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Jan
15

THE BLIZZARD COMETH

Last weekend, it was our distinct pleasure to welcome a new Guest Director to the Voicetrax fold: ANDREA TOYIAS, Senior Casting and Voice Director for BLIZZARD ENTERTAINMENT – purveyors of such globally recognized video game titles as World Of Warcraft and the Diablo series!  Andrea brought her supercharged energy and super-tuned preparation guides to this two-day intensive seminar – and we know when to step out and let the students do the talking:

“Andrea Toyias’s Wizzard of Blizzard class was a fantastic, fantasy-based, fun-filled, two-day course in not only video-game acting, but really acting of any kind. Andrea expects her performers to share their souls with her, and it was clear that she isn’t afraid to share hers as well. She showed herself to be a director possessing both great passion and great compassion in her work, and after taking her seminar/workshop, I can honestly say that You’ll Believe an Orc Can Cry. What else can I say? I came to class as a simple country boy, but I left as a warrior . . . and, uh, maybe as a blood elf and a couple varieties of monsters too. All in all, I give the course two big fangs up!” – Aron Parker

“Well, I have to say Andrea is a human dynamo – always moving and thinking, lots and lots and lots of energy.  She really opened my eyes (even wider) to what is expected of actors as they enter the world of video games.  Lots of intensity, emotion, super connection, leave nothing on the table, you have to bring it ALL.  And, as usual, it’s all about the ACTING!” – Greg Edmunds

“Andrea Toyias is a passionate teacher who comes prepared to share her vast knowledge and experience in the video world of Blizzard.  I loved that we had the time to dig in and perform, listen to actual game auditions, watch current games, watch actors in LA improv before recording, crawl, do battle w efforts and best of all be directed by a current casting & voice director from one of the best and largest gaming companies.  You won’t be bored! And her handouts are gems…organized and loaded with valuable tips so that we can all can continue to grow.  She walks the talk. Loved this class. Thank you Voicetrax for making it happen.”  – Susan Vlahos

“It was absolutely fantastic! Andrea’s super helpful printouts are going on my wall. She had tips I hadn’t heard of before, like listening to music as you act. Getting to see the behind-the-scenes footage of Blizzard’s voice actors was both moving and inspiring. It’s classes like this one that really reinforce what a warm and supportive community Voicetrax is–seeing how excited everyone was by each other’s work was really heartwarming.” – Jonathan Fortin

Isn’t it funny how seamlessly Andrea’s message blends right in with our main philosophy?  After all, she said explicitly, “it’s not about your voice, it’s about your ACTING”.  Those of you signed up for the March Wizzard Of Blizzard session have a LOT to look forward to!


Dec
11

Katherine’s on the move…

Out of state, out of voice-over? No way! ‘Traxer KATHERINE TOLE shows how networking and a good sampler demo can be very helpful to your voice acting career when you have to move out of the area. Her note from The North:

“I’m a professional now! One lovely fall day in September I got a text from a friend of mine saying that her coworker in marketing needed some voiceover for a project and they really loved one of the spots on my commercial sampler (that Voicetrax made for me of course!). We had a short meeting to talk specs, I got to set my own rate, did the job with only one small retake and BAM! I was doing it!

Here we are a couple months later and I just finished my second job for the same client and have gotten a couple other small gigs from auditions off of Twitter!

So I guess I just wanted to beam happily at you all from up here in Seattle that I am making it happen.

It’s also a friendly reminder about the power of friend referrals and having people know what you do for a living!

Love from the north, Katherine Tole
A real voice actor :)”

Way to go, Katherine! The pond may be a little smaller, but your approach will make you a big fish in no time!


Dec
09

THE DEMO: Laura Almada

THIS JUST IN from ‘Traxer LAURA ALMADA…

“Dear Sam, Chuck, Vicki, Roni & the whole VoiceTrax Team of Creative Gurus,

I LOVE MY COMMERCIAL DEMO!!!!! Thank you so much for making me sound so good! Thank you for all the care, guidance, and attention that went into every detail, from script & direction, to music choices, pacing, production, and engineering. (I’ve only listened to it about 100 times now ) And I REALLY thank you guys for not letting me do this before I was ready! Because when it WAS finally time to do record this, I WAS truly ready. And THAT made for a great experience all around. I just can’t thank you all enough.

Love, Laura”

We love it too, Laura – so much, we’re sharing it below! Thanks for trusting the process, and we couldn’t be more excited about all the success in store for you!

 

Laura Almada's demo

THIS JUST IN from ‘Traxer LAURA ALMADA… “Dear Sam, Chuck, Vicki, Roni & the whole VoiceTrax Team of Creative Gurus, I LOVE MY COMMERCIAL DEMO!!!!! Thank you so much for making me sound so good! Thank you for all the care, guidance, and attention that went into every detail, from script & direction, to music choices, pacing, production, and engineering. (I've only listened to it about 100 times now ;p) And I REALLY thank you guys for not letting me do this before I was ready! Because when it WAS finally time to do record this, I WAS truly ready. And THAT made for a great experience all around. I just can't thank you all enough. Love, Laura” We love it too, Laura – so much, we’re sharing it below! Thanks for trusting the process, and we couldn’t be more excited about all the success in store for you!

Posted by Voicetrax SF on Monday, December 9, 2019



Nov
19

King For A Day

What’s better than your first booking? How about TWO first bookings right on top of one another? ‘Traxer JOHN ELEBY doesn’t seem to mind one little bit! In his own words:

“Hey all! Sooooo… I feel all giddy still, but so much of the advice you have given was so spot on!! I had received three messages or checks for “availability” on Voice123, but one was in New York, another was for native German, and a third was for an actual female voice… Instead of feeling down about it, I kept plugging along and submitting for jobs I felt I could A) do well and B) were worth my time. After a few weeks I got a message that a marching band was interested in an impersonation from a demo! I recorded a short script in a James Earl Jones ‘Mufasa’ voice and … bam! First job! While I was still excited about that, I got another message for a ‘slight German accent’ character for a podcast. Recorded that and sent the best two takes and they were happy with it, hopefully more episodes to come!

Biggest lesson was: It’s not rejection, it’s selection… Keep plugging away at these jobs and something good will come. Second was treat every submission as an opportunity. I make sure to make solid acting choices for each script, regardless of length or pay. And I can definitely hear the difference when I have a good acting choice to guide me, vs… not.

Can’t thank you guys enough for the guidance and knowledge so far. I know I’m still beginner/scratching the surface of this world, but I AM HOOKED… and you’re stuck with me. :)”

CONGRATULATIONS, John! And trust us, “sticking” with it will work out to be a very good thing. 😎


Nov
11

Remember Analog Communication?

PRISONERS OF OUR OWN DEVICE… having spent decades guiding thousands of students through the subtleties of acting with their voices, you might expect Owner and Founder Samantha Paris to favor person-to-person conversation over emails and texts – but it goes even deeper than that! For insights on using your voice OUTSIDE the booth to break the tyranny of technology and rescue the dying art of conversation, Samantha’s penned this illuminating piece for Swaay:


Nov
01

The Recipe

A RECIPE FOR VOICE-ACTING SUCCESS: take equal parts hard work and diligent perfecting of your skills. Mix in two parts patience, and KEEP AT IT UNTIL YOU ARE READY. And when you’re ready, not one minute before, add in a demo produced by Voicetrax, the people who’ve been with you through every step of your training, watched you develop, and really KNOW how to tell your story to the best possible effect. THEN, finish with a contract from a Bay Area agency! ‘Traxers HEATHER WAGENFELD, ARI SIGAL, JULIE HANCOCK and PAT FORAN all followed the recipe, and now ALL of them have been signed by STARS, THE AGENCY – in no small part on the strength of their demos.

CONGRATULATIONS, Heather, Ari, Julie and Pat! You’ve worked very hard to get to this and you never stopped believing, and we’re beyond thrilled at the success coming for each one of you!

 


Oct
23

Booking Jobs On Your Own? Sure!

BOOKING WITHOUT AN AGENT! Now make no mistake, we LOVE us some agents up in Voicetrax; after all, getting signed is a major milestone in your voice-over career! However – and that’s just a well-dressed “but” – that doesn’t mean there isn’t a TON of work to book before then! Take ‘Traxer ANDY BLUESTEIN, for instance: not only has he been hard at it studying at Voicetrax, he’s a prime example of what you can achieve with a little networking! Linked below is a video showing just what can happen when you mix in a little “WHO you know” with WHAT you know! Congratulations, Andy! Now about this overwhelming urge to buy labels…

 


Oct
14

Power Outage? WHAT Stinkin’ Power Outage?

THE SHOW MUST GO ON: ain’t no silly billion-dollar blackout gonna stop THIS crew from learning voice acting! Wednesday night was the first night of “The ABCs and 123s Of Toys” and as you may recall, we were running the office off a couple devices, popsicle sticks and chewing gum that day! But directors CHUCK WEDGE and GAVIN HAMMON didn’t care – they had a plan! And as soon as we tossed in a few LED lanterns and MacGyvered a fresh flashlight to a copy stand, class was off to the pre-Industrial Age races – and don’cha know, some FUN was had at Camp Voicetrax! Hats off to all of you for your enthusiasm and dedication.



Sep
27

From Class to Results

TAKE A CLASS, BOOK A GIG:  it’s not just theory; IT WORKS.  All the effort our extraordinary Guest Directors put into a typical Voicetrax lesson plan often results in an immediate payoff!  Take ‘Traxer KARL GILLETTE, who credits “The Taming Of The Mic” class he was in the middle of, with harnessing the bombast of a character he auditioned online and booked!  Or how about COLE HODKIN, less than a week out of “Booking Gigs 123”, who shared this exciting piece of news: 

“Hi Vicki… I just wanted to thank you again for everything.  Thanks to your teachings I booked the first audition I got reviewed… AND they just used my audition for the spot!  I’m sure I did you proud.“

It’s just as true in each individual class as it is in the greater Voicetrax training continuum: everything we do is focused on getting you ready to book voice-over jobs in the real world.  Congratulations, Cole and Karl – and trust us, you’re just getting started!


Sep
25

Cheryl’s Milestone

CONGRATULATIONS ARE IN ORDER for ‘Traxer CHERYL SAMARZICH, now reading for Stars, the Agency! We can’t think of a student who’s worked harder and stuck with it longer than Cheryl, and her note to us just says it all:

“How do I feel now that I’m auditioning for Stars? Words to describe the feeling would be ‘ecstatic’ or ‘euphoric’ !!! I’m totally doing the Snoopy Dance! I have a satisfied feeling of accomplishing something that I’ve worked for and hoped for! It’s telling myself – wow! I’ve made it this far- there’s no turning back now! It’s a feeling of major gratitude for all of the incredible instructors who believed in me, and especially Sam, Thom Pinto, Vicki, Chuck and Roni who never gave up on me. If u love this awesome craft, I encourage any Voicetrax student who is reading this – please don’t give up on your dream! You’ve invested time and money and put your heart into your efforts. Great things don’t just happen overnight. Trust in Sam’s advice and follow her lead – she won’t give up on you!”


Sep
23

Announcing The Winners of the September ’19 “Let’s Make A Scene”

ANOTHER FINALS ROUND, A NEW SET OF WINNERS FOR “LET’S MAKE A SCENE”! Join us now as we announce the top three finishers of the latest Voicetrax “Let’s Make A Scene” series of intensive scene study classes, as judged by a San Francisco on-camera agent! And what a beautiful speech we have this time around, VERY much what Voicetrax is all about – just click below to watch…

Sept '19 Winners of Let's Make A Scene

ANOTHER FINALS ROUND, A NEW SET OF WINNERS FOR "LET'S MAKE A SCENE"! Join us now as we announce the top three finishers of the latest Voicetrax “Let’s Make A Scene” series of intensive scene study classes, as judged by a San Francisco on-camera agent! And what a beautiful speech we have this time around, VERY much what Voicetrax is all about – just click below to watch…

Posted by Voicetrax SF on Monday, September 23, 2019

 



Sep
18

Inside The Voice Actor’s Studio: Behind The Scenes At Pixar!

INSIDE THE VOICE ACTOR’S STUDIO: our undying gratitude to Traxer Bret Parker, and special guest NATALIE LYON, casting director for Pixar Animation Studios, for another unforgettable night in our ongoing guest lecture series! Natalie was an instant hit with her generosity and expertise, making for a wonderful evening of “a-HA” moments and behind-the-scenes insights on the voice actor’s role in putting an animated feature together. Just ask a few of those who attended:

“I had so much fun on Friday and can’t stop talking about it… Thanks so much to everyone who made the event happen!” – Elena Hollander

“Natalie was an interesting speaker with relatable insights. It was nice to hear her reinforce many of the things we have learned in classes – edit your clips before sending and don’t send the flubs. One really good take away was to be yourself on the auditions, if you fit the character they need, the casting director will know.” – Susan Sullivan

“…But the biggest thing was just the question, ‘does this voice sound like it’ll come out of that character?’ The right voice is the one that fits. Doesn’t have to be crazy accented or bubbly or anything- it just has to fit. That’s going to inform my choices from now on!” – Alex Drude

“Natalie Lyon gave me a true expert’s and insider’s view on how she views their movie projects and how Pixar puts their heart and soul into them… I was also intrigued to hear about how ‘Coco’ was so difficult to cast because of their focus on authenticity. It made me very excited to think about trends changing in the entertainment industry – where more opportunities are being created for people of color and that our stories are being told with a respect for our cultures. It feels great to hear that, because it’s very different from how I felt about opportunities in our business 10-15 years ago!” – Ning Recio

“Natalie was delightful, knowledgeable and prepared. I very much enjoyed hearing her!” – Pat Conley

“Great Actors studio tonight! Vicki, you were a delight and well informed – and Natalie, was very ‘real’, which made it even better. “ – Mary Donatelli

“The main takeaway point I learned was that there is such a thing as a ‘scratch track’, in which voice actors can voice animated films, and NOT have to be union to do it. No, we will not be the final actors, but it’s work and how is that ever a bad thing? “ – Stacey Anderson

“Voice acting appealed to me because I could be judged on the quality of my work, not the color of my skin…but WOW what a concept, the color of my skin may one day in fact, prove to be an advantage. I await the day…and it seems that day has come for some of our fellow actors whose voices now grace the big screen.” – Emiko Susilo


Sep
12

‘Traxer Reunion: Star One Credit Union

‘TRAXER REUNION DRIVE-BY: VT Vets LOUISA MACKINTOSH and CHUCK KOUROUKLIS met up for another fun session in Fremont today! So the next time you hear a sassy Star One customer and a huffy bank manager in an ad on the radio, it’ll feature this extremely photogenic talent! And Chuck.



Aug
30

Teachers Who DO

TWO DAYS of TWO GUEST DIRECTORS at TWO GIGS! Call it a case of “those who actually DO, TEACH”: seems a few of our Guest Directors have been busy lately! Yesterday, BRIAN SOMMER and CHUCK KOUROUKLIS crossed paths to do some goofy commercial character stuff for Papa John’s (BIG surprise there), and just this morning, VICKI BAUM ran into JIM EDGAR on a project not to be named! Photos are included for evidence between Vicki and Jim (too many camera lenses have cracked at the prospect of shooting Brian and Chuck). Just goes to show – whether they’re from LA or working in the Bay Area, Voicetrax Instructors teach a lot because they work a lot!

Click below to hear audio for this post:


Aug
28

SUSAN VLAHOS and the 48 Hour Film Project!

You OUGHTTA BE IN PICTURES: Veteran ‘Traxer SUSAN VLAHOS might not have been thinking “silver screen” when she first came to Voicetrax, but there she was, 20 feet tall last night at The Roxie Theatre in San Francisco appearing in a short film surrounded by her friends and family! And wouldn’t you know that even though it was on-camera, Susan was tasked to create a couple character voices in her STARRING role. Once you get bitten by the acting bug you find that a little extracurricular improv helps with your voice acting, and then a healthy dollop of scene study helps even more, and before you know it, you’re in the 48 Hour Film Project (www.48hourfilm.com)! Participants team up and draw a film genre from a hat, and the film they produce over the next 48 hours must include a specific character, prop, and line – and get a load of what Susan credits for her success:

“If it hadn’t been for the training I received from Voicetrax, I never would have come CLOSE to helping my team!”

CONGRATULATIONS on your big debut, Susan! And thanks, by the way, for the added proof that voice-over is ALL ABOUT ACTING – just remember all the little people when the award season comes calling.

 


Aug
21

Moving Your VO Career With You

FROM THE OUT-OF-STATE FILES: who says your voice-acting career has to slow down just because you’ve relocated? Not ‘Traxer GREG EDMUNDS! Greg may have moved to Scottsdale, AZ, but you can BET you’ll still be hearing his voice in the Bay Area:

“Hi gang! I’m catching up on things. Two to report.

One from Stars, I booked the Andy Warhol audio tour for SFMOMA. Closes September 2. The audition did not say “SF Only”, but when I got the check avail I was told it was SF or not at all. I cashed in some airline points and did a fly in fly out same day. Totally worth it! The script was a little odd (it is Andy Warhol after all), and about halfway through the client, engineer and I were all having toooo much fun! We had to hustle to get the last few stops in, but was no problem. The style they wanted was very informal, but at the end they wanted me to give the introduction in a more “traditional” style. No problem, gave them that one take and they said “thank you!”

Second – I was lucky enough to get a referral from (fellow ‘Traxer) Diane Hayes! She has a long-standing narration client she has been working with, and they wanted a male voice. She reached out and I was able to knock out a couple of scripts. She knows me and my sound/style and thought it would be a good fit for the client-they agreed.

I love this ‘job’ (do I have to call it work if I’m having fun?!?)

xoxo, Greg”

DO you have to call it “work”, Greg? You know what they say about doing something you love… CONGRATULATIONS!


Aug
14

GRRL Power!

THE LATEST BOOKING NEWS: Seems some ‘Traxer Women have been KILLING it lately!  When she isn’t on stage or in the great outdoors letting one of her falcons loose for a little relaxation and recon (how badass is THAT), BRIDGET MAGUIRE-COLTON manages to jam some bookings into her busy schedule:

“Pigeon abatement may be my day job, but I never wanted to be pigeon-holed in my voiceover career. And it seems I’m not. In the last year I’ve voiced a door lock in a web video, a fortune teller in a radio commercial, a Scott-ish barkeep and furniture-obsessed zombie in a video game and most recently a narrator for an audio tour for the NY MoMA. I have my VoiceTrax training to thank for my versatility and fearlessness when it comes to playing with voices and characters. But this is no time to rest on my laurels, I just had 3 more auditions drop into my inbox! Love you all!” – BMC

And AMY LARSON is taking it one further with today’s theme, having booked a feature-length documentary “HERSTORY: The Visionary Life of Lydia Ruyle and the Banners of the Divine Feminine”, by Dr. Isadora Leidenfrost, which premiered at the Glastonbury Goddess Conference, Glastonbury, UK, on August 4. Additional screenings scheduled so far will take place in California, Colorado, New Mexico, New York and Utah through 2020. Amy also recently booked an industrial project that will involve both on-camera and voiceover work, but the NDA prevents her from sharing…anything!

Congrats, Amy and Bridget!  You’re doing us PROUD. Amy’s work can be heard about :42 into the trailer linked below…

 


Aug
05

THE DEMO: Kenny Allen!

TALES FROM THE RECORDING BOOTH: KENNY ALLEN’S DEMOS! Working from the same premise established for John Geraty last week – remember that bit about familiarity breeding superior demos? – we now present the same approach as applied to Kenny Allen! And how did the results work out for Kenny?

“Woah, such a surreal moment listening… that is awesome! Hearing the finished product makes me feel well-armed to dive into this crazy VO world. I can’t thank you all enough for the roles you have played and continue to play on my journey!!”

Thank YOU, Kenny! We’re glad you like your demos as much as we do.

 

Kenny Allen's DEMOS!

TALES FROM THE RECORDING BOOTH: KENNY ALLEN’S DEMOS! Working from the same premise established for John Geraty last week – remember that bit about familiarity breeding superior demos? – we now present the same approach as applied to Kenny Allen! And how did the results work out for Kenny? “Woah, such a surreal moment listening… that is awesome! Hearing the finished product makes me feel well-armed to dive into this crazy VO world. I can’t thank you all enough for the roles you have played and continue to play on my journey!!” Thank YOU, Kenny! We’re glad you like your demos as much as we do.

Posted by Voicetrax SF on Monday, August 5, 2019


Jul
31

THE DEMO: John Geraty!

TALES FROM THE RECORDING BOOTH: JOHN GERATY’S DEMOS! We’ve posted a demo or two here before, but we haven’t yet delved into a certain uncanny aspect that often occurs when we usher a Voicetrax student into that landmark stage of their training and career. It’s a particular kind of MAGIC that happens when a producer can hear your performance in her head before you even record, because she knows you so well! We’re in a unique position to tell your story because we’ve actually been a PART of that story for a few years – and John Geraty, who’s worked SO HARD at this with such great determination, helps us prove that point with his shiny new demo linked below…

John Geraty's Demo!

TALES FROM THE RECORDING BOOTH: JOHN GERATY’S DEMOS! We’ve posted a demo or two here before, but we haven’t yet delved into a certain uncanny aspect that often occurs when we usher a Voicetrax student into that landmark stage of their training and career. It’s a particular kind of MAGIC that happens when a producer can hear your performance in her head before you even record, because she knows you so well! We’re in a unique position to tell your story because we’ve actually been a PART of that story for a few years – and John Geraty, who’s worked SO HARD at this with such great determination, helps us prove that point with his shiny new demo linked below…

Posted by Voicetrax SF on Wednesday, July 31, 2019


Jul
26

Nonsense That’s NO Nonsense…

YOU CAN SAY THAT AGAIN! Between interactive titles like “The Sims” and countless toys needing non-verbal expressions of clear emotions, there is actually a rich market for gibberish in the voice-over industry! ‘Traxers GREG EDMUNDS and RHIANNON BROGAN, both recent bookers of Crate Creatures and Hatchimals, respectively, can tell you ALL about it. And the stars finally aligned this year to bring us three great directors – AARON MINER, LAUREN KELLY and GAVIN HAMMON – for a whole new class in gibberish: Hpxedchvbsepriuch! What does that even MEAN? Something pretty useful according to the students of last weekend’s Inaugural session…

“I really enjoyed the class… I left with a lot of information, and tools to practice and enthusiasm to keep working on my gibberish. All three instructors were friendly and helpful and I learned a lot from watching all the other students do their takes. I am excited to keep practicing because speaking nonsense is so much fun! “ – Genevieve Schloesser

“I thought that wdfghcjkl would be a piece of cake. I pride myself in making no sense in the world as we know it. But this gibberish is not your standard sdfghjkl! I enjoyed having 3 different directors with their own perspectives on the subject. Starting the class on Friday with gibberish improv was not my finest moment, but some of the skits were fabulous. For me the whole class was about thinking way outside of the box which most certainly translates positively to other categories of voice over.” – Bill Naylor

“I really had no idea what to expect from this class but assumed it would be fun, useful for character work, and something unique that I could only find at Voicetrax, and I was right! I absolutely loved the class, especially the three instructors… (they) made the class connect and loosen up through warm ups, and provide a very encouraging and safe space to be our silly selves. We were getting so into it that we’d respond to each other in gibberish over lunch at Driver’s!“ – Katherine Tole

“Hpxedchvbsepriuch was good! Gibberish is one of those technical things that seems to never get enough time… and when I saw it on the list this term I jumped. I knew it would have wider implications than just toy talk. I think I’m going to start using a gibberish take into my preparation process, at least sometimes, to help me home in on emotional clarity.” – Tyson Underwood

“This class was so much fun and I definitely feel more confident and came away with specific things I can work on. Some aspects were more difficult, some came easier than expected. I appreciated the different perspectives and styles of the three different teachers, it felt well rounded that way. Looking forward to using some new skills! Thanks!” – Ari Sigal


Jul
15

A FEW MINUTES WITH: Guest Director TOWNSEND COLEMAN!

From animation to commercials to promos, Townsend Coleman has done it all including starring as Michelangelo in the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the seriously goofy superhero, The Tick. Not to mention he was the voice of NBC’s “Must See TV” for years and currently voices promos for ABC. To our great fortune, Townsend is bringing all that experience, wisdom and talent to Voicetrax. In anticipation of his appearance in the next installment of our Inside The Voice Actor’s Studio lecture series, we chatted with Townsend to take a peek inside what makes him tick…. (hee hee hee, get it?)

 

VT: You’ve enjoyed a career that’s spanned several decades and is still going strong. How did it start?

TC: I moved to Los Angeles in 1984, got lucky and signed with my first (and only) agent, Jeff Danis, my first week in town. Just six months in, and within 10 days of each other, I got my first national, on-camera television commercial for Kraft BBQ Sauce, I landed my first movie role in a film with Tommy Lee Jones and I booked my first cartoon series, Inspector Gadget. All of a sudden, I was earning money and residuals like I’d never seen before and I thought… I’ve made it! Then within six months I was broke again and having to sell my car and borrow money from my mom to pay the rent. Having that kind of success and, more importantly, that kind of failure that early in my career was probably one of the best things that could have happened to me. It taught me a huge lesson, namely how fickle this business is. You have to be realistic and thankful about the work that you get.

VT: Humility and gratitude seem to be a recurring theme amongst the most successful voice actors who’ve enjoyed incredible longevity in our industry like you have.

TC: I think that thankfulness and gratitude is a real key in keeping grounded in a way that doesn’t allow our heads to get too big and get in the way of the work. Every session I’m seriously thankful for yet another opportunity to work. I can’t believe that I get to do this.  Honestly there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t walk out of my booth when the session is over saying, awwww it’s over already?

VT: You do a lot of work in promos, which can be formulaic and monotonous. How do you keep it fresh?

TC:  Every single time I work there isn’t a moment that I slack off or give anything less than 100%. I love what I do and doggone it, it’s fun. I always try to keep myself energized. I can’t just walk through this stuff because audiences can feel that. Producers and directors can tell if I’m just going through the motions or if I’m really getting into it. It’s like being in a Broadway play. Those actors do the same show 8 times a week. But somehow each time that curtain goes up, they find a way to make that specific performance come alive. I always look at my sessions as a live performance. And even after all these years, I still have sessions that give me that rush as if I’m doing it for the first time and I’m the luckiest guy on the planet. It’s a high like no other. I’m not sure how to explain that to somebody that hasn’t experienced it for themselves.

VT: If we fast forward a few years into your career, along comes a little show called Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. How did that happen for you?

TC: I was doing a show called Fraggle Rock and the voice director was Stu Rosen. Stu came to one of our sessions one day and pulled a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic book out of his briefcase and told us he was casting and directing this as his next project. None of us had ever heard of it before. I remember shaking my head and thinking, what has this world come to?  Pizza-eating turtles with nunchuks? How big an audience could there be for something this bizarre? Remember, these were the days of Strawberry Shortcake and My Little Pony, so Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles seemed pretty damn edgy at the time. Stu brought most of us from Fraggle Rock in to audition and I won the part of Michelangelo.

VT: How quickly did you realize that you were a part of a phenomenon?

TC: About half way through the first season we were the #1 show and the action figures and toys were selling like hotcakes. One day you wake up and think… how did this happen?

VT: Why do you think it was (and is) so popular?

TC: That’s a hard question to answer. When it premiered, it was really different than anything else out there. Also, the vastly different characteristics of each of the four turtles embodied something that just about any kid could relate to. I could tell you story after story from people that have approached me at conventions or through social media that say how much the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were a part of their childhood and how important Michelangelo was to them in teaching them a sense of humor, the importance of sticking with something or the importance of having fun even when things were difficult. It never occurred to me that the words we were saying would have any kind of meaningful impact on another human being. It’s amazing to me that it resonated with so many kids.

VT: We have to mention the animated series, The Tick. It’s a cult classic.

TC: It’s blown me away just how popular that show still is. I think it’s more popular now then when it first aired in the 90’s. In fact, with everything I’ve done in animation, The Tick was easily my favorite show to work on ever. The writing really hit my funny bone and the cast was great. I was a huge Monkeys fan as a kid, so having Micky Dolenz (who originally played Arthur) as my sidekick? It doesn’t get any better than that.

VT: The Tick is such a loveable superhero. Is he based on anyone in particular?

TC: Actually he’s a composite of Gary Owens, the announcer on Laugh In, Ted Knight who played Ted Baxter on the Mary Tyler Moore show, and the character of Nick Danger (a gumshoe private eye) from Firesign Theatre. When I first saw the script for The Tick, I read the lines and show description and saw a picture of The Tick and those three guys immediately came to my mind. So I started by borrowing the diction of Gary Owens, the bumbling, but trying to be cool essence of Ted Baxter and the straightforwardness of Nick Danger. Then I dialed in a little bit of myself into the mix. As inventive as some of my work might seem, it’s not stuff I invented. It all came from ideas, sounds and styles that somebody before me had already done.

VT: But it was your imagination that brought those three prototypes together.

TC: True. And even though there were a lot of things that I borrowed, there was that element of me that nobody else could bring to the role. And that’s true for all of us as voice actors. We each have that something unique to us that nobody else has, and it’s incumbent upon each of us to discover and feed it and let it blossom and bloom.


Jul
11

Booking Madonna…

MORE THAN THIRTY YEARS AND STILL GOING STRONG… sure, that applies to Voicetrax, but we share the distinction with a literal rock star: MADONNA, whose fandom is still mighty enough to inspire a documentary, mighty enough in fact to inspire a Russian journalist to move to New York City and take 3 ½ years to put that documentary together! And who’s the ‘Traxer they hired to narrate it? None other than MARY JO IP! There’s a brief sample of Mary Jo’s work :26 into the promo below. Not to be a broken record about these things, but it’s true – hard work and determination WILL pay off, just as it did for Mary Jo! CONGRATULATIONS!


Jun
24

First Audition, First Booking!

You just NEVER KNOW when that first job will strike… One of the great things about taking classes with Guest Directors active in the voice-over industry is that you may just make enough of a first impression to get something unexpected – like an actual audition for a job! PETER DUNNE, our resident Audio Tour guru, has been known to pop a surprise on a Voicetrax student or two, and this time, ‘Traxer LAUREN CHEONG was the recipient:

“When an audition appeared OUT OF THE BLUE in my inbox, I was surprised and thrilled. It was a gift: my first audition.

I turned in the audition that evening and in less than 24 hours, I got a ‘check avail’ from the client asking for my rate and availability… A couple days later, I was given a time and place to go – no ‘you’re hired’ or ‘it’s yours’ – simply where and when to record… I received the script, which was a one-page audio tour excerpt… To get an audio tour audition, much less an audio tour gig felt surreal. This is exactly what I want to do.

The day came, and I drove to SF, met the friendly engineer in his pristine studio and I was directed via Skype by a friendly director in New York. I didn’t get a lot of direction overall, but what I did get was just like anything I would have heard in class. It was a quick job, and I was done in less than thirty minutes. The whole thing was a lovely fluid process.

Never did I expect to get an audio tour as my first audition, and then to get the job – I’m still gobsmacked, thrilled, and also thankful for all the drills and guidance we get at Voicetrax. Neither the director nor the engineer knew it was my first job, and hopefully it wasn’t obvious. While I was nervous before I got there, once at the studio, I was in the moment and I don’t recall feeling any butterflies.

Hugs,

Lauren Huber Cheong”

CONGRATULATIONS, Lauren! Sounds like the start of a beautiful new career!


Jun
17

Let’s Make A Scene 2019, Parts 2 & 3

LET’S MAKE A SCENE: ROUNDS TWO AND THREE! In our wild and wacky world of class scheduling, things arranged themselves in just such a way that we ran a Let’s Make A Scene double-header on June 8 and 9 – with LA veteran JEANNIE ELIAS in one studio, and former ‘Traxer and On-camera/Promo guru CHOPPER BERNET in the other! Between Jeannie and Chopper there was an entire conservatory’s worth of scene breakdowns and intensive coaching going on at the Voicetrax campus, which made the students’ work that much more brilliant… and narrowing down the field, that much bigger of a headache! But after a few days of rumination, kvetching over having to pick only a few (and maybe a drink or two), Jeannie and Chopper have fulfilled their mandate! From Jeannie’s group, please join us in congratulating KENNY ALLEN, TAFFY DOLLARD, DEVIN GLISCHINSKI, ARON PARKER, and NING RECIO! And from Chopper’s group, we’ll have LAURA OGLESBY, EMMY PIERCE, MICHAEL RANKINS and LISA STAR moving on to the Finals! These finalists will join SUSAN TODD, COOPER GELHAUS, THERESA KNOTT and LISA WILLIAMS for a rousing round of performances in September’s Let’s Make A Scene Finals, to be judged by a top SF on-camera agent AND our current champion, Roni Gallimore! But we are so proud of every one of you who participated; you’ve ALL made yourselves better actors – and therefore better VOICE actors – as a result!


Jun
03

WINNING the 500!

AND THE WINNER IS… the performer who literally BROKE THE ENVELOPE this Saturday! One of the great lessons in a competitive auditioning class like the Voicetrax 500 is that actors sometimes get so wrapped up in the notion of a competition that their auditions can get “safe” and uninspired. And when Samantha saw the performances trending this way, she decided to shake things up a bit, giving one finalist some harrowing direction and daring her to go all the way with it. That finalist did what Sam asked, and was the shining example of what EVERY student should always do – be brave and let go…dig deep and truly unleash your heart. Her stirring performance was met with thunderous applause and the resounding consensus that she should be crowned the Voicetrax 500 winner, earning her a 500.00 dollar class scholarship! To learn who this finalist is, and to hear that performance, just click on the video below.

Voicetrax 500 2019

AND THE WINNER IS… the performer who literally BROKE THE ENVELOPE this Saturday! One of the great lessons in a competitive auditioning class like the Voicetrax 500 is that actors sometimes get so wrapped up in the notion of a competition that their auditions can get “safe” and uninspired. And when Samantha saw the performances trending this way, she decided to shake things up a bit, giving one finalist some harrowing direction and daring her to go all the way with it. That finalist did what Sam asked, and was the shining example of what EVERY student should always do – be brave and let go…dig deep and truly unleash your heart. Her stirring performance was met with thunderous applause and the resounding consensus that she should be crowned the Voicetrax 500 winner, earning her a 500.00 dollar class scholarship! To learn who this finalist is, and to hear that performance, just click on the video below.

Posted by Voicetrax SF on Monday, June 3, 2019


May
29

THREE “3.0s” = Free Private Lesson!

SOMETIMES IT ALL COMES DOWN TO ONE TAKE AND A TENTH OF A POINT: May’s session of The Good, The Bad & The Weird went right down to the wire! Students spent five weeks with Bay Area Video Game Guru BRIAN SOMMER developing and perfecting a good character, a bad character, and a weird character, all to perform for Samantha on week 6. A free private lesson with Sam was on offer to the student who performed each character to the most competitive standards, and this particular round of judging was TIGHT! There was a ton of great work on that last Monday night, but one student was able to score Samantha’s vaunted fully-competitive “3.0” score on EACH of his three characters – and one of those perfect, fully-competitive scores came in only ONE TAKE. CONGRATULATIONS, TED SMITH! Ted’s been working very hard at this for quite some time, and we’re ALL overjoyed to see this big payoff for his efforts!


May
24

The Inaugural PAY IT FORWARD Parlour!

OUR FIRST INSTALLMENT PAID FORWARD! A bit of Voicetrax history was made last night as we hosted a group ranging from a student just days out of the Beginning Seminar up through working professionals for some lively new Voicetrax Community connections! There was a TON of fun to be had and some very fine work by all – just have a look at the pics and read on to see what we meant by “surprises”. And many thanks to the participants of our Inaugural Pay It Forward Parlour for making it such a success!

“A big thank you to everyone (I know many had a hand in it) involved in creating the “Pay it Forward Parlour.” I really enjoyed EVERYTHING about it. New people with great suggestions/comments, great Engineer (all aspects), great food (thank you Graziano & Sam) and always a warm, caring atmosphere fostered by all but especially by Vicki tonight. Thank you again!” – Leslie Pringle

“Hi, Chuck – THANK YOU for a really valuable experience last night. You — and my fellow Traxers in attendance — made the 1st Parlour a huge hit.

I appreciate how generous you were with your guidance and expertise – with each of us. (As per usual!) I benefited greatly from your feedback – to me as well as to the others. And the opportunity to tune up my directing skills (again, with your guidance) was just the icing on the fabulous focaccia!

(I almost hope that the word doesn’t get out that this series is an awesome gift to Voicetraxers.)

It was another reminder of how fortunate I am to be part of the Voicetrax community.” – Drew Lea

“Million billion thanks, Chuck! It was such a pleasure doing that format with everyone, dipping my toes back in after so long, and especially fantastic having you there az Engineer.

Great vibes all around! See ya sooner, I hope…

AND O so good to see Sam and Vicki too all in one magic eve – my heart about burst.” – Greta Turken

 


May
16

Running The 500!

Time now to announce the FINALISTS of the latest VOICETRAX 500 Class and Competition! SELF-DIRECTION is not only crucial to voice-over auditioning, it’s also one of the surest ways to get a measure of just where you are in your training, by competitive standards. That’s what makes signing up for a home auditioning class/competition like the Voicetrax 500 such a gutsy move! It’s the ideal challenge to students who aren’t quite working pros yet – and the carrot at the end of it all is a $500 credit to apply to future classes! Here now are the FINALISTS, who did it all by themselves from their home recording studios: KENNY ALLEN, LAZLO BEAUREGARD, ANDY BLUESTEIN, LC BOROS, PAT FORAN, STUART GOVE, JONATHAN LIM, BILL NAYLOR, HEATHER OROSCO, ALEXIS SALDIVAR, STEPHANIE SHMUNES, KRYSTYNA SRODULSKI, MICHAEL STECHER, and EMIKO SUSILO! Thanks to all who participated, and stay tuned for next month’s announcement of the GRAND PRIZE WINNER…


May
13

Coyote and The Masks

From the HOW AWESOME IS THIS? files: it turns out PETER COYOTE has quite a thing going with his mask technique of waking an actor’s creativity – so much so that he’s writing an entire book about its uncanny effect on a performer’s imagination! There will be a DVD to accompany that book, including an interview with Peter and footage of students using the technique, and GUESS WHERE HE SHOT THAT FOOTAGE… so not only did every ‘Traxer who participated have a blast cutting loose and picking up a few mind-blowing insights, but they’ll also be the students you see when you buy Peter’s book! We couldn’t be more thrilled and honored to be a part of Peter’s project, and we can’t wait for you to read it and see it when it comes out – keep an eye out here as details develop…

 


Apr
24

Playing One on TV…

KEEP AN EYE ON THE SMALL SCREEN: By now, most of you have heard about, or read and told us about how much you enjoyed Samantha’s memoir, “Finding the Bunny: The secrets of America’s most influential and invisible art revealed through the struggles of one woman’s journey.” We’ve been bursting at the seams, and the time is finally here for us to let you in on some unbelievably HUGE news….

Warner Bros. (yes, people… THAT Warner Bros.) loved Samantha’s story so much that they have decided to option her book for development into a television series!

We are beyond thrilled with this incredible news (perhaps a happy dance or two broke out), and so proud of Samantha for trusting her inner voice at every step, following her creative vision no matter the obstacles, and defying the odds, as a first-time author, to land this deal! And, you can all take a bow. Why? Because each and every one of you are an integral part of the “house that Sam built”, the creative haven that is Voicetrax, which along with her personal story has captured the imagination of the WB Drama Department!

Stay on the lookout for the full interview with Samantha in the upcoming FALL 2019 CATALOG!

Click below to hear audio for this post:


Apr
09

Straight Outta LA: Keepin’ It Real With Scott Parkin!

“A wonderful group of actors who hung it out there and in my opinion came a long way!” This, from a man who knows a thing or two about coming a long way: VT Guest Director SCOTT PARKIN, who comes up from LOS ANGELES to teach “Fifty Shades Of Real”!  If voice actors see the word “conversational” once, they see it a MILLION times a day in commercial specs.  So in keeping with the Voicetrax “only-the-BEST-will-do” philosophy, we employ the services of the man known as the KING of the conversational read!

Doesn’t hurt at all that Scott’s classes also have the benefit of being laugh-out-loud FUN!


Apr
05

Keeping a Finger on the Pulse of Medical Narration

BAY AREA MEDICAL NARRATION IS A THING: for today’s W-t-Friday post, we thought we’d toss up a little pic of the sign-in sheet today at Viscira, a San Francisco new media agency specializing in life sciences. And who should we see but ‘Traxers JULIA NORTON and CHUCK KOUROUKLIS! If we had a look at Tuesday’s sheet, we might have caught Med Narration Extraordinaire VICKI BAUM! So brush up on your “myristoylation”, your “immunooncology”, and your “neovascularization”, everyone, ’cause there’s WORK to be had here with terms like those…

 


Mar
26

Life As A Door Lock

NEW from the NOTHING LIKE YOUR FIRST TIME files: congratulations are now in order for ‘Traxer BRIDGET MAGUIRE-COLTON! Bridget just booked her first gig thru Stars, The Agency:

“I’m so excited to share my first agency gig with you!

The gig: Radio/web spots for Plume Home Security
The role: A door lock. Yup.

I only had 2 lines in the script, but I did those lines at least a dozen different ways with three-in-a-row takes of each type of direction. They also changed the lines up on me multiple times, so being able to pivot on the fly and go with whatever I was told while staying in character was crucial. They even wanted a few takes of me as Gandalf doing the line “You Shall Not Pass!” I’m not sure if that was actually for the spot or just because we were having so much fun, but I gave it to them! The best moment: making the directors laugh.

Thanks!
Bridget Maguire-Colton”

WAY TO GO, Bridget! Getting a laugh is great, and we suspect you’ll be laughing your way to the bank before long! Another hard-working student, another success story started – it’s almost as if there’s a PATTERN here, one we may have even mentioned once or twice…

Click below to hear audio for this post:


Mar
15

David Gast’s DEMO!

From the Voicetrax DEMO UPDATE files: to keep yourself at your most marketable, it’s helpful to update your demo – especially if you’ve been using the same one for several years. Turns out that for our active students, updating demos is right up our alley! ‘Traxer DAVID GAST did a revamp with us, and here’s his story:

“It was definitely time for an updated commercial reel for me. After 6 years with a Bay Area agency, I thought it might be time I start fishing in other waters as well.

One of the great things about working with Sam & Chuck in this capacity is not only are you in great hands to begin with, but it also can be quite collaborative. This far down the road (11 years since my first VTRAX class) I appreciate and respect their opinions as much as ever, and certainly trust them… In both script choice and execution I felt very much in concert. We were relaxed, proficient, and having fun. I can’t imagine how many of these this duo have produced.

Sam’s direction is innate – you can hear her picturing how the pieces will sound both individually and more importantly, together. And I can never stress enough how her personal investment in her students is a key inspirational element. Sam means business, she was always does. And equally you always know how firmly she is in your corner, rooting for you to succeed from a such a loving place. I’ll never know how she does it.

Chuck’s technical expertise is a luxury – you know it will sound good. He’s got a million tricks, so if you don’t happen to quite hit the bullseye on a piece of copy, he makes it sound like you did (which is great IN THIS CONTEXT). Also so comforting to know the music and sound effects will keep things humming along just right.
So yes, the end result was predictable. I loved it! And will put it to good use!

Thank you Sammy!

Thank you Chuck!”

David Gast

Thank YOU, David! It was our pleasure, especially considering how well they turned out. To hear Dave’s new demos, just click the video link…

David Gast's new demos!

From the Voicetrax DEMO UPDATE files: to keep yourself at your most marketable, it’s helpful to update your demo – especially if you’ve been using the same one for several years. Turns out that for our active students, updating demos is right up our alley! ‘Traxer DAVID GAST did a revamp with us, and here’s his story: “It was definitely time for an updated commercial reel for me. After 6 years with a Bay Area agency, I thought it might be time I start fishing in other waters as well. One of the great things about working with Sam & Chuck in this capacity is not only are you in great hands to begin with, but it also can be quite collaborative. This far down the road (11 years since my first VTRAX class) I appreciate and respect their opinions as much as ever, and certainly trust them… In both script choice and execution I felt very much in concert. We were relaxed, proficient, and having fun. I can't imagine how many of these this duo have produced. Sam's direction is innate – you can hear her picturing how the pieces will sound both individually and more importantly, together. And I can never stress enough how her personal investment in her students is a key inspirational element. Sam means business, she was always does. And equally you always know how firmly she is in your corner, rooting for you to succeed from a such a loving place. I'll never know how she does it. Chuck's technical expertise is a luxury – you know it will sound good. He's got a million tricks, so if you don't happen to quite hit the bullseye on a piece of copy, he makes it sound like you did (which is great IN THIS CONTEXT). Also so comforting to know the music and sound effects will keep things humming along just right. So yes, the end result was predictable. I loved it! And will put it to good use! Thank you Sammy! Thank you Chuck!” David Gast Thank YOU, David! It was our pleasure, especially considering how well they turned out. To hear Dave’s new demos, just click the video link…

Posted by Voicetrax SF on Friday, March 15, 2019


Mar
12

Let’s Make A Scene 2019, Part 1

MAKING A SCENE can be a GOOD THING: Thanks to all participants in Voicetrax’s continuing “Lets’ Make A Scene” series! FRANK COPPOLA ran the first class this year and it was so satisfying to see fresh new faces rising to the challenge. Frank’s mandate was exactly the same as ours overall: make everyone a better actor. And while it was tough to determine the students who made the most notable progress from start to finish, we can safely declare, mission accomplished for all of you!

Frank’s verdict is now in:

“Dear Cinthia, Cooper, John, Helen, Theresa, Andrew, David, Gabrielle, Susan, Lisa and Adam,

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 LMAS. 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: Susan Todd, Cooper Gelhaus, Theresa Knott and Lisa Williams.

Narrowing my decision down to four has been a challenge – you are all terrific and I enjoyed working with every one of you.

Build on what you learned and be fearless.”

Thanks once again to Frank for setting the table for ’19 so nicely, and congratulations to the finalists! And most importantly, thanks to all of you who participated in the pursuit of being better at your craft. Keep to that level of commitment, and your investment in yourself WILL pay off!


Feb
27

No “Pipe” To This Dream!

Our latest YA NEVER KNOW case study: the trials and triumphs of ‘Traxer/Director RONI GALLIMORE! As you might recall, Roni took top honors in the inaugural Let’s Make A Scene series, a new set of Voicetrax courses digging into the ACTING side of voice-acting – and it turns out Roni’s win is no accident! Once she decided she wanted to try something new and a little scary, she was relentless in pursuing it, bound and determined to make the top mark in this new scene study-focused competition. And of course, since we had an on-camera agent doing the judging, guess who that agent JUST SIGNED ON TO THE ON-CAMERA DEPARTMENT at STARS, THE AGENCY!

“The most important thing is to challenge myself and learn. When I started working on my monologue, I had no idea how important it would become to me. And it was freeing to just jump off the cliff with no expectation of reward – but here I am, with this amazing opportunity!”

CONGRATULATIONS, Roni! And thanks for once again proving points we never tire of making around here: people who work a LOT WORK a lot because they WORK A LOT! For those who have the discipline and determination, there’s really no such thing as a “pipe” dream.


Feb
22

You Never Forget Your First 123…

From the NOTHING LIKE YOUR FIRST BOOKING FILES: having just finished a Voicetrax-produced Voice123-style demo – with all the production value of a regular demo condensed to a three-script sampler – ‘Traxer HAROLD DAVIS went after some game on Voice123.com and scored his first paid booking!

“The job I booked is called Houston Bingo Blitz. It is an app for a bingo game. I booked it through Voice 123 and it was quite intensive… I had no idea it required me to go through the entire bingo letters and numbers; i.e. b1 through b15, i 16 to i30, n31 to n45, G46-60, O61-75. The pacing had to be right, my tone a bit happy, and the inflections different for each one; quite a challenge!

I feel really proud of myself and excited to do more work in the future.

Certainly my training at Voicetrax helped me with script analysis, who I was speaking to, where it was, etc. – also, how to interpret the script for the type of emotion I needed to instill. I would not have gotten this job without the training I received at Voicetrax!”

Congratulations, Harold – and get set for many more to come!


Feb
04

Recruiting ‘Em Young!

From the JUST FOR FUN files: When Samantha’s adopted family in Southern California recently threw her a surprise party “just because”, little did they know she had a surprise of her own for some of the kids in attendance…

Future Stars!

From the JUST FOR FUN files: a little more about that last photo from Friday! When Samantha’s adopted family in Southern California recently threw her a surprise party “just because”, little did they know she had a surprise of her own for some of the kids in attendance…

Posted by Voicetrax SF on Monday, February 4, 2019


Jan
31

A Flying Start in 2019!

2019 has opened with lots of ‘TRAXER BOOKINGS! From the NETWORKING PAYS files: ‘Traxer BRUCE FRIEDRICKS finds himself spanning a wide variety of jobs thanks to being a “friend of a friend”! Bruce’s connections just got him his first medical narration:

“Many thanks to friend and VO colleague Diane Hayes for referring me to Satellite Films, the production company behind this booking (i.e. not [an agency] booking). And, special thanks to Vicki Baum for helping me to up my game in this particular narration genre which I am very passionate about.”

While we’re on the subject of medical narrations, how about NINA GREELEY:

“Just had to report to Vicki and Chuck, especially, that I booked that Gepotidacin spot (the medical narration for the new antibiotic for gonorrhea– remember? with the utter lack of pronunciation guidance?). Tee hee.

Also, I booked the Visual Descriptive Audio Tours for visually impaired visitors to the permanent collections at the De Young and Legion of Honor — a marathon three hour session. Antenna International contacted me directly for that one, so I hope I’ve made a permanent connection with them. The gig was great fun — detailed descriptions of intricate and interesting visuals — the acting pretty much happens by itself!”

Not to be outdone, here’s an insight CLAIRE FRY picked up on the way to become the voice of the latest FASTRAK campaign:

“There were two versions of the script: the “A” script which was meant to air before the end of the year and was presented as the main script (also the one I auditioned on) and the “B” script which was more of a “we’ll just record this for safety” kind of thing. Well I think because of the pushback on the bridge tolls and the lawsuits challenging Measure 3, they weren’t totally sure that the tolls would go into effect and the whole campaign was pushed back. So while the impulse at the session was to focus on the “main” script, I’m really really glad that I pushed myself all the way through and didn’t let my energy dip because it was the second script (written to air AFTER January 1st) that they ended up using! Just goes to show that *anything* you record in that booth could make it to air, so never give anything less than 100%…”

Congratulations, Claire, Nina and Bruce! And it just goes to show – keep your professional standards high, have an eye out for the right opportunities, and you too will be working a LOT because you WORK a lot!


Jan
15

Let’s Make A Scene 2018: THE WINNERS!

THE WINNERS HAVE BEEN DECREED! Join us now as we announce the top three finishers of the Inaugural Voicetrax “Let’s Make A Scene” series of intensive scene study classes, as judged by a San Francisco on-camera agent!

The Winners of "Let's Make A Scene"!

THE WINNERS HAVE BEEN DECREED! Join us now as we announce the top three finishers of the Inaugural Voicetrax "Let's Make A Scene" series of intensive scene study classes, as judged by a San Francisco on-camera agent!

Posted by Voicetrax SF on Tuesday, January 15, 2019

 


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!

 

LMAS graphic


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


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