Wolfson Wisdom

by | Mar 11, 2014 | Training/Education | 3 comments

NANCY smiling headphones_2A gift.

Just the other day, Nancy Wolfson handed over a gift we all can use.  Something she had prepared for another publication that went unused.  “Why waste it?” she said.  “Dave, can you put it in your blog?”  Ah…gee… I really had to think about that one.

Top LA-based voice acting producer/coach/director Wolfson produces erudite content at a pace akin to the sales of snow shovels in Buffalo.  Her resumé touches on all aspects of the voiceover universe, and has for years.  The Wolfson training series is tantamount to a graduate-level course at Yale in acting for advertising.  Yes, I’m biased.  Maybe you haven’t yet been touched by the Wolfson mystique, but I recognize excellence when I see it.

Enough.  See for yourself in the following essay she provided.  Thanks, Nancy!

CourVO

_________________

WHAT SHOULD TALENT BE LOOKING FOR IN A COACH

Results.
Know the results you want and pick the coach who has procured for others the results you want for yourself.

A Plan.
If you want to build a business that affords you the fun of brokering “playing around in other realities” for a profit, you need a guide with a plan. That plan should include a clear blueprint of action tasks, skills and strategies for what you need to know and how you can realize those goals. You want a coach who will take your performance and business abilities as seriously and as far as you can take yourself. And then push you farther.
And together, realize your dreams.

The primary responsibility of a company, at least here in America, is to return profits to shareholders. Find a coach who has exhibited an adaptability to the changing landscapes of our business for themselves and for their students, who has maintained a solid reputation of having built careers with people who have experienced not just personal growth but also responsible financial profits. Remember that start up company – the one that had Devo Hat Fridays and orange bean bags in the lobby but did not make any money? It dot “bombed.” Those “we had sOoOo much fun!” employees who only had fun had to find a new place to work because a hoot and a holler didn’t make ’em a dollar.

The process of learning the skills necessary to profitably service the marketplace as a voiceover talent and working one’s brand therein can be a stimulating, hilarious, illuminating, and sometimes frustrating experience. Growth isn’t always a bag of laughs. The payoff comes when a killer education then affords you the luxury of having an often goofy work lifestyle that actually makes you money. It is paramount that you enlist a discriminating coach who has proven able to guide a variety of committed people – not just actors, but accountants, stay-at-home dads, singers, DJs and blood splatter analysts – into using this uniquely creative platform, this playground of word games, to make their students money.

A Passion.
What characteristics define a great coach?
Well, certainly a great coach has that Plan.
An even better coach will have relationships that can offer you Pipelines of Access to casting, agents, buyers, and up-to-the-minute advice on which sources are returning the most robust results to and with talent today.

Ultimately, a great coach must have a Passion – perhaps one that is Greater than your Own – a damn near obsession with language, business, art, culture, branding, and most importantly, a passion for your success.

And… ready?
No Patience.
(Wait – don’t leave – come back.)
No patience for your efforts to argue for own limitations.
No patience for you to slack in accomplishing in today’s P2P marketplace,
what is, with a trusty coach by your side who has deconstructed it all for you, very achievable.
No patience for you to be anything less than your best, most silly playful profitable self.

Nancy Wolfson
Braintracksaudio.com

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3 Comments

  1. LINDA BEARMAN

    I have known Nancy’s history (having worked in the industry and in the same town for many years). Please keep in mind that all shoes have a different fit. Nancy offers quality info however she just devastated “chewed up” a client of mine and needlessly so. His demo production was an abusive experience losing him $2000. Obviously Nancy is not for everyone. My client makes his living in VO and does it well. Nancy is not the be all and end all of VO training and no one instructor is.

    Reply
    • CourVO

      Linda,

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I couldn’t agree more, and Nancy would concur as well. There were times I wasn’t sure Nancy was for me, either. She has a certain “style” that can rub some people the wrong way. On the other hand, when I LEAST wanted to hear it, Nancy made me listen. In coaches, like food, it pays to choose moderation.

      Thanks again, and write soon….write often!

      Dave Courvoisier

      Reply
      • Pipes ForThreeDecades

        Type A personality and perhaps fun to look at, but some icons wear their fare because the journalism of voice-over is a narrow universe that tends to make “self promoted” divas. I have seen her background, mostly from Fox, a right wing conservative media corp; and have seen her take apart the demos of other award winning producers who have successfully launched voice-over careers to nice moderate incomes in the industry. Moreover, in process, she has been at risk of using other people’s work in daresay slanderous positions to hype and sell the quality of her own positioning, where as other coaches have had equitable if not more stellar backgrounds in ALL media circles, giving them great credibility as well. I’d rather trust a man who’s not shout what he’s found. Others still do not suffer fools lightly when it comes to helping and choosing which talent to work with, and the same be said true of talent choosing which coaches and demo producers to work with. Nancy gets marks in popularity contests. Maybe being in Studio City does that for her, as people have a hard on for people in LA; but anyone who has successfully worked Studio City, paid three mortgages AND had the prerogative of leaving, in addition to serving backgrounds in other metros, New York City, Chicago or global-centric industries are also worth their salt. Many would also be very wise ones to listen to. She is generous with her choice to spend her gifts as a guide, rather than be a VO talent. Some however dispute her claim that only those who do not DO and BE voice-over, are the only ones qualified to teach and coach voice-over. In writing, she has said she has never done or been a voice-over… while this commentator admits her production credits are strong. Let’s say I want to learn to be a firefighter. Do I want to learn from someone who hasn’t been on the ground fighting one? Look around. Many nice choices out there; lose the “fan clubs” and get to work. There is no wrong choice, there is no right choice, there is only an active choice. Grasshopper, or the ant. This does not say that you wont get a good product from Nancy. Chewing up others in process or blowing out others candles however, does not make hers burn any brighter.

        Reply

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