August 2012

“The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person’s determination.”  —Tommy Lasorda

Take a Page from Our BOOK

In case you missed it, we fully updated our The SOUND ADVICE Encyclopedia of Voice-over & the Business of Being a Working Talentfor the SECOND time in a year and a half. (That’s how much this industry has changed!)  And our book is about to be available digitally. It’s now more than 500 fantastic pages of pure, unadulterated insider info that’s designed to “release the hounds” on your career. 

For instance, there are a number of terms and phrases you should know, in order to work smarter!  Such as…


The term used when you are trying to re-create the timbre, emotion, inflection, phrasing, volume/proximity, and tempo of a delivery, to make a slight adjustment or to correct a minor error in the initial read.
Also, if at a session the client preferred a specific take and simply wants to change a line or phrase he may have you punch in the corrected line. This requires you match the original delivery as close as possible.

The truth is there are only three circumstances in which one specific delivery is required from you:

a) When you are understudying a stage role.  According to Actors’ Equity, you are expected to re-create the original actor’s performance as closely as possible.

b) When you are in a professional touring company of a stage production (such as Wicked or Hairspray). These productions are very strictly choreographed to match the original production—to the letter in every way in order to offer a consistent product from one show to the next, therefore the original show becomes the blueprint for the touring companies. Additionally, these productions are often heavy “tech” shows, and straying from the program could increase the risk of injury to cast and crew.

c) And—when adding or correcting a line in a voice-over or on-camera production (known as ADR* or looping).

Other than that, matching is not the desired goal of a performance; it’s only a tool and nothing more.

And THAT, my friend, is why we’re the only place going called SOUND ADVICE.  

If you haven’t secured a copy for yourself yet, click here for more info: *ADR stands for Automated Dialogue Replacement, it’s also known as looping. 

Going the Distance

When asked, “Why do some people succeed and others don’t?” Many assume it simply takes talent. But there’s honestly no one answer.  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 require constant attention. It’s your responsibility to ensure these key factors are continually in play. They are required of you as a talent no matter how far along you may be, whether you are just beginning, or if you have been established in the business for years and need to raise your game to the next level.  They are constant.

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 may 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 at 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.

As a rule: never set your sights 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 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.  But, I promise you, if you leave your career alone nothing will happen.  It will slip through your fingers.

No one who ever scored an Oscar accepted it, saying, “This was so easy!” The fact is, anything worthwhile is accomplished from hard work and lots of it.  And much of that work is in the form of consistent promotion.  It’s how we make ourselves known and familiar.  If you intend to succeed as a working talent, promotion comes with the territory.  And while you may be a strong sprinter at the onset of your career, aim to go the distance. 

And even with the assistance we continually offer you here at SOUND ADVICE, you’re the one who has to dedicate yourself to the task of getting the job done.  Certainly your odds are far greater with us than without us, but it’s still work and you’re the one who has to do it.  No one will give it to you, or create it for you.  You can’t purchase it, but you can effectively invest in yourself to deliver what’s needed and wanted of you so you’re ready at a moment’s notice.  That’s the only way you’ll build confidence and earn experience.

There’s always something you could be doing RIGHT NOW to forward your goals. So, just do it!  And procrastinate tomorrow.

Industry Myth #872: “You must to have a talent agent first in order to promote yourself to the creatives.”

FALSE! The truth is you should begin establishing yourself in the industry as soon as you have a proper demo, postcards, and a voice-over-only Web site.  No other aspect of the talent industry allows you to take matters into your own hands and drive potential clients directly to your demos online like voice-over. 

PLUS, we haven’t had THIS many industry contacts added to our mailing lists in 7 years! 

Voice talent can’t rely on auditions alone to land work.  You will only be exposing yourself to one-eighth of your true booking potential if you do! You MUST promote. E-mail us now to purchase your next regional mailing list: 

The Best Time to Get an Agent

Do you suppose anything about this industry is seasonal?  Actually, it is.  

You’re more likely to land a talent agent between the months of July and August.  Why?  They’re not as busy, production-wise, so, like you, they clean house and get caught up on a backlog of submissions and prepare themselves for the coming season…which arrives promptly every year on the heels of Labor Day.  Agents like to know they have a reliable roster of talent and these months allow them a little time to test you out.  

So, if you haven’t been promoting yourself—you better get busy.  The dog days of summer have no business lying down on the job when there are agents to be secured!

Not sure how to proceed?  Then check out our latest and greatest: our SOUND ADVICE online tutorials we call “The Bundles.”  The entire process on how to effectively secure representation is laid out in glorious detail in the first of the three, Bundle #1: “Getting Started in Voice-over.”  Check out our site for more details—even if you’re not just getting started, maybe you’re just starting over. Happens to the best of us from time to time.  Regardless, there’s a Bundle for everyone.

But first things first, you have to get off the hammock for 20 minutes and do something constructive. C’mon you’ll enjoy it.  It’s fun! That’s it. I’m proud of you. 


Kate McClanaghan, Inc. © 2012. All rights reserved