Posted by Dale on Dec 30, 2009 in Uncategorized
2010 will not go down as a banner year. Unless that banner reads:
“Good Riddance, Thanks for Nothing!”
As we all hope for improved wages, better returns, more jobs… heck, A job, it serves us to take a look back and see what we can learn from last year.
For me 2009 wraps up the decade with the understanding that the Voice Over Biz get harder the older you get. And most of that can be attributed to the increasing multitude of complexities that come with the adding of years.
These complexities are endless, unavoidable, and unpredictable. However that doesn’t mean they have to be debilitating.
To make a positive is the only choice I have, cause the negative just feeds negative.
"Always with the Negative Waves"
So as I begin my goals for 2010. ( Always a good idea.) I find myself taking that fear and anxiety and parlaying them into focus, renewed work ethic, and a stronger faith in my past. Meaning I know I’m good at what I do, and the down times are just opportunities to catch up on reading and a litmus that make the up times all that more sweeter.
For me the year was one for introspection and making sure that all the “junk” that happened doesn’t through me off my balance.
So it is with great excitement, feeling as if I’ve found my balance, that I enter this new decade. There will be much work, with no few guarantees. However, I look forward to looking back at the end of 2010.
Here’s to the next decade in the biz.
Posted by Dale on Dec 10, 2009 in Voice Over
So it is with little fanfare and much hope, that the two shows I’ve voiced “Mall Cops” and “Conveyor Belt Of Love”, have been picked up.
Mall Cops On TLC
“Mall Cops” has had 12 episodes ordered by TLC and should start airing sometime in Spring of 2010.
“Conveyor Belt of Love” will air on Jan 4th on ABC. If things go well it has a chance of getting picked up for more episodes.
“Conveyor” marks my second foray into the world of Dating Shows, having voiced 750 episodes of “Elimidate”
Click Here for Trailer.
Between now and those pay checks anything can happen. As it did when I was the original voice on “The Simple Life” with Paris Hilton and Nichol Richie. The producers loved me, but somewhere along the way Fox decided they didn’t. As my saying de jour goes. “It Is What It Is.”
So really excited about the possibility of these two shows, but reserved as well.
As always never sure that my voice will end up on the show or that the shows will actually air, and definitely not counting the money until the check has cleared.
And yes… The check hasn’t cleared before!
Posted by Dale on Oct 29, 2009 in Uncategorized
After many years of resting on my laurels, which at times was very uncomfortable, as it turns out laurels can be quite prickly. I’ve decided to reinsert my self into the role of pupil and search for enlightenment.
I was searching for some sort of shaolin monk to teach me “The Path”, but when I found out how much Monk’s were charging these days, I settled on an acting class on Pico Blvd.
The questions are: Why? Why Know? Why an Acting class?
The answer: Cause it was time.
I just knew it was time to get back out there, and you know what, I have no purpose other then that. I have little idea where this is going to lead me and even less expectation.
All I know is I needed artistic stimulation with a little direction thrown in. You know something to add a little flavor to the soup.
I think that at some point every artist needs some type of class, seminar, or workshop to reawaken vision, or on a less esoteric note, get some blood pumping into stagnant muscles.
Only thing is, that you have to be ready to except it’s consequences.
Side effects can include: Hard Work, Artistic Rebirth, Telepathy Powers, Success.
Posted by Dale on Oct 28, 2009 in Uncategorized
Hoping for two new pilots I just did to get picked up. Mall Cops “Mall of America” a show that picks up where Paul Blart left off, but with less Blart and more officer. The Pilot aired Thursday October 15th. The other, as of now has no air date. It’s called “Conveyor Belt of Love” and is just what it’s name says. 5 Women watch 30 Men come by on a conveyor belt and decide if they’re interested. I want the show to get picked up simply for the opportunity to get a t-shirt.
Who wouldn’t want a “Conveyor Belt of Love” T-shirt? Well, maybe my parents.
Just like On Camera actors VO actors have to sweat the networks suits deciding, in their infinite wisdom, whether a show is a GO. Cool thing about VO actors is they can have multiple shows at the same time.
But just like On Camera actors, just because you did a show that got picked up or renewed doesn’t mean you can’t be killed off.
Now maybe your character won’t die a tragic death in a freak Tea picking expedition on the tundra in Tibet, but there might be a producer who thinks they can do your job better, and it’s the same end result.
So keep your fingers crossed, have your family and friends praying, knock on wood, send bribes, or carve a tiki.
What ever you do realize it all turns to dust, the flowers die, and shows all get canceled.
And yes The Simpsons, One day, will get canceled.
Posted by Dale on Aug 31, 2009 in Uncategorized
Talent plus Patience will get you every where in this business.
So you’ve cut 3 strokes off your handicap, you’ve cleaned your entire house with a toothbrush, and learned the life stories of everyone at your local coffee shop.
Such is the life of a Voice Over Actor with no sessions. Some one looking at your life might say “Sweet! Time to do all those things you ever wanted.”
That same person looking at your bank account might say “Glad I work in Accounting!”
One truth I’ve learned is that those two little things called Patience and Talent always, eventually, demands. “Let my people Work!”
Then the gates are opened and either trickle back in, or sometimes flood in Biblical proportions.
It never fails, they don’t want you, so you plan a trip, then they all want you at the exact same time, the day after you’re scheduled to leave.
So you’re working again! So Fricking what!
The money won’t be seen for at least 2 to 3 weeks, and that’s just the session. Never forget there’s always some jerk face down the line that has no reason to hate your voice, but does, and decides that the play he wrote in college that got picked by his class as most likely to be produced, qualifies Him to do the voice over.
Your first job after your new sessions is to go home cook Ramen noodles, adjust your televisions rabbit ears and watch Full House reruns.
Do Not Spend what you Haven’t Got.
It’s simple really, but somehow slips the minds of the newly working as they’ve suddenly forgotten the unemployment line, and see only fat chunks of residuals piling up in the back of their new Beemer. Bought with the promise of money to come.
Don’t kid yourself, play it safe. Wait for the sessions to pile and the residuals to hit your bank account before picking up the tab at Spago.
Posted by Dale on Jul 22, 2009 in Voice Over
The time it took me 30 minutes to say the word Toyota was the worst Brain Sweat I ever head. The word came out wrong once, the twice, and then my Brain starting Sweating www.replicaforbest.co.uk, Thinking only about saying the word right, and thus assuring that I never would.
Normally a mess up doing Voice Over, is just that, but on occasion it becomes a monster threatening to send you to the Looney Bin.
Your Brain starts to sweat about not getting it right and you cascade into a down word spiral of self doubt and loathing. You start to think about how dumb you are for not being able to say a stupid word or phrase that a 3 year old could. in my cause “Toyota”
You start to wonder how stupid everyone listening thinks you are. About how stupid you’ll look when your ineptitude makes it onto some famous reel of stupid people. If fact somehow you’re entire life becomes stupid in the wake of your complete failure to say one stupid, dumb, stupid word.
The question is not so much how you got here, but how you get out.
My advice: Do whatever you can!
Namely remember the song from Sesame Street. “Oops I made a mistake that’s all.”
It’s life, it happens, and the only real way you’ll leave a lasting “BAD” impression is to panic and start acting like a weirdo.
Make fun of it. Get goofy. Breathe. Think of playing baseball with Kangaroos.
Anything to take your mind off of your Brain Sweats.
Oh, and you probably will find that you actually will begin to sweat for real!
I finally did say Toyota right. My secret? I took my Left Shoe off and waved it in the air while I read the copy.
Whatever it takes.
Posted by Dale on Jul 9, 2009 in Voice Over
From the outside in, Voice Over is one of the greatest jobs on earth. (Always: As long as you’re working.) To be honest from the inside out, it’s even better then that!
I love working in Voice Over and that is why I do it.
Unfortunately why most people get into it is for the lifestyle and/or the money.
Silly, Silly, People.
“I’m just in it for the Money!”
Though they both may be great products of a successful VO career, they don’t provide the drive for attaining a successful career.
The Hope must be fueled by the right desire. In my opinion, that desire is the WORK itself.
Money and Lifestyle make for false hope’s that are much easier to disappoint.
Posted by Dale on Jun 22, 2009 in Voice Over
Walked into a casting directors office today and had to make sure I was signing in for a voice over audition, and not for Kevin Costner’s roll in The Big Chill 2.
Never get cast as the Dead Man in a movie.
Things are slow, real slow. The office was scary quite, just as work for most is scary quite. The only thing you can do when it gets slow, is to get busy!
The more you think about the slow, the slower it’s gonna get. So get out there and do what you always wished you had the time to do. Do what you’re good at and get better.
Take a class, work on your craft.
One guy I know has dropped his golf handicap by 2 points.
I’m hitting the “To Do” list around the house, and our garden has never looked better. Might even make it to the Ukulele jam session I’ve been meaning to go to.
Never let slow draw attention to itself. It makes you do things like think about getting another job, and that’s almost as bad as thinking about teaching.
Posted by Dale on Apr 20, 2009 in Voice Over
When I started out as an actor I read or saw nearly everything I could on how to be an actor. I read Linkleter for voice, Brockett for History, Mamet for how not to act, and Cain for how not to blink.
For the most part what I learned became part of my collective unconscious, however one piece of advise from some “How to Act” book from some unremembered partially famous actor, has continued to periodically surface in a check reminder.
No matter how good of friends you become with your agent, there will probably be a time when, for business reasons, you’ll have to leave for another agent.
It is a harsh reality that I never thought would apply to me, as my agent at the time was 150 years old, smelled of cigarettes smoked during prohibition, and could never remember who I was.
Only you will know when it’s time to leave and hopefully after much thought and sought advice. As a cartoon on the wall of a casting director reads:
Changing Agents is like changing chairs on the Titanic.
Rash and quick changing of agents in an effort to find the always elusive “Greener Grass.“, will more often then not make you wish you could Wonder Twins Power into the shape of a boomerang and find your way back to your old agent. You can imagine that Humble Pie is a big ole’ slice of bitter.
When it’s the right time and the right reasons, changing agents, no matter how good of friends you’ve become, can be one of the most useful tools you have to further your career.
Don’t burn a bridge if you don’t have to. Your Old Agent may be your next best New Agent!
Posted by Dale on Mar 16, 2009 in Voice Over
Everybody want to be a Voice Over actor. I mean, it’s easy right?
You show up to work in your T-shirt, shorts, and flip-flops. You read a few words that you don’t have to memorize, drink coffee, eat free food, and then about an hour later go home to your fantastic VO pad, pour the Margarita’s and wait for the fat checks to come raining down like candy at a 4th of July Parade.
You send out your demo, that cost you 1500 dollars, to potential agents for the 3rd time and for the 3rd time they tell you they have too many people with your voice on the roster. You take class after class, go to audition after audition, and then finally you get a booking… and it’s to be voice #2 for Sun Drop Soda.
It’s your big break! The commercial is going to run in the SouthEast and Wisconsin. You go home to your one room garden apartment, fire up the hot plate for afternoon Ramen and Beans and wait for your $250 check to arrive 2 months late.
Your Agent calls you in the morning (all good agent calls come in the morning), to tell you , that you just booked “The Voice Of…” You have multiple recording sessions from your new home studio, and you know spend more time on the phone with your agent then your girlfriend/boyfriend.
You buy the car/shoes/house/boat/ski condo on the beach (just cause you can). You pay for dinner… for the table next to you. The sessions just keep coming and the fat checks arrive in your mailbox like pre approved credit cards.
Then one day while watching your 70 inch Waterproof Hovercraft LCD that’s floating above the pool, you see your commercial… except the voice at the end isn’t you… somebody else is “The Voice of…”.
You call your agent, he says they went a different direction/lost the account/is as shocked as you.
It was your only account, the fat checks go anorexic. Your monthly bills rivals the GDP of Guam, but you’re so used to spending like Bradgelina and investing like Madoff that you find yourself sleeping in your friends garage next to his Ferret Farm wishing you could go home to your one room garden apartment, fire up the hot plate for afternoon Ramen and Beans and wait for your $250 check to arrive 2 months late.