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!