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  • voicebylinda 4:01 pm on April 17, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: baseball, , , , fundraising, McLean, , spring, , , voice overs, , , ,   

    Spring, Baseball, and Social Media in the DC Area 

    When I created a fun Keynote presentation to help promote fundraising for our wonderful high school baseball team in McLean, Virginia, I couldn’t help myself.  What motivated me was the fact that our son is a catcher on the Varsity team.

    I used my studio mic to do the voice over, added a classic ballgame theme song, then played it as my Screenflow was recording the computer screen.  To cap it off, I sent it over to YouTube and posted it on my “voicebylinda” channel.  Ah, the things we do for our children.

    Last week, an interesting opportunity presented itself over the web by USA Today to promote local high school sports.  They selected four sets of rival games and polled their website fans.  What did the winner get?  The chance to be televised live!  Wow!  Naturally, I sent the link out to my FB and Twitter followers.  I was delighted by the responses and supporting votes.  Oh, right, now I’m blogging about it on WordPress!

    Although it was touch and go for a while during the voting, we won the poll!  After playing for 12 innings, we also won the game, 2-1!

    The irony?  Our son didn’t play because of a hurting back.

    Advertisements
     
  • voicebylinda 6:43 pm on April 12, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , voice overs   

    Thumbtack.com 

    Heard of Thumbtack.com?

    This morning in my inbox was a request to join a website I’d never heard of before.  It seemed like a cross between Craiglist and Angie’s List.  I’ve just created a profile, so I’ll see if it drives any new leads my way.  Seems like I learn something new every day! Below is the new ad from their site…

    Voice Overs and Online Social Media Marketing

    Voice Over Expertise

    Do you need a professional voice over for commercials or corporate presentations like powerpoint, tradeshows, internet media and website business narratives? I’ve helped…

    Contact Now

    Brought to you by thumbtack.com

    //

     
  • voicebylinda 1:16 am on March 2, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , voice overs,   

    Great meetup today with two wonderful voice over talents in our Washington, DC area, Larissa Gallagher and Doug Corbett. I’m lucky enough to be in a Mastermind Group with them. Check out this latest video as to why a Mastermind Group is a great idea at http://youtu.be/xFddDClNTbY

     
    • Peter K. O'Connell 3:32 am on March 2, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Sounds like a blast!

      Next time bring a camera!

      Best always,
      – Peter

    • voicebylinda 4:18 am on March 2, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Hey Peter! Larissa told me what an inspiring experience Faffcon was. Here’s hoping I’ll be able to make it to the next one in Hershey, PA!

      Take care,
      Linda

  • voicebylinda 6:41 pm on January 28, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , voice overs   

    Take a peek at this new offering from VO friend and entrepreneur,Harlan Hogan, VO Recording Sign http://ow.ly/3M63D

     
  • voicebylinda 7:20 pm on September 5, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , VO friends, , voice overs,   

    The Flip Side of Appreciation 

    Voiceover artists are among the most creative and interesting group of folks I’ve ever met.  This month, Dave Courvoisier and other VO talents came up with an amazing concept, to celebrate National Voice Over Month!  As I read the list of names involved, I was happy to know I’ve personally had the privilege of meeting each of them in real-life.  Each person is unique, and when they put their collective heads together, it’s incredible what’s been accomplished in such a short time.  Peter O’ConnellAmy SnivelyBob SouerJohn FlorianDan Lenard, and Terry Daniel are all given kudos on the official NVOAM website.  They all deserve a round of applause for such a great idea!

    Many of us in the growing world of voice over tend to work in our own on-site studios, linked by social media.  When we work, it is usually in isolation.  We become immersed, enthused, and wary of so many emotions as we tell stories to entertain, inform, educate or advertise.  I was recently lucky enough to provide the disembodied voice of the 2010 Chevy Malibu for both television and radio commercials as the car and graphics kept spinning around.  I was enthralled when I saw how cleverly the production company was able to weave together sound effects, music, and graphics with my voice.  I was humbled by their expertise at creating such a dynamic commercial!

    We locate gigs through our own contacts, production companies, ad agencies, talent agents, and web sites that help to market our voices.  In fact, when I joined our local chamber of commerce, a new category needed to be added on their marketing website for voice overs!  There are books, blogs, websites, coaches, and mentors filled with encouraging advise about details and support regarding this career path.  Our greatest strength is our ability to network within the VO community.

    Since each of us arrived on this VO path through various means and for a multitude of different reasons, my experiences as a mom and teacher give me a different perspective.  In order to really feel appreciated, you must open yourself to feeling grateful.  I stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before is a quote attributed to Albert Einstein.  It’s the way I feel.  If each life is a journey, then I’m filled with gratitude that I was placed on this route.

    From the producer, Dan Levine whom I first met from Such-A-Voice that cut my first demo, to the generous support of Trish Basanyi of SAV and Voice Tweet, it’s where I first entered the world of VO just a few short years ago.  I am a member of various groups in VU and enjoy reading the articles from VoiceOverXtra.  From the Voices.com site, I have learned so much from Stephanie Ciccarelli’s Vox Daily blogs and the Voice Over Experts Podcasts.  I then was able to participate in the VO specific business classes from Dan O’Day and Harlan Hogan.   My personal list of truly fantastic experts in their respective fields include the patient technical audio expertise of George Whittam, the well-honed ear and articulate advance coaching from David Goldberg and others at Edge Studio, and my  newest set of demos recently engineered by Dave DeAndrea of Killer Voice Demos.  If you check out the Industrial and Narration categories on the Killer Voice Demos website, you’ll hear my Mystic Tan Booth and Patsy Cline spots!

    For all  the wonderful classes, studios, expos, and conferences I’ve had the pleasure of attending like Voice 2010, (thanks to James Alburger and Penny Abshire’s team), I am honored to have learned from you.  In fact, for those of you out there that would like to hear more from the fabulously engaging Voice 2010 presenters, Dave Courvoisier and Terry Daniel about social media, they are conducting a free teleseminar on Wednesday, Sept. 8th at 8 pm, central time.  As I continue to learn, the better I can provide top quality voice over services in return to my clients.

    In my case, what I like about VO is I am heard, but not seen.  It is my voice alone that I want folks to remember.  To my way of thinking, it’s a very humble profession, because I spent a great deal of time listening to the needs of the clients.  You see, it’s not really about me.

    I have learned from some of the best in the business.  They have shared their expertise with me and I have marveled at the depth of their knowledge.  I’m filled with gratitude for the support of my family and friends, and for all the kind folks I’ve met along the way that have inspired, taught and employed me.  You have opened my heart and mind to new thoughts and ideas.  Thank you!  I just wanted you to know how much I appreciate you!

     
    • Peter K. O'Connell 11:07 pm on September 5, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Linda

      We all learn together from each other and are all equal parts teacher and student. A very nice post by you here. Thanks.

      Best always
      – Peter

      • Dan O'Day 7:37 pm on September 6, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks for your kind words, Linda.

        Remember during our bonus “PR” call I spontaneously suggested that some savvy student declare just such a holiday via Chase’s Calendar of Annual Events…?

        • voicebylinda 7:53 pm on September 6, 2010 Permalink

          Yes, I do, Dan! You are such a frontrunner for innovation. Now it’s a reality. Hooray for VO!

    • Dave Courvoisier 12:25 am on September 6, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Linda,
      A nicely written summary! You’re right, we all find our own paths to this business, and that’s what makes each of our contributions unique and worthwhile.
      Best to you!

      Dave Courvoisier

    • voicebylinda 4:37 pm on September 6, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Dear Peter and Dave,

      Thanks for taking a moment to respond! I appreciate your compliments, and admire your dedication to the VO world!

      Warm regards,
      Linda

    • Herb Merriweather 4:56 pm on September 6, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for this wonderful post, Linda! I share your sentiment with having had a chance to meet, learn from and rub elbows with some of the legends in this business. It is an honor that not many get a chance to enjoy…but we are blessed!

    • voicebylinda 5:09 pm on September 6, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I agree completely, Herb. That’s why I decided to take a few moments to count my blessings! It was my pleasure to meet you at Voice 2010!

  • voicebylinda 1:24 pm on August 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , voice overs,   

    Voice Actress, Live Recording, Cement Mixer, Oh My! 

    Noisy Visitor to our Neighborhood!

    The other day started off like an ordinary day.  My son and I rose early so he could head out to his high school Varsity Football practice, while we decided to let my husband sleep.  It started as such a gentle beginning to the morning as I sipped a cup of Irish Breakfast tea.   No sooner had my son departed for practice, at 7:30 a.m sharp, I began to hear a rumble next door.  When I stepped onto our front porch, I saw the first cement truck of the day parked in front of our house, waiting for the signal from the general contractor to begin pouring the basement walls for the new home construction next door.

    My first thought was actually how relieved I was that the crew was starting early, because I had a live recording session scheduled in the early afternoon with a director from an ad agency.  My studio window faced the job site, and was only about 12 feet away from all the racket.  Surely they’d be done pouring in a few hours!  How wrong I was.  This picture was snapped after listening to the rumble of the trucks and the shouting of the construction crew all day long.  (This is a good time to notice that the cement truck has its headlights on for a reason!)

    Now, a less intrepid soul might panic.  Not me.  I went out and made quick friends with the crew chief.  His original prediction was that by 4 pm, they should be finished, as long as the cement trucks arrived one after the other.  He was intrigued by my career and apologized for the noise.   I told him not to worry.  I’d just push back the VO session.   Never mind that I had recorded this same spot two days earlier in a soft-sell, real person approach, as I followed the guidelines the production company wanted.  I already had the heads up that today’s director wanted a fast-paced, high energy read and would listen in on a phone patch.  Since this gig was sponsored by a well-known car maker and was an animated TV commercial, I was looking forward to giving voice to a completely different type of read.

    Back to my story,  the day wore on, and our home was vibrating from the cement mixer engines and pumps that were shooting the cement from the trucks into the metal forms.  There was no way they could stop pouring, because rain was predicted to come through in the late evening.  The temperature was pushing 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and everyone was busy!  As the afternoon wore on, it became apparent that the time frame for the construction was a bit incorrect.  When I strolled by the site, mid-afternoonish, the prediction for finishing was to be closer to 9 pm.

    I contacted the ad agency and the production company for the second time, and asked whether they’d considered an additional sound effect of a cement mixer into their car commercial concept, since that was my predicament.  Being up front and honest with them, with a little slice of humor thrown in, was the only way to go.  The production guys promised if I could deliver my voice, they’d edit out the background noise.

    A few minutes before the appointment with the director, I did what I always do.  I turned off the air conditioner and the attic fan out of habit for noise reduction when recording.  Using my bluetooth earpiece with an astute director guiding me through the read, I stepped into the recording booth with the roar of the noisy machines next door.  I smiled to myself quietly when I realized I probably didn’t need to worry at all about the fan noises coming from our home.  Suddenly, I was so focused on the various takes, I blocked out the noise that had plagued me all day.  It was all going to work out just fine.  In the early evening, I strolled next door to let the foreman know my session was over.  At that point, the owner was there as well, surveying the day’s work.  Both of them looked at me and grinned.  The owner spoke up and said, “We agreed.  If you need 20-30 minutes of quiet each day from here on in order to record a directed-live session, just come by and let us know.  We’ll give the workers an immediate break, you’ll get your work done, and we’ll all be happy.”  Wow!

    As the creative process for the commercial had been taken through various committees, I’ve been contacted that the animation work was adjusted slightly, so today I’ll voice a revised script.  There should be hammering and gravel pouring going on, but it doesn’t even matter.  Working within the voice over community means sharing your life and cooperating with the real community to brainstorm real solutions to real problems!   Being proactive is always better than feeling victimized.  Had I not communicated, the outcome would have been very different.  Thank goodness we all made the neighborhood choice to just get along and cooperate.

    I’m wondering what other stories are out there about facing down adversity when trying to do a voice over?  I’d love to hear them!

     
    • Andrea Christensen 3:47 pm on August 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Great story Linda! Wonderful way to handle the situation on all fronts – the crew, the client. Thanks for sharing.

      • voicebylinda 12:20 pm on August 17, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        Andrea, thanks for enjoying the story! I’m just glad this one turned out all right in the long run, since the ad and production agencies were happy with my work!

    • J. Christopher Dunn 12:01 am on August 17, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Linda- I am amazed. Who knew that a production company could be so accommodating. I had one tense moment a few months ago when a lawn maintenance crew showed up across the street from my house about 30-minutes before I started a patched session. I was thankful when my client called to push back the recording time until the following day. I was lucky! -JCD

      • voicebylinda 12:23 pm on August 17, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        Yikes, those lawnmowers, blowers, planes, garbage trucks, and cement mixers are a voice talents’ nightmare. I figured there were a lot of us that could relate. Thanks for sharing your story, JCD!

  • voicebylinda 3:32 pm on August 13, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , technology, , voice overs,   

    When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom. ~Proverbs 11:2 

    George Whittam

    Every now and again, a coincidental meeting or two happens in your life that is meant to be.  When I follow the thread back through this interesting turn of events, I think back to June’s Voice 2010 conference in LA, hosted by the Voice Acting Academy, when I listened to George Whittam present a topic called “The Technology of Voice-over:  Garbage In-Garbage Out.”  He has a full-service business dealing specifically with voice over artists and their recording issues.  As I listened, I was struck with several thoughts.  Here was a person who clearly understood audio technology for Macs and PCs, but more importantly, could explain technical jargon in simple, straightforward, everyday language.  His depth of knowledge regarding proper acoustics, microphone technique, optimum signal chain and processing were only the beginning of what he discussed.  As the session progressed, he led us all through an overview of hardware and software issues, finishing with phone patches, Skype, ISDN, and Source Connect.  I felt confident that I understood quite a bit about his topic as it related to my needs, but I realized there was always more to learn.  I should mention that his handout was detailed and carefully laid out, so it was easy to follow along and take notes.  Knowing that I had come across George’s name many times from various social and voice over networking forums on the internet, it was a pleasure to meet him in person.  I realized he is just as sincere in real-life as he was on stage, while giving his presentation.

    Tim Keenan

    As luck would have it, Tim Keenan of Creative Media, contacted me after Voice 2010 for an #FF Twitter audio interview.  He recorded his questions from his California production studio as I recorded my answers from my home studio in the Washington, D.C. area.  I emailed the mp3 to him, and he magically made the audio sound as though we were chatting together in the same room.  Technology is wonderful when it works.  Imagine my surprise when Tim mentioned I had a low-end rumble that he had to edit out.  No client had ever mentioned the hum to me, so I was puzzled by what was going on with my sound recording process.  George’s name again came up as a go-to guy that might be able to pinpoint the problem.  A random coincidence?  I think not!
    I thought of George, and researched his website information at ElDorado Recording Services.  I saw that I could send him a recorded demo from my home studio, and he would critique it.  Mind you, George had already helped many well-known folks in the VO community.  I wondered if he would be willing to take on another client.  He immediately scheduled me into his busy schedule becoming accessible via email, the internet and Skype.  His payment structure was clearly posted on his website, clarified the type of services he provided based on 30 minute blocks or tiered memberships, and I have come to realize, he was worth every penny.  No problem was too great or too small.  Within a handful of hours stretching over a couple of weeks, George was able to locate the source of the issue, recommend I treat the sound absorption in the booth by purchasing ATS acoustical panels, treat the soundproofing issues coming from windows, adjust settings within my ProTools software, listen to several test demos, identified a piece of faulty recording hardware and took steps to remedy the situation, and best of all, remotely took over my computer to help with some great shortcuts, tips and techniques.  He even helped me out with helpful advice as I am upgrading my VO travel hardware and software!  It was especially fun to watch the cursor move on my computer screen as he signed me up for the free trial of the software, Twisted Wave, with my permission, of course!
    I was truly humbled by his knowledge.  By reaching out to George, I have more confidence in my post-production, and I am now able to help clients with even better audio results.  I’m glad I took the first step to solve my sound booth problem.  Through it all, George was kind, gracious, and conscientious as he patiently taught me what I didn’t know, in a gentle way that restored my faith in my audio recording capabilities.   Do you have an issue that might need help?  If it’s voice over audio related, don’t hesitate to reach out to George.  He listens, he understands, and he produces results.
     
  • voicebylinda 1:01 pm on July 7, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , voice overs   

    Pictures Released from Voice 2010! 

    Terry Daniel, Trish Basanyi, George Whittam, and Me

    Dear VO friends…have you seen your picture yet? VoiceOverXtra – VOICE 2010 Photo Gallery, download photos free http://ow.ly/284qV.  If you were lucky enough to participate, this is a great walk down memory lane.  What a great way to revisit the amazing conference in LA!

     
  • voicebylinda 12:24 pm on June 17, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , voice overs   

    Voice 2010…So Many Photo Memories 

    Voice 2010…another cute pic…Facebook | My Photos – Wall Photos http://ow.ly/1ZHVJ

     
  • voicebylinda 12:14 pm on June 17, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , voice overs   

    Fun Photos from Voice 2010! 

    Another fun photo from Voice 2010! http://ow.ly/1ZHHF

     
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