Update on 2018
I wanted to take a pause from the “Tips and Advice” column that this blog has become, if I may, to write a little update about my success thus far in 2018.
On a personal note, I just bought a house and will go through the closing paperwork (i.e. get the keys) March 2nd. A lot of people are a bit surprised when I tell them that I am purchasing a house with my sister, but we find it economically the logical way to go. We’ve always been extremely close as children and as adults, we’ve rented a house together for over 5 years. We are best friends and share the same hobbies; who wouldn’t want to be around the person that makes them the happiest? And, if we are okay with the thought of living together, why waste money on monthly rent when we can invest in property? Should one of us ever marry, the other would at least have a house!
We are converting the Master Bedroom into a Media room, where we will house all of our gaming consoles and computers, as we are currently in the pre-production stages of starting a fun YouTube channel together. The Walk-In Master Closet is the size of a small bedroom and will become my new Home Studio. I’m not exaggerating when I say I can fit a recliner in one corner and my recording equipment in the other, with room to spare! I’m looking forward to the upgrade this will allow me.
Moving on to more relevant news, I had to make the tough decision to withdraw from a project that I had booked in September 2017. There were some difficulties on the client’s end that prolonged our discussions until January 2018, at which point I submitted 3 custom demos to nail down a voice. At first I was directed to send a British child’s voice, then an adult – undecided on an American or English accent, so I provided both – and finally, a third when they’d decided they wanted to merge two of my samples into one voice. I don’t say this to complain but to illustrate the red flags that I have picked up over the course of my young career. When a client is unsure of what they are looking for and chooses a voice based on the inflection of the words rather than the tonality of the sound, they will more than likely end up giving direction by Line Reading. Line Reading is fine for certain situations but in this case, I was sure they would request very particular and specific reads for all 200+ lines. When given the note “Use a British accent but still pronounce words like “Flag” as an American would”, one should be wary. I submitted the 3rd demo as promised but attached a note that I did not believe I was the best candidate for the role; they did not respond.
Every interaction is an opportunity for a learning experience and I do not regret speaking with them and listening to their feedback.
Now for the more positive news – I am the voice for the Cartoon Network (Latin America) Girl Power Month! I had my session with the director on Wednesday and that was a first for me for a few reasons:
(1) It was the first gig I’ve ever booked through an agent. Every other project I’ve gotten has been through a Pay-2-Play site or through Networking. One could argue the audition I landed through my vocal coach could count but since he was not the casting director nor my agent, I never considered that an Agent-booked gig.
(2) This will be my first TV Commercial. I’ve done several Radio Commercials but most of my work has been Online (Webseries or Website Commercials), Mobile App Games, or Internal Business Presentations/IVRs. While I will not be able to “see” myself, as I don’t believe these bumps will air on Cartoon Network America, it’s still an awesome achievement!
(3) This was my first Director-managed session I’ve ever done in my home studio.; I’ve been given direction before but always in an outside studio. It was oddly intimate, like inviting someone into my bedroom (no, my home studio is NOT in my bedroom) but after I got over the “am I making a good impression” phase, I absolutely loved it! Everything went off without a hitch – I had my software ready, so I just had to one-click to record, I used my phone as the stopwatch for the timed bumpers, and the Director was pleased that I was able to nail the voice he wanted based off of the description he provided in an email. He was absolutely lovely to work with; a perfect balance of positive reinforcement and honesty. Not to mention the scripts were super fun to read!
I received positive feedback and praise, so I am very hopeful that it will lead to more work with them in the future.
Overall, a great start to the New Year!