Connie Terwilliger – ISDN Voice Talent

January 30, 2016

Blog moved to www.voiceover-talent.com

Filed under: Announcements, Business, Marketing — Tags: , , , — connieterwilliger @ 10:32 am

I have integrated this blog into my regular website. If you are following me, please hop on over to www.voiceover-talent.com to keep up with my latest musings.

This one will not be updated any longer and eventually, I will shut it down.

See you over on the other site!

Connie Terwilliger, Voice Talent

July 11, 2014

I Love My SEO – and My Production Partners

Filed under: Business — Tags: , , , , , — connieterwilliger @ 6:58 pm

OK, I’ve been on the Internet with a website since before Al Gore had anything to do with his infamous statement about moving forward initiatives to blah, blah, blah – invent the internet. See the Snopes info here >>>

This is a good thing. A real good thing.

I don’t have to buy key words. I come up in searches. A lot. Just a fact of having a web presence since 1996.

Lately it seems that people have been doing searches for voice talent in San Diego. Which makes my website come up even higher on the search results because of the addition of the city. This has led to more VO projects, but also much more than voiceover work.

As I have mentioned before, my background is as a producer/writer/on and off-camera talent since – well, since a long time ago. I stopped producing a couple of years into the turn of the century and the writing a couple years after that as my voiceover work took over.

Some of those people searching “voice talent San Diego” really need more than just a voice for their projects. How do I know that? From the way they approached me. From the information they provide. From the website links they send. You learn to analyze this information and use critical thinking. Sometimes a script is just a script. Sometimes it is more.

And when they get to me, they get more than a voice talent.

They get an award-winning producer and scriptwriter. Someone with social media savvy. A sense of humor. Someone who stays up with the trends. Someone who can  tell them that they need more than a voiceover talent to really tell their story to their audience. But also someone with enough experience in the business to be able to tell when someone actually wants some guidance on their whole production, or when to keep my mouth shut and just read it the way it was “writ.”

There is nothing more satisfying than working with someone to find the “right” way to tell their story. To be part of the whole process.

As “talent,” I love it when I get a great script from a creative production company or ad agency, where I know that time has been spent with the client to understand their needs. Written by a scriptwriter who understands that writing for the eye and for the ear are two different animals.

As a writer and producer, when a script arrives that needs help I have to walk that tightrope of performing the script as it was sent to me, or opening the door and showing my producer/writer hat. Sometimes it is an easy choice. The script was translated by a non-native English speaker for example. Newly hatched voice talent might have a harder time expressing the need for script doctoring to their clients, but we are part of the team and in some cases we need to make sure that the dollars they are spending are not wasted.

Sure, there will be times when it is best to keep your mouth closed and read it the way it was written. I frequently remind newbies that just because you recorded something and someone paid you to do it, doesn’t mean that it should go on your demo.

At some point though, you develop the skills to look at a project and determine if it would be good to broach the subject. It’s not that hard, but if you don’t have ANY background in production or scriptwriting, it might be a good thing to take a couple of classes or watch some award winning corporate pieces. The more you know about effective video storytelling the better job you will do…even if it is only recording the VO.

As successful voice talent is more likely to feel comfortable speaking up when the time is right – and become a vital part of your production team.

Today’s working voice talent have a lot to offer. Just do a search and read their bios, listen to their demos. Add them to the production team.

July 7, 2014

June Came and June Went…

What the heck just happened? The month of June just sort of disappeared in a vortex of VO work. Which is a good thing, but makes it hard to find the time to compose something interesting, relevant or amusing as a blog post.

And that is the goal of keeping a blog – at least as I understand it.

My class blog is easier to keep up to date, but can become a tad boring and even repetitive for people who are not active students in the class. If there was a way to filter OUT the homework assignments, and only keep the interesting videos and articles that would be different, but I haven’t figured out a way to do that yet.

One of the things I talk to my introduction to voice acting students is that just because you are hired to record something for someone, you don’t have to put it on your demo. Especially when you are first starting out in the biz and your first client is a hard sell local radio spot written by the sales exec on the back of napkin during lunch. It is hard NOT to crow about the fact that someone paid you to do something that you have been wanting to do for a long time, but at a certain point, you have to start using your common sense about what to promote.

As a performer, there are many times when the take you thought was the best was not the take that ended up on the project. Shrug it off and if you really don’t like the take that made the cut – then you don’t have to put it on your demo, or showcase it on your website.

Promote the heck out of projects that have it all – great script, great visuals and music, and that great VO – if you can get copies. Periodically I do a search on YouTube for finished versions of projects that I have recorded. Marketing pieces will almost always end up on YouTube. eLearning or small audience proprietary informational pieces will not. Other projects come with NDAs, so even if you did get a copy, you couldn’t talk about it.

So, to finish this blog post with something interesting, relevant or amusing…hmmmm…I know, how about a small collection of videos that may live forever on YouTube. (I hope. I suppose I need to download them for safekeeping.)

Let’s start with a joke. “A Swede, a Canadian and a South African walk into a bar…”

OK, that wasn’t really a joke. Maybe something interesting then…about soybeans…


Now, relevant…well, I guess the soybean video could cover both interesting and relevant…how about this cartoon then. It is from a few years back, but still feels relevant to me…


Now, I just found out that a documentary I did a narration for won a Silver Reel at the Nevada Film Festival in 2011. That one is not on YouTube, so no clip to see!

April 10, 2012

Ask a Busy Person – They Tend to Say Yes

No matter how busy I am, I seem to find time to say yes to people. Actually, as I get older and time starts looking shorter, I’ve actually begun to learn how to say no, and I do use the word – mostly on the business side of things – when I can see that the ROI isn’t really going to pay off.

But when it comes to the stuff that isn’t work related, I do say yes a lot – maybe even if I don’t REALLY have the time. STOP THAT! I have the time. I don’t have kids or grand kids. I have cats. My niece is an adult. Some stuff simply won’t get done – like defrosting the ice maker. And cleaning up the mess behind the garage. But, in the grand plan – for things that really matter – I have the time!

So a few weeks ago, I was at a function at Junior Achievement BizTown here in San Diego and was transfixed by the facility. I had to know more, so I started asking questions. Every day 150 5th graders show up in this functioning mini-city and take over!

BizTown is a simulated city made up of 21 shops on two levels, sponsored by local and national businesses. Students can experience working in a bank, a television station, or a retail store, to managing personal finance such as writing checks and working as a CFO. With a variety of hands-on activities, students have the opportunity to realize the relationship between what they learn in school and their successful participation in a simulated economy.

I was so impressed by the facility, I called them up and asked if I could volunteer in some capacity. They set a time for a briefing and handed me a bag stuffed full of completely organized lesson material for the JA Personal Finance class for 9th graders. This program is in a high school and is one of about 10 different in class programs for middle and high school students.

It will take about 5 hours or so in the actual classroom over 5 weeks. And the prep work involved in understanding the lessons and concepts so that I am ready for the classroom will take a few more hours. This program introduces students to the importance of making wise financial choices – something I sure wish I had learned when I was young. Each class has projects and games to help students explore the role that money plays in achieving personal goals throughout life.

Junior Achievement provides financial literacy education that empowers young people to own their economic success. Serving K-12 students in San Diego and Imperial County since 1950.

And lucky you! April is Financial Literacy Month! You can help by donating a little bit of money to help raise $30,000 to support 30 JA classes in 30 days! Just $40.00 can allow the JA to serve an additional student and give them the opportunity to learn essential financial responsibility skills.

Just say “yes!”

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 Monster.com, 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

 

Blog at WordPress.com.