Observe and Perform!

…’Mark (observe) the perfect man…for the end of him is peace.’ Ps. 37:37…

There are many ways to succeed in business–online/in person training; webinars and seminars; shouting from the house tops and quietly laboring in the shadows–each of these methods has tons of merit and there is absolutely NO room for slacking.

I’ve always maintained that we can learn by observing (and then practicing) the good and positive habits of others who are successful. How does Pat Duke develop that priceless drawl? How does Lisa Biggs take a unique instrument (her voice) and train it to virtuosity? How does Dave Fennoy take a video game character and turn him into a phenomenon?

267814_1993854244913_1977316_n

Vocal strength training, reading aloud (and recording while you do it), practice, practice, practice! At The VO Pro Workout, people like Marc Cashman, Townsend Coleman and Stew Herrera actually get into the booth, do practice reads and receive pinpoint direction from other pros. All egos are checked at the door as the best in voice over become students and practitioners–just so they can get better. Is that even possible? It seems so, as everyone seriously delves into their craft to achieve that little edge, that special something, that vocal lilt that will elevate a read into a memorable performance–even if it’s only a 15 second spot.

Ring up Robin Armstrong and visit his ‘HideOut LA’ studios to improve and grow in your approach to voice over. It’s what the professionals do to keep their ‘chops’ sharp and relevant. Other fantastic outlets are available in the Los Angeles area–please visit the ‘Garden Of Sound‘ (and my good friend, Tori Hartman) for their schedule of classes and workshops.

(in the photo, l-r Townsend Coleman, John Taylor, a happy fan, Marc Cashman and Stew Herrera)

Happy Voicing!…

New Nonsense–Emerging Voices

…As recently promised (or threatened, I can’t remember which) there have been new levels of cosmic creativity, cataclysmic collaborations and new opportunities giving voice to the phrase ‘Fire in ‘The Hole’!!

One of the really cool thingies that I’m happy to talk about is the recent introduction of ‘Armando, the Trained Armadillo’! He’s a foolish little helper (read ‘troublemaker’) that was inspired in St. Louis while I was working for a law firm. I recently talked with (or should I say begged) the creative titans at Meindbender Animation Studios in Goteburg, Sweden and they were eager to help come up with a great look for a new weirdo! Cora and I met Michael Bengtsson and Olov Burman at the 2012 Annie Awards–thanks to a gracious invitation from none other than MJ Lallo; animation producer, casting agent, voice actor and teacher par excellence.

armadillo_herb_003a

 

The whole point of this ‘Armando’ thing is this. Even though I dreamed of a character 30 years ago it took seasoning, sharing, collaboration on a higher level and making the most of a lifetime opportunity.

The voice acting community is full of very talented people who look forward to working with YOU–no matter how weird your idea (or character) may be. The Bible speaks about ‘iron sharpening iron’–meaning that to be tempered and experienced, it takes one of temper and experience to sharpen your gift. I’ve always touted Voices.com as THE premier source for all things voice over. Between the ‘Voice Over Experts” podcasts, scripts, resources and the new book “Voice Acting For Dummies” (written with me in mind), they consistently remove all excuses for not going for it!

There are also countless teachers, producers, artist and dreamers just like you who pretty much ignore and move past the ‘I can’t’ stuff on their to creative reality.

Incidentally–there are many voices and characterizations that reside in ‘The Hole’ and not all of them are voiced by me.

If you think Cora did a great job on the “SEO Market” skit (see audio demos), wait until you hear her sing…

…Happy Voicing…

…a new address for ‘The Hole’!…

…well, after years of late-night agonizing; long, lonely walks and self-imposed isolation, I finally took an antacid, listened to those encouraging voices and established myself in cyberspace. Yep–we got us a website!

I know, I know–I can hear everybody from NoHo to Istanbul screaming “IT”S ABOUT TIME” or “BIG DEAL”! But I choose to answer that with a throaty “BETTER LATE THAN NEVER”!  I’m actually all fired up about having a place to call my own after all this time. It’s a new home for love and lunacy; quality and quirkiness; faith and foolishness (yeah, there’s room for all that–this is the internet!).

A logical extension and direct pipeline to the sonic sanctuary known globally as ‘The Hole’–there will be audio samples galore, words aplenty and maybe even a picture or three. Mainly, the little golden dude will be closely monitoring the merriment–because integrity and quality STILL count most of all!

All that being said, here is the most important factor: “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become as a sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.”  1Cor13:1

Being in voice over, we ‘speak’ a LOT (and, in different tongues, I dare say), but if there is no place for service, or generosity with money, time AND talent—we’d just be a noise that no one wants to hear…

THAT is gold worth searching for!

When you have absolutely nothing to do, stop  and enjoy the new demos (at last!).  Each one lovingly crafted in ‘The Hole’—guaranteed to elicit groans, giggles and guffaws (I hope)!

Special thanks to Michael Minetree (my own personal WebKnight) for helping me make sense of it all–and then still doing it for me.

Also, special thanks to my BriTurk brother, Andy Boyns whose constant nagging, long distance abuse and mental flogging (yeah, it took all that) finally resulted in something great.

PS …NO–I’m NOT leaving Voices.com. I’m simply spreading my dusty, old wings to see if I can catch an updraft and soar with eagles…