By Stephanie Ciccarelli
November 3, 2009
Join Voice Over Expert Anthony Reece in his lecture, "Mirror Mirror - Being True to Yourself as a Voice Talent." As a voice over talent you have to be honest and recognize that you are not right for every part. When you're in a position to cast consider whether or not you fit the part or if someone else should be auditioned and cast. Would you hire yourself out of a batch of voices? If the shoe doesn't fit, don't try it on! Anthony teaches you how to critique your own voice over work and be objective at all times.
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 Anthony Reece.
Anthony Reece: Hello, I'm Anthony Reece for VO 101 and Voices.com. Thanks for taking the time to listen to my podcast, "Mirror Mirror, Being True to Yourself as a Voice Talent". So after 20 years as a voiceover talent, I've also been a casting director, directed or produced hundreds of projects using other voice talent. Many of those times my then studio partners even employees would ask why don't just cut the track and save us some money, logical thinking from my business or partnership perspective.
However, being season voiceover talent the answer was always simple. I just didn't fit the part or I didn't fit the voice that I was even looking for. Wouldn't I've like to keep the money in house? You bet, of course I would of but as a voiceover talent, I have to be honest with myself as a director as well. Do I fit the part? Would I hire myself out of batch of voices cast? If my answer is not ego based and is no, then it's time to hire another voice talent and I usually would hold a casting.
You see, there's nothing wrong with a talent passing on a gig. If the shoe does not fit the foot why tried it on. You don't have to be Cinderella. I mean think of it this way, if you run across a Craigslist ad for a casting which read, "Wanted male and female beach models for a national suntan oil commercial". Would you really show up to the casting in your swim trunks and that flower beach ball? Maybe some of you would but for the rest of us out here, extra butter please.
Look my friends the truth here is this, it sound simple, yet it is one of the hardest most difficult things for us creative artist to accept. See the need to critic our own voiceover work is mandatory in this business. Turning away or passing on an audition? Me? Never, even when we know deep down inside our hungry soul, even after our family says, "Wow! You sound just like that". Even when a little squeaky voice we all have in our head is laughing so loud, the cat even leaves the room. We still are pulled to send in a costume sample. Yet even when we honestly know, we have no chance of landing the gig. We still click the mouse. Maybe you are great for industrial narrations but just can't do characters or maybe you can do characters but just not impressions of characters. Whatever it is you do best as they say, just do it.
I can't tell you how many times I've had a specific casting I've sent out for a particular voice style, only to have about 80% of those responses come somewhere out of right field . I mean the first thing that would run across my mind as does every casting director is, "Can't this talent read?" Obviously this talent did not read the audition specs or worst yet, they just don't a damn about my time.
You see my friends this is a good way to also burn bridges. As voiceover must know our limits and be objective to our own work at all times. There's no room for ego in this business. For example, I recall onetime when my studio some years ago was casting male talent and we were looking for a very deep, raspy, mysterious type of voice. It was going to be use for a new game trailer. I didn't even bother to lay on a track myself. So, I did a casting. I was very clear to the requirements. However, within days almost all of the responses were talent who couldn't even come close to the part, yet they're still attempted, now a pure desperation to be that voice.
Look between us, give me break. I mean one must know when to go for it and when to click delete. Easier said than done, right? Alright, I'll admit it. In my early days, I too did every audition sent this side of the Atlantic. I mean most of us voice talent, when you think about it are frustrated entertainers, musicians, singers, actors, DJ's, producers and even advertising or talent agents who just have never really got that one big break, so we all end up on radio selling advertising, message on whole systems or yes doing voiceover to fill the void.
Now don't get me wrong. I love this stuff but one can go hungry if one does not focus on the quality of auditions and not the quantity. In other words like your friends and your dentists, pick your weekly auditions wisely. Then when you do select one that you honestly feel you have a shoot at landing, give it your best. Try to spend quality time on any audition that fits your ability. Don't just rip and read the copy as we say and send it out. Now don't be fooled into thinking that this voiceover stuff is about doing as many auditions as you can or it's like one of those casting halls or cattle calls for a movie.
Many times it's about having a certain look in movie but in voiceovers, it is almost always about fitting a certain voice part, nothing more. This is not NASA people or rocket science. Just do as many your qualified auditions as you can because there in is your best chance of getting the work, we so desperately all need. Don't try to recast or recreate a casting to fit your voice and then send in a sample that is obviously not even close to what they're looking for. It's always okay to practice an audition sent your way but that does not mean the track has to ever see light of day. Sometime it's okay just to use it as practice period.
Just be honest with yourself and only tackle voiceover audition that honestly fit your age demo, voice style, range or your acting ability. If not in the end along with looking like a complete amateur tone depth or some egotistical voice talent, the joke is on you. See because after all it is your own time really being wasted. Did you know the average sample is listened to for maybe three to five seconds and if it's not right? Click, it's deleted and sent to the recycle bin. So whose time are you really wasting? So here is the $50,000 secret, come close. Sometimes the hard love in life has to come from ourselves.
I'm Anthony Reece for VO 101 and Voices.com. If you want to reach, feel free to e-mail me at student@VO101.com or visit VO101.com for some personal couching. Thanks for listening and the next time an audition comes in, just to be true to yourself.
Julie-Ann Dean: Thank you for joining us. To learn more about the special guest featured in this Voices.com podcast visit the voiceover expects 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.
Anthony Reece, Casting, Voice Work, Voice Acting, Business, Voice Over Coach, Voices.com
After a lifetime in gaming, radio, television, theatre, music, entertainment & animation, the resume of Anthony Reece is vast including hands-on experience as a audio and sound track producer, creative director, studio manager, broadcast program director and producer, casting director and voice actor. Mr. Reece has "been there - done that". Anthony has personally cast, directed, produced and/or voiced hundreds of cartoons, games, commercials, animations and just about every type of media there is today. This diverse, creative background assures you're working with a studio, directed by a professional in all areas of broadcasting, gaming, animation, performance and media.
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Voice Over Experts is the industry's most downloaded educational podcast featuring renowned voice over coaches from US, Canada and abroad. Join us each week for pearls of wisdom and tricks of the trade to improve your voice over career. Listen online or subscribe in iTunes to hear from leading experts in the field of voice-overs.