I felt the need to touch on one aspect of Rick's statement.
The example you gave was a good one. With enough dedication and time spent, you can become fantastic at something, even without a teacher. However, juggling is an almost strictly mechanical act. You can watch jugglers and if your eye is good enough, you can probably pick apart what you have to do in terms of the mechanics. Acting on the other hand, is more grounded in the visceral realm. Sure, you can study the greats and copy what they do, but that leaves you with a shallow clone of something great that someone else did. If you are not completely in tune with who you are (and I take it few people truly are) then you are probably well served visiting a class or teacher.
I second what has been said in the thread. Improv is great training for the fundamentals of VO. Scene study gives you the knowledge and intuition for depth of character.
Originally Posted by RickRileyVoice
The problem with some of these threads is, they morph until the original premise of the thread is almost totally denied. The above quote is taken from my first reply.
I had a feeling that this thread would twist into, "don'tsell us out... don't work for free... etc."
This forum has become so 'rate intensive' the guy thought he was breaking some kind of code by trading his time for experience.
I stepped in to say that there is no code and we can all get therei n a variety of ways. The guy hasn't even snuggled up behind a microphone and by the rhetoric he's read, he's afraid he might hurt someone by getting some experience at a podunk radio station.
I have that background. I'm doing well in this business. I used myexperience to answer his question. The answer to "So is it against the "code" to pursue a few local spots just to get my voice out there"... is "NO".
I never said DON'T get coaching, I said, GET coaching. I GOT coaching. From Nancy Wolfson, one of the best in the business.
I never said DON'T do improve. I just answered his question, for where his is right now,with his current situation and his current opportunities and I threw in an interesting story about a guy I know, who taught himself the basics, JUST like I did and went on from there... JUST like I did and continue to do more than 30 years later.
And FYI, Sam and his partners' act is a tremendous amount of improve, is very funny/entertaining, and sells out some quite large auditoriums. But it BEGAN with the basics.
I wanted to write what I did, because people quite often take examples like that and think that it could automatically apply to themselves.
Nancy is great btw. Having lots of fun there!
Wow! Great thread all...
My favorite quote on the topic:
"Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted. And experience is often the most valuable thing you have to offer."
— Randy Pausch
Thanks, guys - a lot of GREAT feedback, which is what I hoped for in posing the question. I appreciate that there are many sides to the question and answers, all of which have definite merit.
I have a meeting with the owner tomorrow afternoon, so I can discuss the many aspects of this idea. One very important point was made that I will keep in the forefront of my mind if I choose to move forward: keeping from gaining any bad habits. As it is a heck of a lot harder to UN-learn something, I'll try to be mindful of proper technique as I go through training and coaching. On the suggestion of Scott (and actually many more of you to other new folks on these boards) I believe I will be getting in touch with Marc Cashman about starting my training. I'm heading to L.A. to visit a friend in a couple of weeks and would like to meet him face to face, then move on from there.
Again, thanks. You guys are great!
(Oh, and Joe? I LOVE Randy. I loaned The Last Lecture to the very person I'm going to visit. Talk about a captivating speaker!)
Indeed - he was an inspiring man to be sure...
Originally Posted by KevinB
First and foremost if you're entering into acting or VO with the notion that it's all about money, a paycheck or your wanting to be a star or the next Don LaFontaine, you're in it for the wrong reasons. Acting is about the love of the craft, the wanting to perform, to act or to be on stage. It's like painting or sculpture, or a fine craftsman, there is a process of doing, and it is the love of that process, that makes one a master.
Coming from radio, about the only thing one can really offer from that medium, is the ability to cold read well- just about everything else is pretty much useless. I know a lot of folks, and I mean a LOT of radio guys a gals, that can do some ok cosmetic reads, but they can't act for crap, and it keeps them for lading the juicy jobs or getting the agents or advancing beyond middling copy reader-- they have little to offer in the way of performance.
I'm not pointing fingers, I'm just stating a general truth. That's why Radio DJ, was and is for the most part, a dirty word in VO.
So, if VO is your idea of making money, you better have a day job, 'cause it ain't gonna happen overnight.
The precession of endless classes and coaches is apart of the process of learning the craft. Some may have "IT" and they may move faster along than others, but the folks that have the real staying power in this biz, are the ones that have paid their dues again and again, taking acting and improv classes, and having a seasoned mentor at your side- because they love the process more than the air they breath.
If you don't like these cold hard truths, then you may not be -as Patsy Rodenburg says- grown up enough to hear it.
I couldn't agree more. I've been involved in music and theatre most of my life, both on and off stage. And I can whole heartedly say it's never been just about the money. The times I was paid it was usually enough to cover gas and lunch for that day, which was helpful, but not the reason I was there.
At this stage in the game, though, anything I choose to do I need to be real about. I'm a widowed dad of four, work full time, coach soccer and all my kids are in music, theatre and sports. So when I choose to pursue something, I go in with very real expectations and do my homework. Do I expect to make a million bucks doing vo work? Of course not, that's absurd. Do I expect to get some return on my investment of time and money? Not quite so absurd, but of course no guarantees. Will I enjoy expressing myself and using my instrument? You betchya.
In regards to the radio work, all I was shooting for was some hands on time in the studio, and maybe get to record some local spots. I never meant to insinuate that I would be doing any dj work, or anything else of that nature. I completely understand that radio and vo, while having some similarities, are two different worlds. If I wanted to go into radio, I'd go to broadcast school and call it a day. That is not my intent.
So, I thank you for your up front approach, but rest assured, my head's in the right place.
Let's get real here. These are the two most recent Production Directors I've worked with. They lived in the RADIO STATION PRODUCTION ROOM:
David Scott... Dave was my production director when we worked together for RKO Radio in Miami.
This is what Dave is currently doing:
CBS Network Program Announcer and Promos for CBS Sports
NBC Network Promos for The Today Show
ABC & ESPN Network Promos for NASCAR
Promos and Radio for ABC 2 / Baltimore
National Television Campaign for Florida's Natural Premium
Television and Radio Campaign for The Florida Lottery
Radio Campaign for WaWa
Narration for "Mystery Diagnosis Season 6" on Discovery Health
Narration for "Stray to Hey!" on Animal Planet (Pilot)
Narration for "PGA Tour Special: Technology and Golf" on CBS
Narration for "Supercarrier: USS Ronald Reagan" on NationalGeographic Channel
Narration for "Sex with Mom and Dad" on MTV (Pilot)
Narration for "The 750 Pound Man" on TLC
Narration for "Wings Over Vietnam" on Military Channel (MultipleEpisodes)
And until recently he was the voiceof BBC America. Keep in mind, this is what he's currently doing. It doesn't mention past work, and doesn't mention his National Commercial Campaigns, like the CBS Geico Minute for NFL Football.
And then there's Scott Chapin. Scott, was the Production Director when I worked for WIOD, Miami. Scott became the voice of just about every major market FOX station in the country. Visit his website, you'll recognize his voice instantly.
Or how about Chris Corley. I defy you to find a Radio Station, TV station, or Movie Theater that he's NOTon. Go to his website and you'll say, 'THAT'S the guy... I hear him EVERYWHERE. Chris has done more movie trailers than I own CD's... and his background is ENTIRELY radio.
This forum, or at least the outspoken ones ON this forum, give radio people a bad rap. The success of 'Radio People' in VO is quite long and noteworthy. It would be nice if a few people on the forum would at least' slightly' acknowledge it.
As long as posts are continued to be made saying things like...
Originally Posted by Mike Sommer
I'll keep reminding those who read this forum, that those type of statements just aren't true.
This thread began by a man asking if experience in a radio station Production Room would offer any benifits. I think the facts that I bring to your attention in this post point to a conclusion, that, yes, it very well could.
Thanks for your time... I'm just trying to keep the record straight.
Warm, Real, Natural
You beat me to the punch, Rick. While I'm not a fan of the radio announcer style, and it's not much in vogue for the day-to-day work most v/o talents get, the thing I was going to say about experience gleaned from working in a radio station is the technical side of it, and I'd think a tech guru like Mike would at least acknowledge that.
When I talk to or teach aspiring new talents, I'm amazed at what an uphill climb they'll have just trying to get the basics of digital recording. I began working with the Arrakis TrakStar digital system AT A RADIO STATION in 1996. In 1998 I was the only one at another radio station who was able to finally figure out what you could do with the Ensoniq PARIS digital system and I learned how to make it sing. And then from there on to PC-based systems, like Cool Edit Pro.
Because of how much I learned at radio stations from a technical perspective, I am a digital audio production whiz and have mastered many music cds on my system here at home. I currently mix down v/o demos for talent who don't possess those skills themselves.
So there's more to be gleaned from actual time in the studio other than doing 'rip-'n'-read' copy and emptying cigarette butts out of the cans. And if you can also turn into a David Scott or a Scott Chapin or a Chris Corley (or heck, even a Ricky Riley), then that's just icing on the cake.