Connie Terwilliger – ISDN Voice Talent

October 31, 2011

The 1% (or whatever it is) in the VO Biz

Filed under: Business, Musings — Tags: , , , — connieterwilliger @ 8:59 am

With all the talk about the 1% vs the 99% these days with regards to Wall Street and Jobs and Taxes, something crossed my eyeballs this morning that shows that this spread exists in other areas as well.

Voiceover actors have been chatting about the jobs being lost to “celebrity” voices for years now…ever since the animated Alladin was released featuring Robin Williams as the Genie. There is no doubt that Robin Williams stole that movie, but it paved the way for more and more celebrity on-camera actors being cast in animated features and fewer and fewer opportunities for working class voice actors.

Written by SCOTT MESLOW – an Atlantic contributor and a film and television writer based in Washington, D.C., who has also written for Campus Progress andWealthBriefing – this article highlights how the “A-list” actors are nudging out the “ubiquitous but nearly anonymous, traditional voice actors.”

His main question is whether there is any demand anymore in the features for the versatile voice actor who can create a “thousand” voices? Or has the “marketing machine” taken over and pushed the working class voice actor to the side to do background and voice matching for those features?

As a continual student of my craft, I watch animated features and study the characters and the voices, trying to figure out just what value has been added by bringing on a “celebrity.” They sound like they sound in most cases and the character on the screen ends up just being an animated version of the actor whose face we see on the big screen and on Letterman.

Multi-talented voice actors still do the bulk of the TV animated series and video games, but frankly even that group is still in the upper 5% (or whatever the number is – I am not a statistician). But from my anecdotal observations the vast number of true working class voice actors live outside the major markets and don’t have, or perhaps don’t want to have, the chance to compete for those jobs (series, games or features). If we did, we would probably make the move to where the work is.

That being said, I would LOVE a chance to voice a character or two in a feature. I don’t live THAT far from Hollywood. Where’s my sign!? I’m the 95%! Occupy Disney!


October 24, 2011

In the Online World, Context is King…

It is hard to get any work done these days because you follow links which lead to more links and suddenly you have forgotten what you went online to do in the first place, but it is almost always an interesting distraction. Sometimes pure silliness, sometimes thought provoking, sometimes good for business. I’m always looking for interesting tidbits that will help the bottom line.

One of the mantras of video has been “Content is King.” With the emergence and tsunami of online video, it may be that the context will be driving the dollars.

Today, I was reading a post from MediaPost and it led me to an article called “Context is King: How Videos are Found and Consumed Online” packed with information from a November 2006 study by Bear Stearns Cable and Satellite analyst Spencer Wang called “Why Aggregation & Context and Not (Necessarily) Content are King in Entertainment”.

The author of this article,  Ashkan Karbasfrooshan includes some great facts, charts and graphs to help illustrate the switch to context over content as a primary search function.

When I was born more than 30% of American households watched NBC during prime time. Check the article for all the attributions. You really could “reach everyone” if you bought ads on the major networks, but today, NBC’s prime time reach is 5% – behind CBS and ABC. None of the other networks are doing any better.

The same thing is happening online! More and more fragmentation. And more and more we are online on our phones or tablets or laptops.

So how to you reach everyone? Can you reach everyone? Can we effectively quantify the people we are reaching so that we can try to stabilize the money part of this equation?

I don’t know the answers, that’s why I spend time following links to other links. My goal is to keep providing my voice for media where ever it ends up and hoping to continue to pay my mortgage without having to take a second job at a fast food joint. So far, so good!


October 23, 2011

Auditioning the “wrong” way

Filed under: Announcements, Auditioning, Business — connieterwilliger @ 3:10 pm

I followed a link from a voiceover talent (Lori Taylor) on one of the Facebook voiceover groups – there must be half a dozen – so how one keeps up with all that chatter is really beyond me – but this caught my eye.

This well-produced quirky web series is about what NOT to do in on-camera and in-person VO auditions and features two very talented actors who portray a couple of endearing, yet completely oblivious wannabe actors. The series follows their auditions as they show up for commercials and industrials and PSA’s. The scripts are brilliant. Here is the first episode.

October 19, 2011

The Long Tail Keeps Getting Longer

The amount of work in media communications continues to grow. Most of it in the long tail where the dollars are not as high, so in order to build a business and stay in business, you need lots of business. The number of people wanting to jump into the business continues to expand as well. So in order to compete and grab the business, producers need to find those areas where they can produce good quality media at a reasonable price point.

Neil Perry, president of Poptent, formerly with McDonald’s in a number of key positions and a VP of marketing at, just posted an article on MediaPost’s Online Video Insider that showcases an under-videofied (I just made that up to go with the word video-izing that he used) area for media communications producers. Video manuals.

People are producing short how-to videos of course, but with the growing use of smart phones and interactive websites, the need for this kind of content has to be growing. I’d like to hope that the production values for these videos will include well written scripts, great lighting and shooting and a professional quality voice track.

The title of his article is Why Marketers Should Take Ownership Of How-To Videos


October 5, 2011

VO – Just Part of the Total Package

Filed under: Announcements, Recording — Tags: , , , , — connieterwilliger @ 9:38 am

Any video production is a team effort and there are times when all of the elements work so well together, you need to show it off.

I did the VO for this spot produced by the Arthur Agency for New Life Weight Loss Center at Herrin Hospital in Ohio. I give it a thumbs up on creative and execution!

October 2, 2011

Faffterglow Three

Filed under: Business, Marketing, Musings — Tags: , — connieterwilliger @ 3:33 pm

Last weekend was another example of the power of Amy Snively’s (rhymes with lively) brainstorm. FaffCon 3 in Hershey PA (it was actually in Harrisburg, but the graphic possibilities were far better with Hershey) was a complete success.

One of the great things about FaffCon is that it is a gift that keeps on giving. It is coming up on a week now since FaffCon 3 and while I have been busy with “life,” my thoughts keep drifting to FaffCon and the information exchanged. I have been using little tidbits all week. And I haven’t even begun to go through my notes!

The welcoming dinner and FaffJam on Friday night was wonderful.  Voiceover folks are pretty darned talented in so many ways! And I have to say that the 14 oz. slab of prime rib was pretty terrific too. And after an afternoon of heavy rain, we were able to walk down and back from the restaurant, or ride in the pedi-cabs.

FaffCon Friday Night at Firehouse - FaffJam!

The official start of FaffCon was Saturday. A day filled with friends (old and new), great food (thanks to our great sponsors) and meaningful exchanges between working professionals. More fun that evening – with a couple of hours of conversation at a high-top table on a side street outside the bar/restaurant – and then back to the hotel to catch the last of the Karaoke, where once again, the Faffers knocked ’em dead, showing they have what it takes at the mic. Well, except for perhaps my show closing rendition of Talking In Your Sleep.

FaffCon Sunday was a truly amazing day – from early in the morning to very late in the evening. The opening circle was at 8 (!) and after our wild night of Red Stag, conversation and Karaoke – 8 AM was VERY early. The sessions continued to provide great information which was scribbled down in our FaffCon notebooks, or entered into tablets. (Tablets were everywhere by the way.)

The day “officially” ended around 5 as Amy signed a huge check (literally) for nearly $3000 for the Central PA Food Bank – the FaffCon 3 charity. Goodbyes were said and more pictures were taken as some faffers grabbed their bags and headed home, but FaffCon continued on.

About 30 of us crowded a party room in the Italian restaurant around the corner from the hotel and continued the conversations and friendship building. But we weren’t done with FaffCon yet – and late in the evening, after the FaffCon supplies were packed up and ready for shipping, in the true spirit of FaffCon, an impromptu session on audio engineering led by Dan Friedman was forming in the cozy chat area of the meeting floor of the hotel.

Final FaffCon Session on Sunday night

Final FaffCon Session on Sunday night - long after Faffy was boxed up and ready to send to Ventura Beach

Oh, one point about Hershey – it didn’t smell like chocolate as was suggested. Perhaps it was the fact that it was raining. But the weekend was sweet and filling. FaffCon 4 is going to be on the beach in Ventura Beach CA coming up in March of 2012. I can’t wait to see what Amy has up her sleeve for number 4!

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