Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Day in the Life of a SAG Voice Actor

I came across this video on the great Dave Houston's Facebook page and thought I'd share. I love these kinds of videos.

Hope you enjoy it.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Farewell to Jekyll & Hyde

Today's show is the final performance of Jekyll & Hyde. It seems like only yesterday that I auditioned and now, a scant 3 weeks after our opening night, the show closes.

It has been an amazing experience. I've met and worked with some of the most wonderfully talented people I've ever known and I hope to keep at least some of these people in my circle of friends permanently.

It is with mixed emotion that I prepare for this final performance. I don't want it to end, but alas, in community theater, dems da rules.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Jekyll & Hyde Opening Weekend

We started rehearsals in August. It was a long, arduous process for many. For me, not so much since I get killed at the end of the first act. I pretty much sit out the second act except to help with scene changes, costume changes and such. There is one additional scene where I make an appearance as a ghost, but that's pretty much it for me.

This weekend, the show opened. The audiences so far have had very, very favorable comments about how much they enjoyed the show. Some of the people in this show are so talented, it's amazing they aren't already working on Broadway.

We've got two more weekends to go. If any of you are in or near NJ, come down and see it. Stay after the show and say hello.

For more information check out Jekyll & Hyde at the Villager's Theater.

Monday, October 13, 2008

This Friday 10/17/2008, Rumba Con Son, the New Jersey Salsa Band is going to rock the house at The hottest new spot in Trenton New Jersey, La CabaƱa Lounge & Grill (formerly the Anchor Bar and Grill) at 931 New York Ave. Trenton, NJ 08638.

The show starts at 10:00 PM so come on down, you'll have a blast!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Honoring commitments

Lately, I've gotten requests for paid work. My friends at EBRU TV need me to come in and do some ADR work. My friends at Audible have another audiobook for me.

Normally these would be good things. Great things!

So what's the problem? I am doing Jekyll and Hyde at the Villager's Playhouse in Somerset NJ. Community theater. FREE work.

So I am turning away paid work because I committed to doing this show for free and as we get closer to the opening date, the rehearsal schedule is becoming more and more of a bear. But I am honoring my commitments.

The truth is that I will still do the paid work. I have to because I need the dough. It's just that it's becoming uglier and uglier trying to schedule everything without missing J&H rehearsals and I don't want to commit to the paid work unless I know I can honor the commitment.

Make no mistake, I will commit to it, and I will honor my commitment because my first commitment is to myself and my family. My voiceover business has become a not so insignificant part of my income now and I am committed to building that business and taking it to the next level.

I fully intend to honor that commitment.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

I Love Repeat Business - Part Deux

So the lovely, wonderful, spectacularly intelligent folks over at have called to offer me another audiobook to read. I guess they liked the results from that first one.

To say that I am thrilled is an understatement.

When I got into this voiceover game, I had no idea where it would lead. I originally wanted to do cartoons and character work. I still do. Then I figured since I am bilingual, I'd maybe try my hand . . . er . . . mouth, at some Spanish stuff. Now I have entered the Audiobook genre. Being asked to do a second one is for me, a huge success. I am working in a field that Pat Fraley calls the Shakespeare of the voiceover industry.

Any way you slice it, that's just plain cool man.

Frankly, I've not been the most focused business person in this game and I guess my slow progress is evidence of that, but though slow, my progress has been pretty steady. So now, between the Audiobooks and Spanish Language stuff, I've gotten two of my highest paying gigs to date.

I don't want to jump the gun here, but I think I might actually have some talent for this stuff after all.

Oh, and let's not forget, both of those gigs where from repeat business.

So let me say it once again . . . I really, really love repeat business.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Don't you just love repeat business?

Well, I got my first repeat client and all I can say is God please send me more of those!

The first time this client hired me, it was for a very small job. Not a lot of pay but it was a new client so I did the job to the best of my ability. It involved some translation work and voicing the job in Spanish.

Everything cool.

So the client comes back recently and says he's got a job but my prices are too high. I say hey, if your working within a budget, let me know and I'll do my best to accommodate you.

I don't hear from the client for a couple of weeks. Then he comes back to me and says not only does he want me but he needs a second voice for the job as well, since it's an e-Learning piece with two guys.

So I recommended my friend and colleague, Jean-Marc Berne who I know to be a talented voice actor, singer and musician. My client likes us both and books us for the gig.

The only issue? The budget.

My client tells us he's got a certain amount budgeted for the job and after Jean-Marc and I look at it, we figure this job is worth more than the quote. So we go back to the client and explain that due to the complexity of the job, and so forth, we felt it was worth more. The client agrees with us but his client has to approve the new budget.

So my client goes to his client and makes our proposal. He then comes back to us and says not only did we book the job, we booked it for more than we'd asked! I an can tell you right now that this gig is paying many times what that first one did.

So Jean-Marc and I did our respective parts in our respective studios and delivered the files to the client. I haven't heard anything from the client so I guess their happy with the job.

I just love repeat business.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

My Audiobook Adventure - Day 2 Continued

Well, it's been almost three weeks since I finished that audiobook and I neglected to come here and finish the story. My apologies to all my loyal reader out there, yes all one of you, who've been waiting to learn about my exploits.

So day 3 began right where we left off on day two. Since I was already an old pro at this audiobook thing, my engineer and I dispensed with the niceties and went right to work. Time is money in the audiobook game and we weren't about to waste any.

From the minute I started reading, I knew that today was different. Yesterday I'd felt nervous, hesitant. Especially during that first chapter and probably into the second. Today, I started reading and just got right into the flow. It felt good and according to my engineer, it sounded good. We worked through the morning and when it got to lunch time, I knew that we'd be finished early.

Originally, I'd been booked for 3 days of work on this book. I knew that today, my second day, would see the end of this particular job.

When we got back from lunch, we once again, jumped right into it. The story moved along to it's inevitable conclusion at about 2:00 pm. A day and a couple of hours ahead of schedule. I'd completed my first audiobook!

Well, almost . . .

My engineer had suggested that If I liked, I could go back and re-read the first chapter just because by the end I'd really gotten into a good flow which probably didn't exist in the beginning, so we did just that. Although he'd told me that he'd listened back to the first chapter and felt it was pretty consistent with the later stuff, after I re-recorded the first chapter, he agreed that it was much better than the first time through.

So according to my contract, they can call me in for up to 2 additional pick up sessions. I have not yet been called about any pick ups so we'll see how that goes.

In my opinion, the story I read was a good one. It had many interesting characters in it including two young urban boys, an Irishman, a Russian gentleman, some Noo Yawkizz (New Yorkers), and various other men, women and children. It was quite an interesting challenge for my acting ability and I can only hope that I did it justice. My only comment is that I wanted there to be more. The book was not a very long one and the stories of the characters involved seemed unresolved to me. I want to learn more about these people. I guess I grew to like them while reading their story and that affection wants me to learn more about them. What happens next.

Also, if there are sequels to this book or if it becomes a serial novel, I'd love to keep doing the audiobooks for it since I've gotten to know these guys and appreciate them.

Also, I can use the moolah!

I recently read an interesting article which I learned about from my friend Karen Commins who I follow on Twitter. It was about the interesting choices that audiobook publishers make during casting and the sometimes less than stellar results.

I hope that the good people at don't feel they made a bad call when they cast me for this book and I really hope that the listeners of this piece enjoy it as much as I enjoyed reading it.

I look forward to working with my friends at again, very very soon.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

My Audiobook Adventure - Day 2

Sorry I didn't get to post last night about my day. It was just so busy yesterday.

I spent pretty much all day at reading the book I was cast for. I left at 4:00 or so which left me about two hours to run home, feed my dogs, let them out then dash to a rehearsal for Jekyll & Hyde.

I feel like SUCH an actor!

One cool thing is I saw Roscoe Ormon, the actor who plays Gordon on Sesame street in the lunch room at Audible. Apparently he was there reading a book as well. I would have loved to chat with him for a while but he was having his lunch, talking on the phone, and on his laptop at at once. I didn't want to disturb an obviously busy guy! Perhaps I'll see him today and he's not too busy, we can chat for a bit.

The response to my performance was very positive yesterday. My engineer / director, Charles, kept telling me what a great job I was doing. We got through over 100+ pages yesterday. Charles commended me on my stamina, and believe me reading audiobooks does require stamina. You've got to be "on" for the entire session unlike a commercial where you've only go to be on during the 30 or so seconds it take to do each take. Charles told me that most first timers usually don't get past page 70 or so their first day.

I truly appreciated his feedback and of course, I like positive feedback better than criticism though if I am sucking the big one, I really want to know about that too!

Anyway, I gotta run for day 2.

More later!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

My Audiobook Adventure - Day 1

It's 8:30 a.m. and I'm about ready to walk out the door and head to the Audible offices in Newark NJ. I wish they had offices in a cooler town but that's life.

I received a contract from them over the weekend stating the terms and conditions of my relationship with them and the rate we'd negotiated for this first book. It's a non-union gig so the money's not so great, but it's a beginning and I am excited about the opportunity.

This is an area of voiceover that I'd not explored previously. Well, that's not completely true. I did audition at Audible about 3 years ago or so when I first started pursuing the VO dream, but I didn't get much of a response. 3 years of experience later has apparently made a difference.

So I'm off for day 1. I'll let you know how it turns out later this evening.

Wish me luck!

Monday, September 01, 2008

The end of an era . . .

The following report was posted on

It is very hard to write these words. My friend, Don LaFontaine, the husband of a most beautiful wife, Nita and the father of three beautiful girls, passed away today at the age of 68. In a quite sudden reversal of the progress he had been making the last few days, Don took ill again and passed away at around 1:50PM this afternoon (9/1/08). Out of respect for Don’s family, more details will be given at a later time. Nita is a wonderful mother and she is being very strong for her children at this moment. You would be proud of her. We need to give her and her family some time to absorb their loss. As for me, thank you very much. There have been so many spiritual warriors who have given everything they have for my best friend. I will miss him very much.

More details to follow...

Paul Pape

Although I'd never had the honor of meeting him in person, Don LaFontaine has had an undeniable influence on me and just about everyone in the voiceover industry. He was a pioneer in the industry and has left an indelible mark.

His body of work is astounding. Over his career, Don LaFontaine recorded nearly 5,000 movie trailers and literally HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of commercials.

Anyone who currently works or wants to work in the Movie Trailer area of the voiceover industry owes a debt of gratitude to this incredible human being.

The interviews that I've heard and the personal anecdotes that I've read, left me with the impression of a warm and generous man of immense talent. He will be forever remembered.

My prayers go out to Mr. LaFontaine's Wife and family in this time of loss and sadness.

Mr. LaFontaine, thank you for blazing the trail that so many of us have chosen to follow.

Rest in peace.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

An update on The Don

Just received some encouraging news from the good people over at Happy Birthday Don and get well soon!

A message to all members of voiceover universe presents...

By the way, Today is Don's Bday:) 8/26 Happy Birthday, Don!


August 26, 2008 - UPDATE 5:24 PM PST (8:24 PM EST)

To all of Don's friends in the Voice-over Community:

Don's condition continues to stabilize. There is significant progress
and while he has quite a ways to go yet, there is every reason to keep
the faith. Many of you have expressed your feelings and chosen to
respect the privacy that Don and his family need right now. One could
ask no more of you. This show of respect is deeply appreciated by
those closest to the situation. Don and I often remark that we are
more brothers at this point than just best friends. Yet, as your
outpouring of support shows, Don has many "best friends." He is
clearly important to us all .

Don's wife, Nita, read every single comment that has been posted and
was truly touched and strengthened by your words and prayers. Please
see Nita's response below. As for me, please accept a simple "thanks"
for being there for my ol' pal.


Paul Pape

The King is in Critical

My voiceover hero, Don LaFontaine, the undisputed king of Movie Trailers and Promos is in critical condition. First reported by Rick Party on VoiceoverUniverse, here is a missive from The Don's beloved wife Nita.

Dear friends and family,

I need you help and I'm reaching out to all of you. My wonderful husband is in critical condition at Cedar Sinai hospital; a blood clot is lodged in his lung and he is fighting for his life. This happened on Saturday after I'd taken him in for shortness of breath on Friday. He was doing very well and I left him talking and being funny on Friday evening. Without all the details, I got a call on Saturday morning as I was heading there to visit. There has been some lovely improvement yesterday but he is very sick right now. We need your concentrated prayers! Have your churches synagogues, temples send out prayers for Don's healing and wellness. Light a candle, chant, whatever you do to send that loving energy and light to him, I would appreciate. And save a little for the girls and me. We have had small miracles already and if we all shout up to God collectively, I know how powerful that can be. He is fighting and we all are fighting with him. He is strong and is a warrior so I thank you in advance for your prayers, good wishes and kindness on behalf of my family.

With a hopeful heart,

Nita and family

I hope you will join me in sending all good vibes and prayers to Don, Nita and their family in this time of need. Don, I pray you have a complete and speedy recovery.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Pamela Lewis was my very first voiceover teacher and still holds a special place in my heart. Thanks to Liz DeNesnera for posting a link to this interview with Pamela on The VO-BB, one of my favorite places on the internet although I haven't been hanging around there much lately, I still love the place and it's people.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Booked my first Book . . . audiobook that is.

I just booked my first audio book based on my audition at last week. The producer called me and left a message on my cell phone. He said he definitely wants me to do the book (Yay!)and I should call so and so to schedule the sessions. He also said (these are his words) that he thinks I am a very good actor and he wants to "keep me around". Needless to say, I am thrilled about the compliment and the job!

So I called So and so and have booked my sessions for the first week in September right after the holiday weekend.

I've gone through the book and I enjoyed it very much. It's a first novel and I believe it is quite good. My only comment is it left me wanting more. I hope the author writes some sequels because I'd love to know more about how these peoples lives turn out. Besides, I can use the work!

I can't reveal the title just yet due to the fact that I don't know what the rules are regarding confidentiality and such, but the book has many interesting characters. There are several varieties of Hispanic / Urban type people, an Irish guy, some mafia-type thugs and various other people, who should be quite interesting to portray. Frankly, I can't wait!

This proves beyond the shadow of a doubt, the power of persistence and the power of networking.

The persistence part has to do with the fact that I almost gave up the ghost on this line of work several times during the past 3 years. I was this close to calling it quites any number of times, but something kept driving me onward. Now, I'm so glad I didn't quit. Finally, my efforts are beginning to pay off and it feels wonderful to start building some forward momentum.

The networking part comes in the form of my friend and sometimes Engineer, Tony Salerno who recommended that I be called in for an audition. Tony my brother from another mother, thank you so much for recommending me to your people at Audible. I truly appreciate it and I hope to have a long and fruitful relationship with them.

I hope this inspires any of you out there who might be thinking of quitting.

Don't! You'll regret it if you do.

I leave you with one of my very favorite quotes on the subject of persistence . . .

"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination are omnipotent. The slogan press on has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race. No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave."

-- (John) Calvin Coolidge

Monday, August 18, 2008

Taking the good with the bad.

This past week has been great in many ways and terrible in others.

On the plus side:

I went to an audition at and got a great response. The director said he thought my acting was great and he literally offered me an audiobook to narrate on the spot. That was unexpected and wonderful.

I booked several hours of ADR work at my favorite client, EBRU TV where I learned that I am very popular in Turkey. People have my voice on their DVDs! That was cool to learn. Now if I can get them to pay union rates!

On the terrible side:

I had to say goodbye to my beautiful, faithful little companion of over a dozen years this week. There's a huge hole in my heart at his loss and I can't even think of him without breaking down. R.I.P. My Little Gizmo, I loved you and I miss you something terrible.

Monday, August 04, 2008

The Incredible Power of Doing . . . Something!

I hadn't been booking much VO for a while so I decided that I'd better start directing more energy towards my voiceover career.

As a member of, I receive audition notices daily but I hardly ever actually audition. I'm not sure why, I just didn't. I guess maybe I figured I'd be rejected anyway, so what was the point? Typical stinkin thinkin.

Well after thinking about it some more and remembering some of the motivational stuff from Zig Ziglar that I used to listen to for hours on end, I finally decided that if I am going to get anywhere in this business, I better start doing something about it, and I mean now.

So I started submitting auditions to daily. Small jobs, big jobs, English jobs, Spanish jobs, just auditioning as much as I could. I auditioned for a whole bunch of stuff, and the result? Nothing, nada, zip, zilch.

At least not from

But all of a sudden, things have started to come to me from several other directions!

I got a nice Spanish VO job out of the blue, I got an audition for a McDonald's piece, which I didn't get, but hey, it's McDonald's! I booked 4 hours of ADR work last week and another 4 hours this Friday, I got an audition at from an engineer friend and another engineer friend just booked me for Anime job.

I get to be a toon again! WOOT ... WOOOOOT!

I truly believe in the following two quotes.

"I have learned, that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours." - Henry David Thoreau

"Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Moving in the direction of your dreams. What a wonderful concept. and by doing so, we activate the "Genius, power and magic", what wonderful forces to have on ones side.

Do you believe in Magic? I do! Oh yes baby. I'm counting on it.

Friday, August 01, 2008

It's nice to be nice

I have a friend who is a sound engineer and voice actor. I've been working with him for quite some time now at one of my clients studios. Anyway, apparently he got a gig at and recommended me for an audition!


Man oh man, it's nice to be nice and it's even nicer to have friends.
Thank you Mr. Anthony Salerno, you have my gratitude!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Bob Souer Interview - Part 4

Just a quick one to let you guys know that part 4 of the Bob Souer interview is now available. Bob is a great guy and a great talent and his insights are invaluable. Enjoy!

Out of The Blue

So I got a call today out of the blue about a Spanish VO job, :60 second spot for some recording facility somewhere. They said their client loved my voice and could I do the job? Uh . . .HELLSYEAH!

Great, they say. How much for the job, it's non-broadcast and will be used as a promo piece for the companies clients only.

So we negotiate a bit, arrive at what I believe is a fair price and voila, twenty minutes later there is money in my Paypal account!

Man, don't you just love the blue sometimes!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Bob Souer featured on Voice Over Xtra!

Wow, I just came across a 2-part interview with Bob Souer. The general consensus throughout the voiceover community is that Bob Souer is one of the nicest, most generous people you'll ever meet. I haven't had the pleasure of meeting him in person yet but I look forward to that day. Not only is he a heck of a nice guy but he is also an amazing voice talent with 25 years of experience under his belt. He shares a small portion of his vast wisdom with us in this fascinating two-part interview. Here are the links, enjoy!

Bob Souer Interview Part 1
Bob Souer Interview Part 2

Stay tuned for part 3, coming soon!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Se Habla Espanol

I am finally a professional bilingual voice actor. I've been auditioning for Spanish language voice work for a while and although I've gotten close a few times, I'd never actually been paid for speaking Spanish. Well I finally got a paying gig as un locutor en espanol!

Interestingly, it was for a clinical study for a product to help with low testosterone levels in men. Hmm . . ., I wonder what the universe is trying to tell me.

Anyhoo, now I can truthfully say that I am a professional bilingual voice actor!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A Successful Call-Back!

Last time, I talked about an audition I went on for an upcoming production of Jekyll & Hyde. Well I got a call-back!

I arrived about 7:30 today and signed in. I sat around and waited, making small talk with the other nervous actors there. As my nerves started kicking in and I began pacing around. I looked around for other guys in my age category and surreptitiously tried to see what sides they were reading. Where any of them competing with me for the role of the Bishop? I couldn't really tell. It was a nerve-wracking 10 minutes.

Then they started calling people into the theater by role. "Lucy's! Any Lucy's out here? They want you inside". "OK, Emmas, you, your an Emma? OK, go inside now"

And on it went. I sat and waited, paced and waited, fretted and waited.

In the meantime, the musical director came out, set up a piano and started going over musical sides by roles as well. First this group, then that one. I asked about my role. "Any music for The Bishop?" I asked. "Oh, uh . . . wait a second, I'll be right back" and off she went.

My nerves started affecting my stomach, so I went to the bathroom, sat on a throne and rehearsed the 3 lines in the acting sides I'd been given. As I am sitting there, I hear the door open and three people chatting excitedly enter the bathroom only the voices are . . . female! Holy crap, I went into the wrong bathroom!

You ever go out in your backyard and see a rabbit? When they spot you, they stop and stay very, very still, trying their damnedest to become invisible. When I heard those three girls enter the bathroom, one of them in the stall next to mine, I immediately did the best rabbit act I could. I froze solid and remained silent and still. Thankfully, the rabbit tactic worked and they didn't notice me. After a short while, which to me seemed an eternity, they left, all giggles and enthusiasm. Needless to say, I then employed rabbit tactic #2 - I bolted!

Back in the waiting area, I tried to calm down and look professional. I'd survived the bathroom faux pas and now all I had to do was read my 3 lines and sing the song that I'd not yet received any music for. Piece of cake!

As I sat there, I watched the other actors. Many of them had apparently worked together on other shows so there was a quite a bit of gossip and camaraderie going on. I felt a little excluded since this would be my first real show. Oh, I did a show about two years ago called "Little Shop of Horrors", but that was mostly just my voice. I played the voice of the plant. If I land the role of the Bishop in this show, I stand a pretty good chance of actually getting on stage!

So I set myself to the task of waiting again. The musical director was at this point working out a four part harmony with about eight people who I assume had already been cast. The director comes out of the theater and wants to hear how the harmony practice is going. He's listening carefully to all the singers then suddenly he points at me and says "You're in this piece too you know".

SAY WHAT! "She never told me" I spluttered, "I didn't know, I've been waiting for her to get to me" and so on. The director smiles and says "I know, I know. It's fine"

After listening to the results of the harmony practice, the director looks around the waiting area. He points at certain people around the room and says "OK, you're done, and you and let's see . . ." He then turns to me and says "and you, you're done for tonight." He turns away and goes off to smoke a cigarette. I stand there for a moment with what I can only imagine to be a most bewildered expression on my face.

Well I was somewhat confused to say the least. After all, I hadn't read my 3 lines yet nor sang my as yet to be located musical piece yet. How can I be done?

So I stood there looking around rather stupidly and then I notice the director outside the glass doors, smoking his cigarette and pointing in my general direction. Several people around me are pointing at their chests mouthing "me? . . . who me?". Suddenly I realize it's me he's pointing at, so I go outside to see if perhaps he wants me to speak or sing or something, after all.

"I told you that you were done for the night because I've already decided to cast you . . . you're my Bishop". I stared at him uncomprehendingly. "When you came in the other day and sang, I was so thrilled that I decided right then" he said. "Oh, uh . . . thank you" as the realization slowly dawned on me, "Thank you so much!" I replied. Holy cow, I've been cast! I've just had my first successful call-back! And to think, all I'd had to do was wait, and wait, and wait a bit more. That wasn't so tough! What have I been so afraid of all these years?

So I have been cast in the role of The Bishop in the upcoming production of the The Villagers Theater production of Jekyll and Hyde. The show dates are November 7 - 23, 2008 on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. I hope if you are in the area, you'll come by and see the show.

I get killed at the end of the first act! Hoo haaaa!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Non-VO Acting Stuff

So I decided on a lark to go and audition for a regional production of "Jekyll and Hyde" today. I saw the audition notice earlier in the week and toyed with the idea but I never really prepared anything for an audition. I missed yesterdays auditions and today was the last day of auditions and they started at 7:30. At around 7:50 I figured what the hell, I'll do it for the experience.

When I arrived, all these beautiful young people where sitting around limbering up for the dance part of the audition, the part that I was blissfully unaware of. Had I known there was a dance audition, I'd probably have stayed home. Other people where reviewing sheet music and again, I thought to myself, what am I doing here? I don't have any sheet music, I don't have any dance shoes, I'm not ready for this!

So they call everyone in for the dance part of the audition. Twenty four poor souls learning a routine that I'm certain would be cake for a professionally trained dancer but which for us double-left-footed types, was tantamount to a space walk. I got in line with the rest and bravely turned left when everyone else turned right and I shuffled when I should have kicked, all the while maintaining an attitude of joyous good fun. And it was good fun. How could I not laugh at my own glaringly untrained dancing. At any rate, we all got through the dance part and were asked to wait outside.

They called us in in groups of 3 or 4. A couple of times I could hear angelic voices sailing through theater doors, both male and female. There was some real, heavy duty talent in there. At last, came my turn along with two lovely young ladies with voices of such beauty that they could make you cry. Finally the musical director called my name.

"Hi Joe, what are you going to do for us today?" said he, "well I have to apologize because I just saw the audition notice today and I didn't have time to prepare anything." says I. "Well, what do you know?" said he. "I was going to try 'I've gotta be me'" I said, at which he responded to the pianist, "what do you know?" Apparently the musical director was not a big Sammy Davis Jr. fan. The Pianist holds up a fake book of Broadway show tunes and hands it to me. I peer into the book whose type is of the microscopic variety and me, having left my reading glasses at home, merely pretended to peruse the selections.

After auditioning another two singers, the musical director turns back to me and says "so, how we doing Joe?" "I'd be doing much better if I had my reading glasses" I replied, at which the director and various other theatrical flunkies chuckled heartily. "Well, do you know any songs? I just want to hear you sing. It says here your a tenor. I want to hear something tenor-ish" he said. "Do you know 'Oh Holy Night?'" Sure I replied. "Ok, let's hear it from the fall on your knees party" So the pianist tries bravely to play the song but she doesn't really know it but she hit a nice chord and I jumped in with my rendition of Oh Holy Night from the fall on your knees party. The Musical Director turnes to the person beside him and says "That's what I was hoping to hear"

I got a call-back!

So Wednesday I go back for the role of the Bishop. I am not really familiar with the show so I don't know how big or small a part it is but apparently, the guy is a tenor so there should be at least some singing involved.

It just goes to show you, you never know, unless you try.

What have you tried today?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

So, how do I get started in voiceovers?

This is the inevitable question that comes up whenever people find out that I do voiceovers. I'm not even a full-time voiceover and I still get the question. Maybe one day I can give someone some real solid advice of my own but for now, I rely mostly on the wisdom of others.

Dave Houston is one of those wise guys I steal from. Dave is a professional voiceover guy based in Austin Texas and he was kind enough to share some of his wisdon in a recent article, currently highlighted on the home page of

So now you can stop bugging ME and go read some REAL advice on the subject.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

My new friend Bobby

So I just made a new friend online at Voiceover Universe, Mr. Bobby Rivers. The brother has got class, that's all I can say. He extended the hand of friendship by offering me a hook-up with a nice connection (I can't really go into the details) and all I can say is I really, really appreciate the gesture. Thanks Bobby!

Tons of Fun in the VO World

So lots of people are getting ready to attend the biggest VO shindig of the year, V.O.I.C.E 2008. I really, really wanted to go this year but it looks like I'll be missing it again this year. All you people out there who attend, please take lots of pictures and videos and share all your notes and experiences with those of use who will be deprived.

The only way I might be able to attend is if I book a really nice eLearning job. Everybody keep your fingers crossed for me, ok?

By the way, I started another blog at which deals with my non VO related pursuits. You might want to check it out.


Thursday, July 03, 2008

New Yorker Turns on the Juice for Texas Power Company

My friend Peter O'Connell has been selected as the voice of one of Texas' largest energy providers First Choice Power.

audio’connell Voice Over Talent is a worldwide voice over talent service featuring professional English speaking and foreign language male and female voice talents.

Irving, Texas-based First Choice Power secured O’Connell to provide the voice over for a series of commercials that highlighted the company’s price protection options to combat rising energy costs. The campaign included :15, :30 and :60 second radio commercials.

I am happy to be associated with Peter's company and I congratulate him on this latest victory!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

La Vida Te Da Sorpresas

Which means Life brings you surprises.

I'm sorry that I haven't written in a while. I simply haven't been inspired to write anything about anything pertinent to my subject matter or of any use to people who like me are still pursuing the VO dream. I've been running my own personal gauntlet and it's taken it's toll on me.

But I'm still here.

My parents have been married for over 40 years. They've had their ups and downs and a couple of times they almost threw in the towel, but in the end they stuck it out. I figured my marriage would be the same. We'd have our ups and downs, but as long as we remained committed to sticking together, we'd eventually find our way through. We'd come out the other side, perhaps a bit bruised and battered, but in the end, together.

I was wrong.

So I've been a single man again for about two weeks and so far it's been a quite a jarring experience. I haven't thought seriously about another woman for almost twenty years. Oh sure, I've had my random fantasies and flirtations. Perhaps even a dalliance or two, but always from the perspective of the safely married man. From the perspective of a newly single, fat, middle-aged, graying, balding and in general falling swiftly into a state of advanced decrepitude man, it's completely different. Actually, it's friggin terrifying.

If suffering and life experience make one a better actor, I should be getting an Oscar shortly. I actually hope it's true so that once I get back in gear, I get to booking work like nobodies business.

I know it will get better. I just hope it gets better soon.

La vida te da sorpresas, sorpresas te da la vida, Ay Dios!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Do you know DB?

One of the coolest people you'll ever want to meet in the world of voiceover actors is Dierdre Williams a.k.a. DB Cooper.

Voiceover Extra just posted an article about DB and it's a great read. You should definitely check it out.

I've known (well . . . eKnown) DB through her voiceover bulletin board, The VO-BB. The community she founded and patiently nurtured into easily one of best communities of voice actors in the world and one of the best sources of free information on how to become a successful voice actor available.

Just sign-up and take about a week or three to go through the archives. You'll find a virtual treasure trove of information on such voiceover related topics as "What Microphone should I buy?", or "How much should I charge for that 300 page audiobook?" and just tons of other stuff as well.

Many of the people I've come to know on the The VO-BB I consider real friends who support one another in this elusive pursuit to voice actor greatness.

Congratulations DB, on this fantastic article and I wish you much luck and success in your planned move to the Left coast. You truly ROCK!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Audioconnell Unveils New International Talent Roster

I just saw the news that my friend Peter O'Connell has launched his new International Talent roster. Here is an excerpt from his Media Release:

It was announced today that professional voice talent company audio’connell Voice Over Talent has launched its international voice casting service via the web at

“We’ve been offering this service for years through a select group of international voice talents we’ve gathered based on client requests but we’d never sat down and organized it for the web until now,” said audio’connell Voice Over Talent president and voice talent Peter K. O’Connell. more . . .

I am very proud to be listed on Peter's roster in the Spanish Male category.

Peter, my heartfelt congratulations to you and all the talented folks on your roster. I wish you (and me) much success!!

Friday, April 11, 2008

A Peek behind the scenes

I love it when I come across a video like this. Here is a peek behind the scenes of a working voice actor doing his thing on YouTube.

Doing a voiceover session.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Power of Commitment

I came across a fantastic quote and thought I'd share my thoughts about it here.

“The moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decisions, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.”
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I got bitten by the acting bug when I was in the 4th grade. It was the annual Christmas pagent and I had 1 line. I still remember it. "Gee grandpa!" I was 8 or 9 years old. I've been half-heartedly pursuing the dream of becoming an actor ever since, but there was always something missing. Commitment.

In high school, I was in the choir, the band, the track team and the gymnastics team. Yep, at at 17 years of age and 250lbs, I was the fattest gymnast in the conference. In the track team, I threw shot put and I sucked at it. The only place I had any real talent was in the performing arts. In the band, I played trumpet and I was pretty darn good. In the choir I was a soloist and the music teachers pet. I had tons of potential, but I lacked one thing. Commitment.

When I was in my twenties, I tried my hand at stand-up comedy with some local "open-mic" success. I told jokes, sang songs and did impressions but I never figured out how to get paid for it. Audience members and other performers complimented me on my versatility and talent yet there was still something missing. Commitment

Now I'm 46 years old and I have been pursuing voiceover and acting for almost 3 years. It's the longest I've ever been committed to actually doing the things necessary to succeed, and I am seeing some positive results. Am I a superstar voice actor? Not by a long-shot. At least not yet, but I do have something now that I hadn't had before. Commitment.

When you think about what you are pursuing, be it voice acting or anything else, remember one thing. If you are ever going to achieve any degree of success in your chosen pursuit, there is something you'll need to make first.

A Commitment

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

How to get a job doing voiceovers

This is a question that most voice actors get on a pretty regular basis. When people find out what we do for a living, this inevitable question bubbles to the surface.

"People tell me I have a great voice, so how do I get a job doing voiceovers?".

The next time someone asks or emails you this question, send them to this link, provided by those fabby people at VOICES.COM

How to get a job doing voiceovers

Thursday, March 20, 2008

101 Useful Resources for Online Entrepreneurs

I found this on a non-vo site for internet Entrepreneurs and in today's environment, isn't that what most of us are? Anyway, here is a great list of resources entitled: 101 Useful Resources for Online Entrepreneurs

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Over a 180 Resources for Voice Actors

The good people at have compiled an amazing list of Over 100 Resources that every voice actor should know about. There is a ton of great stuff here!

They also put together a fantastic list of over 80 Online Marketing resources for voice actors as well.

My thanks go out to Stephanie Ciccarelli and the people at You just gotta love people who share the wealth, huh!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Jimmy Hears a Who

OK, I have been a huge fan of Jim Carrey since his "In Living Color" days.

The man is one of the most amazing comic talents ever. His elastic face and voice have brought me many an hour of explosive laughter. One time, I laughed so hard at his antics that I literally burst a blood vessel in my eye.

Anyway, Jim is starring in the animated version of the Dr. Seuss classic "Horton Hears a Who", opening this weekend at a theatre near you (I've always wanted to say that!).

Here is a link to a Jim Carrey interview about the film on the Dark Horizons website.

When I saw on Oprah (my wife makes me watch it I tell you!) that Jim was co-starring with none other than the legendary Carol Burnett and another of my favorites, Steve Carrell I was thrilled!

Speaking of Steve Carrell, did you catch him as Hammy, the fastest Squirrel on earth in "Over the Hedge"? He was fabulous in that role! But I digress.

The movie opens this weekend which just so happens to be my Birthday weekend (I was born on the Ides of March for you Shakespeare fans) and although I am on the downhill side of my 40s, I am looking forward to this movie and what are sure to be some amazing voiceover performances from these three incredibly talented people.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

In a missive from James Alburger and Penny Abshire, they share with us the following:

Meet the VOICE Headliners!

Susan Berkley - What a Great Voice!!

Friday Morning Keynote Speaker,Susan Berkley, is a top voice-over artist whose voice has sold millions of dollars worth of products and services on TV and radio commercials. She is the telephone voice of many Fortune 100 companies. Susan is CEO of Berkley Productions, Inc., a company that provides voice mastery training for aspiring voice artists, and well as performance coaching for business and sales professionals. She is the author of Speak to Influence - How to Unlock the Hidden Power of Your Voice. Visit The Great Voice Company to learn more about this dynamic lady! Susan is a master marketer and a darn good voice coach!!

Pat Fraley - Our Special Guest Star!

Keynote Speaker Monday Morning
Winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the Voicey Awards in 2008, Patrick Fraley has created voices for more than 4,000 characters, placing him among the top ten performers of all time to be cast in animation. Pat teaches 700+ students a year in events, workshops, and seminars on various aspects of voiceover. His unique character voice cirriculum is the only one accredited at the university level. He has taught voice for 35 years, is a member of the Voice and Speech Trainers of American and holds a Master's of Fine Arts degree in Professional Acting from Cornell University.

Pat Fraley is the "Voiceover King" of working outside the box! During his special guest appearance at VOICE 2008, he will reveal his "Secret Dialect System" created for voiceover. You'll be amazed at how Pat's dialect secrets will change the way you work with your characters! All that and even more. . . Pat is one of the nicest people we know!
Learn more at

Marc Cashman - Looking for a Muse!

Keynote Speaker on Sunday.
Marc Cashman is one of the few voice-acting instructors in the U.S. who is on "both sides of the glass"
as a Clio-winning Radio and TV commercial copywriter, producer, and casting director, and as a working voice actor. As a voice actor, he has been heard locally, regionally, nationally and internationally on radio, TV, film, documentaries, radio plays, video games and audio books. Marc has voiced thousands of commerials, dubbed foreign films, narrated dozens of audio books, and created the voices of many CD-Rom, online and video game characters. Oh, and did we mention. . . he's a really funny guy! Find out why at

We're very excited about the caliber of all the speakers who will be presenting at VOICE 2008. In the coming weeks you'll learn more about:

Beverly Bremers Warm up that Voice!
Bob Bergen The official Warner Brothers Voice of Porky Pig
Nancy Wolfson Brain Tracks
Richard Horvitz Character Crazies!
Steve Hudson (UK) Creator of the PSR Method
Randy Thomas Voice of The Academy Awards
Dan Balestrero Voice Over Mastery
Karly Rothenberg Improv Maddness
Julie Williams Voiceover Chocolate
Deb Munro (Canada) Winner of Best Female Voice 2008 Voicey Awards
Chris Allport Mastering Self-Direction
Raleigh Pinksey Shameless Self-Promotion
Gabrielle Nistico (Voice Hunters)
Lee Marshall The Voice of Tony the Tiger
Marc Graue Fix in the Mix
Joe Klein The Podcast VO Guy
Stefan Kinell (Sweden) VO with an international flair
MJ Lallo Characters that move!
Joyce Castellanos Promo and Trailer Expert

And even more big names will be announced as they get closer to the event!!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

O.T. - Am I working too hard??

This is way off-topic but I just had to share this.

I read an article recently about a woman by the name of Ailin Graef who created a character in an online game called Second Life. The character's name is Anshe Chung. Anshe / Ailin has become the world's first Virtual Millionaire while playing the game! Furthermore, it only took her 2 years to do it! Here is a link to the press release: Anshe Chung became the world's first Virtual World Millionaire.

I mean this is amazing! This is an early step toward "The Matrix" when we will all be living our lives in virtual worlds! It is also very exciting because the possibilities are endless.

Now I've been working my day job and trying to build my voiceover business over the last 2 years and I have yet to get anywhere near millionaire status, so now I'm wondering, should I stop working so hard . . . and start playing games?

Monday, March 03, 2008

Learning to Fish

I've been learning how to fish lately but so far, I haven't been able to land the big one.

I put the worm on the hook. There is some interest. I start getting a number of queries about voiceover work. Some interesting things are popping up for Spanish language voiceovers.

The fish start to nibble. I've responded to the queries and we start going back and forth. A couple of times, it looks like I'm going to book the job.

The fish are circling. I can see a dark shadow beneath the surface of the water. He looks HUGE! Man oh man I hope he bites!

There is a tremendous tug on the line! Oh baby I'm about to pull in a whopper! They ask if I can run into the New York City today! DRAT! I'm already booked for something else. Can I do it tomorrow?

Suddenly my line goes slack. The big one has gotten away. Man I hate that!

Truth be told, he wasn't that big, maybe just a Bluefish, but I wanted him, and I didn't get him.

But guess what. Tomorrow, I'll start all over again. I'll bait the hook, throw it in and see what bites. And if I get a great big tug on the line again, I'm going to finesse it gently, until I sink that hook in good and deep. I'm not going to let one get away that easily next time, that's for sure. And if he tries to get away, I'm going to fight him like a 300lb Marlin until I land that sucker and mount him on my wall.

Oh yes . . . it's just a matter of time.

Friday, February 15, 2008

V.O.I.C.E. 2008 Update

Well, James Alburger has confirmed that VOICE 2008 will in fact be happening this year in Los Angeles and has provided a short list of the speakers who have been confirmed to date. So far we have:

Here's a short list of some of our confirmed VOICE 2008 presenters:

Susan Berkley
Deb Munro (Canada)
Marc Cashman
Pat Fraley
Bob Bergen
Raleigh Pinsky (author of "101 Ways to Promote Yourself")
Marc Graue (Hollywood studio owner - Marc Graue Voice Over Recording Studios, Burbank. Los Angeles' Premiere Voice Over Studios with ISDN Voice Over Studios and More
Stefan Kinell (Sweden's top VO talent - international VO)
Randy Thomas (VO for Academy Awards for many years)
Chris Allport

So for those of you who were wondering, it's a go and it appears that it's gonna be a good'un!

For the latest updates and information, check out their site at

Monday, January 28, 2008

Casting begins for this season's "America's Got Talent"

Casting Call: Casting for NBC's America's Got Talent begins immediately in 13 cities: Orlando, Nashville, Charlotte, Houston, Las Vegas, Miami, New Orleans, Brandon, Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York and Chicago.

Producers are looking for specialty acts such as dance groups, opera singers, acrobats, impersonators, kids groups and more.

All talent who would like to audition should visit the website to register: - America's Got Talent - Casting.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

V.O.I.C.E. 2008

I hadn't heard from the organizers of the Voice Over International Creative Experience in a while and there was even some speculation that after a spectactular debut last year, there would be no follow up to the V.O.I.C.E conference. Well, it appears that those speculators were wrong. The "Official Announcement" for this years event landed in my mailbox a couple of days ago and I share the information here with you all. Here is a quote from the email . . .

VOICE 2007 was such an incredible event, you may be wondering how we plan to top the first event of its kind. But we can promise you that the 2008

VoiceOver International Creative Experience

Will be even more amazing!

You're not going to believe what (and who)is coming to VOICE 2008!
Check out our brand new website at

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The Entertainment Industry Expo

The Entertainment Industry Expo, billed as "the ultimate networking opportunity for anyone in or around the entertainment industry.", will take place Jan. 17 2008 at the Times Square Westin Hotel. It is FREE if you pre-register, or a $10 at the door.

Attendees will be given the chance to take part in casting calls, attend seminars and learn about new products or services that may advance their career.

Among the confirmed casting calls will be Telsey & Company, who handle casting for such notable Broadway shows as Wicked, Legally Blonde, Rent, Hairspray and The Color Purple, and MMG Model Management Group for all you model types.

In addition, many areas of the entertainment industry will be represented, including photographers, talent agencies, schools, casting directors, printing services, vocal coaches, casting websites, industry guilds and associations and many others.

Visit to pre-register.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Crappy Holidays

I hope you all had a wonderful Holiday season and I hope 2008 brings each of you the most incredible, unimaginable success ever!

As for my own Holiday season, well . . . let's just say, I'm glad it's over.

Here is something you may enjoy. These people have attained levels of success that I aspire to. I hope you find this inspirational.