Category Archives: creativity

5 Ways to Spice Up Your Creative Voice Over Juices

If your feeling drab, and just blah with VO as of late, Here are 5 quick, Low Maintenance, Low cost things you can do to get the Creative VO juices flowing:

1- Read some Old Copy… Pull out some old scripts you have and Read it with different inflections. Mess around with your speed and intonation. Mimic your favorite VO talent. Mimic your least favorite VO Talent. Mimic that guy or gal you just heard on the TV or radio. 

2- Read some New Copy… Audition as much as possible. http://www.voice123.com/ and http://www.voices.com/ are great services simply for the fact that you get auditions daily that allow you ‘on the job’ training. Hone your craft (VO) and your selling skillz (typing up your proposal selling yourself to potential clients) Voices.com has a great e-book of scripts that you can get as well. (this one DOES cost, if you aren’t a member of these services)…(other thoughts – magazine copy – books – record an hour of ‘Idol’ and write down all the VO in commercials – then read those)

3- Make Contact with another VO talent…  recently I had a great conversation with Austin Keyes. What a great guy! I sent a quick email to Brian Lee, and he sent me back a great email with encouragement and insight. Reach out to some VO peeps. Everyone that I have had contact with are just great people! 

4- A Change of Scene… Can you move your studio around at all? Face the other direction, face a different wall. Go outside and read your copy. Then come back to your studio. Maybe you can’t move your setup very easily. Who knows. Just a thought.

5- Listen to some other VO talent…  go to www.voicebank.net and listen to people. Listen to radio. Listen to VO on TV. What can you technique can you borrow to make your own? What can you do to improve what YOU do?

 And One to Grow On:

Listen to a VO podcast and put the advice to work immediately. There are great podcasts available that you can listen to from voices.com, Pat Fraley has some lessons online, and Tracy Pattin has a great podcast with VO talent as well. Take a pointer from the teachings. Do it right now! Try it out in an audition, or grab some copy and record yourself and make the technique your own!

(A big thanks to all those who have mentioned things like these in previous posts!)

What do you do to get your Creative VO juices flowing?

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No More Job Titles!

I just read a GREAT article about putting Job Titles to Death!! (It’s not the most relevant thing to VoiceActing, but it really resonates with me!)

The building where I spend lots of my work time is really into “titles”. I have had a couple in the 3+ years that I have been there.

The last round of “What’s your title?” was really interesting.

2007 was a year of changed responsibilities for me around the place…and instead of having something formal … “director of”…”manager of”…”officer of”…”deputy to the chief of”… 

I just wanted to be “Creative Guy“. (mainly because its shorter than all the other formal titles. And I wanted to see what reaction I got when the company directory came out.)

 Unfortunately that didn’t fly.

So, back the point…this whole concept of “not having a title” but “saying what you do and who you are”…I love it!!!

Its the reason I chose The Creative Mouthpiece for this Blog!

Go read the article. Here’s the post where it all originated.

Some of my faves:

Pixelardo da Vinci

and

Head Brother In Charge of Chat

AWESOME!

The Voice Academy

I was turned on to this link over the weekend…Voice Academy

If you click on “Start Exploring,” and go the the main office for orientation, you can use your ‘hall pass’ to go around to the auditorium (for examples of how actors train their voices), science center (the science of how our voices work), teachers lounge (latest research on voice and overuse), gymnasium (keeping your voice strong and healthy), ladies room (hormones and voice!), classrooms (examples of acoustically friendly and unfriendly rooms) and more!

Its a website for teachers, and I haven’t spent much time there, but it did look interesting!

When Do you Work? A book list.

I was talking with my very good friend Brian yesterday about a book I am reading by Tim Sanders called Love is the Killer App. Love it!! I want to be a lovecat! (gotta read it)

He was giving me grief about how much I seem to be reading…and he says:

When do you work?!?!

You know, that is an interesting question.

I see reading as Part of My Work.

Who I am, and who I am becoming, and who can I pass along my knowledge to?

If I can learn something of value to pass on to someone else thru my reading, then in the long run, it will help my “traditional work”.

All that said…Here are the books that are stacked on my dining room table, that I got for Christmas, that will begin my reading for this year:

The Art of Voiceacting (the TOME on Voice Acting that I have read chapters of standing in Barnes and Noble)

Getting Business to Come to You (on being an entrepreneur)

The Creative Habit (saw a great quote from Twyla Tharp from this book that piqued my curiosity)

The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude (Jeffrey Gitomer on Good Attitude)

The Little Green Book of Getting Your Way (Gitomer on Speaking, Writing, Presenting, Persuading, Influencing, and Selling Your Point of View )

Ideaspotting (training for new !deas)

A Whack on the Side of the Head (creative thinking)

Six Thinking Hats (about how to think better)

What are you reading? What knowledge are you learning to pass on to others? What value are you creating?

______________

(edited on July 10, 2008 )

As I have gone back over this list, I have only finished ONE of the books here.

The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude by Jeffrey Gitomer. It was a great read. And really started me on a different path of reading this year.

I have gotten into The Creative Habit , The Art of Voiceacting, Six Thinking Hats and A Whack on the Side of the Head, but not done with them just yet.

I’ll talk about some of my other reads in another post.

The 12 (+2) Links of Christmas

As a fun Challenge to myself, I wanted to see if I could actually give “link love” 12 times in this post – and still have the post make sense!! – Merry Christmas!

(I originally titled this post “Getting Things Done With My Voice”)  

After several metaphorical “taps on the sholulder” from the likes of Karen Commins blog, Rodney Saulsberry’s Podcast on voices.com, and David Bourguois’ podcast from voices.com, plus the conversation between Peter O’Connell and Tim Mclaughlin, as well, I decided to sit down and do some thinking and planning for 2008.

 

I have stumbled in and out of David Allen’s method of organizing and time management called “Getting Things Done” a couple of times in the recent past. I read the book, read the follow up book…and can keep the process going for about 2 weeks. Then I usually bail, or forget something that is involved and the whole system falls apart.

 

I wanted to sum up the whole GTD philosophy, but not ALL of it is applicable here. If you want, you can read about Getting Things Done yourself.

 

I got a new notebook like David Boureuios and Karen Commins suggested

 

Right now, I have these labels:

-Goals

-Marketing

-Blog/Web

-Follow Up

-Misc. Ideas

As I was starting the  process for  this coming year, I noticed some similarities between what I had  heard and been reading, and the GTD philosophy.

The GTD similarity, is that each tab represent a different ‘list’… with the premise of

  1. being able to get everything out of your head and on to paper, and
  2. determining what you have time to accomplish on each list

  

A couple differences :

I don’t have a “current projects” list…

As I think about this, I realize, as Harlan Hogan says in his book, that “the work of voice work is getting the work.”

 

This new notebook for notes, thoughts and ideas has a lot to do with “marketing” and “pursuing” the jobs…(ie. “getting the work”)…and not a lot to do with the actual “Voice Work”…and I think that explains the lack of “current projects” list – at this point and time.

Also, I do not have a Calendar in this book. I think I will stick with Google Calendar for now.

Perhaps in my “Goals” section, I will also use that as a “Next Action” list (like GTD suggests)

I am early in the process here, so there will be glitches and reworks as I continue to plan for 2008 – I am sure!

Are you taking the time to do some planning for next year? I would love to hear your thoughts about what your process is… Do you incorporate any more of David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” philosophy to Voice Work? How so? I think that could be an interesting conversation!

(I ended up with 14 different links…if you were keeping track at home!)

How To Build Your Network in the First 5 Seconds

This is a great article from RainToday.com

The “Building Your Network “principle is simple:

Say something in the first couple seconds of meeting someone. (comment on something they are wearing, say a simple hello, find  a common topic quickly)

And do it wherever you are…At a bar, in the elevator, at a social networking gathering…etc.

If you don’t , it is much more difficult to initiate that conversation later (after you both have been sitting there or standing there in silence).

Ahh. So many wasted elevator trips.

WOW – what a difference thiscould make in my life and business, because my natural tendency is NOT to do this.

Being someone who does voice over work, it could revolutionize my business!

Thanks Ilise for your article!

Do you have sure fire ways to grow your network? I would love to hear!


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1st post

A Blog about Creativity – usign the creativeness that we have been given…

Not Losing it…but USING IT!!!

however we were created to use it!!

(right now, the way I use my creativity: I create production for this show, I help people tell their stories with my voice…and I am back dabbling in Painting….and excited about doing theatre again!!!!)


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