Voice Over Experts The Voice Over Training Podcast

Taking Your Voice From 2nd Place To 1st

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

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Join Voice Over Expert Phyllis K. Day as she explores "Taking Your Voice From 2nd Place To 1st". In this episode, Phyllis works with award-winning voice over professional Vicki Amorose and spots the X, helping Vicki to find her natural voice and retrieve her vocal roots once lost in the mists of time.

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Tags:

Phyllis K. Day, Voice Coaching, Voice Overs, Voice, Voice Acting, Visual Coaching, Finding the X, Vicki Amorose

Transcript of Taking Your Voice From 2nd Place to 1st

[Opening Music]

Julie-Ann Dean: Welcome to Voiceover Experts brought to you by Voices.com, the number one voiceover marketplace. Voiceover Experts brings you tips, pearls of wisdom and techniques from top instructors, authors and performers in the field of voiceover. Join us each week to discover tricks of the trade that will help you to develop your craft and prosper as a career voiceover talent. It's never been easier to learn, perform, and succeed from the privacy of your own home and your own pace. This is truly an education you won't find anywhere else.

This week, Voices.com is pleased to present Phyllis K. Day.

Phyllis K. Day: Hi. I'm Phyllis K. Day looking for your X, that is, whatever is in your way vocally. First of all, if you have e-mailed me and have not heard back, please try again. Voicecoach@phyllisk.com.

As some of you already know, I have a rather unique way of coaching because I get a visual picture of your voice, I can also see what you're doing with your throat and neck or your face and how to fix your sound, or if you're allowing something that is in positive like sadness or anger to show in your voice, or if you're not really bringing your feelings in a good way to your delivery, that is your sound as manufactured.

It might sound great. You might be getting even national work and you may be of - maybe you've a voiceover for decades, but if you're not really the natural you, I'll probably hear it. When you can see sound like I do, it's amazing but it could be revealed. Some voices, they don't reveal anything except that they are blocking something and that in itself makes me want to ask, "Why?" Here's an example, Karen Carpenter.

Many of you have been hearing her songs every December for years and years. She has a lovely clear voice or I guess, I should say she had a lovely clear voice. It's darn near perfect but, there's no real feeling of her own. It's as if she's a machine. I like listening to her voice but it's very hard looking and well, it's hard to describe except that it is, as if she's mechanical, like she's not human. And as most of us know, she did struggle emotionally her whole life, her short life. I'd imagine it would have been so difficult for her to go deeper and let those feelings out. I wish she'd survived. I wish I could have worked with her.

Unfortunately, most singers or voice actors at a high point in their careers probably aren't going to come to me and if they do, perhaps they just can't or they won't push themselves even further. Why not? Well, it's really painful for some people to leave that perfect place where everything is very ordered in. You can control it in a certain way and then you have to say, "Okay, I'm not going to do that anymore. I'm going to be who I really am. I'm going to put my reality with all my feelings out there right in front of the mic." You know, you have to face who you are to do that.

Today however, we're going to talk about a wonderful and brave lady who did allow me to work with her and bring out even more of her lovely voice and abilities. And yes, she is someone that is up there in the VO world and for me, it's been very exciting. I have really wanted to have a woman who's well-established in voiceovers to put herself through my gauntlet and come out the other side, totally herself. Here's how it happened.

I've done a few podcasts that contained before and after clips of men who'd been in the biz for decades. On the Voices.com page where the voiceover experts podcasts are found, people can post messages. One of the messages after one of my podcasts was from Vicki Amorose who said she'd like to hear a podcast about a season successful female who'd been working in voiceovers who went through a transformation with me or as I caught, finding that X.

Well, you can imagine how I felt when I saw her post. I thought Vicki Amorose, she's the gal who was the female 60 Second Pitch winner. I remember her well. Yes, nice voice she has, very nice voice, lovely voice but you know me, nothing is hidden. And to me, her voice sounded manufactured to some extent. I knew there was something else there. I knew she could go farther and I knew that I could help. So after very carefully worded e-mail followed by a short eval, she agreed to work with me.

I explained to Vicki why I thought she was not using all of her talent, explaining how her throat changed when she began to speak on my mic and where she was placing her voice in her head and how. If she just keep her throat more relaxed and allow her sound to fall naturally to the bottom of her head, she'd sound more resonant. Her voice would be more resonant, it would have more feeling and it would sound like she cared more about her listeners. Even on the phone sometimes, she'd slip into what she called her "la-ti-da" voice. And that was part of Vicki's X.

Fortunately, Vicki was able to pinpoint why she was doing what I called, putting her voice on pins. She pushed in proper voice up in such a way that it was perfect but, not connected to her emotionally. She'd shift her sound up into her heard and then she'd lose her resonance. At first she found it challenging to figure out what I meant. I explained to her British accent was not on pins and seem to be produced more naturally than her North American accent even though she isn't British. She's North American.

Vicki told me that one thing I asked her, broke it all open. It was, whoever told you or where did you get the idea that your voice isn't good enough the way it is. You know, your natural voice. That's when we had the revelation about her mom propping up her Southern accent because her mom was ashamed of how her accent sounded. And Vicki also had other assumptions about how she had to sound to be a voiceover artist. And now, she knew she could make the change and use her face and throat the same for the British as the English. For some reason, the British accent wasn't affected by this early assumptions of voice. Maybe because the British voice wasn't really Vicki in her mind and she could just let down and be natural kind of by accident.

If you heard the podcast about Joe Bob, I called it his sneeze voice? Well this was kind of Vicki's sneeze voice, this British accent. So we took that and ran with it. We only did two sessions. The difference in how she sounds is slight but significant. Her humanity comes through. Most people won't be able to put their finger on the difference but she now has that certain something that brings you closer and makes you feel something when you hear her voice. The only part of her 60 Second Pitch which yes, she redid for me was the British voice. It didn't change but the voice was as it should be already. So now, section by section. Vicki's before and after of parts of her 60 Second Pitch.

Vicki Amorose: You could say I talk for a living but that would only be about half the story. I talk and I record my voice and my voice is for sale to just about anybody who needs it.

You could say I talk for a living but that would only be about half the story. I talk and I record my voice and my voice is for sale to just about anybody who needs it.

Every business needs a voice. You might need a professional voice for your on hold message. A radio, TV commercial, a business presentation video, an educational film, a talking Teddy bear. You get the idea.

Every business needs a voice. You might need a professional voice for your on hold message. A radio, TV commercial, a business presentation video, an educational film, a talking Teddy bear. You get the idea.

I am a voice talent and just as every business is different, I vary my voice to represent you. You may need friendly customer service oriented, sincere and comforting or perhaps, your business would sound best with an accent.

I am a voice talent and just as every business is different, I vary my voice to represent you. You may need friendly customer service oriented, sincere and comforting or perhaps, your business would sound best with an accent.

A big part of my job is understanding what my clients need because after all, I am their voice. I record jobs and auditions from my home studio or professional sound studios and I send my voice all over the world. I'm Vicki Amorose, voiceofvicki.com and my voice is for sale.

A big part of my job is understanding what my clients need because after all, I am their voice. I record jobs and auditions from my home studio or professional sound studios and I send my voice all over the world. I'm Vicki Amorose, voiceofvicki.com and my voice is for sale.

Phyllis K. Day: Here's another example of before and after of Vicki's recent Comcast spot.

Vicki Amorose: Comcast is hiring hundreds of men and women for all kinds of exciting careers.

Comcast is hiring hundreds of men and women for all kinds of exciting careers.

Comcast is shaping the future of communications. Join us!

Comcast is shaping the future of communications. Join us!

Phyllis K. Day: Again, she's so good that even the before sounds great, a slight change but significant. One that makes the difference in a tie breaker. No more coming in number two for Vicki. It's number one all the way. Would you like me to identify your X? I'm always glad to do a short evaluation as my pay-it-forward for all those who helped me in the past. Please send your e-mails to Voicecoach@phyllisk.com. See you next time and I do mean see you.

Julie-Ann Dean: Thank you for joining us. To learn more about the special guest featured in this Voices.com podcast, visit the Voiceover Experts show notes at Podcasts.Voices.com/VoiceoverExperts. Remember to stay subscribed.

If you're a first time listener, you can subscribe for free to this podcast in the Apple iTunes Podcast Directory or by visiting Podcasts.Voices.com. To start your voiceover career online, go to Voices.com and register for a voice talent membership today.

[Closing Music]


Links from today's show:

Phyllis K. Day
Phyllis K. Day on Voices.com
Vicki Amorose

Your Instructor this week:

Voice Over Expert Phyllis K. Day

Phyllis K. DayPhyllis is a freelance technical writer and voice professional with over thirty years experience. A Broadcast Journalism graduate of UNC Chapel Hill, Phyllis became an anchor a few months later on the North Carolina News Network. She has also anchored on Business Radio Network and American Forum Radio Network in Colorado. Her voice has been heard nation-wide and she was also the narrator for a show heard daily on NPR and Armed Forces Radio in the 1990s. Phyllis was part of a mentoring program for several years at North Carolina State University for the students in NC State's radio program. She currently runs personalized coaching workshops, in addition to narrations for e-learning and business presentations.

Did you enjoy Phyllis' episode? Leave a comment with your thoughts!

Related Topics: Finding the X, Vicki Amorose, Visual Coaching, Voice, Voice Acting, Voice Coaching, voice over experts, Voice Overs

Comments


    GREAT! Episode...thanks so very much!!!
    *)O(*

    Posted by:
    • Crystina Wyler
    • January 22, 2009 1:13 AM

      Hi it’s Vicki Amorose, Phyllis’s student in this episode. I just want to say how much I benefited from her coaching. Phyllis is uncannily perceptive and accurate, and she taught me to hear myself better. She referred to me as an ‘established’ talent, but really I’m just trying to keep on working. And because we voice talents send out so many auditions without benefit of a director or even the tiniest amount of feedback, it is very easy for our ‘inner director’ to start giving bad advice. Phyllis re-tuned my ability to hear myself and thus direct myself, which is critical to any VO performance. I would not hesitate to call on her again.
      As Oscar Wilde said, “Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.”

      Posted by:
      • vicki amorose
      • January 22, 2009 10:42 PM

        Phyllis...thanks so much for the podcast. I'm getting ready to re-do parts of my demo and your comments about accepting one's voice as it comes has given me a lot to think about. And now I have more questions to ask my coach before I go ahead with my plans!! Thanks again!

        Posted by:

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