Saturday, May 14, 2011

Practice doesn't make perfect

I'm a life long golfer and during my junior and senior high years played competitively against some very good golfers. My father taught me the game when I was very young. I did however receive a few structured lessons from teaching pros, always looking to elevate my game. I recall one golf pro telling me on the practice tee, "Practice doesn't make perfect, practice makes permanent." That always stuck with me, even well beyond my golf game. If you're practicing the wrong things with your golf swing, your muscle memory is going to groove those things, and instead of improving your game, you'll be ruining it. Of course, the same applies to so many things in life, not just golf. I always tell those who approach me wanting to get into voice over to get some solid instruction from a qualified voice over coach. These days there are many people teaching voice over, but not all are qualified, or they're simply looking to make a buck. Be selective. Do your research before you receive instruction. And remember, practice doesn't make perfect, it makes permanent. Make sure you're practicing the right things.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

"Have you voiced anything I would know?"

It happened again yesterday at my bank. I had a check come in from a first time client that I was not able to deposit at the ATM so I went inside. I was standing in a very long teller line at Bank of America, when a customer rep asked if anyone had just a direct deposit-no cash back transaction, which mine was. So, she pulled me out of line (Yippeeee!) and we went to a service station where she handled the details. I told her for whatever reason the check was not able to be processed at the outdoor ATM.

At one point, she asked me what I do for a living. I told her that I do voice overs for TV, some radio, but LOTS of non broadcast stuff for websites, corporate videos, e learning narrations and the like. She then asked me a question I usually get when folks find out what I do for a living- "Have you done anything that I would have heard, or that made you famous?" Of course, I always chuckle inside a bit when I get asked this as it's hard to know what people have heard. I told her that I had voiced four TV spots that aired nationally on the Game Show Network in support of a show called "Think Like a Cat" that she might have seen and heard. (I have one of the spots posted in the video section on this blog.) I went on to tell her that I voice many different genres of voice over, much of it non-broadcast stuff. People are sometimes surprised to hear that roughly 90% of all voice over work is non broadcast-it's a huge part of the VO pie. (Audio book narration has exploded). Those just learning the voice over craft tend to want to gravitate toward the more glamorous stuff like TV commercials and animation voice. There's nothing wrong with that. But if you ignore all the opportunities that abound in non broadcast work, you'll be missing out on a lot.

Another thing I get often is "Oh,that's cool!' "C'mon, do some voices!" I politely decline
and hand out a business card with my website address where my online demos can be heard. Hate to be a party pooper, but...