VOX Talk #24 – Don LaFontaine on Jay Leno, Bettye Zoller, Simon and Schuster, Elie Hirschman, Adam Fox, Marc Cashman

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    Don LaFontaine on Jay Leno, VOICE 2007 articles online, Bettye Zoller audio book release with Simon and Schuster, Elie Hirschman on learning accents, Adam Fox and Humble Beginnings, Voice Cat Marc Cashman’s advice on picking a voice acting class.

    Download Podcast Episode 24 ┬╗

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    Don LaFontaine, Jay Leno, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, VOICE 2007, Articles, Bettye Zoller, Simon and Schuster, Audio Books, Elie Hirschman, Accents, Adam Fox, Home Recording Studios, Voice Cat, Marc Cashman, Voice Acting Classes.

    Transcript of Vox Talk #24

    Matt Williams: Episode 24
    Stephanie Ciccarelli: Greetings. I’m your host, Stephanie Ciccarelli, and you’re listening to VOX Talk, your voice over industry podcast. It’s now been over a week since VOICE 2007, but as you know, the recent past always lives on at the VOX Daily blog. This episode is packed with great talent, including a special message from Bettye Zoller, Elie Hirschman, Adam Fox and Marc Cashman. Oh yes, you’ll want to watch Jay Leno on Thursday April 12th to catch the Don – let’s get on with the show.
    Matt Williams: The Loop, informing you of news and current voiceover events.
    Stephanie Ciccarelli: In entertainment news, Don LaFontaine will be on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, doing a bit with the most recently booted American Idol contestant. Don’s participation on Jay’s show will be covered by Access Hollywood at a later date.
    To learn more about Don LaFontaine, check out his website, DonLaFontaine.com
    In other news, if you missed the VOICE conference a week or two ago, you can relive the magic online. Read great articles about the presenters, special events, and more on the VOX Daily blog. For those of you who are looking for the DVD of the event, you can order it from the VOICE-International.com website.
    Again, to get to those articles and leave comments on what you’ve read, just look at the show notes VOX Talk Episode 24.
    To wrap up, Bettye Zoller’s audiobook “Speaking Effective English” has been re-released by Simon and Schuster on CD. Bettye was kind enough to share this audio clip about her book. Let’s have a listen.
    Bettye Zoller: Speaking Effective English recently re-released by Simon and Schuster as a brand new two CD’s set contain information on how to make a first impression, how to minimize those accent and dialects, how to overcome stage fight and make better presentation in public speeches. Job interview strategies, voicemail do’s and don’t and even my list of the 10 top vocal sins. It’s a (inaudible 00:02:16) of useful information for everybody of every age.
    The most prevalent comment from listeners is I got this or that out of it and everybody who talks to me or e-mails me got something different out of it because it meets needs no matter what those needs are speaking effective English or it’s a powerful. You must own a large number of word, you need that to convey precise meanings. You need them to add spice to your speech. Colorful audition to language have been always been price.
    In fact in the United State during the 1920’s slang and binocular expression were particularly popular, they became a frequent element of the language enliven and liberated it. It’s said that people actually read Walter Windshield column, he was very famous then as a Gossip columnist for the Hearst Newspapers and was read by over 50,000 million American each week in order to learn the popular in expression of the day.
    Thank you to Voices.com for asking me to do this little bit on speaking effective English. I’m Betty Zoller, the primary author. Ask your book seller and librarian for Speaking Effective English, the new 2007 two CD’s set and thanks for listening.
    Stephanie Ciccarelli: To read an interview I conducted with Bettye this week, just follow the links in the show notes for this episode. That address again is blogs.voices.com/voxtalk.
    Matt Williams: The Biz, helping you grow your voiceover business.
    Stephanie Ciccarelli: Today in The Biz, Elie Hirschman talks about learning new accents.
    Elie Hirschman: Hi, this is Elie Hirschman. A lot of people collect things as a hubby, the thing I collect is little unusual. I collect accents. I love hearing and observing and then learning to imitate new accents and when you listen to an accent you have to pick up on what sound is change from the “normal English pronunciation” by figuring out the mouth placement you’re then able to imitate the accent by changing your own speech pattern to match that of the accent you’re trying to imitate. This can come in handy for various voiceover roles, if you’re ask to imitate a British accent or an Indian accent or any other accent different than your own. Can particularly come in handy in voice acting but occasionally you’ll get a commercial read where they need some kind of accent.
    Sometime you need a bit of more of an in depth analysis of an accent in order to pick it up properly. For this purpose I usually go to a website called, The Speech Accent Archive, it’s at accent.gmu.edu and they collect samples of a standard text read by various English speakers who originate from country other than America. So, you’ll get English read in an Irish accent and Indian accent, anywhere in the world you can think and even dialects and accents from various part of America. They’ll break down the sentence as read by the speaker, transcribe it in standard notation and show you where exactly the speaker differs from a “normal pronunciation.” This is invaluable resource to someone looking to pick up an accent or just looking to study what make an accent unique. I recommend that anybody interested in accents check it out but if you want to hear my take on any accents, you’ll have to go to my website at eliehirschman.com to hear some samples.
    Stephanie Ciccarelli: If you appreciated Elie’s segment, send him some feedback via email at his website. You can reach him at eliehirschman.voices.com.
    Matt Williams: Tech Talk, walking you through the technological landscape.
    Stephanie Ciccarelli: Adam Fox digs deep to bring you some humble beginnings – remember yours?
    Bob Oakman: You’re listening to another Defiant Digital Podcast for Voices.com.
    Here’s you host, Adam Fox.
    Adam Fox: Hi, folks. Its Adam here, I’m just going to go ahead and jump right into our topic today. I’m going to talk about something that, well and a lot of us would probably like to forget or maybe not even want to admit that it happen but I’m going to talk about our humble beginnings.
    Yes, all of us have had our humble beginnings. Let’s just think about this for a second. Did every single person that got into the voiceover game start with a very expensive studio with all kinds of top line gear? Well, no. A lot of us started in apartments and less then perfect circumstances but does that really necessarily mean that we’re not as passionate about what we do as other people whom maybe have the time and the resource to put in to it, absolutely not.
    So, humble beginnings, what kind of circumstances have we all started with? Well, myself I was lucky enough to have a father that was in the business, so started with at least some gear. However, when I broke out on my own and move out to find my way in the world, I didn’t certainly take all his equipment that would have probably garnered me a pretty good dead sentence from him but more over I found myself in less than perfect audio situations where maybe I had neighbors upstairs or next door and it can be very difficult to try to find that time and place to do a recording especially when you’re working on the deadline.
    Then let’s talk about sound proofing, how hard is it? How many of you honest, you don’t have to raise you hands for this one but how many of you out there has been in less than perfect sonic situation and have had to make to do with a variety of different sound proofing techniques. Okay, I’ll mention a couple since I don’t want to put anybody on the spot, how many times have I gone to Wal-Mart or some other type of discount store and bought mattress pad, okay I see some more hands out there in the back. Yes, mattress pad are a wonderful, wonderful cheap sound proofing solution, they work really well specially when you have pretty (doer) a circumstances, if you’re sound proofing in a closet and you don’t want necessarily that earlier reflectivity to come back or the jingling of hangers every time you take the hangers down, the stuff can work really well and it’s the poor man sound installation.
    Yes, I have used it and I’m not too ashamed to admit it, I’m hoping that’s some other people out there maybe aren’t to necessarily embarrass to admit it as well and I just, I think what I want us to focus on today is to realize that not everybody who gets in to this business starts from an absolute perfect position to be able to, okay, I’ve got my home studio, I have my $1000 microphone. I’ve got $3000 in computer gear, I’ve got all this software and I have a perfectly sonically tune room for me to go ahead and do my job. Now, let me record my demos and get to work start recon that money in.
    I think that’s an important point to consider because so many of us as busy as we are, sometime you forget about those humble beginnings. You forget about where it is that you started and what gave you your passion for doing this work. How excited you were in the first time that you got that job when you thought, wow. I’m working with these meager circumstances and still I was able to produce a very top quality product that is going to be playing on radio, TV, an audiobook whatever the case maybe. You were able to make the most of the situation that you had and the tools that were limited although they maybe that you had at your disposal and I’ll tell you there’s nothing quite like satisfaction of having a job be done right, having the customer be happy with the job and knowing that you did the best that you possibly could especially doing it by yourself. I think that gives us a sense of ownership in what we do.
    Now, sure there’s a lot of us that goes to the studio and have cut tracks over the years, I’ve spent my time in plenty of radio stations doing commercial, political ads and alike. However, there are just nothing like especially in this new age of a home studio, there’s just nothing being able to turn something out all on your own and having somebody say, “Wow, that’s a great product” and give you that validation that you been seeking.
    So, what I like to do this week is I’d like to get some of you to send me your stories, send me your photographs, if you have any. I know you’ve got them, I’ve got them too. Send me some of your photographs, send me some of your stories and I’d like to take some of this and share them. I’d like to kind the keep of a focus on this because after all we do come from somewhere and there so many people that get it in to this and there’s a sense of intimidation, I think that can happen it’s certainly not something that’s purposeful but if your new in something and you’re starting into it and you maybe don’t know how to ask questions or maybe you feel that, well since I’m not working in the studio or have thousand and thousand of dollars worth of gear to may name, maybe I shouldn’t ask any questions.
    Well, you know what this is a supportive community and we’re all here to help each other, that’s what we’re doing here. Sure we network and we’ve just had this wonderful thing with the voice conferences weekend in Las Vegas and people are getting out there and networking and really doing that business things. So, you know what let’s not forget about the people that maybe couldn’t make it to the voice conference. Let’s think about the people that are looking towards doing this for the foreseeable future, those people that may have the passion but maybe they don’t have all the tools.
    So, let’s do what we should do folks, let’s open our arms to this people and let share our stories and some tips and tricks that we’re always sharing here that’s certainly part of it but let’s make an open invitation to this people who maybe necessarily don’t have all the tools and it really trying to get in this and because they have a passion to do so, I mean that’s where it all starts, right?
    So, let’s all send in our stories, questions and I’ve said before there is absolutely no such thing as a stupid question, so let’s see those questions, let’s see some stories. Go ahead and send me some of your pictures, I can post them on my website at he Defiant Digital website in a special section that I’m going to start devoting to podcast here shortly, more information on that later and let see what we can do to help this people and give them some good pointers and welcome them in to the community, what do you say?
    Well, a very different departure today but I felt like it needed to get covered because I’ve been receiving some mail and it seems to me that there are some people that are really starting to come in to this that are listening to the podcast and they really want to be a part of the group and I think that’s a wonderful thing, I think we need to open our arms and welcome this people in and help them out because you know what, somebody helped us along the line and there was always an opportunity to return that favor and I just want to make sure we’re making those opportunities to return a favor the most that they can possibly be.
    So, I hope you enjoyed this week podcast, go ahead and drop me a line here at adamfox.voices.com or you can hit me on the website at defiandigital.com. Let’s get those stories going, let’s get the pictures going, let’s really delve in to this for the next couple of week and let’s see what we can find and who we can help, all right? Sound great, so until next week. Bye for now.
    Stephanie Ciccarelli: If you’d like to share your humble beginnings, send in your audio feedback to media@voices.com. I’ll air it in the VOX Box.
    Matt Williams: VOX Box, answering your voiceover questions.
    Stephanie Ciccarelli: Today in the VOX Box, I’d like to welcome our resident Voice Cat, Marc Cashman, Marc has some advice he’d like to share about choosing a voice acting class.
    Marc Cashman: Hi, this is Marc Cashman the voice behind Ask the Voice Cat. It’s April 11th 2007 and I’m very excited because this is my very first podcast and I’m excited that Stephanie at Voices.com is asked me to contribute to the body of knowledge that Voices.com has been disseminating among the voice acting community. My topic today, it comes from an area of expertise in that I teach voice acting in Los Angeles which is the center of the universe for voice actors and many people have asked about what the best way is to go about choosing a voice acting class of which I happened I know a little bit about.
    Now, I know there are voice acting classes allover the United States and there are more voice acting classes in Los Angeles that almost any other city in the world because there are more work opportunities here for voice acting. There are radio and TV commercials, animated series, documentary narrations, promos, movie trailers, ADR, audiobooks, live announce events, radio imaging and of course opportunities for website VO’s and video games, corporate videos and training films and company messaging systems but of you have access to many of this areas through Voices.com.
    Now, class lengths and cost very widely as do topics but how to do choice the voice class that’s right for you? Well, here are a few guidelines and questions that you might consider asking. First, how experienced is the instructor? Is the teacher are former voice actor, casting director, a producer? Doest the instructor teach all the classes or do they have substitutes or proxies? Are their experts from other areas of voice acting brought into, enhance information given in class? Second, where are the classes held? Are the classes taking place in a professional recording studio? Where commercials are produced on a regular basis? Or are they held in someone’s living room or a class room with not much equipment.
    Next what is the basic setup, is the recording equipment professional? Is there a separate engineer and is he or she experienced? Are you recording to cassette tape or CD? Is feedback between takes recorded for your subsequent review? Another question is how many people are in the class? With too many people in a class guarantee that you won’t be getting much mic time, ten students are the max at 3 hours class should have, I prefer eight or less. Another question is, are the students in each class on the same level? It’s a little uncomfortable for everybody when beginners are (locked) in with intermediate who had a few classes under belts or professional who have demos or agents. It’s also intimidating to beginners and basically not fair to students with more experience.
    Next is does the instructor take just anyone? Experienced instructors screen prospective student to make sure that they get the most out of the course. A good instructor will ask a lot of questions about your physical and mental wellbeing, to make sure that you’re up for the challenge of a good VO course.
    Another question is do materials accompany instruction? In other words, are hand outs disseminated? Information that accompanies instruction is invaluable, it’s material that you’ll be able to refer too and use long after the course had ended. Another question is, is their homework, experienced teachers will give you exercises to practice between classes to keep your ability hound and focus, I gave my students exercises to do in the car on the way to class.
    Another question is, is the business of voice acting addressed? Techniques are important, acting skills are vital but voice acting is also a business. If you’re serious about making voice acting a career, topics specifically related to the business of voice acting should be covered.
    Another question is can you audit a class? You really should be able to observe a class in action at no charge, to get a taste of the instructor teaching style, the topics covered and the place where it’s held. You’ll be able to follow along but don’t expect to participate. My time is reserve for a student who paid for the course. Another question you should ask is can you make up missed classes? Some courses allow this, anthers don’t, I allow up to two make ups in my 6 week course but you should check with the instructor. Another question is do other students like the course? What’s the word of mouth about the course or their testimonials available, can you contact current or former student directly.
    Sometimes talking to people who’ve taken the course can give you a more objective view and finally, is there course assessment? Do you get any kind of report card when you’ve completed the course? Do you receive a critic that gives you an analysis of your competency or proficiency? It’s really good to know where you stand, competition wise in a very competitive arena. You want to know where you strengths and weakness is a lay. So, hopefully asking these questions should help you decide on the best voice acting class for you. I wish you a lot of luck and if you have any questions, just write me. Thanks for listening.
    Stephanie Ciccarelli: So folks, that wraps up Episode 24 of VOX Talk. You can get a hold of me by email, by dropping a line on the blog or sending in your audio feedback to be played on the air. You can reach me at Stephanie@voices.com. I’m your host Stephanie Ciccarelli. See you next Thursday.

    Links from today’s show:

    The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
    Don LaFontaine Official Website
    VOICE 2007 DVD
    VOICE 2007 Media Coverage
    Bettye Zoller
    Elie Hirschman
    Adam Fox
    Marc Cashman

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