So after waiting a whole month to hear the announcements for Armageddon Expo 2012, I finally purchased tickets for both Saturday and Sunday, October 13th/14th for this amazing event. Seeing as this year’s Armageddon is going to be held in Melbourne, I would not be surprised to see it packed. Last year was fantastic, I got to meet a whole heap of my voice over idols from my youth (Kevin Conroy) to current generation voice actors who are considered veterans already (Steven Blum, well he now holds the Guinness World Record for most voices in video games/animation I believe).
So this year’s line up is decent, some good names out there including the following: Johnny Yong Bosch, Mela Lee, Sandy Fox, Lex Lang, Susan Eisenberg and Charles Martinet. The one that stood as the odd one out was Little Kuriboh (Martin Billany) who is one of the many voices of Yu Gi Oh: Abridged. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not placing hate on voice actors in Abridged fan made content such as this or what you get with Dragon Ball Z: Abridged with Team Four Star (which I watch regularly) but… sigh… that one place could of been reserved for a veteran with more knowledge, experience in the commercial animation VO world. I’m sorry but when you have a killer line up and you throw that ball out it is a bit of a miss for me. I want to learn about the reality of voice over. The rest of the guests make up the majority because I’ve seen their interviews on Bang Zoom! Entertainment’s Adventures in Voice Acting on DVD. Two other places were given to Kristi Reed (an Anime director who has worked on Samurai Champloo and Durarara!!) and Yaya Han who is a professional cosplayer. Now, Kristi Reed would be someone worth listening to so you can get more of an insider look into the industry itself. A woman worth listening to alongside that stellar VO cast. Mela Lee and Johnny Yong Bosch also bring their respective bands, Magnolia Memoirs (check them out, they are pretty good) and Eyeshine. I’ve also heard that there is a dedicated anime stage this year which will make things interesting.
Will I see any actors this year? Last year it was mainly for Adrian Paul (Highlander) and that was also a fantastic experience). This year’s line up is a bit of a miss for me but I am making sure that my Dad (who I am taking this year as part of his birthday present) meets Christopher Judge (Stargate) and several Stargate/Tron guests. I honestly wish I took him last year because the majority were Stargate/Sancturary guests which would of been perfect but I did not think about that at the time. This year’s event however is made up majorly of Babylon 5 people with the odd Game Of Thrones, Supernatural, Tron, James Bond type guests. If times don’t conflict, I’d probably spend time with my Dad at a Stargate or Tron based panel. Otherwise, my focus on attending these events is purely for voice actors only.
Why is this exactly? For one, voice actors sign for free. I understand that at these types of conventions you usually have to pay to get autographs or take photos but honestly, an autograph is worth more to me than a photograph. Though, photographs do carry a little bit of bragging rights. Any photos for me this year? Maybe but I actually would not mind having money this time for convention swag (I could of saved so much money on Anime DVDs last year).
This is how I plan my trips to these events (after my first last year):
- Get in early (make sure you have tickets/tokens beforehand, token system can now be pre purchased so I don’t have to wait in idiotic queues)
- Attend ALL animation guest panels
- Obtain ALL autographs from animation guests (and TV/Movie guests if applicable)
- Get photos from well known guests
- Attend any other panels (if applicable)
- Explore the entire exhibition and make note of things I might want to do the next day
- Attend music events (especially for this year)
Something I noticed that I have not seen (yet they spoke to me on Twitter and said they would do this) was Armageddon was supposed to have a dedicated voice acting workshop. There is no such news on their page. It could be one of those things announced later on before the event (this happens sometimes) but when they replied with “Done” to my Twitter account after I suggested this, I am curious to see if they will keep their word. Fingers crossed because that would be invaluable to any voice actor.
It still bugs me that I missed Supanova this year but I would of only gone to see Richard Horvitz. Maybe next year has something more promising (I don’t like it when you only have very few voice actors, Oz Comic Con was a bit like that as well from what I read). Otherwise, I’ll be attending both Saturday and Sunday at Armageddon Expo this year so if you read my blogs, live in Australia (particularly Melbourne in this case) and happen to see me, come say hi! I’m always happy to converse with other voice actors, actors and general fans alike.
For current voice over news, I am working on two community radio commercials for The Pulse, a radio play called Tinkerboy (a steampunk themed radio play, more news to be announced) and I’m still open to any other new work that comes my way, paid or unpaid (it is good to keep the acting chops up). After attending many acting classes, I am also seeking on-camera work just to mix things up a bit (and get those acting chops up even more).
As always, I hope to see you in the booth or anywhere else for that matter. A two part Armageddon blog will appear later this year. As for any other news, I shall keep you posted. I don’t always blog because I want to be sure that I do not release any information in which I may of previously signed a non-disclosure contract. Speaking of that here is a little something extra to finish this post with.
Tip of the Day: If you have to sign for a job that has a non-disclosure contract, no matter how excited you are that you get to work, please do not announce it via social networking websites, you could lose your job (it happens, not to me thankfully because I have never been in that situation but just be aware of that).
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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!
I know I have been a bit quiet lately on the blog posts since I tend to only blog when something new in my life tends to happen which is usually very exciting. You may or may have not seen the voice over samples that are currently on Youtube. If you have not seen them, go check out my channel at “ktiddvoices”. I am very happy to say that my career is taking the real first step into voice over by creating my first official demo.
To all of you who aspire to become voice actors, this is your calling card. The single most important thing to have in your arsenal if you are looking to make a serious career out of this. I am heading into the studio next week to pick out the work I have done throughout last year and the start of this year and compile it all together to bring you my first official demo. I will post it on Youtube at a later date and will be removing the samples as they are no longer neccessary. The video will contain the voice over demo, and my contact details for those who wish to get in touch with me for any future work.
I am considering creating an extra email address for those who want to ask me general questions about voice over because just like the voice actors I have been in contact with from the previous years, I would be more than happy to help you out as they have helped me. Also, that is what my Tumblr page is designed for. For you (the reader/aspiring voice actor) to come have a chat with me by asking questions on my blog. I will post the answers on my page to share with everyone as to not repeat the same stuff. Sometimes it may be repeated but I may put a different emphasis on it.
I am also on Twitter and have a Facebook fan page in which you can see what is going on as well. For those who do read my blogs, I thank you for being supportive. Let your friends know if they are into that sort of stuff, always nice to meet like minded people. I hope to be the one invited to a convention someday but until then, I am really tired as I just got back from an intense martial arts training session. For future blog posts, I will make sure to write another two parter for the next Armageddon Expo in October later this year or any other year after that.
Until then, keep letting your voices be heard.
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It is coming close to that time of year, when we let loose and wait to bring on the new year. Last year, I spent my night at home with two dogs (so they would not run away from all the fireworks going off) and decided not to make a big deal out of it. This year, I get to hang out with a couple of close friends and just go nuts. The thing I ponder on from time to time is whether to make a New Years Resolution or several. I stopped doing so for many years because every time I made a resolution, it was never made. But as my voice over career slowly begins to take flight, I have high hopes.
To analyse how I’ve come to this decision is based on several factors:
- I graduated from JMC Academy, South Melbourne in April. I finally earned my Bachelor Degree in Audio Engineering.
- I began to take voice over workshops with voice coach/voice actor Abbe Holmes. These have been a great benefit of learning the ropes and what is required of a top notch voice actor. I also managed to score an opportunity to take a private lesson in which to finish off the year in workshops, I had found the mistakes I was making in the past and can now improve my ability.
- I managed to squeeze in about two weeks worth of acting lessons at MooreGrace Acting Studios in Geelong. Paul Moore, Sarah Grace and the rest of the MooreGrace group have really shown me what it takes to be a great actor. This acting ability in turn will improve my voice over work because most voice actors are just actors in general. I start all over in February for my first term. I look forward to a year of acting.
- After a recommendation from a friend of mine, I scored some volunteer work down at JOYFM, the gay and lesbian station in the Melbourne CBD. They were generous enough to allow me to work on my craft by giving them some advertisements and three months worth of promo work. I followed this up by doing several advertisements with The Pulse in Geelong. This year focused greatly on having some voice over work on a small, community scale. I chose to volunteer my time to these community radio stations to become familiar with my future environments.
- I began to take some small steps in creating several social networking websites, an official website (coming soon) and getting my freelance business sorted for the new year.
- I’ve been working on building my contacts in community and major radio stations. Networking is a major factor in all of this.
- I managed to get down to Armageddon Expo Melbourne 2011. I got to meet some of my voice over idols including Steven Blum, Kyle Hebert, Kevin Conroy, Paul Eiding and Scott McCord who I owe them my thanks for answering my question on the animation panel, scoring autographs and photo opportunities as well.
Before all this had happened, I remember talking to someone and having them telling me that it could take at least 5-10 years to truly make a career. As the rage comic meme states “Challenge Accepted”. I believe I have done alright for myself in this one year in which I began to wonder whether I have made some true accomplishments in kickstarting my voice over career.
Now onto the topic at hand, the new years resolution (or several). Well, I think it is safe to say I have a few and here they are:
- Begin to take on some major voice over work.
- To create more networking opportunities.
- To take more voice over workshops and complete my first official demo.
- To attend all of my acting classes at MooreGrace Acting Studios.
- To attend Armageddon Expo 2012 (or Supernova 2012).
- To purchase more high quality audio gear including a Neumann TLM103 and a Sennheiser MKH P48 Shotgun Microphone.
- To improve my martial arts ability and become fit.
There are a few more personal goals which I do not wish to discuss but I hope this helps you to become inspired into making some new goals to set in life. Keep setting those goals because remember, a finished person is a person who has failed. If you have had a reasonably good year or a horrible, shitty year, remember, there is always a new day/month/year just waiting for you.
I hope you achieve your dreams and see some of you in the booth in the near future. Have a safe and happy new year and make 2012 your year.
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Feel free to ask me some questions if you would like. I’m not doing much at this current time and I am interested to hear your questions/thoughts/comments on the topic of voice over and everything related to it. I’m happy to answer whatever questions you may have on those things.
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Hey everyone, today’s blog post is a subject which I wish to share with all my fellow voice actors/actors/voice over or acting enthusiasts. The subject I wish to share with you today is voice over coaching. Before I do so, I want to share a bit of my background with you as to give you an idea on why I pursued coaching. Personally, I come from a three year Audio Engineering background back in my days when I used to study at JMC Academy South Melbourne. My first two voice over projects were for two student animations from two different students entitled “Dragon Troubles” (which can be seen in a previous blog post) and “Seeker Of Freedom”. I completed my course in 2010 and received my Bachelor Degree in 2011 this year at my graduation. I decided to become a voice actor around halfway through my second year at JMC as I was sort of at a crossroads in my upcoming career wondering if the music industry was the right path for me. My first intention was to become a studio engineer who would break out into other areas such as live music, corporate etc. After searching through some videos one night on Youtube relieving some nostalgic memories of all the animation I used to watch in my youth as well as some of the more mature stuff I was currently watching at the time, I started thinking about the people who were the voices behind the animated characters. It sounded like an awesome job to have but what do I know about voice over? Well not a great deal to be honest. I probably watched some specials from time to time when I would watch the voice over in the studio doing there thing but all of a sudden I had a lightbulb moment. I begun to delve deeper by looking up the people behind the voices. The deeper I went into my research, the more I began to uncover about what I loved. Not to mention all of the paths you can take beyond animation including commercial work in radio, TV, corporate and so much more. I devoted a lot of time into undergoing the research and thinking of a way I could combine my current audio training with my new found career path in mind. I began looking into workshops or lessons I could take. I looked at a few different websites but they just seemed plain/boring as if they could potentially be looking to take my money rather then take the time to craft my career. Then I had finally found what I was looking for, a true voice over coach.
Abbe Holmes is a voice over artist who has been in the industry for at least 30 years or so. I read into her voice over workshops or “One Day Intensives” in which a group of actors/voice overs come from all sorts of different backgrounds to go through different scripts which are catered to your voice/ability and recorded in a live studio at PlusAudio in South Melbourne. I decided to purchase her voice over packages for download on her website and listen to them through and through. My eyes and ears opened up to the sort of level I needed to be at when it came to voice over. I decided to take a lesson around February this year and I have to say I was highly impressed. I sat down to look through the scripts I was given and perform them in front of other people, including some dual log work to create the chemistry in the performance. Right there and then, I decided that this was the career path I wanted to build. I attended two more in May and June of this year and have found that each time I go there, I learn something new and develop my craft to a greater extent. I am attending a private lesson tomorrow followed by another one day intensive in February next year. The reason for these workshops is that you are also able to keep your work and at a later time become ready to build your first voice over demo. A voice over demo is essential, crucial even, to getting your foot in the door. The website for those interested in attending a voice over workshop or to learn more can be found at this address:
This year has been an eye-opener with all the talent I have seen/worked with in these workshops. Some people just by hearing them are going to go far. On top of all these voice over workshops, I am also in the process of booking some acting lessons on top of all that. I found a place which includes improv acting which I think will be greatly beneficial to my voice over work. Some people have excellent voices, others have great acting ability and some have a little bit of everything. The reason for taking these classes is because after watching the DVD “Adventures in Voice Acting” from Bang Zoom! Entertainment, the number one thing that just about every voice actor says in their interview is the phrase “Take classes”. The reason for this is because you need some training under your belt before you go out into the real world otherwise you have a very small chance.
Do not take this as a sure-fire guarantee that you will succeed after taking these lessons but I think it will push you in the right direction for you to create your own success. A lot of different factors come into play when trying to book work but persistence always prevails if you set your mind to it. I would not want to get anyone’s hopes up and be blamed for it later on.
I hope this information may prove useful to you as I highly recommend Abbe Holmes, without a doubt.
Until then, I hope to see you some day in the booth and wish you the best of luck in your voice over career.
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After the events of Melbourne Armageddon Expo 2011, I went back to the website to check on when the next events would be held. Armageddon Expo began in New Zealand and expanded to Australia as the event saw Armageddon reach Adelaide and Sydney for the first time. The organisers have now decided that the ONLY Australian event is going to be held in Melbourne on October 13th/14th at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre.
They are holding mini events dealing with specific shows including Stargate, Star Trek etc. throughout the territories but I still think it is a bummer for all those other cities that Armageddon does not want to give them any attention. In a more positive light, this could be a chance for Armageddon to really get their gear into action after they probably did not the 17,000 people turnout. It could be a lot more if others travel from other states which will make the event even bigger than this year. Armageddon Expo Melbourne 2011 was great don’t get me wrong but there were certain aspects of disorganisation within the event that people were not generally happy with.
I am also hoping to check out Supernova which is another event that caters to the pop culture fanatics out there. Also, I’ve missed out on the last few years this event has been held.
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