Friday, June 24, 2016

How expensive is it to start voice acting?

Last week I wrote about three things to consider before venturing down the path of the career VO, and one of those things was money. I received a little feedback on that particular section of the article, so it begs the question: how much does it really cost to get started in voice over? What's the minimum required? What are your investments? Would it be any cheaper or more expensive for you?

I mentioned that I spent between $3,000-$4,000 just getting off the ground, but my needs were also significantly more in-depth than a lot of starting VAs. Through my observations, there are two main areas you need to think about in order to get your rough estimate, those being:

- #1: Will your recording space be audition quality or broadcoast quality?

- #2: Do you need voice over/acting training, and how much?

Monday, June 20, 2016

Knights in Time: Knight Blindness - A Romance That Transcends the Barrier of Time

Do you like romance, audiobooks, me, and/or author Chris Karlsen? Why not combine all four by listening to Knights in Time: Knight Blindness, a romance novel written by Chris Karlsen and now available in audiobook form, featuring narration by yours truly?

While it is book 3 in a series, no knowledge of the prior novels is required to enjoy the story.

Medieval English knight Stephen Palmer, battling French knight Roger Marchand in the battle of Poitiers, finds himself inexplicably warped to the modern era, but a moment's mistake costs him his vision. Blind and confused, Stephen is forced to adjust to contemporary France and England, now allies, and relies on his tutor, Esme, to introduce him to this new world. His knightly chivalry and her peppy charisma begin to allure one another. However, they are unaware that Marchand has also been whisked to the modern day, and he may not view England and France's newfound alliance with such favor.

On top of the intriguing romance, the book is also surprisingly informative and well-researched regarding its historical themes, thanks to an author who has been around the world and studied medieval history so extensively the mere thought of it makes my head threaten to pop. Do you know what a chanfron is? Neither did I before narrating this. Not only is Knight Blindness an engaging read (or listen, as it were), you can actually learn a fair bit about European history.

Note some strong sexual themes and some language in the book.

You can find the audiobook on Audible here. An iTunes version is also available here.

And for more updates on what I've been up to, including audiobooks, subscribe by email and you'll be alerted when there's something new here. It only takes a moment, and worst case scenario, you can unsubscribe just as quickly.

See you on the next update!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Be Prepared - 3 Things You Should Know Before Starting Your Voice Acting Career

Voice acting is a wonderful profession, and for some (like myself), the only career path they feel they can embark on without going stir-crazy. There's joy in bringing characters, worlds, and stories to life, or being a driving reason for potential consumers to investigate a product. I wouldn't be committed to this lifestyle if I didn't genuinely enjoy it.

But here's some food for thought: if you go to any job fair, everyone there wants you to have their job. Right? Whether it's law or nursing or whatever, everyone there says their job is the best thing since the invention of peanut butter. Voice acting, on the other hand, is one of the only professions I've seen where even the industry giants (perhaps especially so) tell you you should probably do a 180 and go marching right the other way. They love their careers to crumbs, yet they dissuade so many others from joining them.

They're not being paranoid or selfish - they're acknowledging a grim reality that voice acting really isn't a career for everyone. It's a long, hard, often poverty-filled road with a payoff you can't see, and not everyone likes the voice over process as much as they thought they would.

Nevertheless, many want to try their hand at it anyway. And because it's such a hard profession (or even hobby) to make something out of, there are things you need to acknowledge and accept before making any sort of commitment. So before you even start thinking about demos or auditioning, here are some things you need to consider.

An Introduction to AVA

What is AVA?
The initials stand for "Addicted to Voice Acting." It comes from voice actor and writer James Burton, who can straight-up go into mild withdrawal symptoms if he doesn't act for too long. He's also the one writing this, so perhaps he should drop the pretense and stop referring to myself in the third-person. Better?

A voice over career is an arduous, confusing, ongoing ordeal. I'm someone who's a few steps ahead of the starting line, but still very much a random, unknown dude figuring this stuff out as I go. I created AVA to share what I've observed along the way, in addition to reaching out to others to hear new perspectives and learn more about this strange, intriguing art form.

Who is James Burton?
As aforementioned, a voice actor, upcoming novelist, and evidently a blogger. I spent the first eight years of my life in Georgia before moving with my family to the Illiana area, homeschooled all the way. I developed an incredibly nerdy imagination and a fascination with the fantastical, which began to manifest itself more and more as a desire to give voice to characters and stories for a living. My main voice over gigs these days are audiobooks, online projects, and the odd video game here and there.

Who is AVA meant for?
Naturally, everyone is welcome, but AVA is geared specifically for those just starting in the voice over industry, or who are curious about getting into it. I share what I've learned in my journey so far, and I welcome the observations of others in the industry, so it's a great place to learn, grow, and meet new people.

What can we expect from AVA?
The current format is to have one article a week, focusing on tips, personal experiences, or observations on the voice over industry, but you can also expect polls, surveys, and even interviews with others involved in the industry. Interviewees include other voice actors, sound engineers, game developers, etc..

Let's learn and grow together in this fascinating profession. All it takes is one subscription by email (which you can sign up for near the top-right of the page) to stay up-to-date. If you have any thoughts, experiences, or blogs/websites of your own to share, lay 'em on me, and let's get connected. See you next week, yeah?