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V/O Coaches

 
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Glenn
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2005 10:46 pm    Post subject: V/O Coaches Reply with quote

How about some feedback on V/O Coaches. Who are the top coaches in the country? How much do they charge? Did they help you work on your demo or sit in the studio with you? Did you get more work as a result of working with a coach?



Please elaborate and be specific.



Glenn Moore
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mcm
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Joined: 10 Dec 2004
Posts: 2600
Location: w. MA, USA

PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2005 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I worked with Charles Michel in New York http://www.thewinningvoice.com/. I first took an online seminar at the NYC Learning Annex for $12.99, and he was the instructor. Then I did a small group class with him for $59 which was a couple of hours (maybe longer-- could have been 4 hrs), then a 5-session (90 minutes each) intensive series for a total of $350, a 4-hour marketing seminar for $100, then did my demo with him. He charged me $100 to direct my demo and the recording studio charged around $400 including tax. They didn't charge anything extra for the additional edits I requested. I thought it was cheap for the amount of time and effort he put in and I loved working with him. Plus I can call him any time for advice-- some people charge extra for that!



I've also worked with Edge Studios. They will work with you over the telephone which is useful, and they have a number of instructors and offer various workshops and seminars which are a good value (generally $99 in NY for 4 hours).
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Latech70
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2005 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is another one of those topics I will be following very closely.



BTW, I think James Alburger and Susan Berkley are going to do a joint weekend "super" conference in Atlanta during the month of October. At least that seems to be the tentative plans. I may very well try to attend that one if it comes together.



Anyone know of some good coaches in the South? I've seen names for a few in Dallas and some in Atlanta. Anywhere else in the LA (that's Louisiana...not L.A.), MS, AL, TN area that has reputable voiceover coaches?



As always, thanks to everyone for the input.
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Latech70
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2005 6:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anyone? Bueller....Bueller? Just thought I'd bump this topic up since we've had some new additions to the board who may have some input to offer.



Thanks!
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audio'connell
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Joined: 02 Feb 2005
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Location: in a dark studio with a single bulb light...day after day after....

PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2005 7:51 am    Post subject: OK, I'll bite... Reply with quote

mcm wrote:
I worked with Charles Michel in New York http://www.thewinningvoice.com/. I first took an online seminar at the NYC Learning Annex for $12.99,

small group class with him for $59 which was a couple of hours (maybe longer-- could have been 4 hrs),

then a 5-session (90 minutes each) intensive series for a total of $350,

a 4-hour marketing seminar for $100, then did my demo with him.

He charged me $100 to direct my demo and the recording studio charged around $400 including tax.




Holy cow that seems like a TON of money. I'll grant you NYC fees are different than other cities but I think you would have to be going into this business "cold" to spend that kind of money on training and production.



If its what you felt you needed, then so be it but that money could have been pput towards computer, software and dsl or ISDN and would have offered a faster ROI.



It may in your situation turn out to be a good decision long run but man, that seems a bit hefty...or maybe i'm just cheap :lol:
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audioconnell Voice Over Talent
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Charlie Channel
Club 300


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

PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2005 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used David Goldberg at Edge Studios. He's got a great ear. I did 1 on 1, because I didn't want to wait for a group class to form and launch. (Nothing exists other than "now"). Eval was around $100 (maybe less). Total cost of orientration/training was around $300 or so. We worked on my sked by telephone. Can't remember how much each session was. While in NYC for the JVC Jazz Fest, I connected with him and we did the demo. I believe producing the demo cost around $750, including CD's.



I'd not worry about the cost, within reason. The produced demo has paid for itself. It was an investment. The demo got me an agent (Stars, in S.F.) and most of my biz.



Also, there is a lot of stuff going on in producing the demo. As an example, I was totally unaware of equalization, compression and limiting which affect the overall quality of the production -- not to mention "mastering." Sound effects and music are also elements that make a big difference. And, then, there was mic modeling performed, which made the Neumann sound like other mic's, and produced a quality to the demo that said, 'this guy's done a variety of stuff.'



While a lot is happening with the electronic toys, that stuff isn't the end of the line, to say the least. My first gig was recording VO for a documentary for a not-for-profit organization. The mic was a Shure SM-58. The vocal booth was my closet. The client was satisfied and paid. It was the demo that got her in the door. Although I bought an M-Box, even that wasn't really necessary. An M-Audio unit would have worked, just as well.



The second gig I did in my nascent career was for a county health department. While the producer had great video production suite, when it came to the VO he took me to a utility closet across the hall. He adjusted the mic and music stand. Headphones? Talk-back? He closed the door and said, "Can you hear me?"



He told me that it was my demo that was sitting on his desk that his client heard. She wanted my voice.



And, to give you my perspective on gear, I recently did one gig away from home-studio. I'd done some on-camera acting work for an educational video project and two days later, as I was walking out the door, my agency called and said they wanted VO. I said I was going to L.A., but that I'd like to try a remote session. The client said OK, give it a try.



So, in L.A., here was my rig:



- Shure SM-58

- Mac (the one that looks like a desk lamp fixture) -- iMac???

- iMic (a USB toy that attches to the iMac)

- Boss BR-532 Digital Studio (nothing more than a mixer to me)



I already had the SM-58 and Boss (I use it for music, mostly). Where I was staying in L.A. had the iMac and high speed Internet. So, I plugged the iMic into the iMac, plugged the BR-532 into the iMic. Ran a cable to the SM-58 and plugged the other end into the BR-532. Set the mic on the corner of a padded couch, waited for everyone to leave the apartment and recorded the script. Converted it to MP3 and E-mailed it to the engineer. Voila! Done.



Cost? $ 40 for the iMic.



Point: Your demo is an investment. Gear: an investment, too. But, nothing more than a means to an end. You may not even use it and there are some great studios to work in, sometimes.



Possibilities: My next stop for a new demo is L.A. and the Marc Graue studios, and possible additonal training at Voice One in S.F.



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Andy
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2005 9:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I certainly wish I could afford some vocal coaching. Broadcast news style is a tough habit to break without help from a disinterested ear. They're also good at helping you identify your "signature voice" and improving it.

I spend most of my day coaching young, raw on-air talent. But just like a lawyer shouldn't represent him/herself, methinks a voice talent who hires himslelf to teach has a fool for a coach.



I agree with you Carlie, it's a prudent investment. Just wish I had the funds to spring for it.
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mcm
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Joined: 10 Dec 2004
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2005 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Less than $1K for a complete career change (from an academic career in biology) seems cheap to me and Charles charges less than other coaches in the NYC area, and I adore him and continue to consult with him regularly for which he does not charge anything; he's also a producer and eventually I expect to get some work out of him. I get paid more per hour to do the VO he trained me to do than he charged to train me. It was definitely worth the investment to me, and I'm the only one that matters (and my family) in this decision. I'll invest in better equipment when I can afford that, but for now my Rode mic and little pre-amp are being good to me. The better equipment would have been wasted on me if I didn't know what to do with my voice.
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Dennis O'Neill
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2005 9:31 pm    Post subject: V/O coaches Reply with quote

Can't give any names down south, but just a note to encourage anybody to hook up with a good coach if you can. Check with local union, studios to see if there's anybody they recommend. I've found voiceover coaches to be quite rare. There are 'vocal' coaches that work with the anatomy, etc., but an actual, legit voiceover coach can be rare, depending.



Side note - I don't think Mary paid anything over the norm. I REALLY advise people to be careful before running out, getting a demo - without some training. Training can be a one or two day workshop for $200 or around there. Training can also be a 4 session 'course', such as the one I teach. I teach through a local college (as it's convenient and has 14 private studios for students). The college took care of pricing, and when it hit $475, I insisted they drop it at least $100, or find someone else. They did. One course or workshop is not necessarily all anyone needs. Possibly some acting classes, or better yet, a voiceover coach which is usually $50 per hr. PLUS studio. So..we're at around...$500 so far.

The demo is going to run you between $350 - $500 - $1000 or even more. (Expensive isn't necessarily better.) Now, we're looking at $1000, not counting the cost of dubs, packaging, labelling, and mail-outs.



It IS an investment, and one you want to do properly. So, Mary's situation (which recently landed her a gig) is in my opinion, pretty good!



But back to voiceover coaches for a sec., it is a skill that not everybody has. Scotty Bowman is the winningest coach in the NHL - yet never played one game in the league. Some people are just good at teaching others, some THINK they are. Sometimes producers can direct and work with talent, some can't, but think they can. That's why you want to make sure you hook up with a genuine voiceover coach - preferrably recommended.
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schaer
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Joined: 08 Jan 2005
Posts: 169
Location: Las Vegas, New Mexico (yes, there is such a place...)

PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2005 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with everyone else above. The most important investment in this career change is the training. Like Mary I trained with Charles Michel in NYC last September. That was my intro to voiceover. Always wanted to do it - never had the time. Now, at 54, I finally took the first steps. I went through Charles' basic program in a week's time - an hour a day, $100 an hour. During that same week in NYC a went and saw David Goldberg at Edge Studio for an evaluation and had several 1on1 session in person and over the phone with several of his coaches. Once I got back from NYC I bought a Shuttle XPC, an Audix CX-111 and a Digi 002 (overkill, an MBox would have been just fine). The local radio station gave me the opportunity to record some of their local clients' commercials and I picked up a couple of clients on my own. Currently I am taking lessions from Tom Richards, Deirdre's pal, and he is also putting together my demo. This upcoming weekend I'll be in Florida for a Susan Berkley bootcamp thing. After that, finish the demo and get gigs.... Training is essential and I think I'll continue to pick up a lesson here and there, but I think it's time to jump....



Bernard
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Latech70
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2005 2:56 pm    Post subject: Tele-coaching? Reply with quote

Just curious. Has anyone on here ever used Susan Berkley's over-the-phone coaching? Or do you know anyone who has?



And, Bernard, please let us know how the bootcamp thing goes. I've checked out her web site several times and her bootcamps seem to be popular.
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