February Newsletter 2014

“My fault, my failure, is not in the passions I have, but in my lack of control of them.”
― Jack Kerouac
  

February Newsletter 2014 What’s YOUR Type?

Acting is a card game:  The objective is to lead with trump; lead with POWER. In other words, establish yourself with what it is you do best. 

Sounds easy. However, you may be too close to it to determine for yourself how you’re perceived. This speaks to type. It’s not uncommon, even if you’ve been pursuing a career in this business for a number of years, you may only stumble upon the work you’re best suited to land as a type.

If your type changes or falls out of favor with the trends, a complete reevaluation of who you are and how you’re perceived needs to be done if you hope to continue in this business.

Nothing stays the same, and type is no exception. If you had been relatively successful at one time and now you’re not, something changed. It may be your marketing or the fact that you stopped making yourself available to the work. You may have changed agents. Then again, it may be your type has changed or the market has changed and those who once had a call for your type now require something else. There are a handful of factors that could be at play here, and determining how you’re perceived right now is a very good place to start. You may find you typically do best with what interests or entertains you most.

We meet talent every day at Sound Advice who we’d consider extremely marketable for commercial work, yet far too often the talent don’t consider themselves commercially viable.  This may occur for a variety of reasons. It may be due to the fact that, in the case of many stage actors, we are generally taught to repel ANYTHING commercial, as this would be considered “selling out.” Unfortunately this mindset has managed to impede more talent from establishing themselves professionally and making a stable living in this business.  It’s quite the stigma to overcome, especially if it’s been drilled into you for four years or more in theater school.

Yet, it’s a little-known fact that many well-known, respected film directors have managed to keep themselves gainfully employed between film projects for decades now directing commercials.  Apparently, this fact has eluded all those “well-meaning” acting coaches who are often responsible for perpetuating this notion of selling out.  It’s a trap and not designed with your best interest.

Defining what you do best and what your greatest assets are is key to your success.  If you’re just starting out or starting over, you may feel some pressure to fully define your type, establish your brand, your identity. You may have the idea that you can’t just go out there not knowing who you are. Well, my friend, talent do just that, to a greater or lesser degree, every single day. They have as far back as anyone can remember. It’s perfectly fine to have a general idea of where you’ll book and how you’re perceived—at least for the time being.

Typing a talent is often rather subjective. On one hand, typing allows a talent agent, casting director, producer, or director to get a handle on who you are in the broadest terms. On the other hand, it ultimately defines you as a very specific individual and sets you apart from the masses.

Thus, the confusion surrounding “type”: It’s very easy to become lost in this paradox.

Let’s back up a minute. Let’s start with the question, “How are you perceived?”

To break it down, you must have some idea of the sort of roles you would do best.  You would never have pursued acting in any capacity if you didn’t have at least some idea of what it is you bring to the table. Understanding this offers you the some of the most key trade secrets to becoming a valuable talent and how to become a voice over. 

Are you a character actor? Are you a romantic lead? Are you the bad guy? Are you the good guy?

It’s very likely you fall into one of these types. This is where you begin as this is most likely how you’re perceived first and foremost.

Breaking with conventional wisdom, the first professional auditions you go on you’ll discover you’re continually asked to “just be yourself.”  “Well, who the heck is that?  I got into this business to ‘be’ someone else!” Most talent feel far more comfortable remaining safely behind the character they’ve created, rather than exposing their vulnerability as themselves.   What a frightening prospect.  Besides the whole thing is completely confusing. No wonder determining your type is such a conundrum.

You have to ask yourself, “What roles am I MOST LIKELY to play?”

Do yourself a favor and keep it simple. 

If you honestly intend to work in voice over, secure acting jobs, and become a voice actor, then consider your initial entrance point: YOU! › 

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Every one needs a little help in sorting out their home audio set up from time to time, or technical assistance to insure the quality of their home recordings meet industry standards.  Introducing a brand-new service from SOUND ADVICE: Home Recording Help! For the equivalent of our hourly coaching session, our head of production, producer Jeff Finney, lends his expertise over Skype.  This way we can see, as well as hear, the challenges you may be facing to offer the best, most frugal solutions possible.   Purchase a single hour, or a small package, but get on with it already and get yourself, and your career, up and moving!  Discover our newest service: HOME RECORDING HELP ›

Stay Healthy, Stay Happy

When you’re a voice talent, keeping all the throaty, nosy things away can sometimes be a challenge. Here are some natural remedies I’ve found to be very successful when it comes to colds, allergies, and the flu.

Emergen-C is half the solution of what I refer to as my “flu bomb.” If you find yourself coming down with something, follow this to the letter: Empty your favorite flavor Emergen-C (I like Tropical, Raspberry or Strawberry) and an orange Airborne into the same glass. Add water, either hot or cold, but allow the ingredients to dissolve completely.  Then drink the entire contents.  It tastes great and, if you caught the illness within the first 48 hours of your initial symptoms, it’s likely you’ll avert coming down with anything.  (Or, at the very least, the duration of whatever is trying to take over will run its course quicker than you might ever expect.)

Follow-up is key:  Repeat this “flu bomb” formula every four to five hours for at least two to three days. Then follow with one flu bomb in the morning and one before bedtime for the remainder of a week—EVEN if you feel better. 

To relieve the symptoms of common colds or allergies, try making some Yogi Tea. In a pot filled with 2 quarts of water, add 15 cloves, 15 black peppercorns, 15 crushed (green) cardamom seeds, 3 cinnamon sticks, and about a half inch of fresh gingerroot, sliced. (I know, I know—yum, right?  Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.)  Boil the mixture for 30 minutes or simmer for up to 3 hours (tops). Lastly, add a strong black tea (either loose leaf or in tea bags)—I prefer PG Tips brand. Freeze it or store in the fridge. If you want to sweeten the tea with honey and/or add milk, do it with each cup as you drink it.

ApplesOrangesZinc dries you up when you need it, while vitamin C has the opposite effect. C allows your sinuses to open up and self-moisturize when your eyes, throat, and sinuses are too dry.  

If your eyes and/or nose are runny, try 50 to 60 mgs of zinc.  It will allow you to get through an hour-long recording session, for example, without incident.  Nothing shy of miraculous here.  No wonder it’s common to smear zinc (in cream form, of course) on a baby’s bottom to keep it dry and free from diaper rash. 

If you’re honestly don’t feel well, do the responsible thing: avoid infecting others and book out with your agents.  If you don’t you’ll only succeed in making yourself worse and making everyone you come in contact with doubt your professionalism.  Can’t have that. 

In the meantime, take care of yourself and stay healthy, stay happy.  If you start to feel under the weather, be smart.  

To learn more about staying healthy in and out of the booth, get The SOUND ADVICE Encyclopedia of Voice-over and the Business of Being a Working Talent. ›

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Make your business more profitable this year than ever before!  Sign up NOW for www.Voice-OverWebinars.com’s upcoming classes to help you Make More Green in 2014 to receive a 50% discount on one of our promotional mailing lists for a savings of up to $187.50!

And be sure to join Kate & Julie on February 18th to discover what you need to do effectively market to your primary target audience. But you have to act FAST!

It’s time to really drive your career forward!  ›

 

Copyright © 2014 by Kate McClanaghan, All Rights Reserved.