December 2015 Newsletter

“The thing about Christmas is that it almost doesn’t matter what mood
you’re in or what kind of year you’ve had—it’s a fresh start!” – Kelly Clarkson

december-newsletter

December is One of the Best Months to Get an Agent

We’ve long recommended you pursue representation especially during July and August and between Thanksgiving and New Year’s for the simple fact that talent agents often reassess their talent pool during these times and are often more receptive to scheduling meetings with you. Great!

And while we don’t offer lists of national voiceover talent agents, we do recommend you create your own, drawing from a number of talent agents listed on Voicebank.net. Not all agents are equal, or worth working with simply because they are listed on Voicebank, but the more reputable agents are listed there.

Click on Voice Over Demos & Clients on the home page. Then, under Select a Category, Talent Agency (Union) will be highlighted first. Sort these agents by City. Beyond your local region, be sure to include agents from a variety of markets across the country as well. Select Talent Agency (Non-Union) if this category applies to you, and include many of these agents in your promotions as well.

Study these talent agencies to determine which ones best suits your skill sets. Do they have a number of talent that match your type on their Web sites? Determine if they specialize in young adults and kids, or Spanish, for instance. If these categories don’t apply to you, there would be no sense promoting yourself to that agency. Narrow your list and move on.

About a fifth of all talent agencies will mention their preferred submission policies. Following their initial instructions, and following up by contact the agency to confirm their current submission policy will speak volumes to your professionalism. Ignoring their submission requests will serve only to frustrate you both.

All in all, you should continue promoting yourself to the talent agents by following the 8-consecutive-week process outlined in detail in The SOUND ADVICE Encyclopedia of Voice-over & The Business of Being a Working Talent. Follow the SOUND ADVICE 8 Consecutive Week Promotional Process to secure talent agents until you have representation you’re truly happy with in at least three to four different regions. You may need to repeat this entire 8-Week Process three or four times over spanning 18 to 24 months, if followed with due-diligence. It’s the single most successful process to secure representation, provided your skills are kept sharp and your promotional materials meet or exceed industry standards. So, applying it will likely lead to the greatest onslaught of work you may have ever experienced in this business. Knock ‘em dead!

december-newsletter

“On a busy day twenty-two thousand people come to visit Santa, and I was told that it is an elf’s lot to remain merry in the face of torment and adversity. I promised to keep that in mind.” ―David Sedaris

Gifts of Great Joy

Since there really is no point in having a voiceover demo if no one knows you have one, which is why, as our gift to you this Christmas, we’re offering the greatest savings on our exclusive promotional mailing lists for this month–EVER! Save an unprecedented 50 percent on every mailing list in our online SHOP during our holiday promotion from December 22nd, 2015 through January 3rd, 2016. We’ve increased each one of our mailing lists by as much as double in the past 6 months, and we’ve updated them consistently and completely every 3-4 weeks as well. Our lists offer you direct access with literally thousands of producers, your voiceover demos’ target audience. These contacts do NOT accept cold calling, mass emails (which translates to SPAM anyway) and aren’t available at this level—anywhere, except through SOUND ADVICE. For more details, CLICK HERE to begin planning your (HALF OFF) promotional blitzkrieg for 2016!

december-newsletter

How to Build Your Cold Reading Skills

It’s been our experience that after we’ve produced your demos and you’ve promoted them well, it’s very likely you will be booked (hired) right off of them. In fact, your bookings can increase by as much as 80 percent if you consistently promote your self. In which case you won’t have the benefit of the audition to become familiar with the copy prior to the session. Therefore, the first time you read the spot will be in front of the client while you’re in the booth. The point is there’s no underestimating the importance of building and maintaining effective cold reading skills.

If you’re already a strong cold reader—wonderful! Then, the only caution is becoming too set in a single delivery, offering no room for discovery or play.

If you’re not a strong cold-reader, the best way to begin developing those skills is to read anything and everything out loud. It generally takes 6 to 7 full reads out loud just to discover what the script is trying to say. The degree of difficulty will vary from project to project, from talent to talent, and certainly not all scripts are created equal.

Regardless of whether you’re a strong cold-reader or not, it’s imperative you animate your read fully, or ‘Stretch the Canvas’ as we call it here at SOUND ADVICE, especially during your first four or five reads. The object is to expand your performance playing field right from the start in order to offer the very best results.

Avoid giving yourself too long a runway by ramping up into your performance. This can occur when you unwittingly find yourself attempting to craft only one perfect take. The unfortunate effect is often stiff and robotic after 10 or more takes, which can be extremely difficult to break free from. We call this the ‘muscle memory delivery’, which tends to lack presence of mind and real interest.

Your goal as a talent is to offer a handful of honest, appropriate options within the perimeters of the project. The result will always be uniquely YOU!

Scheduling a coaching once a month or so with us a few times a year to hone your performance muscle is a good idea no matter your experience level, otherwise these skills will atrophy. We offer our coaching via Skype as well, to help you maintain and sharpen your performance skills regardless of your location. CLICK HERE to learn more!

december-newsletter

“I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’re gone from your life. I’ve learned that making a “living” is not the same thing as making a “life.” I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back. I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one. I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn. I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

―Maya Angelou

Declan & friends

Our Warmest Wish For You and the New Year…

From all of us at SOUND ADVICE, we wish you health, happiness, dreams fulfilled and hearts brimming with good cheer! We look forward to seeing you propel your career forward in the coming year. In the meantime, enjoy the very best of the season! Here’s to even better days ahead in the coming year!

Copyright © 2015 by Kate McClanaghan, Inc. All Rights Reserved.