By Stephanie Ciccarelli
February 28, 2009
I had the chance to really dig into this latest book about voice over, and believe you me, it's different from many I've read to date!
Set up with a foreword by the late Don LaFontaine, Thomas and RofÃ©'s Voice For Hire (Published September 2008) hits a grand slam, knocking the ball right out of the park, serving as a formidable resource that will help the determined open the door to voice over success and stay in the room once they get there.
Learn more now.
Right from the opening pages, Voice For Hire sets the stage for how competitive and fulfilling a career in voice acting can be, and according to the great, late Don LaFontaine, proves itself a competent ally to the voice over artist and a practical guide on how to navigate the minefield that is professional voice overs.
Written over the course of six years by Randy Thomas and Peter RofÃ©, this 176 page book is unique whereby it invites you into the professional lives of not one but two successful voice artists, their complementary yet unique backgrounds, and spoon feeds fascinating, conversational real world expertise by the bowl full to the reader, a style that has the pleasant effect of making Voice For Hire instantly digestible in addition to an excellent means to live vicariously through the experiences of its authors.
Covering everything about voice over including its niches, how to dissect and interpret copy, audio recording technology, and the business both online and off, Voice For Hire truly shines in the areas of commercials, promos and live announce. Character voice acting also was richly addressed for animation and video games. Guest experts, with their names prefixed by "Voice For Hire" provide insights and useful tips to apply to their field of study, including Barry Zate, Patrick Fraley, Mike Pollock, Randy West, Ken Levine, Joe Cipriano, Brian Lee, and commentary from the "Voice Whisperer", Marice Tobias.
Tips for auditioning are also included from talent such as Don LaFontaine, Mark Avery, Billy Vera, Michael Sheehy, Jennifer Hale and featured anecdotes from numerous others.
Since this is merely a review and I can't give too much information away, I will now share more of what I personally gleaned in other ways through Randy and Peter's book.
I have known both Peter and Randy for a couple of years, and having read their book and listened to the accompanying CD (66 minutes long), I was pleased to discover more about them, their careers and how partnering on this project has enriched their own lives and teaching methods.
For those of you unfamiliar with Randy Thomas, she is the first woman to ever announced at the Oscars (Randy's announced a record 7 times), the Emmys, and the Tonys, paving the way for other female announcers in the fields of live announce and promos. Randy is the voice of some of the biggest broadcast networks for radio and television, is the voice of Hooked On Phonics, and also has achieved prominence announcing for the TV program Entertainment Tonight and The Insider, dubbed as the most recognized female announcer in America.
Peter RofÃ©, as I quickly learned, is an amazing character voice artist on top of the astounding commercial voice artist and teacher I already knew he was. This became apparent on the CD (which I must say, differed greatly from the book which was a welcome surprise!) and seemed more "off the cuff" with the professionalism of being produced in a polished workshop environment. I love how Peter takes his background in musical theatre and applies it directly to finding the musicality in a read.
If there is one reason you should read Voice For Hire, it should be to learn the nitty gritty information that only years of experience can teach you. You know those questions you wanted to ask in a classroom setting but didn't because you were afraid of looking dumb? Voice For Hire is full of little tidbits that answer those questions without even posing the question, just letting you discover the information on your own in a matter of fact way. You'll find that important fragments of information are served to you on a silver platter, which is always appreciated.
Also, if you're at all interested in making a go of promos or live announce, this book is a must read.
You can find out more about the book at VoiceForHireBook.net.
Please comment with your thoughts or messages for Randy Thomas and Peter RofÃ©!
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