Wednesday, September 1, 2010

One week later......

No bites yet on auditions, but admittedly this venture is still a work in progress and I've still got some rust to shake off.  One of the biggest things I have to overcome is losing my Southern accent.  I'll get there with continued daily vocal exercises and practice, but it sure is thick at the moment!  I chalk it up to two things.  First, not being on the air every day and second, working without headphones.  I get a much truer sound and knock the "Ron Radio" out of me without cans, but alas, there I go sounding like Scarlett O' Hara after a sex change.  Suggestions on how to overcome it quicker are welcome. 

Having said that, the audition process has actually turned out to be pretty fun!  The range of projects I've auditioned for include a web video for the Oakland Raiders!!  As a lifelong sports fan, how cool would it be to have your first gig as a professional voice actor be FOR AN NFL TEAM?!?!  And unlike a working actor, who is locked into the same character for weeks and months at a time if he or she is doing a play or a weekly TV series, you can morph into several different characters in a matter of hours.  That's also one of the fun things about the audition process.....the schizophrenia :-) 

So far this week there's been a corporate video, a tag line for a commercial promoting a new book on Alzheimer's, a short clip for a new social network for bartering and trading a la Craigslist, and the aforementioned video for the Raiders.  For any working voice actors reading this blog, how long did it take from the time you did your first audition until the day you booked your first paid gig?  I don't really have an idea about how long I'll have to wait to start booking some stuff, and your actual mileage may vary.  Just lookin' for a ballpark range. 

Onward and upward toward my first paid gig as a professional voice actor!!  Thanks to everyone reading and sharing in the experience.   

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Journey Begins

Welcome!  From whatever profession or walk of life lead you to experience my journey into this new and exciting, fellow voice actors, Facebook friends, Twitter or LinkedIn followers, etc.......I'm glad you're here!  I'll need plenty of advice as I build my voiceover business as well as my blog, Facebook page, Twitter account, and so forth.  I need you way more than you need me or need to read this blog :-) 

If you don't know me personally, here's a little background on who I am and what got me here.  I was bitten by the radio bug around age 14.  Mark and Brian (currently @ KLOS/Los Angeles & syndicated in several markets) were the morning team at WAPI-FM (I-95) in Birmingham, Alabama about 60 miles from where I grew up.  STILL two of the funniest individuals I've ever seen or heard.  That's when I knew what I wanted to do.  My first taste of radio came as a student at The University of Alabama where I did weekends at what was already a legendary station in my hometown of Gadsden, WQEN-FM (then "Q104", now "103-7 The Q"/Birmingham).  From there it was off to another dominant station in my new home in Tuscaloosa, WTXT-FM.  After a few more stops with varying degrees of success, I spent 1999-2008 at several stations in Birmingham, including WMJJ-FM (Magic 96.5), WDXB-FM (102-5 The Bull), and WYDE-FM.  If you're a radio lifer, you're well aware that as the economy went, so went our jobs.  A format change @ WYDE bucked me off the radio horse in October 2008.  In the next few weeks, I will return to the cyber airwaves as part of a venture started by a colleague of mine in Birmingham, Golden Hits Radio, THE best Oldies station on the internet!!  I remain optimistic that at some point I can get back on the air in some capacity and dive back into being a Music Director, Program Director, or part of a morning team, but in the meantime, voice acting is a way to stay plugged in where my passion lies.  There IS one possible prospect on the horizon, but I don't want to say anything more than that at the moment. 

This venture is something I probably should have undertaken long before now, but I wanted to wait until I had the time and energy to do it right.  I've had several temp jobs and dove head first into building and developing an eBay Store, and now I finally have the time to see where this takes me. I have signed up with to get started and hopefully begin to build a reputation by booking a few gigs.  I will soon have a dedicated Facebook page, and I already have a Twitter account and a LinkedIn page.  I will soon be building a website dedicated to strengthening my position in the voiceover marketplace.  As I begin to acquire knowledge about the business, I will gladly share it.  Success to me is as much about mentoring and giving back as anything else.  Lord willing, if I am ever perceived as an "expert", I will be more than happy to share that expertise.  There's room for all of us in this business or any other! 

Today begins the journey.  I have sent my first round of auditions in to earlier today.  I'm not anticipating a financial windfall nor am I expecting success overnight.  As a man I respect immensely, University of Alabama head football coach Nick Saban, always tells the media and his team, this is part of a process.  My immediate goal is to turn this into a solid second income and see where the Lord leads from there.  If it grows into something bigger than I anticipated, I will be more than happy to follow God's plan. 

Thank you for sharing in this journey with me.  I hope you will enjoy reading about it as much as I've enjoyed building it to this point, and I'll keep you posted on all successes, failures, bloopers, conflicts, complications, and triumphs.  One of the first commercials I voiced when I arrived in Birmingham 11 years ago was for an incontinence study.  Somehow I made it through that with a straight face on the first take.  In hindsight, that might have been the best preparation for full-time voice acting that I could have possibly received. 

The journey has begun.  Check back to see how it continues.