audition – and cue the cow-related puns.  Yes, I know I’m milking it ……

 

*  With thanks to Gary Terzza!