A VO's JOURNEY: A Guide for the Beginning Voice Over Artist

Jan 29, 2019

 A Guide for the Beginning Voice Over Artist

Check out the podcast here - A VO's JOURNEY PODCAST Ep. 1

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Hello and welcome to episode one of a VOs Journey.

My name is Anthony Pica and I am your host, and we're going to get this thing kicked off for the first episode.

I'm going to be talking about what I plan on doing with the show and hopefully, I can offer a lot of help to a lot of voice over artists.

The point of this show is to give all of the advice that I have to help VO's make it from beginning to end, to a place where they can become full-time artists.

The hope is that by this time next year, two years, five years down the road, you'll be able to go full time at this. So that is the goal and that is the point of this podcast.

So I want to start off by telling you a little bit about myself.

I've been acting, teaching, and doing voice overs for the majority of my adult life. It is what I love to do. I do a lot of live theater and I teach, that is my day job. I'm a high school teacher and I also teach technical theater.

So, uh, I loved doing that, loved doing light sound. I'm building all kinds of things. So anyway, getting off-topic. So, um, what I am hoping is that we're going to go through everything that I do on a daily basis and that my hope is to document my journey into becoming a full-time voice over artist. And in the meantime help you become a full-time voice artist as well. And we're just going to go, go for it all in.

I listened to a lot of people, a lot of coaches and there's a lot of awesome ones and I could rattle off a bunch of names but I won't. Um, but what I want to do is I want to be really transparent with all of you on finances and what is happening with clients and what I'm actually doing physically doing a day in and day out and the results that I'm getting, the wins, the losses, the triumphs, and failures, if you will so that you can get an idea of how this is actually playing out for real.

Um, there's a lot of people who do similar things, but I've not really come across someone who's actually gone into, hey, I just did this. This is what happened. Hey, this is the monotony. Hey, this is just, a big failure. Hey, I'm trying this, I'm dumping that, all that kind of stuff.

This is what happened and so forth. And then actually talk about it and tell people about it and then hopefully start a dialogue about what other people are doing.

So that is my plan for this. And hopefully, also we're going to have some guests that we can interview a, I've got people lined up, um, well I've got them lined up in my head, we'll just put it that way. And hopefully, with a little coaxing, we'll get them on this show and go from there. So, um, yeah, so anyway, that's kind of where I am with the show and what I hope to do tonight.

I want to talk about, um, kind of what the overall, um, the overall purposes for what I, I want to accomplish, um, or why I want to be a full-time voice over artists. And um, and my suggestion to you before you go down this journey, you might already have started.

You might be thinking about becoming a voice over artists. You might be thinking about wanting to change jobs. You might be tired and, and just fed up with the daily grind, you know, that kind of feeling where you were not really meant to be doing what you're doing. You just got stuck in it somehow or it's partially what you love and it's not everything that you want it to be.

Um, but so, you know, you have this desire, this urge to do something else, to do more or to be more than what you currently are. Um, so I, um, basically when I first started out as an actor, um, for the stage, I fell in love with it right away. I can remember when I first got up on stage, I was in high school and I did a production of guys and dolls and um, I went on the stage and I was just, I was a straight-up goofball.

I don't know how they actually let me stay in the show. But what I remember from that show was I had a solo. I was nicely, nicely Johnson. I don't know if anybody's seen guys and dolls, um, the movie with Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando or any of the musical because the movie was a musical.

But, um, I was nicely, nicely Johnson and there's a piece in there called to sit down. You're rocking the boat that I did and I, um, I started the show. It was blocked and choreographed really well. I thought at least looking back on it and I sang the song and every night, you know, after hearing the audience cheer, I just, got addicted. I fell in love with it.

I fell in love with the performance, I fell in love with the idea of taking people and for a moment or a couple of moments or a couple of hours helping them forget about the real world and their troubles and all the stuff that was going on and helping them have fun, uh, through whatever I was doing, whether it was happy or sad.

And to this day, it's what I love the most, is creating a world where people can go to and live through another person and just enjoy life without worrying about all the other crap that we have to deal with day in and day out.

So anyway, after that Spiel, let me tell you about how voiceover plays into it. So anyway, um, I don't know, maybe there are some similar people out there that have this kind of, um, story, but basically, I had been acting for a while and you know, that wasn't really paying the bills.

Um, and uh, I was either going to take a plunge. I was engaged to a wonderful woman and I decided to ask a well engaged. So I, of course, I asked her to marry me, but I had made a decision that I wanted to have a home and a family and not travel around and as you become more of a serious actor, you've got to really go where the work is.

And at that time I was not living in New York or Chicago or la. So, you know, I decided to do something different and I've always loved to teach. I've always loved to help other people.

Um, and so I started teaching and my wife happened to be a teacher at the time as well, so it kind of worked out and anyway, so that's how I became a teacher. And through that, um, I taught theater, and then I taught technical theater and um, but I still had this craving to be an actor. So of course I did community theater here and there and I worked with some old friends and I would go for sometimes summertimes and do stuff.

But, um, you know, I came into voiceover, um, uh, came into voiceover, just quite happenstance of. I had a friend who, um, I was doing a show with them.

We were doing a Neil Simon. I'm the odd couple and uh, we were bunking together and he had his laptop and he was basically, uh, we would, uh, at nighttime, after rehearsal or whatever, we'd be back in our apartment and he'd pull out his laptop and a microphone and I literally start recording commercials, uh, that he would submit to the radio station or whatever. And, you know, I was like, what is this witchcraft? I didn't understand it.

Um, but, uh, I was just blown away by it. And um, from that point on I was really kind of fascinated and I started getting into it and, um, anyway, so, uh, I learned as much as I could and then I realized at that moment that it was for me the best opportunity that I had to continue to be a performer. While at the same time I'm living out the life that I wanted to live with, a home and a family that I didn't move around.

I wasn't gone all the time and I didn't travel everywhere. Um, without them. And, uh, I could still perform now, you know, the tradeoff of courses is that, you know, there's not a huge audience standing right in front of you are sitting right in front of you rather cheering and screaming your name, but, um, as long as you can imagine that, um, for people like me, which, which I do and I love 'em I can explore and actually do things that I might not even do on a stage and for those who love to perform and, and are crazy and wacky or serious and um, even melancholy a or just crazy and they love to perform, but they don't want to get up in front of people, but they don't mind doing it by themselves, a voice over.

It was just perfect. So, uh, I, I got all of the equipment I needed, started learning everything I could and I started, uh, started, uh, doing it.

And the first thing I went into his audiobooks and you know, we're going to talk about audiobooks because that's kind of my wheelhouse is narrating audiobooks.

Um, but then after audiobooks, uh, I got into doing e-learning, um, corporate. And then commercials, of course, some of my favorite things to do is voices as also, I like audiobooks, but I love to do animation and cartoons as well as video games. It's just lots of fun. So, um, but there's also a technical aspect to everything here as well. Like, you know, your booth and your equipment and technique, acting technique.

You know, I've taught acting for, Gosh, 12, 12, 14 years. And um, you know, I've taught technical theater for, oh gosh, about the same amount of time, and um, you know, so much goes into your craft. So, uh, and then of course on the other side, which not a lot of people talk about ever because it's not necessarily a sexy thing to talk about is the business aspect.

You know, I was told my actors that, you know, the the biggest problem with young actors or young artists is that, um, they, they don't think about themselves as a business on the, you know, they just go from one job to another, auditioning, creating demos, sending them out and they forget that this is a business and we're in this to hopefully make a living, make enough money to support ourselves a, pay the least amount of taxes as possible and uh, you know, have some sort of steady income, which I always think is the performer's challenge, you know, I'm being because everything ends just like a voice over gigs end.

It's another reason why I like audiobooks and some royalty deals because they last a lot longer. So I'm at ACX right now in seven years. So that's really nice if you pick the right books which will go into.

So anyway, um, yeah, so I think I've been talking for about 13, 14 minutes about what I'm, I am doing and uh, I guess I should end up by saying where I want to go. So what I'm hoping this podcast is, is it's for the voice over artist who is just starting out trying to learn how to do this crazy thing called voice over, make some money and hopefully become a full-time performer and be able to leave their job if they want and do this for living.

And for me, um, my hope is as well as kind of like a side hope is that this helps me go beyond that point to where I can become full time as well. And I want to do it together and I'm not perfect. I'm not there yet. So I don't want to tell anybody here that I am or lie to you because I want everything to be on the up and up.

But I want to hopefully do it with you and I know that if you know, we together go on this journey and we try stuff and we document it and go back and try other stuff and keep working and working. That will make it.

And I've got loads of ideas, lots of energy, and lots of stuff to narrate. And so I'm really, really excited. Thank you guys so much for listening. I'm on a side note.

I don't even have a tag or um, I don't have anything to drop on. This is just me talking. So God, if you stuck with me this long. Thank you. Thank you so much. Um, this is just the first episode, so I'm kind of just laughing at myself for making it through here. Then hopefully I will get way better and you can stick it out with me and then, um, you know, we can make something out of this.

So, um, yeah, so anyway, so the next podcast I really want to get into a setup and equipment and stuff that I use and I'm kind of give a little tutorial about how I set up my first booth with like literally under $100.

And even now, um, I really literally record in that same structure. A course. I've modified it now over time, but I've had no reason to change, you know, whisper rooms or everybody wants to whisper room and they're wonderful.

I'm not saying they're not, uh, and, but at the same time, you don't need that to do professional work, and, um, I can hopefully help you get there without having to spend thousands and thousands of dollars on a whisper room.

So anyway, thank you guys so much for listening and tuning in and I can't wait to, uh, to do the next one. All right. Well, you guys have a wonderful night, and talk to you next time. Peace.

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