VO 101

The month of March has started out uniquely this year. I received a request from Scott Uecker, who heads the Broadcasting program at The university of Indianapolis, to be a guest speaker at the annual Indiana Association of School Broadcasters conference last week. Several media leaders in the community spoke about software, TV news, sports broadcasting, journalism, video production, radio promo’s, morning drive radio. I was asked to walk the high school attendees through my career with it’s ups & downs and how I went from radio to morph into a full time voice actor.

I love to share my experiences with others and if I can tell a story to guide them around a few pitfalls, the better it will be for us all. I’ve been a sponge all my life and I drove home that concept, along with networking and dealing with the world of clients in a global market. The students asked good questions and since they weren’t sleeping through my presentation, I felt it went well. The turnout was great. Earlier in the morning, had been the finals for the IASB live judging. I had been a judge with many other local broadcasters the week before and we heard a bunch of very good production & imaging entries that the students produced for the competition that would be announced at the finals the day of the presentations. One of my TV news anchor “hero’s” even attended my session and we traded glances when referring to times in the earlier days that happened way before these kids were even a twinkle in their parents eyes. (Thanks Phil Bremen – you made my day)

Many thanks to Scott and his staff for making me feel at home and giving me the tools in my designated classroom to educate these students. The following day I gave a Skype presentation, live from my home studio, to the college students at Anderson University, which is just up the road from Indianapolis. They too had some good questions regarding character development, networking, the expansion of the Internet today compared to my earlier broadcast days. Many thanks to Matt Rust, the Director of their broadcast division at the University, for making me feel comfortable and setting up this Skype session with those eager minds.

Jay Burke, the Grand Poopah at Vincennes University, in southwestern Indiana, where I attended my first two years of college, also has invited me to teach a two-hour workshop on Radio Production and the world of Voiceover work too next week. I’m looking forward to teaching this workshop after having had the privilage of learning from some of the best. Dick Orkin, Christina Coyle, Marice Tobias, Dan O’Day and Nancy Wolfson. Over your career, you learn so much and so many have their own way of doing things, so it’s your job to figure out what works for you. What direction and instruction makes your voice and psychie work the best. How your own personal experiences jive with the dedicated instruction you’ve received. So it will be a day of teaching, sharing, reading scripts, citing examples and hopefully enlightening these college students who have a very new world to deal with that my generation never did.

The world of radio has changed drastically. How are the new broadcasters going to deal with corporate deregulation, voice tracking, smaller staffs and very lean budgets and still enjoy going to work each day? I honestly don’t know. But I’ll arm them with the facts and explain that the world of voiceovers is not a path of easy and simple work. Do you have a studio? A demo? A voice coach? Do you have a good business sense? How about marketing, accounting, promotion, psychology and don’t forget that tough skin you better have from all the auditions you’ll be doing and getting rejected time after time. So much to discuss and so little time to do so. This will be different from my first classes at the front of the month. This is will be an education for both of us.

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