Podcasts Voice Over Experts How To Be Better in 2008
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How To Be Better in 2008

Stephanie Ciccarelli
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Join Voice Over Expert Rodney Saulsberry as he gives you 8 chores to pursue over the holiday season guaranteeing you a blockbuster New Year in his lecture “How To Be Better In 2008”. Rodney’s tips are empowering, revealing and insightful. Prepare now for the exciting adventures in the year ahead.

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Rodney Saulsberry, Voice Acting, 2008, Chores, Voice Over Demos, Marketing, Scripts

Transcript of How To Be Better in 2008

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 Rodney Saulsberry.
The holiday season is approaching us quickly. You know, for as long as I can remember, I have used this time right around the thanksgiving to start thinking about next year. This holiday season, during that period of time between Christmas and New Year’s, when the whole business is down, when you are on vacation, you can have all of the cheer that you normally have. But this year, I want you to map out some time on your schedule to work on being better in 2008.
Here are eight things that you can work on. A new demo. Anyone who has ever taken one of my teleclasses or workshops knows how much I believe in updated demos. Your voice changes every year, the natural order of getting older changes your voice physically and your new experiences in life as well as your new jobs, your new auditions, they change the character of your voice. You should make a new demo, so that the industry can hear the new you in 2008.
Number two, tweak your home studio. For those of you who have home studios, take this time to assess your equipment. Take it to the next level with a better microphone or recording software. If you don’t have a studio, work on putting one together. You can go to my website, at www.rodneysaulsberry.com and go to the studio section to see what I use. There’s actually a ton of great information and advise about how to build your home studio online.
Here are some websites that I found helpful, www.peterdrewvo.com, www.harlanhogan.com, www.jamesalburger.com and www.debsvoice.com. A home studio is a must in today’s market.
Number three, improve your website. First and foremost, your website has to be clean and user-friendly. In other words, cut out the clutter and make it easy for a talent seeker to navigate your website. If you don’t have a website, use this holiday period to work on getting one. Yes, web designers will be on holiday too, I know, but you can take this time to visit other websites that you like and get ideas. So that when the working season is under way again, you’ll have a design plan to give to your web designer.
Number four, Update and improve your client and producer data base. This is one of the most important pieces of your voiceover arsenal. Your database, your email list of clients and producers. In many cases, this is how you will solicit work. Don’t just depend on your agent to get you work, compile a list of influential persons that you can e-mail your demo to on a regular basis.
Number five, review the business of the business.
Did you know that demos are shorter in length now? One minute for a commercial demo is lovely. If you must go on, a minute and 15 seconds is as long as you need to go. Anything more than that is pushing it. It’s important to know the business of the business.
Did you know that an mp3 is the industry’s standard for submitting demos over the internet? Recently, I have done several jobs where the producers just put the mp3 right on the air. Promos, trailers and commercials. Did you know that producers are now requesting voiceover resumes? Yes, just like actors and everyday office employees, we are now required to have a resume on hand if requested. Make sure to include any training that you have had, along with the list of your voice over credits.
Number six, read copy. The internet is full of websites that offer a variety of voiceover scripts. Voices.com has one of the best royalty free collections of voiceover scripts. Download their volume of 50 plus scripts and challenge yourself to be better in 2008. Use these scripts to make your new demo.
Number seven, look for new and unusual work opportunities. I believe that you establish a consistent monetary flow in our profession by coming up with new ways within the industry to supplement your voiceover career. Did you know that you can read station IDs for radio stations? It’s called radio imaging. Did you know that you can read voice prompts for businesses and websites? You can do podcasts, language translations, and video games. If you give it some thought, you can come up with employable voiceover ideas and convince some business, like your church or neighborhood recreation center to hire you to do it.
Number eight, voiceover trends. It was during the holiday season of the year 2003 when I realize that the latest trend in commercial voiceovers was the real person read. A conversational, relaxed approach was the way to go. So what I did is I sat home, I sat home that whole vacation. And everyday I listen to the radio, I watched and I listened to the television and I payed great attention to the reads.
As a result of that observation, as a result of practicing and working hard, in 2004, I had an exceptional year because I mastered the real person read. As a matter of fact, that is still the trend today. Another trend that I discovered during last year’s break in 2006 was the economizing of copy. I found that the voiceover in a commercial consisted of one to five lines on an average. That trend still stands today. I worked on the ability to get the intended point across with less copy during the holiday season last year.
Start making your voice over improvement plans today for this coming holiday season and be the best that you can be in 2008.
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.

Links from today’s show:

Rodney Saulsberry

Your Instructor this week:

Voice Over Expert Rodney Saulsberry
Rodney SaulsberryRodney Saulsberry is the author of the best sellers, You Can Bank on Your Voice and Step up to the Mic. The voice of Twix Candy Bars, Toyota Avalon and the Zatarain’s Jazzman, is also in demand worldwide for his voice-over coaching and commercial workshops. For more than two decades the Detroit native and University of Michigan graduate has given voice to many movie trailers such as, Finding Forrester, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Dumb and Dumberer, The Best Man, and Friday After Next. As an announcer, he has worked on the NAACP Image Awards and the Essence Awards television specials. Saulsberry, the voice of Joe Robbie Robertson on the cartoon series Spider-Man, resides in Agoura, California.
Rodney also has an upcoming three week Commercials Teleclass. Learn more about Rodney’s teleclasses by visiting his website, RodneySaulsberry.com.

Enjoyed Rodney’s episode? Leave a comment with your thoughts!

Stephanie Ciccarelli
Stephanie Ciccarelli is a Co-Founder of Voices. Classically trained in voice as well as a respected mentor and industry speaker, Stephanie graduated with a Bachelor of Musical Arts from the Don Wright Faculty of Music at the University of Western Ontario. For over 25 years, Stephanie has used her voice to communicate what is most important to her through the spoken and written word. Possessing a great love for imparting knowledge and empowering others, Stephanie has been a contributor to The Huffington Post, Backstage magazine, Stage 32 and the Voices.com blog. Stephanie is found on the PROFIT Magazine W100 list three times (2013, 2015 and 2016), a ranking of Canada's top female entrepreneurs, and is the author of Voice Acting for Dummies®.
Connect with Stephanie on:
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  • Art Graceson
    November 27, 2007, 5:50 pm

    I first found Rodney’s work on the net. This man is fast becoming the brand for anyone who has interest in the voiceover business and the larger business of lighting a fire under your dreams. This podcast is entertaining and informative. Use the Podcast as a supplement to the Saulsberry books, and you’re set.

  • Tina Crest
    November 27, 2007, 6:03 pm

    Mr. Saulsberry,
    Your 8 chores are fabulous! I’m usually bored during the holiday break, now I know what I need to be doing.
    Love your voice!
    Tina Crest

  • Brent Allen
    November 27, 2007, 6:54 pm

    Very Good Rodney! I took some great notes from the podcast and will follow the great advice. You are the master of the real person read indeed. Good Luck in 2008 I agree it’s going to be a huge year for the V.O industry. Hope to have a V.O. battle in the studio one day!
    Best Wishes this holiday season!
    -Brent Allen

  • Tim Van Renterghem
    November 27, 2007, 7:36 pm

    Thank you so much for the tips Rodney,
    It’s always a pleasure to get Tips from a BIG and well known Voice Over like you. As I live in Belgium we don’t have so many voice over talents to share tips and tricks with. That’s the reason why I’m listening and reading about American Voice overs.
    My point…. this was one of those very informative Podcasts….. Would love to hear more about this….. I just Subscribed!

  • John Semper
    November 28, 2007, 2:45 am

    When I produced “Spider-Man: The Animated Series” for Fox TV, Rodney was one of my favorite regular cast members. He always proved himself to be a consummate master of the voice-over craft and a terrific actor. Now he has become a leading teacher, proving that, to paraphrase the web-slinger himself, “with great talent comes even greater responsibility.” Rodney does a brilliant job taking on that “greater responsibility” of passing his wisdom on to you. Spider-Man would be proud of him. I know that I am.

  • Jon Morss
    November 28, 2007, 2:45 am

    Awesome Rodney.
    This is very timely. As always, your information is straight, to the point and right on the money. I really like the great advice on how to follow the trends in the VO business. Each and every point you make is on my own hit list for 2008 and your encouraging words give me more drive to make 2008 a profitable one.
    I’m looking forward to your instruction in the Tele-Class on Thursday.
    Was this recorded with the Snowball?
    Kind regards,
    Jon Morss

  • GranDivine
    November 29, 2007, 3:08 am

    I was just wondering what Rodney was up to this time of year… Should have known he was somewhere raising the bar. This podcast was brilliant and timely. I have committed to celebrate this year end by preparing for a stellar new year beginning. Thanks…

  • Melanie Haynes
    November 29, 2007, 6:07 pm

    Hey Rodney! Great thoughts for the season! You’ve put all these good thoughts and ideas into a succinct little package to help keep us focused. Looking forward to our upcoming class. Thanks! Melanie

  • Rob Ellis
    November 29, 2007, 6:37 pm

    Thanks Rodney,
    For the kick in the rear that I am needing at this time of year!
    None of the tips in your podcast are rocket science, just things we need to be reminded of. Great stuff!
    Rob Ellis

  • Diz White
    December 1, 2007, 2:15 am

    What a wonderful, mellow voice you have! And all those great tips too. Congratulations on making such a successful career out of voice over. You are so focused and smart about this whole v.o.thing. Thanks for being such a terrific mentor and guide to all of us all.

  • E.J. Mays
    December 2, 2007, 2:41 am

    I absolutely loved this podcast! Your 8 Steps for Being Better in 2008 turned out to be (for me) the road map for getting started. Step Up To The Mic is a constant reminder for my mind and spirit to persevere on this journey. You are that spark that everyone, not only in voice-over, but any endeavor needs to be introduced to or reminded of. It’s within us all. Thanks for the wake-up and the feedback.
    E.J. Mays

  • Mike Massa
    December 24, 2007, 12:37 am

    Great podcast Rodney.
    Mike Massa