Getting my VO groove on!

I just finished a weekly webinar series by SOVAS called #thestateofVO and it gets me so pumped up.

SOVAS

Listening to the guest speaker who could be a renowned voice over artist, a VO director, a talent agent, or any number of professionals in the voice over business is so great! The people who host are in the foremost of the industry. I’m starting to recognize regulars like me.

VO

So much of what they share is spot on, with information that only comes from first hand – hands on – real time experience that I can’t help but feel I’m getting first class tools to expand what I can offer a client’s job.

The person tonight, JB Blanc, has been the voice for several game characters, and just like that he dropped into character and shared his development process. What a great voice.

DAUGHTERS OF DC

He also shared the trailer for a podcast he is directing, “Daughters of DC”. It is so on trend right now.

The hosts and guest speaker also take the time to answer some of our questions during the session and this is where you find out how common your personal thoughts and travails are within the VO community.

Us newbies can use this info to really build on our experiences.

Cheers!

-N

 

 

Yes, that’s my voice

From the time I was little I remember singing. It was something on my mother’s side of the family that happened whenever we gathered together.

My grandmother

My grandmother had a beautiful soprano voice, and she loved to sing hymns whether she was cooking or hanging clothes on the line.

My Uncle

My uncle could out-sing a grand piano with his strong, operatic baritone. His brother could hold his own singing as well.

My mother was a fine alto as were her sisters. Most of my cousins all have varying degrees of singing skills. It’s a family thing.

I’ve always had a good voice which led me to performances in choir and musicals. I love to say I got my voice from my grandmother. After all we do have the same first name!

Now I’m using my voice in a different way by attempting to break into voice-over (VO). My speaking voice when I’ve done readings has always received favorable comments on my sound, tempo, and quality. I feel much of it comes from years of stage plays.

Rehearsing The Fantastics with Marty

I liked acting, and did it a lot in school and after in local community productions.

When I was just out of school I started doing commercials for local radio. It was a blast. The funny part was when someone would say they heard a commercial that sounded like me. I would ask what was it for and then confirm “Yes, that was my voice.” After a while family and friend would listen for me then tell me they heard me.

Years ago in the local malls (which hardly anyone wants to go to now) they had these mini studios where you could go and record yourself. I went in, found the background music for Patsy Cline’s “Crazy” and did a recording. I picked it not because I was a big country music fan, but because I knew all the words. I didn’t try to sound like her, or to try to sound country, but just be myself singing a simple song. Well, we were having a party and I played it. My neighbor, Ed, asked me who it was. I told him and he said “That’s you?”

“Yes, that’s my voice.”

VO Sound booth

I’m looking for referrals for VO jobs so let me know if I can bring my voice to your project.

I work in a zero sound floor home studio that I use to record, edit and deliver professional quality Wav or mP3 files. Let’s work together.

Cheers!

-N

 

How much longer?

ATLANTIC COAST

Ever ridden in a car with kids on a road trip? Yes? You’ve heard this question constantly.

Ever been stuck in quarantine with close family? Yes? How many times did you ask yourself this question?

Ever been a caregiver for an aging parent nearing the end of life? Yes? How often did this thought come to you?

 

 

It is in the nature of humans to want to know what is next, what is around that corner, who is coming and when will they be here. Children aren’t the only impatient ones. We all have that thing that we are anticipating and ready to encounter. New job, new relationship, paying off debt, getting accepted to that school – goals and plans require waiting for the next step in the process.

A step that is part of a journey.

For myself this question comes up thanks to my son who regularly asks if the current book I’m writing is finished. I also think this question when I submit voice over auditions, wondering when those paying jobs will start and some cash starts to flow. I wonder this when I am sitting in the hot desert and I think back on my visit to Ogunquit, Maine and long to move away from here and relocate my life to the Maine coast.

LIGHTHOUSE

What is your “how much longer” question?

Cheers!

-N

Blame everything on COVID-19

BRING IT ON

I had one of those “wellness” visits to my primary care person. It’s what used to be called an annual physical. Anyway, she is a wonderful person, and took plenty of time to listen, answer questions, and get the lowdown on all aspects of my health.

HATE COVID

First was the not unexpected “you need to lose weight” statement. This was followed by “blood pressure’s up a bit” that was also not unexpected. These led to a discussion on the way the first comment pretty much was related to most everything else about me.

I blame it on COVID-19. I blame everything on Covid. Why the hell not? If Covid hadn’t crossed the Pacific and landed on the west coast I know I would have not been so depressed, which combined with the extreme heat, made me stay inside, eat too much and blow off exercise. It’s all because of Covid-19.

I’m pretty tired of it, and the way this virus is controlling lives.

COVID SUCKS

Having spent time working in an area of cancer diagnosis testing I can confirm the process from initial development to FDA/ISO approval is not a quick one. The steps are filled with double, triple and quadruple analysis of results, clinical trials, with quality checks throughout, repeatedly, before an actual product is approved and ready for manufacture.

No short-cuts.

NO SHORT CUTS

 

Any vaccine has a similar methodology and the time this takes is not fluid or flexible. Anyone who says otherwise is wrong. The average length of time for the development to production of a viable vaccine is two to five years. Perhaps due to the drama SARS Covid-19 has created in the world there may be enough labs in the development stage that clinical trials, which take the longest, can be pushed for viability and effectiveness into production.

SCIENCE WORKS

So my point – antibody testing should be widespread to determine those who might have had the virus and show some immunity. Simultaneously combined with continued testing on symptomatic humans for the virus.

 

 

Yeah, I blame Covid-19 for everything.

Cheers!

-N

P.S. The above is strictly tongue in cheek, aside from the science information. If you or someone you know is suffering with this virus my heart goes out. 💞

A Keepsake or a dust collector?

Keepsake: a small item kept in memory of the person who gave it or originally owned it.

What makes an item a keepsake? Is it necessarily small? When is it bestowed with the emotional attachment of keepsake? I have a quite a few things in cabinets, on shelves and dressers, on nightstands and in drawers that are what I consider keepsakes and cherished mementos. I also have tubs, drawers, and closets full of things that have yet to be given memento/keepsake status.

University of Arizona cabinet

I suppose this requires defining the difference between collecting vs pack-rat/hoarding.

Collector: a person who collects things of a specified type, professionally or as a hobby.

     Pack Rat: a person who saves unnecessary objects or hoards things.

I have my own art collection which is primarily art from individuals I am acquainted with, for example my aunt,

FAMILY ART

my cousin, my nephew’s best friend, the photographer I met in Greer, AZ, the dear friend who passed away. But I do have things that have enormous emotional value like the old radio from hubby’s grandfather,

or the copper plaque presented to my father-in-law by his community when he moved from Kearny AZ to Soda Springs ID. Also the items from my fathers time as a volunteer with the University of Arizona football team.

OLD RADIO

I’m sure most people place emotional value and attachment to photos. We have a cabinet full of photos. I teased my husband that if there was ever a fire threatening our home it would take his truck to get all the pictures and valuables out of our house.

ARIZONA PIN COLLECTION

Some small things that mean a lot to me are in a little jewelry box from my grandmother. An arrowhead my Papaw found and gave me, the broach given to my Nannie by my aunt, and her costume jewelry pieces I remember her wearing. I also have the shell casings from the twenty one gun salute for my father’s military funeral.

These are things I can tell a story about and share with the generations to come. I am fortunate to be part of a family who are close and value family connections, even if we are spread around the country.

THE MUSEUM

We bought a tall cabinet a while back that has a lighted glass case on top and an enclosed bottom. I call it the museum. In the top part are collectible items we’ve obtained from travels, hubby’s camera collection, and sweet things like a hummingbirds nest, and sea shells.

After living in Japan I have this idea of “space is clean” and order gives peace. Clearing clutter feels good. If there is a place to store something then that’s where it goes!

Are you a collector of keepsakes or a pack rat hoarding things that aren’t necessary? What do you do with your collections?

 

 

Cheers!

-N

 

Let’s go!

These  efforts toward a VO website and blog website presence are, for the most part, enjoyable. It’s a huge learning curve for me and not having the funds to hire it all done, I must teach myself the skills of the trade. This is not an intuitive process in my mind.

Create

Rather than thinking – dang I gotta blog! What the heck am I gonna write about? When a light bulb moment occurs I can start writing and flesh it out over a few days. This way I am writing whenever I am inspired and then, when scheduling the finished post, I am relieved. New blog DONE!

Sometimes I will open a new blog post page, write a silly question or comment in the title line, and save a draft, just what I did with the above title. Then when next I sit down at the laptop I listen to what my mind thinks this means. Is this the best action? Hmm, perhaps not. So how do I to become a productive blogger? One thing I’ve set up is a weekly appointment on my calendar to remind me to check my blog.

As a blogger what is your preferred method for development of your blog text?

 

Holder of My Flame cover character.

With fiction story writing it is entirely a departure from the process described above. I know the gist of the story and the main characters. Plotting is done with the goal of telling their story authentically and using all the rest of the information to create that narrative. Lots more research into location, problem solving, character building, understanding angst, age appropriate dialogue and responses, and a host of other aspects which are part of the whole as the story develops, and I get to know the people I’m writing about.

With voice-over no writing is involved, rather I am provided with a script or narration, and my job is to interpret it – who, what when, where, why and how of the audience and speaker. My delivery is then based on the voice the client wants; mature, mysterious, friendly, salesman or conversational. I spend hours recording, doing edits, and then submit my audition for consideration. Creative but in a vastly different mode.

Voice over

Create: to produce through imaginative skill.

Cheers!

-N

Working From Home

I’m on a mission to find a way to supplement income by working from home. I have a great set up established with everything I need in my home office. Proofreading, editing, data entry, billing – I’ve got it covered.

OFFICE STYLE

Anyone of you fine readers been successful at something like this? Did you go it on your own or use a company that specializes in helping set you up?

I feel my 30+ years of office/administrative experience in a variety of settings gives me a heads up on what’s involved in that type of work.

 

 

So…

Step one is keep auditioning for VO work, keep blogging, and writing at least 2000 words a day on my current book.

Step two is finding an individual or business who can use my help. Any ideas or referrals?

Step three is stay positive.

 

SoAZ TOO HOT!

Just an aside here: it is the first of September and the high was 106°.

Don’t mention pumpkin spice anything to me. It’s time for the temps to fall along with the season.

A DRY RED NO PUMPKIN SPICE

Cheers!

-N

What’s New?

I don’t know.

While I sit here, thinking, I have a video playing of the Marginal Way in Ogunquit, Maine. Ogunquit is my spirit place, the place I dream of living, the desire of my heart locale. I visited it once and it left it’s indelible mark on my psyche.

Marginal Way foliage.

Such beauty, color, texture, vibrancy and history.

Me in Perkins Cove, Maine

For a reluctant desert dweller videos of this kind help my mental and emotional escape.

🌊💚🏊‍♂️🏄‍♂️

We are in the height of heat here. Normally, June tends to be the worst for us heat wise, however this year, 2020 – the year from hell, it hasn’t been that way. Typical weather for summer (laughs at the irony – SoAZ is a place with a nine month summer) June is hot, boiling, melting, followed by July which is hot but has nearly daily monsoon rains, then August which is hot and continues monsoon season rains into September.

But not this year! Yeah June was hot and dry; July was hot and dry; and now August is burning and mercilessly dry.

Anyone need a seaside care taker for their house? Can I bring my books?

Can I get a lobster roll?

Maine Lobstah roll, fresh that morning.

Yes, chips please. The cutest teenage girl served me and told me her dad brought in the lobster that morning. So, so good. Pretty sure I would be completely happy living where I could get fresh sea food daily.

So what’s new? Got a new (to me) desk from our local amazing thrift store The Golden Goose, hubby is refinishing it in a lovely dark chestnut and I am purging the office. I like purging the office😁. This new desk will replace two pieces from the office, with lots more storage, and will be put in my library. The room I’m in now will be just for sewing, crafts, and voice-over work. I’ll post pics once completed.

We will see how desk sharing works for hubby and I, well I hope, since we often aren’t working at the same time. The biggest issue will be keeping the desk clean. I am a clean desk-everything in it’s place person. Years of office admin jobs have made me this way. I like things filed, in folders, organized, labeled, and stored. If I need to find it I want to go directly to where it is. Hubby – not so much. He likes piles and stacks. No clear surface is safe from his stuff.

We’ll work it out.

Revelations

Small revelations about myself have been bombarding me for a week or so. They run the gamut of emotional, physical, spiritual and everything in between. It’s pushed me to find a quiet mind place – place to dissect, delve, scrutinize, explore, eliminate, examine – you understand.

I’m not a huge self-discovery person so when a few things pushed at me I pulled them in and had to take a look.

First – alone time. Due to the extensive travel during my childhood with my Air Force father a type of wanderlust was created in me. Never one to want to be in one place for more than a few years (typical of duty stays in the military) I looked forward to the next place. As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs this kept me from developing friend making skills because, heck, you would move on soon enough. What it did create was contentment to be alone. There are good times for this, but when you are married, have children, working full time, and nearby family it might have instilled resentment that I would retreat, hide, mind wander and make myself comfortable with myself and not be available. Both of my kids are like this as well, especially my daughter.

I love the sound of chimes, bells, rain, ocean, flute, fairy songs, and soft breezes. I love the feeling in my house when there is no sound-no TV, stereo, electronics. Just the random outside noise of birds, dogs barking, the kids next door playing in their pool. I also enjoy my rock & roll, jazz, pop music playlists on my apple music – loud.

But like everything else, the when and where of these live inside me.

I have a friend who is retiring and said she wanted to come hang out at my house with me once she is free from the work day drudgery. I like it, and I know she will respect that sometimes I just have to be alone. My dear friend who moved to St. Louis (actually Edwardsville IL) understood this wonderfully. It’s a true blessing to be in tune with another human this way.

Hubby gets me, most of the time, and gives me space when required. It’s how we’ve stayed together for forty years – yep that’s right. The only human who doesn’t get this is my precious grandson. He is five, busy, silly, active and fun. He can’t understand why Nannie (me) won’t come play sometimes. I explain it, he says okay and is back in ten minutes with something new.

Writing for me is gradually coming together after fits and starts, and my current work is progressing. The first third is written, the next third is plotted and I know the end goal for it. It’s fun and plays in my head like a movie. I’m really digging my blog and have thought of reading it on a  You Tube channel as a companion  vlog, sort of twin telling. We’ll see. I keep pluggin away at the voice over auditions and know that once I get that first job things will fall into place. There is a lot of competition, but I’ve a great space for it, my own little sound proof studio, for learning the software and equipment to record, edit and produce really good work. Anyone have a VO job for me?

So I am slowly coming out of a gloomy funk thanks to weird physical stuff that I had no idea of the source of and it scared me, a lot. Kind of got a bit depressed with that, missing my BFF, needing to hide, and letting God fill me up.

I’m getting there.

Cheers!

-N

Anybody Out There?

When I created this blog it was intended to communicate, interact, and exchange ideas. I tend toward being a loner, not an introvert because I can schmooze with the best of them when it is required. Getting a smile back from the grocery check-out clerk gives me a great feeling. The idea I might have helped cheer someone’s day is wonderful. I try this on a lot of folks.

Conversation. I often enjoy it and I’m pretty good at keeping it going after learning a bit of the art of it, when and how to ask questions, and avoiding trite replies like “you’re kidding! really? no way!” and instead reply with “tell me more or that’s wonderful (or shocking) or I understand” which encourages engagement.

For several years I had a very best friend, one that would call me to check up, invite me over, get together for meals, she loved coming to my place to hang out. She taught me how to be a long term friend, since my youth was spent traveling to different stations my father was transferred to with the USAF. So friend making, true friend making, wasn’t part of my wheel house. My parents had their adult friends – most of whom worked with dad and moved where he did, but I really only had my sisters. Meeting her as an adult was enlightening to say the least. We took trips together, enjoyed music and wine together, loved the beach. But…she and her husband divorced and she moved to St. Louis to be with her elderly parents. We lost a lot of contact, and I lost that friend.

Her parents have both passed now, details of the estate have been sorted and she is staying in St. Louis until her daughter graduates high school. The light in this is she plans to move back to Tucson and I am thrilled.

Maybe I won’t give in so readily to my aloneness or that wee bit of melancholy you saw in last weeks post. BTW the test result from the 19th was good news. The room where I write, blog, do voice over, and sew in has become more and more about being in my own space. I covet my time in it.

However…back to the blog.

I don’t get many comments and I wondered why? Is there something I’m missing in what I share? If you have any constructive advice and comments I would love to hear them. More pictures, videos, book reviews, music reviews?

So I sit, praying for rain and cooler temps in Southern Arizona with a three hour YouTube video of fall rain playing on my laptop. I look forward to hearing from you.

Cheers!

-N