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My (fledgling) Voiceover Career

IMG_3112_2 Just over a year ago I started studying voice over technique.  I recorded my demo in...January (I think) of this year, and was sooo excited about it.  Like I was shot out of a cannon, I started shopping it around (via email, and drop-offs) trying to get representation.  No bites.  None.  Not even a "Hell no, beeeyotch!!"  Nada.

So I got frustrated and didn't do anything with it for a few months.  I have a friend who does a lot of non-union voice over work, and my mother always asks what's going on with my "talking tape", so I decided to check in with my former instructor and ask for a little direction.  He gave me some, I appreciated it, and I figured I should follow it because he works in the business and certainly knows more than I, but part of it involved signing up for a subscription with a website that carried a hefty price tag. If I'm going to drop a few hundred on something, I need to make sure it is above-board and is truly an investment that has the potential to move me closer to my goals.  I just didn't feel good about it, so I decided to wait.  I signed up for the free level of membership so that I could see what type of gigs would be available to me.  I received emails for non-union work that paid $0 (yes, ZERO, honey) up to a few hundred dollars.  No thanks.  There HAD to be a better way.

A couple of weeks ago I received notice that the SAG Foundation (where fellow blogger Stacey Jackson works) would be hosting a panel on "The Business of Voiceovers".  I immediately went to their website to sign up for it, but it was already full, and so was the waiting list.  A couple of days later, a fellow former Actorsiter emailed me to tell me about the panel.  I decided to call the Foundation and see if there was any wiggle room.  I was told to check the website a day before the event.  I did, and I got in!!  Color me !

There were so many heavy-hitters in the voiceover industry in that room... Joe Cipriano, Bob Bergen, Paul Pape, Carroll Kimble, Rodney Saulsberry, Vanessa Gilbert, Don Scotti, George Whittam, and Marabina Jaimes.  The late Don LaFontaine was scheduled to be there before he passed away.  Top talent, an agent, casting director, producer, sound engineer...top-notch all the way.  And I learned SO MUCH.  First of all, I learned that I was correct in my assessment of that rip-off subscription service, reminding me to always go with my gut.  Secondly, I was able to throw away some of the misinformation I've heard floating around 'out there', and hear the real deal.  Each panelist told his or her story, and, once again I paid attention to the fact that there are many, many ways to get to the same destination.  Then came the Q & A portion, where I took tons of notes, learned about resources, what equipment is essential for a home studio, how auditions work...SO MUCH!  I left informed and inspired.  The SAG Foundation ROCKS, and I'm so glad I got into this seminar.

Now I have to strategize.  I can do this.  I know I can.

I won't lie, it does feel like I have to build a separate career (rather than just an offshoot of my current one), and making it all happen seems like a tall order, but the fact that people do it means it can be done.

--Nicole J. Butler

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Comments

Kathy Lynn Faribanks

I am going to have to say for going the long way around you are doing a great job! And to say that means I am impressed! It's rough getting started! So, keep up the great work.

The industry is about making connections and finding people who know the ropes. Radio Connection ( http://www.radioconnection.com )offers a program that puts you in the industry for 6 months working on real projects. In that time a person can make a lot of connections.

Radio Connections also goes through what it takes to handle the business side. That way a person is well rounded, prepared and with connections in the industry when the finish the program. See that there is a location across the United States and Canada http://www.radioconnection.com/Metro-Main.html

George Whittam

Thanks for the mention and stick with it!

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