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Dec
14

‘Traxers On The Job, 11/18

FEAR THE BEARDS: for today’s W-T-Friday post, we thought we’d share a little ‘Traxer convergence from a few weeks back! According to DEVIN GLISCHINSKI:

“While wandering in early to my session today at One Union, I paused before crossing the street to allow a vehicle to pass. Much to my surprise, it was DAMIAN MARHEFKA! After quickly realizing that I was heading in for my session as he was heading out, we had to grab a photo. Turns out we missed LYNDA KLUCK who was there just before Damian! A Voicetrax takeover happened today! Best, DG”

As we’re fond of saying, those who work a lot WORK a lot because they work a LOT – and evidently, they bump into each other a lot too!

Devin & Damian


Nov
30

ARON PARKER goes to Beverly Hills!

TOP VOICE REPORT! We’ve been waiting to drop this little gem, and now that we’ve finalized Spring 2019 registration, the time seems right! Here now is TOP Voice Winner ARON PARKER and his week in LA, auditioning with the top voice-over talent agency in the country, DPN:

 

Aron Parker goes to Beverly Hills!

TOP VOICE REPORT! We’ve been waiting to drop this little gem, and now that we’ve finalized Spring 2019 registration, the time seems right! Here now is TOP Voice Winner ARON PARKER and his week in LA, auditioning with the top voice-over talent agency in the country, DPN:

Posted by Voicetrax SF on Friday, November 30, 2018


Nov
12

Let’s Make A Scene, ROUND THREE!

LET’S MAKE A SCENE: ROUND THREE! The latest episode in Voicetrax’s ground-breaking Let’s Make A Scene series has come to an exciting finish! Former ‘Traxer and On-camera/Promo guru CHOPPER BERNET ran this particular show, with one of the most comprehensive scene breakdown methods ever presented here! Chopper’s approach took everyone to the next level – and the disadvantage to that, of course, was making it an especially difficult task to narrow down to four finalists! But narrow down Chopper did, and now we congratulate VICKI BAUM, BRIDGET MAGUIRE-COLTON, AARON MINER, and STEPHANIE SHMUNES! These four will join SUSAN VLAHOS, CHRIS CIABURRO, RONI GALLIMORE, JULIE HANCOCK, FAYE JAIME, AMY LARSON, SCOTT KESSLER and CHUCK KOUROUKLIS for a thrilling conclusion in January’s Let’s Make A Scene finals! And thanks once more to all of you who brought such commitment to improving your voice-over craft by improving your acting. We’re so proud of every one of you!

 

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Oct
12

ATTACK OF THE HATCHIMALS!

ON HATCHIMALS AND THEIR LITTLE HATCHIBABIES: for today’s W-T-Friday posting, how about a Voicetrax take on a toy story! ‘Traxer RHIANNON BROGAN’S video is short and sweet, but it captures just exactly the kind of reaction you might have once you hear a toy coming to life with your voice! Rhiannon is featured on this newly released “Hatchibaby”, and ‘Traxer LAUREN KELLY can be heard on one of the more grown-up “Hatchimal” toys. That’s two toys in global release, as voiced by TWO of the Voicetrax “Triple Threat: Character” class winners… coincidence? You decide!

“It was really awesome working on the Hatchibabies project, and even more special to me as it was the first job I was hired for since signing with Stars. I auditioned last year for two characters and was surprised to learn that they hired me to do all 6 voices. Toys are a lot fun and 2 insanely important things with toy sessions are improv and physicalization. I also encountered some challenges along the way unique to toys, like making sure my gibberish sounded like English without it being actual English. I had to say “I love you” but not say “I love you” haha. It’s been an incredibly rewarding experience. Although I will say it’s pretty weird when your toy starts crying so you have to rock your little self to sleep…

Best,
Rhiannon”!

Rhi Bee, hatching her first agency booking…

ON HATCHIMALS AND THEIR LITTLE HATCHIBABIES: for today's W-T-Friday posting, how about a Voicetrax take on a toy story! 'Traxer RHIANNON BROGAN'S video is short and sweet, but it captures just exactly the kind of reaction you might have once you hear a toy coming to life with your voice! Rhiannon is featured on this newly released "Hatchibaby", and 'Traxer LAUREN KELLY can be heard on one of the more grown-up "Hatchimal" toys. That's two toys in global release, as voiced by TWO of the Voicetrax "Triple Threat: Character" class winners… coincidence? You decide!"It was really awesome working on the Hatchibabies project, and even more special to me as it was the first job I was hired for since signing with Stars. I auditioned last year for two characters and was surprised to learn that they hired me to do all 6 voices. Toys are a lot fun and 2 insanely important things with toy sessions are improv and physicalization. I also encountered some challenges along the way unique to toys, like making sure my gibberish sounded like English without it being actual English. I had to say “I love you” but not say “I love you” haha. It’s been an incredibly rewarding experience. Although I will say it’s pretty weird when your toy starts crying so you have to rock your little self to sleep…Best,Rhiannon"

Posted by Voicetrax SF on Friday, October 12, 2018


Oct
04

MATT MOY comes to town!

ALL-STAR ‘TRAXER ALUMNUS CRASHES THE PARTY! Little did the students of last weekend’s Glued To The Tube know that the guest director would call on an old ‘Traxer client for a visit! On-camera and voice actor MATTHEW MOY was all too happy to stop by on Sunday morning to share a few pearls of wisdom and show how they all traced right back to his training at Voicetrax! You may know Matt’s work as Lars on “Steven Universe”; you may even recognize him as Han Lee, the curmudgeonly restaurant owner from the “2 Broke Girls” TV series on CBS! But no matter how high he’s scaled the heights of success, Matt’s heart forever remains at Voicetrax. Don’t just take our word for it – watch the video below…

A visit from Matt Moy!

ALL-STAR ‘TRAXER ALUMNUS CRASHES THE PARTY! Little did the students of last weekend’s Glued To The Tube know that the guest director would call on an old 'Traxer client for a visit! On-camera and voice actor MATTHEW MOY was all too happy to stop by on Sunday morning to share a few pearls of wisdom and show how they all traced right back to his training at Voicetrax! You may know Matt’s work as Lars on “Steven Universe”; you may even recognize him as Han Lee, the curmudgeonly restaurant owner from the “2 Broke Girls” TV series on CBS! But no matter how high he’s scaled the heights of success, Matt’s heart forever remains at Voicetrax. Don’t just take our word for it – watch the video below…

Posted by Voicetrax SF on Thursday, October 4, 2018


Sep
28

When Opportunity Knocks…

OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS AGAIN, AND ANOTHER ‘TRAXER OPENS THE DOOR:

“I’ve been auditioning with (a Bay Area Agency) for the last 6 months, with little feedback. So when the homework for this class asked us to send in some audio files, I knew I wanted to treat them like I’d been treating all of my auditions to make sure that my process at home was not what was keeping me from booking. The first night with Sam reassured me that my process at home was great and that it was merely “Selection, not rejection” as the wall at Voicetrax says. Spending the day with (LA Agent) was the additional reassurance I needed that I was on the right track and precisely where I was meant to be. (The LA Agent) was fun and encouraging and I loved getting the “LA perspective” on what is “in” right now. (She) was so generous with her ideas for a second take or a redirect here or there and I was so glad that I could deliver in just one or two takes. My takeaways: Keep working, keep learning, be open for redirection and HAVE FUN!”

– BRIDGET MAGUIRE-COLTON

It’s just the nature of the business; agents represent so many performers that they rarely if ever give feedback on recorded home auditions. This is why the voice-acting m. o. is just to audition and move on, but Bridget went a little further than that. For “Invitational When Opportunity Knocks”, Voicetrax has LA Agents visit to provide their invaluable perspectives on the industry and show students where the competitive bar is set. And when Bridget got this LA Agent’s perspective on how she’s doing with her home recording, the answer was NOT TOO BAD – well enough in fact that this agent wants to hear more from her after class. By working hard and staying positive, Bridget is now reading on a trial basis for Aperture Talent in LA… and we have to admit, seeing that kind of payoff NEVER gets old around here!

Opp Knox graphic


Sep
21

Crazy Enough?

Not to get political (though this IS Northern California), but much as we love to celebrate our students, there also some occasions where we just have to celebrate one of our all-star Guest Directors – and WHAT A STORY we’ve got for you today! The director who flew from LA to New York to direct Colin Kaepernick on Nike’s latest “Just do it” ads was none other than our own JEFF HOWELL! As Jeff says on his Facebook feed, “Many thanks to my friend Jill Kershaw for recommending me as the VO director for these Nike spots. All I can say is that Colin was great to work with and the whole experience was incredibly surreal. This is definitely a directing job that I will not forget!”

We’re linking the video below, because not only is the message universal and exquisitely executed, it also just happens to line right up with concepts we hammer over and over at Voicetrax. “So don’t ask if your dreams are crazy… ask if they’re crazy enough.” We love that one! And if you’ve been with us any length of time, you know exactly why…


Sep
11

Let’s Make A Scene, ROUND TWO…

LET’S MAKE A SCENE: THE SAGA CONTINUES… take a new Guest Director and a fresh round of scene-studying actors, and what do you get? The next episode in Voicetrax’s ground-breaking Let’s Make A Scene series! On-camera/animation veteran JEANNIE ELIAS took the reins this weekend, helping a new group of students shape a scene through monologues she helped them choose – and surprise, surprise, just like first class, everyone was brilliant enough to make the finalist selection a real pain for Jeannie! But the verdict is now in, so please join us in congratulating the four finalist actors from this round: SUSAN VLAHOS, CHRIS CIABURRO, RONI GALLIMORE and JULIE HANCOCK! And thanks once again to all participants for dedicating yourself to improving your skills and expanding your versatility. The better your acting is, the better your VOICE-acting will be… and we CAN’T WAIT to see what November’s Let’s Make A Scene will bring!

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Aug
31

You never know…

ADVENTURES IN VOICE MATCH-MAKING: for today’s W-T-Friday post, how about a round of applause for ‘Traxer MICHAEL STECHER! From work done in a Voicetrax class years ago, Michael found himself getting THAT CLOSE to pinch-hitting for Patrick Warburton! Here’s a little briefing we got from Disney/Miyazaki Voice Caster and Guest Director NED LOTT:

“Hi Sam and Voicetrax Staff,

This month, I have been a part of a casting for a sound-a-like of the character KRONK, originally voiced by Patrick Warburton, from the Disney Animated Feature, Emperor’s New Groove.

When Voicetrax offered “SOUND-A-LIKE SAVVY” a few years ago, one of the voices Michael Stecher prepared was that of KRONK. I told him at that time that it was a very good match, and to keep working on it as the day could come where Patrick Warburton could pass on a job.

And sure enough, this month, Patrick has passed on a project using that voice. So remembering Michael’s strong match from that class, I was able to include him in the Disney casting where he made it past the first round where he was competing against strong sound-a-like actors including Patrick’s own son.

Disney has now chosen a finalist that was a different actor, but I wanted to let you know how proud I am of Michael for his preparation and professionality of the process and for getting so far.

This is the second sound-a-like from Voicetrax making it past the first round, after Vicki Baum did it a few years ago for Helena Bonham Carter’s RED from Lone Ranger.

Thank you for offering that class…

All the best,

–Ned”

Thanks, Ned! And Michael, KEEP AT IT – the beautiful thing about voice-acting is that one “close” after another eventually gets you the cigar!

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Aug
27

The Ultimate TRIPLE THREAT

DATELINE SAUSALITO: The Voicetrax TRIPLE THREAT WINNER is revealed! Three classes in three voice-over genres with three Guest Director judges apiece, and it’s all come down to this: Finalists slalomed their way through live performances, group direction exercises and self-direction exercises to determine the SUPREME TRIPLE THREAT! Were there any surprises? Watch the video below to find out…

Triple Threat FINALS

DATELINE SAUSALITO: The Voicetrax TRIPLE THREAT WINNER is revealed! Three classes in three voice-over genres with three Guest Director judges apiece, and it's all come down to this: Finalists slalomed their way through live performances, group direction exercises and self-direction exercises to determine the SUPREME TRIPLE THREAT! Were there any surprises? Watch the video below to find out…

Posted by Voicetrax SF on Monday, August 27, 2018


Aug
20

UNMASKED again with PETER COYOTE!

WHAT’S MORE EXCLUSIVE THAN A CLASS WITH PETER COYOTE? How about Peter Coyote teaching with an exclusive technique? For Invitational Unmasking Your Infinite Potential: Scene Study Edition, Peter broke out his trademark masks – this time, for work in short scenes. And the results were just astonishing, giving actors immediate access to personas they’d never considered before! The effect is so phenomenal that Peter has written an entire book on the subject… but don’t just take our word for it:

“Mask work is a powerful means for tapping into character. In the mask workshop I met Marla and Veronica, two characters unlike me and unlike each other. I felt I knew them but they were also revealing themselves to me as we worked. Dear Marla assisted me a few days later in an on-camera audition class. She helped me get right where I needed to be at the top of the scene in both physicality and personality. I hope to be able to do more mask work in the future.”

– Amy Larson

“I hate improv… when forced to do it, I get anxious and “in my head”. I had never worked with masks but when I simply put one on and looked at my image in a mirror, a body movement came to me… after I employed that movement and my body registered the effect, it was as if I had suddenly stabilized on a surfboard… I hid behind the mask, became the character I had just instantly created with the body movement and just sort of flowed. It was really nice for me because it’s the first time I’ve ever gotten anything out of improv and I can totally use this technique to help my character development in the future… actually, already purchased my own mask for that very purpose!”

~ Keith Conti

“Peter was able to demonstrate how our perceptions of self get in the way of our ancient, instinctive knowledge about the character we are bringing to life, and wearing a blank mask allowed that knowledge to come out, and improve my acting and character development. The mask also reveals how we “wear” a mask every day, our own face, and what that unconsciously communicates to those we encounter. By considering what our mask is, we change all of our body language, and therein lies the key to freeing our infinite potential. A profound lesson for acting, and everyday living.”

~ Michael Stecher

“…Peter’s approach is fresh, exciting, and very compatible with both Meisner and Practical Aesthetics, as well as all the training I’ve gotten at Voicetrax.. As Peter promised it would, the mask exercise completely liberated me from my self-concept, and made it possible for me to simply be another person–instantly! In the week since class, I’ve ordered some neutral masks from Amazon… I’ve been working on a new monologue for another Voicetrax class, and I plan to use masks (when they arrive) to experiment with performing the monologue through different characters. Thank you, Peter Coyote–the class is aptly named because I do feel infinite!”
~Shannon Kealey

“Upon donning the mask, the Self evaporates, and one becomes a tabula rasa, an “original face” – both nothing and potentially anything – forging ahead in the moment on gut instincts alone with a beginners mind’s sense of curiosity and exploration.”
~Sean Cain

“Once again, I loved Peter’s class. My experience with the masks was just as amazing as last year — perhaps more so, since this time, I trusted that a character would just appear… I also found the exercise assuming different postures very helpful this time around. I liked that we tried the postures in both an exaggerated and a more pulled-back mode. I was fascinated to feel the often subtle differences between exaggerated and pulled-back, as well as to hear the different reactions of my classmates. More than ever before, I feel that I have become much more aware, on a sort of cellular level, of how many “selves” live inside me and how accessible they are. I have been experimenting with reading audition scripts in the voices of several different characters (and in different postures) before I use my “own” voice, and I think it is really waking up my takes.

Peter’s wisdom and humor made the whole day a joy. How lovely to get to have such a good time while learning so much!”
~Nina Greeley

“You’re not who think you are”, is what’s stuck with me most since the class. I suppose you could rephrase that to ‘you’re a hell of a lot more than you’re aware’. There is something magical with mask and the mirror – a gate opened to the subconscious and a welcomed break from day to day self-critiques, limiting assessments & various identity crises. It’s a break I don’t often realize is available. I think Peter’s emphasis here is valuable to any open minded individual in any walk of life, but particularly so with actors. As adults, we’ve interacted with so many different people over the years – all impressing & accumulating some amount of human data into our minds. The mask work somehow summons characters from the stew, seemingly at random but often with fantastic specificity. I also found that afterwards, I felt much more balance, energy, optimism and curiosity. I should really start meditating!

Thanks so much Peter!”
~David Gast

Unmasking Inf Potential


Aug
13

Let’s Make A Scene, ROUND ONE…

FOR ONCE, WE GET TO MAKE A SCENE! We’d like to thank all participants in Voicetrax’s inaugural “Lets’ Make A Scene” for making class with director FRANK COPPOLA such a success! As Frank said, the main objective was to make everyone a better actor – and we think there’s no disagreement the mission was accomplished on that objective!

Far tougher to determine were the students who made the most notable progress from where they started, and this is what Frank had to ponder for a while. But the verdict is now in:

“Hi All,

Working with all of you during our four weeks together has been an extremely rewarding experience for me – and I hope for you too.

As I said on our first night together, the progress you make in the class will be your best takeaway from Let’s Make A Scene. Well, every one of you made significant progress in building performance confidence, developing on-stage presence, developing a character, committing to a character, committing to tasks/intentions and unleashing emotions in front of an audience. And yes, learning all those #*$%+^# lines.

The four actors to go to the finals are: Faye Jaime, Scott Kessler, Chuck Kourouklis, and Amy Larson.

Narrowing my decision down to four has been a very difficult decision to make.
You are all terrific and I enjoyed working with every one of you.”

Many thanks to Frank for setting such a creative and successful tone for the series, and congratulations to the finalists! But most of all, thanks to every one of you for bringing your commitment and focus to this class. You’ve made us very proud!

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Aug
09

BEYON’ THE MIC…

by Samantha Paris

To riff off that Shakira hit song, “My Hips Don’t Lie”, the lips may try to lie but they won’t be able to get away with it if a microphone is involved.

Even after more than forty-something years of voice acting, and thirty years of teaching, it never ceases to amaze me how that simple piece of hardware known as a “mic” can ferret out the truth as well as any lie detector ever could. That mic picks up absolutely ev-er-y-thing in the voice, and can sniff out inauthenticty like a airport K-9 hound detects all things illicit.

The mic magnifies the fact that people can only sound authentic when they truly mean what they are saying. But you cannot truly mean what you are saying if you don’t even understand the full measure of what you are saying.

The voice actor’s quest for authenticity begins with tapping into the truth that lies within every script and connecting with your own powers of imagination, empathy and expression to deliver on it. These skills can be taught and developed like the aptitudes required for many types of professions.

As my Voicetrax students will readily tell you, the real work of a voice actor begins well before you ever draw a breath and move your lips to utter a syllable. The “heavy lifting” takes place between your ears…that means diligently analyzing a script, seeking out and absorbing the true meaning in every word of every line of copy, and reading between those lines in search of that all-important hidden “bunny” that lies in just about every script (and situation in life).

So what does Finding the Bunny mean?

This challenging yet satisfying process is revealed in my memoir, Finding the Bunny (Voice Haven Productions, 2018) in a scene borrowed from an actual Script Analysis class at Voicetrax. Here’s an excerpt, from a point in the story when I explain the genesis of the principle:

“….when I first started studying voice-over all those years ago, I knew that because I didn’t have an amazing voice, I was going to have to do something different to stand out from all the other actors. I was going to have to act better than anyone. Period. I knew my job would be to really bring the writers’ words to life; to see everything in the copy that each writer intended and, sometimes, see even more! So that’s what I did. And I made a career out of it. On countless occasions, I was told by producers that I was cast because my interpretation was better than anyone else’s. I really took pride in that. It felt good knowing that I booked jobs because I had a brain; because I could act and I didn’t just have a pretty voice.”

I continue on, later explaining:

“I was the middle child. My siblings and I are each three years apart. There is my younger sister, Lori; then me; and then my older brother, Larry. Before my parents’ divorce, my brother was about eleven-ish and I was eight-ish. My father used to subscribe to Playboy.”

I look around the room. “For the articles, right?” Everyone laughs.

“My brother was allowed to take out the centerfolds, and he had Miss January through Miss December plastered on his bedroom walls. Larry taught me that on the cover of the magazine, there was always a small Playboy bunny hidden somewhere. You know, their logo, with the big ears and all. Larry would test me to see if I could find it, and sometimes I would spend what seemed like hours staring at the cover, trying to find the bunny. I loved it when I found one! So, what’s my point? I started to learn voice-over when I was fifteen years old. I didn’t have a lot of life experience to use. So, looking at my scripts back then and knowing I didn’t have a special voice, I knew I had to try to see as much as I could in the copy. In other words, I was looking for the bunny.”

This simple yet profound idea has significantly influenced my life’s work. It’s so rewarding to share this concept with aspiring and working voice actors and non-voice actors alike, since nearly every script known to mankind has a hidden bunny just waiting to be discovered, and metaphorically, so does every situation in life.

So, where’s the “bunny” in your life?

Samantha Paris is the author of “Finding the Bunny – The secrets of America’s most influential and invisible art revealed through the struggles of one woman’s journey”, with the foreword by Peter Coyote (Voice Haven Productions, Sausalito, CA, 2018). Visit:

www.findingthebunny.com

The book is available in print and e-book. If you’ve already enjoyed “Finding the Bunny”, we invite you to leave a review on GoodReads and/or Amazon. If you have a question for the author, contact: findingthebunny@gmail.com


Aug
07

Working with TASIA VALENZA…

Getting it all OFF THE PAGE: another gorgeous weekend in Sausalito, another whirlwind session of “Off The Page” with LA screen and voice-acting veteran TASIA VALENZA! We say it all the time; the only way to take somebody else’s words and make them feel genuine and alive – to get them “off the page” – is to ACT them! And Tasia has a very special capacity to bring out your brilliance with some of the least “actable” scripts out there! Just ask a student or two…

“Off The Page with Tasia was all about connection. She helped us connect the myriad of roles we play in our everyday lives with the personas we create for our voiceover performances. She helped us connect with each script, guiding us to speak to a specific person in order to infuse our performance with authenticity. She helped us connect with her, and with one another, in a dynamic and safe space. After a class with Tasia, no one departs as strangers.”

– Heather Orosco

“Tasia was fantastic, and pulled out of us … more of us, than we realized we had to offer. She created a safe platform for us to explore our different facets that we can bring to the table, while helping us really connect to each script. She held us to a high standard of authenticity, while calling up our multi-colored uniqueness.”

– Laura Oglesby

“I thought Tasia’s workshop was awesome! She did a “roles” exercise on Saturday, where we listed on a worksheet all the various roles we play in our lives. She asked us which one of these “roles” we take into the booth. It was very helpful! I also loved the affirmation meditation she started with on Sunday; it set a great tone for the day. Tasia really drove the point home that we have to be talking to “someone” and suggested that we put up a mirror in our booths. She would often stand on the side of the booth glass talking to us as we performed, which instantly changed and improved our reads. We performed so many scripts, had a lot of booth time and received great feedback and things to work on each time. Her attention to detail and time she spent on us was so great.”

– Ning Recio

Feeling a little sorry you missed it all? Not to worry – a little birdie tells us Tasia might just be back in the Spring!

Off The Page pic


Aug
03

‘Traxers On The Job, 8/3/18

THE MORE THINGS CHANGE… the more ‘Traxers converge on a voice-over project? “Change” was the theme for an in-house training narration requiring several different voices – seven, to be precise, of whom we personally know six: DIANA CHEN, ALLISON DUFTY, DEVIN GLISCHINSKI, JIM MCKENZIE, GEOFF COLTON, and CHUCK KOUROUKLIS! And while change may be enough of an issue to require training in the corporate world, there are a couple things that never change:

1) Dedicate yourself to your craft and the rewards will come, and
2) As fun as those rewards are, it’s even MORE fun to share that success with your Voicetrax pals!

CONGRATULATIONS to everyone involved!

Chuck & Diana


Jul
24

Opportunity Knocking In July…

“INVITATIONAL WHEN OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS”: THE VERDICT IS IN…

“Holy f@(%ernutters! (You can edit that part) [we did]

Today I woke up like a regular Joe, getting ready to do my daily grind of auditioning bad scripts from Voice123, when I got a notice of an incoming email. When I saw the name Brandie Ilsen out of the corner of my eye, my heart jumped out of my chest. I left what I was doing to read the email ASAP and almost lost it. Brandie extended me an offer of trial representation to Aperture Talent Agency in LA. I couldn’t email YES fast enough. For the next 2 hours I shared the news with friends, family and now I’m sharing it with you. My VO family. I am so happy and grateful for all of you. I’ve done some pretty cool things in my life, been fortunate to have some amazing things happen, and this…well it’s right up there. This is amazing.

Much love to you Sam, and of course Vicki, Chuck and Roni. To all the great teachers I’ve experienced in these past 4 years. To all my classmates, If you haven’t yet, I hope you too get to experience this feeling. It’s pretty frickin’, hella, wicked, off the charts cool!

Blessings!”

– TOM SAWYER

“Dear Sam,

I LOVE YOU!

Thank you for believing in me and working with me to make my lifelong dreams come true. One step at a time!!!”

– DIANE HAYES

We hate to throw Diane under the bus – especially after admiring her photography skills – but in the excitement of the weekend, she was heard to say a voice-acting career seemed like a pipe dream. And If “Invitational When Opportunity Knocks” proves anything, it’s that there’s no such thing as a “pipe dream” at Voicetrax! We have LA Agents visit to provide their invaluable perspectives on the industry and show students where the competitive bar is set; but every so often, those agents are impressed enough with certain students that they want to hear MORE from them after class! Such was the case not only with Diane and Tom, but also with LYNDA KLUCK and DIANA HAVEN too, who are all now reading on a trial basis for Aperture Talent in LA! And what do all four of these ‘Traxers have in common? They’ve ALL been busting their humps to be the best, most competitive voice actors they can be. Just goes to show – hard work and determination move dreams to REALITY, ain’t no “pipe” about it!

Diane Hayes cocktail


Jul
20

Our Little Giant

Dearest Voicetrax Students:

Many of you have met OLLIE… but for those of you who haven’t, let us tell you about this Yorkie with the heart of a tiger, the Voicetrax Mascot, our class therapy mate, a rocket-powered ball of love and sparkling personality; the neighborhood terror of rose-raiding deer and raccoon alike, gleefully unburdened by any sort of survival instinct, ever overjoyed to greet you and show you his cool new scar. But as is the way of nature, his flesh has come to such a state over more than 13 years that it can no longer contain his undiminished spirit.

Ollie did so much more than live well and hard. He’d crap-talk a little on first meeting you, but once he was in your corner, he’d be there to ease your performance nerves and break the tension at just the right moments. He wasn’t just a source of comfort, unending amusement, and possibly even intentional support; he was as perfect an embodiment of the Voicetrax spirit as anyone with four legs could be. And as we face an unaccustomed silence in home and classroom, we can’t think of anyone who’s better earned his rest and a transition to something new.

So good night, sweet prince – we know you’ll bring down that buck once and for all when you awake.

Ollie and his cigar


Jul
02

Triple Threat FINALISTS

THREE DAYS HAVE PASSED – and NOW, just in time to rescue your mouse from all that clicking to refresh your browser, we’re rounding out the roster for the TRIPLE THREAT FINALS on August 25! You may recall MICHAEL RANKINS, the Triple Threat nominated by all three Guest Directors from the Commercial Edition… RHIANNON BROGAN, the Narration Edition Triple Threat AND with LAUREN KELLY and VICKI BAUM, one of the “Threedom Fighters” from the Character Edition… all four of whom automatically advance to the Finals round! And now, because they were nominated by at least one or two directors, we bring you the rest of the TRIPLE THREAT FINALIST FIELD: MICHAEL BARNES, GREG EDMUNDS, KEITH HOUSTON, SCOTT KESSLER, NANCY MIDLIN, JULIE MOYLAN, SUSAN NORMAN, MICHAEL STECHER, and CYNTHIA WALLACE! These final 13 students, now in a fresh, level playing field, will compete in a free class taught by Samantha on August 25th where someone will be crowned the “2018 Triple Threat Winner!” And the prize? THREE FREE CLASSES in the up-coming 2019 season! It’s just one more way Voicetrax pays tribute to all you wonderful students for all your dedication and hard work. Hmm…what will our fortieth anniversary bring? Four free classes??? Guess you’ll really have to stay tuned!

TT Finalists graphic


Jun
29

The TRIPLE THREAT SERIES continues…

WELL, WELL, WELL, did we say something about the POWER OF THREE? We might go on about how clever and prescient we were with that if we weren’t so modest, but our little prophecy paid off in a BIG way this last weekend! For the first time, we have THREE WINNERS in one of our TRIPLE THREAT SERIES classes: LAUREN KELLY, RHIANNON BROGAN, and VICKI BAUM! These are the three performers who were selected by all THREE Guest Directors – animation and video game luminaries TOWNSEND COLEMAN, DAVE FENNOY and BRIAN SOMMER – as the top performers in the Character Edition of Triple Threat, and they get a FREE private lesson with Samantha to celebrate! Today’s the day to celebrate this Voicetrax Triumfeminate, but after three decades of operation, cliffhangers are how we roll! So in THREE DAYS we’re rolling out the remaining qualifiers for the FREE FINALS round in August – all competing for the grand prize of THREE FREE CLASSES!

Triple Threat students graphic


Jun
26

The Demo has landed!

OPERATION DEMO DELIVERY: last week we showed you a piece of the demo recording process with Julie Hancock. Today, DIANE HAYES is letting everybody in on the excitement of hearing the FINISHED PRODUCT for the first time! Diane thanked us for the “realization of her dream”, but make no mistake – she worked very hard to get to this point, and that’s why we’re so proud of her and pleased to share the moment that follows below…

Diane Hayes' DEMO is in!

OPERATION DEMO DELIVERY: last week we showed you a piece of the demo recording process with Julie Hancock. Today, DIANE HAYES is letting everybody in on the excitement of hearing the FINISHED PRODUCT for the first time! Diane thanked us for the "realization of her dream", but make no mistake – she worked very hard to get to this point, and that's why we're so proud of her and pleased to share the moment that follows below…

Posted by Voicetrax SF on Tuesday, June 26, 2018


Jun
22

Demo time!

CONGRATULATIONS, JULIE HANCOCK! Not only are we SO proud of Julie reaching this stage after all the work she’s put into honing her voice acting skills, we’re also proud of the SUPPORT we can count on from one student to another – JONATHAN FORTIN was all too delighted to participate in a dialogue with Julie. We so appreciate the communal love among our Voicetrax Community – and we can’t wait to see Julie’s career take off! Trust us, she’s got BIG THINGS in store…

Julie H


Jun
20

A “Fantastick” result…

NEW from the “IT’S ALL ACTING” FILES: like so many ‘Traxers, STEWART SLATER went into MELISSA GRAY’S “Invitational Actor Narrator: The Sequel” to hone his narration skills. Little did “the very astute and gifted” Stewart know, though, that he’d impress Melissa to the point of insisting that he take on his first theater audition in 40 years – and he landed a role in “The Fantasticks!” As his performance wraps up this Friday and Saturday at the Shelton theater, we’d like to offer Stewart a hearty congratulations! It just goes to show – put your sweat and soul into chasing a dream, and you never know where it might lead you…

Fantastiks


Jun
12

‘Traxers On The Job, 6/18

From the ‘TRAXER REUNION FILES: “What, you two KNOW each other?” The latest pair to prompt this question were ‘Traxers LYNDA KLUCK and AARON MINER for OPENDOOR HOMES at Tom Disher Recording and Sound in San Francisco! Not long after Aaron replied “oh yeah, this is gonna be a BLAST”, he and Lynda settled straight into the pro mode both of them are so familiar with – and apparently, they had a pretty classic face-off with the surprise disclaimer popped on them at the end! We’ll let Lynda and Aaron take it over:

“Who did I run into today? None other than the amazing Aaron Minor! It’s a shame we didn’t record our “disclaimer voice-off”.”

“Wanted to share the fun times Lynda and I had doing a dialogue radio spot for Opendoor. It’s so much fun running into fellow Voicetrax students in a session. Everything becomes more relaxed and the vibe just feels as if we are in a class exercise. We killed it as per usual and left feeling pretty satisfied and grateful for the amazing training :)”

Congrats you two! We can’t wait to hear about your next pro “exercise” together!

Aaron & Lynda


Jun
04

Scripts only an advertiser could love

WE BARELY SURVIVED… It’s tough enough if you’re a STUDENT of Copy 911: Turning Disastrous Into Fabulous. You have to endure three weeks of doing your level best dragging some pretty incompetent commercial scripts back from nearly dead through the brute force of your script analysis and a good performance. But this latest group got their revenge in week four, when each student had to write a toenail fungus treatment script! And even with the all-new twist of having to perform your own script at the last minute, judging those performances was flat-out MURDEROUS – because those scripts were so astonishingly CLEVER this time! Geez, do we go with the obnoxious domestic scene, the interplanetary surfer dude, or the Will And Grace-style send–up? Isn’t this supposed to be a BAD copy class? Well this group must know something a few “pros” don’t, and after we wavered back and forth between the top two for what seemed like hours, a winner emerged and the foot powder finally settled: EMIKO SUSILO provided something witty and solid enough for COOPER GELHAUS, DONNA CURRY, and yes, Emiko herself to bring to life. Emiko gets a free private with Sam – but EVERYBODY sharpened their acting! Because after this class, performing any halfway–decent script is a piece of cake!

soundwave


May
25

From Singapore with love

PRESENTING THE LATEST WINNER OF THE VOICETRAX LONG DISTANCE AWARD! Gamers are a special breed as it is – but just how interested can a gamer be in an interactive story line, and how far might he go to meet his favorite actor in the title? How about ALL THE WAY FROM SINGAPORE! Voicetrax Guest Director DAVE FENNOY left such an impression as “Lee Everett” in Telltale’s “The Walking Dead”, that gaming enthusiast SAMUEL KUMAR was willing to brave the trip from quite literally halfway around the world – just to take a beginning class at the same place Dave himself started as a voice actor! Samantha and crew, so delighted to have Samuel aboard, made absolutely certain his efforts reaped proper rewards. And as we wish you a very happy Memorial Day weekend, we hope you’ll enjoy the video below!

Samuel Kumar Visits Voicetrax…

PRESENTING THE LATEST WINNER OF THE VOICETRAX LONG DISTANCE AWARD! Gamers are a special breed as it is – but just how interested can a gamer be in an interactive story line, and how far might he go to meet his favorite actor in the title? How about ALL THE WAY FROM SINGAPORE! Voicetrax Guest Director DAVE FENNOY left such an impression as "Lee Everett" in Telltale's "The Walking Dead", that gaming enthusiast SAMUEL KUMAR was willing to brave the trip from quite literally halfway around the world – just to take a beginning class at the same place Dave himself started as a voice actor! Samantha and crew, so delighted to have Samuel aboard, made absolutely certain his efforts reaped proper rewards. And as we wish you a very happy Memorial Day weekend, we hope you'll enjoy the video below!

Posted by Voicetrax SF on Friday, May 25, 2018


May
22

So you want a free private lesson?

From the “THEY DID WHAT??” files: So, what does it take to win a free private lesson from Samantha? It’s usually just as simple as a completely competitive, national-caliber, almost-certain-to-BOOK-the-job audition, ON THE FIRST TRY, please – suuure, easy peasy, right? Now how often do you suppose something like this happens in a student’s second or third class at Voicetrax? You might be surprised… just watch this video below:

Private Lesson Winners!

From the “THEY DID WHAT??” files: So, what does it take to win a free private lesson from Samantha? It’s usually just as simple as a completely competitive, national-caliber, almost-certain-to-BOOK-the-job audition, ON THE FIRST TRY, please – suuure, easy peasy, right? Now how often do you suppose something like this happens in a student’s second or third class at Voicetrax? You might be surprised… just watch this video below:

Posted by Voicetrax SF on Tuesday, May 22, 2018


May
14

“Just like Samantha always said! (who knew?)”

BREAKING from the “WOW, IT’S JUST LIKE VOICETRAX SAID IT WOULD BE!” files: some sweet, hard-earned payoff is now finding its way to ‘Traxer DIANA HAVEN! Diana’s always had a head for business and the persistence it takes to succeed – and now that she’s steered that same determination and discipline into her voice acting craft, her corporate narration bookings are picking up steam! The story of her latest work with LinkedIn:

“Super excited to share the news that LinkedIn brought me on board to narrate the video introducing the company’s Economic Graph for a conference presentation yesterday, plus their website!

This is the second gig I’ve landed with Stars this year. The first was narrating a virtual reality experience for CA Technologies. I didn’t get to see the final product, unfortunately, but I’m the voice people hear when they put on a Google Cardboard (virtual reality headset) that CA is sending their customers.

In both cases, I truly couldn’t have felt more prepared entering the studio, or working with engineers, producers and directors. Voicetrax really set me up for success, and I couldn’t be more grateful for what I’ve learned over the past three-and-a-half-years.

Thank you!�Cheers, Diana”

And thank you for reminder, Diana: people who work a lot WORK a lot because they work a LOT!


May
11

A Dunne deal in Narration

OOPS, THEY’VE DUNNE IT AGAIN! We get so many ‘Traxer bookings with Guest Director/Audio Tour Guru PETER DUNNE that we actually find ourselves trying to space them out a bit on our Facebook feed, and the time seems ripe for another piece of audio tour booking news! So the next time you’re at the Smithsonian in DC at the American History wing, and you hear a sleepy cat on one of the children’s audio tours, that’ll be none other than KEITH HOUSTON! The kitty himself takes it from here:

“Hi all, I booked my first audio narration tour through the great Peter Dunne, for the freakin’ Smithsonian Museum of American History! The best part is that it is for an interactive experience for pre-school aged kids, where I get to play a very friendly, and very sleepy, cat named Nip! I received direction from the client not to be ‘too Nickelodeon in delivery’, and ‘basically be Mr. Rogers as a small kitten’, which was the purr-fect direction that helped me nail the feel of the character. Too bad there isn’t video of me wandering around the recording room, talking in a small friendly voice to imaginary 5 year-olds in order to hone in on Nip. Getting booked for an audio tour was on my bucket list for VO jobs I really wanted, plus I got to work with the master Mr. Dunne, and I feel so blessed that it is my 3rd official job. Things can only go up from here!”

That’s right, Keith – just keep working at it the way you’re doing, and you’ll be ticking off that bucket list beyond your wildest dreams!

capitol


May
07

A first booking from Voice123

THERE’S NOTHING LIKE YOUR FIRST TIME: Much as we love sharing all the success stories sent to us by Voicetrax students, there are a few that are just extra-satisfying, where extra-hard work makes the reward extra-sweet! ‘Traxer JOHN GERATY has been hard at it with online casting sites, and now he’s scored his FIRST BOOKING! We’ll let John take it from here:

“Well, here’s one for the “Ya Neva, Neva Know” file.

So there I was, sifting through the Voices123 auditions as I am likely to do in between classes, when a brief little three-liner comes up. It was a part for a dad, talking to his kids and being interrupted by his wife. Well I had some time, so I threw two takes at it. My technique is to use Voices123 more as an exerciser tool to keep my chops up rather than having great expectations of being selected. Don’t get me wrong, I give it my all but geesh, you don’t even get a rating 3/4 of the time anyway. I submit the audition and walk away. What ever happens… happens.

Imagine my surprise when I get an email offering me the booking two days later. What!? This stuff works?! Wow, my first booking has arrived. Turns out, it’s an ad for The Home Depot, a Google product.

The recording time was just like deja vu. I have been here before! Lets see… where was that? Oh Yea! Class. The director asked for a few takes, ie “Three in a Row”, then a request to be understated – “Less is More”, and then, “Finding the Bunny” – understanding that the wife is mocking the way I say “google” in front of the children as the comedic line. I even had to throw my voice, a la “Taming Of The Mic”. Oh yea and it was all wild-lined… I’d venture to say the guy couldn’t tell it was my first time, and I wasn’t going to tell him!

I felt very prepared… thanks to VT et al.

Thanks you guys,

John”

HD logo


May
02

THE RUN-OFF: Voicetrax 500, 05/18

FROM THE 500 GREAT REASONS FILE: Our 30th ANNIVERSARY COMPETITION SERIES continues with the VOICETRAX 500, so named because students auditioned at home to compete for a grand prize of $500 worth of Voicetrax classes! From a preliminary round of about 40 students recording home auditions, our panel of judges whittled the field down to 15 finalists, who enjoyed a Friday evening and a sunny, pizza-filled Saturday with Sam getting a comprehensive review of their work. The wrinkle: the panel of judges came to one conclusion about the winner… but Samantha came to ANOTHER! See the video below for how it all worked out – it was an unusually sweet payoff for this year’s winner, so don’t miss it!

Voicetrax 500 Finals, May 2018!

FROM THE 500 GREAT REASONS FILE: Our 30th ANNIVERSARY COMPETITION SERIES continues with the VOICETRAX 500, so named because students auditioned at home to compete for a grand prize of $500 worth of Voicetrax classes! From a preliminary round of about 40 students recording home auditions, our panel of judges whittled the field down to 15 finalists, who enjoyed a Friday evening and a sunny, pizza-filled Saturday with Sam getting a comprehensive review of their work. The wrinkle: the panel of judges came to one conclusion about the winner… but Samantha came to ANOTHER! See the video below for how it all worked out – it was an unusually sweet payoff for this year's winner, so don't miss it!

Posted by Voicetrax SF on Wednesday, May 2, 2018


Apr
30

Now THAT’S commitment!

A LITTLE IMAGINATION GOES A LONG WAY… The class: The Good, The Bad & The Weird. The challenge: spend five weeks with Bay Area Video Game Extraordinaire BRIAN SOMMER developing and perfecting a good character, a bad character, and a weird character – all to show Samantha on week 6. The student who performs each of those characters to a fully competitive professional standard gets a free private lesson with Samantha! There was a lot of great work last Thursday night, but one student took things to the next level, actually bringing a separate costume for each of her characters. And with that level of commitment, is it any wonder NING RECIO disappeared into each of her characters so completely, she was judged competitive in each one! CONGRATULATIONS, Ning! And thanks for showing us all how a little investment in your acting can get you BIG RETURNS!

Ning!


Apr
23

Bridget gets signed!

Another case study from the THOSE WHO WORK A LOT WORK A LOT BECAUSE THEY WORK A LOT files: there’s a very special moment that comes to voice actors as they get their careers off the ground, a rite of passage ‘Traxer BRIDGET MAGUIRE-COLTON was kind enough to capture and share with us! All of Bridget’s determination and unwavering focus have resulted in a HUGE step forward for her – and after proclaiming we’re just bursting with pride and beyond thrilled for Bridget (!!), we’ll let her video tell the rest of the story…

The Notorious BMC…

Another case study from the THOSE WHO WORK A LOT WORK A LOT BECAUSE THEY WORK A LOT files: there's a very special moment that comes to voice actors as they get their careers off the ground, a rite of passage 'Traxer BRIDGET MAGUIRE-COLTON was kind enough to capture and share with us! All of Bridget's determination and unwavering focus have resulted in a HUGE step forward for her – and after proclaiming we're just bursting with pride and beyond thrilled for Bridget (!!), we'll let her video tell the rest of the story…

Posted by Voicetrax SF on Monday, April 23, 2018


Apr
19

Another TRIPLE THREAT is crowned…

THE NEXT TRIPLE THREAT HAS BEEN DECIDED: Please join us in congratulating RHIANNON BROGAN, who’s just secured the crown in Triple Threat: Narration! This was the second in our series of three “Triple Threat” classes – and if you recall from February, each of these features three guest directors covering one specific voice-over genre. Students who were deemed professionally competitive by ALL THREE DIRECTORS in a given class wins a free private lesson with Samantha! They’re also automatically advanced to the Triple Threat Finals Round in the Fall, and the 30th Anniversary catalog has all the details.

Although Rhiannon was the only one listed by ALL directors this time, there were lots of other names bandied about as competitive, and there were a few in the last round too! Those students are definitely in the mix for advancement to the Finals, and don’t forget – Triple Threat: Characters is still on the horizon! Keep an eye right here for news on the next thrilling round of the Triple Threat series!

tt series graphic


Mar
30

VOICETRAX 500: The Finalists

THE CHECKERED FLAG DROPS: There’s a $500 class credit in play… and after six hours reviewing around 100 individual submissions from over 30 initial contestants, it became clear that you all weren’t gonna make this easy! This was one of the most competitive rounds of home auditioning Vicki, Roni and Chuck have ever had the pleasure of reviewing. Each of the initial contestants BROUGHT something to their auditions, and that doesn’t always happen! But much as we’d have loved to advance everyone to that weekend Finals seminar, we’re obliged to narrow the field to those who brought the MOST. And as tightly packed as the scores were – including a three way tie for the final three! – when they were tallied up, we had a clear top 15 for the Finals: ANNE MARIE BAINES, LAZLO BEAUREGARD, JONATHAN CRIPPS, TAFFY DOLLARD, JONATHAN FORTIN, STUART GOVE, ERIC HIRSCH, KEITH HOUSTON, SHANNON KEALEY, KEE KILLE, AMY LARSON, VINCENTA LICATA, YULIYA PATSAY, EMIKO SUSILO, and GABRIELLE THORMANN! While we congratulate the finalists on a hard-won preliminary round, we’re going to keep saying this because it keeps being true: we may have finalists, but there are NO LOSERS – not as long as you all keep demonstrating this kind of passion for improving your craft. Thanks to all who participated, and Finalists, check your email for details on the next round of The Voicetrax 500!

VT500 logo


Mar
26

A Crate Creature with Greg’s voice

From the DREAMS REALIZED files: ever since he started with Voicetrax, Greg Edmunds has imagined hearing his voice come out of a toy! And after years of training, auditioning, and hanging in there till the right project came along, it FINALLY HAPPENED: Greg is now a CRATE CREATURE! And it just goes to show what we’re constantly saying at Voicetrax: dreams plus hard work will eventually equal reality! Here’s Greg on his first encounter with his Crate Creature:

“OK, so this is definitely a VO Bucket List item. The video is me meeting the toy I voiced, for the first time.

I auditioned for this almost exactly a year ago…”Monster sounds” was the ask, no English, just laughing, eating, being annoyed, etc in a “monster voice”. Instead of deep dark growling, etc, I decided this guy was sneaky…so I gave him a sneaky voice. And now, a year later, he is out, one of four Crate Creatures on the market!”

Greg Edmunds' Crate Creature!

From the DREAMS REALIZED files: ever since he started with Voicetrax, Greg Edmunds has imagined hearing his voice come out of a toy! And after years of training, auditioning, and hanging in there till the right project came along, it FINALLY HAPPENED: Greg is now a CRATE CREATURE! And it just goes to show what we’re constantly saying at Voicetrax: dreams plus hard work will eventually equal reality! Here’s Greg on his first encounter with his Crate Creature:“OK, so this is definitely a VO Bucket List item. The video is me meeting the toy I voiced, for the first time. I auditioned for this almost exactly a year ago…"Monster sounds" was the ask, no English, just laughing, eating, being annoyed, etc in a "monster voice". Instead of deep dark growling, etc, I decided this guy was sneaky…so I gave him a sneaky voice. And now, a year later, he is out, one of four Crate Creatures on the market!"

Posted by Voicetrax SF on Monday, March 26, 2018


Mar
21

He Said/She Said – the NARRATION edition

FROM THE NARRATION INSPIRATION FILES: the verdict is in, and our special “He Said/She Said” format – already proven in the commercial arena – works just as brilliantly for narration! Guest Director/Narration Guru VICKI BAUM put her ears together with Guest Director/Agent MATT BRUUN, and the results from both the performer’s angle and that of a talent representative were just as potent and incisive as you might expect! If this format sounds intriguing to you, there might just be more on the horizon… DON’T FORGET – Fall registration is just around the corner! Keep an eye out for your packet ’round the first of May.

Here’s what students of “He Said/She Said: Narration” had to say:

“Really enjoyed the class: the format, pace, content, etc. Great getting feedback from both a superstar VO talent and an agent from a top notch agency. Their critiques were very complementary, and I can’t think of an instance where either contradicted one another. If anything Vicki’s comments added more color and dimension to Matt’s and vice versa. The content covered a nice variety of scripts within the narration genre.” – Bruce Friedricks

“The He Said, She Said Narration class with Vicki and Matt was great! Vicki’s direction is always so good. If she points out where an improvement could be made, you find yourself completely hearing what she heard and agreeing with her direction. Matt’s comments on the scripts were similar, but he had input from the agent’s side. He would tell us what type of read actually booked the script and what the clients were really looking for. So it was interesting to hear it from the agency side as well. Great class!” – Cheryl Samarzich

“Class format is ideal: a working actor alternates with a working agency director – doesn’t get any more real-world than that. Plus, good mix of recording “home” work and live, in-class booth time! Thank you Vicki and Matt!” – Chris Ciaburro

class shot


Mar
13

Leaving the right impression

DATELINE BEVERLY HILLS, CA: Turns out ‘Traxer JULIE HANCOCK had a pretty big week auditioning in LA for DPN, the top voice-over agency in the country! In fact, we got such exciting news from Julie’s trip that we can’t help sharing it with all of you!

So Julie –

Are you sitting down? You might want to.

Now as you may know, Sam went down to DPN for a visit and to get some audiobook segments from Jeff, Natanya and Juliet. And when she ran into Vince, yeah, guess who came up –

and NOT because SAM brought you up. VINCE did!

And not just because he was blown away, and thought you were “phenomenal” or a “superstar in the making”. He really loved what you did in that Honda audition, the flawless subtlety you used for that Texas accent – and he wasn’t the only one impressed.

You may not have booked it… but you DID make it all the way to the final selection. In the end it was between you and a DPN regular. That’s how close you got in your very first foray, and in Vince’s eyes, that’s BIG.

Way.

To.

GO!

Sam’s traveling, but she wanted you to know as soon as possible. CONGRATULATIONS, and we all could not be prouder of you – Sam, most of all!

Love,
Samantha, Vicki, Roni & Chuck

Julie goes to DPN!

DATELINE BEVERLY HILLS, CA: Turns out 'Traxer JULIE HANCOCK had a pretty big week auditioning in LA for DPN, the top voice-over agency in the country! In fact, we got such exciting news from Julie's trip that we can't help sharing it with all of you!So Julie – Are you sitting down? You might want to.Now as you may know, Sam went down to DPN for a visit and to get some audiobook segments from Jeff, Natanya and Juliet. And when she ran into Vince, yeah, guess who came up – and NOT because SAM brought you up. VINCE did!And not just because he was blown away, and thought you were "phenomenal" or a "superstar in the making". He really loved what you did in that Honda audition, the flawless subtlety you used for that Texas accent – and he wasn't the only one impressed.You may not have booked it… but you DID make it all the way to the final selection. In the end it was between you and a DPN regular. That's how close you got in your very first foray, and in Vince's eyes, that's BIG. Way.To.GO!Sam's traveling, but she wanted you to know as soon as possible. CONGRATULATIONS, and we all could not be prouder of you – Sam, most of all!Love,Samantha, Vicki, Roni & Chuck

Posted by Voicetrax SF on Tuesday, March 13, 2018


Mar
06

One for the ladies

ANOTHER SPECTACULAR CLASS DEBUT: “Women Only” classes are something special at Voicetrax – kinda like the “Men Only” classes, but without all the macho bullshit! We are SO beyond thrilled to add Emmy-nominated TASIA VALENZA to our roster of Top-Caliber Guest Directors, and it turns out she and this format are PERFECT for each other. Here’s what this weekend’s students of “Invitational Women Only: FAN-TASIA!” had to say:

Roni Gallimore:

“I always expect that a women’s only class is going to be nurturing and enlightening…because they always have been. This class was all that, but it was also SO MUCH MORE! I could go on for hours talking about all the exercises and Tasia’s amazing generosity of spirit and wisdom. Instead, I am going to focus on the one thing that jumped out to me the most. Tasia presented us with a simple exercise to fill in a page of bubbles with personality identifiers we see in ourselves. We all did that. What was amazing was that as each woman shared her bubbles ladies began to add bubbles for things they heard that they hadn’t written about themselves initially. What that says to me is that each of us is so much more than we give ourselves credit for. The more I can stay connected to all the facets this revealed the better my acting and life will be.”

Leni Mostaghim:

“I loved the workshop. I was so moved by everyone’s integrity and support! Tasia so perfectly encouraged both humor as well as deep wisdom. Her grounded teaching offered a strong platform for us as artists, as well as women, to re-wire ourselves and bring some of our deeper & more personal gifts into direct relationship with our own abilities to create. I loved the bubbles so much! I keep adding to mine. I’ve already started to ask which one of my “bubbles” might help me in various situations.”

Bridget Maguire-Colton:

“Spending the weekend with Tasia was amazing. By opening with asking us to list all the roles we play in our everyday lives, I realized that I don’t have to dig quite so far outside of who I am when creating a character for a script. Having a class with all women gave me the feeling of being entirely loved and supported by amazing women, sisters, which freed me up to take risks I might not have taken otherwise. I can’t wait to take these skills into my next recording session!”

Lori Kershner-Wine:

“Such a great high energy class! So many takeaways-from bringing roles from your everyday life to your reads, to meditation/affirmations, to a different take on physicality (putting my body in a weird position to achieve a weird, quirky read). And who can forget the epic dancing to “It’s Raining Men” to shake off the post lunch food coma? Let’s do it all again and soon!!”

Mary Jo Ip:
“In one word, it would be “well-balanced”. Tasia was committed and dedicated to helping us improve. You could see the wheels turning in her head to come up with the right words of direction, and she succeeded. At the same time, she was down-to-earth and fun. My favorite memory was simply the way she loosened us up after lunch — by dancing around crazily to the tune of “It’s Raining Men”! (get the irony — women only class!!)
I would take another class from her!”

Why, funny you should say that, Mary Jo – Tasia has another class coming up in June called “Off The Page”, and boy are those students in for a treat! And WHO KNOWS what might happen with Tasia in the Fall, *nudge-nudge-wink-wink* – guess you’ll have to keep an eye out for the catalog around May 1st to see!

Tasia & group


Feb
28

The Storm Queen

THE STORM QUEEN COMETH! From the “Don’t-you-just-KNOW-it” files: Guest Director and Veteran ‘Traxer VICKI BAUM – who would NEVER have imagined herself performing characters when she walked through the doors of Voicetrax nigh these ten years ago – has just scored a BIG “bucket list” item: the TOP BADDY in the global mobile video game VAINGLORY: The Storm Queen! Oooooooooooh… Millions of gamers participate in The Vainglory Premier League, culminating in annual championship tournaments. And when Vicki did her pre-session research on the title, what should she find but another Voicetrax-dominated video game! Other Vainglory-cast ‘Traxers: LARA ASMUNDSON, JIM EDGAR, DAVE FENNOY, CLAIRE FRY, DAVID GAST, GAVIN HAMMON, ROGER JACKSON, CHUCK KOUROUKLIS, LOUISA MACKINTOSH, BILL MEHNER, CHRISTIAN NIELSON-BUCKHOLDT, JULIA NORTON and MICHAEL ROBLES! You gotta love when Voicetrax dominates… To witness Vicki’s takeover of the Vainglory Universe for yourself, feast your eyes on the video linked here…


Feb
26

Had your Jack Link’s jerky today?

BREAKING NEWS: ‘TRAXER REPORTS ON NATIONWIDE BIGFOOT SIGHTINGS! It’s true – if you’ve kept up at all with current events, you know by now that Sasquatch has definite opinions about Jack Link’s Beef Jerky. And now, it’s down to ‘Traxer DEVIN GLISCHINSKI to pass along advice and life lessons about these elusive Jack Link’s zealots, as seen in the link below! Here’s how Devin got the job:

“It is not lost on me that only 5 years ago I walked into the Finding Your Voice lecture and realized that I was in a place that felt like home and where I felt like I could truly succeed for the first time. I’m not going to lie, I took A LOT of classes to get myself to where I wound up: I won TOP Voice LA and got to DPN and audition for a week with some of the most talented actors in the country. I also wound up getting represented by STARS the Agency in SF and thus my professional journey was only beginning. I also put in a ton of work, not only at the school but in my own life to afford myself this opportunity. A lot of long nights led to being through the Voicetrax doors and auditioning for an agency as a professional.

At the end of 2017 I proposed this goal to myself: Get 1 “check avail” every month. That’s it. It’s not BOOKING every month, it’s not booking a certain job (Car, Beer, National TV commercial), but it’s simply to get a check avail. What that means for the uninitiated is that a potential client is checking your availability to work for them during a specific time frame. Guess what: sometimes they’ll check and they’ll use someone else. However, with that check avail, you’ve put yourself on the map with your agents and with the producers that you are someone who does good work and should be considered for a future project.

At the beginning of 2018, I got a check avail (and then the BOOKING) for Jack Link’s Beef Jerky. The best part is that I remember laughing at these Sasquatch commercials when they first came out with my buddies… I absolutely attribute it to all of the hard work but also the simple goal setting mindset. This job has been one of the most fun and easily the most noticeable of my very young career. In the session, I had to utilize many tools learned in the many classes that I’ve taken along the way: Give us 3 different takes in a row (Tom Pinto), Go big with this one (“Shoot both barrels of the shotgun”: Chuck Kourouklis), Make your decision and GO (3, 2, 1 with Brian Sommer), Give me a fast take (ACT FASTER – Samantha Paris)…

The best part was, I was able to do all of this and we had a GREAT time making commercials about a mythological creature who’ll hurt you if you don’t eat beef jerky (also kinda like Chuck K.)”

NICE GOING, Devin! You sound fantastic, and we ALL congratulate you… even Chuck!


Feb
06

Finding the TRIPLE THREAT…

THE FIRST TRIPLE THREAT HAS BEEN CROWNED! This weekend we held the first of three “Triple Threat” classes, each of which features three guest directors covering a specific voice-over genre. Students who are selected as a top performer by ALL THREE DIRECTORS for a given class get a free private lesson with Samantha! They’re also automatically advanced to the Triple Threat Finals Round in the Fall; see the 30th Anniversary Voicetrax Catalogue for full details. For this weekend’s Triple Threat: Commercials round, we congratulate MICHAEL RANKINS on being recognized by all three directors as a top performer! SCOTT PARKIN, one of the three directors, was blown away by everyone, and here’s what he had to say:

“I’m always so thrilled with the talent level & work ethic of your people. They really work hard to apply the lessons and strive hard to do their best work. To me a real indicator of this is the second takes they lay down. If they aren’t vulnerable enough to stretch on the first take and listen to the notes and direction… then the second take is often much like the first. That doesn’t happen with your people, they take the notes, modify the read and nail it. I found it extremely difficult to pick just 3 people who were competitive for both scripts… I could of easily picked 6 or 7… Thank you so very much for sharing your students with me!”

Thank YOU, Scott, and congratulations to Michael! But we’re just getting started: next up, Triple Threat: Narration in April! Will there be one student recognized by all three directors? Or might there be five? Watch this space for more exciting TRIPLE THREAT news in the coming weeks!


Jan
31

Finding The Bunny: The Class

DATELINE SAUSALITO: THE FIRST “FINDING THE BUNNY” AUDIOBOOK CLASS! What an amazing Saturday and Sunday it was! A fantastic mix of traditions and firsts – traditions as in Samantha’s never ending quest for voice acting excellence and of course Pizza thrown in for good measure. And “firsts” as in Sunday brunch lovingly prepared by Graziano and the students, followed by Walla/ADR training that culminated into wonderful performances to be folded into the up coming “Finding The Bunny” audio book! Check out this particular scene we recorded for the book. Does it look familiar? You know, a ground-breaking audio book needs ground-breaking performances and that’s exactly what Samantha got all weekend. It was incredibly stirring watching the students give their heartfelt 100%-all for the project… Thanks to everyone who participated, and we can’t wait to work with the next group in May! A few pictures to follow in our next post!

Finding The Bunny, the January Class

DATELINE SAUSALITO: THE FIRST “FINDING THE BUNNY” AUDIOBOOK CLASS! What an amazing Saturday and Sunday it was! A fantastic mix of traditions and firsts – traditions as in Samantha’s never ending quest for voice acting excellence and of course Pizza thrown in for good measure. And “firsts” as in Sunday brunch lovingly prepared by Graziano and the students, followed by Walla/ADR training that culminated into wonderful performances to be folded into the up coming “Finding The Bunny” audio book! Check out this particular scene we recorded for the book. Does it look familiar? You know, a ground-breaking audio book needs ground-breaking performances and that’s exactly what Samantha got all weekend. It was incredibly stirring watching the students give their heartfelt 100%-all for the project… Thanks to everyone who participated, and we can’t wait to work with the next group in May! A few pictures to follow in our next post!

Posted by Voicetrax SF on Wednesday, January 31, 2018


Jan
26

Umasking the Coyote Way

It’s always a treat when Guest Director PETER COYOTE comes out to share his wisdom on creativity and performance! And after another intensive and exciting Saturday of mask exercises, status interaction study, and documentary narration, we got a fresh cascade of insights from our students:

“When you suddenly see your eyes, hair and accessories behind a seemingly expressionless mask, the brain tries to scramble and make sense of it. In my case, I found if I just let go, and sort of through my mind out of focus, all this unexpected information just came rushing in. From where, I couldn’t say, but suddenly I was looking at someone who wasn’t me, and it was exciting and risky, and I liked it. DNA/survival techniques strike again in a really unusual way. That the feeling and information could be reproduced later without the mask was the cherry on top.

Thanks!” – Victoria Hunter

“The experience of using masks to tap into our formless possibility was an awakening experience and very powerful. The experience with the masks allowed us to embody the actual practice of tapping into aspects of our self that may not normally tap into. It also awakened us to reach beyond our normal engrained personalities. The experience was both both playful and profound. I felt deeply touched by Peters centeredness and wisdom and excited to challenge myself going forward to bring meditation into a regular practice in my life. The tools that Peter shared with us not only help to awaken and create a powerful base for acting, these tools are also powerful in everyday life no matter what we’re seeking to do.” – Lani Faulkner

“Peter started the class by telling us that the only acting technique we need is getting out of our own way. And the mask exercise delivered just that. I didn’t have to think ‘how do I act like this character?’ In putting on a mask and seeing my new ‘self’ in the mirror I simply became that person. My rational mind took a (much needed) rest and allowed my intuition and instincts to take over.

Once we had a chance to work with masks, we worked on treating the script as a mask and allowing the language of it to be the mask we wear.

Peter also told every woman in the class that we’ve got to take power without apologizing for it, or as he helpfully put it [when going in the booth] ‘bring your wonder woman suit’.” – Yuliya Patsay

“Ever since working with the ‘status’ equation with Peter, I have begun working on defining my emotions, trying to keep them in check, and when needing to audition for a powerful spot, visualize the laser pointer coming right out of my chin, and that energy flowing through the microphone. And when I need to assume a lower status, I can roll my shoulders forward and work through that emotion too. We all wear masks in every way, everyday.

Because of Peter’s class, I am going to use my newfound awareness to be true to my intentions and emotions, to truly be authentic.

Great class! Really great! Thank you Peter! Thank you Voicetrax for everything you do!” – James Larsen


Jan
25

There’s nothing like that FIRST BOOKING…

 

In all our years, we don’t know if we’ve ever seen such a vivid depiction of that first-booking thrill as this astonishing account from ‘Traxer Emiko Susilo:

‘I can’t believe I’m sending something to our booking news, but I swear there is a check on my mantel from a voice job!

Ok, this is part booking news and part love letter to all of you amazing teachers and engineers.

I remember distinctly where I was sitting the first time I called Voicetrax. Vicki answered my call. She was honest, supportive and realistic all at the same time. I perform professionally so I know that any kind of performance requires serious commitment if we want to be good and even more commitment if we want to be exceptional. Though I had been hoping for someone to say, “Oh after a few classes you’ll be ready”, Vicki’s thoughtful response and realistic assessment of how long I should expect to spend on this new direction in my life solidified my respect for Voicetrax. “Ok, these guys are serious” I told myself.

That conversation was a while ago now, and this term, I had a perfect storm of classes I was taking: home recording had me geeking out on recording equipment, software and soundwaves. Got Game had me pushing, pushing, pushing my comfort zone. My second round of script analysis gave me a bigger analytical toolbox to work with. Vicki’s Booking Gigs 123 had me getting to know the nooks and crannies of Voice 123 and how to navigate the system effectively.

The night before I recorded this audition I was in Chuck’s class. I had let my inner ‘bitch’ loose much to the surprise and giggles of my classmates. I had SO much fun, and had an epiphany. A realization that the dark side of me, the things I had been trying to suppress /control and which I am tremendously critical of were actually a RICH mine of emotional gems. I could have FUN with them and OTHER people could ENJOY them! The next day I was working on an assignment for my Booking Gigs class, and I decided to go ahead and ‘submit’ the audition we had done as homework. I still had the spirit of playfulness and risk taking that I had so enjoyed the night before in class.

BEHOLD, I got an email! I couldn’t believe it! I got my first voice-over job!

I came to class and sheepishly asked Vicki to confirm if an email saying “I’d like to hire you for this job” meant I was actually hired. Vicki, lovingly talked me down from the tree branch of nerves that I had backed myself onto…Could I DO it? What if they didn’t LIKE the ‘real’ take?

My self doubt came in a big flood, but my classmates were celebrating my job. They were so sweet, everyone was excited.

Like so many times I have had in Voicetrax, my teacher gently but firmly re-grounded me. I left class with the confidence (and mental tools!) I needed to do the take. I sent two takes in and spent an unbearable, sleepless weekend waiting to see if their client would approve it. I literally could not sleep. I was over the moon when they said the client really liked the first take, and where should they send my check?

O.M.G. Vicki had even discussed how to do our invoices, keep our records, and what the tone of professional communications in VO should be. So I was SET.

It’s just a baby step, and I feel like I have more to learn than ever, but I’m so grateful to have booked my first job. It’s true. It’s not about a ‘talent’ we are born with, it’s about a lot of work and dedication and taking risks and trusting these amazing teachers.

I wanted to say one more thing to you all amazing teachers…not directly related to booking the job, but about this process. I realized at some point that certain kinds of voices (angry, bitchy, funny) were exceptionally difficult for me in the booth. I drove home wondering one night last year, “Why do I not have an angry voice. Where is my angry voice? How come I cannot sound silly or fun? “ I knew that those were emotions that I have, but I got teary when I realized I had spent my entire adult life trying to sound calm, professional, friendly, completely under control and knowledgeable. It was essential for my professional life. I had cultivated one part of my voice, but I had completely denied parts of my voice…not just the ‘sound’ of my voice, but even my thinking process.

A Javanese singing teacher once told me, “I don’t want you to sound like that famous singer. I want you to sound like you. When people hear you sing, I want them to say…ah…that is Emiko’s voice.”

And in that moment, I wondered. Where was my voice? What did it even sound like? How was I supposed to find it?

I’ve come to realize it’s not just the vibration of my vocal folds he and Sam are talking about, it’s something much deeper than that, it’s all the richness of our lives, our sadness, joy, anger, love and silliness. That is our voice, and I’m so grateful that being here is helping me to find those part of me that have been under lock and key for so many years.

I’m ready to dive into my next round of classes and continue this process of learning with this amazing community.

Thank you Voicetrax. I LOVE YOU!!!

emiko’


Jan
18

Bringing that mic to heel

With our constant focus on acting, Acting, ACTING, sometimes it’s easy to lose track of the MICROPHONE recording it all! That’s why we’ve just debuted The Taming Of The Mic III: The Final Battle, a class designed to re-orient advanced and pro-level students who might not have thought of mic technique in a while! A happy accident has resulted in permanent multi-media additions to the format, and here’s what students had to say:

“Loved the one day format. Just enough time to gain 5-6 mic techniques to enhance future auditions. Chuck’s talent combined with his upbeat directing style make for a fast, fun informative day. 5 stars!” – Susan Vlahos

“Properly applied mic technique combined with strong acting choices can really bring a scene to life. Thank you Chuck for so skillfully helping us to up our game in this regard.” – Bruce Friedricks

“It was great to refresh some techniques while also learning to master some new ones. I’ve always relied on stepping back from the mic, but learning the quick head shift to deflect away creates a whole other realm of possibilities now squirreled away in my toolbox.” – L.C. Boros

“…All in the course of a one-day lab, we worked on mic technique that is not just about caressing the mic, or not popping ‘p’s’, but also on creating the proper sonic environment to make your read come to life. This requires thorough script analysis… your relation to the person you’re reading with… what type of vocal ‘distance’ arc is required… how will your voice change to rise above crowd noise? And once you’ve decided all of this, then you take into consideration the size of the studio you’re auditioning in. How much reflection and echo will there be? What type of materials (i.e door, walls, music stand, etc.) in the studio will help you in getting the reflection you want? So much gold in just a 7 hour workshop! It’s just another reason I am sooooooo thankful to study at the Voicetrax! Thanks Chuck! Thank you Voicetrax!” – James Larsen

“Taming Of The Mic III should have been called mic technique 911 for me!

It had been awhile since I took the last mic technique class and to say I was rusty is an understatement. At one point… I felt like I was doing the pat your head and rub your tummy game. Sheesh!

But Chuck made the class informative, fun and not intimidating at all. And of course there were lots of laughs and giggles along the way.

Chuck had a few technical glitches at the beginning of class and we all thought it was part of the exercise. Watching Chuck tackle the technical issues, one by one in a thoughtful and methodical way was also a valuable lesson. Everyone… even the great and wise Chuck has technical issues from time to time.

Thanks Voicetrax!” – Diane Hayes


Dec
15

The “Finding The Bunny” Debut, Holiday, and VT 30th Anniversary Extravaganza!

Click HERE for a transcription of Samantha’s December 13th Address !

PARTY AFTERGLOW: Wow, wow, WOW! The problem with terms like “magical” and “once-in-a-lifetime” is that they all sound like hyperbole, when the TRUTH is they don’t even measure up to this incredible Holiday/30th Anniversary/Finding The Bunny Book Debut we had Wednesday night! For once, we in our characteristic verbosity are rendered utterly verklempt, that’s how wonderful you all were! And as we dive headlong into the belly of the Holiday season, our gratitude about last night will propel us through the end of the year with smiles on all our faces.  And there’ve already been lovely words from some of you…

“What a great night… Thank you all so much for a wonderful evening. I woke up still feeling the warm glow of the evening. Everything was perfect from the Santa napkin decoration to the fabulous dinner and entertainment.

Sam you have worked your butt off building Voicetrax and I admire the talent, grit, and heart that drives you. You are a remarkable woman.

I feel so fortunate to have found a second family at Voicetrax. Vicki, Chuck and Roni are family and kudos to you for building a front office with intelligent, kind and generous souls.

I love you all so much. It has been an honor and privilege to travel this shared journey with each of you.”

– Susan Vlahos

“It’s been so long since I was able to take classes but Sam’s speech last night at the party really inspired me. As she always does…

Love to you all!”

– Annalisa Bastiani

“What a wonderful night last night! Decor, food and festivities were wonderful and we had just a terrific time! Thank you for including me in the celebration!

Cheers!”

– Holly Drouillard

“Thanks to ALL of you for a heartwarming, entertaining, and awesome event last night. What a community we are!

Hugs!”

– Andrew Lea

“Great party, good location, phenomenal food, excellent entertainment, very special to re-connect with old friends… and meet a few new ones in the process.

It was obvious that much time and planning went into the evening. Congratulations to Roni as point person, but to each member of the staff and the volunteers as well.

Love the book… and especially hearing Sam’s remarks. Thumbed through it last night, and looking forward to having a complete read over the holidays.

Merry Christmas and Happy (or perhaps this year, we should change that to ‘Hoppy’ New Year to entire Voicetrax team!”

– Stewart Slater


Nov
27

Unpacking the book…

DATELINE: BOOK RELEASE! While the country slowly recovers from a tryptophan hangover, Samantha & Graziano have been busy, busy bees! As you can see, they’ve procured the annual trade deficit of Liberia in party supplies with the aid of party henchman Devin Glischinski. And we’re all getting just about GIDDY at the prospect of finally getting signed copies in the hands of all of you who ordered them, whether we’re shipping yours or seeing you on December 13th! We thought we couldn’t get any more excited – and THEN we saw this video of Sam and Graz opening the first box…

Unpacking FINDING THE BUNNY!

DATELINE: BOOK RELEASE! While the country slowly recovers from a tryptophan hangover, Samantha & Graziano have been busy, busy bees! As you can see, they've procured the annual trade deficit of Liberia in party supplies with the aid of party henchman Devin Glischinski. And we're all getting just about GIDDY at the prospect of finally getting signed copies in the hands of all of you who ordered them, whether we're shipping yours or seeing you on December 13th! We thought we couldn't get any more excited – and THEN we saw this video of Sam and Graz opening the first box…

Posted by Voicetrax SF on Monday, November 27, 2017


Nov
07

Graziano grabs a mic!

AT A RECORDING STUDIO SOMEWHERE IN SAUSALITO: as if we weren’t excited enough by the impending release of Sam’s memoir “Finding The Bunny”, there was a little MORE excitement and anticipation about the book debut party piled on late last week! Click the video to watch it all unfold…

AT A RECORDING STUDIO SOMEWHERE IN SAUSALITO: as if we weren't excited enough by the impending release of Sam's memoir "Finding The Bunny", there was a little MORE excitement and anticipation about the book debut party piled on late last week! Click the video to watch it all unfold…

Posted by Voicetrax SF on Tuesday, November 7, 2017


Oct
13

Life-Changing Decisions

You’re always ONE DECISION away from reinventing your life… and sometimes, one decision can ultimately reinvent thousands of lives!  On a fateful day in 1981, Samantha Paris and Thom Pinto met to play girlfriend and boyfriend on a booking – and they hit it off so well, they decided to take their pairing a little further than a recording session.  And as you’ll see in the video, this decision set up a series of events leading straight to the Voicetrax we all know and love today, and to the countless personal reinventions resulting from its creation, which ultimately led to Samantha’s own reinvention (life’s a circle!) as an author, penning her soon-to-be-published, entertaining, and illuminating memoir, “Finding The Bunny”!  Keep an eye right here for more information about the book…

 


Oct
03

TOP Voice LA, 2017!

ONE FOR THE AGES: TOP Voice LA 2017! Truly Outstanding Performances are in the very name, so there’s a long-standing tradition of great work from the finalists in this series of Voicetrax competitions for a chance to audition in LA! But this year took it all to a new level; the judging crew from DPN in Los Angeles was SO MOVED by everyone that they wanted to provide as much opportunity as possible, because the students were so deserving. And that meant not one, not two, but FOUR WINNERS this year! Please join us in congratulating ‘Traxers SUSAN NORMAN, JULIE HANCOCK, GREG EDMUNDS and ARON PARKER! To see what each of them won, just click on the video below.

And like anything worth doing, auditioning for the top voice-over agency in the country doesn’t just happen overnight – but if you work hard enough and want it badly enough, there WILL be a payoff, as this year’s winners readily attest:

“I never reached the Finals of SF TOP Voice, but I got signed with Stars anyway. The first few times I did LA TOP Voice, I didn’t reach the Finals. So, I’m in the Finals the last couple of years, and just frankly thrilled to get that nice bit of confirmation that, Yes I can do this, I do belong…
Now, I have never ever considered myself a Character guy…I consistently ignored Samantha’s “Dots” (and highlights and exclamation points) for the Character classes and continued concentrating on commercials, narration, etc. She finally wore me down and earlier this year I took a couple of Character classes – and did pretty well, I thought. Enough to give more a go this current semester. I almost didn’t sign up for LA TOP Voice…

In this LA TOP voice, I was expecting my Character to be the weaker of my entries for the day. Nope. Apparently, at 57 years old and a little more than 10 years at Voicetrax, I AM a Character guy… I’m really looking forward to this opportunity to audition for Natanya and DPN in the Animation division (Yes!)

Samantha (sigh), you were right AGAIN!

I love Voicetrax, the people, the instructors, the office, the sense of community and belonging and mutual support. All day during the Finals, I kept thinking – I like all these people and I am part of an amazingly talented group of people!

Thank you for this amazing journey!” – Greg Edmunds

“I have an extensive background in acting, so I thought that voice over would come easily to me. I didn’t realize that it was a completely different genre. It took a year of consistent training before I could even hear what I was doing wrong; then some more years to learn how to improve. I’m still learning, and thankfully improving, because this is the third time I’ve jumped into the LA TOP Voice ring; the first two times, I didn’t even make it past the first round. What kept me coming back is that the work and the people are so damn fun.” – Susan Norman

“If you know this is what you’re supposed to do, go out there and give ‘em hell. If you want it, never give up on it. Keep your head down and work hard. I know the next step in the staircase-like structure of indefinite improvement can seem like light-years away but even one of your younger toughest millennial mother#@(%&$ needs a swift kick in the ass every once in a while :)” – Julie Hancock

“Being in Voicetrax’s Top Voice was, in a word, A.W.E.S.O.M.E.S.A.U.C.E: A Wonderfully Educational, Skill Optimizing, Microphonic Experience Shared Amongst Utterly Committed Entrants. I was initially hesitant to participate due to butterflies in my belly, but it was ultimately both a pleasure and an honor being there with so many talented, passionate, and gosh-darned friendly people in a competition where it felt like everybody was rooting for everyone else. So don’t let butterflies stand in your way! Death to butterflies! . . . Unless of course they’re REAL butterflies, in which case you should totally be nice to them. Especially monarchs, which are on the decline and need our help. Anyway, to sum up: AWESOMESAUCE, don’t let fear stop you, be amazed by your classmates, and plant milkweed!” – Aron Parker

ONE FOR THE AGES: TOP Voice LA 2017! Truly Outstanding Performances are in the very name, so there’s a long-standing tradition of great work from the finalists in this series of Voicetrax competitions for a chance to audition in LA! But this year took it all to a new level; the judging crew from DPN in Los Angeles was SO MOVED by everyone that they wanted to provide as much opportunity as possible, because the students were so deserving. And that meant not one, not two, but FOUR WINNERS this year! Please join us in congratulating ‘Traxers SUSAN NORMAN, JULIE HANCOCK, GREG EDMUNDS and ARON PARKER! To see what each of them won, just click on the video below. And like anything worth doing, auditioning for the top voice-over agency in the country doesn’t just happen overnight – but if you work hard enough and want it badly enough, there WILL be a payoff, as this year’s winners readily attest: “I never reached the Finals of SF TOP Voice, but I got signed with Stars anyway. The first few times I did LA TOP Voice, I didn't reach the Finals. So, I'm in the Finals the last couple of years, and just frankly thrilled to get that nice bit of confirmation that, Yes I can do this, I do belong… Now, I have never ever considered myself a Character guy…I consistently ignored Samantha's "Dots" (and highlights and exclamation points) for the Character classes and continued concentrating on commercials, narration, etc. She finally wore me down and earlier this year I took a couple of Character classes – and did pretty well, I thought. Enough to give more a go this current semester. I almost didn't sign up for LA TOP Voice… In this LA TOP voice, I was expecting my Character to be the weaker of my entries for the day. Nope. Apparently, at 57 years old and a little more than 10 years at Voicetrax, I AM a Character guy… I'm really looking forward to this opportunity to audition for Natanya and DPN in the Animation division (Yes!) Samantha (sigh), you were right AGAIN! I love Voicetrax, the people, the instructors, the office, the sense of community and belonging and mutual support. All day during the Finals, I kept thinking – I like all these people and I am part of an amazingly talented group of people! Thank you for this amazing journey!” – Greg Edmunds “I have an extensive background in acting, so I thought that voice over would come easily to me. I didn’t realize that it was a completely different genre. It took a year of consistent training before I could even hear what I was doing wrong; then some more years to learn how to improve. I’m still learning, and thankfully improving, because this is the third time I’ve jumped into the LA TOP Voice ring; the first two times, I didn’t even make it past the first round. What kept me coming back is that the work and the people are so damn fun.” – Susan Norman “If you know this is what you're supposed to do, go out there and give ‘em hell. If you want it, never give up on it. Keep your head down and work hard. I know the next step in the staircase-like structure of indefinite improvement can seem like light-years away but even one of your younger toughest millennial mother#@(%&$ needs a swift kick in the ass every once in a while :)” – Julie Hancock "Being in Voicetrax’s Top Voice was, in a word, A.W.E.S.O.M.E.S.A.U.C.E: A Wonderfully Educational, Skill Optimizing, Microphonic Experience Shared Amongst Utterly Committed Entrants. I was initially hesitant to participate due to butterflies in my belly, but it was ultimately both a pleasure and an honor being there with so many talented, passionate, and gosh-darned friendly people in a competition where it felt like everybody was rooting for everyone else. So don’t let butterflies stand in your way! Death to butterflies! . . . Unless of course they’re REAL butterflies, in which case you should totally be nice to them. Especially monarchs, which are on the decline and need our help. Anyway, to sum up: AWESOMESAUCE, don’t let fear stop you, be amazed by your classmates, and plant milkweed!" – Aron Parker

Posted by Voicetrax SF on Tuesday, October 3, 2017


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