My first CourVO.com newsletter was forever in getting finished.
The mental blocks were the worst thing. No no…I take that back…putting together the e-mail list was the hardest. Ya know…really, that's not true either, deciding what to put in, and what not to put in was easily the most difficult. Nah…really now… the hardest thing was deciding how long it should be.
See? ALL these decisions. I finally decided to punt after two months, and just publish it. And boy Howdy did I ever!…at 3 in the morning of Halloween Day!
There were some mistakes to be sure, but overall the immediate feedback was encouraging. However the oversights were egregious enough that I felt I had to follow-up with another newsletter within the day. You'll see that in this blogsite too.
I'm not sure the links translated over to the blog when I copied and pasted, so if you want to know where those links lead, just e-mail me, and I'll forward you a copy. Constant Contact lets you archive all your newsletters to a website location. It's an extra $5/month, though, and I'm still mulling that over.
If any of what you see below is interesting, and you'd like to be included on my mailing list, please let me know, and I'll make sure you get the next one.
Dave Courvoisier November 2008
Hoo Boy! You're receiving my very first newsletter…. "BIG DEAL!"…you say, "…another something I don't have time to read!" Gotcha. I understand. You can unsubscribe below if you want, but I hope you'll hang on to read this nascent effort, and maybe even offer some feedback, good or bad. This newsletter is meant for voice actors, but you'll find plenty here, too, for the enterpreneur, the businessperson, the thinker, the editor, the producer, and the pundit.
Voicing in Vegas
Vegas is a great entertainment market. Some will tell you not much VO goes on here. They'd be wrong. OK, it may not be NY or LA, but there are many production houses here, and they all do their fair share of commercial production, on-camera videos, presentations, industrial productions, audiobooks, and much more. A couple rise above the rest in my estimation: Dog & Pony Studios Sun Media Productions DAV Productions OakDale Post Audio
But 'you really want a great resource for ANYTHING that has to do with production in Vegas? Call or write the Nevada Film Office. They've compiled an awesome guide to all things related to video, film, audio, and studios in las Vegas and Reno. Call 'em toll-free at 877-638-3456 or e-mail at: [email protected]
Links – Referrals
Planning to hire a voice-actor? Please read the suggestions tastefully, thoughtfully, and diplomatically posted by Cathy Siciliano HERE.
Fantastic online e-zine for voice-actors and people in the industry offered by Julie Williams. Click HERE to sign-up.
If it has anything to do with voice-acting, you'll find it on VoiceOverXtra. This site is worth a visit everyday. HERE.
Whether you're looking for a voice, or want to establish yourself as part of one of the fastest-growing communities of vocie actors on the planet, you should visit VoiceOverUniverse.
German-based site now accepting international (esp. English-speaking) voice talent, and (of course) looking for voice-seekers too. Bodalgo. (the link is for the English-translated version of their website)
Site for hi-quality free web-ready photos of all kinds. PicApp.
Voice actor and coach Deb Munro is organizing a Cruise for '09 jut for voice-actors. Yes, Cruise as in Caribbean in a big boat. She's still working on details, but if you visit her site, you'll find info and an e-mail address to write her for more info.
Hi, I'm Dave…. (and yes COURVOISIER is my real last name)
by Dave C
I do a lot of stuff with kids in my TV job…
Since 1982 I've been doing a weekly TV feature called "Wednesday's Child".
The idea is to bring to light the plight of disadvantaged kids. So each week, I profile one child who is looking for a foster home, or an adoptive home, or who might need a Big Brother or Big Sister. Some of the first kids I ever featured are now adults, and yes that makes me feel old, but there's nothing like the joy I get when I'm approached by someone who tells me: "…I was a Wednesday's Child in 19XX, when you took me on a hot air balloon ride…" (or something similar). I'm also on the board of directors for Boys Town (remember Father Flanagan?).
Two years ago, I won an Regional TV News Emmy for writing, producing, and appearing in a half-hour report relating the events of our annual Wednesday's Child Christmas Party. We try to throw one heckuva party for the county's foster kids…something they won't forget. We have hundreds of bikes donated, and provide lots of fun activities and entertainment for the kids.
I'm a firm believer that service is one of the best things any human being can do to get the focus off "self" and all the "woe-is-me" anxiety that is so characteristic of our modern culture. I've chosen disadvantaged children as my focus. I don't expect anything back, but the DOING of it has become its own reward many times over.
Marketing – Networking
There's probably no chance Joe Cipriano would even know I was on the planet without VOICE 2008. Never mind that fact that Joe's a very astute, likeable, and approachable guy — it means nothing if you don't get proximity at some point. That's what networking events like VOICE are all about — face time. Thanks, Joe for being so gracious with your time!The best tip I ever got from a working voice actor when I first started was to join and frequently visit the Voice Over Bulletin Board. I started that day, and never regretted it. The liaisons and friendships I've made there have enabled me to go further than I ever thought I could. The community is a little zany & fun-loving, but the information they share, the give 'n' take on issues, the expertise that resides in the people on board is beyond price. Lurk if you want, but sign-up is free, and the crowd is welcoming. Be a part!
John Florian has masterfully put together one of th
e most useful voice acting websites on the planet — for the entire spectrum of voice over ability. At VoiceOverExtra.com you'll find classifieds, coaches, helpful articles, links, sage advice, and great networking. Whether you're a voice-seeker or a voice talent, you'll benefit from visiting. Finally, the hottest networking tool to hit the voice over industry in 2008 is Rick Party's VoiceOverUniverse ning website. It has become the de facto standard for networking, seeing, and being seen. The forums, the groups, the sheer level of expertise among the residents there is awe-inspiring. Join now, and become part of the universe!
Forget the Vegas Stereotypes… Here's the reality!
I Live here…
OOther people living in Las Vegas getting this newsletter will understand the following: We do NOT all live in Casinos. Yes, the city has Boy Scouts, Libraries, City Council meetings, lots of churches, bake sales, a United Way Organization, and trees. If you live here, you try to avoid "The Strip". But, when you want to, there's an unbelievable choice of live entertainment. Yes, it's hot 3-4 months of the year, but unlike the 3-4 months of Winter where you may live, you don't have to shovel heat here. The beaches of SoCal are a 4 hour drive one way, the Grand Canyon is a 4 hour drive the other way. Lake Mead still has water in it…although water conservation measures are in force. Not all of us think or act like Senator Harry Reid, Senate Majority Leader…who is also Mormon. There are lots of Mormons here. Vegas has 2-million souls, and only 2% of the population was actually born and raised here. We don't like the idea of everyone sending their nuclear waste to our back yard. We say Nuh-VAD-uh (middle syllable as in "sad" or "glad")…not Nuh-Vah-duh (as in open your mouth and say "aaahhh") Since everyone is from somewhere else, no one can agree on sports allegiances, except maybe UNLV Runnin' Rebels when they're hot (and lately they are). I say all this, 'cause Las Vegas is no worse, and no better than anywhere else. To me, it's home, but it's not perfect. All three of my daughters were born here, so I'm fond of the place. Las Vegas just happens to be… …uh…conspicuous. Most everyone comes here sooner or later. When you do, give me a call at 702-610-6288 and I'll buy lunch, then we'll go visit OJ down at the local jail-house I'm sure he'll be lonely by then. Need some info about Vegas? Click on the following links to get a start: Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority Vegas.com
Equipment – Production Techniques
Excelling in Voice acting will require a good facility with the computer/technical side of the business.
Software — Hardware — Connection.
How well you handle those 3 components will win you high marks from your clients, and studios/producers/directors with whom you'll be working.
Software: Your Digital Audio Workstation (DAW), be it MAC or PC will do the lion's share of your workload. But you'll need to get comfortable with a sound editing program. Audacity is free, and is full-featured. Honestly, it may be enough for many people. The other end of the spectrum is Pro-Tools by Digidesign.This program is recognized in professional studios as the de facto standard, but for the lone voice actor in his/her private studio, it's over-kill, and has a long learning curve. Most Voice Actors opt for something in the middle, like Adobe Audition, Sony Sound Forge Audio Studio, GoldWave, or CuBaseLE.
Coaching – Workshops
You can never get enough!
…voice coaching, that is. Luckily many reputable, qualified, and experienced voice coaches schedule weekend workshops all over the country all the time.
Announced 10-30-08: Steve Wynn's "Wynn" Resort is about the only gaming company to actually turn a profit in the 3rd quarter…but mostly 'cause it's Macau property is doing so well. They claim $50-mill in the 3rd quarter. It's also about the only place hiring these days. Wynn's sister tower "Encore" is set to open a couple of days before Christmas, and they're hiring thousands.
Best Kept Las Vegas Travel Secret: Allegiant Airlines is based in Las Vegas, and specializes in flights to and from mid-size airports. Fresno, CA; Eugene, Oregon; Peoria, IL; Toledo, OH; Wilmington, NC; etc. They fly to and from those places on Thursday and Sunday only. They fly regular-size jets, they're prompt, friendly, and VERY inexpensive. They DO charge a la carte…so a little extra to pick your seat, a little more for baggage claim, and the like. Did I mention they're inexpensive? I flew one-way to Belleville, IL for <$100. Check 'em out. They might be flying to a place near you.
There ARE smokeless places to stay and play in Vegas: Click HERE to see a great article on this. The new Westin is smoke-free, so is the Renaissance, The Platinum, the Marriott…lots. Probably THE swankiest resort OFF the strip is the Red Rock Resort and Spa. It's up on the West side of the Valley and any cabbie could get you there. They're now bragging about all the casino space they've set aside in a non-smoking environment. Also ANY stand-alone bar that is also a grill…or that serves food, is mandated by state law NOT to allow smoking in the same room. Some restaurants have shut down their food operation because of it. Others have just partioned-off the food from the drinking/gambling sections.
Try the MonoRail: The Las Vegas Monorail is a really cool way to see the sights on an elevated track that travels the length of the strip…but not downtown, and not to the airport. You can get on it almost anywhere, and go either direction.
We've been hit by the economic downturn too: So the resorts are eager to entice visitors. Ask for special pricing on rooms, ask for perks, expect comps, and then tell 'em the guy across the street is offering what you want for free. DO NOT expect to get any show tickets at a reduced price…and MAN, they're getting expensive. The top shows are easily around $200/seat.