Monday, October 21, 2013

I Workout

I’d like to dedicate this blog entry to my workout group, The Vegas Voicers.I absolutely love this group of people. Not only are each and every one of you super-duper talented, but you’re amazing human beings. First, let me describe what our “Voice Over Workout Group” is all about, and let me tell ya, every voice talent out there should jump into a local group or start one of your own. Twice a month about 20 local talent come together in my home studio. It’s kind of a big deal because we all take showers, actually put on clothes, and spruce up. After all, we’re talking about real human contact! It gets lonely in our home studios, so coming out of isolation is step one. The evening is divided into a few segments. We talk about stuff we need to talk about. Like technology, the latest-greatest gear, marketing tips and ideas, cool blogs everyone should check out, questions, concerns, sometimes we need a pep talk.

Whatever needs to happen happens. We then move into phase two: we workout. We don’t do Jazzercise or Buns of Steel, nope. We read for each other. Sometimes it’s recorded. Sometimes we read in a circle, other times we do a mock audition round. That’s when everyone reads the same piece of copy with the same direction, but I kick everyone out into my backyard so the reads are fresh and no one can hear one another. It’s so interesting during playback. It’s a rare treat to hear what everyone did with the exact same copy and the exact same direction. We all learn a lot from this exercise. We share constructive feedback. Sometimes people want to branch out and try a new genre. What better place to do it than in a peer group where you have professionals who voice so many different styles? Maybe you recently did an audition and you'd like to get some feedback on it because you struggled with interpreting the direction. Or maybe you do hundreds of explainer videos and you want to try commercial VO. You get the idea. The key is: we help, we share. It’s a safe environment to grow and try new things on for size. The goal is to make it a very positive experience for everyone. Listening and observing fellow talent work their own personal magic is such a huge part of the process.

Oh, and I can’t forget about our special guests. I often invite local producers to join us. We do helpful Q & A’s with them, and it’s nice to get new local talent on their radars. I also invite agents, out-of-town producers, vocal coaches, top talent from across the country, etc. to Skype with us. This is extremely cool. We ask the tough questions. We go straight to the source. It’s exciting, it’s fun, and it’s helpful. I’m super thankful that so many knowledgeable people are happy to do this with us. You’d be surprised. When you ask people for help, they’re usually happy to. 

Last but not least, the fourth segment is crucial. We eat. Highly important. Voicing totally requires nourishment. We usually have some great snacks and some quality social time. It doesn't hurt if a member of your group is a gourmet chef hobbyist. (thank you Daniel Dorse). The roar of laughter during our break is one of my favorite parts of the night. It’s really special to spend time with people who do what you do, wear the many hats that you wear, and sing the song that you sing. I love bringing people together. One of my favorite quotes is, “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” Share, share, share. I bet you've got some great stuff to share and some talented folks in your zip code. Ask around. Come together. It’s powerful. 

I’ll leave you with this “We push each other to get better. We could never be as good alone as we are together” Ryan Wittman. Thank You Vegas Voicers, for becoming and continuing to be my voice over family.