Wednesday, April 4, 2007

VOICE 2007

As you can imagine, I took many notes throughout VOICE 2007. We were provided a detailed book with notes from each presenter, but I chose to write everything in a separate notebook I purchased before boarding the plane to Vegas. The good news is that I finally got through enough laundry that I was able to get to this notebook in the bottom of my suitcase this morning! Here are a few of the things I wrote down…Now, these are not ‘quotes’ necessarily, this is my interpretation of what was said…

Rodney Saulsberry….Wednesday 9:15am

-When preparation meets opportunity, you get ‘luck’.
-Its not how you sound, its how you interpret the copy.
-Each line is its own entity when voicing a movie trailer.
-Lush technique- little breath of air at the end of each sentence of a movie trailer.
-Comedy means melody…with a smile.
-Positive Attitude…let it be your brand.
-Put together a good ‘team’…friends, coaches, agents, etc.

Rodney’s home studio consists of:
The Snowball Mic (USB-light sound)
416 Seinheiser

-Always have a positive slate.

(Thanks Rodney!)

Connie Terwilliger….Wednesday 11am…Self Evaluation

-Self Evaluation…what do you sound like? What is your potential? Where do you fit?
-Do you have what it takes? Talent, Business, Marketing, Technology?
-Know what you have to sell.
-Listen to all things voice over.
-TV requires fewer ‘notes’ than radio…radio requires melody and inflection.
-Read a long book into your mic…do you like it?
-Read this book over two days…does the audio match? Maybe you would be good at audio books.
-Know and analyze your competition.
-Spend time listening to professional demos…strive to better yourself.

(Connie’s session was fantastic- I recommend learning as much as you can from her!)

Frank Frederick…Wednesday 4pm…Love Notes Branding

-Your brand should have Familiarity, Seduction, Mysteriousness, EMOTIONS!
-When people think of the words voice actor- they should think of YOU!

(Thank you Frank…you are wonderful!)

Chris Wagner…Thursday 9am…Websites

I took over 4 pages of notes from Chris’s session. I will post them later…he was completely informative!

Pat Fraley…Thursday 10:45am

As you may or may not know, Pat is my mentor and my hero…

-Smile to avoid a ‘popped P’
-Make vowel sounds when ‘falling down stairs’- don’t say ‘oh, oh, oh’- say ‘ah, eh, oh, uh’…do a Heimlich on yourself!
-When slating you could shake the paper before saying the name of the character…edit the slate to your edited audition to make it sound live!
-Or have a professional studio say ‘we are rolling, go ahead’ to make it sound bigger and better!
-Never slate in character
-Always slate in character
-Series of 3…best choice, contrast, and best choice again…the 3rd take will be the blend of the first two and will be the keeper.
-Voice over is chess, not checkers- Interpret each line differently
-Disregard punctuation
-There are 8 ways to move around a mic for emphasis. Practice them.
-Make one sound each day you have never made before.
-Step out of the box, be different, have no fear!

James Alburger and Penny Abshire…Thursday 2pm…Psychology of voice Over

Please forgive me…James and Penny had such great notes in the book I didn’t take any on my own. They are so full of passion and life, true success stories!

Gregory Best…Friday 9am…Negotiate Your Best Fee

-Telephone negotiation is risky. You skip things, have bad math, and there are no visuals.
-Screen your calls…let them leave a message…call them back on your own terms.
-Don’t be pressured by ‘perceived’ deadlines.
-Everything is negotiable.
-Respect yourself, value your services, eliminate negative self-talk.
-Learn to say NO.
-Listen, don’t be thinking of your counterpoint while the other person is talking.
-Ask questions, learn!
-Have high aspirations, believe in your product.
-Make a list of questions you can use for every job…is the audio dry, what is the length, do I need to use an outside studio?? Etc.
-Be patient.
-Be flexible, look at things from both sides.
-Be willing to take risks…Be a problem solver.
-Be willing to walk away.
-It isn’t personal, its not about personality.
-Slow down, Be nice, Have style.
-Keep your ethics.
-Never accept the first offer!
-Never make the first concession.
-Ask what their budget is.

(Thanks Greg!)

Bettye Zoller…Friday 10:45 am…Audiobooks

Bettye was very interactive and hands-on…I loved her instantly! I took very few notes because most of it was on-mic practice.

-You are not selling…you are telling.
-Audiobook demos should be 4-5 minutes long
-Each cut should be 30-45 seconds.
-Vary the cuts from fiction, to non-fiction, to mystery, to dialogue, etc.
-If a script has dialogue, read in character!

MJ Lallo…Friday 2pm…Characters in Animation

Again, MJ was very hands-on, so it was almost all on-mic practice. I was very disappointed I wasn’t chosen to go on-mic during MJ's session. It was mostly by raffle drawing…the voice over gods were not in my favor :) I did learn so much from her though!

-Character demos should be all contrast.
-Do impressions on a separate demo, not on your character demo.
-Give each of your ‘voices’ a name…make them real.
-When negotiating fees, ask yourself- where is it going? Who will hear it? Is it a buyout? Then add $500, or whatever you feel is right.
-Non-union? Then go 20% below union fees, no more…don’t sell yourself short!

(Thanks MJ- I would kill to have private lessons with you!)

DB Cooper…Friday 3:45pm…Master of All Things Gaming!

DB is incredible. Her passion for gaming is inspiring. After her session- I wanted to voice even MORE games (than I already have). I also would love to play against her in a game…I would lose, but it would be FUN!

-If you want to voice video games, you have to play video games. Period.
-VO in games includes: intros, dialogue, explanations, and fighting/moving sounds.
-Let’s go blow some Sh1t up!

(Love me some Deirdre!)

I’m officially pooped…I will have more notes soon, especially those from Chris Wagner. He has inspired me to completely re-do my website…professionally! Chris, you will be hearing from me soon!

In the meantime- please click on the links below for Vox Daily and Bob Souer. Stephanie over at is writing much more detailed notes and reviews of each session, and Bob has some great stories from Vegas! Be sure to check the blogs of others that attended VOICE- there was SO much to learn and I‘m sure each of us took away something different!


Stephanie Ciccarelli said...

Hi Kara,

Thanks for the recap! I'm glad you had such a great time and took some notes.

It was lovely meeting you, and I can't wait until there is more time to "hang out" with you, too!

I also brought an additional notebook to write in for my own personal observations. Great minds think alike :)

Happy Easter,


Kara Edwards said...


Thank you for your comment! After seeing the notes you took, I think I'll keep my day job :) What fantastic work you did informing everyone of what we learned at VOICE! I've enjoyed reading your blog and strongly encourage everyone to check it out!

Happy Easter to you as well!