Voice talent Rachel Alena talks about the importance of branding your business. Do you specialize in cleaning horses or houses? Customer: ‘Why sir? What do you do?’ Business Owner: ‘As a matter of fact, I clean things.’ Customer: ‘Most excellent! Please proceed. Clean my horse!’ House. Horse. Does it matter? When you’re not branding Read More
Voice Talent Rachel Alena talks shop about microphone basics… I was at a party this past Labor Day weekend watching a friend’s band play. Being the voice talent that I am, I was chit chatting along with a good friend until I heard my name called. The bass playing/singer in the band asked me to come up. Read More
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!