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  1. Welcome 2018! Many people take stock at this point of the year and opt to change their lifestyles and explore their skills and talents they may have. Are you thinking about a change? Is voiceover something you feel drawn to and want to explore further? Fantastic - it is a magical job that I love and brings me great joy and peace as well as letting me play with emotions, characters and voices. One day you could be a hotel receptionist in an audio book or a small boy in an audio drama or simply reading out line after line of phone numbers or directions. If that sounds appealing then you are in for a treat. 

    Many people come and ask me how to become a voice over artist. As the wonderfully talented actor and voice of Yoda, Frank Oz said as the omnipresent character, “Do or do not. There is no try.” Being a successful voice over artist takes time, patience, talent, luck, persistence and resilience with a lot of doing and being.  

    Aim high

    When people ask me how they can be a voice over talent. I feel that the correct question is what do I need to become a voice talent. Needing all of the above words as well as some basic knowledge will serve you very well in your vocal journey. Through out the year I shall cover them in more detail but for a start here are a few items to get you on your way.

    Talent aside being a successful voice over artist requires hardware and software for the artistic, creative side as well as for the business management side. In no particular order, the below five areas highlight basic areas for where you will need to invest in and develop further.  

    1. Recording studio - many voices work from home in their own recording studio. Conduct your own research, learn and appreciate how you will need to use your space you already have to create your own studio. 
    2. Vocal practice - working long hours or on sessions that may wear you and your voice out happens a lot so invest in finding good exercises and how to manage your voice. Understand your voice and what it can do and look after it. Dancers and musicians look after themselves, their bodies and their instruments. As a voice over artist that is what you will need to do especially if you choose some vocally taxing voice over genres. Recognise if you need help and coaching and seek out coaches that suit you and what your goals are as a voice. 
    3. Voice Reels - once you are ready to record then go professional. Invest time and money to work with someone who has a track record in delivering excellent reels that book work and are aurally successful.  
    4. Technological appreciation - even if you are unsure about the technological side of things learn. From microphones to recording software there is a huge amount of information out there for you to choose from.  
    5. Business acumen - being a voice over artist is much more than just sitting and waiting for the agent to send you jobs. A lot of success is made by being proactive, having a full marketing complement to your business goals, being knowledgeable about rates, financial terms and knowing what you need to make it work for you. 

     Have a wonderful 2018 - may it be beautifully bountiful for you

    Happy New Year 2018

  2. November is more than just magical fireworks and gunpowder. It is all about plotting. With Christmas right around the corner, the New Year beckons and it is time for some magical planning for the voice over year ahead. This year I have been given an extra boost to my plan for 2018 by the wonderful team behind That’s Voiceover, Joan and Rudy Gaskins. They worked some incredible magic for a New York Style high octane spectacular for voiceovers. Thank you for making my female voiceover dreams come true! 

    Nancy Cartwright and Lorraine Ansell female voice talent together in NYC 2017

    Their show was incredible with a line up of audio drama played out with live sound effects to having animation heroine, Nancy Cartwright being honoured - yes, the voice of Bart Simpson! There are many great voicing moments throughout the weekend. A star studded gala event with the good and great gods and goddesses of global voiceovers. These talented voices gathering to celebrate the beauty of the voice. I was lucky to be a finalist and honoured to be one of the amazing nominees at this event. Having your name up huge with other amazing talent is a huge motivator.

    Outstanding e-learning best female voiceover

    What was clear is that planning and having a strong vision was key to the success of these talented people. Bob Bergen told a story, his plan to meet his hero Mel Blanc. A plan that involved phone books, a tall tale or two and dedication and ambition that led him to see his hero. That is just one of many examples of how to reach your dreams, you have to commit and act to make them happen. The main theme of the weekend was a comment stating that this is all there is. This is all there is. Yes, when you love voiceovers, when you have such a passion for this amazing industry, then yes, this is all there is. A lot of luck, a lot of talent and most of all, a lot of planned action. 

    Which brings me back to planning. Planning for the year ahead is important. To reach your dreams and live in them, set goals and work out how to reach them.  How best to do that? This is where the coloured pens and sheets of paper come in. I love to get creative, get messy and get thinking. I fill my sheets with ideas, information, wants, needs and anything else that pops into my head. Then I break those all down and work out what I need to do monthly to do that. The key for me is to explore ever more creative avenues. I have a good think about what big dream voiceover work I want to get involved with and start mapping it all out. 

    Here is my top 5 list of how to plan and get ahead:

    1. Make time: carve out a whole day if needs be, find some mental and environmental solitude, commit fully and explore. Turn off the phone, social media, emails and sit down to actually think, free of noise and drama. 
    2. Get ready: What medium do you prefer to brainstorm ideas with? I love my pot of coloured pens and pencils, sheets of paper and some dance music to set the mood. I have plenty of water with me, good food and the intention that something magical will appear.
    3. Get steady: breathe and take a moment and then….
    4. Go: Write all the ideas down. Avoid censoring yourself, just get it all down on paper and then like a great artist, step back and have a real look at what you have come up with.
    5. ACTION; As Nancy Cartwright said, yes luck but you need to put a whole lot of action in. 

    So now, after bubbling with excitement and a new found motivation for next year, what will be on my voiceover plate for 2018? I have so many voiceover ideas already, what shall it be next year? Commercial spots? Great games? Audacious audio dramas? Big dreams? Yes to all those and more please! 

    Plan, prepare, play.

     

    Dare to Dream