Today, I came home from work at the dental office I work at. I made a domain for myself and a WordPress account! Today, I will chronicle my journey into voiceover!
I’ve been slowly plugging away at voiceover since August 2015. A coworker posted a photo of herself in a studio on a mic doing voiceover and I was like, “WHAAAAAT? WHAT ARE YOU DOING? WHERE ARE YOU DOING IT?” She told me she was taking the Foundations of Voiceover class at On The Mic Training. I decided then and there that I HAD TO take that class. It was done.
HISTORY LESSON! I had been interested in voiceover, particularly Animation and even MORE particularly, ADR, since I was a teenager. I remember as a kid, I actually looked up Ocean Productions (or ‘Group’ in those days) in the phone because I wanted to scope out their location and try to figure out how to get a job there. Any job. Making coffee, answering phones, shredding papers, I didn’t care. I just wanted to be around THE PEOPLE. I live near Ocean now. I didn’t do it on purpose (for reals!) but maybe I knew by instinct? Heh.
When I was 18, I found an advertisement in town for Stevie Vallance‘s Tooned In Workshop. I joined her mailing list, but I never took the workshop. I worked pumping gas for $7 and actually paid rent on my own basement hovel in Greater Vancouver, and was broke as a joke, so I had a hard time ponying up the cash for the workshop. Eventually, I gave up on voiceover and did what my parents told me to do: go to university, and get a respectable, grown up job that pays.
So I did.
I gave up on voiceover, but I never really forgot about it. When my coworker posted that selfie in the booth, I felt this weird envy and excitement and I decided to do it. NOW.
Stevie is now based in Toronto, so her workshops are few and far between in Vancouver. I found her newsletters still coming to me when I randomly checked that old email address I made in grade 10 that I never check anymore. I connected with her on Facebook. She is a great resource, and she has the best dogs ever (after my awesome collies, of course).
I took the Foundations course at OTM. The the Acting one. Then the Commercial & Narration ones. Then the Animations ones. Then the ADR one. Between August 2015 and June 2015, I took only one month off from On The Mic. I lost any sense of dignity in a recording studio and gained the ability to read any copy without breaking into laughter, faltering in uncertainty, or worse. I drooled down my own front reading copy (while recorded) with a wine cork in my mouth (try it – your enunciation will never be the same!) Mostly I just lost my dignity! HA!
Level 2 Wine Corking!
I got a mic, and a new vision for my unusually large walk-in closet in my otherwise micro Kitsilano apartment. Lots of learning. Lots of practice. I routinely scare my dogs with my voice. Right now I’m preparing to improve my equipment and record my first demos. That’s where I am at!
In the meantime, I have met SO MANY amazing people in the arts and particularly voiceover community in Vancouver. Many, MANY talented and incredibly supportive humans. The best kind of humans. I learned some things! Lessons in humility, authenticity, and perseverance. Lessons in mic technique, acting theory, and vocal booth carpentry. A reminder to compete with people, not against them. Finally, the one I am acting on today: to continually move forward, even if it’s sometimes slow.
I am known for periods of quiescence followed by bursts of activity. It’s been done with renovations, staging properties, selling properties, doing schoolwork, house chores, and also career activities. In the past three days, I have registered a domain I am not yet using, got some great new audio software, and started this blog!
I also read through Debi Derryberry’s latest book: Voice-Over 101: How to Succeed as a Voice Actor. I bought it a while ago, and then broke my iPad mini that I use for Kindle purchases. I couldn’t put it down! Her writing is so warm, inclusive, informative and entertaining, it was like being mentored by a trusted old friend. I totally want to hang out with Debi now! (Debi if you ever read this, I loved you as Noishe!) A lot of the material I had already learned from my 10 months of immersion into voiceover at On The Mic, but I DID learn new things….. Like how to turn pages of copy without being a HORRIBLE HUMAN and ruining your colleague’s take with your paper crackles. I did not know that. Every one has something to teach you!
I am a bit of a tech gadget nerd, and although I don’t always NEED to have the NewShinyThing, I love to learn about them, the strengths and weaknesses of a given item, and people’s personal experiences “on the ground” with a given piece of equipment. I was the 12 year old the tore down and then reassembled my AV receiver on my bedroom floor. Then did the same to the record player. I run a serious risk of spending more time shopping for gear, software, etc than actually doing voiceover, and I have to curb myself. That being said, I loooooove hearing about people’s soundchains and apps. Debi’s book has got some of that too! So there you have it. Good resources for n00bs!
Anyway, that’s all I’ve got for now! Will blog again soon!