Connie Terwilliger – ISDN Voice Talent

June 17, 2010

I could work here…

Filed under: Technology — Tags: , — connieterwilliger @ 11:38 am

Oh my – what a wonderful city Munich is – even if it is raining. And one of the first things I saw after climbing 4 flights of stairs to my brother and sister-in-law’s apartment in the Haidhousen area of Munich, was a wooden “whisper” room.

My brother is a horn player – a world-class horn player. He is presently principal horn for the Bavarian Radio Orchestra and for 30 some years was principal horn for the Munich Philharmonic. After finding this new apartment right in the middle of a park near the Iser River, he had to convince the landlord that his 3 times a day practicing wouldn’t be obstrusive. Somehow he was able to get the potential landlord to visit someone who had a “whisper” room in their apartment so that he could hear that there was really no sound emerging.

So there it was – a 13,000 Euro wooden room with snap together sides that block 95% of the sounds he makes when practicing. And even after nearly 40 years of playing the horn, scales 3 X a day are not the most pleasant sound for the average neighbor.

I was instantly jealous – because I could hear the low low low noise floor and knew that I would be very happy in that room. He has it hung with mirrors and pictures and a ventilation system – which is great for him, because he is trying to keep his noise out, not outside noise from coming in.

June 11, 2010

Audiobook Insights from VOICE 2010

Filed under: Auditioning, Marketing — Tags: , , , , , — connieterwilliger @ 9:03 am

“Narrating audiobooks is one of the fastest growing niche areas of voiceover!”

This is a quote from Hilary Huber’s Audiobook panel materials for her Friday, June 4th Breakout session. On hand were Scott Brick and Pat Fraley to discuss what skills you need to actually work in this area.

The biggest hurdle for many people with aspirations of recording audiobooks is the simple fact that you have to read aloud for a LONG time. Most people THINK they can do this, but when faced with 500 pages of book – with multiple characters of different genders, ages, ethnicities, etc. – the reality is that it takes much more than thinking about it.

If you have gotten to the point where you can comfortably read for several hours a day for several days, without an excessive number of stops and starts or abundant mouth noise, then perhaps you are ready to market your services.

The current trend for demos (and this is not an exact science) is at least three – 1 minute excerpts with a slate before each. Pick from familiar books – good books, but not best sellers done by well known audiobook narrators. Although it was suggested that you could send a specific producer a snippet from something they have produced. This would require several demos customized to each producer, of course. Your demo should also have pristine sound – rent a studio if necessary – and use a director.

Got your demo(s) done – look for a publisher who will take a chance on you – probably not the big houses, but the smaller publishers.

Some links for researching audiobook publishers:

One final thought from the panel…

“Slow down on action scenes.”

June 9, 2010


Filed under: Auditioning, Techniques — Tags: , , , — connieterwilliger @ 5:15 pm

I would like to share the g-rated moments that I gleaned from Nancy Wolfson’s VOICE 2010 session on Friday, June 4. Her session was definitely pushing my comfort zone at first, but, hey, if Bob Souer can do it, then by gosh, I can try it too!

First of all some basic f*!#g tips.

  • Active hush – I may need someone to post a response explaning what this actually means, but I think it relates to the next bullet…
  • Avoid Volume and Cheerfulness – instead to add energy use vocal tension
  • Watch the smile (the Joanie Gerber “psychotic” smile may be old-school?)
  • Keep the copy higher than your eyes
  • Keep your body loose – ready to pounce

The x-rated portion of the session was all about using your natural instincts and doing three takes.

  • The Admit take – this is the gut take – no extra words
  • Then “throw down the “f” word” before the key words in the copy. Don’t worry, you’ll find them.
  • Now take out the “f” word and underline the vowels in the word that followed the “f” word.

Try it – it seems to work.

More from VOICE 2010 – Maxing out the Internet

Filed under: Business — Tags: , , , , , , — connieterwilliger @ 4:56 pm

This was one of my favorite sessions at VOICE 2010, because my good friend Peter O’Connell was on the panel – well, OK, it was filled with great information from the rest of the presenters too.

John Florian kicked it off with some of the top level statistics from the first ever survey of voice talent conducted to find out how voice actors use the internet to enhance their business. Look for detailed results in upcoming columns on VoiceOverXtra.

Peter encouraged us to focus on who we want to find us – and figure out what we want to say to them – and it ISN’T how great we are! We need to identify what sets us apart and tell them what is in it for them. We should all do a SWOT on our careers: Identify our Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.

Doug Turkel came next – he is the UNnouncer. His message was multi-fold (much like his little handouts). First, we need to identify why clients are looking for us – wait, that sounds a bit like some of what Peter said (hmmm). And who do we want to find us (ah, a theme is developing here). We also need to make it EASY for them to find us! He encourages targeting our specific markets by using some of the free tools available – for example, sign up for free trade magazines in industries where you excel – and scour the business journal and business sections of your local paper.

Trish Basanyi (as usual a vision in purple) focused her remarks on social media and how it can be leveraged to get work. Use the import contact features and start connecting with your existing contacts in a more personal way.

David Kaplan calls himself the Voice On The Run and never stops – not even for dinner. While most of us probably couldn’t keep up his pace, he suggested finding the people who want to buy what we have to sell by using such tools as BackStage’s Call Sheet (formerly the Ross Report) to glean contacts. They usually do reports twice a year for voiceover people.

June 8, 2010

CAN * DO * WILL (Never I Can’t, I Don’t, I Won’t)

Filed under: Business — Tags: , , , , , — connieterwilliger @ 10:08 am

One of the best things about VOICE 2010 was finally connecting face-to-face with people who I have know for years in the virtual world. One of those was Tim Underwood from

I have been listed on Tim’s roster of talent for years now and was thrilled to see that he would be speaking at VOICE 2010. His topic was “How to be a Go-To Talent.”

His packet of handouts was very funny and included space to take notes and do some doodling (in case we got bored – which we didn’t of course).

A few of the top things I took away from his session – besides a lovely photo taken after the session with Tim and two other of his “go-to” talent – Charlie Glaize and Amy Taylor):

  • Always have a Can, Do, Will attitude. Skip the excuses!
  • Be ready to say Yes! And then get what you need to serve your client (ftp, more storage space, download the DocX converter, add stealth fans to your computer, get a better mic, etc.)
  • Make sure your signature block has all pertinent information so people don’t have to search
  • Sell the benefits of working with you
  • Don’t make a big deal about problems. For example, don’t mention the helicopter, simply stop for a second and say you need a sip of water. By the time you are done, the helo will be gone.

Thanks for the reminders Tim!

Comedy in Voiceover – a reflection from VOICE 2010

Filed under: Musings — connieterwilliger @ 8:46 am

A priest, a minister and a rabbi walked into a bar…

Comedy – it’s all in the timing – well, timing and a few other things. Pat Fraley was the opening act – presentation – of VOICE 2010 and set the standard. He outlined “Eight Common Elements to Comedy” and then set out to challenge a few folks from the audience to be funny.

But first he called on a volunteer – specifically a male – tall – uh, say 6’7″ – oh and Jewish – and suprised the group with Brad Garrett who had positioned himself in the back of the room.

And from there the laughs grew. Pat and Brad are both naturally funny, but insist comedy can be taught – if you understand what it is all about and your role. Are you the straight man? Then don’t “wink!”

Here is the list of those 8 common elements of comedy from Pat’s presentation.

  • Pain
  • Pride
  • Deception
  • Misunderstanding
  • Contrast
  • Exaggeration
  • Parody
  • Inappropriate

So, what’s the punchline to the lead line? The bartender says, “What is this, some kind of joke?”

June 6, 2010

Back Home – What Just Happened?

Filed under: Musings, Teaching — connieterwilliger @ 3:48 pm

There was so much going on the past few days at VOICE 2010, that I didn’t get a chance to blog and will need a day or two to digest what I got out of the sessions I attended and go through the business cards to try to remember who was there.

I did get a chance to update my Facebook page with photos and updates. If you are not on Facebook, this link may not work.!/album.php?aid=244274&id=678849697

I would say the highlight of the socializing part of the event – of which there were many – was hearing Rob Paulsen sing the Nations of the World song in his Yakko voice acappela.

That and seeing June Foray, now 92, up on stage and hearing her slip into Rocket J Squirrel without a beat.

Highlights of the seminars will require a bit more thinking – there were many little bits of information in each session I attended. Many of the sessions were geared to all levels of voiceover folk, so much of the material was not new.

I am looking forward to reading the details of John Florian’s Survey on to see if there were any trends or insight into where the business is going that might help me continue to grow my business.

June 3, 2010

VOICE 2010 Update

Filed under: Musings — connieterwilliger @ 9:09 pm

It has been quite a day here in Los Angeles – well, Century City to be exact. A quick brisk walk around the hotel’s perimeter early during the June gloom and then indoors for the rest of the day – and a mixture of glad-handing, comedy, affirmations, introductions, re-introductions and much more. It’s about 10 PM now and I am back in my room trying to catch up on the sleep I missed last night. Hard to do when there are people to talk to at every turn.

The conference has been great so far. Pat Fraley brought his friend Brad Garrett to be part of his opening presentation on Comedy. Wonderful stuff – which I unfortunately – or perhaps fortunately – had to duck out of for a while to respond to a client who needed something recorded this morning.

I was able to snag a spot at 11 AM in the Dave & Dave Whisper Room to do a phone patch session with this political client and managed to get back to the rest of Pat and Brad’s – uh – act (spontaneous impromtu fun) before heading into the booth to convince people to vote for the proposition.

Later in the day, I had a chance to meet a regular client face-to-face who was presenting on what makes a go-to talent. There were three of us in the room who were on his roster of “go-to” talent and he didn’t know we were there until we flashed our badges. Very cool. What a treat to finally meet him.

An hour or so at a hospitality suite and then a wonderful conversation down by the lobby bar and I am back in my room trying to get to sleep a little early. Wait – did I forget to have dinner?

June 2, 2010

The last few hours before leaving town

Filed under: Musings — connieterwilliger @ 11:57 am

Most of you know what happens the last few hours before you are heading out of town for a long trip. The email comes flooding in with re-dos, new work, emergencies, and other assorted things that need to be handled before you can finish packing.

I’m headed to LA for VOICE 2010 around 2PM today and of course that’s the way my morning started!

  • Biotech client finally sent the changes to a project we did 3 weeks ago. Luckily we can schedule that session for next week.
  • Government agency client wondering if the end client had ever gotten back to me with a pronunciation question – and needed the new files before the end of the week. No, they hadn’t gotten back to me, but we searched YouTube to hear the word said by native speakers and made that fix.
  • Same client found one error in the last set of files I sent that needed to be fixed.
  • ISDN session with audio studio in Washington DC doing 2 national radio spots. Four short lines of dialogue with my imaginary daughter. Well, she was real enough, but not on the call.
  • BlackBerry needed to be synced and the software froze – so time for update – THEN sync.
  • Quick trip to the market with mom
  • Locate my VO-BB tee-shirts!!! (Found one and am going to finish looking for the other.)

The fires are calm for the time being. Check back tomorrow!

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