By Stephanie Ciccarelli
July 17, 2007
Join Voice Over Expert Joan Baker with guest Rudy Gaskins as they discuss "The Myth of Rejection." Discover a new philosophy on how you can regard auditions, react positively to rejection, and embrace each audition as a learning experience and opportunity for growth.
Joan Baker, Myth of Rejection, The Voice Over Master Immersion Class, Learning Annex, Rudy Gaskins, Push Creative, Secrets of Voiceover Success, Don LaFontaine, NYC.
Julie-Ann Dean: Welcome to "Voice Over Experts," brought to you by Voices.com, the number one voice over marketplace. "Voice Over Experts" brings you tips, pearls of wisdom, and techniques from top instructors, authors, and performers in the field of voice over.
Join us each week to discover tricks of the trade that will help you to develop your craft and prosper as a career voice over talent. It's never been easier to learn, perform, and succeed from the privacy of your own home and at your own pace. This is truly an education you won't find anywhere else.
This week, Voices.com is pleased to present Joan Baker.
Joan Baker: Hi! I'm Joan Baker, and I'm here to share with you what I call "voice over wisdom." I have a great nugget of wisdom for you today. But first, let me tell you a little about myself. I'm a working voice over actor out of New York City and author of "Secrets of Voice Over Success," which is available in bookstores and on Amazon.com.
I'm also the creator of the "Voice Over Master Immersion Class." I work with small groups on developing voice over technique, audition skills, working with directors, and of course, getting and working with agents.
In fact, part of the training you undergo in the "Voice Over Master Immersion Class" includes one-on-one audition training with a top New York talent agent. Let's face it, once you have the craft down, getting an agent is a crucial step to launching a successful voice over career.
You can learn more about the "Voice Over Master Immersion Class" on my website at www.JoanBaker.tv.
Now, to get back to that voice over wisdom I want to share today. There's a very inspiring point of view on the concept of "rejection." The job of voice over actors depends on auditioning, putting everything on the line in the most personal way.
It's often very difficult to deal with the experience of not getting the job. No matter how many times we audition - and there are always a lot more auditions than jobs - it's a never-ending challenge to keep going in the face of not getting the job. Or, as many people would call it - rejection.
Today, I have a guest who, I believe, will offer some profound insight and comfort, and will give you fuel for fighting the good fight. My guest, Rudy Gaskins, is the President and Executive Creative Director of Push Creative Advertising. It is a New York-based advertising agency specializing in commercials and promos for TV and radio.
Rudy has written and produced thousands of spots. He has directed such notable celebrities as Barbara Walters, Bob Costas, Marv Albert, the late Peter Jennings, Nancy Grace, Dianne Sawyer, and numerous non-celebrity voice talents. Rudy is an Emmy Award-winning producer and is joining me today to talk about the whole notion of rejection.
So, hello, Rudy Gaskins! Welcome and thank you for being my guest.
Rudy Gaskins: Hey, Joan. I'm glad to be here. This is fun for me.
Joan: Good! So, let's have some fun.
Rudy: I'm all yours.
Joan: So, Rudy, you are someone who has not only directed many voice over actors, but who is heavily involved in the process of auditioning and casting for voice over actors. What is your take on the idea of rejection?
Rudy: I can tell you right now, I've got some good news for voice over actors and actors in general.
Rudy: Very good news. Rejection has been a theme of the actor's plight since the beginning of acting. For some actors, the idea of rejection is, absolutely, terrifying. It hinders their freedom to perform at an audition. It keeps them up at nights worrying about what they did wrong, why they weren't liked or accepted.
The idea of rejection means it, actually, diminishes the actor on almost every level. Now, consider that the vast majority of an actor's work is the audition process, and you may do 20 or 30 auditions before you ever book a job. That's a hell of a lot of time spent feeling rejected.
Joan: That's true. But you did say you had good news, right?
Rudy: Absolutely. In my view, it's time to call a spade a spade. The idea of rejection is a myth. There is no single actor who needs to spend one more second on rejection as an aspect of the actor's craft or plight or whatever.
I've worked with the top casting agents, talent agents, and advertising clients on an almost daily basis. I can tell you, I've never once witnessed anyone engaged in a process of rejection. Auditioning and casting is a process of selection.
Joan: OK. I can see where you're going with this. But, help the voice over actors out there or, really, anyone or performer who auditions to embody what you're saying. Clearly, this notion of rejection runs deep for a lot of people, and many actors are completely crippled by it.
Rudy: Yes. Let me break it down for you like a fraction.
Joan: OK, baby.
Rudy: Your role as a voice over talent starts with the marketing and advertising process. That process begins with analyzing the product that will require a radio or TV spot. Whether the product is beer, toothpaste or a car or the voice of a new video game or an animated character, the process of selection is the same.
It goes something like this: First the agency works with the client or advertiser to fully understand the personality of a product. Then we imagine - the key word is imagine - we imagine the personality of that product in the form of a voice or a script. Is it male or female, young or mature, casual, authoritative, in charge, seductive, et cetera?
We imagine the voice that we think best reflects the personality of this product. The voice we believe will best represent and sell the product. But at this point, the voice we are now seeking is a figment of our imaginations. It doesn't really exist until we hear it.
Now, naturally, there's give and take when it comes to making the final selection of a real voice out there in the world. But you can begin to see, as an actor, that what the advertiser is looking for couldn't possibly have anything to do with you, personally. That's number one.
Number two, when we start auditioning voices, we won't know when we have the right voice until we hear it.
Joan: So, in other words, it's like when I go to pick a dress at a store. I don't know what the dress is going to look like before I get there, but I have an idea in my head of what kind of dress I want. Then, when I see it, I know.
Rudy: That's exactly it. You don't go shopping to reject items. You go to select items.
Rudy: That's exactly what happens with casting and auditioning. We engage in a process of selection - selecting the voice that best meet the criteria of the advertisement.
Now, clearly, one's ability to interpret the script, act the part, perform the emotional values of the words, will play a big part in whether his voice is selected. But the essential quality of the actor's voice is largely out of his control.
Each of us has the voice that we have. That voice either matches the advertiser's idea, or it doesn't. If it does, it will be selected and the audition process is over. The other 50 voice over actors who were not selected, it's simply that; they weren't selected. Rejection never entered into it.
Now, that's now to say that I haven't heard auditions where talent was obviously lacking.
Joan: Right. [laughs]
Rudy: But that's a whole different conversation.
Joan: That's a very good point, too. You have to train and develop your craft before you get on the field with the professional players. If you don't have a certain basic level of professional training, you could be eliminated from the process on that basis, in spite of having great vocal quality.
Rudy: That's right. So, the good news... The good news is that actors can now know deep in their hearts and deep in their minds that it's always about selection and never about rejection.
Joan: I love that. I think that's fabulous. That's great, Rudy. Thank you. You know that really is voice over wisdom and a powerful insight for actors to have.
I'll admit that I, too, have been plagued over the years, beating myself up over and over why I was rejected every time I didn't win an audition or book a job. I'd not only beat myself up, but I'd go into fix mode - trying somehow to repair what I thought was wrong with me.
Once you buy into the notion of rejection, it's very personal and very demoralizing. On the other hand, it's very liberating to realize that it's a myth, a self-imposed punishment that no actor has to take on. So, thank you, again, Rudy, for your wisdom and your generosity.
Rudy: You're very welcome. It was my pleasure to be here.
Joan: Thank you, Rudy. And for all you voice over actors out there and people that are breaking into the field, please visit www.joanbaker.tv for more information on the Voice Over Master "Immersion" Class. That's www.joanbaker.tv. And, also, for information about Rudy Gaskins and Push Creative Advertising, you can log onto... Hit it, Rudy.
Rudy: PushCreative.tv. Ba-domp-bomp.
Julie-Ann: Thank you for joining us. To learn more about this special guest featured in this Voices.com podcast, visit the Voice Over Experts show notes at podcasts.voices.com/voiceoverexperts. Remember to stay subscribed.
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Joan Baker is a sound to be reckoned with as one of New York's premier voice-over actors and creator of the wildly successful "Make Millions With Your Voice" through the Learning Annex, the ongoing Immersion Class Workshops and for the first time ever Directing & Working with Voice-over Talent at the Promax/BDA TV Conference 2007 was introduced to producers, writers, TV station managers and VO agents to a sell out crowd. Joan is also the author of "SECRETS OF VOICEOVER SUCCESS", a compelling collection of stories about the top voice-over actors in the industry, including the one and only, Don LaFontaine and many more. All proceeds benefit the Alzheimer's Foundation.
Clients include ESPN, Showtime, Chase Bank, American Express, ABC News and Sports, Lifetime, Lexus, SPIKE TV and Disney (she positively ROARED for the Lion King's national radio campaign!). Other credits include voiceover for HBO Family, WNBC, Nickelodeon, Delta Airlines, Fox 5, NBA Entertainment, NICK at NITE, Imus in the Morning, the ABC Super Sign in Times Square and countless more. Joan's extraordinary talent has generated the spotlight with feature articles in the Hollywood Reporter, Back Stage, Media Week, ADWEEK and Broadcasting & Cable to mention a few.
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