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Voice Coaches Radio #479 – Where do I Fit?

Voice Coaches Radio. Everything voiceover. And welcome to this week's edition of Voice Coaches Radio. I am Josh. She is Marissa. We are delighted to have you joining us. Marissa, how are we doing? Good morning. That was a nice little singing intro. Like you should start doing jingles. Have you ever thought about it?

I have never thought of it. No, actually. I actually, it's funny. I had been singing long before I've ever been, you know, broadcasting or, or, you know, uh, voice acting. I, I grew up singing. I did musical theater. I did, I was a cool kid. Um, I did choirs. Uh, I did a cappella groups in college. Yeah, I'm a singer.

See, I had no idea. I just thought it was a nice tone. No, thank you. Thank you. Yeah, no, I'm a, I'm a tenor. I'm a, I'm a high tenor. Um, the biggest, uh, biggest accomplishments of my, uh, vocal career were, uh, my senior year of high school. We did a performance of Les Miserables. Oh, look at you. was Angela, the leader of the, uh, of the Student Rebellion, and it was, I'm not gonna lie to you, it was pretty hot.

Actually, it was really cool. We were the first, uh, high school in the country. They had just released it to schools, and it had just been, uh, opened up to schools, and we were the first high school in the country to, because we do our musical in the fall, uh, first high school in the country to do it, so we had a ton of high schools, like, come from across the country to watch us before they, uh, before they put it on.

And it was, uh, it was pretty awesome. That's intimidating. Yeah. And I was in a band. I was in a band, uh, I was in a rock band. Uh, we were called Ides of March and, uh, what the heck? How did you get to voice, man? Like I'm so, now I'm interested. Now I'm intrigued. We, uh, we had a band called Ides of Uses High School.

We had a band called Ides of March, uh, with three, three of my buddies. And our first album and I use that term very loosely was called Beware, like be aware of the odds of March. Get it now. I'm going to show you how big a nerd I am. If this was like a I think it was a five. Yeah, it was five. So we actually went to a studio and recorded five songs.

It's on my it's on my iPod somewhere. It's It's hot garbage. I mean, it's terrible. Listening back to it. At the time, we thought it was awesome. It was not, by the way, but we thought so. But if we put out a second album, this is where my head goes. If we put out a second album, uh, it was going to be called A2, like A2 Brute, but the two is going to be a Roman numeral two.

Oh. Because it would have been our second album. Well, look at you. Nerd. Wow. Yes, that was me. That's what, uh, yeah. We never got

that podcast, uh, is a kid named Kiyoshi, who's my best friend back in, uh, back in high school. He lives in Brooklyn and has been, uh, he's been in a number of bands, but he's, uh, he's currently in a band in Brooklyn called Rocket and the Ghost, and, uh, or Rocket and the Ghost. Uh, they're really, really good. Um, he's performed on, like, a bunch of different things.

But yeah, he's super talented. He went to like the New School Jazz Conservatory, like, the dude can play. Well, I'm glad he didn't let you hold him back. Yeah, well, I mean, it was, it was, it was, it was questionable. So yeah, so I went from singing and uh, and then was like, well, you know, I use my, actually it's funny because I, I hooked up, I was in an a cappella group in college and I hooked up with a radio station when I wanted to look into sports broadcasting.

And uh, I remember Early on, I, we had a weekly show, just a weekly sports radio show, three hours on Friday. And so that's where you kind of got started, right? I was sophomore in college, and you know, everyone gets, gets started there. That's where you kind of cut your teeth. And I was given the, you know, every time you come back from break, you had kind of a sports update.

And I was given the sports update, and I read it. And because of my vocal training that I've had from, from my singing and such, um, The sports director liked it and I ended up doing intermission reports on the, uh, on the hockey games, which was our biggest sport on campus. And then he graduated and I took over play by play.

One thing leads to another, man. Did that for two years. That's how it goes. And that's, that's how I became a sports broadcaster. So, and, uh, and yeah, so now, you know, now you're actually a cool, cool experiences I've had. I performed at, uh, Symphony Hall in Boston with, um, with, uh, Allstate Choirs, and I've also performed at Carnegie Hall in New York.

God, you're fancy. Oh yeah, big time, big time. Yeah, with a choir I was in. So yeah, so I'm a singer by trade, um, though I haven't sung much recently. We learn something new every day. Every day. Yeah, so there you go. There you go. You know, I will, I'd be happy to serenade you. I would. Anytime, man. I'm like all for it.

Good. Yeah, listen. There we go. There we go. Um, you know, so what? It's Friday? Friday. Friday. It's, uh, it's gorgeous outside. It is. Holy moly. Like, I feel like it finally, like the weather finally turned. Uh, I was telling you earlier, I have a deck being put in on my house. Uh, I mean, I had a deck, but it was... I basically was concerned I was going to fall through it, and uh, so now we have a new deck being put in, and so uh, so that's exciting.

So maybe I can actually spend some time out there. Yeah, that's what I've been doing. Some of these classes I've been teaching, they've been right there on the beautiful deck in the nice sunshine. Did you fall asleep? No, no I did not. No? No, I definitely did not. Why are you so tan? I don't know what it's funny because what are we talking about a couple weeks ago when I was doing the audio book and my neighbor was mowing the lawn, like that's what absolutely would happen if I try to teach a class outside 100% chance every one of my neighbors is going to start mowing their lawn, you know, car alarms are going off like that's 100% gonna happen.

That actually did happen when I was doing Facebook trivia throughout the pandemic. Every single Thursday, 615, I'd hop on Facebook Live. That is when all of my parents neighbors would decide everywhere on Facebook. Like, collectively, you know what? Let's fire it up. Let's go ahead. All the noise. Now's the time.

Now's the time. Perfect. Perfect. Usually that happens with my son. Like, if he's around and, like, something important's happening, I'm like, wow. Like, what? I did a, uh, I was telling you, I did a webinar. I usually do them from the studio here, um, mostly to get out of my house, but I had to do one from home because it was, uh, it was snowy.

And literally just absolute meltdown temper tantrum happening in the background. Oh my goodness. And like, I don't know if the, if the students could hear it, but I sure could. And it was distracting. Yes. Uh, very much distracting. Uh, so, uh, so it's, it's beautiful Friday, what, uh, you got big plans for the weekend?

No, honestly, and I think that's, that's the big plan right there is nothing like grocery shopping. I've been playing this game where it's like, how long can I go without going to the grocery store? Um, I feel like that's the most adult game I've ever played. Uh, and, and apparently, um, it's been long enough, you know, cause there's like nothing left in the fridge.

So saltines and ketchup packets. Here we go. folks. Here we go. Breakfast of champions. Uh, so I was telling you, I have a, uh, uh, uh, I have a, a trail race tomorrow. Yeah, good luck with that. Yeah, I'm super Better you than me. Uh, uh, well, and, and I, so I signed up for it last year. I mean, a year and a half ago, probably.

It was supposed to happen last year and then got pushed off like everything else did. And then literally like a month ago, uh, a guy from, uh, from the gym who's putting it together. I was like, oh, are you ready to go for the race? I'm like, what race? He's like, the trail race we're doing. I'm like, nope. It's like, you know, the one from last year and I was like, Oh, you see, cause I get emails from them being like, do you want to push this off?

And I'm like, sure. I don't care. Like just hit enter. Done. Uh, so yeah, so I have to do that up in, uh, up in, now the nice thing is it's up in, uh, it's up in Pittsfield, Vermont, uh, up in the mountains of Vermont. So the, the. tracking is going to be hard, but the weather is supposed to be super nice. So if that is the case, it's going to be beautiful up there.

Yeah, so I will have that. So when I die, at least I'll have nice scenery to look at. And that's great. Yeah, I can't, here's the thing. I can't complain because the 10 mile, the 10 mile race that I'm doing is just the shortest. Distance they have that day. We have a couple, there's a guy who's doing it with us who's doing a 50 K, which is 31 miles.

Oh my God. And then we have three guys. Why do people do this? Why we three guys? You make yourself do three 50 miles, three guys who are doing 50 miles and then there's actually a hundred mile version of that. Although, uh, none of us are doing the a hundred mile. So, uh, so one of the guys, uh, um, uh, a good friend of mine, he is doing that.

He signed up for it last year because he turned 50 and he wanted to do a 50 mile race on his 50th, first 50th birthday. And we're like, well now you're 51, so you're gonna have to do an extra mile. So, Oh, I, like, I can't. No, like, my lungs hurt just thinking about that. Yeah, no, that seems that, uh, and here's the thing, like, ten miles is a lot, but when I think of it like that, I'm like, eh, it's not that much.

It's not that much. Because the thing is, like, it's, we leave at nine. And they close the course at 9. Now if you're doing the, if you're doing the 50 mile, you start at 7 and you have to be done by 9pm. So that's 14 hours. That can be pretty tight. If I can't finish 10 miles in 12 hours, things went awry.

Things went terribly awry. And I didn't make it. I didn't make it. So we'll see what happens. Somebody would be dragging me behind them. Yeah. That's what would be happening. There's a distinct possibility next week I'm not on the show and you may be running the show all by yourself. And that's fine. And that's fine.

Um, Oh, other big news such as this, but in regards to voiceover, because that is what the show is about, I believe, even though we don't talk about it much. Um, uh, I had mentioned to you, I was working on, uh, an audio book for my step mom for her birthday. Well, her birthday is coming up in a few weeks, a couple of weeks, actually it's the 23rd.

So it's a couple of weeks away. Yeah. finished it. Nice. A couple days ago, finally, uh, where's the champagne? We gotta pop that. I'll tell you what it was. I was pretty excited, pretty excited. And so we bought a, um, a very cheap, uh, mp3 player, like super cheap, like 15 bucks. And I loaded it on there and I'm going to give her the mp3 player for birthday, throw the headsets on and have her listen to it.

Now, the cool thing is, so, uh, for those of who are not sure, so her dad, uh, was a, uh, Uh, World War II pilot, uh, B 17 pilot, uh, got shot down, uh, over France and ended up in a German POW camp for just over a year. He wrote a book about it, um, and I stole a copy of the book and I'm doing an audiobook for her birthday, for her 70th birthday, because I'm such a sweet son.

And also because I want to publish it. But that's neither here nor there, I have to ask their permission. But regardless, um, so I, I, you know, I, I finally got it and, and finished it up, so we're going to give this to her, but all her siblings, well, most of her siblings who are nearby are going to be there as well, so they'll get to hear it too for the first time, so that's going to be pretty cool.

That being said, I'm gonna put some headphones, I'm gonna give her so she can just have it, you know, to herself, just to listen to it, I'm not even gonna tell her what it is, just gonna start playing Chapter 1, which kinda introduces him and his parents, which would be her grandparents, and I swear to you, Marissa, if she does not cry, I am going to be angry.

I want tears. I want the waterworks better happen. Well, you better be filming it. They better have, we better get tears in there. Uh, and I will report back. So this is on the, the 23rd. Uh, so in a couple of weeks when, uh, when we're back here, assuming I've recovered from my injuries that I'm definitely going to get this weekend, I will let you know how that goes, but she doesn't cry.

Oh, I'm going to be so mad. Oh my god. The fact that you're wanting somebody to cry is kind of hilarious. 100%. I want tears. I want all the tears. Lots and lots of tears. All right. I put blood, sweat, and tears in it. I want, uh. Yeah, there was no blood involved. There also weren't any tears involved. But there was sweat involved.

It gets a little warm in my studio. So, um, uh, Wow, so it's good to talk to you. Like, I haven't, you haven't been here for like a week or so, and I feel like we're just catching up now. We kind of are, and that's the thing of like working from home. Like, we don't stay at home. It's like a random email here and there, uh, and then, and then we see each other and it's like, Oh, wait, we have a podcast to do.

Okay. Yeah, no, we can get to that eventually. Well, we'll talk about something, something voiceover related. Um, so, uh, we do want to touch on something voiceover related and, and it has to do with something we've discussed in the past on and off and, and it comes from, you know, questions that, that you've been getting, uh, from people after, you know, early classes, right?

After their first class, after maybe even their second class, but I get it a lot after their first class, which is. Kind of unfair, but that's not the point. So what have people been asking you? They really want to know where I feel like their voice fits. Like, where their voice personality is. And, to be honest, like, it's so hard to tell right away.

And, you know, we always ask people, like, what type of work are you interested in, right? So it's like, a lot of people come in, they're like, audiobooks, you know, training videos. Um, you know, for me, I like to wait a little bit to see what I can get out of somebody. Because I feel like, maybe this is the same thing for you, but it's like, somebody comes in with an idea, and they might be relatively good at it, right?

Like, because, you know, a narrative read, like, you might be able to handle that softer spoken kind of stuff. But I like to see when I can start getting that personality out of people. Well, and I think what a lot of it is, is the reason why we ask people what they're interested in is because And this is not just true for voiceover, by the way, but the things we're interested in are usually the things we're better at, because we spend more time with them, because we have more, you know, there's more care, there's more, you know, it just usually is not always, not always, um, you know, and that's, and that's fine, but that's super important to know, because it's a great great kind of starting point.

Exactly. Because usually our skills and our passions, they, they run fairly close together. And it's important to, to know that now in the, in a first class with us, you know, I'd say it's about 50, 50, the amount we're talking versus the amount of students talking. Um, and so you get an idea of their voice more from a technical standpoint, like, okay, what's going on here?

What do we have? What are the tones? But as far as that voice personality, like you mentioned. That's a little tougher to get. And what I do like to do also is, um, you know, have them try out all sorts of different stuff. Right? Like you said, try different things out. You know, over the course of a program, I want someone to try out everything.

Maybe not everything, but most things. And we may, I may have them read something, and it's out of their comfort zone, and lo and behold, they're really good at it. And they also may like it. Or, conversely, more often, I'll have them try something out of their comfort zone, and they'll be like, that was, I didn't like that at all.

And I'll be like, yeah, no, we shouldn't do that. But that's fine. That's good to know, right? It's a process of elimination too, right? That voice personality is what you are best at. at. It's what you are strongest at. It's what you're most marketable in, what you're most likely to get work in, right? So it's so important to find that and the benefit of finding that it means that we we start to have a better idea of the pieces to use for a demo so we can showcase that.

And guess what? You'll have a better idea of what to do with your demo when you get it. Types of jobs, types of industries, types of places that that you're best suited for. That's pretty important. Right? Because if you're sending your demo to places, you know, that are, that are far afield, it's going to be a struggle.

It's going to be a struggle. So, we certainly want to know that. So, you know, we, we, we talk about the, the demo. The demo should be... Featuring pieces that fall into your voice personality and your strength range. Those are the two things. Your voice personality, what you do best. And again, with your voice personality, that kind of is what it is.

It's not gonna change very much. With age, it can a little bit. Um, you know, with, with large jumps of age. But in general, that doesn't change very much. The strength range... That's the fun one because that's the one that we can work on. That's the one that we can improve. That's the one we can add to. Now, again, it may not be your absolute tip top 100% best, but it's what you're really darn good at, really darn good at.

And again, those are things that we can develop more. Those are things that, hey, maybe this doesn't fall on your strength range right now. I know you enjoy it, but we really doesn't fall in there right now, but it can, but it can with practice with work. And so that's the fun one for me. is being like, okay, this is what is your wheelhouse.

This is what I think you could be really good at. Yeah, it's all about, the more you do, the more you grow. Like, the more you practice, the more you grow. The more you listen back to what you're doing, the more you grow. It's like, as long as you keep taking steps each day, you're gonna get stronger and stronger at things that maybe...

You're not super strong at right now in this moment. Well, I mean, and that's, that's true for anything, right? That's true for anything. Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. That's, you know, that, that's, that's why we do what we do. Uh, you know, and, and, you know, every, I always tell this to people, you know, when you walk out of your demo, most people will look at me and say, like, I feel like I could have done better.

And my response to them is, yeah, you could have. But that's why we do this, right? We always think we can do better. I've never walked out of a session and been like, nailed it, 100%, couldn't be better. No, you always walk away saying like, I could have done that better. And the answer is, of course. Like if I'm doing, you know, from a recording with someone, you know, oftentimes they'll be like, hey, I want to do that piece again.

And I'll ask them, why? Why do you want to do it again? And if they have like a, well, I just think I could change the way I said this sentence, right? I want to put some emphasis on this word instead of that word. Or, you know, I think I get that could be a little clearer. Yeah, absolutely. Let's do it. I mean, we don't use tape anymore.

You can do it if you want, but it's when they say, well, you know, I don't know, it was fine. I just think I could have done it better. Mmm, that's a slippery slope. That's a slippery slope because you always think that. We always think that, right? And that's important to think that because that's what's going to help us continue to work, right?

Once you've decided I am as good as I'm going to get, then you're done, right? Then you're done. Why, why, why are you, we're not growing? We're not working. We're not learning and we're not improving. Yep. We're dying. That's what we're doing. We're dying. Right? If you don't grow, if you're not learning, you're not growing, you're dying.

Wow, that's morbid. Yeah, it's kind of Yeah, how did we get there? I do not know. Yikes. I do not know. Um, so again, when it comes to, you know, someone, you know, where does my voice fit? I, you know, I, I, I joke with people, but it's, it's not, it's not really a joke, but you know, people ask me like, Oh, what's my, what do you think my niche is?

I don't, I don't particularly enjoy the word niche. I feel very fancy when I say it, but that's okay. What do you think my niche is? And I'm like, I don't, it's not for me to decide. I can tell you what I think, I can tell you where I think your voice falls, but is that where it's going to fall in the industry?

I don't know. The industry will tell you. You'll figure it out. Because the industry is going to give you jobs. And you're going to get consistent jobs in that same area, and that is your voice personality, right? That's your niche. That's what's going to happen. You'll, I mean, the market will tell you that.

I can give you my opinion. But what's that worth? Probably not much. According to my wife, not much. Oh, woof. Yeah. Not much. According to my son, also not much. Oh my goodness. Yes. Tough crowd. Tough crowd. But, uh, but yeah. So, you know, again, it's a tough question to answer. Especially right away, right? Especially when you meet someone, there's no magic formula like, okay, I heard your voice, and there we go.

There's no program I can, we can put your voice through that, you know, comes back and says like, well, this is where your voice falls, right? This is your voice age range, and this is your, you know, uh, your, your strength range, and this is your voice person. It's, it's not like that. It's not like that. Uh, and it also is subjective too a bit, right?

I mean, every producer's different. Every producer's different, so it's all, it's all subjective. So, super non answer. Super non answer from us. Way to be, Josh. Yeah, right? So, hope we didn't answer your question. Hopefully we at least allowed some clarity. Your wife is listening, going like, this is just what it's like at home.

Just what it's like. Now y'all know. Tapping her foot. Tapping her foot with her arms crossed. Yep. Yep. No, I can see it. I can see it. Well, it's good to have you back, Marisa. Oh, it's good to be here. And, uh, yeah, so hopefully, uh, I'll be back next week, but I make no guarantees. And hopefully you'll be back next week, though I also make no guarantees.

And, um, and once I, after the 23rd, once I, I give that, uh, that present to my, to my stepmom, I, I will, I will let you know. What her reaction is. I mean we need the audio of it on, on the pod. Like. See what I can do. I'll see if I can uh. Sobbing. I'll see if I can get that. I love this book so much. Here's the thing.

It's the best gift anybody's ever given me. If, if she doesn't. I will. Okay. I will. Like, why

don't you that's gonna happen. That's definitely gonna happen. All right, well, Josh at voicecoaches. com is the easiest way to get in touch with anyone of us. That's josh at voicecoaches. com. You can shoot me an email, questions, comments, concerns, anything you want us to discuss. You guys have been great about sending questions our way and I am working on a few of them as we speak.

Um, but, uh, but yeah, reach on out if you have any questions, anything you want us to discuss because it's not just our show. It's yours as well. It's yours as well. So, uh, Marissa, enjoy your non weekend, or enjoy your non exciting weekend, which sounds exciting. It's very exciting. And, uh, enjoy your time on your deck.

Enjoy the weather. Hopefully everyone is doing well. Thanks so much to all of you for tuning in this week. There it is! There it is! I wanted to cap it off. I wanted to cap it off. We got a hot one right here! So, um, yeah. Thanks again for tuning in this week. We will be back next week, and uh, we'll be sure to talk with you then.

Until then, so long everyone. Visit voicecoaches. com for more voiceover news and information.

It’s one of life’s big questions. Where do I fit in this world? At the risk of getting existential, Josh and Marissa look to answer this question. Specifically, how to tell where you fit in the world of voice over.