Monday, February 28, 2011

Spending All Your Hard Earned Money

My recent re-entry to the world of voice-over has been fraught with several opportunities to separate me from my money.  Some I have deemed necessary like spending the big bucks on a demo, buying a quality mic, and signing up with a few P2P sites.  The one thing I haven't done is hire a "coach," or "attend" a webinar (seminar held over the internet) put on by a "coach."

Now, before I begin to sound too cynical (I'm trying to keep things positive), I have invested in reading materials that have given me several good ideas about continuing my education in the VO world.  Such advice like taking acting classes, volunteering, and getting feedback from professionals, I've either done or am planning on doing soon.  Other advice, like signing up for every "webinar" or "teleseminar" offered by a "coach," I haven't done.

I'm all for training.  I've coached several teams in several different sports over the years, and the one piece of advice I give all my players is to practice, practice, practice.  If possible, I encourage them to take lessons; whether it's seeking out a good batting coach, personal trainer, or guru, getting that little extra will separate the motivated player from the one whose parents have forced him/her onto the field.  So really, it should be no different for me.  After all, as an attorney, I tell all prospective clients, "The man who acts as his own lawyer has a fool for a client," so the VO actor who tries to be his own coach is working with an idiot.

That brings me to the real reason I decided to write today:  just who do you believe when it comes to "coaches?"  I am bombarded with e-mails from various sites offering costly workshops (the priciest was over $1300 for 3 days) both in-person and over the web.  The problem I have is deciding who's credible, and who's just trying to pry my wallet open.  One thing I look at is the number of "seminars" the person puts on in a given period of time.  One "coach" has sent me about 10 different e-mails offering a wide variety of classes.  When someone has the time to offer so many classes, I begin to think they have too much time on their hands.  In other words, is this person a true working professional, or a full-time coach?  The answer may or may not be important to you, but to me, I'd rather go with someone who is still plying his/her trade over the person who has not consistently booked in the past 3 years and is now a "coach."

Maybe my cynicism is getting the best of me, but I really can't help it.  There are plenty of good people out there doing good work who are also willing to share and help.  It's what sets the VO world apart from the rest of the entertainment business (and the rest of the professional world for that matter).  With entire websites devoted to this branch of VO commerce, the only piece of advice I can impart is, "Let the buyer beware."

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Is playing a numbers game? | Double Dutch

I came across this blog entry a little late. . .sorry for the delay. But it is a hard lesson in the "pay to play" business model. Unfortunately, I am learning this through experience, rather than by doing my research first.

Live and learn.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Ron Nelson Voiceover

I finally took the plunge and got my own website up and running. It's under construction, but it's a start. The site will lead you to my bio pages at other sites, my demos, and give you info about me and what I do.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Can A Voice Over Artist Improve Your Marketing?

Hey all you businesses out there! Take a tip from fellow voice-artist, Terry Daniel, and hire a voice actor for all your voiceover needs.

As a matter of fact, hire this guy (me)!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Blue Microphones Yeti Professional USB Microphone - Bing Videos

The microphone I currently use for all VO work. I'm working on getting a powered mic and pre-amp, but this mic is a great piece to have in the arsenal!

Pot dispensary neighbors protest in streets | pot, dispensary, street - News - The Orange County Register

Right around the corner from my house. I'm all for medical marijuana, but dispensaries need to be in areas zoned for businesses and away from kids.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Golden-Voiced Ted Williams Out of Rehab, Looking for Voiceover Work - Live Feed

Good for Ted, but am I the only one who's getting a little weary of his story? God-given talent, throws it all away for booze and drugs, hits bottom, gets found, gets clean, gets back on top. I get it. I've read it. Maybe I'm a little jealous of it.

In reality, Ted didn't ask to be "re-discovered." He just wanted money for "food," so blaming him or judging his life is out of line, I suppose. I guess what gets me is the grandstanding of some to be seen in photo ops as they give Ted, "A hand up."

Maybe that's it.

Still, good on Ted. Hope he stays clean and uses his powers for good; not evil!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Just added a new blog post. More to come!

Social Media: What the hell is that?

I have to admit, when it comes to "social media," I'm still treading in the backwaters. . .ideologically and in practice.  My ideas of social media were formed watching an older daughter try, use, then leave My Space.  When Facebook came along, I was told it was the "My Space for adults."  This turned out to be true for about 15 seconds as said daughter, the daughter #2 both joined.  I joined a long time ago, but only because a friend thought it would be cute.

Now, I'm beginning to realize why I have to use it.

Facebook, Twitter, Amplify; they all are there for fun and games, and are used that way by about 90% of the members.  Guys like me who always thought of them as a sure waste of time and a huge pain in the ass are now learning they are the gateway to jobs in our chosen fields.  As a full-time educator, I have little use for Facebook or Twitter.  As a part-time voice actor (I've been reading, too, and this is what I'm supposed to call myself. . . lookout!), the "Social Media" sites are a must if I want to get my name and voice out there to potential clients.

My problem now is; how do I use them to their potential?  How can I generate some interest in my voice using them?  Well, for right now, I'm just using this blog as a "jumping off" point, Amplifying it, posting new links on Facebook, and tweeting updates.  Then, I go back to Facebook, comment in threads, make sure people see my name, hopefully follow my links, follow my blog, get their followers to follow me, hope on of their followers owns a big commercial production house, calls me, and "voila!" I get a job.

In the meantime, I'm also relying on the "old fashioned" method of giving great service to clients, depending on referrals, and following up on contacts as a way of generating business.  For now, my primary goal is to learn and grow, and hopefully not get lost within the "Social Media."

I also welcome all advice on how to make better use of it all!