Main

April 17, 2011

Neil Gaiman Audiobook Contest


Harper-Collins Publishers are sponsoring a contest to award a speaking role in the upcoming American Gods: 10th Anniversary Edition audiobook. The first round of finalists will be selected by user votes; I've thrown my hat into the ring and, apart from simply announcing the news, I'm rather shamelessly asking for your vote!

There are hundreds of entrants, so to hear my audition and cast a vote for me, just click here and do the following:

  1. Click the 'Vote' tab.
  2. Type "dhvoice" in the Search field and go.
  3. Vote!

Also, you can vote once a day, so I hope you'll return and give me a nod again. Thanks!

[ Yahoo! ] options

March 12, 2011

Getting Inside the Script


When presented with a VO script, it doesn't have to be Shakespeare to warrant bringing your best acting skills to the table. In my article Getting Started in Voiceovers, I pointed out: "Whether it's a ketchup commercial, an instructional tech video, or an animated Pixar blockbuster, the skills you need to bring to the mic are those of an actor."

Dan O'Day shares this clip of Christine Coyle demonstrating just what I referred to, teaching the kind of text analysis skills needed to get inside any script. (My friend Bob Souer is one of the participants.)

[ Yahoo! ] options

February 20, 2011

Getting Started: Another Take



Wondering what it takes to get started on the right path to a career in voiceovers?

I've gotten a lot of nice feedback on my article about getting one's feet wet in the voiceover biz. Voice actor Smith Harrison has written his own superb piece on the subject of getting started in voiceovers, so I recommend you add it to your reading list if you're interested in laying the groundwork.

[ Yahoo! ] options

January 08, 2011

Publicity, Pipes, and Perilous Thinking

So much has been written about Ted Williams in the last few days that this entry certainly appears late to the party. But, hey, this is still a voiceover blog, and the formerly-homeless baritone's story continues to unfold and gain steam.

Paul Strikwerda has written a piece on Williams sufficiently insightful and thought-provoking (and ultimately about far more than the man himself) to warrant a more dignified label than “blog post”, and I won't be attempting to top his efforts here. Nevertheless, here are a few thoughts.

After the story broke --- even before the subsequent media reports detailing Williams' less-than-angelic past emerged --- VO artists filled up boatloads of bandwidth with reactions ranging from effusive praise to grapes oh-so-sour. To that latter group, I say: debate over the various aspects of his story is fine. However, regardless of how one feels about his talent or whether he deserves the announcing jobs he's been offered, spending even a moment worrying about any voiceover career other than your own is to get on a speedy treadmill to nowhere.

After Williams was offered an announcing job by the Cleveland Cavaliers, it was supposed by some that he'd taken the place of an existing employee, who was probably cast aside callously so that the franchise could garner a share of the growing publicity. I'm confident that, were this the case, ESPN and other sports media outlets would be all over it like the fatigues sported by Williams in that first viral video. So far, I haven't seen any such reports.

For any still concerned that Williams may have unjustly taken (or, if you prefer, been granted) any jobs that might have gone to a “more deserving” VO artist --- ones equipped with an agent, a home studio, lots of C-notes spent on training and coaching --- consider something for a moment. It's already happening. It's been happening. It's going to continue to happen. “It”, of course, is the hiring of voice talents who might just not necessarily be ideal for the job. “It” occurs at all levels of the industry, from small-market radio to multimillion-dollar TV campaigns. These jobs were already being “taken” by others, and not for a moment did it ever mean that there wasn't still work to be had.

I say, hate neither the game nor the player. Embrace both and see what happens.

[ Yahoo! ] options

October 28, 2010

FaffCon2: Atlanta 2011!

The success of the first FaffCon event in Portland has led to FaffCon 2, coming to Atlanta in 2011. Early registration begins November 1st!

FaffCon is a voiceover "unconference"; instead of being locked in to seminar or workshop content dictated by others, you get to choose what aspect of voiceover work gets discussed/worked on/et cetera. Congrats to FaffCon's organizer, Amy Snively, on the success of the (un)conference!

[ Yahoo! ] options

October 01, 2010

A Top Tip Twofer from Philip Banks

In one fell swoop, international voiceoverist Philip Banks teaches you 1) how not to be a cinematographer AND 2) the elusive, magical secret to getting VO work.

[ Yahoo! ] options

August 04, 2010

Animation Nation: Nailing The VO Audition

(Hat-tip to voice actor Kyle Hebert for the link.)

In this Backstage.com article, award-winning casting director Sarah Noonan and animation voiceover actor Bob Bergen (the voice of hundreds of characters from Porky Pig to Luke Skywalker) offer tips on nailing your animation audition. Required reading for anyone with an interest in cartoon VO!

[ Yahoo! ] options

July 12, 2010

Peter Rofé on Analyzing Commercial Copy

Voice Talent Peter Rofé breaks down the art of analyzing commercial copy in this edition of the Voices.com Voiceover Experts Podcast series. Originally posted in 2007, it's a valuable resource for getting into the core of a commercial script.
[ Yahoo! ] options

March 24, 2010

Ninny or Ninja. You Choose.

We've all been there. Whether it's an acting audition, a presentation in front of a group of people, or any important task we want to (or have to) accomplish, all of us have confidently stepped forward only to fall firmly on our faces --- although, few of us have done it quite as firmly as actor/stuntman Mark Hicks. Observe:

If you didn't watch the clip, or even if you did, read on. You might know Hicks better by his unintended nickname "Afro Ninja". (I confess that I hadn't seen the astonishingly popular clip until the Current TV piece aired recently.) The great thing about Hicks' audition isn't that it inadvertently led to publicity and an indie film --- though those things certainly aren't bad for him --- it's that after the spectacular face-plant and subsequent crashing stumble, he got up, gave it another shot, and landed the gig. Few could have blamed him if, after the disaster, he'd left the audition while apologizing for wasting everyone's time. Instead, he managed to forget about the mistakes and deliver a performance that earned him the job.

This, naturally, is not to say that every producer or casting director will overlook mistakes of such dangerous magnitude. I'm sure some would have crossed him off the list no matter how superb a second try he turned in. But if he hadn't given it another shot, with all the confidence and skill he could muster, he'd never have known.

Remember this the next time you find yourself going blank or mangling words at an audition. If that guy was able to put that beginning out of his mind and start over, surely you can do the same. Probably without even smacking yourself in the face.

[ Yahoo! ] options

September 12, 2009

The James Bond Audition

Here's the audition that landed me the James Bond videogame gig back in 2007.

(In a nutshell, for those who may be new to this blog: In 2007, I got a gig to be a voice match for an unavailable Daniel Craig in what was to be a Casino Royale video game from Activision. The recording sessions were suddenly put on hold, after which I sat on ice for months before finally learning that Craig had agreed to voice the part after all. By that time, the game had become a tie-in for the following Bond film, Quantum of Solace.)

The audition itself isn't a perfect voice match, but I'm still happy that it was close enough to get the nod.

 

 

(If the Flash player doesn't work, you can download the mp3 here.)

[ Yahoo! ] options

June 21, 2009

"Land of the Lost" Audition

 

Land of the Lost (2009)
 

 

This past January, I auditioned for a voice role (Library Skull) in the Will Ferrell movie Land of the Lost. I didn't land the gig --- that honor went to voice actors Adam Behr and Daamen Krall --- but it was fun to give it a go.

Here's my original audition if you're interested. (mp3)

 

[ Yahoo! ] options

May 22, 2009

Press Release: Professional Voiceover Talent David Houston Signs with Ryan Artists Talent Agency

Professional voice over talent David Houston has agreed to be represented by Ryan Artists talent agency.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


May 22, 2009 – Professional voice over talent David Houston has agreed to be represented by Ryan Artists talent agency, it was announced today.

Ryan Artists, Inc., is the only full-service union-franchised talent agency in Oregon, operating in the Pacific Northwest since 1981. In addition to voice over, the agency represents models and actors in the areas of fashion, lifestyle, and on-camera, working with numerous regional and national clients in a variety of markets.

With this new partnership, Mr. Houston adds to his representation in Texas, California, Louisiana and New Mexico by The Atherton Group (TAG) Talent Agency.

"I'm excited to be partnering with Ryan Artists. Already having the strongest and most active representation in the South and West regions of the country with TAG, I wanted to expand my marketing and business opportunities to other areas as well", said Houston. "With Ryan, I can rest assured that my representation in the Northwest is being handled by top-notch professionals."

David Houston (davidhoustonvoice.com) is a voiceover artist, actor, and audio producer based in Austin, TX. He has been heard on numerous national TV and radio commercials, and also performs voiceovers for animation, corporate narrations, documentaries, broadcast voice imaging, audio books, podcasts and messaging on-hold (MOH). Houston was originally cast as the voice of James Bond in Activision's "Quantum of Solace" videogame. Also an on-camera actor, David Houston has appeared in episodes of the network TV series "Friday Night Lights", and will also appear in the upcoming feature films "Ex-Terminators" and "Temple Grandin".

Media Contacts:
David Houston, David Houston Voiceovers, 512.659.0013
Liz Atherton, The Atherton Group, 512.930.9301
Sarah Catherine Sorensen, Ryan Artists, Inc., 503.274.1005

# # #

Actor and voiceover artist in Austin, TX. Warm and rich baritone/tenor, pleasant yet authoritative; from friendly, smooth, and sophisticated, to commanding and powerful, to hip and upbeat; from Guy-Next-Door to Voice-of-God.

Companies like Activision, Dell, Callaway Golf and OmniTrader have chosen David Houston Voiceovers to voice their projects.

Other clients include: Saberex, Kinetic Concepts, Inc., Powered, Inc., Rove Mobile, KFLW-FM Radio


[ Yahoo! ] options

May 14, 2009

You're Doing It Wrong

 

 

 

Getting an agent to represent your voiceover career requires the following: talent, persistence, professionalism, and at least the ability to gain the slightest understanding of what a Voiceover Demo is.

Then again, this is just my opinion. Maybe you don't really need any of those things. In fact, if you're bereft of all four items, I urge you to plow forward regardless with all haste and fervor! Oh, you certainly won't land an agent, but you'll provide bloggers like me with plenty of compelling material.

By way of example, the fine folks at Voice Over Xtra bring you an e-mail transcript of a recent exchange between VO agent Roger King of PN Agency and "an aspiring voice talent". I won't spoil it, but let's just say that the latter description is probably a bit generous.

 

How NOT To Get An Agent

 

[ Yahoo! ] options

May 13, 2009

An Appeal to Voice Overists, by Philip Banks

Don't worry, he doesn't mean you.

On second thought: yes, he does.

[ Yahoo! ] options

April 30, 2009

Looking and Leaping Into Voiceover

Actress and author Deborah Puette gives an in-depth, first-hand look at taking the plunge into her first VO demo. Her work with producer/voice actor Ed Cunningham is also documented on video. Highly recommended!

(Courtesy of Backstage.com)

[ Yahoo! ] options

December 30, 2008

Voiceover Opportunites for the New Year

 

Report on the Voice Over Industry for 2009, from voices.com
 

 

David Ciccarelli of Voices.com has published Report on the Voice Over Industry : 2009, a comprehensive look at recent trends in media with an eye toward the upcoming effects --- and opportunities --- for the voiceover industry. It's a free PDF download, and it's highly recommended reading.

 

[ Yahoo! ] options

November 20, 2008

Notes from Berkley "No Auditions" Teleseminar

 

 

 

 

Susan Berkley's “Tons of Voice-overs Without Tons of Auditions” teleseminar earlier this evening --- referenced in yesterday's post --- featured some great tips, useful for novice as well as intermediate to advanced VO artists.

First of all, make no mistake: auditioning is a necessary part of the voice actor's professional life. The key is to remember that it should be only a part, and not the whole, of the search for jobs. I liked Susan's use of the term "slack adjusters" as one way of looking at auditions. The term comes from retail, in reference to big-ticket items that are expensive and don't fly off the shelves; however, just one sale of such an item can put a store in the black for that month. The problem is, no retail store can survive solely on that one big purchase, just as a voice artist can't afford to wait on landing that one magic job.

The focus, Susan drives home, should be on prospecting, marketing, and selling yourself. Instead of waiting for a buyer to pick you from among hundreds, seek out potential clients and make yourself the only choice when they need a VO. It's not as easy as staying on the audition treadmill, but it's far more rewarding.

Just to add my own $0.02: Landing a good agent --- you know, the one who sends you all those auditions --- isn't likely to happen in the first place unless you can convince them you're able to make money. Once you've got your own list of clients, having made yourself their choice, agents will look favorably on your pitches.

More information on Susan Berkley's upcoming seminars and classes at GreatVoice.com.

[ Yahoo! ] options