Connie Terwilliger – ISDN Voice Talent

March 28, 2013

Change is Inevitable

Filed under: Business, Musings, Technology — Tags: , , — connieterwilliger @ 9:33 am

The only constant is change. It used to be (for those of us who remember the days of black and white television) at a fairly slow pace. Adoption of new technologies was at a slower pace. You had time to adjust – albeit some were dragged along kicking and screaming about the old days.

But the speed of the changes started to pick up and today, you barely have time to buy a new technology before the newest and more advanced product is available. We face it daily, so why is it so hard to accept the inevitable.

I am still using Adobe Audition 1 on my editing computer. I like it. It still works – on my XP operating system. All my computers are XP. But, I know that will have to change the next time I have to upgrade the hardware. I will not like this change – at first. I’ll kick and scream and bitch and moan. But eventually, I’ll find the groove and ignore the steady stream of new changes until the inevitable happens again.

My Musicam Prima 120 ISDN codec is a dinosaur, but it still works. When that decides to die, I may not need to replace it, because the writing appears to be on the wall for the death of ISDN.

One major sports network that depends on ISDN for rock steady communication lines has been alerted by Verizon that they will be cutting off ISDN service in East Coast markets this coming May.

This truly makes me sad. My best times, other than actually being in someone else’s studio face-to-face with a dedicated engineer and producer/director, is being in my booth using my ISDN lines with a dedicated engineer and producer/director.

It works. I’m happy. The producer is happy.

But, because of the early warning signs, I have already invested in Source-Connect and have used that effectively with a couple of regular clients. It isn’t quite the same. It is much more complicated to establish the connection. The connection isn’t as reliable. I have to do so much more “engineering.” All of these things detract (at least in my own mind) from my ability to just perform.

So, now, for the first time since the undercurrent of mutterings predicting the demise of ISDN began, it looks like it might actually be happening. It is ironic that my lines have been working more the past year or so. Some of those clients are on the East Coast, so perhaps the change will affect me sooner than later.

So, time to let my technology advancement radar system loose to be sure that I am ready for the inevitable.

March 21, 2013

Interrup…what the h#%@! was that? Distrac…oooh, look at that!

Filed under: Business, Musings, Recording — connieterwilliger @ 2:19 pm

Today, I am not talking about being distracted by amusing kitty videos on Facebook, although I did see at least one funny video that distracted me so far today.

And I’m not talking about the constant flow of email that comes in that – of course – needs to be handled immediately (even if it DOESN’T).

Nor am I talking about being interrupted by the dog scratching at the door, or the cat sliding across some papers which are now all over the floor and need to be picked up before the dog actually gets in to trample them with dirty paws.

And I am not talking about the frequent helicopter flyovers – both routine (the gas’em up path is over my house) and not-so-routine (the circling helo’s looking for whatever mischief is being sparked by semi-high density housing and a bad economy).

No today it is interruptions of major proportions – but an interruption with a shining light at the end the alley.

Today, the back hoes and diggers are punching through the patched concrete in preparation for laying new concrete and getting the heck OUT of my alley where rotating crews of gas company and water department and contractors have been grinding and digging and filling and repeating for the past three (yes 3!) years.

I managed to sneak in a couple of auditions today while they were on break and will be able to finish a project a bit later on after they leave for the day.  Although my limited booth time was interrupted by two phone calls – one a robo-call. (And people wonder why I am not always my bubbly self when answering the phone…)

Some distractions we can stop. I don’t HAVE to have my Facebook page open all the time. Or my Skype account. I don’t HAVE to check email constantly. Or see what is happening with my peeps on the VO-BB (wait, I do have to do that).

Some interruptions can be reduced. I can turn the ringer off on my phone (a possible problem in that I would likely forget to turn it back up). I can keep the door closed to the cats and train the dog not to scratch.

There is plenty of paperwork to do during those time when I can’t actually record. In fact, I just went through my In Box sorting and filing and found a couple of little things that almost fell through the cracks. And, of course, there is a great big outdoors that would love to spend more time with me.

Interruptions and distractions are a fact of life. But it will be so nice when this work in the alley is finally completed.

March 2, 2013

A Dozen Years and Counting..(wait make that almost 3 dozen…)

Filed under: Musings — Tags: , — connieterwilliger @ 6:24 pm

I’ve been in the voiceover business for much more than 12 years, but I got an email the other day from an occasional client and noticed that the earliest email I have from him is dated 2000. And then after looking at my current client list, I see a couple of others on-going since then, some with monthly (even weekly) work. My records for much earlier than that have either been lost for good on some dead hard drive, or packed away in boxes.

But I would put my first paid voiceover work doing some TV Staff Announcing in 1975, when I was working part-time at WTIU-TV during graduate school at Indiana University. Prior to that in 1972, I wrote, voiced and produced public service announcements on KCOE-FM while at Coe College in Cedar Rapids Iowa. So if I do the math, the number of years doing something related to voiceovers is far more than my brain even allows me to count.

After landing in San Diego in the early summer of 1977, I was immediately hired at KFMB-TV, Channel 8 as a Relief Director/Floor Director. I quickly discovered that this was not what I wanted to do and by early 1978, I moved into a 2 day a week live TV staff announcing job at Channel 8.

Because I didn’t sound like your typical announcer, the radio and TV station’s production departments kept me busy doing commercials. I got my first agent that year – Nanci Washburn at Artist Management in San Diego/Orange County. She is still my agent here in southern California.

But voiceover work was not my passion. While I was getting quite well known in town as a top female voice talent, I still wanted to write and produce, so I spent the other 3 days a week free lancing as a producer/writer/on and off-camera spokesperson. I still did a lot of voiceover work and did weekend DJ work at KJQY, KYXY and Sunny 103.7.

I kept this up through some very hard times – with some solid lessons learned – until 1986 when I was hired full-time at the Hidden Film Factory in the basement of the now bulldozed Bldg 4 at General Dynamics in San Diego. It was a shock to me to see how quickly my voiceover work fell off when I wasn’t able to market myself. Travel prevented me from keeping the weekend radio shift. And while I really wasn’t aware of it at first, technology was changing the face of the voiceover business.

For nearly 9 years I had probably the best job ever – it was at the peak of GD’s business with business units across the country making everything from tanks to jets to submarines to missiles. We made videos and shot film for all of the divisions and products. And I had a chance to work with everything and everyone – people on the factory floor to engineers to Managers to the President of the company. It was a job that prepared me well for where I am today – making my living doing voiceover work.

But while the job was great, I missed free lancing. Not everyone adapts to a life style of not knowing when your next paycheck will show up, but for me I knew I wanted to go back to being my own boss.

So, when GD (I was actually wearing a Lockheed Martin badge by then) closed the doors in 1995, I was more than ready. And boy howdy had things changed. For a while, I kept up the producing and writing, but suddenly I had more passion for the performance side of things.

I will be ever grateful for the influences I had in my life back in the 90’s when it came to understanding the power of the Internet. I got some domains. Put up a couple of (hand coded) websites. Built a studio in my home. Got a great deal on an ISDN codec. All paving the way to where I am today.

So the work has been ongoing far far longer than a dozen years. And I don’t see it ending anytime soon.

Is there a lesson here? Lots of lessons. Keep your eyes open. Ask the right questions. Be honest with yourself and your abilities. Don’t be afraid to try something new. Use your critical thinking. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Know when to ask for help.

One lesson I probably still need to learn is when and how to say “no.” So, I guess that just means I’ll have to stick around this business for another dozen or so years!


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