By Carmi Levy
We're a little more excited than usual today. In launching a pilot of our new Audition Improvements feature, we're helping everyone in the industry raise the level of their game.
The updates to our service, which we're soft-launching today and plan to roll out to clients after we've had a chance to review initial results, promise to give voice talent the feedback they need to continually improve the quality of their auditions.
Clients benefit, as well, because a higher-performing network of talent results in higher-performing projects that more effectively drive their business. Everyone wins when voice performers are at the top of their game.
Read on for details on how our new Audition Improvements work, and why you'll want to learn more.
In the past, voice-overs were recorded predominantly by men with the occasional female voice being present. Those were the days of "Father knows best", the stereotypical announcer, and the "Voice of God".
While some areas of voice-over still favour the male voice, particularly for movie trailers, radio station imaging, and sports announcing, many doors have been opened to women in those same areas.
Join VOX Daily as we explore how to decide which gender may be best suited to represent your brand.
Are you new to casting voice-overs?
Do you need advice on what to look for when casting voice talent?
If you know you will need a voice-over for your project but you've never auditioned voice-over talent before there are a number of things you will need to take into consideration depending on your project.
We've compiled a list of resources that will help you, from writing the scripts to listening to auditions and typical voice-over rates we've got you covered.
Join VOX Daily to learn more.
Have you ever started listening to an audiobook and wanted to throw your iPod out the window?
That's the last thing you want the listener to feel like doing with your own audiobook.
One of the most enjoyable, and sometimes the most distracting, things about audiobooks is the narration.
There are a variety of components that make an audiobook "good." This includes everything from the writing, proofing, directing, editing, post-production, etc. but one of the key components is the narration. It should help the listener lose themselves in the story.
What skills should the voice-over artist have in order to deliver "good" narration for an audiobook?
Join VOX Daily as we explore some of the qualities to look for that will add up to good narration.
By Lin Parkin
Are you casting an audiobook narrator?
Whether you're an author publishing your own audiobook or you're a casting director at a large publishing house, how do you decide between using a full cast of voice-over artists vs. a single narrator to read all the parts?
A single narrator or author narrated audiobook is often preferable for non-fiction titles, but what about fictional stories?
We reached out to several publishers and audiobook fans to find out what their take is on the subject. Join VOX Daily to learn what they had to say about it.
Are you posting a job at Voices.com?
Whether you're a seasoned copywriter or new to script writing, a good voice-over starts with a well written script.
Writing a voice-over script requires a different approach than writing essays, white papers, or reports. These pieces are read silently from a computer screen.
Writing for an audio recording takes a different skill set. Knowing how to write voice-over scripts well will aid the voice-over performance and, ultimately, produce better results for your clients and your own business.
Join VOX Daily for tips on creating a voice-over script that is clear, legible, and productive.
By Stephanie Ciccarelli
You may be familiar with the saying, "I'll know it when I hear it," but how does someone know what to pay attention to in order to spot the right sound, audio quality or interpretation of a script?
Going through auditions is part of life when you're a creative producer, and for some people who are new to hiring talent, the process can take longer than necessary.
If you haven't had someone walk down this road with you until now, we're grateful to put our arm around you lead the way. Should you be an experienced producer, hopefully you'll find a couple tips you can use and even pay it forward by leaving a comment with your thoughts!
Discover 3 things all producers should take into account when casting voices for their projects in today's VOX Daily.
Do you have a Smartphone?
Are you able to create fantastic character voices and you live in the UK?
Want to win a one year membership with Voices.com? Maybe you'd like to spruce up your character demo too?
Introducing Round Island's character voice-over competition! If you have a Smartphone and you know how to record your voice on it you have until August 31st to win those prizes and more.
All you have to do is get out your Smartphone, record three of your best character voices, and email the track to the folks at Round Island. Join us to learn more about how to enter and what you can win!
Do you have a child that would love to be in a voiceover production? Are you casting a voice-over project with child roles?
When it comes to casting a child's voice for a cartoon, or any voice-over project, nothing sounds quite as authentic as hiring a real child to voice the character.
Children relate to other children best so characters voiced by real kids will resonate more with the intended audience. A child's innocent, whimsical nature adds authenticity to the roles they play.
So who better to provide the voices for some of the most loved animated characters but child voice talents. Movies such as Bolt, Finding Nemo, A Bug's Life, The Incredibles and A Toy Story all have starred the voices of some of the most beloved child actors. The child voices in these films bring a realism to the characters that just could not have been obtained by adults mimicking a child's voice.
In today's VOX Daily we take a look at some of our favorite movie characters played by child voice actors.
Do you smile when reading advertising copy?
A friendly smile adds a little extra sunshine in someone's day and generally makes the world feel like a kinder place.
This seemingly small act has an impact on performances and could potentially help you land more work.
It is well-known that consumers are drawn to smiling faces which are looking directly at the camera. Likewise, the sound of the voice creates a specific mood.
We see many jobs go through with creative direction such as "speak as though you are talking to a friend" or "we want the read to sound authentic." One of the ways to accomplish this is to genuinely smile when the script suites the action.
Can someone pick your voice out as being from a specific region?
For those who get into voice-over, being able to sound "neutral" in terms of accent can be very important, so much in fact that these talent work hard to reduce their regional accents and adopt a more national, polished sound for broadcast and other applications.
Have you worked toward reducing your accent or modified your accent to sound, well, unaccented?
Be sure to comment and let me know! Join the conversation in today's VOX Daily.
Do you remember those amazing years of Toronto Blue Jays baseball in the early 1990s?
The announcer who called some of the most historic and memorable plays the team ever experienced, the late Tom Cheek, will be honored at Cooperstown (the baseball hall of fame) as the recipient of the 2013 Ford C. Frick Award for broadcasting excellence.
Hear more about this wonderful news for Canadian sports announcers and baseball fans alike in today's VOX Daily.
How do you determine which jobs you audition for?
With so many auditions flying your way, you need to be able to think on your feet so far as qualifying opportunities that both suit you best and make for a good use of your time and effort.
Voice talent Marc Scott shares his thoughts in this guest blog post on VOX Daily.
Have you ever seen a casting notice with specs indicating that they were looking for someone who could sound like you?
In an interview with Charlie Rose, we see one of the most imitated and frequently requested voices of Americana, Sam Elliott, talk about what it's like to come across direction with your name in it!
Watch the video and share your thoughts in today's VOX Daily.
When you audition for a role, let's say a character role, are you "bringing it" to the audition or merely paying lip service to the script?
After reading an article posted by Dave Courvoisier, it's sad to say that not everyone auditioning does.
Hear more about what some casting directors and producers expect when holding auditions in today's VOX Daily.
Does age equate with authority and wisdom?
If you enjoy listening to documentaries, no doubt you've noticed that the majority of documentaries and similar programs are narrated by gentlemen who have crossed a certain threshold age wise.
Why is it that some of the most trusted, busiest voices working today in narration are over sixty years of age?
Find out in today's VOX Daily.
Can good acting camouflage how you really feel about a script or your depth of knowledge?
In a time where very few people are fooled by advertising and marketing, many voice talent who don't agree with the content of a script or understand its meaning think they can still convince an audience to believe otherwise.
Curious to learn more?
Hear from one of Chicago's top producers in today's VOX Daily.
The voiceover trade can be hard to get into and it can be just as hard to get ahead. You need to have a voice that people want to hear, a voice that can morph into a number of different accents, pitches and tones and a self motivation that won't allow you to slow or quit.
There may be many times when you won't see where the next voiceover role is coming from or how you'll track down a lead for a job.
In today's Vox Daily Guest Blogger Jeff Jackson provides sound advice on what it takes to succeed as a voice over artist.
Do you hear voices?
Voice overs have worked themselves into our daily lives and few pause to consider how our perceptions have been shaped by various characters and advertising campaigns using voice.
Read this article on VOX Daily and then listen to a unique podcast celebrating voice artists and their contributions.
Are you fan of nature programs that zoom in on the lives of wild animals?
Who among us hasn't been drawn in by the warm, authoritative tones of Sir David Attenborough or James Earl Jones like a child sitting on their grandfather's knee listening to a story?
Join me in today's VOX Daily as we discuss the voices who've narrated the wonders of the world.
Do you make choices for other people?
In a business that is full of choices from what to audition for to whom to cast, sometimes we need to take a moment and consider how our choices affect other people...and also how not giving a choice can impact you and the person you've made the decision for.
Read this post and then join the conversation in today's VOX Daily.
By Stephanie Ciccarelli
Are you an actor in Los Angeles?
Do you want to do cartoon voices?
This is your chance to be heard and discovered!
Voices.com and Resnick Interactive Group are pleased to bring you this exclusive casting call for Puppy in My Pocket.
Be sure to read more about this opportunity and how you can get involved in today's VOX Daily.
Once you've booked the job, they say it's all gravy...but sometimes, it's when the work actually begins!
Casting director Todd Resnick of Resnick Interactive shares tips on how to impress your client and lay the groundwork for future work opportunities by following some simple instructions.
Find out what a director looks for in today's VOX Daily!
"Can we hear winning auditions and see how much they got paid?"
We've been asked that question more times than I can count! The answer is always the same, though. At Voices.com we do not provide talent with access to the voice sample or winning talent's quote.
While that's our answer, I interviewed a number of casting directors, agents and clients to ask what their thoughts were on the matter to give you a more well rounded view of this topic.
Read perspectives from people who hire in today's VOX Daily.
Are you looking for an edge when it comes to booking gigs?
What do casting directors look for?
Is there anything you can do?
Casting director Todd Resnick of Resnick Interactive shares his perspective on how you can wow decision makers in today's VOX Daily.
By Stephanie Ciccarelli
Have you ever made a character voice over demo before?
One of the trends I've seen over the last few years is talent recording a video of themselves performing their accents in succession without any editing. The wow factor is pretty high on those videos and a lot of attention comes their way if the video is interesting enough.
See a few examples of how you can bring your character voices to life using video and audio in today's VOX Daily.
When you think about all of the voiceover jobs you have done over the years, what comes to mind as being the most memorable?
I asked a number of people this question and received a variety of interesting responses.
Hear about some memorable work and share memories of your own in today's edition of VOX Daily!
Voice actors are often creating voices and sometimes, they even hear them in their heads!
Most people can relate to being their own worst critic, perhaps even having an "inner critic" that picks them apart.
Find out how you can silence that inner critic and get a move on to focus on the things that really matter in today's VOX Daily!
By Stephanie Ciccarelli
Have you ever considered retirement and what that might look like for a professional voice talent?
Most people retire from their labors after a certain amount of time, and although this isn't as common for creative types, it is worth thinking about.
In today's VOX Daily, we'll take a look at some reasons for why a voice artist might retire and also discuss how you might go about it.
You might have noticed a new column called "Your Status" that has been recently added to how you can view jobs on the Voices.com jobs board.
This posting will help you to understand why this column has been added as well as go over the meanings of all the statuses that a job posting passes through in the hiring process through payment and completion.
Have you heard of a television program called "The Voice" airing on NBC?
While many talent shows for singers have come and go, none that I'm aware of have evaluated talent based solely upon how someone sounds until now.
Are Christina Aguilera and friends taking a leaf out of a voice casting notebook?
Learn more about how The Voice resonates with casting in the world of voiceovers in today's VOX Daily.
By Lin Parkin
Ever had to scream, sneeze or laugh for a voice over job?
When you get a script, sometimes there are extra vocal bits that you need to include aside from the copy presented, particularly in entertainment.
Learn more about the kind of work that's out there for voice over professionals in today's VOX Daily.
By Stephanie Ciccarelli
What do you do when you need to voice a historical figure but there are no known recordings of their voice to reference?
1877 marked the first audio recording, therefore persons of note at or before that time were likely not captured on phonograph cylinders, on wax records in the 1890s or even through electronic recording in the 1920s.
So, how do you create a voice using clues from the past?
Learn how to start thinking like a vocal detective in today's VOX Daily.
By Stephanie Ciccarelli
Want to get more listens?
This article is geared toward helping you get your voice out there in a way that clients will find it, hear it and hopefully love what you can do so much that they hire you based upon your demo.
Gain some insight and watch a brand new video from Voices.com in today's VOX Daily!
By Stephanie Ciccarelli
Have you ever thought about the power of a smile?
What about when it comes to voice acting?
Find out how the simple and pleasurable act of smiling not only makes you feel better but also puts a sparkle in your voice in today's VOX Daily.
Are you a fan of the annual Rose Parade and Rose Bowl football game in Pasadena, California?
Herb Merriweather wrote to tell me about the amazing opportunity he has to help the blind to see through his involvement as an emcee and commentator broadcasting the blind and handicapped portion of the Rose Parade.
Learn more about what announcing for the blind entails in today's VOX Daily.
The voice that a company initially chooses to brand with, whether for commercial purposes or for sheer entertainment, often sticks in the minds of their audience as the best choice.
As time passes, there is the occasional recasting of the voice here and there, some of which are easier on the ears and rank higher on the believability scale than others.
Join me as we look at 5 popular examples of how a brand voice has changed and what the outcomes have been in terms of the public's reaction in today's VOX Daily.
You might have noticed that Voices.com seems to attract more business related voice over work than any other type and it's true!
While Voices.com does receive work to the site for character voice acting and so on, there is a very good explanation for why the bulk of the jobs posted at our site have a more corporate feel.
Find out why in today's VOX Daily.
Do you enjoy listening to the Voice Over Experts podcast?
If you do, how about letting people know via iTunes and spreading the good cheer?!
Help others to discover the #1 educational podcast featuring renowned voice over coaches from US, Canada and abroad by leaving a review on iTunes for Voice Over Experts.
Find out how you can do this in today's VOX Daily.
Have you ever thought about how important the act of listening is to your voice over career?
Voice overs are part of the day-to-day landscape and grace your ears whether you were aware of them or not.
Just as the average person sees about 3000 advertisements a day, the average person hears more messages than one might expect each day, numbering in the hundreds, potentially thousands depending on your exposure to advertisements and voice-over heavy mediums such as broadcast.
When you think about it, there's a lot of work out there for voice over talent... and if you listen hard enough, you'll be able to tap into trends, figure out whose booking and why.
In today's VOX Daily, we're going to talk about the benefits of listening and why you need to lend an ear so to speak and keep your finger on the pulse of the industry, particularly where your areas of expertise and interest are concerned.
By Stephanie Ciccarelli
People are surrounded by media, much of which includes voice over, and first encounter voice overs at a very young age.
What's the first voice over that you recall hearing?
Find out what some voice actors have to say about their earliest voice over memories and add your story as a comment in today's VOX Daily.
By Stephanie Ciccarelli
What is the process for casting films based on an animated series when members of the original or current cast (for which a show, movie or otherwise gained its following) are still alive and well?
This question is a timely one and a topic that should be of great interest to the voice over community.
Join in this discussion now and learn more about what goes on behind the scenes.
When sitting in on a number of sessions during VOICE 2010, there were a great deal of concepts explored and tidbits of information presented.
I've gathered a few of them here for you and hope that you find them useful.
Keep your eyes open for more great content in the coming days!
If you're like me, you might enjoy watching home renovation shows because you like to see the before, the during and after. Observing a property go from one stage of development to another can be exciting and rewarding.
While you aren't personally involved in the task, you may feel as though you've accomplished something just by watching it, right?
After viewing programs of this nature, it is easy to feel inspired and live vicariously through the successes and achievements of others without doing a thing yourself and therefore not making an inch of progress in your own household projects.
Similarly, if you are studying voice over or watching other professionals do their work in the booth, it's easy to feel as though you are also moving forward by watching them work or improve... this is where we begin.
When you're auditioning talent for a voice over job, it helps to take down notes as you're listening to each demo to remind yourself of why you liked them and what in particular stuck out in the performance.
I've been doing a lot of voice casting as of late and have found that those notes aren't just helpful, they're a lifesaver!
Learn how to make your own casting notes and also how to tell if you've found the right voice by reading this article here at Voices.com.
Why are most voice over casting calls opened and closed within a matter of hours?
I received a comment on an article I wrote a while ago that posed a similar question and thought that now would be a good time to address how the industry works with regard to time frames for auditioning talent.
Why are deadlines for auditioning so short?
What do genetics have to do with your voice?
If you come from a multiracial or blended ethnic heritage, your voice may be just as intriguing to listen to as your physical image is to see.
What's your sound?
While there are many ways to communicate a message, the art of voice over is tops for delivering the human touch.
Which role suits your voice?
Learn more about five different styles of voice over used for commercial and industrial use and leave a comment about the style you work with the most.
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