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PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2005 8:25 am    Post subject: Hello Reply with quote

I've been posting here for the last few days and thought, well, maybe I should introduce myself. My creditors call me Andrew; folks who don't know me too well call me Andy; my wife and friends and 12-year-old son call me Drew. I've also been trained to answer to, "Hey, you!"

I'm fiarly new to serious VO work, but hardly a newbie to the media industry. I just celebrated (or maybe lamented) my twenty-fifth year in the television news industry. I often joke that I've been shot at and missed and (expletive deleted) at and hit in more DMA's than I care to recall. Presently, I hold the title of News Dirctor at a small CBS station in a venue I affectionatly refer to as Tumblweed Junction, Texas. The going agency rate for a :30 here is thirty bucks (Sheesh).

After nearly two decades in TV news I've come to the conclusion that this part of the industry has truly "jumped the shark." We're held in about as high regard as Screamin' Sam the used car dealer and the ambulance chasing law firm of Dewey Cheatem & Howe. I concluded that I gotta get out of this TV news racket before I wind up in the rubber room.

So, what did I do? Six months ago, after three weeks of debate with my wife, I assembled my own studio. I truly believe she finally gave in just to shut me up. I promised her it wouldn't be more than a $1,500 outlay. In realty, it's closer to $3,000. But who the heck's counting? Oh yeah, she is. Every invoice balanced against every trip to the computer store, Radio Shack, the music store, etc.

Well, I'm hardly ready to quit the day job at this point. I've probably done close to 30 jobs since that hot day in late August when I finally figured out how to get my soundcard mixer to "talk nice" to my Cool Edit Pro software. Just the other day my CFO (wife) came to me and announced, "Well, Voice Boy, you broke even. You've made enough to pay off the $3K you got wrapped up in this, plus there's enough left over for some fries at Micky D's."

So, dats where I am. I like the sense of community here. There seems to be a good foundation of kindness and support. And that's kinda odd in a highly competitive industry that often promotes a cockfight demeanor. Of course, that could be my South Philly nature. My late mother often joked that I slapped the doctor back the day I was born.


Andy, Drew, Hey You
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Seriously Devoted

Joined: 01 Dec 2004
Posts: 889
Location: Greater NYC Area

PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2005 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andy / Andrew / Drew,

I've been to Tumblweed Junction, Texas numerous times, both of my parents are from Texas! It's a shame you didn't have enough left over for Whataburger! Keep up the good work.

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Charlie Channel
Club 300

Joined: 08 Feb 2005
Posts: 356
Location: East Palo Alto, CA

PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2005 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pleasure to meet you, Andy.

I'll toss my hat in the ring, since you've broken the ice.

I'm a virginal voice talent. Not a virgin, mind you. But I thought that'd be kind of a different way of saying I'm new to the game, with a little work under foot. I've been at the biz since Fall 2002.

I live in East Palo Alto, CA -- a small community of around 25,000 that had the honor of being the Murder Capital of the U.S. several years ago. It's actually a very nice place to live -- depending on what you do. Me? I raised kids here with my wife. East Palo Alto is near the heart of Silicon Valley (San Jose) and San Francisco -- sort of in the middle. It's 3 miles east of Stanford University.

For money, I worked at the high flyers in Silicon Valley, including ROLM Mil-spec Computer, Tandem Computers, Stanford University and Sun Microsystems, Inc. I was a contracts negotiator, project manager and great generalist.

2001 the dot com biz imploded. In the Fall 2001, my wife of 27 years passed away. My last kid went away to university at UVA and, of course, I got RIF'd. What to do? Start anew.

I do everything backwards. So, I got in touch with David Goldberg whom I met doing a WWW search on VO, took coaching from him for 3 months, recorded a demo, put up a web page, and spent money for a M-box.

After narrating a documentary from my clothes closet, I decided I needed a booth. I got a booth, After I got a booth, I decided I needed a better mic. After I got a better mic, I decided I needed better monitors. After I got a monitor, I decided I needed . . . you all know how that goes. Always more toys for the boy! Somewhere along the way, I got an agent.

Now, here's the funny thing. I make more money doing modeling and on-camera work that VO -- although everyone's said I've got a great voice. That's not to say I'm making enough to pay the rent in this biz. I make more practicing law. And, that's a tragedy given I only practice law when I'm unemployed. Remeber the book and movie called The Reluctant Dragon? That's sort of the picture. I snort out a little smoke and fire. Then, head to my music locker, break out my bass and begin to play. You know, it's the Ferdinand the Bull thing.

These days, I chase work on voice123 and whatever other virtual casting server seems to present an opportunity. I met Kitzie on another BB. She told me she did 2 years research before getting into the biz. Wow! I never even read a book. Like I said, I do everything backwards.

So, 10 days ago I bought a bunch of used books on Amazon dot com and as they come in I read 'em. Finished 3 so far. Still waiting for a book written by a guy named Hogan to arrive. I probably should have bought a new one and I'd have had that one already.

As for the media, believe it or not, I rarely watch television. No joke. I've been so deeply involved in life over the years, I just never had time to sit down and "watch." That's my only explanation. So, it doesn't do too much good to say, we need you to sound like . . . (I keep thinking, HIRE HIM if that's what you want. Besides, I don't even know who in hell you're talkin' about).

I've got a girl friend in L.A. I visit her on weekends about every 2 or 3 weeks. And, no, I'm not going to get married, again. Been there. Loved it. Done. I live like a bachelor most of the time. Love it! You know, I can actually leave my socks on the dining table and nobody says anything in my house. OK, maybe my dog. She barks. I can say shut-up, open the door and usher her out. She's now barking as I write this, to get back in! There's no rest for the wicked.

A group of musicians come over to the pad to jam on Thursday nights, and everyone can drink, smoke cigars and play music. Their wives are somewhat happy because, at least, they know where they are.

I'm here because I need encouragement and a new community to relate to, on occasion. You know, after 300 auditions and 4 gig's, it clear that stamina needs to be dosed regularly.

Well, now it's on to washing dishes, putting out the trash which has accumulated for 2 weeks under the kitchen sink and waiting for 11:30 a.m. PST. I only drink after 12 noon, but I also round-off numbers as often as I can.

Oh! I almost forgot. My son, Amani is a reporter in the news biz for WTVT-TV in Tampa. I hear about the news biz. My younger son, Charlie Salim is an editor/engineer for KNTV-TV in San Jose. I hear about what goes on behind the camera in news. My daugher's finishing up at UVA in May, but is becoming a costume person (she makes costumes for plays and stuff like that). I hear about girl roommates.

It's a pleasure to meet you, and all the folks on the Bboard.

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Chuck Davis

Joined: 02 Feb 2005
Posts: 2389
Location: Where I love to be...Between the Vineyards and the Cows.

PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2005 3:13 pm    Post subject: Hello to all Reply with quote


Good stories and best of luck to you both! I guess I'm a relative newbie in the grand scheme of things too. 25-year broadcaster...about 3 years investing in VO as freelancer. Charlie...I'm another one who kind of "backed in". Either way you learn and grow..and boards like this are a great place to learn.

BTW - Nice to know there's another bassplayer on the board Charlie!

Talk to y'all soon! :D

Chuck D
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Joined: 02 Feb 2005
Posts: 1929
Location: in a dark studio with a single bulb light...day after day after....

PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2005 7:58 am    Post subject: 12 step Reply with quote

This is starting to sound a bit like a 12 step group...

"Hi, I'm Peter and I'm a voice-over junkie."
- Peter
audioconnell Voice Over Talent
Your friendly, neighborhood voice over talent
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2005 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello, my name is Drew and I'm a voiceaholic. I must confess, I'm hooked on the thrill of the chase.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2005 9:03 pm    Post subject: Now look what you've started! Reply with quote

I seem to add a lot of comments, yet not ask a lot of questions which (I think) makes me come across as some pompous know-it-all. Eeek! Nothing could be further from the truth.

I do have a varied career, and experience, but I just love helping people which is probably why I find myself an insturctor at a local college. (Radio, engineering, voiceover, relationship advisor!), and I find myself in the very enviable position of 'picking and choosing' my freelance production projects. Simply because my day job is so enjoyable.

Proud Canuck, into tropical fish, my cat, every kind of music, hippie-spiritual, halo with horns, believe that helping each other makes the world go round. And it does. Fascinated with how people communicate - much like y'all on this board. My first concert was Alice Cooper, sneaked into discos with fake ID in '76, and if Lisa reads this..you blew it!

Ahhh. I feel so much better. Thanks!
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Dennis O'Neill

PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2005 9:07 pm    Post subject: "Guest" above is Den Reply with quote

For freak sakes! Forgot to log in. Ever have one of those lifes?
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2005 7:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, since we're all getting acquainted...

Another former TV news anchor/reporter guy here, from the 80's, after that I spent a good deal of time in radio news.

For the past 10 years I have been a one person video production department for a state agency, and besides doing all the voice work for the projects here, I have dabbled with outside projects.

I have let the VO work slide, as I have far too many other irons in the fire, full time day gig, built a house, had 4 kids, and still "building the house", personal project video documentary, playing sax in a classic rock band, and the past year had it's share of personal tragedy.

But now I'm getting close to finishing the construction project, to my eldest daughter's delight (her own room!) taking on a couple outside video projects, still servicing a couple loyal voice over clients, and plan on getting the video documentary complete and released. So my mind is turning to VO again. With the full time day gig, I just want to keep my hand, er... voice in, with an eye toward getting more serious about it as time progresses.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2005 10:04 am    Post subject: Greeings from a "wannabe" Reply with quote

Well, I kinda sorta introduced myself in a different thread somewhere here on the board. But, what the heck, in the spirit of getting to know one another--I can now really bore all of you. :shock: :lol:

Unlike the majority of you here, I have no background in broadcasting. And, really, the only previous "voice" experience I have would be entertaining myself by carrying on conversations with myself in various voices. Well, and I have sung in church choirs--I suppose that could be considered a type of experience in using my voice as something other than just plain ol', everyday communication.

Voice-over work has actually been a dream of mine looong before I ever knew what to call it. Heck, long before I even knew that folks actually got paid to do such a thing. As a kid, I would sit in front of the TV and surf through the channels (all three of them back then) and watch the commercials--usually while doing all the sound effects and dialog right along with the actors on the screen or the voice behind the scenes. Yeah, I drove my dad nuts on a regular basis.

Back then, and even now, animation was/is a favorite medium of mine. (Hey, I'm a big kid, what can I say.) I have said for years--at least since junior high--that my dream job would be to do voice characterizations for cartoons on TV and in the movies. However, since beginning serious research of the V/O business, I have come to the realization that I would love to try a little bit of everything--commercials, narrations, CD-ROM's, promotions, imaging, etc, etc.

I really only started doing serious research into the business of V/O early last year. At some point last year, I began to truly believe that, "Hey, I may be able to persue this...at least on some level." By the end of 2004, I had become a volunteer with the Mississippi Library Commission's program for recording audio books for the blind and physical handicapped. I'm still working on recording my first book with them. And, this experience so far has let me know that very long-form copy may not be something at which I will excel. But, since I've been transcribing the copy of the book into Word and double-spacing it, it's much easier to read it in a fluid fashion...I just end up turning a lot more pages than the guy running the recorder.

Anywho, since I'm still very much a "wannabe" in the V/O world I know I will be keeping my "day job" for quite some time. Which, by the way, is computer programming--but nothing too exciting or glamorous since I program on the IBM AS/400 which is a midrange computer. I mainly do business application type stuff. :cry: But, I hope to get some kind of coaching/training in V/O this year and maybe try to get a demo CD done within the next 12 to 18 months.

I've also been researching local production companies, etc, for possible leads on jobs to hopefully get a toe-hold in the business to some degree. I realize I could possibly be like some of those poor, misled souls on American Idol who think they can sing, but actually can't carry a tune in a bucket with a lid on it. However, I can't help but think I could do a more professional job than the folks in some of the "local yokel" type ads (as I refer to them) that are aired around here. Don't get me wrong, I surely don't intend to come across as some arrogant jerk--especially since I'm a complete newb with no actual paying gigs--but I think we've all seen some locally produced commercials where it's pretty obvious that little or no thought (and even less money) was spent on the talent used. Anywho, at least that gives me some modicum of hope.

On the bright side, there are actually some decent local production companies (such as http://www.eyevox.com--they're just down the road from where I live) which have done nationally aired commercials...or at least they are of nationally-aired-quality . So, maybe...just maybe, I can get a foot in the door one of these days with one of the local places and get some sort of real commercial, narration, and/or other experience.

Anywho, that's probably more about me than any of you ever wanted to know. Sorry about getting long-winded. I'm really glad to have found this board and I appreciate all the great folks here. And, a big thanks to Deirdre for putting it together.

(Eee-gads...edited so many times to correct spelling errors, etc. Of course, that's not to say that this post is now free of errors...but, hopefully more readable.)

Last edited by Latech70 on Thu Feb 24, 2005 12:23 pm; edited 5 times in total
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Been Here Awhile

Joined: 06 Feb 2005
Posts: 218
Location: Oregon

PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2005 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andy, it looks like you've started a trend here. I come to the VO business today from the perspective of someone who worked in the industry full time and made an OK living 10 years ago, and who now is re-discovering the very different business it has become. Ten years ago I had a full time gig as a morning show host/news director in our local station, and did VO on the side. I left radio (nasty story), and went to television. My VO business branched out to include on-camera narration, including working with a teleprompter. I also did a lot of technical narration. I've worked as a professional singer since 1974, classically trained, and have sung almost every kind of music, including a gig as a rock singer for a band in London and a disco singer for a band that traveled the USA and Canada. Look for my book "The Diary of a Disco Dolly" (just kidding), but I have been featured in a book called "Women In Rock". I haven't read it, so if it says anything bad about me, I don't know about it.

Then I got divorced, and had to get serious about money. I worked in a PR/Advertising firm that went under, as a project manager in a computer networking firm that also went under, and after those experiences decided to become the ultimate suit and got my licenses to be an investment advisor for AIG. I don't expect them to go under anytime soon.

I got married again (very happy), and have had success as a financial advisor. But I've decided I'd rather work for myself again, and VO is my first love. It's also possible in this new world to make a decent living without having to drive to recording studios for auditions and gigs. So I did my homework (researching for two years was probably a bit anal, but that's how I am before I spend big money), and I've been putting the studio together since last summer. My demos went out in November, and gigs are arriving, so I'm happy.

My dilemma is I can't do both investment advisor & VO well, so I have a decision to make. It's not really a question of "if" as a question of "when". It's taking up a lot of my time, and thought and has a lot of angst attached.

BTW, I've been loving the show "Unscripted" on HBO, and every week I get a line that keeps me going. This week it was "It is your individuality that will make you a success." Other favorites were "An actor's life is all about endurance", and "You have to really believe that if a producer doesn't choose you for a role, he's just wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong."

Glad to meet all of you.
Enjoy life, this is not a rehearsal.

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Contributore Level V

Joined: 08 Jan 2005
Posts: 169
Location: Las Vegas, New Mexico (yes, there is such a place...)

PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2005 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, as I mentioned somewhere else on this board earlier, I have not background -- in radio or radio related fields, that is. I've done some acting in Germany in the 70ties but nothing since then. I started the whole voice-over thing last summer by taking classes with Charles Michel of www.thewinningvoice.com and David Goldberg of www.edgestudio.com and several of his coaches. Since then I have been taking lessons fairly regularly with a number of different people, currently with Tom Richards. Yesterday I got back from a Susan Berkley "Voiceover Bootcamp" in Florida which was very enlightening, informative, scary and a lot of fun. We talked about marketing ourselves, did mock casting sessions, microphone work, recorded a demo spot, met a producer from NY who told us all about her work and where we come in as V/O's in what she does etc. etc. There is so much opportunity out there..... I also told all 30 participants about this little community here so I would think that some of them will certainly pop up here at the board in the next days or weeks to check it out.

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