Connie Terwilliger – ISDN Voice Talent

December 28, 2010

Digging Through the Receipts and Adding Things Up

Filed under: Business, Musings — connieterwilliger @ 12:17 pm

Probably should have done this last month, rather than the last few days of the year, but I am pulling up reports in my QuickBooks to make sure I am maximizing my deductions and charitable donations for 2010.

That includes remembering to include the transactions in a now closed bank account. If you changed banks this year, don’t forget about that old account! I nearly did when searching for a donation to my college and university to see who I paid what this year. I was befuddled for a few minutes when the searches came up with nothing, until I remembered that I had deactivated that account.

Bookkeeping is one of my least favorite things about this job – probably because my math skills are so bad. This lack of confidence in basic math also affects the time it takes to get out an accurate bid. Accounting programs such as QuickBooks and Quicken have actually improved my bookkeeping, but they don’t help much when figuring out a quote.

I always did well in math when we were covering geometry – that was fun – it was Art to me! Long division, the multiplication tables and algebra – my brain just checks out. Even balancing my checkbook was a challenge because I inevitably inverted some numbers when entering them into the check register.

This inversion issue actually affected one of my early jobs in Television. I was a live staff announcer for a TV station (KFMB-TV, Channel 8 in San Diego) and one of my jobs besides speaking live on cue – was to keep the “official station logs.”

My little room was about 4′ x 6′ with a mic, a switch to operate the mic, a big clock with a sweep hand on the wall and a smaller digital clock on the table near the TV monitor. I had to write down the time that shows started and stopped and when commercials started. Frequently the times I wrote down were not the actual times when things happened, because the digits ended up in the wrong places.

I can blame it on undiagnosed dyslexia, or it could have been that I was simply bored out of my mind – having to watch 5 news casts a night and endless sitcoms and game shows.

In any event, the inverting the digits problem was the sign that I needed to move on before I actually lost my job over it. I would write down 5:45:54 – instead of 5:54:45 and not catch it before submitting it to the Program Manager. He would see it instantly and tell me to be more careful. Then he would tell me that I MUST be more careful. Then he suspended me for a day. (That was such a shock I actually called him to ask him if that meant that I didn’t come in to work.)

This job was  not my primary source of income at that point in my media communications career – I was there 2 days a week and free lancing as a producer/writer/talent the rest of the week – so I finally decided that despite the regular union (AFTRA) paycheck, it was time to quit before I got fired.

I still invert digits when writing down dollar amounts in my accounting software, but it seems easier to find the errors – specially when the right amounts are downloaded automatically. Maybe I am not bored with what I do. Who has time to be bored!

December 26, 2010

Casting the “net”

Filed under: Auditioning, Marketing — connieterwilliger @ 8:10 pm

As part of our job as voiceover talent, we do a lot of auditions. Some are part of a small select group. Some are more like cattle calls. But that is part of the game.

While wearing my producer hat, I listened to lots and lots of demos and/or auditions with a certain “sound” in my head – pressing the skip button to advance the CD compliation to the next track after a couple of seconds. That was time enough to know if that was what I thought was going to be right for the production. Music cuts – same process. We really do know it when we hear it.

Just sent off an audition for a project that clearly stated that the client was going to listen to lots and lots of auditions in their search for a spokesperson. My Christmas wish for myself is that I am the voice in their head. But, as with other auditions, we record the best audition we can, send them and forget them.

So, this audition is off – zipping throught the ethernet – to be listened to – or not. To be the voice of the campaign – or not.

December 23, 2010

Yes, Virginia, there is a Non-union Reuse Fee

Filed under: Business, Negotiating — connieterwilliger @ 7:36 pm

One of the things that we love, as professional working voice talent with agents – or other similar working arrangements with production companies – is when said agents/producers are on top of their game and negotiate fairly with the end clients on behalf of us – also their clients.

And one of the nicest ways of knowing that this is happening in the background is when you get the email or phone call telling you that a reuse fee is coming for a job – union or non-union. A nice little bonus came to me recently and two others who provided the voices for a national spot. Thanks to Voice Talent Productions for the chance to audition for this in the first place.

Doesn’t happen with every job, but with non-union broadcast work, you sure do hope that someone is going to bat for you and negotiating additional payment for a spot that runs for more than expected – or originally stated.

I have had this happen with a fair share of non-union spots that ended up having a longer than expected shelf life. And for that I am thankful.

December 22, 2010

What the heck just happened?

Filed under: Business, Communication, Technology — connieterwilliger @ 4:47 pm

Excuse me, did I miss something? Like the whole 2nd half of the year maybe? What is this pile of paperwork sitting here? Wait, what I meant to say was what are all these piles of paperwork sitting here? Why is that list of things to do getting longer instead of shorter?

Part of it is personal obligations – that has increased over the past year and a half or so – since my mom moved out here from across the country. Part of it is that my ability to be superwoman is diminishing due to hot flashes.

Part of it is a slight increase in the amount of time I am spending chasing down money from people I didn’t expect to have to chase down for money.

But a big part of it is the time suckers – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, other social media message boards, my volunteer time for MCA-I, this blog, the other blog, YouTube, Wimp and my new “droid.”

I love the phone – a Samsum Fascinate, but HATE the time it takes to delete email. I am assuming that eventually the phone will get “full” and slow down everything. If I am wrong about that – will someone let me know!

You actually have to delete the mail twice – unless I have missed something (see I would need to find the time to figure it out!). Delete it from the In Box and it goes to the Trash. You can select to delete all from the Trash, but that locks up the phone for minutes while it trys to accomplish this. That really needs to be addressed.

If it has been – again – will someone please let me know. I have a lot of work to do in the next few days and it would be nice not to have to worry about the phone slowing down due to lack of memory. God forbid that my life slows down at all.

Wait – maybe that would be GOOD thing!

December 7, 2010

Blogs and Blog Stats

Filed under: Announcements, Musings — Tags: , , , , — connieterwilliger @ 4:30 pm

I have been a bit busy the past few weeks – not counting a trip to New York for the VO Mixer that Erik and Lindsey threw this past weekend – and have not updated my personal blog in the past week or so. I have been on my class blog, because I post homework assignments there.

In checking stats for this blog a moment ago, I noticed that I didn’t have ANY hits at all on November 28th. And only a few here and there in the days since.

It begs the question of why do I blog at all if no one (or very few are reading) it. Perhaps I will re-evaluate who I am blogging for or how I am promoting my posts.

Mostly I write the blog because I like to write. But for a blog to be seen, the writing must be a bit more consistent – and promoted well to build loyalty. On the class blog, I have a somewhat captive audience. On this blog, I have a few followers – much like I follow a few as well.

The class blog –– was just featured on the website as one of the Top 100 Classroom Blogs. So I guess someone is reading that blog besides my students!

Now, to study what needs to be done on this blog to attract readers. Or should I? Should I be focusing on my primary job – marketing my voiceover services and doing good deeds for friends, family and the community…

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