Connie Terwilliger – ISDN Voice Talent

February 6, 2011

The MacGyver Approach to VO?

Filed under: Business, Marketing, Musings — Tags: , , , — connieterwilliger @ 4:40 pm

A post on a Facebook thread* this morning got me thinking about what you need to start a business. Can you make it in the voiceover business with “duct tape” and creative thinking? Well, not eveyone can be MacGyver. There is a bit more to it than that.

David Cross, a man with natural talent in voiceover and a deep background in marketing and business stated:

…for anyone “starting a business – don’t think you need any investment. It’s easy to get your first sales in through duct tape and creative thinking and use that money to put back into building the business. “Never a borrower nor a lender be.”

To which I too quickly replied in a lame attempt at humor…

I know duct tape is wonderful, but I tried to make a mic with it and failed utterly.

David followed up…

Duct tape is a “metaphor for getting things achieved even though apparent obstacles exist.

Certainly some with the right natural tools and marketing skills can be in the right place at the right time and start their business on little more than a roll of duct tape. But “easy?” Therein lies the rub. What is easy for some is Mt. Everest for others.

The business of voiceover has changed so much over the years, but the bottom line still remains – you must know that you have something to offer, and find the people who want to buy what you have to sell.

For some, understanding what you bring to the table may involve classes, coaching, studying. For others, this knowledge may have been present from birth.

For some, figuring out who wants to buy what they have to sell may forever be a mystery – or the steepest hill they have ever climbed. Others may understand marketing 101 and are able to match up their skills with the people with the $$.

Do you need to invest $$ in order to make this happen? Or will the duct tape metaphor carry you to success? Everyone’s path to making the business of voiceover pay off as a career is different. There are no bread crumbs. And certainly, given just how hard it is to make a living doing voiceover work, if you are just getting started, you shouldn’t mortgage your house while waiting for the sacks of money to arrive. In that I do not disagree with David.

But, let’s get back to getting “your first sales in.” And then the next and the one after that until you know that they will keep coming. It really takes something special to reach that point where you know you can pay the bills on what you earn doing voiceover work – some unique combination of talent and marketing skills that cannot be bottled. For most people, it will not be “easy” to bring in those first gigs using duct tape and creative thinking.

* The thread was started by Nancy Wolfson – she had posted a quote from The Social Network about inventing a job, not finding a job.

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.

July 21, 2009

Today’s Casting Reality – Speed and Quality

Filed under: Auditioning — Tags: , , , , — connieterwilliger @ 11:03 am

Stephanie at is a prolific writer with many excellent Blogs and Podcasts and Articles on Vox Daily. Her thoughts today on the speed at which casting is done these days is a good one for any voice talent to take to heart. Add Nancy Wolfson’s (BrainTrax Audio)insight to the mix and you can see how you need to be ready (with speed and ability) to land the jobs.

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