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Facebook Voiceover Groups Galore

Join A VO facebook group today

Join A VO facebook group today

If you love Facebook like the rest of the world, you probably already know about several groups that cater to the big world of voiceover. I am a member of several of these groups both public and private. Some are more worthy of reading than others, but they all have a place and serve their purpose. Some have 2 members while other host 1000’s of members. Some are moderated by the creator/host while others are a free-for-all. Some are public and some require you to go through a joining process. Why be a member of select voiceover groups? There are many reasons. If you are the quiet type and don’t post much, that’s okay. You can read through many of these groups/forums and learn a ton. People ask all sorts of questions, answer questions, share stories or gig news, share their newest music, share coaching and training tips and tricks, set meetups, exchange gear, learn about conventions, read blogs, provide support, mentor and chat about software and hardware, etc. Yes, there are lots and lots of voiceover groups out there. Out of curiosity I did a quick search on the Book Of Face and found a bunch of groups I didn’t know existed. Will I join them all? Um, NO. But I will explore them and join the ones that may benefit me over time. I’ve compliled a list of the top voice related groups on Facebook. There are many that I am not listing here, but you can simply do a quick search within Facebook to find any local or specialty groups. For example, if you have a small workout group for folks in your region, those are probably not on the list. Just know that many more groups exist out there. Ready? Let’s go!

  • VO Peeps
  • VO Community
  • World Voices
  • Voiceover Universe
  • VoiceOver BodyShop
  • VoiceoverCentral
  • Voiceover booth stories
  • VO Rockstars
  • VO Gear Exchange
  • Twisted Wave VO user group
  • VoiceOver Chat
  • VO University
  • VO in TO
  • WoVo-members only
  • Voice Over Marketing Podcast
  • Faffcon friends
  • Voice-over camp
  • VOICE convention
  • Voice Over Heroes
  • Voice Over Artists
  • Voice-over Fridge
  • Voice Actors Network
  • All Star Voices
  • Voices Anonymous – LA
  • Voice For Hire
  • VAU – Voice Artists United
  • The Voice Acting Hub
  • Voice Acting Alliance
  • Voiceover Master Class
  • VoiceXtra
  • VoHeavenWorkOuts
  • LoveThatImprovVO
  • ProTools VO user group
  • I’m A Voiceover Pro Who Wants To Have An Even More Wildly Success
  • TwistedWave VO user group
  • Voice-over Collective
  • The Professional British Voice-over group
  • Voice-over Mamas
  • VOiceover Artists Network Shuffle
  • Mid-Atlantic Voiceover
  • Audacity Voiceover users group
  • UNION – VOICEOVER UNPLUGGED
  • International Voice-over Bank
  • Voice Artists Who Do Dubbing And Voiceover
  • Voiceover Voices for Commercial Radio Tv Movie Audiobooks
  • Professional Voiceovers
  • Voice Over Women – VOW

Now get out there and join in the conversation! I’ve provided you with hours and hours worth of fun. You’re welcome.

Your friend in voiceover,

Rhonda

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How To Choose Which Conference, Convention or Summit is right for you

How to Choose Which Conference Is Right For You

Conventions and Conferences and Summits, Oh My! With each passing year it seems that there are more and more options for connecting and training through the magic of convention. I’ve compiled a list of several voiceover gatherings in 2016 for your convenience. But first, how do you go about deciding what conference is best for you?

  • Topics and Approach: Many conventions offer similar topics of study as well as a unique approach to training. What style of training works best for you? Do you enjoy sitting back and taking notes or are you more of a hands-on learner? Are you just learning the ropes or are you a seasoned voice actor? Do your homework. Each convention has a website with the classes and trainers all mapped out. Take time to read the bios and class descriptions carefully.
  • Agenda: What are your main objectives for attending a conference this year? Networking? Training? Coaching? Marketing? Branding? Being seen? Being heard? Handing out 100 business cards? Sharing your brilliance with the world? Being a mentor? No matter what, you’ll need to be sure that the daily agenda at the conference fits into your learning needs. If you are simply attending to hang out with all of your cool voiceover buddies, go to the conference that they are all attending. But if you are truly going to learn and grow, choose a conference that holds the most value to you.
  • Cost and Location: This is a big one. The registration cost of a conference can vary considerably. Most cost between $300 – $600 and some offer ‘early bird’ specials. Of course, this is just the beginning of the costs. You’ll also want to consider these additional costs: flights, hotel, ground transportation, meals, training materials, conference ‘extras’, souvenirs, clothing, unplanned items you may want to purchase at the conference, travel insurance and cash for that thing you forget at home. Of course, you’ll also want a little cushion in there for things like tipping and buying those extra drinks for your friends while they sing karaoke!
  • Attendees: Some conference websites list the names of the folks attending. If it is important for you to see and mingle with all the right people, this information may be valuable to you. However, you would probably be better off choosing the conference for its training value rather than its friend value.
  • Speakers/Presenters: This is one of the most valuable pieces of information you can have about any conference, convention or summit. Of course, there are a few exceptions for voiceover. Some conventions are led by your professional peers which I’ll also address. If you are going to a convention that has a set itinerary it is imperative that you know who is speaking so that you can mold your learning experience to suit what is best for you. If you are seeking all of the marketing and branding information on the planet, do your research and attend that persons course. Ask your peers about their personal experiences with a certain speaker. If you feel the need to be up in front of the class to practice your craft, look for those opportunities. There are typically a lot of “break out sessions” to choose from as well. These sessions are much smaller in size than the general session and typically add a more personal feel. If you leave a convention feeling like you didn’t learn what you needed to learn, perhaps you didn’t do your homework before you left home.
  • Sponsors: There are always lots of sponsors at these events. Do you have a favorite? Does it matter to you who sponsors? To me, I appreciate the sponsors and know that they add value to a conference but I don’t base my decisions on which one to attend or not attend simply because of a sponsor.
  • What you gain from attending: Everything! No matter how long you have been doing voiceover, you can always learn and grow. Not only can you learn from each other, but you can learn from amazing pros who have been teaching for decades. Topics like these: Marketing and Branding, improv, interpreting copy, demo production, agents, studio builds, technology, microphone techniques, script delivery, coaching, script breakdown, hands-on learning, software courses, legal and tax stuff, website help, social media, the business of business, union information, client management info, cold calling, script writing, genre specific info and so much more. The world of voiceover is an amazing one. My experience has been wonderful at each and every conference I’ve attended. Not only have I furthered my career, but I’ve made some life long friends. Now get out there and sign up for a conference or three!

*Faffcon: This conference is led by your professional peers. The attendees are vetted professionals who volunteer to lead a session. I find this approach to be brilliant and very worthwhile. Although the agenda and training courses are not mapped out prior to the event, you’ll learn from the best in the business. Trust me.

Here is a list of the conferences, conventions and summits that I could find for 2016. Some do NOT have dates listed for their event yet, but know that they are coming:

WoVo Con III – http://www.world-voices.org/
April 15 – 17, 2016
$299 early $349 regular
Las Vegas, NV
http://www.world-voices.org/event-2092846

VO Atlanta – http://voatlanta.me/
March 3 – 6, 2016
$547
Atlanta, GA

Faffcon – http://faffcon.com/
2016 dates not set – typically happens in October
$329
Location varies each year
Must be a vetted professional to attend

Faffcamp – http://faffcamp.com/
2016 date not set. I’m unsure if this one is happening this year.
$449
Location varies each year

VO Mastery Summit – http://randythomaspresents.com/
November 10-13, 2016
Ft. Myers, FL
$299 early $325 regular

Voxy Lady Summit – http://voxyladies.com/voxy-summit-2016/
January 29 – 31, 2016
$299 early $459 regular
Atlanta, GA

Mid Atlantic Vo – http://www.midatlanticvo.com/
Tentative dates: November 5-6, 2016
Cost unknown
Herndon, VA

Midwest Voice Conference – http://www.midwestvoiceoverconference.com/
May 12-14, 2016
$499 early $549 regular
Worthington, OH

The Rewards of Risk – https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10208655730129304&set=a.2548151941739.2147107.1192034090&type=3&theater
Men’s Summit
January 23-24, 2016
$675 new clients $575 existing clients
Ladies Summit
March 5-6, 2016
$675 new clients $575 existing clients
The Actors Studio – Las Vegas

That’s Voiceover – http://thatsvoiceover.com/
No date set for 2016, 2015 happened in mid November
West Hollywood, CA
Tickets and membership costs vary

VO Workshop Cruise – https://www.eventbrite.com/e/voiceover-workshop-cruise-2016-tickets-17221385628″>https://www.eventbrite.com/e/voiceover-workshop-cruise-2016-tickets-17221385628
April 10 – 17, 2016
$400 plus cost of cruise ($900 – 1600 double occupancy)
Sails from Houston to Mexico and Belize

VOICE2016 – Not happening this year

APAC – Audio Publishers Association (for audio book folks) – http://www.audiopub.org/events-apac.asp
May 10, 2016
Chicago, IL

Hear Now Festival – http://www.hearnowfestival.org/
June 9-12, 2016
Kansas City, MO

Happy learning! I’ll see your smiling faces at WoVo Con III. Until then, remember to do your homework and ask your colleagues about their past experiences. But no matter what, try to attend at least one of these conferences this year. There is plenty to choose from.

Your friend in voiceover,

Rhonda

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13 Ways To Improve Your Home Business

Improve Your Business

1. Get organized

Can’t see the top of your desk? Maybe it is time to organize. Take it from messy ol’ me, this can pose quite a challenge. Try this – remove everything from your desk other than your computer, keyboard and mouse. Now put back those items that you use on a daily basis. Now return anything you are working on this week. Nothing else. Trust me, you’ll feel so much better, I did.

2. Clean up your office

Now that your desk is a cleaner and happier place, it’s time to look around the room. Do you have piles of this and that laying around? How about that project that you started and never finished? Old boxes or files piled high? Once again, purge and replace. You’ll be amazed how much non-work stuff winds up hanging out in your office space.

3. Delete Delete Delete

Computers needs to by tidied up now and then. Do you have files from years past just hanging out sucking up your memory? I personally keep client audio files for a long time on an external drive, but when it comes to auditions, I keep the past 2 months worth. Everything else is delete delete delete.

4. Improve your workspace

When is the last time your office had a fresh coat of paint, new wall hangings or decals? When is the last time your moved your desk? I did all of these things within the past week and it made me feel 100% better about my office. We painted, moved my desk to a different wall, purchased a storage solution and minimized everything. I had a loveseat in my office that ended up being a catch all, so, bye bye couch.

5. Use Technology Wisely

Try using technology to keep the clutter down and stay organized. Here are some very noteworthy apps:

HabitList – create good habits
Evernote – keep notes organized
Asana – Team Tasks
Dropbox – File Sharing
Latergramme – for Instagram
HoursKeeper – Time tracking
Splashtop – remote desktop sharing

Helpful websites:
Madmimi – email
JotForm – Form making

6. Work More – Socialize Less

Social media is a very important part of your daily marketing plan. But marketing and socializing are two different things. One minute you’re checking your Facebook feed ‘real quick’ and before you know it an hour or two has passed by. Come on now, you know I’m talking to you.

7. Work in smaller chunks

There is only one of you. If you are feeling overwhelmed with everything your business requires of you, it’s time to start taking smaller bites. Divide chores into 15 minute chunks. File for 15 minutes then move on to something more fun like Tweeting. I mean bookkeeping sucks, but knowing I only have to do it for 15 minutes here and there makes it much less traumatic. Take short breaks through out the day as well.

8. Clean Out Your Inbox

Hi, my name is Rhonda and I hoard e-mail. Yep, I do. I know it’s a problem but I can’t seem to find a support group out there. So, I guess I need to take matters into my own hands. The mighty delete key holds all of the power. Unsubscribe to all the crap that fills your inbox daily. Take 15 minutes a day to tidy up your inbox.

9. Keep it professional

Those who know me know that I throw cuss words around sometimes. Ok, sometimes more than sometimes. But that is just who I am. When I’m e-mailing, dealing with clients, social media or the general public, I keep that #*&% to myself. You should too.

10. Get some fresh air

It’s cold cold cold here in Colorado, but that doesn’t stop me from getting some fresh air, even if it’s just watching my dogs play in the backyard. Take a 10 minute walk, you’ll be surprised how much better you’ll feel.

11. Get Creative

All work and no play makes you a very dull person. Find a creative way to express yourself outside of work. Paint, sing, take dance lessons, go on a wine tour.

12. Meet with other pros in your field

Join FB groups that make sense to your business. They will help you stay connected to the pulse of what is happening in your professional world. Go to conferences and meet-ups. Reach out and connect with a new colleague today.

13. Have fun

Think back to the excitement you felt when you first began your business. Remember how you felt when you first announced your website to the world? It’s time to figure out how to get back to that person. Get excited. Open doors. Connect. Market. Organize. Feel alive and have fun with your job. Even if you work in your pajamas!

~Your Friend In Voiceover, Rhonda

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Narrow Your Focus To Catch The Perfect Clients

Fishing on the boat. Vector retro styled illustration.

Fishing on the boat. Vector retro styled illustration.

In the big bad world of voiceover, there are many many areas in which you can specialize. Think about it this way, you are holding an umbrella and voiceover jobs are falling out of the sky. Each job lands in a separate bucket after hitting your umbrella. There are buckets labeled, “commercials”, “e-learning”, “IVR”, “audiobooks”, “animation”, etc. Of course, there are buckets within those buckets that hold their own specialties.

Some voice actors believe that they are a perfect fit for any and all voiceover jobs. Maybe that’s true but it’s probably not as true as you might think. Can your voice be all things to all people? It’s time to narrow your focus.

Ask yourself some key questions:

What delivery am I best at?
What do I feel most comfortable voicing?
What delivery does my coach think I’m best at?
Do I have the stamina for long form recording?
Do I have the acting chops to pull off characters?
Is there a market for the voiceover choices I’ve made?

For me, commercial work for radio, television and internet ads are what I’m best at. Audiobooks? Not my thing. Long form narration? Not my thing. Medical? Definitely not my thing. So why would I try to break into those genres of voiceover? I won’t – and you shouldn’t either unless they are ‘your thing’. Stick with what you do best!

You’ll also find that your marketing efforts will go much farther with a specific target audience in place. Why throw a giant net to catch a few perfect fish? Narrow your focus and target your specific audience.

Your friend in Voiceover

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Why didn’t you call me back?

Is hitting the reply button or returning phone calls a dying art?

Call me back, m'kay?

Call me back, m’kay?

Business. That’s what I do. I run a successful voiceover business on the daily. How? One way is by staying on top of my game and returning phone calls and e-mails immediately. Is returning phone calls and replying to emails a thing of the past? I sincerely hope not, however, I’ve personally been trying to hire a couple of different businesses to do service work for me lately and many have not bothered to return my call. This makes me an unhappy customer or potential customer. It also makes me very unlikely to use these businesses in the future. Why? Well, why would I put my trust in a business who didn’t take the time to return a simple phone call?

My question to you is this: Do you have calls or emails you haven’t returned? If so, you may have already lost a potential client or even worse, a current client.

Busy. It is a word that is highly overused. According to the dictionary, the word busy means:

*engaged in action: Occupied
*being in use
*full of activity
*foolishly or intrusively active
*full of distracting detail

Am I busy today? Yes. Was I busy yesterday? Yes. And it is very likely that I will be busy tomorrow as well. Do my clients care that I’m busy? No. Nope. Not at all. Nada. Now of course there are always times that we are truly incapacitated and can not return a phone call. For example, when I am in the studio recording, my phones are silenced and I concentrate on the copy in front of me. But the minute I walk out of the studio, I check messages and emails. Todays technology allows us to be connected every second of every day. My smart phone lets me know I have an email the moment it comes in. It’s up to me to handle it from there. My policy is to return emails immediately, or at least hourly and to return phone calls as soon as I have an available moment (no matter how busy I am). And by busy I don’t mean doing laundry or catching up on Dancing With The Stars. What’s your excuse?

Lately I’ve noticed many of my clients thanking me for my quick or timely responses to their requests. With my curiosity peaked, I asked a few of them about their experience with getting e-mails and phone calls returned. Here are some of their responses:

“It’s unfortunate that I have to hound some folks to get answers to my questions. On occasion I have to actually track my audio down like I’m hunting a bear.”

“Just last week I needed an audition and quote for a big project and sent out e-mails to 6 potential voice actors. One called me immediately, one e-mailed me 2 days later and the other 4 never responded at all. It makes my job harder than it needs to be.”

“Email is my life. If I send out a request that is not responded to by the end of the day, you probably won’t be receiving any more of my emails.”

“Ugh, this is a problem for me and my team on a daily basis. Most of the projects that we work on have hard deadlines. If you don’t get back to me within a few hours to let me know you’re available, you’re out.”

Wow. My mind = blown. Who knew so many people don’t reply to email requests. Well, we both do now.

Do you have phone calls or emails waiting for your response? Even the ones you don’t want to deal with? Then why are you still reading this blog? Get BUSY responding to your current and potential clients. Otherwise, they’ll just move on and connect with someone who will hit the ‘reply’ button or call them back like a boss. Be that boss!

You’re welcome.

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4 Voice Actors Walk Into A Bar…..

Generations

4 Voice Actors Walk Into A Bar…..

Samuel is 71, Alice is 52, Brad is 36 and Sara is 21. A sign greets them at the door saying, “please wait to be seated”. Samuel says, “I see an open table” and walks over to claim it. Alice, on the other hand, waits patiently and does as the sign asks. Brad could truly care less about what the others are doing and takes this free moment to check his text messages while Sara holds up her cell phone displaying that she has already reserved a table through the bars sweet new app.

You see, Samuel is from the Veteran generation, Alice is a Baby Boomer, Brad is a GenXer and Sara is a Millennial. How does the generation gap affect their daily decisions and interactions with each other and why is it important for you understand their generational views? Let’s explore.

The Veteran: Born between 1919 – 1942, this generation makes up a smaller percentage of the U.S workforce because many have already retired. They are known as one of the hardest working and loyal generations. Veterans did what they needed to do to survive, cared for their family and took control of every situation. Technology is difficult for this generation and they would prefer to do everything the traditional way. Samuel saw an opportunity for a table and seized it. His mentality is “if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.”

Baby Boomer: Born 1943 – 1961, this generation is filled with hard working, chain of command following, generous, respectful and dutiful individuals. They very much enjoy feedback. Hand a Baby Boomer an award for an accomplished and you will make them extremely happy. Titles are also important to the Boomer generation. CEO, Executive Assistant, Head Pencil Sharpener type titles. They keep their work life and home life completely separate. Boomers love to work and may even be called work-a-hollics. They love initiating and attending meetings and are big fans of teamwork. Although challenging at times, this generation has slowly adapted to todays digital world. For example, most Boomers would say that is distracting to use a laptop during an in-person meeting while the Millennials think it is a necessity. Since this generation is made up of rule makers and followers, Alice chose to follow the direction of the “please wait to be seated” sign.

Generation X: Born between 1962 – 1979, this generation is more cynical and has an attitude of work to live instead of live to work and may be known as the “me” generation. They have an egalitarian view of leaders. GenXers grew up with technology and are very savvy. Things like computers, video games, microwaves and MTV shaped this generation. GenXers are in search of individual freedom, human dignity, stability, tolerance, human rights, diversity and love. Working WITH you feels much better to a GenXer than working FOR you. They always want to have a voice in how things are done and are quick to take charge of any project, even if it is beyond their scope. Brad couldn’t be bothered with where to sit. Why should he be? The others are handling the situation which frees up time to do personal business.

Millennials: (AKA Generation Y) – Born in 1980 and after, this global-centric generation is optimistic, goal oriented, team focused and led. They are enthusiastic workers and learners and are diverse. Because change is so welcome to the Millennial, they will likely have around 17 jobs in their lifetime. At times, they can feel entitled and over confident. This is the generation that grew up with the Internet. Millennials require constant feedback on their work and enjoy praise and pats on the back. It is best not to put a Millennial in a cubical alone. It is very important for this generation to be in constant contact via Facebook, Skype, Google Hangouts, Texting, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Snapchat, etc. However, for work purposes, they prefer face-to-face interaction. The sharing of knowledge and new ideas are openly sought after. Since Sara is a child of technology, she used her cell to reserve a table during the cab ride to the restaurant. Plus, she already knew what she wanted to order thanks to the online menu. Isn’t technology cool?

So, how can you best work with all of the generations successfully?

Be Patient: People from the Veteran generation require your patience with todays technology. Understand that getting the job done is basically the only goal. No. Matter. What. Technology will be of less importance than face-to-face hard work. 

Be real: If you are working with a Baby Boomer, be sure to keep things real. Always tell it like it is. They may work longer hours than you and may question your work ethic if you don’t work quite as hard. Give them feedback in a straightforward manner, but make sure that it is useful feedback. Don’t waste a Baby Boomers time! Be thoughtful, respectful and to the point and you’ll get along just fine.

Be creative. GenXers see themselves as the force behind technological innovations. They are motivated by originality, creativity and imagination. They seek balance between work and play. A unique point-of-view is always on display from a GenXer. To get their attention, you must be a good listener and be willing to talk about solutions. Remember, the GenXer works to live. Rest assured, the project will get done, but it will get done the way they see fit.

Be connected. Millennials seek the personal interaction and participation that face-to-face communication makes possible.Often times while connecting with you face-to-face, they will be multitasking and interacting with others at the same time via the Internet. Handing out positive feedback like candy will be welcome to a Millennial. Teamwork motivates this generation. The more diverse the team is, the better off they are.

But most of all……BE AUTHENTIC. 

As a voice actor, I work with people from every generation. Even the Nexters! Knowing how a different generation thinks can help you work, manage and complete projects faster and with less emotional ties. 

I’ll keep talking if you keep listening! 

Your friend in voiceover, Rhonda.

 

Reference materials for this blog were taken from the following sources:

 

Generations At Work: Managing the Clash of Veterans,

Boomers, Xers, and Nexters in Your Workplace by Ron

Zemke, Claire Raines and Bob Fillpczak.

www.hermanmiller.com/research/research-summaries/

 

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June is Audiobook Month – A Good Listen Here!

Summer Shorts '14

JUNE IS AUDIOBOOK MONTHSummer Shorts '14

If you love audiobooks as much as I do, then June is a magical month. It’s Audiobook Month ya’ll! Yep, there is a good listen here. I’m proud to host today’s featured narrator, Scott O’Neill. Scott and I met at a voice actors convention last Fall and made fast friends. He’s not only an amazing audiobook narrator, he is an actor extraordinaire and a great friend. Todays featured audio is from Matt Rothschild’s memoir Dumbfounded and is titled “Why I Dont Believe In Santa Claus”.

The audiobook community is giving back! Spoken Freely, a group of more than 40 professional narrators, has teamed with Going Public and Tantor Media to celebrate June is Audiobook Month (JIAM) by offering Summer Shorts ’14, an audio collection of poetry, short stories and essays. All proceeds from sales of the collection will go to ProLiteracy, a national literacy outreach and advocacy organization.

Throughout June 2014, 1-2 stories, poems and essays will be released online each day via Going Public, as well as on various author and book blogs. As a “Thank you!” to listeners, pieces will be available for free online listening on their day of release. As a bonus for those who purchase the full collection from Tantor Media in support of ProLiteracy, there are over 20 additional tracks only available via the compilation download.

**Full release schedule can be found on the Spoken Freely page of the Going Public blog. 

Story Summary:

This stand-alone first chapter from Matt Rothschild’s memoir Dumbfounded, introduces his maternal Jewish grandparents who took over the responsibility of raising him, and how the issue of Christmas is addressed after Matthew’s elite Manhattan grade school awards him with Student of the Month, offering only a Christmas scene backdrop for his photo. Copyright is held by Matthew Rothschild. Recorded with permission.

Why I Don’t Believe in Santa Claus, by Matt Rothschild

 

About ProLiteracy

ProLiteracy, the largest adult literacy and basic education membership organization in the nation, advocates on behalf of adult learners and the programs that serve them, provides training and professional development, and publishes materials used in adult literacy and basic education instruction. ProLiteracy has 1,000 member programs in all 50 states and the District of Columbia and works with 52 nongovernmental organizations in 34 developing countries. Its publishing division, New Readers Press (NRP), has for more than 40 years provided educators with the instructional tools they need to teach adult students and older teens literacy skills for functioning in the world today. Materials are available in a variety of media, including the flagship publication, the weekly news source News for You, which delivers articles online with audio. Proceeds from sales of NRP materials support literacy programs in the U.S. and worldwide. Summer Shorts ’14 is made possible by the efforts of the Spoken Freely narrators and many others who donated their time and energy to bring it to fruition. Post-production, marketing support and publication provided by Tantor Media .

About Scott O’Neill
Scott O'Neill, Voice Actor

A native of the Pacific NW, Scott is a regional theatre veteran and proud member of SAG-AFTRA and the Audio Publishers Association. An energetic and versatile narrator, Scott has narrated an eclectic array of over thirty titles including: Wicked Good, The Madonna from Clive Barkers’ The Books Of Blood: Volume 5, Legends of Animation – Tex Avery: Hollywood’s Master of Screwball Cartoons, and Since My Last Confession: A Gay Catholic Memoir. Check out samples of his work at ScottOVoiceO.com.

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Zip Your Lips – Confidential

 

Don’t Spill The Beans. In other words, Zip Your Lips!Don't Spill The Beans. In Other Words, Zip Your Lips!

What? As voice actors, those are fighting words. We make our livings chatting our way through life. So why, you may be wondering, do you need to keep your mouth shut? There are many reasons.

Recently, on social media, I’ve noticed that some voice actors have been posting their auditions to Facebook, Twitter, etc. Why? For a good old fashioned pat on the back? Probably. But posting those “auditions” may be very detrimental to your career in the long run.

Example: Mary just got an audition opportunity for a huge national client, Company X, who is launching a new series of video games. She is over-the-moon about this and wants to share it with the world. After auditioning, Mary heads directly to her open and closed groups on Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud and whatever other social media she uses and posts her :45 second MP3 audition for all to hear. After all, she nailed the it and is positive that she will get cast as the new voice of Company X. The director loved her, the producer lover her and the sound engineer loved her. So, obviously, Company X will ultimately love her. This is her post:

“I auditioned for Company X today! Can you believe it? They are launching a new series of games called blah blah blah. It promises to blah blah blah blah blah. Keep your fingers crossed for me! Enjoy my audition. Feedback welcome.”  #companyx #pickme #Marysbusinessname

Right after Mary clicks the “post” button, Company X’s information is free for the world to hear. Company X’s competitors, namely. Information about the game series has NOT been released to the public by Company X. Mary didn’t put any thought to that. Even though the producer mentioned in casual conversation that the audio was confidential, she didn’t listen. She also didn’t consider that Company X has a social media expert who tracks everything written about the company. They find her #companyx post and realize that their confidential information has been publicly shared. Mary then receives an email from Company X’s attorney informing her of the breach and instructs her to remove the audition from all platforms and lets her know that she will not be considered for the job. The story gets even muddier for Mary. Because she released confidential Company X information, she is now in the middle of a copyright lawsuit. And the cherry on top? Her agent dropped her as a client because of the breach. Sucks to be Mary.

Okay, so this story is fabricated and Mary is fictional. However, I’ve heard numerous stories from other voice actors who have learned a very hard lesson about confidentiality. How can you avoid this? Treat every single audition you do as confidential.

As stated from Robert Sciglimpaglia Jr.’s book “Voice Over Legal” (*page 56): “A non-disclosure agreement states that you are not allowed to disclose anything concerning your project, or anything else you learned during the auditioning process (or the job, if you won the audition) to anyone. That includes not only a complete stranger, but also your spouse or your friend. Failure to comply could result in a lawsuit against you for any damages caused by the disclosure.” (*page 38) “Law.com defines a breach of contract as ‘failing to perform any term of a contract, written or oral, without a legitimate legal excuse.” Yes, written or ORAL.

Who knew that sharing a tiny bit of audio could be so detrimental? Now you do. Even if nothing is mentioned to you from your client, director, producer, agent, coach or any other person you are working with, DON’T POST YOUR AUDITIONS ONLINE. Once you land the gig and the project has been released, that’s when you can spill the beans.  It’s always a good idea to also ask permission if you want to use completed projects on your website or in demos. And if you are really in need of that extra pat on the back for your phenomenal auditions, stretch out that arm of yours and pat yourself on the back. Or if work with a coach, they hand out pats on the back all day long.

*Do yourself a big favor a purchase this book:
“Voice Over Legal” by Robert Sciglimpaglia Jr. Attorney and Voice Actor. Published by Voice-Over Xtra.
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Voice-Over-Legal-eBook-by-Robert-J-Sciglimpaglia-Jr/321869241181514
It’s a great reference for all of your voice over questions.

If you have a story that you would like to share regarding this subject, please comment!

Be sweet and re-tweet!

Your friend in voiceover, Rhonda’s Voice
AKA ~ Rhonda Phillips
“A Smile With A Lot Of Style”

image of zipped lips from dumbpics.net

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