September Newsletter 2015

“Good things come to those who believe, better things come to those who are patient, and the best things come to those who don’t give up.”                             – Unknown

A teenager showing his/her shoes and jeans, posing in studio.

Back To School

Heading back to school in September has always meant a new beginning, a new approach, a new chapter in your life. Why should this year be any different?

When it comes to your voiceover career, coaching should offer you a process to develop your self-direction skills (since nearly all your auditions will be done from home), help you fine tune your current technique, and hopefully elevate your skills to advance your career.

However, technique training can be tricky. Especially when the standard cliché’ with regard to coaching is, “there’s no single approach more effective than another.” The problem with that notion is anyone can hang out a shingle stating they’re a coach regardless whether they have little or no experience or credentials and your training is based solely on the whim of the coach. That is to say, far too often these “coaches” typically put you through what could more accurately be described as random motion, without any specific purpose or intended result. This is typically coupled with random opinions, which lack any basis in fact or study. Toss in a snarky, overbearing demeanor and you have some of the most referred to (and revered) coaches in the industry. Go figure!

At SOUND ADVICE, our coaching features our exclusive, (copy written) time-tested techniques that challenge your game regardless whether you’re new to voiceover, or a seasoned, established professional. The training you receive from us is unique in that it is purpose-driven and offers you techniques you can honestly apply to your performance.

The concepts and insights we impart to you during coaching are our own signature approach, that will, with application and practice on your part, improve and advance your skills in all manner of recorded media, not just voiceover, but also in film and television as well.

That’s not to say these tools are immediately intuitive, quite the contrary. They require you put them to use. In fact it will forever fall to you to maintain your performance muscle.

Every talent is expected to be prepared at a moment’s notice therefore remaining performance ‘fit’ is a constant. Otherwise how can you run a marathon if you haven’t worked out in a couple years? How far do you honestly think you’ll go?

You need to schedule a couple good coaching sessions two or three times a year, and dedicate yourself to offering the very best of your abilities at all times.

If you’ve become complacent, or you’re unsure of your self, or you’re new to the field and you need a proper start (or restart as the case may be)… then give us a call and get scheduled this week.

For further assistance and career guidance, sign up to our (FREE) podcasts for further encouragement and insight into this remarkable industry. Subscribe at iTunes or Listen at SoundCloud. œ

Child Swimming

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

Rust doesn’t sleep… neither do our SOUND ADVICE clients!

Case in point:

Hi Kate! I’m very excited and wanted you to be one of the first I share my exciting news with. I received an offer from (my first EVER talent agent!) yesterday for representation. I have been working my tail off trying to get a nibble and finally I have it!  Of course it’s a little nerve racking because this is very unchartered territory for me and I want to be certain that I handle everything in the proper way.  For instance, in my new talent paperwork it’s asking of my delivery capabilities. I know I can easily deliver in MP3 from my home recording studio, but as for the ISDN, Phone Patch and Source Connect I’m unsure how to respond to that…I’m sure they will assist me with some of these questions.  THANK GOODNESS for the materials you have provided and the Encyclopedia of VO has been a constant resource for me.  I have been promoting myself since April and was wondering if my efforts were falling on deaf ears.   THEN…I picked up the Encyclopedia and there you are saying exactly what I was feeling which was very comforting to know this is a natural part of the process. Many, Many Thanks! T.S.

Kate: That’s wonderful news, T.S.! CONGRATULATIONS! We recommend you respond as follows to the most-commonly asked questions as we have answered them below.

Potential Agent: I would like to add your name to our database for voice over talents/actors, and would like to request some info, please. Do you have your own studio?

YOU: I have a home recording set up for auditions, and two studios I work which offers me access to ISDN, Source Connect, phone patch, etc. should I need it. Depending on the project, the work load, and provided my home set up meets the project’s audio standards, I have the ability to record from home and upload the uncompressed audio to their Dropbox. I can patch through Skype on these occasions.

Keep your responses brief and honest.

Securing this agent is really just the beginning, so be sure to KEEP GOING… one agent isn’t enough. Securing representation with talent agents in a variety of markets is a process. And, ideally, you’re after 3 to 4 agents outside your own region. This way if each one sends you 3-5 auditions a week, the likelihood of you booking jobs increases exponentially.

Again, voiceover is a numbers game. Continue to make yourself known and available to the work like you’re doing.

It may be hard to imagine, but 8 consecutive weeks promoting to the list of talent agents we gave you is only a START. You’ll likely follow this process 4 to 5 times over! That’s a realistic expectation if you hope to honestly establish yourself in this field.

It can take a year or two to find yourself with agents you’re truly happy with.

You may get 3 to 4 agents in the first 3 to 4 months following our promotional process, however you may discover that the agents who first took you on (who seemed driven and encouraging in the first couple weeks) may fall off the face of the Earth before long, when you haven’t heard from them 8 to 9 months after your initial connection. Or maybe you’ll find they don’t send you auditions that suit you (i.e. Teenagers and college students or elderly characters–and that’s clearly not appropriate to YOU!)

So again, please continue your promotion to the talent agents in other markets. It does become second nature after a while. Perhaps you can appreciate the tenacity necessary to making yourself known and available to the work, which may explain (at least in part) why there are so many one-hit wonders in this business. Dedicating yourself to promoting yourself is just as important as maintaining your performance skills.

Once more… GREAT job! More where that came from! œ

Seaside road

How To Go The Distance

What’s it take to go the distance in this business?

There’s no single answer, but you could say there are four: pursue, persist, prepare, and promote.

These four elements are absolutely vital to succeed at ANYTHING, let alone acting and voice-over, because they never go away.

Whatever it is you may end up accomplishing in this business, success will occur only if you pursue it. It won’t come to you, no matter how much talent you have and regardless the amount of nepotism you might have access to. Ultimately, it’s up to you to run your career.

You have to set your sights on your immediate goal and then persist to attain it. Developing and then maintaining your skills requires this persistent dedication. This element only increases with success, not the other way around—contrary to what many novices may think.

So, if you’re easily frustrated or simply give up after a few months of training or even after a year of promotion, then you’ll never honestly know for yourself what you could have created without real persistence. Developing your abilities and on-going promotion also requires patience; allow yourself to developing your skills so that agility becomes intuitive. Talent is not solely what you were born with. It takes attention. Left alone it will atrophy and fail you.

Preparation is continually required of you as a talent on a variety of levels. Your skills will develop as you continue to work them, so keep at it. This means coaching. The moment your skills lay dormant, your professionalism will be shaken, and with that, your confidence. Your confidence is directly related to your integrity. And regardless of your position, no matter how affluent you may be, no one can afford to lose his or her integrity. So you must continue to prepare.

Never set your sites on securing ‘just one audition’, or ‘one big break’, or ‘wait until the time is just right’. As you will only secure ONE audition, ONE break, and the time will never arrive because you never took the time to put the opportunity in your schedule. The time is right when you decide it is, so make that NOW. Make a decision as to what you want in your life and work toward that goal. By doing so you’ll accomplish everything you ever imagined possible.

Every audition is a form of promotion, yet so many artists repel even the notion of promotion that this could easily account for the scores of talented souls who have fallen into oblivion before ever allowing self-promotion to bridge the gap from unknown to genuine opportunity. If you leave your career alone, I promise you, nothing will happen. It will slip through your fingers.

No one who ever scored an Oscar accepted it, saying, “This was so easy! I don’t know why all of you guys don’t have one. It was a piece of cake!”

Anything worthwhile is accomplished from hard work and lots of it. And a good deal of that work comes from consistent promotion. It’s how we make ourselves known and familiar. Promotion comes with the territory in every business and can’t be ignored if you intend to succeed as a working talent.

Those who become consummate professionals make it their business to run their own careers rather than leave it to chance.

So, when you find yourself losing patience, and no doubt everyone does in every small business from time to time, don’t dwell on being frustrated, but rather put your energy into your pursuits, in your preparation, and in your promotion. There’s always something you could be doing RIGHT NOW to forward your goals.

In other words, just do it! And procrastinate tomorrow. œ

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