X-ray vision? Soaring through the air? Voice care. I can hear it already. ‘I’m not a singer or a voice talent. Why do I need to worry about voice care?’ Please allow me to share with you Margie’s story: Margie came to me this past April. She is a teacher and an amazing woman, really. At the Read More
Voice Acting? Here’s little history…. Back in the early 90’s, I was working at the Dick Grove School of Music in Los Angeles and working as a session singer. I sang songs for writers to pitch to major recording artists. At that time, it was extremely difficult to break into the voice acting biz. Only Read More
Good voice actors don’t just read words. They strive to reach out and touch the audience! As a voice acting coach, I’m often asked…what makes a narration pop? My answer? Listen up voice actors…it’s all about connection! Connect to just one person who feels like you are talking to them. If you can accomplish this, then you’ve Read More
Voice over coach Rachel Alena and Boulder Writing Studio Present…. Voice Over Boot Camp (click here to sign up!) Find your voice! Voice over training to learn the essentials of the voice-over industry in this 4-week immersion with professional voice acting coach and national voice talent Rachel Alena. Designed for absolute beginners and those looking to Read More
You’re a new voice talent. A client called. They want YOU to narrate as a voice talent for them! The catch? It’s in their studio.
A Problem Solver
Welcome to your new job description.
This morning, I took some time off to visit my step-dad. He is in a rehab center about an hour away from my recording studio. I had some time to think during the drive.
Prior to two weeks ago, he was on vacation in Mexico. At the time, his job was essentially to enjoy retirement. Learn about new cultures. Travel the world.
Unexpectedly though, while on vacation, he had a stroke. He lost his ability to speak. He currently can’t move the right side of his body. His thinking is fine, but his body isn’t yet receiving the messages. What a difficult thing for this wonderful man to have to go through.
This got me thinking on the drive home.
Now, my step-dad has a Very. New. Job. Description.
His current job description is now: Learn to walk again. Learn to form words again. Learn to communicate with the world again. These are problems he MUST now solve.
This is an extreme case of a new set of problems to solve. But, it reminds me of something many of us deal with every day.
Are you waiting for someone else to figure it out for you?
Is it too hard to start? Are you full of dreams and desires, but hoping someone will knock on your door and hand them to you? Or, are you waiting to be forced into a situation where you MUST solve problems. That seems like the hard way to go.
I can tell you this. As a voice talent and voice acting coach, I have had to learn the sometimes very difficult role of becoming a problem solver.
Of course, it’s awesome to get help from people with knowledge. Those with proven experience can guide you, teach you and be motivational. But, in the end, if you don’t make ‘problem solver’ part of your job description, you may find yourself a step behind the rest of the world. That’s because, as tough as this is, the world isn’t waiting for you. It’s busy handing rewards out to those who are figuring it out.
For example, for me, so far this week:
The Problem? I’m teaching voice over training workshops. They will be at The Boulder Writing Studio in Boulder, Colorado. As a voice acting coach providing these workshops, they need to be interactive, so students can hear themselves as we record.
My Solution? Figure out how to add mobile technology to my workshop trainings. Either I solve this problem and take action or I don’t teach voice acting workshops that are integrative. Period.
The Next Problem? Two people reached out to me this week asking me to provide them with voice over training. They are both out-of-state.
My Solution? Learn how to provide remote training. Either solve this problem or don’t connect with people outside of Colorado. Period.
As I sit here today…
I realize that my step-dad wasn’t waiting to be put in a situation where his brain and body MUST solve these very difficult problems. That’s just what happened. Now, he has no choice but to make it his job to be A Problem Solver.
What about you?
Are you interested in adding a little grit, hard work and determination to your life? Maybe the possible reward is getting what you really want?
If so, then consider adding the magic fairy dust otherwise known as ‘Problem Solver’ to your resume. Then see what happens.
Rachel Alena is a voice acting coach and voice talent based out of Colorado. She has narrated on hundreds of projects for companies such as Proctor & Gamble, Old Navy, Disney, T-Mobil and has been a voice talent for 20+ years.
About Being An Audiobook Narrator
As a voice acting coach, I’m often asked the following question. How is being an audiobook narrator different from other types of voice over work?
To answer this question, we need to think about the goal of the writer. Depending on the type of job you are doing, as a voice actor, the goal is often to sell a product or service. Or, it can be to train and educate people. However, the craft of being an audiobook narrator is different than either of those. As a book narrator you are helping to shape the STORY being told by the book’s author. Sometimes it may even feel like you are an extension of the writer themselves.
In audiobook voice over narration the voice talent must:
- Transform written text into something listeners will not only enjoy, but get lost in.
- Be able to bring words to life. Multiple characters, changing story lines, varying moods.
- Understand perspectives. Be able to convey the differences between them.
- Use breath control! Long stories? Many hours of using the voice can take its toll. Voice acting training can help with this.
- Master time management skills. A 30 chapter book can’t be read all in one week! Want to meet the publisher’s deadlines? The voice talent must plan accordingly.
- Most importantly! Tell the story as the author intended. After all, you are the messenger of the writer’s point of view.
With 20+ yrs of experience, female voice over talent Rachel Alena is currently an audiobook narrator for Momosa Publishing. She also provides voice over training in her Louisville area Denver voice over studio. For more information, visit /voice-acting-training/. She’ll help you find your voice!
Happy 2017! Did you feel it too? Ready for 2016 to be over?
As a little celebration, I’ve comprised a list of my top 5 reasons why 2017 might just be a little kinder to us all.
5. We finally get to meet Ben Affleck’s brother Casey. The Best Actor front-runner for Manchester by the Sea has been living in his brother’s shadow (not to mention, under the thumb of his past sexual harassment controversy). Go get ’em Casey.
4. New Chinese-related emojis! We really needed these. A set of four new emojis came via a Kickstarter campaign which referred specifically to the dumpling emoji by name, yet went on to include the fortune cookie, takeout box and chopsticks as well.
3.Disney-Pixar has officially announced a fourth Toy Story film will be released in June 2017. Yep, three just wasn’t enough. Get your Buzz on. To 2017 and beyond!
2. Dubai announced that it will be organizing and hosting the world’s first World Future Sports Games in December 2017. The World Future Sports Games will be featuring innovative and state-of-the-art tech to compete in sports.
The first Games will be hosted by Dubai and will be held over a 3-day period from December 28 – December 30, 2017. The aim is to hold the games every 2 years for a 3-day period, hosted by different participating countries. There will be nine futuristic competitions that employ modern technology and artificial intelligence:
1. What? The first human head transplant could occur as early as 2017! Medical News Today reported that Italian scientist Sergio Canavero of the Turin Advanced Neuromodulation Group says his “Gemini” spinal fusion protocol could be used to extend the lives of patients suffering from progressive muscle and nerve diseases and terminal cancer. A 30-year-old Russian man is set to become the first person to undergo the procedure. Hmmmm….this one is hard to wrap your head around, isn’t it?
A few months ago, I received a call from a client who asked if I’d consider narrating a video game that he was creating. I said, ‘Sure. Tell me about it.’
He told me he’d spent the last nine months working on it. He’d registered as a developer, found programmers and started coding. He had planned to do the narration himself. However, his prototype needed to be ready for testing by the end of the month and it didn’t sound right. The pacing was awkward and choppy sounding, production wasn’t right and the voice wasn’t working. At this point, he needed narration done within the next two days to meet his deadline!
He sent me the script, along with screenshots of what the game concept is. It was no problem to turn it around in time. How much pressure would he have saved himself had he hired a professional voice talent/producer in the beginning? Just like anything else, narration can be the icing on a production’s cake that either makes or breaks the project! Curious how the game turned out? Check it out on Youtube, Rachel Alena and choose the video ‘Agent 43’.
What Top 5 animals have the best hearing ?
- The Greater Wax Moth