GENUINE STORYTELLING

Let’s Embark on Something New Together

For years, as a Boston broadcaster, I shared stories from NBA coaches to politicians to authors, in weekly radio interviews. When I later became a full-time voice-actor, I also pursued my first passion, writing. As a presentation coach,I help professionals tell better stories about themselves and what they do.

What all of these things have in common is storytelling. Experience says whether it’s in fiction or real life, our most compelling stories involve change. Some of it good. Some, well, I’m looking at you 2020. read more…

In Defense of #Procrastibaking

When I was in college, I approached projects as any self-respecting student would: I waited until the last possible moment to start my research, then craft a lengthy essay on the lesser-known works of Chaucer, or argue the merits of Kant’s moral theories.

It did not go well.

At the crack of midnight, I was bent over texts that could double as door stops, studiously writing away. By two a.m., curled snail-like on the sofa, energy depleted, eyes bloodshot, brain lacking in conscious thought I lay still until creative inspiration kicked in.

My next move? read more…

V-Yoga: Spring Edition

At the start of each new year, the number of attendees in my yoga class doubles from the usual 25 devotees. Swarms of earnest wannabees clutch sticky mats, and aspirations for inner peace. Welcome to January, that aspirational time, when we re-commit to the virtues of hard work, achievement, and re-invention.

Just as the would-be yogi comes to the mat in search of enlightenment, and a fabulously toned core, we voice actors strive to book ever more work, organize our computers, sharpen our performance, and market ourselves every day.   read more…

VO Atlanta’s Dirty Sock Talk

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Conferences are like a ‘box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.’

The reviews are in for last weekend’s VO Atlanta. Outstanding! Moving! Better than ‘Cats!’ More than 600 voice over actors, producers, agents and managers assembled in one hotel. That’s a lot of talking.

But the weekend was about more than the business of voice over. read more…

The Care and Feeding of Your Voice

About ten years ago, I awoke with two things I never experienced before: a sinus, and ear infection. Neither my PCP, nor even an ENT could see me, so I drove to Emergency Department of my local office.

There was no quick remedy or pixie dust cure — In fact dust was one of the culprits – to alleviate my painful and congested sinuses. Diagnosis: myriad allergies dust mites, grass, dogs and cats. While I was equipped to forgo housework, no way I would give up my trusty canine, when a Neti pot, and Claritin were in abundance. read more…

Must Be Present to Win

Trigger warning: This post is packed with sports analogies and clichés.

“You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take.” Wayne (The Great One) Gretzky

This past weekend, an audition came through my email which demanded my attention. It was for a high-profile client, with a rate over minimum wage. How special. How rarified was my talent orbit that I was one of the chosen few to be invited in to Voice Over Mecca. read more…

Eight Ways to Transform Your Business in January

Silence is always beautiful.*

Said no business owner ever. The absence of a ringing phone, or pinging email means: A. You’re in a remote location – perhaps against your own will– severed from your electronic lifeline.

Or, B. It’s January, the season that inevitably follows the joyous holiday season, also referred to as Fourth Quarter. In the world of voiceover, where I reside, silence is not only disturbing, it’s against the laws of nature. We talk for a living.

Sure, you feel all clean slate-y, and ready to embrace new beginnings, only to soon find yourself gazing out your office window, regretting the purchase of that organic watermelon radish you bought at the winter farmers market. The anxious crunch provides little more than a palate cleanser to the bad taste of your own stasis.

Stop brooding, and get busy with these 8 ways to be productive right now. read more…

The Voice That Keeps On Giving

 

Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with deeper meaning. – Maya Angelou

Looking for that perfect, one-of-a-kind gift for someone special?

How about: your voice?

Our ability to employ speech to express human emotion is a gift. We are empowered to tell stories, make someone laugh, or buy something they didn’t even think they wanted. Unique as a fingerprint, the human voice –  a wondrous result of individual physiology, environment and background – vibrates to the world who we are.

How about sharing some of those good vibes to make the world sound a little more human? read more…

Work Your VO Sweet Spot

You can’t be everything to everybody. A truism because it’s, you know, true. In life, we are many things to a variety of people: Spouse, partner, parent, sibling, employee, manager, cook, athlete, artist, voice actor. It’s exhilarating. And exhausting. Why do we insist on being some many things in our voice careers when, let’s face it, we’re only really excellent at one, and pretty good at a couple other things?

All that time spent pitching jobs we perform adequately, if not brilliantly,  might be better spent unearthing projects – some right in our own back yard – that best flaunt our  talent, and better suit  our unique sensibilities.  Streamline and simplify.  In other words, find your niche. read more…

The Thrill of Victory

“I found these in the front yard.” My son, grass stained, and sweaty from mowing the lawn, dangled a heavy set of keys, and dropped them into my hand. Among myriad car and house keys was half of a small plastic bar code card, its other half probably chewed away by the blades of our lawn mower. I recognized the logo on the other side as that of my local yoga studio.

Checking into class that evening, I handed the keys to the studio manager, and told him the story. On my way out of class, he stopped me, and said, “Hey, we found the owner of the keys, and he left you this.”

He slid a small envelope across the counter addressed to me. read more…

Voice Over by the Numbers

If you’re one in a million, there are at least 7,500 people just like you. So goes the joke/factoid.

I thought about it as I recently perused a P2P site, which advertised access to ‘over 200,000 voice actors.’

Still feel like buying that Powerball ticket?

If mere numbers don’t make question your pursuit of this business, consider the recent merger in the voice over world. Apparently, many actors have, and it’s raising the anxiety level to code red levels.

It need not. read more…

Starting Up – Again

In 2004, after working years in radio, I decided to become a full-time voice actor.

A perfect solution to creating work-life balance, the career allowed me to record several hours a day, and be home when my two sons returned from school.  My talented and generous voiceover friend Jeff Berlin provided advice and direction on home studio set up.

I hired an engineer to sound treat a small room in our drafty New England home, installed a Telos, hooked up an mBox, and purchased a couple of mics. With my mantra, ‘If you build it, they will come,’ and a few big auditions, I booked a couple of major projects.  Those, and the smaller ‘bread and butter’ gigs put me on the path of full-time employment. read more…