Sun Tzu's Quotes - Audiobook

 

I also finished this book last week:  Sun Tzu Quotes written by Jeffrey Jeschke.  It contains famous quotes by the ancient Chinese military stategist and philosopher Sun Tzu. 

Here is a sample from the audiobook which will be available on Amazon.com, Audible, an iTunes soon!

Introduction.mp3

 

From Butterflies to Caterpillars

 

I just completed two more audiobooks this week.  The first one is called From Butterflies to Caterpillars .  It is a faith-based story about two people - a young girl and a young woman - whose lives are in are in complete disarray due to their own family circumstances.  They are each on the brink of desperation until eventually they discover the importance of faith and family. 

 

Voiceover Workshop in October

 

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/voiceover-workshop-tickets-27501600026

 

 

Great Acting Tips - Backstage article

 

 I'm always looking for advice and tips about how to become a better VO artist and actor.  This article has great advice from several established actors - stuff I can really use and keep in mind.  Maybe it can help you too . . .

33 Tips From Established Actors in 2014

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Photo Source: Shutterstock

Backstage readers got to know a wide variety of some of the hardest-working actors in theater, TV, and film this year. Whether they were reflecting on how a recent project stretched their acting muslces or relaying the advice they wish they'd been given when starting out, the following outstanding performers drew from their distinct perspectives to illuminate some of the joys and pitfalls of today’s acting industry.

As 2014 comes to a close, let these tidbits continue to guide your career both professionally and creatively. Happy New Year!

1. Find the joy, from Jonathan Groff.
As “Looking” premiered in January, Groff chatted with the magazine that helped him get his start (“I believe in Backstage. It changed my life.”). Between the HBO show and his role in Disney’s hit “Frozen,” the actor has found plenty of opportunities to perform on a foundation of pure joy. “People create from different places,” he said of his process. “Some love to create from a tortured place, some from a joyful place. And when I feel like I’m a 5-year-old kid in my backyard playing pretend, that’s when I’m happiest.”

2. Study, study, study, from “Enlisted” actor Keith David.
The acclaimed voiceover veteran told Backstage in January that “voice acting is still acting.” In an interview full of helpful tips, David went on to emphasize the study of theater as a fundamental building block for actors. “Study theater, because theater is the greatest training ground that you can have,” he said. “There are people who have never done theater who can be wonderful screen actors, but it all depends on your training. We all have great natural instincts, but they need to be honed.”

3. Don’t worry about what the casting director is thinking, from “Trophy Wife” star Michaela Watkins.
“[Auditioning is] like dating boys when you’re a teenager,” Watkins told Backstage in February. “You spend so much time wondering what they’re thinking. They’re not thinking about anything! They’re not thinking about you.” Having now cast several projects herself, Watkins can verify this from personal experience. “All you want is someone to come in and solve your problem. They can be as great as great can be, but if they don’t solve your problem, you just wish them well.”

4. Risk failure to make truthful discoveries, from Lupita Nyong’o.
The “12 Years a Slave” star talked to Backstage amidst her awards season whirlwind about failing gracefully, the Yale School of Drama, and working with director Steve McQueen on the movie that eventually won her the Oscar. “As actors, you become an expert at starting over,” Nyong’o said. “Every single role brings with it an ignorance and an insecurity, and so you have to approach it with the same curiosity and humility. I’m always nervous. Doesn’t matter how many times I do this. But I remind myself it’s because I care. Steve would say, ‘Fail and then fail better!’ And that environment was so liberating. It’s not about getting it right. It’s about getting it truthful.”

5. Believe in your goals—however lofty, from “Mad Men’s” James Wolk.
When Wolk attended the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre & Dance, casting directors would warn students of how difficult the business can be. He told Backstage it was his conviction that things would be different which enabled him to forge onward. “That blind ignorance is so important—otherwise, who would pursue acting? But if you believe it, it’s just like a self-fulfilling prophecy, right? Because if you don’t believe it, it’s definitely not gonna happen.”

 

6. Loosen up in the audition room, from Sam Rockwell.
In March, Backstage chatted with screen veteran Rockwell about categorizations, focusing on craft over networking, and the advice he gives acting students: “You cannot try to get the job. Just go in there, have some fun, and do your version of that part. This is what I’m selling. If you want to buy it, that’s cool. Have some adjustments for me? That’s fine, I’ll make some adjustments, but this is basically what I want to do. That’s the attitude, sort of a ‘fuck it’ attitude. Not fuck you, but fuck it.”

7. Put faith in your director, from James Franco.
Hollywood’s most prolific multitasker took to Broadway this year in “Of Mice and Men,” and spoke with Backstage in April about the importance of working closely with a director’s vision. “When I design a character, I’m doing it with the director. I view it as the director’s creation as much as mine,” he said. “And I give credit to the directors as well: If I give a good performance, I give at least 50 percent of the credit to the director. That’s just the way to work in a collaborative medium.”

8. Treat auditions like rehearsals, from comedian Amy Schumer.
Having now worked on both sides of the audition table, the writer-producer-star of “Inside Amy Schumer” knows how actors can make a solid impression. She told Backstage in April that when casting her show, she looks for performers who commit truthfully to their delivery, a philosophy she has incorporated into her own approach. “The way I audition now, I just treat it like a rehearsal,” she explained. “I treat it like I already have the role and I’m just going to rehearsal.”

9. Follow what you love, from actor-dancer Derek Hough.
In April, the “Dancing with the Stars” alum stressed the importance of simply loving what you do. “Try to be honest with yourself and not just sort of fall into something that you think will make you popular, or you think that you’ll get respect from,” he advised readers. “Ask yourself the right questions, you’ll get good answers.”

10. Pay attention to what you know, from Patrick Stewart.
With about half a century’s worth of stage and screen experience, Stewart knows a thing or two about acting. In a revealing interview in April, he discussed his personal discoveries during the filming of “Match,” especially a telling revelation about his father. “I thought I got him,” he said. “I thought I got my father absolutely in place—how wrong I was. Those kind of things really get my attention these days. One of the really nice things about being an actor is that no experience is wasted.” True!

11. Auditioning is an opportunity to practice, from David Walton of “About a Boy.”The star of NBC’s family comedy told Backstage the fascinating story of his big break—selling knives to a Fox executive!—and his subsequent struggles. When an acting coach advised him to see auditions as an acting opportunity rather than a potential job, Walton was able to turn his career around. “If you do good work, you start to make a name for yourself and things can come around. Weird little happenstances happen,” he said. “It’s just one of those things. Do good work and do it for yourself.”

12. Draw from personal experiences to make characters resonate, from “A Raisin in the Sun’s” LaTanya Richardson.
“I’m trying to homogenize a lot of different women whom I have known, including my grandmother, and trying to bring it to a more modern existence so that it does stay relevant,” said actor LaTanya Richardson, who earned a Tony nomination for her work in the recent revival of Lorraine Hansberry’s play. She talked with Backstage about the tricky work that goes into evoking a modern sensibility while performing a classic onstage.

13. Go ahead and produce your own work, from Kevin Spacey.
Two-time Academy Award winner Kevin Spacey brought his signature gravitas to the May 7 Backstage cover, and offered aspiring actors plenty of food for thought. As one of the faces of new media—“House of Cards” has been instrumental in legitimizing Web series—Spacey is somewhat of an expert on pioneering innovative production techniques. “[The industry is] opening up with these new streaming series, and young people are being discovered producing their own things,” he said. “That’s one of the reasons I decided ultimately to self-produce.”

14. Make the role yours, from “Veep” actor Timothy Simons.
The man behind everyone’s favorite loser on “Veep” advised Backstage readers to approach an audition from a personal perspective, rather than the perceived perspective of those on the other side of the table. “You don’t want to go in trying to force yourself into some archetype that has been thought up by a director and translated by a casting director,” he said. “If you have a particular read on it, go in with your point of view, because it doesn’t make sense trying to go in with somebody else’s point of view.”

15. Lighten up and have fun, from Broadway’s most fabulous emcee Alan Cumming.
In a wonderfully charming Backstage cover story in May, Tony winner Alan Cumming reflected on his return to “Cabaret” and his health and energy secrets (veganism!). “I think I don’t take myself very seriously. I do, but I have a sense of humor,” the actor said. “I like my work, but I don’t take it very seriously.” Words to live by.

16. Share your inner uniqueness, from “Violet’s” Joshua Henry.
“A lot of times we come to a creative team or an agent on our knees saying, ‘Please take me,’ but we each have a unique voice,” said the Tony-nominated Joshua Henry in his June cover story. Like the song his character sings in “Violet,” called “Let It Sing,” Henry advised actors to share their inner song. “We all have this music inside us. Or whatever. This gift. And you’ve got to carry yourself like that. You’ve got to treat yourself like you’ve got something special to offer.” Hear, hear!

17. Accept and utilize your bullshit, from “Power” star Omari Hardwick.When Hardwick tackled James “Ghost” St. Patrick, the supremely complex character at the center of the Starz series, he drew from countless sources of inspiration and research. His advice about staring in the mirror pertains to any actor attempting to portray darkness and conflict: “I was really able to embrace the uglies of Omari, maybe better than I could’ve as a younger actor.... That was a lot of the research, just really accepting Omari’s bullshit and then pouring it into [Ghost].”

18. Avoid desperation, from Michael Emerson.
Emerson highlighted the helpless mentality actors often have in an invigorating interview chock-full of valuable tips. “The thing to get rid of is that you are the beggar at the gate, that you are the powerless and helpless eager youngster wanting a crumb from the big table,” said the “Person of Interest” star. “At some point, you have to empower yourself and say ‘You know what, I’m good at this.’ ”

19. Get a thick skin, from Emily Blunt.
The Golden Globe-nominated star of Rob Marshall’s big-screen adaptation of “Into the Woods” highlighted how difficult the acting lifestyle can be for most people struggling in the biz. But Blunt’s advice for Backstage readers boiled down to basics: “You’ve got to get the thickest skin possible. Like a rhino hide. It’s a very personal job. Put a helmet on.”

20. Enjoy the collaboration, from Robin Wright.

“I love working with a team,” said “House of Cards” star Robin Wright in August. As an actor venturing into the directing world, Wright swears to the art of collaboration. “It feels like home, building something together. Because it’s not that you’re not building as an actor, but it’s a much more isolating experience, being an actor, and I just love the communal collaboration. It’s a movement, it’s the same concept as a movement.” Claire Underwood knows what she’s talking about!

21. Push yourself beyond what you think you know, from “Ray Donovan’s” Vinessa Shaw.
Shaw gave actors food for thought in an interview that looked back on both her current show and her work as a child actor. “I like to go over [a scene] many, many times,” she shared. “Is there something I’m not seeing in this particular scene? My method is more about repetition and breaking through my initial thoughts and finding another deeper moment that may be different than what anyone else does in the room.”

22. Don’t just dream, from Backstage subscriber-turned-star Charlotte Kate Fox.
Fox’s extraordinary casting story—she was whisked away to become a household name in Japan for the TV drama “Massan”—came about when she responded to a Backstage audition listing. In August she reflected on debating whether to submit herself for the role: “I think oftentimes, actors see casting call notices that look and sound amazing, but we don’t submit because it either sounds too good to be true or we’re scared or we think, There’s no way I could land that, and we let it go.” After a period of indecision, she decided to submit. “I thought, Why not? You never know. Be brave, Charlotte. Don’t just dream, do!”

23. Cultivate self-awareness in the audition room and in life, from “High Maintenance’s” Katja Blichfeld.
Having co-created a hit Web series from scratch, Blichfeld was a fountain of wisdom in her September cover story when it came to the audition and production process. It helps that the “High Maintenance” writer-director also works in casting, teaching audition classes to fine-tune her ability to spot great artists. “It’s so much about self-confidence and self-acceptance,” she told Backstage, “which I know sounds very Oprah.... Just having that self-awareness to know that ‘I come like this, I read like this, this is the type that people see me as,’ and then having a self-acceptance of it so that when you walk in the room, you’re just really owning the space and owning your voice.”

24. Don’t try to be someone else, from Laura Benanti.
Benanti’s advice echoed Blichfeld. When asked what she would tell her younger self, the dynamic Tony winner remembered her early acting days. “I started to feel like I needed to be something else, so I spent a few years trying on different personas; I wish I had known that that is just harmful. What people respond to is authenticity and you being uniquely who you are and not trying to be someone else.”

25. Tackle every role with a different technique, from “The Heart Machine’s” John Gallagher Jr.
The Tony-winning star of “Spring Awakening” and “The Newsroom” chatted with Backstage about his new movie in October, and elaborated on his approach to each project: “I enjoy starting fresh each time. Relying too heavily on a ritual, I tend to feel a little stuck. And then of course if the one thing that has worked for you nine out of 10 times doesn’t work on that 10th time, it can send you into a cataclysmic meltdown. So I try to shake it up each time.”

26. Realize auditions are terrifying and deal with it, from Martha Plimpton of “A Delicate Balance.”
In her October cover story with Backstage, Plimpton was full of advice for working actors. She underlined her core values: variety, strict attention to technique, and listening closely, both to the text and to scene partners. Her audition advice, meanwhile, was simple. “All auditions are humiliating, stressful, frightening, embarrassing, anxiety-making, and demoralizing. So start at that base level and everything’s cake from there.” Easy, right?

27. Explore the world outside acting, from stage star Celia Keenan-Bolger.
Asked about advice for aspiring actors, Keenan-Bolger responded, “Do continue to explore the things outside of the theater that you’re interested in.” Intellectual and social pursuits, the Tony nominee said, legitimately contribute to the development of her craft. “You have a wider palette to draw from when you’re trying to develop a character, when you’re trying to get inside the head of somebody who you don’t really understand. The bigger your world, the more you have to draw from as an artist.”

28. It’s OK to get a little lost, from “The Last Ship” star Michael Esper.
In November, the star of Sting’s Broadway musical sat down with Backstage to reflect on how suffering nightmare auditions and doubting his passion affected his craft and career. “I think getting lost is good. Getting lost is really helpful and important. That period of time where you really have no idea what you’re doing and you don’t know who you are, where you are, what you’re saying—I feel like that period can lead to a lot of important discoveries, asking questions and doing work you might not do otherwise. You can come out the other side of a period like that more grounded and with a deeper understanding of what you’re making and doing.”

29. Create characters from the outside in, from Mark Ruffalo.
Toward the end of his banner year in film and TV, Ruffalo graced Backstage’s cover and discussed the importance of physicality, especially for his “Foxcatcher” role as Olympic wrestler Dave Schultz, when he and co-star Channing Tatum put an astonishing amount of athleticism into their preparation. “We started every practice with that warm-up,” the actor said of a wrestling sequence early in the film. “We knew that shit like it was second nature. And that’s when magical stuff happens with acting: No mind, no body.” Check out his fascinating interview for more!

30. Invent a thorough backstory to reach catharsis, from Marion Cotillard.
To prepare for her role in “Two Days, One Night,” the Oscar winner submerged herself in an exhaustive backstory for her character. Cotillard revealed to Backstage how helpful that was when she later inhabited the role’s emotional extremes: “I wrote her life before. I wrote scenes I would use later when I needed some support to be able to burst into tears out of nowhere. I needed to build a structure of stories that I could use when I needed to reach this or that emotion.”

31. Find other creative outlets, from “The Exes” star Kristen Johnston.
The beloved comedic actor provided Backstage readers useful insights into her fabulous career in November. No. 1 piece of advice? Find different creative outlets to fuel inspiration. “I thought it was about being onstage—and being onstage is the best—but there’s a whole lot of time, like 22 hours of the day, that are not onstage,” Johnston said. “You have to feed yourself in other ways as young actors. Feed other parts of yourself. Write a script, paint, do good things for other people.”

32. Don’t forget promotion is as important as acting itself, from Isabella Rossellini.
When asked in December about something she wished she had known in the early days, the screen veteran replied, “The amount of advertisement that one has to do. I didn’t realize how much contact with the press, how many interviews you have to give every year, how many red carpets, and how much promotion it was.” Actors take note—Rossellini is right to call it “almost a full-time occupation.”

33. Write your own parts, from funny man Ricky Gervais.
“I think most actors take roles because they think they won’t get offered another one that week,” Gervais said, “or they’ve got to work every week of the year or they’re worried someone else will take it.” In his hilarious interview, the actor acknowledged how lucky it is that he’s never out of work, but said it’s wholly because he set out to write parts for himself. 

Want even more Backstage? Check out our 2013 year in actor advice!

 

Why take acting classes

 

I've been taking acting classes since February because voiceover artists are also voice actors.  Most of the books I've narrated so far have been nonfiction, but my acting training will help me bring characters to life in fiction books that I narrate as well.  It's been quite a challenge for me because I'm not used to opening myself up in public, which is what I have to do in class.  Being vulnerable in front of people and not worrying about "being right" or worrying about what the director or teacher is looking for - I'm learning to be comfortable with that way of thinking.  During this process I'm realizing how much of a people-pleaser and control-freak I really am - which might be ok in some parts of my life but not the right way to approach acting.  I'm learning so much about myself, looking at situations and people - and myself - in a different way.  I've been taking classes since I started VO training with Stephen James, and I also took a class from Veleka Gray and my agent Becky in New Orleans.  But I really started taking classes more regularly this year, first with Darla Briganti and Ann Marie Crouch, and now with Gary Grubbs.  I used to be nervous about going to class but now I actually get excited - still a little nervous because I wonder what scene I'm going to get, but then also excited because I actually think that acting is fun.  I get excited because I really want to be able to create characters that the audience can respond to.  I love going to a movie theater and getting lost in the movie, feeling like you're there with characters in each scene.  With movies, for an hour and a half to two hours or so I feel like I'm in a different world, escaping reality because I'm there in the movie too . . . until the end credits start rolling and the lights come on.   The stories being told whether they're sad or funny or scary (yes, I like scary movies too!) - I think it would be so cool to be part of creating that world for an audience to enjoy and escape in :)  

And so my VO - and acting - journey continues . . .

 

 

Advice from seasoned VO artists

 

http://www.voiceovergenie.com/blog/veteran-voiceover-advice/

 

An audiobook with background music!

 

I just finished narrating an audiobook called Broken Heart Healing Guide by Jeffrey Jeschke.  It really is simply a guide to help those who are getting over a breakup.  I see it being helpful for teens and young adults who find themselves feeling sad and lonely after breaking up with a girlfriend or boyfriend, maybe even a marriage.  Jeffrey provides some advice and some encouraging words in this short 20 minute audiobook.  There is also music in the background which I think is unique about this book.  I think most audiobooks feature just the voice of the narrator.  Jeffrey allowed me to compose some short pieces of music that I hope enhance the meaning and the words in the book.  There are 5 pieces that I wrote which all play in the background. 

Here is the Retail Sample

Retail_sample.mp3

For more information about the book, please copy and paste this link:

https://www.amazon.com/Broken-Heart-Healing-Jeffrey-Jeschke-ebook/dp/B0168XGHTA?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=AKIAIX7HS5GMZTZONLZQ&camp=2025&creative=165953&creativeASIN=B0168XGHTA&linkCode=xm2&tag=audible-acx-20

This is the hardcopy version.  The audiobook I just completed will be available in the next week or so on Amazon.com, Audible.com, and iTunes

 

Voiceover samples

 

I'm happy to say that I have audiobooks under my belt.  I'm even more grateful to say that I also have potentially 2 or 3 more projects coming up - we'll see . . .

I'd like to share with you some samples of the books I've done:

1) Touch and Agree (The Abundant Blessings Series Book 2) by Jaye Seay

ACX_sample_.mp3

2) Windows 10: The Ultimate Beginner's User Guide by Max Green

ACX_audio_sample_-_Windows_10.mp3

3) HONG KONG NIGHTLIFE: The Ultimate Insiders Guide . . . by Sarah Retter 

02_Brief_Intro.mp3

4) How To Be Confident And Get Anything You Want In Life by Ryan Pierce

 ACX_audio_sample_-_How_To_Be_Confident.mp3

5) Summary: What To Expect When You Are Expecting by Slim Reads

Retail_Sample.mp3

All of these audiobooks are available on Amazon.com and Audible.com at this link

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=Vanessa+Padla&rh=n%3A133140011%2Ck%3AVanessa+Padla

 

This Is My Voice

 

On the Edgestudio.com website there is a Script Library where voiceover artists can practice reading through various scripts.  It's a great way to practice performing scripts and reading out loud.  There is also a weekly Script Contest and a Feedback Forum.  I feel like these two sections really help VO artists not only practice performing but also practice recording and producing. 

As I was reading through the library I found this nice little gem of a script called "This is My Voice - not your voice, My Voice" written by Richurd.  It was fun to perform!  Here is my interpretation of this script:

Script_feedback_-_This_is_my_voice.mp3

 

Keeping busy "doing stuff"

 

I'm so happy to have two audiobooks under my belt, and currently I'm working on my third book.  It's a travel/tourist book called Hong Kong: Nightlife - it's an insiders guide to the hot night spots in Hong Kong.  I've also done a couple of auditions for short films.  I auditioned for the lead role in a student film in New Orleans called "The Executioner" but I ended up getting a non-speaking role.  This weekend I auditioned for a short film where the character says one line.  Hopefully I'll find out soon if I made it in the film.  I figure I've gotta start somewhere and any acting experience is sure to help me with developing character voices when I do audiobooks.  I'm hoping to build up my voiceover work and acting experience on my resume so that I can get an agent in the big market areas like Atlanta.  I've been looking online to find VO work but I hate the thought of "paying to Play."  So I'm trying to keep busy and get as much experience as I can.  That includes doing the script contest on Edgestudios.com.  I feel like this will give me the experience of recording a commercial audition (which I hope to do real ones in the near future), plus Edgestudios.com also gives critiques and advice on how to perform the scripts - a great way to learn!  I also took an acting course a couple of weeks ago in my local area.  Just trying to keep busy and keep "learning my craft!" 

http://www.edgestudio.com/script-contests

 

Lessons Learned - Recording an audiobook

 

Well I had completed my first audiobook and submitted it, but then it didn't make it past the QA department at ACX.com. It was then that I realized that like someone who doesn't bother to look at the instructions before putting assembling some gadget, I had not bothered to check and verify all the audio instructions before I even started to record the book!  I was so excited to get a "job" that I merely skimmed through the narrator instructions - "yadda, yadda, yadda," I thought - that I proudly submitted it only to have it "rejected" and returned to me to have fixed :(  Needless to say, I was crushed especially because I had realized how time-consuming it was to record an audiobook but I had it done wrong from the beginning.  I thought my audio sounded good but it turns out that it wasn't coming out of both sides of the headphones.  I recorded it all in stereo which the instructions said was authorized so I thought I was ok.  But I skipped over the instructions that said that sound was supposed to come out of both sides.  Plus I didn't realize how important it was to "Master" the completed audiobook.  Luckily I have some experience putting audio together because I have done it for my own music.  And luckily I know how to use ProTools and am pretty familiar with Audacity so I was able to follow the instructions like I'm supposed to and adjust the audio through compression, EQ, and normalize functions. 

When I was notified that I needed to re-do the first book, I was already working on a second book.  After reading and re-reading the guidance on ACX and watching the instructional videos I re-recorded the first book, then re-recorded the second book in mono.  Then I was able to finish the second book by the deadline and then finished the first book and submitted that one day later.  Whew!! It's a lot of work!  To be honest it's a lot of tedious work but I actually don't mind the work - I just hate that it takes a long time to do it.  I actually stayed up throughout the night a couple of nights trying to make sure I get the books done correctly and on time. I can't even imagine how tough it is for someone who isn't at all familiar with ProTools or Audacity to produce an audiobook. Maybe SoundForge is easier to use for audio beginners.  But be forewarned You need to have more than just a good voice - you need to know how to edit audio in order to produce audiobooks on ACX.  Otherwise you could ask someone else to edit for you, but I'm sure you would be charged for it because it's so time-consuming.

It was definitely a Lesson Learned!  Since I "get it" now and understand the mastering process that needs to be done before submitting my completed audiobook, I'm hoping that the next one will go smoother.. Fingers crossed!!

 

How To Be Confident - Audiobook complete!!

 

I'm happy to say that I just finished recording an audiobook by Ryan Pierce called How To Be Confident and Get Anything You Want In Life - The Ultimate Guide on Building Confidence and Overcoming Social Anxiety.  The book itself is short but it took me two weeks to record it.  Part of the reason it took that long was that I took the weekend off to go to New Orleans for a Mardi Gras ball.  But on our way home from NOLA I realized that I had caught a cold.  I have to say that being congested and having a scratchy throat would have to be a voiceover artist's nightmare - which it was for me!  Luckily I was a little ahead of schedule before going away for the weekend so I wasn't too far behind.  But I did miss two days of recording because my nose was so stuffy and I basically sounded like a man.  That low deep sexy voice isn't usually a bad thing except for the fact that I didn't record the first part of the book with that voice.  Anyway, I tried my best to drown my cold and congestion with warm water/Lemon/honey and with tea.  This little episode made me realize how important it is to take care of my voice.  So I'm trying to do better!

So I submitted my completed audiobook to the author, or what ACX.com calls the "the Rightsholder" of the book, and he approved it!  So now we will wait for the ACX.com to do their QA to make sure the sound quality passes their tests - which could take up to 2 weeks.  After corrections or changes are made, if any, then the audiobook will be available on Amazon.com and on Audible.com. 

As I am recording the book, I realize that it's actually a pretty good book with a lot of great advice for anyone who needs some motivation and advice about gaining confidence.  There are couple of chapters that specifically address social anxiety which are pretty helpful.  I definitely recommend this book to anyone - it would be good for teens or even adults who need a confidence boost.  It would be helpful for people needing some guidance on being more confident at work or in social situations.  And I'm not just saying that because I did the audiobook - I really do believe this could help a lot of people. 

The audiobook version would be perfect to listen to during your long commute to and/or from work.  It would also be great to listen to during a roadtrip.  Just sayin' . . .

http://www.amazon.com/Confidence-Ultimate-Building-Overcoming-Confident-ebook/dp/B012Z78YDA/ref=cm_sw_em_r_rdptod_drAPwb077QNKX_tt

 

Putting my studio together

 

I'm starting the new year with a new "studio" in my home.  Luckily I have a big walk-in closet that has enough room for me to set up a small table and my recording equipment.  at first I thought about setting up my studio in our spare room until I realized it was too big to control sound and acoustics.  then I thought about using the closet underneath our stairs to record.  my kids loved that idea - I could be like Harry Potter with a room under the stairs :)  But the a/c unit makes too much noise in that area so that wasn't going to work.  So the best spot available is my closet!  And it's a perfect space for what I need to do, so I'm excited about it!!

 

Do something

 

I'm pretty excited because I'm going to start reading newspaper and magazine articles and books for the blind.  I had heard about these volunteer programs in the past and I was able to find one here in my area.  I tell my kids that we should use our gifts and talents - whatever they may be - to help others, so I am happy that I will be able to read for those who aren't able to read.  I love reading aloud.  When my kids were little I always read to them every night with different character voices and expressions.  The added bonus to this experience for me is that it will be a way for me to get some voiceover experience.  Even though I won't be paid for it, I'm grateful to have this opportunity to "do something."  That is what Stephen always preaches us voiceover artists to do - Do Something to keep your VO career moving forward . . . any amount or type of practice is always beneficial to your career. So I always try to keep that in mind - DO SOMETHING!!!

 

 

Mental road blocks

 

I don't know about you but I find myself constantly running into mental road blocks and feelings of insecurity when it comes to working towards my goals in voiceover and music.  I know it's all in my head and it's the same tape that's been playing in my head for many years - it keeps me from pushing forward a lot of times.  And I always feel like it's just me who feels this way - insecure about my abilities and/or talent.  Then I ran across this article that seems to describe me almost to a T. 

http://jobs.aol.com/articles/2015/08/12/psychological-traps-undermine-your-success/

It was kind of an "Aha!" moment for me.  I felt relieved that there must be a lot of people who feel just as insecure as I do - so I'm not the only one who feels this way!  Now I just need to keep moving forward . . .

 

 

Hollywood South

 

Last weekend I was in New Orleans to show support for my voiceover coach Stephen James and the NOLA Voice Talent Foundation. Stephen is not only a voice over coach, he is an actor, producer and director.  He is actively participates in and promotes the TV and film industry in New Orleans - a.k.a. "Hollywood South." The awards ceremony that night was to recognize and reward the movers and shakers in the movie, theater, broadcasting and VO industry in the New Orleans area.  The top award went to casting director Mae Chapman.