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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


Sep
27

The Vuitton narrative…

NINA’S GOT A BRAND-NEW BAG! Nearly 12,000 words of audio tour narration, you say? With a whole LOTTA French mixed in to boot? Not a problem! Just do like Guest Director PETER DUNNE did and call in ‘Traxer NINA GREELEY! The project was a Louis Vuitton Exhibition shown in Paris, France! And no, you don’t need to be a French Major for such a thing – you’ve just got to be a pro, like Nina:

“Well … the first word that comes to mind is ‘CHALLENGING’! In more words:

It was quite a marathon! The entire recording session took 7 1/2 hours over two days. In preparation, I not only did my usual out-loud rehearsing, but I also downloaded the French pronunciations onto my smart phone so I could listen to them and practice while I drove (French is NOT my forte!). I brought water, apples, hot Throat Coat tea, and lozenges to both sessions — all of which I used at one time or another — and man, was I tired at the end (I have a newfound respect for people who record audiobooks). Overall, it was fun and as audio tours always are, Informative. Working with with Peter is always a joy!”

We’ve always thought Nina had that certain “je ne sais quoi”, and this only proves it! CONGRATS, NINA!

 


Sep
20

Livin’ large with Lori Alan!

INSIDE THE VOICE ACTOR’S STUDIO: We’re still catching our collective breath from the latest voice acting luminary to grace us with her presence, wisdom, and teaching brilliance – Guest Director LORI ALAN! Lori’s interview was memorable even by the brilliant standards of our “Inside The Voice Actor’s Studio” guests, by turns poignant, insightful, and riotously funny. And ALL THAT ENERGY carried right over to Lori’s “Mistress Of All Trades” Lab the next day! And for those of you who missed it this time – might Lori return to teach another class? Tune in when the 2018 catalog drops at the end of next month to find out! Meantime, here’s what a few lucky students had to say about it:

“By getting rid of our inhibitions and fears by voicing them aloud, we were able to go into the booth relaxed and ready. What came next was nothing short of a series of self-discovery and fun by all involved! Clarity and hilarity together again at Voicetrax!” – Devin Glischinski

“Lori was amazing! She had everyone of us working at our best. I think of everything we did it was the experience of starting class by telling her what we felt we needed to work on and then ending it by getting feedback on our performances from a classmate and giving the same in return that felt enlightening. It’s often hardest to see in ourselves that which is so much easier to recognize in others. It was incredible to see everyone of us so open and receptive. I left feeling exhilarated and recharged. Thanks to Lori, my classmates & Voictrax!” – Roni Gallimore

“Lori was an absolute delight. Her openness and self awareness made her class a joy, not to mention her mad skills. I am now using her technique of talking myself into the copy and it really feels like I’m bringing more authenticity to the entire read. Can’t imagine anyone in the class not coming away with some new treasures.” – Jeff Schwartz

 

 

 


Sep
11

TOP Voice LA Decompression

PROJECT DECOMPRESSION: We thought our first-ever TOP Voice decompression lab would be a night to remember, but we’re STILL blown away by the heartfelt feedback we got! The participants didn’t make the Finals for TOP Voice LA Competition, but that didn’t stop them from showing up with just the right mindset – quintessentially GROWTH, not fixed! They were so open and eager to turn this “setback” into a learning experience to advance their skills for the next time – and THAT, Ladies & Gentlemen, is how you SUCCEED!

“The Decompression evening with Sam was very helpful and encouraging. She filled in a lot of the mystery surrounding our work vis a vis not being finalists. It was down to earth feedback to learn from. Very glad I went as her approach felt like a reward for the learning experience it was meant to be for 23 of us:)”
– Rebecca White

“I wanted to say what a wonderful idea and class we had last night with Samantha and other students. It was reassuring and eye opening last night. Hearing others speaking about their disappointment and soul-searching trials helped me in my own self doubts and needing uplift for my continuous journey as a voice over actress…

Even with a great audition or even a bad audition week, we ALL need to work on ourselves as voice over actors/actresses. We win some, we lose some. But this decompression class, we were all winners because we got the feedback we needed to better ourselves and lift each other up as one.

I hope there will be more of these classes in the future!!”
– Nicole Squires

“Thank you so much for your generous decompression lab, it was one of the most valuable evenings I have ever experienced at Voicetrax… I’ll be honest I was afraid that it was going to be one of Sammy’s tough love sessions, with lots of “What were you thinking”? … but instead you made it a magical evening, full of discussion, compassion, and yes, education! Listening back to our auditions with yours and our input was HUGE and getting us back into the recording booth GIGANTIC!

It’s nights like Tuesday night that make Voicetrax such a special place!!! and it all begins with you and your fabulous staff. Next, time around I think you might want to change the name from decompression lab to Sammy’s new Compassion Lab.
Thanks for getting me back into the booth. I feel the love.”
– Susan Vlahos


Sep
06

Mad Science: Sam Pond and Comedic Radio Ads

FROM THE FILES OF GCRAWCCAP(??): One of the most effective ways to make you a better voice actor is to put you on the other side of the creative process, writing your own script. Once you’ve experienced actors bringing your script to life, you get a much better idea how to do that for other writers – which is the whole point of your career! And when it comes to comedic radio, there’s simply no one better qualified to oversee the whole process than Guest Director SAM POND in the Great Comedy Radio And Writing Class, Contest And Podcast (HIS title)! The field was so strong in the latest class that the top SIX finishers were mixed and produced for their public unveiling, which rolls out in the video below…

FROM THE FILES OF GCRAWCCAP(??): One of the most effective ways to make you a better voice actor is to put you on the other side of the creative process, writing your own script. Once you've experienced actors bringing your script to life, you get a much better idea how to do that for other writers – which is the whole point of your career! And when it comes to comedic radio, there's simply no one better qualified to oversee the whole process than Guest Director SAM POND in the Great Comedy Radio And Writing Class, Contest And Podcast (HIS title)! The field was so strong in the latest class that the top SIX finishers were mixed and produced for their public unveiling, which rolls out in the video below…

Posted by Voicetrax SF on Wednesday, September 6, 2017


Aug
23

Vicki goes South!

DATELINE HOLLYWOOD, CA: Guest Director VICKI BAUM has cracked it – her first UNION BOOKING in LA! And for those of you living under a rock, “ba da ba-ba-ba” means a NATIONAL SPOT FOR MCDONALD’S! VICKIIIEEE! WHAT a WAY to START!! Okay, we’ll quit geeking now and let Her Most Esteemed Baumness spin us the tale…

DATELINE HOLLYWOOD, CA: Guest Director VICKI BAUM has cracked it – her first UNION BOOKING in LA! And for those of you living under a rock, "ba da ba-ba-ba" means a NATIONAL SPOT FOR MCDONALD'S! VICKIIIEEE! WHAT a WAY to START!! Okay, we'll quit geeking now and let Her Most Esteemed Baumness spin us the tale…

Posted by Voicetrax SF on Wednesday, August 23, 2017


Aug
11

Now on DPN’s Animation Roster: Brian Sommer!

From the “NEVER Stop Growing” Files: after all his amazing accomplishments in games and animation, and after all his brilliance as an instructor, anybody who’s known Guest Director BRIAN SOMMER or had him in class might have wondered where he possibly had left to go. But no matter how impressive and far-reaching his laurels, Brian has never been one to rest on them. So that’s why he decided to bone up and take a class with Natanya Rose from DPN – the top voice-over agency in the country! That one thing led to quite another, as Brian tells it in a thank you note to Samantha:

“On May 2, 2002, some cop walked in the door of your amazing magic factory and tried his hand at voice over. Thank god you, and the other talented instructors were there to tell me what the hell I was doing wrong! Your support, kindness, and professionalism have always been present and appreciated.

It is for that reason that I wanted you to be one of the first to know, I have signed with DPN Animation. Natanya gave me the good news this morning. I am thrilled, excited, humbled, honored, and well aware that it is now time to swim with the big sharks!

With all my heart, THANK YOU, Sam. This has been something I have been working toward for many years.

– Brian”

 


Jul
28

Steven Kearney’s close encounter with Stephen Spielberg…

From the “IMPORTANCE OF PREPARATION” Files: this text just in to Samantha from Big Apple ‘Traxer STEVEN KEARNEY, whose latest booking packed a pretty HUGE surprise!

“Booked a job for yesterday w a 6:45AM call on the set of a movie called “The Post” (starring Hanks & Streep). Movie shooting on location in a beautiful old library on campus of Columbia University.  Kearney hired as a voice-match for deceased Watergate villain John Erlichman. Myself, a guy doing Nixon, and a few others hired to recreate a phone conversation or two re: Watergate.

At 7:15am a gentleman in a long-sleeved shirt, vest, and tie walks into this back conference room – rigged and staffed by sound guys w recording gear and a handheld boom mic – who will be directing our session.

Stephen Spielberg.

He could not have been nicer, Samantha. He knew what he wanted, he was calm, kind, and totally engaged in every word of what we were doing. An unforgettable 30 min’s of my voice acting career – and I was ready for it. Not at all nervous… just give it to him. Trust it. Let it go.

Your boy, Steven Kearney, being directed in a (tiny) voice role in a major motion picture by Sir Stephen Spielberg.

Do the work, move it forward, give every audition your best effort, and ya never know who you’ll run into in this business.

Happy Friday Samantha Paris.

Much love, Steven”

We couldn’t be prouder of you, Steven! And just a little footnote about this: notice how Steven said he was “READY for it”? That’s just one of many reasons we don’t knock demos together after six months of training. We want EVERY Voicetrax Student just as ready as Steven was by the time they enter the field.


Jul
21

‘Traxer Typecasting

BREAKING from FREMONT: More ‘Traxers have been spotted converging on unsuspecting voice-over bookings! This one continues a Star One campaign featuring VT Guest Directors LOUISA MACKINTOSH and CHUCK KOUROUKLIS, as a snappy fed-up customer and a blustery windbag bank manager, respectively (SO against type for both…)

“There is nothing better than walking into a session to find out you’re working with another actor… oh wait yes there is… when the other actor is Chuck K! Doing our second session together for Star One Credit Union. It was fun for me to watch a master at work, listen to it real time in a session.” – Louisa

“I hope this campaign goes on forever! Working with a performer who’s as generous and reactive as Louisa makes everything SO MUCH EASIER, particularly when there’s a call for wild line options after some live runs with your partner. Louisa helped me set my guy right up and keep him anchored!” – Chuck

Hit the video below for the finished radio spot. And you just never know – your fellow student of today may very well be your professional partner in crime tomorrow!

BREAKING from FREMONT: More ‘Traxers have been spotted converging on unsuspecting voice-over bookings! This one continues a Star One campaign featuring VT Guest Directors LOUISA MACKINTOSH and CHUCK KOUROUKLIS, as a snappy fed-up customer and a blustery windbag bank manager, respectively (SO against type for both…) “There is nothing better than walking into a session to find out you're working with another actor… oh wait yes there is… when the other actor is Chuck K! Doing our second session together for Star One Credit Union. It was fun for me to watch a master at work, listen to it real time in a session.” – Louisa “I hope this campaign goes on forever! Working with a performer who’s as generous and reactive as Louisa makes everything SO MUCH EASIER, particularly when there’s a call for wild line options after some live runs with your partner. Louisa helped me set my guy right up and keep him anchored!” – ChuckHit the video below for the finished radio spot. And you just never know – your fellow student of today may very well be your professional partner in crime tomorrow!

Posted by Voicetrax SF on Friday, July 21, 2017


Jun
23

‘Traxers on Audio Tour Narration

DATELINE: BAY AREA AUDIO TOUR BOOKINGS! One of many great things about Antenna Audio Producer/Guest Director PETER DUNNE is that if he overhears us talking about student bookings, he’s all too happy to update us on what ‘Traxers have booked! Lately he tells us of a DeGas Impressionism and Millenary exhibit at the Palace Of The Legion Of Honor, narrated by ‘Traxer NINA GREELEY and featuring character voices from ‘Traxers SCOTT KESSLER and JOHN ELLSWORTH – who also did characters for an exhibit at the Nation History Museum in Washington DC! But the ‘Traxer Peter calls a “bulldog” is none other than MICHAEL RANKINS, who tore through 4 hours on one day and 2 ½ the next for a Patek Phillippe Grand Exhibition at Cipriani in New York! And Michael was kind enough to give us a glimpse behind the scenes:

“I’ve done several previous audio tour projects with Voicetrax guest director Peter Dunne, but nothing quite like the one we recently completed for Patek Philippe: The Art of Watches Grand Exhibition, coming to New York City in July. It was a 10,000-word (!) script, all straight narration (that is, no sound inserts by expert commentators, just Yours Truly speaking). We recorded the tour in two marathon sessions, with a one-day break in between. This was a daunting challenge, in terms of both mental focus and physical/vocal stamina. (Stay hydrated, my friends!) But with Peter’s always positive direction, plus the excellent narration training I’ve picked up over the years from great Voicetrax instructors like Thom Pinto and Chuck Kourouklis, the hours flew by smoothly.

Three keys to a lengthy narration: 1. Keep focused and on task. 2. Stay consistent in character (and yes, your narrator is a character, even if you’re using your natural voice and accent). 3. Don’t let complex or awkward sentences, challenging words and phrases, or your own mistakes throw you off your game. If you flub — and you will — simply pause, pick yourself up, and move along.

P.S. I now have a renewed appreciation for my colleagues who record audiobooks, with scripts several times the length of this one!”

 


Jun
11

Would you trust these men with your message?

A new class with Thom Pinto is always an event – but how about “Men Only: WELCOME TO ANNOUNCERVILLE!” You’ve seen the specs: “NO Announcers…” “We want REAL and CONVERSATIONAL…” “Announcers will be SKIPPED…” and only in about 11 out of every 10 auditions you receive, right? So you might assume “announcers” have gone the way of the Dodo (not to be confused with any of our statuesque he-men in the class pic, btw). But if you pay attention to what’s actually getting produced these days, you find there’s still a LOT of “announcing” going on out there – and it’s up to a good voice actor to figure out just how much “announcing” to do! Some lucky ‘Traxers learned from the best this weekend, and here’s what a few of them had to say:

“It was an insightful look into the world of announcing as it relates to the auditions we get everyday. I definitely feel like I have a deeper understanding myself of what an announcer is and is not. Pinto worked his magic once again.” – Devin Glischinski

“As it is in most types of voiceover, the lesson here was much more prevalent: pick your moment(s), let most of the copy do the leg work, but put your mark on it by finding a moment in which to put your own personal accent on the piece. Thus making it memorable and competitive.” – Aaron Miner

“We were given permission not just to be announcers as an exercise, but to see and accept announcing as okay (or necessary, sometimes) in the real world, even when we’re confronted with specs that explicitly say it’s not. Learning how to think of and approach announcing as varied and, dare I say, subtle, rather than a binary choice of being bad or not being bad was important and revelatory.” – Christian Nielson-Buckholdt


May
24

NO degrees of separation…

From the NO DEGREES OF SEPARATION File: ‘Traxers always seem to be bumping into each other at gigs all over, and JULIE HANCOCK and TOM SAWYER are the latest to experience this increasingly common phenomenon!  When a call came into the office requesting someone with a comedy background to narrate an interactive series for COOK’S PANTRY, Tom was the obvious choice! And when that same project sought out a hip, young lady, Tom told a classmate – Julie! The very same Julie who just made her own score, right out of the Booking Gigs 123 class for EQUIVVY TRANSPORTATION on Voice 123.com! Julie had these insights about the Equivvy job:

“I remember in my Voice-Over Angel class, Guest Director Thom Pinto said to make the company representatives accountable in the session – and I don’t know how, but that came to me when I was in session and the rep was talking to the director to tell me to do things, even though we were all on the phone together. So I asked her directly if X was the direction she was thinking of and I felt like it created a much more open space where everyone was more involved in the final product and not shy about sharing ideas!”

We wonder how long it’ll be until Julie’s in something with the one lady, who was in that thing with the dude, who was in that show with Kevin Bacon…


May
15

Booking Gigs on paid casting sites…

FROM THE CLASSROOM STRAIGHT TO BOOKINGS: as easy as 1-2-3! While we have to stop shy of guaranteeing results on paid casting sites like Voice123.com, having a class under your belt like Booking Gigs 123 sure seems to help! Guest Director Vicki Baum is a 123 VET, and from her years of experience, she’s figured out all the ins and outs on the best use of your time on paid voice casting sites! Just ask ‘Traxers ARI SIGAL and FAYE JAIME – who booked their jobs immediately after finishing Vicki’s class!

“After a while of feeling really unsure with Voice123 and how it was going for me there, I just booked my first gig off of it — and within weeks of finishing the Booking Gigs 123 class! I really think that class helped give me the confidence to choose the right auditions and feel more comfortable in general with the process. It was a short, very real-sounding VO for a safe driving PSA playing a teenage daughter. I was able to record the whole thing from home. They wanted a few takes to choose from, so I got to implement all that great three-in-a-row training, and I got it to them within a day! All in all it was a super quick, great experience and I was so happy to have all my Voicetrax training to get me there and to help me feel more confident every step of the way.

Thanks!
Ari”

“It was a Pandora/ Wellness Natural Cat Food . 30 sec spot. I auditioned for it on Voice 123…

What did I learn at Voicetrax that helped me with the job? Well a short answer is EVERYTHING… But really, specifically the self-direction that I’ve learned and continue to learn is key. What has really been helping me lately is the direction we give each other in class because it allows me to step outside of the booth and focus on what really needs to happen in the read from a director’s perspective. Also during my recording session I got stuck on one line that I just couldn’t read the way they were telling me to, and it took a lot of takes to get it right. I had to get out of my head and let go to be able to read it in a different way. That is something I took from the session that I would like to continue to work on…

This was definitely a great learning experience and a big confidence boost as well as a reminder of things I still have to work on, but I also felt prepared in so many ways thanks to all the classes and the amazing teachers I’m lucky to learn from at Voicetrax.

Thank you!
Faye”


May
09

Raising the voice acting roof!

From the COMMANDO VOICE-OVER files: you never know what you might encounter on a booking with a madcap genius writer/director… unless that same madcap genius writer/director has also been your teacher at Voicetrax! Bay Area Comedy Radio Guru and Guest Director SAM POND ran ‘Traxer LIZ O’NEILL through some unusual paces on Friday; Sam wanted an outdoor ambience – and since nothing sounds more like the outdoors than… well, uh… the actual OUTDOORS, Sam was more than willing to throw the environment out the actual window! And as squirrel and sparrow alike rose and gave audience, a great time was had by all! According to Liz:

“What could be better than recording with Sam Pond? Recording with Sam Pond outside!! We had a blast recording al fresco to capture authentic ambient sound quality. Sam was directing us out a window! This was a session that set the bar for fun, creativity and working with the best. I couldn’t be more grateful.”

Moral of the story? NO TWO DAYS ARE ALIKE in the life of a voice-actor – and if you’re ready for ANYTHING, you might just be in for a LOT MORE FUN than you were expecting!

 


May
05

The FIRST VOICETRAX 500!

From the PERSISTENCE PAYS files, a HOT NEW SCOOP: we just held our inaugural session of the VOICETRAX 500 – so named because students auditioned at home to compete for a grand prize of $500 worth of Voicetrax classes, one of our BIGGEST PRIZES yet! And the results are IN. From an initial field of about 40 students recording home auditions, our panel of judges painstakingly narrowed the field down to 14 finalists, who enjoyed a Saturday class getting a comprehensive review of their work with Samantha. After a full day of listening to and working with the students, Sam had a winner in mind – but that initial panel of judges came to their own conclusions too! Uh-oh – how did that all play out? You’ll just have to watch the attached video to see… Hope you enjoy the moment as much as we did, because we just never EVER get tired of witnessing hard work paying off!

From the PERSISTENCE PAYS files, a HOT NEW SCOOP: we just held our inaugural session of the VOICTRAX 500 – so named because students auditioned at home to compete for a grand prize of $500 worth of Voicetrax classes, one of our BIGGEST PRIZES yet! And the results are IN. From an initial field of about 40 students recording home auditions, our panel of judges painstakingly narrowed the field down to 14 finalists, who enjoyed a Saturday class getting a comprehensive review of their work with Samantha. After a full day of listening to and working with the students, Sam had a winner in mind – but that initial panel of judges came to their own conclusions too! Uh-oh – how did that all play out? You’ll just have to watch the attached video to see… Hope you enjoy the moment as much as we did, because we just never EVER get tired of witnessing hard work paying off!

Posted by Voicetrax SF on Friday, May 5, 2017


May
02

Great Scott! What a class!

From the WILDLY SUCCESSFUL DEBUT CLASS files: we all know that dreaded “conversational” spec – the one you come across over and over and OVER AGAIN in auditions. Isn’t it great when you have a breezy new Guest Director who’s made an entire career of that very thing in LA? Who can show you not only how to attack that direction, but also how to work a TON of variety into it? And isn’t it best of all when your sides are sore from laughing NON-STOP after taking such a class? That’s what Freshly Minted Guest Director SCOTT PARKIN brought from LA to “Invitational Fifty Shades of Real” this weekend! And it looks like Scott had a ball too!

“ ’Wow’… that’s the only way I can think to start this letter off. Wow what an incredible experience to work with Voicetrax students this weekend. A passionate, brave and talented group. Such a wonderfully tight knit community as well. Everybody roots for each other and jumps at the chance to help. I found it incredibly refreshing and awesome to work in that environment. We went at it hard and covered so many aspects of my curriculum and they answered every challenge. Everyone seemed to stretch into areas they hadn’t been and that is just the coolest thing for a teacher to be a part of. Thank you so very much. I will do that anytime there is a slot for me

– Scott Parkin


Apr
21

Preparation + Opportunity =…

Here’s the latest and hottest from the DON’T-NEED-AN-AGENT-TO-START-WORKING FILE: ‘Traxer DIANA HAVEN’S FIRST BOOKING! This won’t be the first ‘Traxer story you’ve read about a “friend of a friend” needing someone to voice a project, but the twist here is that Diana was thrown some challenges – JUST AFTER she’d had a class on dealing with them! And now, we’ll just let her take over:

“So, the ‘Booking Gigs 123’ class literally paid for itself after just two classes this past week. They say ‘Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity,’ right? Well, this was the perfect example.

My friend Kim is the PR Director for the Kapor Center in Oakland. On Friday afternoon she called me with an urgent need to hire voiceover talent for a video she was helping produce… The initial VO they had hired wasn’t a fit, and she was hoping I’d be interested. Of course the catch was she needed it in two days, and it was a four minute video where the director needed to patch in while I was recording. Since I had just learned about phone patching in class, as well as what the going rate for a four-minute video should generally be, I was able to say yes without hesitation… I recorded an audition that night, which they liked, and two days later recorded a final cut that required no pick-ups!”

Here’s the link, and we couldn’t be PROUDER OF and MORE THRILLED WITH the way Diana handled herself on her FIRST JOB – one of MANY TO COME!


Apr
06

‘Traxers DeScending on DeYoung

THERE ARE NO SMALL ROLES, ONLY SMALL ACTORS. Just ask Guest Directors VICKI BAUM and JIM EDGAR, and ‘Traxer SEAN CAIN! When Guest Director Peter Dunne approached them to provide a few character lines for the upcoming “Summer Of Love” exhibition at the DeYoung Musuem, they all said “HELL YEAH!” – and that was BEFORE they knew the main narrator was another Voicetrax Guest Director you all may have heard of: PETER COYOTE! Gold star to anyone who can guess which of the three said, “I don’t give a DAMN if it’s only one line, I’m in an audio tour with PETER F-ING’ COYOTE!”

The tour is coming to the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco April 8, and running through August 20! Follow the link below for more information – and when you go, listen carefully so you don’t miss their stellar performances!

 


Mar
23

They could tell you more, but then…

DATELINE: SAUSALITO, CA – Recon debriefing from six assets in the field indicates a MAJOR MISSION SUCCESS! One of Voicetrax’s top guest directors – among the top animation agents in the country – has developed a brilliant new lab format called Invitational Secret Agent Character Protocol! And thanks to the wild success of this first mission, there’s another Secret Agent Character Protocol coming up in June, for any of you Advanced and Working Pro ‘Traxers who want your shot! Meantime, the super-advanced ‘Traxer Vets and Guest Directors who took part in Sunday’s opening foray have now been cleared to declassify their activities:

Aaron Miner: This class was really an eye opener, to such a point where I didn’t sleep well last night because I was replaying so much of what happened in my head! To be more specific, I learned a better mindset in dealing with my nerves. This was the best of the best in this class and I was one of them. First I had to believe that I belonged there, second in order for me believe that, I had to let go, completely. Letting go of over thinking, letting go of DOUBT allowed me to see the scene and act to it better, which was wonderfully freeing. This class taught me that by letting go, I can go back to having the fun I used to have when I first started here. Overall this was so refreshing and eye opening, and I can’t wait to do this again!! Thanks!!

Liz O’Neill: Secret Agent’s first secret is no room for safe choices; no place for predictable performance; no art in the easy path. Secret Agent’s second secret is to live in that mindset you need mad, mad skills. If you don’t have them now, don’t worry. Get them. Find them. Hone them. If you have some now, build on them. Deepen them. Be terrible and then be great. Secret Agent’s third secret is passion. Don’t turn your back on it… I seriously did not sleep for two nights after this lab. I was so charged up. My subconscious was just having a field day. So grateful to have been a part of it and to have been with you two.

Roni Gallimore: It was an amazing experience to have such a small group of professional talent in one action packed class. As always, working with our Secret Agent is eye opening because she has such a different industry POV. I think the two biggest things I took away were: 1) even people I look up to can benefit from direction & 2) there is great skill in being a utility player and I need to accept every challenge that gets me closer to where that bar is.

Vicki Baum: One of the things I love most about voice-over is you never quite master it – so I am always searching for the next educational challenge, the next opportunity to be pushed into wonderfully uncomfortable ground to expand my skills. This special lab was just that. Instead of being intimidated by the talent in the room and by performing for one of the biggest animation agents in the country (and trust me it would have been easy to be), I was energized and inspired to dig in and go for it. When I did, good things happened, which is an incredibly important mental association to cultivate. I felt so damn empowered and pumped walking out of this class, ready to take risks in all my auditions to come. An amazing way to spend a Sunday!

Chuck Kourouklis: This lab was my sorely-needed Italian tune-up (when you have a cranky old Maserati or Ferrari with oil-fouled spark plugs, you just rev the bejeezus out of the thing till it runs smoothly again). And it was a vivid demonstration of something you hear from day one at Voicetrax: you’ve got to consider what the top actors in your category will do and figure out a way to MAKE YOUR AUDITION STAND OUT. Our Secret Agent not only has a thumb directly on the pulse of what actually books jobs, she directs with the very best blend of an actor’s mentality and a top agent’s insight. One of the best exercises I can recall and a great way to take some overdue personal stock as a performer.

Brian Sommer: For me, It was the honest and no nonsense atmosphere. No theory, no exercises, no excuses. It was less a class, and more of a drill. The take was either right or it was not. Period. This workout let everyone know, in no uncertain terms, exactly where their skill level was in comparison to the top pros in the industry. Having not been a student in a long time, it was the perfect opportunity to be critiqued by someone whose experience and knowledge makes her comments unquestionable. I had a ball!! Thanks Secret Agent.


Mar
13

Success, fresh out of the Barnes…

SURPRISE HEADLINE OF THE DAY: perspiration, persistence, and most of all PATIENCE have (once again) paid off! ‘Traxer MICHAEL BARNES is now enjoying the first fruit of his carefully cultivated preparation as a voice actor:

“So, I just recorded my very first paid voiceover session! It was a direct booking Nate got me by submitting my demo, and it was a radio commercial dialogue script for a hardware company. Pretty typical; husband and wife conversational. It was hard because there isn’t a lot of feedback, but it only took 25 minutes to record, and they didn’t kick me out….so we’re assuming they got wanted they wanted!

Thankfully I had the Voicetrax experience in my head the whole time keeping me calm – or at least playing the part of the cool, calm, experienced voice actor (that’s why it’s acting)!!

The thing that happened that really made me think about Voicetrax is when the director asked me for three in a row on one line. I know I needed something fast, and thankfully the training kicked in to help.

Again, thank you all for your help and guidance over the years. Today was a long time in the making, but I knew it would happen eventually! Thank you all, love you all, and the best is yet to come!”

We’ve talked a lot about the importance of hard work, but not so much about trusting the process – and that’s what Michael exemplifies! He simply remained steadfast and dedicated to his training, knowing that if he refused to give up, his moment WOULD COME. At no point did he chafe or try to push things before he was ready, but instead he waited till Sam gave him the green light and produced his demo.

Lo and behold, that moment is now here! Congratulations, Michael! And we couldn’t be prouder and happier about your success.


Mar
01

Audio Tours bringing cold cash Monet…

Because NOTHING tickles us like another case from the ‘TRAXER BOOKINGS file: how about some kudos now for SCOTT KESSLER! Scott’s really been coming into his own as a narrator, but this job with Voicetrax Guest Director/Audio Tour Extraordinaire PETER DUNNE took a new turn:

“I’m thrilled at the opportunity to work with Peter on the Monet: The Early Years exhibit at the Legion Of Honor Museum, in San Francisco. I recorded four character voices, which I understand are already edited and ‘in the can’. I love audio tour stories. They’re vivid, visual, and have a heartbeat. I just love them.”

And we just love hearing about your success after all the sweat equity you’ve put in, Scott! Versatility PAYS. Congratulations!


Feb
27

Something new to Marvel at!

BREAKING NEWS on the BOOKINGS FRONT: On her last booking from DPN in LA, ‘Traxer ALY CASAS has scored the character “Jubilee” in Marvel Heroes, an online multi-player game! “It was such a fun session”, Aly raved, “and when you look on IMDB, the caliber of the cast who’ve contributed to this game since its launch is to die for! Drake Bell, Crispin Freeman, Tara Strong, Stan Lee himself!” See what Jubilee is all about in the video link above, and CONGRATS, ALY!


Feb
02

Opportunities In Audio Tours…

voice acting experts

Feast your eyes on Guest Director/Audio Tour Producer Extraordinaire PETER DUNNE! He has been successfully training hundreds of Voicetrax students over the years, and it turns out that he has ended up hiring many highly trained Voicetrax students for various projects, including NINA GREELEY, who voiced “Monet: The Early Years”, and MICHAEL RANKINS for the “Vikings” Cincinnati Museum Center Tour. We’re proud to have Peter as part of our world-class group of Guest Directors, and we’re also grateful for the opportunities he may provide for deserving, well-trained students who fit the needs of his projects!


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