Celebrity Voice Actors VS Rank-and-File Voice Actors for Animation, Voices.com wins CRM Magazine Market Elite Award, The Special Simpsons Tribute episode is out, Pat Fraley speaks about the audiobook industry, Adam Fox is in TechTalk and Stephanie Ciccarelli highlights the new Voice Over Experts podcast.
Adam Fox, Celebrity Voice Actors, CRM Market Elite Award for Voices.com, Pat Fraley on Audiobooks, Simpsons Tribute Podcast, Voice Over Experts Podcast
Transcript of Vox Talk #43
Matt Williams: Episode 43
You’re listening to VOX Talk! The voiceover industry’s number one podcast brought to you by Voices.com. It’s about voice acting, growing your business, and sharing your knowledge. VOX Talk is a show that you can be a part of. Getting involved that’s both fun and rewarding. It’s time for this week’s episode of VOX Talk with your host, Stephanie Ciccarelli.
Stephanie Ciccarelli: Hi there, I’m Stephanie and welcome to VOX Talk! I miss you guys this last couple of weeks and I hope you had a great Labor Day weekend. Today on the show, I’m joined by Pat Fraley and Adam Fox. First, the news!
Matt Williams: The Loop, informing you of news and current voiceover events.
Stephanie Ciccarelli: In voiceover news, an article was recently published at Animation World Magazine featuring MJ Lallo and several other instructors and casting directors begging the question of how effective celebrity voice acting is in animated films. We want to know how you feel about the subject.
To reopen this can of worms, what do you think of celebrity voice actors and do they pose any threat to professionals who do animation voiceover work? Add your thoughts at blogs.voices.com/voxdaily.
In business news, you might have already heard that the team at Voices.com was honored with an award from CRM Magazine that’s Customer Relationship Management Magazine. To learn more about his award, you can visit the Voices.com press blog linked from the show notes.
In closing, do you remember when we told you about the special VOX Talk episode of The Simpsons coming up. Well you know what, we produced it and it is ready for you to listen to. Find out who won The Simpsons Sound-Alike Challenge in the categories of Best Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Krusty and also you’ll get to hear some of your colleagues with some pretty darn good Simpsons impressions if I might say so myself. You know what to do, go to podcast.voices.com/voxtalk and search for that special Simpsons tribute podcast episode.
Matt Williams: The Biz, helping you grow your voiceover business.
Stephanie Ciccarelli: Today in The Biz, we’re joined by Pat Fraley, an author and voiceover instructor who is here to tell you a little bit more about the audiobook market and also tell you a bit about his new book. So, take it away, Pat.
Pat Fraley: Greetings to all you Voices.com people or as I like to think of it, the international voiceover diner. You know, nothing warns the cockles of this old teacher’s heart more than getting the news that my students get work. I get this weekly and it’s thrilling particularly with audiobook deals. I want more and more and more.
For the next 5 minutes, I’m going to talk to you about audiobooks and give you some very good news except for the shameless infomercial at the end of all these where I talked to you about my 2-hour audio CD set and companion 50-page workbook that covers all the performance of business skills you need to work the audiobook market. Wait. I’ve already started. Okay. I’m stopping, I’m stopping. I promise.
Okay. Now, for some good news. The audiobook market is the best opportunity for the voiceover talent to get work. I’ve taught workshops and events on this area for years now and the probability of work gets better by the moment. You see at present, about 4,000 books are recorded a year according to my friend and president of Blackstone Audio, Craig Black which is a real progressive audiobook company.
This figure of 4,000 will balloon to 24,000 over the next 4 yours. Why? Because of the success of downloadable audiobooks on the internet. What this means for audiobook publishers, is that they have virtual inventory. No duplication and packaging cost, no shipping and no returns. No returns is a big deal by the way. In the publishing business, if a book, magazine or audiobook doesn’t sell, it can be returned to the publisher for a full refund, ugly for the publisher. What this means for the voiceover talent is there will be a huge amount of work. The time to get ready and ramp up for this work is now.
More good news. Audiobook publishers need all kinds of talents and reads. Those who sound old, very young or have a Midwest accent, if you’ve struggled because you sound like you’re 16 or 60, guess what, there are books out there in projects that need your sound. It’s just a matter of finding the door where the (Welcomat) is ready and waiting.
But just know this, your read will adjust to the book. You see, the prime directive is the author’s intent. Let me give you a couple of examples. Listen to this brief snippet from a read by Frank Miller arguably the best performer of audiobooks ever. As he performs part of a short story by Jack London entitled buck.
Frank Miller: “Now, you red eyed devil,” he said. “When he had made an opening sufficient for the passage of Buck’s body, at the same time he dropped the hatchet and shifted the club to his right hand.” And Buck was truly a red eyed devil. As he drew himself together for the spring, hair bristling, mouth forming, and a mad glittering as bloodshot eyes. Straight at the man he launched his 140 pounds of fury surcharged with the pent passion of two days and nights. In mid-air just as his jaws were about to close on the man, you will see the shock that checked his body and brought his teeth together with an agonizing clip.
Pat Fraley: Don’t you get the sense you’re sitting around a campfire? Great! But listen to this read by Richard McGonagle of a book I produced called, “The Death of Che Guevara”.
Richard McGonagle: Meanwhile, Guevara’s body was placed on view for journalists to see on October 10 and they were allowed to take fingerprints if they wished, several did. Then on October 13, Barrientos made the gruesome announcement that Bolivian authorities would put a thumb, amputated from Guevara’s body at the disposition of investigators.
Pat Fraley: Didn’t he sound like he was reporting? Yes. That’s because the book was so dry and had so little thinking and feeling of the author that it was appropriate. It killed Richard McGonagle who’s a consummate actor but I kept telling of the (rain) back. No opinions, just lay out the facts. And finally, listen to this brief excerpt from a book called, “A Puzzling Mind” read by Hillary Huber.
Hillary Huber: It was a disturbing prospect. Rearrange the crime scene photos for third time. Evelyn had cleared her desk and one by one laid the 8×10 color prints down. Tommy shot a look at Evelyn. “What are you doing?” “It remind of something,” she said. “Laid out like that, they remind of something.”
Pat Fraley: Did you notice how she held back? There was time between the passages, so she brings you along on a journey, all about realizing the author’s intent. Here are some more good news. Audiobook jobs are union or non-union and pay very low up to high depending on how deep the audio publisher’s pockets are. This means you can start working for a small audiobook publisher who doesn’t pay much but isn’t expecting Meryl Streep and build up to bigger projects for money, on the job training. What a concept. And if you’re union and offered a non-union gig, I’ll tell you how to make it union and be able to take the job.
Still more good news. 40% to 50% of the jobs are recorded by women which makes it the most equitable area of working the voiceover arena. Also, there’s no need to go through an agent. Audio publishers deal directly with you. In fact, agents scare them. They’ve seen the same movies we have and they’re really frightened of the prospect of being called, “Cocky, your baby!”
More good news. You only need one relationship with an audio publisher at a time. Your name and voice come up, they call or e-mail you and you start working. And when you work you’re in a studio for an extended period of time, perhaps 15 hours for a project getting paid for all the sessions. I could go on but won’t. Know that there are specific skills and a way of going about getting work which are unique to the industry.
This is why, and here it comes, I’ve recorded over 2 hours of interviews, demonstrations, exercises, examples, and specific information covering all the skills and business you need to work the audiobook market with, and package it with a 50-page companion workbook, cover letter templates, and a step by step walk through on how you prepare your audiobook demo. It’s called, “The Billion Dollar Read: How to Make Money Reading and Recording Books”. You can purchase the set which is discounted for a limited time at my website bookstore. You just go to patfraley.com and click on store. It’s the first thing available.
Okay, end of infomercial and If you have any questions, e-mail me, firstname.lastname@example.org. All right, that was fairly painless, right? Oh, I forgot. (Void) were prohibited by law and in the state of Wyoming.
Matt Williams: Tech Talk, walking you through the technological landscape.
Stephanie Ciccarelli: Hey there guys. It’s Tech Talk time! Take it away, Adam.
Bob Oakman: You’re listening to another Defiant Digital podcast for Voices.com. Here’s your host, Adam Fox.
Adam Fox: Hey folks, how you all doing? Thanks so much for your cards and letters from last week on our discussion about assumptions and technical things that we might be discussing with our clients, and it sparks some interesting discussion regarding what kind of technical requirements do your clients put on you and what kind of things do we discuss with the clients prior to actually doing the job.
So I figured that was a good topic of conversation for today and I’m going to keep it short. I just wanted to throw out there the call, if you will, to go ahead and submit your ideas and some of the things that maybe you do from a technical nature with your clients. Especially and specifically in dealing with the pre-doing the job ritual as it were. What kinds of things do you discuss with your clients as far as – and again, we’re not trying to give away any technical secrets here or any kinds of business secrets here. We’re just merely trying to get some listing of things submitted by you, the listeners to this wonderful podcast regarding what kinds of things that you actually will go through the rituals that you may go through with your clients to assure and insure that the job is going to be exactly what they want when they get it, hand it to them in their hot little hands or e-mail boxes as it were. So I’ll start off with some of the things that I’ve talked to my clients about and I’ll just toss a couple of them out there and just go from there.
You know, most of the time when we get our scripts, we’ll get the time constraint. Okay, this is a 30-second spot. We needed to be this way as far as the job format and how they need the final product to be delivered. And the big question that I ask my clients is, “Do you want me to provide you with the finished spot of dry voiceover or did you want me to give you a couple of takes of each one of the sentences that I might be reading or the groupings of sentences that I might be reading?”
I find that a lot of clients will want a couple of different reads and again, this may be common sense and I’m certainly not trying to step on any toes, but this is merely a primer, if you will, to some of the people that are just getting into this and you know, may not know that they can certainly provide options to the clients in that particular fashion where it doesn’t have to necessarily always be a certain way, one way or another. We’re all about giving flexibility to the clients, right?
So I find a lot of clients just want to have a couple of different reads and I’ll specify that with him, “Hey, do you want me to give you a finished spot? Do you want a couple of different reads per groupings of lines?” I would just try to up-sell them the production, obviously. This could certainly be a business point or a technical point but I always try to up-sell them the production because it gives the client an idea of what you can do and who knows? Maybe they’re going through it themselves and they don’t really have somebody on their end that is an audio engineer as Bettye Zoller has so aptly defined for us in previous podcast and not everybody who put spots together as an audio engineer.
So I certainly try to make my services available to them from that standpoint as to, “Hey, I can give you custom music creation. I can give you, you know, certain applicable sound effects and other kinds of peripheral things that will really finish the job off or do you just want me to give you the straight voiceover?” And of course, I always discuss the, how do you want the final job to be delivered and in what format and so on and so forth. So those are just a couple of things that I throw out there to my clients and like I said, I just wanted to keep it short today but I wanted to throw the idea out there.
Go ahead and send me podmail and let me know what kinds of technical things that you discussed with your clients. I think it’s a good thing for us to share with everyone and again, the whole point here is so that we can share and help those people that are learning coming into the business and really trying to find their feet as it were, to help them to understand and to learn the processes by which this wonderful business of ours in voiceover can be done and how we can expand it and make it better for all of us, as well as providing a higher quality of service to our clients on a daily basis because that’s what it’s all about, right? Well, I sound like a broken record sometimes, don’t I?
Well anyway, thank you so much for listening today. It’s a joy to be able to offer this podcast and be able to shoot out these ideas and moreover, I really enjoy the opportunity to spark discussion among the forum. I think it’s a wonderful thing and it goes right hand in hand with the VOX daily blogs that come out and all the different kinds of peripheral things that Voices.com offers. And it just goes to show again that they just care so much about each and every one of us and helping us improve our careers. It’s just not a place to store and wear a house of bunch of talent and I just – I think that’s some above the bar.
So like I said, you can hit me with an e-mail right here at the Voices.com website at adamfox.voices.com or you can hit me at my website for the production company at defiantdigital.com. So I hope everyone has a wonderful Labor Day weekend. Hope you enjoy that last or the last throws of summer and be productive and folks, the Christmas season is right around the corner. So let’s all get ready and get busy and let’s share. Send me those e-mails and we’ll get some of those on the air next week. All right? Thank you so much for listening and till next time, bye for now.
Stephanie Ciccarelli: Thank you, Adam. As always, you can send Adam your feedback and podmail, he loves that, at Adam@DefiantDigital.com.
Matt Williams: VoxBox, sharing your audio feedback.
Stephanie Ciccarelli: Have you heard of the Voice Over Experts podcast? For many of you who have been listeners of VOX Talk for a long time, you’ve heard me talk about it before. For those of you who are new to Voices.com or to VOX Talk, let me share some information with you. Voice Over Experts is a podcast created for voice actors who want access to continuing education on a weekly basis through podcasts featuring voiceover coaches from all over the world lecturing on different topics each week to keep you conditioned and also to challenge you. This podcast I might add is awesome for people who are just getting started in the business of voice acting and as I’ve heard from many, Voice Over Experts should be mandatory listening for all voice actors.
The best in the business teach weekly for your benefit on the podcast. Just this week, we had Connie Terwilliger on and last week, it was Dan Lenard also known as Master VO. And the week before that, it was Penny Abshire from VoiceActing.com. This coming week, you can expect to hear from Pat Fraley, the gentleman you heard from in The Biz and he’ll have more advice for you, this time on dialects.
I strongly advice that you take a good listen to Connie Terwilliger’s episode from this week. It’s about self-assessment and self-evaluation. It’s really a must for anyone who wants to know where they stand in the business of voiceover. New coaches are signing on regularly, most recently Bernard Shaw from the United Kingdom. With over a dozen episodes already online, you’ll have ample resources to keep you busy. Subscribe through the iTunes Podcast Directory by searching for Voice Over Experts or by visiting the Voice Over Experts website as I mentioned earlier. That’s podcast.voices.com/voiceoverexperts.
That brings us to the end of this episode! If you haven’t subscribed already, go to podcasts.voices.com/voxtalk or you can find us in the Apple iTunes Podcast Directory by searching for VOX Talk. Thanks for listening and staying subscribed! We’ll see you next week.