Connie Terwilliger – ISDN Voice Talent

August 29, 2012

It is Critical to use our Critical Thinking

Filed under: Musings — connieterwilliger @ 4:14 pm

One of the things I am grateful for is that my early education included some training in critical thinking. In not blindly accepting whatever you see, hear or read.

Well, seeing is believing they say and if something happens right in front of you – and you can feel the heat, the pain, the happiness, the relief – then you are probably pretty clear about the truth of the situation. Maybe.

But trust what you see on the Internet, or in a link you get in email? Trust what you read on shared posts on Facebook? Pretty much NEVER!

I enjoin everyone to stop and THINK! I’m not saying I have a perfect record in ferreting out falsehoods, but I grow more and more skeptical about the things that cross my eyes and ears.

Today, in two of the usual places I check to catch up on what my friends and family are up to, I saw a post to an “audition” for the voice of Duke Nukem purported to be done by Morgan Freeman.

If just that alone wasn’t enough to raise a “huh” from you, then the inane banter that was supposed to be coming from Freeman as he “pretended” to not understand what was happening should have been the second clue. It boggles the mind to believe that Freeman would have done this in the first place – but beyond incredulous that he would have let it go on as long as it did.

And as the clip went on, the voice doing the very good imitation of Freeman slipped up and his Dutch accent came out.

While this example of people not using their critical thinking is harmless enough, it scares me that they will be not be using this apparently lost skill in this critical time as we decide who to elect this November – both in the Presidential race and in the various other races.

Stop, stop, stop blindly forwarding ridiculous stories that your common sense and critical thinking should have questioned.

I don’t care what side of the political spectrum you sit – personally, I am about as middle-of-the-road as you can get (one of them darn swing voters) – just try to apply some critical thinking to the things you decide to post, share or forward.

Back when my very liberal Aunt was alive, she would send me clippings from magazines about different political footballs – the ones that supported her side of the debate. I would volley with an article debunking this point of view from my rather more conservative slant. We would then have a phone call and discuss the merits of both sides of the issues.

What I am seeing these days is no civil discourse. Opposing points of view are treated with such vitriol and disdain that it becomes difficult to contribute anything to the discussion. There is really no discussion.

The issues are so massive, so complex, that there are no easy answers. It is hard to even formulate the right questions to ask. So the only way to figure things out is to engage in meaningful dialog.

So, when you do see something that just seems odd, outrageous, juvenile, or ridiculous – put your critical thinking cap on. I’ll try to do the same.

August 21, 2012

The Value of a Voiceover

Filed under: Business, Marketing, Musings, Negotiating — Tags: , — connieterwilliger @ 11:17 am

Just what does it take to be successful as a voice talent in 2012? Treat it like a business. (This of course, assumes that you have some talent to start with.)

The Internet has changed what we do in many significant ways. It has 1) increased the number of people offering their services as voice talent (whether they should be or not), 2) cut out the middle man in casting (the people who know the value of voiceover), and because of a lack of truly understanding that this is a business like any other business it has 3) driven rates down down down.

Many people just getting started fail to see the big picture. Sure, the come on for so many of the endless voiceover classes screams “make $300 an hour,” but … can you live on one hour every few months?

One recent discussion centered on whether $25 per hour was a “good rate.”

Hey, if you are doing something 8 hours a day, 7 days a week, 50 weeks a year with a 2-week vacation and paid holidays, then $25 an hour will pay the mortgage and put food on the table – depending on where you live, it could buy you a bass boat too. But the reality of the voiceover business is that you will not be recording 8 hours a day, 7 days a week, etc., etc.

If you are a working voiceover professional, you are more likely actually voicing (and possibly editing) for an hour or two a day, but that $25 you will make for that hour must also cover the initial rate negotiation, the subsequent invoicing, the ¬†maintenance of your equipment, that new software, the marketing plan and execution, etc., etc., etc. (There are a lot of etcetera’s in this business!)

There will be weeks where you will voice many more hours and simply not have time to do the bookkeeping and then there will be the weeks where you will not voice a single project and spend hours troubleshooting a corrupted driver issue, sorting through your email folders and catching up on marketing (or the laundry). This is not a job for people who must have a steady pay check. It is your own business.

And as it becomes easier and cheaper to acquire opportunities and tools, there is an ever increasing group of people who have simply skipped over the business part and fail to see that what they do actually has value.

August 12, 2012

No complaints…

Filed under: Musings — Tags: , , , — connieterwilliger @ 2:38 pm

I am not complaining.

Sure it’s hot. But we haven’ t had the heat that the rest of the country has had this summer. And sure it gets even hotter when I have to turn off the little AC in my studio to actually do some work.

Sure there has been a small plane buzzing over my general neighborhood for the past month or so that interferes with my recording when it is in the Western most part of its loop or grid (it varies from day to day). Since it is a “special” little plane, no one can tell me how long it will be doing whatever it is doing.

Sure my recording tower is acting wonky – and Audition and W2W refuse to work with the Gina card or the onboard sound card – but WILL work with my MicPortPro, so until I can find the right tech to troubleshoot, I am still able to record.

Sure ACT! doesn’t export data as expected and I’ll need to find another database program to keep track of the people who provide discounts to MCA-I members so that it can be easily shared with the Benefits Committee.

Sure we don’t currently HAVE a Benefits Committee, but one can hope!

Sure there is one long time client who is very late paying on his latest project, but I just deposited a big check from another long time client that pays the mortgage for the next couple of months.

Sure I am late for dinner because I am writing this blog. Oh, wait, I’m late for dinner at a friend’s place with a POOL!

See ya!

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