Voice Blog Episode One

Introduction and background to my new voice blog. I’ll be doing one of these every day (usually) and they’ll be about 5-10 minutes each. This one is a bit longer but I didn’t realize how long I had gone by the time I was done. Another skill to learn!

Please let me know if you have questions or comments.

Voice Blog RSS Feed: http://coreysnow.libsyn.com/rss

7 Responses to “Voice Blog Episode One”

  1. Aimee Says:

    This is an excellent idea, Corey. I enjoyed listening to this, because it really gave me a good perspective on the entire process you are undergoing, of having raw talent, and pursuing the polished craft. I’m going to write down my initial thoughts, and hope that they make some nugget of sense.

    I think it is wise for you not to listen to these, at least in the beginning. Subtracting the factors that will make you most self conscious will help you – in essence – trust the environment you are in. By that I mean… the microphone, the audience, and yourself. Like you described, the brain does a bang-up job of going into critical, reactionary overdrive. “What are they thinking? Are they into it? I wish I hadn’t said it like that… oh my god, do I really pause that much?” In essence, the brain is a master at judging every little thing spoken, and every little sensory feedback we get… or we *think* we get. The goal is to silence that little labeling bastard… and just flow. 🙂

    Of course, that’s not easy. You spoke of the classes, and how much more challenging they were than you had thought. That is fantastic! For me, the love of the craft plus the challenge equals a really dynamic set of circumstances. I think back to when I was teaching myself Photoshop. I started, because I LOVED art, and was smitten by the possibilities of digital art. When I first got my hands on a copy of Adobe Photoshop, I felt like I was a novice stepping into the cockpit of an F1 fighter jet. I knew enough to turn the thing *on*… but holy crap, now what? I knew I was a good artist… a great artist. I knew I had a wild imagination, and I knew without a doubt that I WANTED to ‘fly’ that program… so I just dove in. I’m glad that ‘just diving in’ did not include the foreknowledge that it would be about five years before I was creating anything solid and marketable! Not that it would have stopped me, but it kept me from counting the days. 😉 It kept me ‘in the moment’ so to speak. Just me, practicing, right now, because I love it. The thing is – that never changes. No matter what success I have, I am still just me, practicing, right now, because I love it.

    So for you, the fact that you acknowledge there is work to be done, and you are willing to do it because you love it? You’ve already won half the battle. It reminds me of these quotes:

    Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. ~Thomas Edison

    Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don’t turn up at all. ~Sam Ewing

    The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work. ~Emile Zola


    Something I would suggest, which you may or may not be into – is utilizing some of your commute time to listen to someone who specializes in focusing on that labeling part of yourself. You can be the most confident person in the world, and still be held by the short hairs by that tiny voice in your head. It’s not so much that you give a damn what someone is thinking of YOU… but it suddenly becomes a different ball game when you are trying to create something and share your talent, and you are wondering what they are thinking of IT. Or even more potent, what you yourself are thinking of it! It’s that whole self conscious factor again. I think it is a very large component in the big picture, and if you were able to address it, and harness it… it would be a good foundation for everything else. It is something I listen to frequently to help me with that very thing, and if you are interested, I can email you the details.


    As for the actual recording today, I noticed you sounding more and more relaxed as you kept talking. By the end, you were very conversational. There were moments that you tapped into that flow where you weren’t focusing on speaking into the mic, or that people would be listening. You were in that golden zone of simply conveying your thoughts. 🙂 That is the good stuff. Looking forward to hearing it as it transforms.

  2. Aimee Says:

    I almost forgot! Character suggestions! I wonder what a conversation would sound like if Gandalf was interviewing YOU. 😀 The real Corey, on your quest to become a voice actor.

  3. Carrie Standish Says:

    So much I could could say, but first let me commend you for making the commitment to hone your craft through simple daily discipline! Second, you’re being way too hard on yourself, which means you’re officially qualified to be an artist, lol. If I learned anything in my acting/singing training, it’s how essential it is to learn to ignore the critic inside your head, and how difficult that is to do. Also, while much of my training is an asset to me in becoming a VoiceOver artist, some of it I actually need to overcome by learning new techniques. In my feedback, I was described as having a heavy tongue, lol. I knew going into this that enunciating for the microphone was going to be a big challenge for me, since I’d spent so many years practicing dicton for the opera house. Talk about polar opposites! I wasn’t kidding when I said I had a fear of microphones, lol. Other challenges of mine include a lack of knowlege about some of the genres of voice acting, eg. gaming, and total ignorance about the hardware and software involved in setting up a home studio and a website with which to market my services. So I have a long way to go to become a working VoiceOver artist too!
    That leads me to a proposal. Why don’t we form a Mastermind Group (apologies to Napoleon Hill) that meets once a month to hone our craft. You you could share your knowledge and skills that I lack, and I could share acting and vocal exercises and techniques that are designed to relax the body and help you set aside your inhibitions. Other local aspiring VoiceOver artists who have their own stengths and weaknesses may wish to join us as well. Let me know what you think. Until then, keep up the good work. There’s a lot to be said for the “chop wood, carry water” way of doing things 🙂

  4. Cyclometh Says:

    Carrie- that is an utterly brilliant idea. Let’s make this happen, I’ll shoot you an email.

  5. Cyclometh Says:

    Aimee- wow, thanks for the amazingly detailed feedback- you rock. It’s good to hear that hard work does pay off from someone who’s been there doing it! 🙂

  6. An Artist’s Workshop? Brilliant! – The Voice of Cyclometh Says:

    […] […]

  7. Justin S. Barrett Says:

    Wonderful idea, Corey. I wish I had time to listen all the way through to this clip (it’s 1:30 am), but I did want to toss out this suggestion in your quest for a more natural, conversational read: record without wearing headphones.

    When I first started getting serious about VO, I would wear headphones all the time, thinking that it would help me to hear exactly how I was coming through on the mic. After several months, I decided to try recording without them. It took a little getting used to after wearing the cans for so long, but I believe it actually helped, especially in terms of sounding more natural. Think about it: when we’re in real conversations, we don’t have a mic in front of us and headphones on to hear how we (or the others in the conversation) sound. We’re just talking. Ditching the cans and “just talking” seems to be an easy step to take toward a more conversational delivery.

    Another thing that I gained by ditching the headphones is better breath control. I remember having difficulty reading certain passages in the early days because I would get out of breath, or breathe in odd patterns, but I didn’t actually attribute it to the fact that I was wearing headphones until recently when I was recording some material at work. In order to hear the engineer, I had the cans on for the whole session. Boom: those same breathing problems were back. The next time I did a session at work, I left them off, and it was great.

    Gotta crash. Good luck with your daily recording quest!