Friday, February 26, 2021

This blog has NO agenda!

There are already a huge amount of voice over blogs out there. When I decided to jump in with my own over ten years ago , I knew I would want to go beyond just talking about voice over techniques and tales. Living in the Bay Area, there's plenty of other stuff to write about. 

This blog is mainly intended for beginner and intermediate voice talents. Seasoned voice actors will know much of what I speak. 

One area of everyday conversation I will never write about on here is POLITICS.  Like many, I have my viewpoints, but I will not use this blog as a forum for political arguing and hostile chit chat. I'll leave that to others out there. 

Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy and learn some voice over methods through my random writings here and the stories about my "former life"in radio and TV broadcasting. It was great fun for me, and now, recording voice overs suits me just fine. I have some fantastic, longtime clients/customers.You know who you are. THANK YOU!

Good luck to you in your journey. As someone once said, "Life is NOT a dress rehearsal." Live to your fullest right NOW! Nothing is guaranteed going forward. 

Feel free to reach out to me directly at john@johnmilesproductions.com with a comment or a question. 


Tuesday, February 23, 2021

An inspirational poem from Mom

 So, I was going through some boxes I had in storage here at my place and came across this poem my late Mother gave me many years ago. She was my biggest "cheerleader" and was totally all in when I would call to tell her I had landed a new radio station job. "Wonderful!" she would say with a smile in her voice as I broke the good news.

This poem is special and I wanted to share it with you because the ebb and flow of the voice over business can be unpredictable. One moment, your email is blowing up with jobs to be recorded, and the next it's quiet. (Dare I say "crickets?"). Don't take it personally. It happens to a lot of us who do this work. And there are voice over cycles throughout the year. Not surprisingly, Summers tend to be slow when many are on vacation sticking their toes in the sand. I find that during those down times, throwing myself into marketing my business and reaching out to others is a productive way to go. And remember all those jobs you landed in the past and how good it felt to have a customer/client appreciate your voice over work. If you're slow and doing the right things to promote your business, hang in there! Things will often change. Maybe not on your timetable, but the pendulum will swing back again into a busy cycle. The poem below is called "Don't Quit" by Edgar A. Guest in the 1920's.  You may have seen it before. I think it's especially significant during this current pandemic/economy.


 When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,

When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,

When the funds are low but the debts are high,

And you want to smile but you have to sigh,

When care is pressing you down a bit,

Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.

 Life is strange with its twists and turns,

As every one of us sometimes learns,

And many failures turn about

When we might have won had we stuck it out.

Don’t give up though the pace seems slow –

You may succeed with another blow.

 Success is failure turned inside out –

The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,

You can never tell how close you are,

It may be near when it seems so far;

So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit –

It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.  


Monday, February 8, 2021

You want to be a voice actor? For one, stop mumbling! (Unless the part calls for a drunk character)

 Here's an old trick that can help you as a voice actor to speak more clearly and stop mumbling.

It involves your mouth, a pencil, and a playful attitude.

Take a pencil (or a pen) and put it horizontally, pushed back across the teeth in your mouth. If you're having trouble visualizing this, think about a horse chomping down on a bit in its mouth.

Are you with me so far? Great. 

OK. Now with the pencil placed across your teeth and pushed back in your mouth, but not too far, read some tongue twisters you can find on the Internet before you do this activity. Just Google "tongue twisters."  There's a bunch of them. You'll probably feel a little silly when you do this exercise and will want to do it alone. That's OK. (You might even have some saliva coming out of your mouth). Keep a hanky handy.

So after a short while of saying the tongue twisters with the pencil firmly across your teeth in your mouth, remove the pencil or pen and read out loud using some of those tongue twisters. You should notice, in time, an improvement in the clarity of your speech.  Your mumbling days should vanish from your natural speech as the muscles around your mouth are "re-trained" and work toward your advantage. Try it. It works!