Sunday, September 29, 2013
Saturday, May 23, 2009
How Not to Be Scammed by Fraud Voice Over Workshops
How Not to Be Scammed by Fraud Voice Over Workshops
By Industry veterans:
Brian “Dj BigBrian” Ligsay and Pocholo “The Voicemaster”Gonzales
Voice acting and voice overs is a fun and enjoyable environment for many. But for the most part, it is considered as a business by those who take it seriously.. Just like any business practice, it is important to make wise decisions in choosing and investing your money on seminars and workshops pertaining to the industry. Unsubstantiated information may do you more harm than good. Here are some indicators of what to look for in false and often misleading voice acting seminars:
1. Number of Attendees. (Check out pictures on voice acting)
- Voice acting involves interaction and reaction from both the instructors and the participants. A good methodology involves one-on-one training and close attention to performances in a group. However, the more the attendees, the poorer the quality of learning. Look for a class that involves mic handling and actual coaching. The rule of the thumb is, any class that involves more than 10 participants is a scam.
2. Reputation (Listen to what people say)
- How many times have they offered their classes? Have they been producing able and active voice talents? Are they a company of good standing in the industry?.. Do some research. A good seminar will immediately tell you their success stories involving their attendees and instructors. It will always tell you who will be handling the seminar.. Who will be teaching who? Otherwise, they could have just gotten anyone (perhaps an entry level producer or an amateur), to teach you subjects not even related to voice acting.
3. Join to Earn (Click here for Industry VO Legends)
- Sounds more like a pyramiding scam than a seminar. Nobody becomes a voice actor overnight, it takes dedication, passion and long days of labor and constant practice to be one. So if somebody is trying to entice you that you can earn big through voice acting if you join them, chances are they just want to earn big from you instead.. A good seminar will focus on teaching you the art of voice acting, the techniques involved in learning the art form. Yes there is monetary gratification in voice overs… you do get paid to have fun.. But go ask any professional voice talent and they will tell you the real side of the entertainment industry.
4. Too much of too less (Available seminars on voice acting)
- If you have been doing voice overs or researching on trying to break into the business, you should be aware by now that voice acting itself is a broad terminology on different acting areas of the art form. Some professional seminars will focus on one aspect of the seminar at a time (like narrations, audio books, commercials, etc..) You cannot combine two unrelated fields of voice acting in one sitting (like dubbing for telenovela and commercials for radio), because each field requires a different set of skills and discipline. Unless the seminar clearly states the details of the workshop, and what happens when, be on the look out for self-proclaimed voice artists who will do more talking than teaching.
- Voice acting seminars should always feature a competent environment to work your skills on. It should mention that the seminar will be held in a proper setup, involving studio microphones and recording sessions. If they are not willing to record your voice for evaluation, then be on alert for money-making individuals. A good seminar will involve you testing and trying your skills on actual recording sessions. Here’s a good formula.. Let’s say you will be asked to read a 5 minute script. In a normal recording setup it will at least take 15 minutes for a good voice actor to finish a 5 minute material. Let alone the editing and the recording preparation involved. So normally, you will spend about 20-30 mins in a studio for a recording session.. 20 in a group you say? Are you willing to wait for 9.5 hours for your turn? Or will they even record you by then?
Whatever your purpose may be in joining a workshop, whether it is for self-improvement or overcoming anxieties behind the microphone, always be sure on who you trust to work with your talent. Professional voice directors will always be there to offer their assistance on your improvement, would have at least 10 years of industry background and experience and has done and produced an extensive lineup of projects here and abroad. Don’t be mislead by “money-for-their-cause” voice acting workshops. Let the professionals help you join their ranks, call CreatiVoices Productions at 7297274 or 9700971 and they will be there to assist you in discovering your potential in the world of voice acting. You can also check out their websites at: creativoices.com and creativoices.net. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
1. Audition the Mic.
- Never blow, tap or whistle on the mic. It's very annoying and unprofessional. To properly test mike signals, snap your fingers on the receiver. Make gestures and hand signals to the technician, before speaking. Its always funny to see people talking on "first-hand" mics and fumbling on stage.. you dont want that experience, believe me. ;D
2. Hold it properly.
- Don't hold the mic by the head, sideways or upwards.. Dynamic mics, the kind usually used for solo performers and live speakers are better spoken over to, and not directly. So the best way for you to do this is to hold the mic by the stem, slightly slanted, and about 2 inches away from the tip of your chin. Oh, and the way for you to estimate that, is by using your thumb to measure the distance. (Just don't hold talk and hold it like that every time). Remember talk over it. Not directly at it.
3. Never Kiss the Mic.
- You do not let your lips damp the rim or the protective metal shell of a dynamic mic. Especially if you are doing it in a live performance. It destroys the quality of the pick-up. And the bigger reason being, is that people handle these mics differently every time. As we talk the breath contains moisture that gets into the foam, and may culture the growth of fungi and bacteria, and degrade the metal cover with rust.
Note that some lights and sounds setup provider, claim that they treat the mics with alcohol (yeah, sure.) But have you ever wondered why some mics have that funky smell?.. Its because it hasn't been properly disinfected, and you're romancing it.
4. Do not shout.
- Microphones are built to help you in your performance. Most amateur VO talents shout on the mic in big crowds and venues. This is a no, no. Believe it or not, even Michael Buffer is not actually shouting before that boxing match.. If you are finding it difficult to speak because you cant hear yourself, ask the technician to raise the volume of your monitor speakers (the ones infront/side of the stage, usually). You can also use a headset to monitor the level of your voice when performing as a VO. This will help you cope with the delays in audio in large venues.. It is very hard to talk when you dont have a good ear, so make sure you are covered by doing auditions of your lines before hand.
5. Think before speaking.
- Complete the thoughts in your head thoroughly before talking. Haven't you noticed why some people eat their words, fumbling at the act and in turn making them totally incomprehensible? (cue dubbing line: "Anong sabi mo?!") That's because their brain is thinking faster than their body can react. They thought that the idea has been completed in their heads, to the point that they think they already said that matter to you even if they didn't. (Does that make any sense?) Ok wait.. Its like, trying to match your brainwaves with the speed of your lips - which is almost certainly is impossible. This also commonly happens to bloggers/writers who thinks so fast while typing and jumps a word or two.
Though some may argue that this is normal at times (in an abnormal fashion I guess). When behind the microphone, facing an audience or unseen, that is.. things are definitely different. So the rule is: Complete the thought. Practice your material. Then perform.
There's a saying in the world of Voice Overs which goes: "You are only good as your last performance."
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
Do you love voice acting? Can you do voices for a living or as an art? Or are you are actively involved in preparing materials for speaking, or your work requires you to meet people and carry conversations well? Then read along. Creativoices Productions, the creator of 7 seasons of the premier Voice Acting and Dubbing workshop in the Philippines - VoiceWorx!, announces their newest activities this summer.
Dubbed as “Summer VoiceOver Funtasy!” It involves participants exploring the potentials of their voice acting career with advance learning tools and techniques in Radio Commercials, Radio Drama, Script Reading, Mic handling, and Voice Over marketing. And now they will also be providing an exclusive Children’s Voice Acting Workshop this summer.
The classes will start as follows:
SUMMER VOICEOVER FUNTASY!
Radio Advertising Voice Over Workshop!!
March 2 and 3 CLASS A-RAV
March 4 and 5 CLASS B-RAV
March 6, 2009 GRADUATION
Advance Voice Acting and Radio Drama Workshop!!
March 9 and 10 CLASS A-RAD
March 11 and 12 CLASS B-RAD
March 13, 2009 GRADUATION
Children’s Voice Acting Workshop (10- 16 years old only)
March 16 and 17 CLASS A-CVA1
March 18 and 19 CLASS B-CVA1
March 20, 2009 GRADUATION
Children’s Voice Acting Workshop (10- 16 years old only)
March 23 and 24 CLASS A-CVA2
March 25 and 26 CLASS B-CVA2
March 27, 2009 GRADUATION
“The class will do more activities than ever, that involves working with the mic and less with the pen”, says Brian Ligsay VoiceWorx Director of CreatiVoices. Ligsay who is an accomplished performer, was hired recently by Rosetta Stone, Inc. as a Voice Director/Coach to work on their Filipino/Tagalog software program. CreatiVoices, he claims has successfully produced over a hundred voice over enthusiasts, bringing their total database of available on-call voice talents, close to a thousand.
“And that’s what producers are looking for nowadays in voice over production.. effeciency, diversity, creativity,” adds Pocholo Gonzales, Managing Director of the company. Gonzales is also known as the Voicemaster, who’s consummate performance is heard on TV, Radio and the Internet. He also recently starred in the animation movie DAYO Sa Mundo ng Elementalia Official entry to the 2008 Metro Manila Film Festival. He was the only professional Voice Artist among the Cast of Actors.
The summer workshop features professional voice performers and directors working closely with students in a strict all recording facility and studio at the heart of Makati City. So get ready to explore your talents this summer. Join the workshop and excel your skills in voice acting. Don’t hesitate to call, because in the world of success… it’s always first come, first served.
For details contact them at:
729-7274 or 970-0971
Text us at: 09195731714/09272404886
Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Visit our website: www.creativoices.net and creativoices.com
Our Studio address link online: http://creativoices.net/blog/?page_id=8
Official social network: www.voiceworx.ning.com
Sunday, September 07, 2008
A New Breed of Voices.
By: The Godpodder
For many years, the word “voice over” have been implied as an easy-paying, non-popular, spur of the moment sideline, that only a select few of “big voices” can take on it. In fact, many thought that doing voice overs is so easy, that practically anyone can jump right into it and earn big time. And that all that is required is for you to have is a booming, modulated, “voice of god” type of resonance to pull it off.
The part of earning big might be true to some extent, but for the most part, everything about doing voices is now considered to be more difficult than any regular paying job. Thanks to technology, doing Voice Overs or Voice Acting has now earned a reputation of being exclusive to those of the extraordinary, is slowly being accepted as a career of choice, and in reality... Voice acting is a painstaking form of art.
Yes, technology now plays a vital role to a Voice actor’s dream of making it a career. People who are looking at this not just as a hobby, consider making the important step before entering the industry - researching and learning. Now you can browse the internet to find acting classes, lessons and voice coaching in your area. And by learning and experiencing the execution needed to land those VO jobs, voice actors and enthusiasts are discovering a new and better approach to their performances and in return give more value to their talent.
That’s what VoiceWorx! - Basic Voice Acting and Dubbing Workshop prepares you for.
“It’s a workshop aimed to introduce to you the voice acting world, and how you can master the techniques and skills of the art. You will have to learn how to speak and work by heart.” Says Brian Ligsay, who is the Head Voice Coach and Voiceworx! Director. He claims that the workshop produces learned voice talents, equipping them with what they need to prepare for, when the occasion arises.
“Being a voice over is not far from taking a four year engineering course in college… you just don’t become one overnight,” Ligsay adds. “And even after you finish your degree, you would still have to know how to apply what you’ve learned in “real” life. The good news is, with the knowledge you have, you’re far ahead than anyone in your age to land a job of your choice and keep it.”
“VoiceWorx! has been training enthusiasts and voice talents since 2005, and is continually producing new voices for clients.” Pocholo Gonzales, CEO and Managing Director of Creativoices Productions - which is widely known as a voice talent agency, and the same company who brought Voiceworx! to life. He also exclaims that, “You work with the best Voice Directors in the industry, and train with them so that you don’t venture into it alone..”
This time, a new breed of Voice Overs are coming into place, VoiceWorx! 6, starts this October 4, 2008 and runs for two months every Saturdays. Out of hundreds of interested parties, only 20 students were accepted. And they will learn how to appreciate voice acting, and study with acclaimed Dubbing Directors, Danny Mandia, Neil Tolentino and Alexx Agcaoili.
This workshop offers new insights into the latest trend and development in the voice acting world. With tips and tricks from professionals who have honed their skills thru many years of experience. It also features a manual edition of the Philippine Handbook on Voice acting, to guide the privileged during the entire course. Plus one-on-one voice coaching, road mapping scripts and translations, actual recording and dubbing sessions, and countless mock auditions.
For the longest time, people who ventured into voiceovers are taking into account the traditional and natural selection process that goes around in the industry. Through customary referrals and PR, you get more of the gimmick in the advertising world. This tiring process of whom you know and who knows you is the lifeblood of your next performance. Traditional voice talents are only hopeful that their regular client will always consider them for the next job. “They just wait and wait, without acting,” Gonzales says. Adding that talents should know how to create the demand.
But some are wiser to help themselves and not rely on this conventional form of getting voice over “gigs”. Those who are serious, aim for the better and more beneficial way of staying in the business, that said, considering it as a business. And by investing time, effort, and money to learn the field of voice acting, and marketing your talent - it will produce you better results and open new doors of success.
“Voice acting is not everyone, but should you decide to pursue it.. it will release the kid in you, and turn your voice into something you have never imagined possible,” Ligsay mentioned. “And maybe, just maybe, you’ll turn out to be a mutant of a voice after all!”
- - - -Voiceworx! – Basic Voice Acting and Dubbing Workshop, is only offered 4 times a year. For more information on the next schedule, please call 729-7274/970-0971. You can also email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Visit our websites at creativoices.com, creativoices.net and our official blog at pcva.blogspot.com. For pictures and forums visit http://syvapnetwork.ning.com
Sunday, June 08, 2008
Animation is the reality of imagination. The justice to any script for which, depends entirely on the voice actor’s performance. That is why voice overs, require a unique set of skills and mastery of the art, in order to deliver what the animator intends to show. No matter how good an animation is, if you have a poor set of voices, you will end up with something that is worthless. However, if you have a simple animation on hand, but with an exceptional lineup of voice actors, you will be surprised with the results. Here are some pointers why hiring a voice actor against an on-cam actor is beneficial for your animation project.
| || |
20-30 times more expensive
Depending on project/product restrictions
KNOWLEDGE OF THE CRAFT
May need to attend workshops and 1 on 1 coaching
Honed thru years of experience
Many are working 1st time on dubbing or voice overs
May have difficulty coping up with the microphone
INDUSTRY POPULATION (NO. OF TALENTS)
5 times more the number of on-screen actors
Those who only made an on-screen debut are considered actors
Limited to Conversational
Perfect behind the mic
May require additional tuning
Popular with a niche market/captured following
Has on-cam/modeling advantages
Can work with new set of voices, and experiment. Many voice actors can do atleast 5 voices
Maybe thrown off with the idea of changing his/her voice. Limited to 1
KNOWLEDGE OF RECORDING
KNOWLEDGE IN PROCESSES
Knows exactly what’s going on behind the booth
Some Familiar. Some Not.
ABILITY TO SYNCH AND IMPROVISE
(faced with reactions)
Effortless. Cutting recording time by 75%
Will depend on what the director says and the material. May need to spend more time on recording
Always present, easily managed. No star complex
Will have to be adjusted for appearances and confirmation
Like they say, kids go to movies to watch and love the story. They do not care if an on-cam actor is doing the part or a voice over. What is important is that they believe and react to the characters, and be motivated by it.. by statistics anyone can easily spot who can deliver the story between the two. You can always get a screen actor to do the job, but you can never beat a voice over’s performance.
You be the judge of which.
Monday, May 12, 2008
For quite sometime now, I've been thinking of what to feature in this blog and where to start. Having been doing voice overs for many years, I guess I should focus on the career elements as I'm taking it full time.. And being the Marketing Director of CreatiVoices Productions, I'm constantly bombarded with questions from producers and talents alike. Those seeking Voice talents ask me how and where to get them, and those who want to be voice talents, ask me tips and where to find VO jobs.. So I've decided to come up with topics suited for voice actors at least 3 times a week.. and this based on my personal experience.
So, let me begin by a topic aptly entitled: What to expect behind the mike..
Performing behind the microphone baffles many of course.. it's not something that is taught in college, or picked-up during your childhood days. To some degree its very much like taking up medicine or engineering - the more you practice, the better you get at it. It's not as easy as it looks, because I had an experience with my student once who is so afraid of the microphone, she suffered severe LBM and had a fever before recording (extreme maybe but yes, it's true). Although there are some who are "gifted" to perform, not everyone can face the music or in this case voice it. But one thing is for sure, everything in this craft can be learned and mastered.
So that brings us to the 10 things you should consider when going on cue:
1. When behind the microphone, make sure you remember your correct distance from the receiver. Don't sway or move when performing (unless told to do so) because this greatly affects the level of your voice.
Some voice actors use what is called the "proximity effect", by getting closer to the microphone it produces a more warm and personal voice. I used this in one of my commercials for Magic Sing and a character I played for Ursula's Kiss - Akio Mike Ohtori.
The proximity effect should never be abused of course, and the use of which depends entirely on the material. If you're doing a boxing event or a concert for example, you can't perform that close to the mike.
2. Make sure you pack away all noisy materials, or jewelries you may have. Unwanted sounds can damage a good performance. Make sure your clothing does not produce noise. Stick to cotton fabrics as they say, and avoid nylon or wool when performing.
Whenever I'm behind the mic, I remove my watch and my ring.. I take this as a cue for me to take on the session seriously (sometimes I don't, and I just want to have fun). It makes me focus on what matters and be careless about the time (although time is of great importance in recording sessions).
3. Never hold the script unless you are can perform without making any paper noise. Voice actors tend to move a lot, so when you have a script in hand you might generate that annoying crumple and ruin your take. When faced with continuation lines, lie the script side by side on the stand, or let it fall gently to the floor.
Sometimes scripts are stapled for filing, but a properly prepared material should be stapled at the lower left hand corner of the paper. If this is the case, just let the paper fall naturally to the side when continuing in a live recording.
4. Allow the Technician to place the microphone as he pleases. A common mistake for many amateur Voice talents is touching the microphone, or its accessories. Never, ever touch any equipment inside the studio, unless told to do so.
Studio mikes are expensive, and if improperly handled - will break easily. You don't want your salary to go to replacing the microphone if you break it.
5. Adjust your headset accordingly for a snug fit. Studio headsets should cover both of your entire ear lobes. Never leave one hanging to the side or to your neck. The sound coming out from their tiny speakers, can cause unwanted feedback. Feedback happens when a signal is looped from its source, creating that high-pitched annoying sound. Should you need to adjust the headset, tell the technician and veer away from the microphone first.
In real recording sessions, it does not make you look cool with one piece of the headset on. It makes you look stupid and unprofessional. Nobody cares if your hairdo gets messy for 30 minutes. I know some may be thinking, "Hey what about talking DJ's?" I myself am one, and on air I do that for one good reason.. To rely on my natural hearing and minimize the damage of "DJ's EAR" (A topic which I will touch sometime later on)
6. When asked for a level, read the script as you would perform it. This would give the technician a chance to adjust the volume for your performance and give you practice time without the worry of being judged by the client.
If it is a short script the tech may ask you to read a few more times. Indulge.
7. When asked for a SLATE or ID, this informs you to read out the title of the material, the length and your name. Remember the formula, and it doesn't really matter which comes first. This is followed by the standard take numbers: TAKE 1.. This is a guide for the technician when editing the material. (e.g. "Brian Pogi.. Nachos Bonitos... 15 seconder RC.. take 1")
In many of my recordings, the technician often relies on his setup to ID the material. He may or may not ask you to do this, but as a standard practice you should say it before delivering your first line. Even if not asked to do so, it will still make you sound more of a professional when inside a recording studio. However, you don't need to do this every time you commit an error in the script, or if you need to give it another treatment. Just promptly say TAKE 2 for the next cues..
8. Remember to wait for the signal before starting to talk. Technicians and Directors have a wide variety of giving you the "cue". Here are just some of my favorite lines, followed by my quirky explanations:
"...And anytime." (today)
"...Whenever your ready." (what if I'm not)
"...ok" (ok. ok? ok. ok?)
"...and (points to you. Me?)
"...go" (to the bathroom?)
"...shoot" (them all?)
"...go ahead" (where?)
"...action" (..I don't know why)
"...roll" (and rock.)
and my all time favorite:
"..rolling po kami" ("We're rolling," in English)
When you make a mistake, promptly say to the client and the tech, that you want to try it differently. Never say sorry (I will discuss this in another topic). Perform at your peak as you did your first line, even though it is take 72, the energy should still be at take 1. (I also have another interesting topic about this soon).
9. After doing your part, and before going out of the studio, thank the producer or the client/s and the technician. You may politely ask them, if there is anything else they want you to record before taking off your headset. Do not go out with your headset on. If you forget your headset on, you might trip or pull with you the microphone, stand and everything. Oh, I've seen this a lot of times and believe me its always funny every time..
Make sure you place your headset at the holder, on the chair or on the floor. Never hang the headset on the microphone. Check that it is away from any danger of being accidentally broken, or damaged.
10. If you're doing commercials (or any projects for that matter), make sure you sign your contract or settle out your talent fees professionally. Sometimes, the casting director is assigned to this. But any staff from the studio or the client may ask for your signature. (I think I should come up with another topic about how to settle talent fees)
In some cases, contracts may come directly from the client and not from the studio. Make sure you remember you TIN# when signing. Bring out your pen for a speedier transaction. And remember to thank the staff or client afterwards. Some recording studios provide you with a copy of the contract, while other's don't. In any case, it helps to bring out a small ledger or notebook and jot down the details of the project and the date of the recording.
Now all you need to do is follow-up and wait for your checks to come. If you do good, expect to get more calls soon (which is a voice actor's dream). I will bring up a topic next time on how to properly follow-up payments, and how to avoid scrupulous producers (yes, they are out there).
For now goodluck and May the voice be with you.
- DJ Big Brian