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VO Book Recommendations
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Deirdre
Czarina Emeritus


Joined: 10 Nov 2004
Posts: 12728
Location: East Jesus, Maine

PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2006 7:43 pm    Post subject: VO Book Recommendations Reply with quote

Hey guys and gals

I have been asked a number of times to have a "look here first!" page for folks starting out in the biz. I'd like to begin with book recommendations in this thread. Please post the names of books that you have read and found to be helpful. You can post why you consider them helpful, too.


The Art of Voice Acting by James Alburger
Covers the bases nicely. Includes exercises and scripts. Barnes and Noble or Amazon.

The 9 Critical Skills to Voiceover Excellence by Patrick Fraley
ANYTHING by this guy is great. I've always recommended Creating Character Voices for Fun and Profit but it's out of print. You can find his stuff at Pat Fraley's online bookstore.

The Fat Man on Game Audio by George Sanger
Not about voiceovers per se-- but about the world of being creative: its ups and downs. Losing your mind, staying sane. A fun read. Barnes and Noble or Amazon.
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Last edited by Deirdre on Sat Nov 03, 2007 12:57 pm; edited 4 times in total
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Hart
Assistant Asylum Chief


Joined: 03 Jan 2006
Posts: 2107
Location: Foley, AL

PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2006 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great idea.

I found both books by Harlan Hogan helpful:

VO: Tales and Techniques of a Voice-Over Actor by Harlan Hogan

He tells stories about his career, but also gives helpful advice. It's an easy read plus it's enjoyable. As an added little bonus, people seem to be impressed when it's sitting on your desk. Must be the pretty cover.

The Voice Actor's Guide to Home Recording by Jeffery P. Fisher and Harlan Hogan.


I get lots of helpful info from this one, overall its my fav of the two. Actually, even though I've had it since it came out, it's sitting on my desk as we speak. Lots of good general beginner info on setting up your home studio, marketing, and a few other goodies. Does a good job of explaining what things like ISDN, phone patch, and other terms mean. Gives a very basic explanation of concepts like normalization, eq, and compression. Just enough for you to know what it is, but not enough to master it.

Both are available from Harlan's website, or Amazon or whatever else you like.
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Dan-O
The Thirteenth Floor


Joined: 17 Jan 2005
Posts: 1394

PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Business is about building relationships. These two books are (IMHO) invaluable:

Dale Carnegie's "How to Win Friends and Influence People" The title says it all.

And

Roger Dawson's "Secrets of Power Negotiating" If you can, get the audio book so you can hear how to say things to your customers to get the deal you want and make the cutomer feel as though they did too.

Now for Marketing:

Jack Trout's "The New Positioning: The Latest on the World's #1 Business Strategy"

And

Al Ries & Jack Trout "Marketing Warfare"

Both of the books will teach you how and why the big companies succeed and fail in their marketing efforts. You can easily translate these lessons to our business.
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Don G.
King's Row


Joined: 11 Nov 2004
Posts: 1058
Location: MA

PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2006 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's one more, which I found helpful.
There's Money Where Your Mouth Is An Insider's Guide to a Career in Voice-Overs, by Elaince A. Clarke.
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Apageloman
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Understanding that much orf the V.O world is about running a business I think it's critcal tht you thing in that way, my wife being very in tune with that as a program mgr for a fortune 500 put me onto some things just to get you thinking right about a business ( a critical thing for us creative types) with that I offer two titles

Good to Great

Carolyn 101
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Jeffers
Been Here Awhile


Joined: 16 Nov 2004
Posts: 295
Location: San Jose, Ca.

PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scenes For Actors and Voices
by Daws Butler
Becuase it's Daws Butler! Smile
Jeff S.
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Simon Fellows
Contributor III


Joined: 15 Jul 2005
Posts: 94
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Daws - does that stand for Digital Audio Workstations by any chance? Now there'e a name that came along before its time. Smile

On the book front, for me at the moment anyway, it's Pro-Tools for Dummies. As there was a dummy and Pro-Tools in the same room at my house last December, my brother decided to get it for me for Christmas (mainly to stop the incessant phone calls when he was trying to get some work done I expect, as he's a bit of an expert).

Although aimed at producing music, I've found it an invaluable resource, not only for someone who's getting to grips with Pro-Fools (as Frank F might say) but also with the basics of recording and producing audio.

I know this is taking a slightly different tack to what's gone before but it's well worth a look in my book.
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dmgood
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2006 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting. I was recently thinking about starting a thread "What Are You Reading?"...

I've read almost all of the VO books out there. It almost goes without saying that Jim Alburger's is on the top of the list and Harlan Hogan's is also very good.

I love Gary Owens. His work (especially his live radio work) has been amazing. But unless you are interested in a very tongue-in-cheek look at the business with a lot of Gary Owens' jokes and laughs, skip his book. It was hard to tell at times what was legitimate and what was humor.

I just finished Joan Baker's Secrets of Voice-Over Success and thought it really was a good read.

I don't know if she sat down and interviewed the artists or if they just wrote her an essay, but it is 19 voice artists speaking in the first person about how they gained success. Some pretty great artists, too, such as Don LaFontaine, Joe Cipriano, Keith David, E.G. Daily and many many more.

They each touch on similar topics (as if she asked them to comment 8 items) their path to success, preparing demo, importance of an agent, women and race, auditioning, handling rejection, finding work, how would they handle not being able to use their voice. While it is not a nuts and bolts, here are the 10 steps to do such and such, it does have some good insights.

Each chapter ends with a "secret of success" (like the 19th secret: Competition is not the enemy. You have what you have, and other actors have what they have. You may be going up against actors of the same type, but there are different shades of purple) and while the artist mentioned the essence of "the secret" in their story, there are other nuggets in there as well. Like Joe Cipriano mentions something that Mark Elliot told him at a promo session: "Never take a vacation or you'll lose your gig to the guy who fills in for you and never buy a house based on voice-over income" and this is Joe Cipriano talking!! It's like sitting around in a room with 19 voiceover greats and them all sharing their own stories in their own words.

I think it was Anthony who suggested the book Ask An Agent by Margaret Emory. I'm part way through the book and am really loving it. Great information.

I'm also in the middle of reading Courage: The Joy of Living Dangerously by Osho. I don't buy everything he says, but there are some truly amazing insights into the whole thing of stepping out of your comfort zone and facing the fear of the unknown. For instance a quote "People have been taught never to do anything wrong, and then they become so hesitant, so fearful, so frightened of doing wrong, that they become stuck. " Taking the risk and meeting change is to live, to hide in the comfort of the known is to die. It reminds me of when I pursue my voice work and feel full of life versus my day job, if you know what I mean...
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Philip Banks
Je Ne Sais Quoi


Joined: 20 Jun 2005
Posts: 9741
Location: UK Portgordon, Scotland

PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2006 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It bothers me that all the voice over success books are written by people unknown to me. I notice that the book by Daws Butler doesn't offer a road to riches, I've heard of him!

The most interesting thing is that the "How to do it" books all offer advice and guidance on the things that should be obvious to anyone wishing to launch themselves onto an unsuspecting market.

Any coaching should be advanced level coaching not "DUH! Level". My new book "If you need to know this you have no chance" will be out as soon as I can be bothered to write it.
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kitstern
Been Here Awhile


Joined: 06 Feb 2005
Posts: 218
Location: Oregon

PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2006 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm also reading the Joan Baker book, and it's a good read. Nice to hear these high-earning VO's were once wondering how to make the rent payment. It's a real testament to the power of persistance in any endeavor.

BTW, this time last week I was in a seminar in Seattle given by Harlan Hogan. Great seminar, great information. Well worth the money.
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Enjoy life, this is not a rehearsal.

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PJHawke
Contributore Level V


Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 160
Location: St. Louis

PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How about advertising? This question is especially geared toward Anita and others who have a lot of experience copy-writing. What would you recommend as a good beginning book about advertising as it relates to the commercial world that VO's voice for (e.g. the psychology of wording and delivery, target audiences, demographics, etc etc). I think I've read as many books on VO as is needed, anything else is repetition; I'm wanting to mine deeper now.

Pat
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anthonyVO
14th Avenue


Joined: 09 Aug 2005
Posts: 1470
Location: NYC

PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm currently in the process of reading a book called "The Voice and the Actor" by Cicely Berry, published in... ready for this? 1973!

It's the most interesting book I've read yet on the actor's voice. It talks about how our "natural insticts have been crippled from birth by so many processes-by the conditioning, in fact, or a warped society. So the actor needs precise exercise and clear understanding to liberate his hidden possibilities and to learn the hard task of being true to the 'instict of the moment'"

I strongly urge you to read this book.

-Anthony
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glittlefield
M&M


Joined: 08 Mar 2006
Posts: 2020
Location: Bangor, Maine

PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 8:48 pm    Post subject: wow... I'm actually reading! Reply with quote

I've been getting a lot from James Alburger's book, too. (I especially like talking to myself talking with a cork in my mouth while being stuck in traffic... Other folks just don't understand...)

I've also gotten Pamela Lewis' "Talking Funny For Money"; which has two CDs of basics and tips for voice acting.

Then I bought "The Art of the Interview" by Lawrence Grobel because whenever I've had to do artist interviews on radio, I've been petrified. This book reinforces the idea of "You're in control!" and gives a lot of celebrity anecdotes as examples...

Family members got me some others over the last year or two as well. I haven't gotten to these yet, though:

"Putting Your Money Where Your Mouth Is" by Chris Douthitt
"Making Money in Voice-Overs" by Terri Apple
"Word of Mouth" by Susan Blu and Molly Ann Mullin
"There's Money Where Your Mouth Is" by Elaine Clark.

Should keep me busy at lunch for a while...

Greg
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bobsouer
Frequent Flyer


Joined: 15 Jul 2006
Posts: 9786
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While this book isn't specifically about voiceover work, I'd like to add "Self - Management for Actors" by Bonnie Gillespie.

Bonnie is a casting director in Hollywood and offers a tremendous amount of very useful, practical advice about how to manage the business side of the business.

It's available direct from the publisher, Cricket Feet, Inc.
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Bob Souer (just think of lemons)
The second nicest guy in voiceover.
+1-724-613-2749
ISDN, Source Connect, phone patch
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Rob Ellis
M&M


Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 2384
Location: Detroit

PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Voice and the Actor" by Cicely Berry has lots of useful exercises that I am in the process of going through right now.....Have read James Alburger, Harlan Hogan and Elaine Clark already but now am going back through them because I find that I only retain only a small % from the first reading....

P.S.-As a former salesperson, I also highly recommend Dan-O's mention of "Secrets of Power Negotiating" CDs... the author Roger Dawson is a Brit, so you can work on the British accent and learn to negotiate at the same time! (I'm all about multi-tasking)
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