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Voice Coaches Radio #534 – Your Questions Answered

Voice coaches, radio, everything voiceover. Welcome to a brand new episode of voice coaches radio. My name is Marissa kicking off June and style. Uh, listen, I mean, even if I don't have any plans in the summer, it's kind of like things sort of fall into place. Everybody's in a good mood because like vitamin D, uh, you know, and if it's a beautiful weekend and people just have a couple extra hours free, it's like, hey, you want to light up the grill?

I'm never going to say no to lighting up the grill. Unless I'm in charge of it, then, then listen, then there's potential problems. Like I had a little get together at my house last summer and now mind you, I did get hit in the head not long ago and like my brain isn't always right, but I guess I was probably just a little overstimulated with so many people at the house that.

Definitely left two burgers on the grill until they were charcoal. Like it was, they fell apart. They were so, I don't know. I'm just, don't leave me in charge of your grill. That's really what I'm getting at, but I'm always down for a good time. So also invite me to your barbecue. Uh, but I wanted to go ahead and jump right on in and tackle a bunch of your questions because here's the thing I get a lot of the same questions, you know, as, as people are starting in the industry, they have a lot of, uh, Similar things bouncing around in their head.

And I thought it'd be good to go ahead and just tackle a bunch of them in one episode. And just, um, you know, kind of let you feel a bit more comfortable about your mindset too. Like knowing that you're not alone in, in these questions, you know, everybody's got the same ones. So, uh, let's just go ahead and let me see here.

You know, I, I've got a list of them. Um, let me see. This one is from Amanda. How will I know what to bring to a. I've just been handed. Well, here's the thing, you know, when you're starting, it always, it takes a second to wrap your head around anything. And, and it might, it might forever. Um, you know, not, not in the same ways though.

You know, like, When you are first starting, you know, you're, you're questioning your own abilities, you're questioning your conversationalism, you're questioning your acting ability, you know, so of course it's going to take a little bit longer for you to be comfortable in how you want to present something.

But what I'll tell you is, even if you go into a studio, you've been hired for a project, you get that script in the moment, guess what? You do that first read, they're going to guide you. You know, they're going to guide you to where they want to get you and, um, that's where the direction and the teamwork comes into play.

But I'll, I'll tell you this right now, it ends up being like any other skill that you develop over time. You know, if I am, cause a lot of the stuff I do is from home, so I don't really have anybody else to guide me unless they want to give me some feedback afterwards. So if I say get a script in my email and I have a few minutes, I'll run down to my studio to go do it.

I mean, sometimes I'm not even. Like, I'll open it and I'll read it that first go, that first recording, and just see what happens. And within a read or two, I know where I want to take it. You know, I might tweak it here and there a little bit. I might do four or five takes of it. But, I'm tweaking it along the way, and I really relatively quickly have an idea, like, okay.

All right. I know the tone I want to bring to this. I know if I want to give more energy, or if I want to put a little sass in there, or if I want to go ahead and bring a character to it. Um, you know, so it, it does end up kind of being like riding a bike at some point, you know, you just, you get on and you ride and you don't fall off and you kind of just get guided the rest of the way, uh, you know, to whoever wants you to get.

To wherever they want you to be in the project. So, it does get a lot easier. It can be a little challenging at first. But, you know, figuring out what to bring. Read it once through. Read it once through. Give yourself an idea. Like, who's my audience? Who am I talking to? Who, who's gonna benefit from what I'm providing?

You know, and, and start there. It's always a good start. Now let me see what else we got here. Uh, Ethel has asked, How long does it take to get your first opportunity? That is different for every person. I'll be honest. You know, I'm a little bit of an anomaly. Uh, is how I like to put it because, you know, for me, when I was breaking, I can't say breaking into the industry.

That's not even a thing. Uh, but when I was starting, Um, I, I was at this school for radio stuff and, and I just like, I was working very hard. So I don't want to discredit myself that I have a very, very high tendency of doing that. But my, my teachers saw my progress. They saw my hard work. They passed it along to somebody.

And then next thing you knew, I was actually getting hired for a part time opportunity within a month of being at that school. So, you know, Again, it comes back to the hard work. So, I am a firm believer that what you put in is what you get back. If, if you think that you've done enough, do more. Keep, just keep doing.

Because, and that might be the hustler mentality in me. I've been a hustler since single digits. Uh, but, you know, if, if you really, you know, you want to do this, and you want to go full force, like, Go full force for you, but then take it that extra step, you know, and, and feel like, you know, how many people I have, I send things to, if you've sent it to 50, set it to a hundred, you know, if you've sent it to a hundred, send it to 150, you know, because it sounds like, oh my God, that's a lot of people, but in reality, it's not that, you know, it's, it's really not, you know, when I was in the process of in between radio gigs right before this pandemic and, and then, and then kind of stopped because like there were no jobs for a while.

I sent out my demo. Now remind, just a reminder, like I've been doing this for, at that point, like a good 16 years. I've already got a very nice network of people that I work with. I still sent my demo out to probably 200 different people in stations that I knew that were in areas that I would like to work.

Because, I just wanted to get my stuff in front of anybody because you didn't know if they could use you or if they knew somebody who could use you or if they knew that their station couldn't, but a different station in that building could, so it's like you always want to send it to what you feel like is probably too much because that is how you get in front of people and that is how opportunity can present itself.

So how long does it take? How much effort are you putting in? That's always the big question. Let's see. I mean, what is your favorite part of the business? I don't know who sent this question in. What is my favorite part? Um. I guess, I, uh, God, that's hard. Why are you asking me that question, man? Um, uh, it's different for, I think, I enjoy something out of everything I do, I think.

You know, when it comes to the voice work that I do, I love that it's a variety of stuff. It's not me just being pigeon held to like one type of work. Um, So it's like I do radio, but I do commercials, and I do audiobooks, and I love every little bit of it. I don't always love how things are written, I will tell you that.

Uh, some people are not the best writers in the world. But I, uh, I do love performing. So I think, you know, being able to have that creative outlet is always very important. Uh, on the other side of things, I love being on a stage. And that has nothing to do with voiceover and everything to do with my radio background.

And it's one of those things that I miss terribly. There's Something about that energy that gets fed back to you. That is just unlike anything else. It is unreal. Um, and I, I need to get back on a stage soon. The last time I was on stage was back in October for one of the stations I'm on in Syracuse. And I'm telling you to get that crowd going is crazy, but otherwise it is just being able to be creative.

Having that creative outlet that I, especially what I knew, I didn't really have it during the, the heart of the pandemic when we were in lockdown. Oh man, I missed it so much. Um, you know, and it, it, it's like, you know, when you start doing it for as long as I have been, it becomes a part of you. It's like your identity.

And when all of a sudden it's like stripped from you, it's like, who am I? Uh, what, what am I even here for? What is my purpose? Um, so, so yeah, so definitely getting the creative outlet out. Um, ba ba ba. Um, I've had this one asked a few times, actually, this is from, uh, Jason. Should I take acting classes on top of voice classes?

You know, we've had students come through the program and, you know, a lot of our big main focus is getting you to break some bad habits. of your, the way that you read out loud and learning how to be just you in those scripts. And that is such a challenge at first. But yeah, I mean, we know being a voice actor, there is acting involved.

So how do you become a better actor? I'm never going to discourage you from wanting to advance your education and your skill level. Like if you want to take acting classes, heck yeah, go for it. Why not? You know, it's just like, um, a lot of this gets overlapped with like voice acting gets overlapped with acting.

It gets overlapped with like music and singing. Um, so like, I mean, any of that kind of stuff, I just think it's very beneficial for you. You get more comfortable too. And with you and you're in being you and. Potentially being other people, you know, when you're actually turning into a character or something like if you're somebody who wants to do character work of course take acting classes because I think that is such a It's such a great experience to understand how you can bring a character to life because not everybody gets that it's it's a little bit um hard to really truly Wrap your head around that at first.

So yeah, I mean Jason, anybody else who's been thinking that, do it. Acting classes are not a bad idea. How often should I refresh a demo? This is from Alberta. That depends on how much you've been progressing. You know, I, I will tell you, like, demos have changed so much over the course of time. I remember my first demo was like three and a half minutes.

Now it's like two. And that just goes back to everybody's attention spans being so short these days. But, you know, when it comes to you, like, if you're, if you're rather relatively new, you've only been doing this maybe a year, six months or so, you take so many giant steps forward in What you are doing, you know, you take so many giant steps forward in your, your education and in your experience and your skill growth that you probably, if you do a demo rather quickly into what you're doing, then six months, eight months later, you might notice like, wow, I don't feel like I sound like that anymore.

Go ahead. Make something new. Whether it has to be, you know, just some, we'll say fake scripts that you're going and creating something with, or it's actual work that that you've done that you can create a demo with, I mean either is fine. You know, it's just presenting The you of today, you know, and then the more that you grow, the, the, the next demo you make it's, it's really, you've got to be paying attention.

And that's where it's like, it's very helpful to build an ear for how you sound. And the ways to do that is to, you know, be recording yourself and listening back and those kinds of things. But, you know, when you build that ear and you can understand your growth process, it's like, okay, maybe now is the time.

So everybody's going to be different there. But, you know, and, and if you've, you know, maybe you have been doing a lot of work, you know, you want to showcase those kind of things. So, you know, pay attention to how you are and, and where, where you were and where you are now and then base it on, on that. Um, and yeah, get, get those demos made.

Um, you know, as you, as you continue to learn and you have home studios and stuff, you'll be able to really hone in and create your own demo, uh, real quick with, with stuff that you've maybe done so you can show off some of that work. But yeah, that's a bunch of your questions, you know, maybe I'll tackle even more in the next episode.

Uh, but if you do have more that you'd like me to tackle, then definitely hit up info at voicecoaches. com would love to hear your thoughts, uh, would love to hear any topics that you would like discussed and, uh, of course. You know, say, hey, why not? Info at voicecoaches. com. Another episode is coming your way next week, guys.

Stay safe.

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This week on Voice Coaches Radio, Marissa answers a bunch of the questions you’ve asked! Got another, ask your own now: [email protected]