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I apologise when I take forever to write these blogs when it comes to voice over. I know I started this blog to just connect with any voice actor/actor/fan using Tumblr but I really struggle to have anything to talk about when things are quiet. At this point in time, I want to know what YOU, yes you the reader, would like to talk about. Don’t be afraid to ask me anything, my comment box is open but keep them voice over centric or even anything based on my thoughts on acting in general. Though you may be wondering to yourself what I am currently doing in the world of voice over right now. Well there is something that I will brief over which I was very excited to do.
I recently went to audition for about 4-5 different commercials at a major radio station. I am currently in the position of waiting to hear back from them. A lot of time is spent waiting whether it be sending out demos or attending auditions or trying to book gigs. All you can really do in this situation is be patient, be persistent but not annoying and hope to find work to get this career to a great start. What I will say about this experience is that it is an incredible feeling to just use your skills that you have obtained through your training and see how it applies to real world applications.
In the downtime, I have been working my main job as a personal assistant for a home business which is my funding for my current freelancing voice over career. I also listen to voice over podcasts, read blogs, practice my craft and study acting at Mooregrace Acting Studios to make myself more believable. Actually, while I type this, I am listening to Rob Paulsen on Talkin’ Toons talking to Nolan North. And now, the main part of this blog that I wish to talk about.
I have been thinking about Australian animated series. According to Wikipedia, we have about 34 of them. Some of them are just based in Australia while others are combinations of Australian-French or Australian Canadian productions. These series include Plasmo (my voice coach voiced Plasmo!), Yakkity Yak, Blinky Bill, Lil’ Elvis and the Truckstoppers and many more. Out of all these animated series, there was something that I noticed in all of these shows, not a single one was an adult orientated Australian animated series. There may be others out there but they are not currently listed on Wikipedia. I have had several discussions in which every time I talk about Australian voice over in animation, people tend to cringe. There is something about the Australian accent which seems to be overdone or we have just become accustomed to American or Canadian voice actors voicing shows from the states which seem to have a broader appeal. Remember that Simpsons’ episode in which they go to Australia? Remember how we were portrayed? It feels insulting at times. I’ll admit, when I have watched Australian cartoons in the past, I can never get my head around our accents and how they sound in Australian cartoons. With a few exceptions, they just don’t seem to remain in our memories unlike our American counterparts producing more animations and as I had said before having a broader appeal, not to mention a greater audience. So here is the thought:
Make an Australian animated series which gains a broad appeal. When I say broad, I mean, the stuff FOX, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Hanna Barbera, Warner, Disney even Hub comes out with. It is sad that we don’t make that much stuff in Australia but I am sure there are some people out there looking to make some quality work and get it out into not only the Australian market but even the global market. Animation does get done in Australia but it is VERY limited. I would like to see a change in this because I believe voice actors, despite all the commercial VO work that is out there, why can’t we be the next voices in quality animation, video games, movies etc? Don’t get me wrong, I am not criticizing my country for not making enough animation, I just have not noticed in the industry the drive to make something appealing to a global audience. When was the last time you heard of a popular cartoon that was made in Australia in which our Australian VO talent was touring every Comic Con related event promoting it and having the chance to meet their overseas fans? This is merely an observation but also a dream of mine if I don’t manage to move to the States which I will probably have to do to achieve my goal of providing voices for animation/video games etc.
Next idea, vlogging. What does this have to do with voice over? Just an idea other than voice over. To sustain a business, things require money. Vlogging through Youtube being paid through Youtube sponsership has been an intriguing career choice and has been utilised by voice actors such as Kyle Hebert for KYLE TV (which is also his Stickam webcam show). Your full time career can be in front of a camera writing sketches, talking about things and if you manage to get millions of views, you are doing very well. It also opens opportunities for travel to events such as VidCon which is a convention for Youtube stars. It would be experimental but it is just an idea I had thought about. Not sure what it would be about but it sounds cool.
Last one, podcasts. This one could be for voice over but it could be also for other things. After listening to podcasts, I am a bit inspired to try my hand at this. Not much else to say about this, I have the equipment to do this so… why not?
Well, mainly this blog was to have a bit of a rant about the Australian animation industry and to just let you know what has been going on. I could post pictures just like a regular Tumblr user but I probably should have a personal page for that sort of stuff. I just enjoy writing which is how I view blogging. Let me know what you think on the subject if you would like, I am here a fair bit, checking out what is happening.
Until then, take care and hope to see you in the booth!
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I know it has been a while since I have written a blog of some sorts but I find it difficult to update when things have been going slow. So before I start talking about what has been going on in my voice over adventures lately I have something for you, the readers, to have a chance to participate in…
If you are an aspiring voice actor, actor or just interested in the business itself, please feel free to throw me some questions. I am in the early stages of establishing myself as a voice actor which requires a lot of determination, focus and a hell of a lot of patience. If this is your first time reading my blogs, feel free to follow and join in the discussion. Tell your friends if they are in the same position. I’d be happy to hear from you and see who else is out there trying to make a name for themselves in this competitive industry.
Ok back to what the blog is really about, as you may of read in the previous short blog, I posted a link to my current voice over demo which is out there on Youtube. I have also been doing the rounds of contacting various studios/radio stations to see how it all goes. So far, I have found my demo to have a mixed reception. Some good, some not so good but for those who are at this stage of their career, I hope you are having better luck but if things seem a bit hopeless or slow at this stage, all I want to say to you is to never give up and use all the patience you can muster. If your demo is put together with lots of time and effort put into it, it will recieve a good response which will lift your spirits up through a time where you may hear something or nothing at all. Studios/Radio Stations are generally pretty busy but keep at it. As I was once advised, be persistent but not annoying. Don’t call them constantly, give it time and try again later.
What I have said here should be taken with a pinch of salt. What works for one person may not work for another but I thought I would talk about my current experience in the industry to give you an idea on what it is like to throw yourself into the deep end of the commercial voice over industry. Having previously volunteered my time at community radio stations last year, I really got a taste for being in the booth and cementing the idea that this is what I would like to do for the rest of my life as an ongoing career. I cannot think of anything else I would like to be in my life. And one day, I hope to share these stories/experiences at Armageddon Expo or any other kind of Comic-Con related Exhibition once I achieve the plan of moving to the US to find animation work.
Until then, I hope to see you in the booth so keep at it!