Saturday, July 23, 2016

9 tips for hiring a narrator on ACX

(First of all, I must confess this post was a day late. My apologies.)

If you're an avid audiobook listener, then you're probably aware that you can download audiobooks from places such as Audible, Amazon, and iTunes. But how do these audiobooks come together? From where are they birthed?

Well, the detailed answer would take about another 20,000 or so words to fully explain, and by then your eyes will have glazed over, so let's take it to ACX instead. "ACX" stands for "Audiobook Creation Exchange," and it's a site where you can turn words into audiobooks with the help of "Producers," the official term for narrators there. It's not the only way you can get it done (suffice to say for now that there is no standard way to get it done), but it's probably one of the simplest and most informative.

This is less of a tutorial for how to get a Producer hired and your book read aloud, and more just a list of pointers for those who are already familiar with the process. It won't guarantee you success, but it will save you and me (and those like me) some headaches.

Friday, July 15, 2016

How to audition for online projects (7 tips)

The world had better watch out, because you're the best voice actor since Haberkorn and you've got the chops to prove it! You begin slinging around auditions like a monkey slings its poo. Everybody gets to have a piece of you! Three weeks, tops, and the voice over industry will bend its collective knee to you!

Except then you realize all those auditions you flung around aren't turning into jobs, and the voice over industry is instead staring awkwardly at you out of the corner of its collective eye. Is it at all possible you did something wrong?

Well first, understand - rarely will you actually get what you auditioned for. That's not unusual. It is entirely possible, however, to decrease your chances of getting cast by sabotaging your own auditions, and furthermore, you may be surprised just how many hopeful voice actors are doing it.

I think this is the point where I turn dramatically to the camera, wide-eyed, and gasp, "Could YOU be doing it, too!?"

Friday, July 8, 2016

5 reasons you shouldn't (and 3 big reasons you should) be a voice actor

Ever gone to a job fair? Everyone and their cousin wants you to have a job just like theirs. "Great benefits!" "Flexible hours!" "Wear capes to work!" (I've never really been to a job fair.)

However, voice acting is one of the only professions I've seen where so many of its members tell you to stay away. Why in the world would they do that? Why would voice actors, who worked long and hard to get where they are, tell other people not to become voice actors?

The truth is a bit more complicated than that, but it boils down to two things: one, acting in general is a really difficult profession, and two, most people spend lots of time, effort, and money thinking they want to be a voice actor, only to realize too late they don't like what it entails.

Let's take a moment to evaluate five reasons you "shouldn't" be a voice actor, and three big reasons you should be. It's worth it to identify why you're truly pursuing this goal, and if your motivations will reward you in the end. Let's start with the negative and end with the positive:

Friday, July 1, 2016

Creating a cheap home studio for voice acting - how I made mine

So you're ready to get this voice acting thing on the road - online or professional, it matters not in this story. You get a script, plunk down in front of your mic, record your angelic voice, hit Stop, play the audio back, and then break out into a cold sweat as you hear what sounds like three more of you speaking at once into a snowstorm while Jerry the Village Idiot runs screaming down the street.

In a moment, you realize you need a better recording space.

In this week's article, I want to talk about your physical environment and how it can make you sound better or worse. If you're worrying about me losing you with science-y mumbo-jumbo, don't worry, that confuses me too, so we'll adhere strictly to layman's terms.