Aspiring voice talent at your service!

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Mad Harlequin
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Aspiring voice talent at your service!

#1 Post by Mad Harlequin » Mon Sep 15, 2014 1:19 am

Hey, everyone!

I've created this thread in accordance with the new recruitment section policy, so what I have to say here regarding voice acting stuff is just copied and pasted from my original "lady of many hats" post. I hope that's all right. If you're interested in my help as a writer or editor, you can find the original thread in the appropriate section. (Psst! I've got a link in my signature!) :)
Where voicework is concerned, I plan on saving up enough money to take lessons with a voice talent and coach in my area. I met him at a seminar a few years ago. Prior to college, I attended a lecture on the subject and was told by the instructor that I had "a very trainable voice" and that I had a chance to make it if I tried. I would've taken lessons right then and there, but . . . college had to happen.

I have auditioned for roles in amateur projects before, but the times I wasn't rejected, the projects in question never became a reality. School kept me busy for many years, and I couldn't pursue my passion actively.

I am female and have a medium-to-high vocal range, but I have no problems with young boys' voices. I don't have a demo reel or anything---just a few of my old, cruddy auditions. I don't know if anyone wants to hear those. But I'd be happy to help anyone willing to give me a shot.

Update: I've just finished one recording meant for sampling purposes. I'm reading a monologue as the character Nell from the play Like Dreaming, Backwards by Kellie Powell. Here it is:

https://app.box.com/Nellmonologue

I understand that the audio quality isn't the best. I know how to record, but I'm afraid I'm very much a novice at mixing and optimizing sound quality. Sorry if that puts anyone off!
I'm an aspiring writer and voice talent with a passion for literature and an unhealthy attachment to video games. I am also a seasoned typo-sniper. Inquiries are encouraged. Friendly chats are welcome.
"Always do what is right. It will gratify half of mankind and astound the other."
— Mark Twain

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Re: Aspiring voice talent at your service!

#2 Post by Hendo » Wed Jan 28, 2015 6:24 am

Hi there! I saw a link to this from somewhere on the forum and thought I'd give it a listen. I went back and read through your writer recruitment thread and saw that you'd been having a pretty crap time lately. I hope you've managed to find your feet since your last update.

After listening to your clip I thought I might try to offer some sort of constructive criticism on it, although I'm struggling a little as to how I should put things into words. Before I start I should suggest that you take anything that I have to say with a grain of salt. While I may have been involved in the coaching of some actors over the past year I don't really think I've got that much to offer in regards to advice. Anyway...

I listened to the clip a couple of times and, crackly mic aside, the first time I thought it was a little too monotone. Then I read the performance note and kind of understood it from the author's point of view. Okay, monotonous is fairly understandable. What I noticed on the second run through was that it wasn't monotonous all the way through. The first part was a little beguiling, almost wistful in a way, and it slowly wound down into a monotone. Sort of. It picked up a little bit towards the part where Nell swears. I'm just not sure if the emotion - or lack of it, in this case - was really the most appropriate way for it to be expressed. I know the author's note said that flat, matter-of-fact readings tended to be the better ones, but I think this could have done with a bit more expression, particularly frustration. You know that bit where she's noticed where the old woman is her future? From that point on it could have done well to be frustration that eventually dropped into despair. The last few sentences sound like they should be punctuated by silences, with each one the volume and level of hope dropping noticeably.

I don't know. That's just what I thought. Take what you will, dump what you want. Like I said, I'm not a professional in this regard. The only thing that I can think of may be that were actually reading it off the page and were too focussed on that rather than other aspects of the delivery. And I've forgotten where I was going with this.

Maybe - and this is just speculation - you are more suited to roles and characters where depressive isn't a big part. When you first introduced yourself my brain went, "Yeah, okay. This girl sounds fairly upbeat," and I thought the reading was going to be of a more cheerful, if somewhat sassy, character. But that might just be your normal voice. Who knows? Okay, you would, obviously, but you're on the opposite side of the planet and sound doesn't usually travel that far without the assistance of an audio recording or a magic bottle you can scream into and then plug it up so that the next person who opens it will receive a face full of scream.

In regards to finding a better mic, I've used a few different ones, but the best one that I've ever tried has been the Blue Snowball microphone. They cost about $100 or so and they look kind of weird, but the audio quality of them is really clear.

And when all is said and done I hope I haven't bored you too much nor offended you. Be well, good luck with your writings and projects and the like, good luck with the new job (provided it's still new), and I look forward to hearing more of your work in the future.

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Re: Aspiring voice talent at your service!

#3 Post by TLAOlt » Sat Feb 07, 2015 11:49 pm

I agree with Hendo. I would have worded it different, but his (her?... his.) passage sums up my own thoughts for the most part. There's one one things that (s)he doesn't mention: the fact that you're a naturally upbeat person speaking for someone who's depressed.
That's harder than most would ever assume.
I do understand your problem with the mic, though. I don't have any good microphones either, so I just use my computer's built-in mic. It's a LOT better than most of the mics I've used, since it doesn't pick up my breath and/or crackle... like most cheapies do.

Nevertheless, I'm interested in your work. I want to see what else you can do and I want to see if you can punch emotion realistically into a piece. I've sent you a message in your PMs, so let's see what we can do with that raw talent of yours... shall we?

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Mad Harlequin
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Re: Aspiring voice talent at your service!

#4 Post by Mad Harlequin » Sun Feb 08, 2015 2:45 pm

Okay, wow . . . I'm sorry I didn't reply sooner! I haven't checked this thread in a while because I've been focused on writing and editing (and because I haven't been able to make a proper demo reel yet), but thank you both for your feedback!
Hendo wrote:Hi there! I saw a link to this from somewhere on the forum and thought I'd give it a listen. I went back and read through your writer recruitment thread and saw that you'd been having a pretty crap time lately. I hope you've managed to find your feet since your last update.
Yes, I'm doing much better. Thank you very much!
I don't know. That's just what I thought. Take what you will, dump what you want. Like I said, I'm not a professional in this regard. The only thing that I can think of may be that were actually reading it off the page and were too focussed on that rather than other aspects of the delivery. And I've forgotten where I was going with this.
No, no, you've made good points. I've never really been cast as a depressed character before . . . the closest I've come is a cranky old lady.
Maybe - and this is just speculation - you are more suited to roles and characters where depressive isn't a big part. When you first introduced yourself my brain went, "Yeah, okay. This girl sounds fairly upbeat," and I thought the reading was going to be of a more cheerful, if somewhat sassy, character. But that might just be your normal voice. Who knows? Okay, you would, obviously, but you're on the opposite side of the planet and sound doesn't usually travel that far without the assistance of an audio recording or a magic bottle you can scream into and then plug it up so that the next person who opens it will receive a face full of scream.
I like that magic bottle idea. Where can I get one? :D

Anyway, on my best days I am a pretty cheerful person---or at least I tend to sound that way.
In regards to finding a better mic, I've used a few different ones, but the best one that I've ever tried has been the Blue Snowball microphone. They cost about $100 or so and they look kind of weird, but the audio quality of them is really clear.
Thanks! I'll look into it.
TLAOlt wrote:I agree with Hendo. I would have worded it different, but his (her?... his.) passage sums up my own thoughts for the most part. There's one one things that (s)he doesn't mention: the fact that you're a naturally upbeat person speaking for someone who's depressed.
This makes me laugh, because I actually have depression. (And yet, apparently, I couldn't "act" depressed this time!)
I'm an aspiring writer and voice talent with a passion for literature and an unhealthy attachment to video games. I am also a seasoned typo-sniper. Inquiries are encouraged. Friendly chats are welcome.
"Always do what is right. It will gratify half of mankind and astound the other."
— Mark Twain

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Re: Aspiring voice talent at your service!

#5 Post by Hanabii » Mon Mar 16, 2015 12:22 pm

I agree with everyone above. You make drowning and hanging sound like these are fun everyday things :shock: If I couldn't understand english, I'd probably think you are talking about stuff you want to cook or something like that xD

But I like your voice :) Please, keep trying! (and maybe go for a upbeat role next time?)

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