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Voice Coaches Radio #440 – Voice Acting in the News

Voice coaches, radio, everything voiceover and welcome into this week's edition of voice coaches radio. I am Josh Heller. Delighted to have you joining me this week as we do each and every week here from the mothership voice coaches in Albany, New York. Thanks so much for tuning us in. I know what we've been doing over the past few weeks and we'll continue to do moving forward here with voice coaches radio for the time being is we're going to be taking a look back at.

Voice coaches radio that was said I had a chance to kind of go through some of the archives some of the some of the Older footage. I mean it has been going on for 10 years now And I certainly don't expect everyone to have the time or or or patience Let's be honest to to go all the way back through those past 10 years and and dig out But there are absolutely some gems in there.

We've already heard a couple interviews including With the voice of Batman from from back a number of years ago with previous iterations of voice coaches radio. And like I said, we're going to continue to do that. However, I did want to take a sec today and and just, you know, kind of kind of bring up something that that came to my attention.

And it's interesting. And actually, it was brought to my attention by my dad, good old Stuart Heller. But I was talking to him about a week or so ago, and he mentioned that he and his wife, my stepmom, they they. DVR or TiVo or whatever it is they do, uh, every week a, uh, a show on Sunday called, uh, Sunday Today with Willie Geist.

Uh, it's not something I was terribly familiar with, to be honest with you, but it's, uh, it's an NBC News program, so it's called Sunday Today with Willie Geist. And the reason why he brought it to my attention is because when they were watching it, one of the stories was actually on a husband and wife who are audiobook narrators and have been for quite some time.

And I do like to keep an eye or an ear. Out for, you know, uh, voiceover work in the news, right? Voiceover work that's getting public attention. And I thought this was a, uh, it was a really well done piece. So it was, uh, it was a husband and wife, Susan Erickson and David Kalachi, who actually live in New York and, uh, and.

They are professional audiobook narrators. Uh, both have done, uh, they estimate somewhere in the realm of 500 books each, if not more. And, uh, really, really interesting perspective, just kinda seeing it from, from their perspective, right, what they do. They have their own studio in the, in the basement of their home, is where they do most of their work.

Fairly well sought after at this point. It was interesting. They had a, uh, they were kind of talking about the work that they've done and they have a wall that's basically covered with books that they've done. You can kind of look and they said it's almost like looking through, uh, you know, looking through a yearbook, right?

Looking through, uh, through years past and, and, uh, the different stories and the different books and the different times that they went through. it's like a record collection almost at, uh, at that point, but, but really interesting. And so, uh, you know, the. It goes on to talk about the audiobook industry a little bit.

I know we talk about that quite a bit, but uh, it's a massive industry and it is a growing industry, uh, to be sure. In fact, they, they start out with something I, I usually joke around with. They say, you know, many people who are watching this still consider, you know, uh, them books on tape. Because that's what they were.

My first job, I don't know if I mentioned this, uh, here, but my, my first job in a small little town in Massachusetts called Sharon. I worked at the Sharon Public Library as a page. I put away books, and they were actual books on cassette tapes. And, uh, you know, we didn't have very many. Probably expensive to make.

Uh, certainly, they were, they were kind of cumbersome, and they were just a bunch of, of cassette tapes. Uh, be kind, please rewind. And it would come in like a book, like a big, uh, almost, you know, uh, plastic book where you'd open up and it would have all the different cassettes, uh, uh, lined up there, and then that's what you would do.

And then from there, obviously, it moved on to books on CD, and now, uh, you know, with the prevalence of Audible and things like that, it has absolutely taken off. Uh, it mentions in the story that, uh, last year alone, almost a billion dollars, if not more, uh, in revenue from audiobooks, and that was 25% higher than it was the year before.

So not only is it a massive, massive undertaking in industry, It is growing and that is great news, uh, for any potential voice actors or, or voice actors who are interested in getting into the audio book field. There is a need for narrators, right? There's a need for narrators. I mean, uh, it mentions these two here, as we mentioned, Susan Erickson and David Kalachi and, and you know, they've each done about 500 books each.

That's a thousand books between the two of them. They started doing audio books in the early nineties. Which is actually well before the audiobook industry took off like it did, it was well before that. But, I mean, we're talking, they've been doing this for, oh gosh, almost 30 years going on. And they've each done about 500 books, that's about a thousand books.

You look at a decent publisher, they're putting out a thousand books a year in audiobooks. So there is definitely work out there for audiobook narrators. But to tell a little bit more about, uh, about these two, uh, Susan Erickson, a three time Audie award winning narrator, uh, as I mentioned, she's Estimate she's done at least 500 books.

Um, one of the big things she does now is, uh, uh, books, a series of books by Sara Paretsky, which features a detective V. I. Warshawsky. And, and the reason why I bring that up, and actually David Kalachi, who also estimates about 500 books or so that he has done, uh, is currently working on a, a series of books by a, by a woman named Donna Leon.

Uh, it's based on a character named Commissario Brunetti. Uh, so the V. I. Warshawsky 20 plus books have already come out or are coming out, uh, for the Commissario Brunetti, 29, 29 books or 28 with one set to come out again next year. So, I mean, you find that repeating work if you get able to find a, uh, a character that, uh, That you're able to kind of grasp on to I mean that's that's work that keeps coming the writers are still writing it the people are still reading it and the narrators still need to do that and so you find a character and what's really interesting and I and I recommend looking this up I'll tell you how to find it this interview but it actually in the interview talks with the author of those VI Warshawski books Sarah Paretsky Thank you.

Who is the author of those and, and she's actually had a chance to meet the narrator, but just kind of talking about that, that relationship that, uh, you know, when she heard, uh, Susan Erickson do that voice for V. I. Warshawski, who is a detective from Chicago, she was like, you know, we need somebody who, who has somewhat of that Chicago kind of style, has some of that Chicago kind of, um, dialect, but, but is not over the top.

This is not a caricature by any means. And, and she said, you know, I, I, I heard Susan doing it the first time and, and said, yeah, she gets it. She gets it. That is, you know, that, that is VI Warshawski's voice. And so not only has she had Warshawski do all the books therein, if she continues writing, which she is, those books are going to continue to come and she's still going to want her to do those.

So that work is absolutely out there. And that repeating work is, is fantastic because she basically said, you know what, anytime I write a book, you're the one who's going to read it. You're the one who's gonna read it. There's no auditioning, there's no, you know, there's no cold calling, there's, there's no, uh, you know, trying to, to get it in there.

No, you got it. As long as she's writing the books, you're gonna be reading them. It's, uh, you know, it's, it's fantastic if you can get it. And the same with, uh, with David Colaccio, as we mentioned, with those Commissario Brunetti series. You know, if Donna Leone is writing those books and she's written 28 with 29th on the way, so it looks like she still is, he's gonna be the one who's gonna be voicing that.

Absolutely going to be the one voicing that and it's not something that, you know, he's applying for auditioning for. It's something that he already has because he found that voice. Now, I will say both of these, uh, of these narrators, Susan Erickson and David Kolodziej, both are classically trained in theater.

Both are very good at dialects and accents. And you'll actually, if you watch the interview, you'll, you'll hear them and actually hear them reading some parts of the books. Yeah. So they certainly offer that, but that doesn't necessarily have to be the case, all right? I know people who are not very, you know, interested per se in doing different dialects and accents.

Maybe it's not a strength theirs. It's certainly not a strength of mine. I'm well aware of that. Not very good at accents. I try them. They're terrible. They're absolutely terrible. I, I, I, I start out, I usually start out trying to go British. I end up Australian at some point, and then everything in between.

It's not a great look for me. But, you know, you don't have to. You don't have to necessarily do that. Um, you know, both have done both fiction and nonfiction, but you start to look at some of the nonfiction books. And, you know, as, as we've talked about here on Voice Coaches Radio, I'm in the process of, of trying to, uh, to record a nonfiction audiobook.

And it doesn't have voices. It doesn't have dialects. It doesn't have accents because it doesn't need to. Now, if you can do that, that's great. If it's something you enjoy doing, then absolutely look for those. But it's not something that's necessary. So just bear that in mind when you're watching this.

Don't think that you have to be classically trained in theater to be doing this. But, and, and I, I say it to anyone who takes this course when they first start out, that yeah, you know, when you're in the booth, when you're recording, you're, you're not on stage. You're not in front of a large group of people in general, but it is a performance.

It's absolutely a performance. This is performance art. What we do. Make no doubt about that. It is a performance. Whether you're doing a character, whether you're doing an accent or a dialect, it's a performance and is treated as such. And as that performance, whether it's a straightforward piece, whether it's way out there, you know, that's what has to be decided.

by the narrator and the author to try to find the voice that fits what's perfect for that piece, right? It's what Sarah Poresky said, uh, when she, you know, heard that Warshawski voice. She gets it. That's what this voice is supposed to sound like. Doesn't mean it has to have an accent. Doesn't mean it has to be a character.

But you need to find out what that voice of the author, what that voice of that character needs to sound like. And they were able to do that and got a great... Great little, you know, niche being able to do that. So, really interesting. I highly recommend checking it out. Again, it's uh, it's NBC News Sunday Today with Willie Geist.

Uh, if you look up, it's uh, it's available on YouTube. That's actually where I found it, so uh, just head to uh, I think I, I think I looked up, Googled Sunday Today. Audiobook, uh and was able to find the video for that on youtube. So so check it out again It's uh, it's nbc news sunday today with willie geist.

Uh, he got peace on a husband and wife Audiobook narrators susan erickson and david kolachi. I think it's really interesting You'll kind of get a a peek behind the scenes a little bit with uh with a couple people who who are you know? Making their way doing that, uh as audiobook narrators and a special.

Thanks to my dad Uh, a tip of the hat as it were, uh, stick tab to, to Stuart Heller for, uh, for bringing that to my attention. Always looking out for me. I appreciate it, dad, if you're listening, probably not, but if you are, thank you, sir, uh, for, uh, for bringing that to my attention. But again, check it out.

Like I said, check it out. It's, it's really interesting. It kind of a nice little perspective, uh, as. Well, all right. So like I said, we will be getting back into looking back finding some old interviews some old Uh topics that were discussed in previous iterations Uh kind of a a look in the way back machine as it were with mr Peabody as we uh, we look back at voice coaches gone by and we will continue to do that in the in the I'll see you have something we want to discuss, if you have something we want, uh, you want us, you know, to, uh, to take a look at or talk about questions that we can answer for you, uh, please do not hesitate to let me know more than happy to do so.

[email protected] is where you can send your, your email correspondence. That'll come right to me. [email protected]. Make sure there's no S's, not podcasts. It's just podcast singular and any other questions you may have, uh, involving voice coaches, radio or the voice coaching industry or life in general, don't have many answers, but I'll certainly do my best.

So thank you again for tuning in again, check that out. If you can that, uh, Sunday today with Willie Geist on the, uh, audio book. Narrators Susan Erickson and David Kalachi, husband and wife. About a thousand books betwixt the two that they have had a chance to, uh, to narrate. So check that out if you can.

And thanks again for tuning in as per usual. We certainly hope that she'll be right back here next week for Voice Coaches Radio. Until then, so long everyone. Visit voicecoaches. com for more voiceover news and information.

After seeing a news segment about a husband-and-wife audiobook powercouple, team member Josh discusses the growing demand for audiobook narrators in the voice over publications industry.