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Voice Coaches Radio #474 – How Low Can You Go

Voice Coaches Radio. Everything voiceover. And welcome to this week's edition of Voice Coaches Radio. I am Josh, she is Marissa, and we are de lighted to have you joining us here today. Marissa, welcome back! Hey, thanks! Oh gosh, I'm sorry, it's allergy season. It's alright, it's alright, little, little squeaks, little squeaks.

Well, I mean, the last time we had you on, we talked Allergy season's probably not great, because last time we had you on, we talked about how you can't breathe normally. I know, right? Add on the allergies, and there's just no breathing at all. I just may never be on the podcast ever again after today, who knows?

That's fair, that's fair. You know, hey, the way we're going, only dogs are going to be able to hear it, so, we're good. No, we're good, we're good. Uh, but actually, it's interesting that you bring that up. Segue? Yes. Um, well, first of all, how, how have you been? How you doing things going well? I'm good. I'm good.

You know, good. It's, uh, the weather's getting nicer. It's clearly affecting me, but it's, it's also affecting me in good ways too. So, , you know, so it, it basically mood wise Great. Yeah. Health wise, me, meh. But I mean, I, I think you mentioned it's sleeping with the windows open. At least that's what I've, and I've been doing it, it's amazing.

Mm-hmm. . Then again, I am a little cautious because like two weeks ago I was saying the same thing, like, oh my God, it's so nice, it's so warm. I got the windows open and. I think we're past it. I think. I sure hope so. But it is upstate New York and like the New England area. We know how it gets. So I don't, I don't, I don't, I'm not, I'm not super comfortable with that yet, but here's hoping.

Here's hoping. Uh, so, um, aside from your, you know, your, uh, uh, uh, allergy issues, aside from the squeak. You doing alright? How are things going? I mean, obviously, you're one of the newest members here of the club, as it were, but how have things been going, uh, you know, with everything? You doing well? You enjoying yourself?

Yeah, I'm having a blast, you know. I know when people are having a good time when, like, class goes to end, and they don't really want it to end. Or they've been laughing so hard that they also start to sound like me by the end of class. So, yeah, it's good. It's good. Usually, my class is at the end, and they're like, are we done yet?

And Almost. Ugh. It's tough. It's tough. Um, well, excellent. Awesome. Well, that's, uh, don't worry. The honeymoon period will pass. Okay. Um, but no, that's fantastic. Uh, so great. So you brought up something to, uh, to me, and I thought it'd be great to discuss. So you had, uh, a, a student. Who was concerned that, that his voice was, was going to limit him and his options.

And, it, it, surprisingly, when you told me what kind of voice he had, I was a little surprised by that. Cause I feel like it would be the opposite, but, tell us a little about, uh, you know, about what Who you ran into and what they were concerned about. Well, one of the gentlemen, he had his first class and he started talking, I mean, he's got like one of those really, really deep voices, like think James Earl Jones, but even maybe a couple notches deeper, like, you know, very, um, standout kind of voice.

So for me, I mean, I, I heard him and I'm like. I mean, I don't, to me, not everybody has that voice. So I think that's going to be a very good thing. I think, like, when you have something kind of unique to bring, uh, that just, that can really help you. That can really help make you stand out in a lot of different ways.

You know, I was, I was talking with someone and, um, And, uh, he said he was talking with his wife, and, uh, I don't remember if they were watching a movie or whatnot, and Ving Rhames was on the movie. And his wife was like, well, what is he even doing anymore? I haven't seen him in a while, and, and he was like, he's the Arby's guy.

Like, we have the beats. I can't do it well, but like, he does it, he does that, he does, uh, he's done EDT. And, I mean, I have no idea, but my guess is he probably gets paid more for that than he does, uh, than he, than he has previously, because, I mean, that is... You know, that, that's, it's noticeable, it's recognizable, even if you don't know who that is in particular, you don't know that's Ving Rhames, you know the Arby's guy.

Right. Like, that's pretty obvious. Or, or the State Farm, uh, not State Farm, um, Allstate guy. Yes, yes. Um, his name is... Oh, no! I don't remember his name, but I do know exactly who you're talking about. Yeah, he was, he was President Palmer in, uh, in 24, and if you're going back to, to my day, he was, uh, he was Pedro Serrano in Major League, one of the greatest movies of all time.

Love that movie. Such a good movie. I did not realize that was him. Really? Oh, yeah! That's, oh, God, yeah, that's Pedro Serrano. Oh, my God! Look at all the learning I'm having happen today. Um. Uh, Haysbert, uh, Haysbert, Dennis Haysbert. I looked it up, I, I, I, I, I looked it up. But yes, that is a young Dennis Haysbert.

Uh, that movie is, uh, is one of the reasons I wanted to go into sports broadcasting. Because of Bob Uecker. Yeah. Juuust a bit outside. Uh, he was, oh, I love that movie. It's such a great movie. Uh, anywho, but, but, you know, him the same way. He does all those, you know, uh, are you, are you in good hands? I can't do that remotely.

Um. So, and I find it especially funny because personally, I've been told on more than one occasion, it'd be better if your voice was deeper. That sounds more attacking than it was. But, I remember I was, I was a kid, I was a kid, I was uh, 21, and I was in college, and that, I started broadcasting hockey when I was in college.

So my senior year, the Boston Bruins were Terrible and so we could get cheap tickets. I went to school in Boston. We get cheap tickets to the game because nobody cared and we did we used to, you know, get 10 tickets up in the super high upper decks and then move our way in. Well, I went with some friends of mine and uh, I, I just finished my, the hockey season that year.

And I just put together a demo as part of a, um, an audio production class that I was going to start sending out. And it just so happened that while I was at the game, they had an announcement that Freddie Cusick, now Freddie Cusick used to broadcast for the Bruins long before I ever started watching them or listening to them.

Um, that's more of my dad's. But I knew who he was, certainly. He had written a book, and he was going to be at the, the, you know, the uh, the gift merchandise. booth, whatever. The store. The store. I can't think of words. It's early. I went to the gym this morning. I'm not awake. We've been shut in with the pandemic for so long he forgot what stores are.

Hold on. Team store. It's gonna be the team store. Uh, you know, it's funny. I used to run the team store when I worked for, uh, for the devils here. So I should know that. Uh, so he's gonna be at the team store selling copies of his book and signing them. And I said, great, I'm going. So I went that week, uh, met him.

bought the book, had him sign it, and gave him a copy of my, of my demo, um, and asked if he would, you know, be willing to take a listen to it for me, and he did, and he emailed me, and, you know, he was very nice, very, you know, complimentary, but he did say that I should really try to have more bass and timbre in my voice, and I'd be more successful if I had that, and I'm like, Uh, I'm 21.

I'm pretty sure I've gone through puberty already. I don't know how that's gonna happen. And I've actually worked to lower my register a little bit, but only a little bit. But I was like, ah, that's not really great advice. Right. Like, give me some, I'm looking for advice, right? something I can really work on.

Exactly. I emailed my demo to, uh, to Doc Emerick years ago. Um, after I'd been broadcasting for a while, and he wrote me like a three page email, detailing everything, and like really good, like, you know, complimentary but constructive criticism, things I could do, but like, have a lower voice was not part of that, because, ah, okay, I'm sorry, I'll do what I can, so fast forward to, geez, less than a year ago, uh, I was doing an audition for an audiobook, and I had to read two characters, and so I did, uh, you know, in two passages, and I sent them off to the, to the author, and he, he got back to me, he goes, uh, he goes, first one, awesome, loved it, really good.

Second one, uh, I, can you, can you make, I kind of picture him with a deeper voice. I was like, okay. And then he tried to describe him for me. And I just want you all to picture this. He described him for me. And I quote as Idris Elba with a beer gut. And I was like, Uh, I don't know what that means, but alright.

I was like, I don't know, sure, whatever, I'll try. So I did a few different versions of it and, uh, tried to channel Idris Elba with a bear cut, whatever that means, but I tried to get as, as, as deep as I possibly could. And he emailed me back a day or so later and was like, look, if that first character was the main character, I'm giving you the offer, but he's not the second characterist and I just picture him with a deeper voice and you know Obviously, this is not a problem that that your student's gonna have but what it does show is that Sometimes you're just not the right person for for a part and there's nothing you can do about it And it's not your fault and it's not that the guy liked me.

He's like he was like you were great I really enjoyed it, and if I, you know, I have a couple other things that I'm looking to do, and I'll keep you in mind for those. Whether he does or not, I don't know. Doesn't matter. But, you know, we quickly take the, I didn't get a job, they don't like me, they think my voice is bad.

No. No, I just wasn't a guy. He wanted someone with a deeper voice. Guess what? I didn't have one. Right. Okay. Such is life. Such is life. And I think that's important to remember. We take these things sometimes too personally. And, and we shouldn't. As for, for, for your guy, yeah, there are going to be some things that he's not going to be able to do.

Because it's going to, you know, need someone with a, with maybe a higher register than he has. Okay, no big deal, but there's also plenty, plenty of pieces that he is going to be able to do and and you know One of my one of his concerns probably was that you know, he was gonna be kind of maybe typecast Into into one box and you can do this and that's it And obviously that's that's got to be a concern for for anyone.

We don't want to be kind of typecast You know, we want to be able to do whatever we can do. But on the other hand At least it's a door to get in. Right, and you know what, that's kind of what I said to him, is like, you know, we might suggest that you start with, you know, narrative, or something more serious, or biographical material, or something, but that's just a launching pad.

You know, that's not, I'm not telling you that's all you can do, I'm telling you that's a good starting spot for your voice. And then you can grow with it. Yeah, and when we do demos with people, when we're doing their first demos with people, we are oftentimes precluding things that they're okay at, right?

They're really good at this, they're okay. Maybe they're okay at character voices. They love them, they want to do them, but it's not their forte right now. Great, this is your first demo. You're gonna have another. And maybe you're gonna continue, hopefully you're gonna continue to work on that. And eventually it can become something.

Because, I mean, you know, the demo is not the be all end all. You should be continuing to work, continuing to grow, continuing to improve. And that means continuing to widen your repertoire if you want to. And so if he wants to do other things that maybe, you know, we're like, look, this is your wheelhouse right now, my man, great for now, but continue to, you know, to, to expand on that, continue to, to try different things and to work to expand your wheelhouse as it were.

Yeah, 100%. And I, I like to also point out too, like, he has probably something unique, you know, so, so do I, I, I mean, I've been told very, like, a multitude of times, like, uh, you got a voice that stands out, you know, that's why a lot of people come to us in the first place, it's like, people have said to them, hey, Hey, You should think about voiceover.

They don't really necessarily know why they think that, or why they're feeling that way about that voice, but it's usually because you bring something that most people don't. So you have something that stands out, and you should really just run with it. You know, I'm somebody, as a example, like I used to be on the radio in this market forever.

I haven't been in four years. I still get recognized because of my voice here in this market, so it's kind of crazy. But when you have something that's unique for you, and you have something that allows you to, you know, uh, stand out amongst a crowd, like, yeah, run with it. Have fun with it. Well, and, and, and, you know, obviously, you know, you are, and, and your student seems to be more extreme versions of that, but every single person has a different voice.

Yeah. There's no two people that have exactly the same voice. Similar? Sure. Exactly. No, that's just not, they're like fingerprints, right? Like snowflakes. We're like snowflakes. Um, but you know, we all have different things and that's, that's the beauty of it. There's not one voice for this. There used to be.

It used to be this guy. Hi, I'm Josh Heller, and I'm selling you products. Thank God it's not anymore, because I like that I get to work now, Josh. That's true. That's true. I, you know, I'm a little hot and cold on it, because I kind of do do that. My sports background, career, helping me with that, and it's super not helpful for me.

But that's okay. That's all right. We learn. We adapt. But yeah. And again, it goes to show, there's not one particular voice for everything that you have. good voice. That's why, you know, I, I struggle, you know, I have people tell me like, well, I've been told to have a good voice. That's fantastic. Not helpful for me, at least, but fantastic.

Glad that people think that you have a good voice. Now let's find out what is good at, what is bad at, right? That's what, that's what we ultimately, that's what you need to know. Like, what is your voice good at and bad at? Is it a good voice or bad voice? I don't know. What does that even mean? Yeah. And that's what I was getting at.

Like a lot of people that come to us. They've been said that multiple times, right? Like, people tell me I have a really nice voice, I should do voice in some kind of way. Uh, so now it's like trying to figure out, yes, you have a voice that stands out, maybe you have a really nice tone, but now what can we do with it?

Because we all have something unique to us, um, now it's just seeing what, what we can do with it. Yeah. No, absolutely. Absolutely. And again, when someone says you have a nice voice, that could mean... Anything. It can mean anything. It does mean anything. And so figuring out what, what those people are, are, are honing in on, that's what we want to ultimately bring to the forefront because nobody has a voice that's perfect for everything.

Nobody. Not even Morgan Freeman. It's close. It's close. But no. Uh, nobody has a voice and nobody's voice is going to be perfect for everything. That just doesn't happen. But everybody has a voice that can be perfect for something. Yeah. You just have to figure out what that is and go after. That and again once you do use that like you said as as a as a launching point as a as a platform to then Potentially increase the things that you are good at that you can do that you you know your strengths are and you know Expand your horizons exactly Alright.

Well, excellent. Well, thank you for, for coming on back this week. It was, uh, and you weren't so, you were only squeaky at the beginning. Just, just at the beginning. Just here and there. Just gotta warm up. That's all. I do. It's, it's still the morning. I'm allergic to mornings. I should probably warn you that.

Did you ever do morning shows? No. Oh, okay. I was gonna say, cause like, they're in at like four in the morning and that sounds obscene. Yeah, I mean, I've filled in at points. Um, but, you know, by the time, I would have woken up. Like, I was up long enough, uh, leading into it that, you know, by the time I got on the air I was okay.

I haven't been up very long right now, so it's all right. That's fair. That's fair. I've been up for arguably too long. I'm gonna go take a nap. Okay. Uh, anyway, uh, thanks so much for, for joining us again. We will, uh, we'll certainly have you back and, um, you know, we'll, assuming... that the pollen doesn't come in too, too strong.

Yeah, that's true. We'll, uh, we'll potentially have you back. We'll see. We'll see what the weather's like. But, uh, but no, we'll definitely have you back. And, uh, and hopefully the weather will continue to be beautiful. And, uh, and your voice will be as well. Yes. All right. Well, thanks so much for, uh, for tuning in each and every one of you this week for Voice Coaches Radio.

And Marissa, obviously, as I mentioned, thanks so much for joining us. And, uh, and we will have you back on again. Obviously, if those listening have any questions, comments, concerns. For myself, for Marissa, for Sam, for anyone, let us know. Josh at voicecoaches. com, quickest and easiest way to get in touch with me.

Josh at voicecoaches. com. And, uh, be happy to talk about it, uh, ruminate on it, uh, whatever it is we do on here. Just kind of randomly go off on tangents about it. But we're happy to do that. Because remember, it's not just our show. So, I'm gonna go ahead and try to deepen my voice as best I can. Maybe I'll, uh, become a man one day.

Who knows? Hard to say. But, uh, until that time, Marissa, thanks again for, uh, for, for joining us. And, uh, and, uh, we'll have you back on soon. Thanks again, everyone, for tuning in. Until next week. So long, everyone. Visit voicecoaches. com for more voiceover news and information.

After receiving a question for a student, Marissa and Josh talk about the benefits of a unique voice. This includes the opportunities that can come along with it; as well as how in today’s world of Voice Over, there truly is work for any type of voice!