Monthly Archives: March 2018

A potentially AMAZING development…

Here’s an interesting development.

I have been writing step by step instructions for the software we use for a few years now for them, just because nothing like that existed. They love them and I do them super fast and they’re super easy to follow. So there’s the background. They also know I have started doing VO work. They are aware I am VERY new to it, as in still taking classes. We are migrating to new software and the ‘step by step’ instructions from the creators of the software are absolutely horrible for a myriad of reasons. They have suggested that I might make tutorial videos with voice showing each of the processes our personnel need to know how to perform.

I’ve never done this before, but I’ve been a teacher, I’ve been doing these written tutorials with and without screen shots for years so this doesn’t seem like a big leap to me. I found an app called Movavi that does screen recording and I’m thinking that would be just what I need. Are there others? Is there a better way to do it? They would like me to put some samples together this weekend so they can see if they like it.


The fact that my VO resume is currently a blank page makes this potentially AMAZING!  I could put this on my brand-spanking new VO resume, once I figure out what that’s supposed to look like, and it be super AWESOME!  That app I came across will be one I need to purchase, but it’s still something I can use in the future.  So that’s a small amount of money I think would be worth it.  I got the trial version of the app installed and did a little one minute and twenty second video and sent the link to my colleague that originally requested it.  Of course, there was no audio because the work computers don’t have mics.  If all goes well with that little piece, then I’ll take my interface, mic and stand to work after hours and get to it!  The app seems very easy to use.

I’m really excited about the possibilities!!!!!

Another day, another….several dollars

Well, there is finally good news!  I closed on my house last week!  I am officially homeless!  Well, homeless in the sense that I no longer own a home of my own.  I am living with family for now, but now that my house is sold, I am doing the job hunting thing in the area of my intended destination in the beautiful state of Florida.  At the VERY least, I have something to tell potential employers.  It’s difficult to speak to a potential employer and they say “Sure, you sound like a great fit, when are you going to be moving?”  and you answer with “Well, I don’t really know yet, I’m waiting on my house to sell.”  Yeah, that pretty much closes any conversation about a job right then and there.  Now I don’t have to do that.  I have something definite to hold on to, to share.  I like that.

Beyond that, I have started coaching again.  It isn’t cheap, but I think this is going to be much better coaching.  This coach isn’t blowing smoke up my ass and if I do a reading that was bad, he tells me, he doesn’t sugar coat it.  He’s polite, but he makes sure I understand that my last read was NOT up to par.  He isn’t pushing me to sign up for some P2P site I can’t afford.  He doesn’t want me making new demos because I’m not ready to do it.  No, it wasn’t what I wanted to hear, but it WAS what I NEEDED to hear.  I respect this man and, although I am paying for training AGAIN, I understand this was my mistake and that I can’t expect anyone to fix it for me for free.  I’m taking advantage of discounted specials and free education as much as I can.  I hear problems with my reads and I’m working on them.

I resent my mistake, not the man that’s helping fix it.  It’s sometimes hard to swallow ‘I made a stupid mistake,’ but I have swallowed that pill and now I’m moving forward.  begrudgingly, but forward. 🙂

So…the house is sold and I am looking for a job in my intended new state, I have a thousand other decisions to make….and I don’t really like any of them, but that changes nothing.  Do I pay the car off so I am completely out of debt and can put more money away for both my training and my move or do I just keep making payments and let it all play out and hope I don’t get screwed over?  Do I (not now of course) quit my job and go to Florida alone to find a job and then have the rest of the family follow me once I have a job?  So many things… many potential pitfalls.  I don’t want to swallow another bitter pill.

So, off we go with everything doing the one thing I actually DO want everything to do…..move forward.

Take the wins where you can get them.

Have a great week everyone!

Almost there!

Good evening everyone!  Like anyone really reads much of this anyway…except me.  I read the hell out of my own posts.  I’ve found spots where I’ve mentioned the same thing twice, and both times like it was the first time I had the idea!  Yeah, a little scary.  But, that’s just me I suppose.

On to the fun stuff. I am a GEEK for home automation.  An absolute geek!.  I have been automating my house(s) for years now.  I don’t mean the hardwired stuff that costs thousands of dollars.  I mean the cheap, super easy, very effective things you can do that you can take with you when you decide to move.  None of it is permanent, you don’t have to drill holes in the walls or the ceiling or anything like that.  I have Philips Hue Smart light bulbs in almost every light in the house.  That means my lights are now voice controllable.  I have several smart plugs, which means everything plugged into them is now voice controllable.  So here we get to the fun, at least for this geek.  I have a surge suppressor that is voice controllable now….I put it in the studio.  I plugged my new floor lamp into it and I plugged my laptop into as well.  It also has four (yes four!) USB ports for charging.  No more charging blocks!!!! I went into the Jinvoo app (that’s the company that makes the smart surge suppressor) and named the surge suppressor ‘studio’.  I went into the Hue app and named the two lights ‘studio one’ and ‘studio two’ and put them in the room named ‘Studio’.  Now I can say, “Alexa, start up the studio.” and the surge suppressor turns on as well as the floor lamp.  This powers everything I have in my little recording space.  So now when I’m ready, so is my studio!  I know, I could come in here, turn the laptop on, pull the chain on both of the lights on the floor lamp and sit down and wait for everything to boot up, but now I don’t have to!  Dad bought an Echo Dot tonight for his bedroom….that means we have an Alexa powered device in every major room of the house.  The best part of all this…..when we move this summer (fingers crossed) all we have to do it unplug the various devices and put them back in their original boxes, take out all the light bulbs and put the old ones back in and take all the smart plugs with us.  That is the entire system for this (almost) completely automated home!  I don’t have to buy anything else for the new house or apartment.  I have an old Army field fax machine wooden chest.  I put all of my home automation stuff in there.  I pack up the stuff in the boxes, lock down the box with the closures on each side, pick up the handles and walk away.  TOO EASY!

More on the studio.  Ok, so it isn’t really a studio….it’s a recording space.  Studio is shorter to say.  That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.  I was having mic issues and interface issues and Studio One issues and so much more.  After messing with it for two days, I finally just asked ‘Uncle Roy’ to help me.  It took him 10 minutes to get me recording at acceptable levels and everything running the way it should!  He’s great!  I’m ready to start a good long session with him to get him to show me more stuff… costs, but it’s worth it!    I was ready to call up George Whittam, had my card in hand and everything, but he wasn’t available until the middle of next week.  Turns out my problems were caused by my own ignorance.  Thankfully Roy only gave me a little flack about that and fixed me right up!

So now I can record easily, at acceptable levels, I can play it back and actually hear it, and I have light in the studio so I can see what the hell I’m trying to do.

That means I started playing with Audacity.  I tried using Studio One but so much of it didn’t make sense.  I was already a little familiar with Audacity so I’ll be sticking with that until I get a feel for cleaning up my files so they’re presentable for auditions and such.

On another VO note, I think I want to give telephony a shot.  It sounds like fun really.  A fellow VO said she even has a contract with one of her local installers that bundles her voice files with new phone systems and such.  That sounds like a GREAT deal!

I’ve met some AMAZING people in the VO groups I’ve joined.  I’ve met some that aren’t so nice as well.  Every barrel has a few bad apples, the VO business is no different.  No biggy.  Some people are more patient than others.  With me being so new to the industry, I have questions these professionals have heard a MILLION times, I’m sure they get tired of answering the same questions over and over and over again.  I can’t really blame them to be honest.  I’d get a little testy as well.

So, now that I’ve talked your ear off about that….think about what tasks you would like to have automated in your house.  IFTTT is an amazing tool for home automation.  Every morning  when my Echo Show alarm goes off, the lights turn on very dim and steadily get brighter for the next ten minutes until they are at 100%.  I did it using an applet I created in IFTTT.  I was watching an episode of Booth Junkie and he said he uses IFTTT to do backups of his work.  While I don’t use it for this right now, I am in the process of setting it up.  IFTTT lets you make your own ‘recipes’ for whatever it is you want to happen.  You can set things up to happen at a certain time or when you trigger the action.  There are more than a hundred ‘ifs’ and the same for ‘then that’ options.  If this happens then that happens.  Old school style.  I set up two new applets tonight for this blog.  Now anytime I publish a new post, IFTTT will automatically post the title and link to my Facebook page and will also tweet the same information for me so I don’t have to do it anymore.  Every time I get a text on my phone, that text and corresponding information is automatically added to s spreadsheet on my google drive.  I don’t have to do a thing!  Once you have your lights set up, you can set up IFTTT triggers for those, too.  On at sunset off at sunrise if you want…or you can use a specific time.  So many things you can do!  Oh, and did I mention that IFTTT is free?  Yeah, IFTTT is FREE!

I’m ready to see if my two new applets worked and then go play with the editing chain presets in Audacity.  Have a great night!

Step one completed

It’s been a horribly harrowing day at the day job. It’s been a horrible day for house selling, too.  My buyers pushed back the closing date AGAIN….we’re coming up on 50 days now.  I’ve had enough.  I signed the paperwork to extend one last time until this Friday and if we don’t have a rock solid closing date within 7 business days of then, I’m taking the $1250 earnest money, putting it in my pocket and putting the house back on the market.

After all of this, I came home to a box sitting on my bed.  My brand-spankin’ new AT2035 mic.  I also found in the paper where Harbor Freight has their Pelican style cases with pic-n-pac foam inside on sale for $30.  It looks just big enough to be a great case for my mic and it’s accessories.  I was excited about the mic, of course, but I can’t do anything with it until my interface arrives.  I apparently made a very bad decision on my first mic because no matter how quiet it is in the house and outside, there is a nasty hiss I can’t seem to get rid of.  We’ll see how much better this one is than the old one.  I’m ready to get started but can’t do anything…yet.

Of course, right now the neighbor is running his truck with the radio on at full blast with no one in it or even outside to listen to it.  The dishwasher is running, the fan on the oven hood is going, Dad is playing the Xbox, my son is super talkative (as usual 🙂 ) and my other neighbor has his music up much too loud on the other side of me, not to mention the kids playing outside.  Screaming is always part of the playing.  So I don’t see me recording ANYTHING tonight on EITHER mic.  *le sigh*

That’s all OK though.  When things are really bad, the only way left to go is up!  That means tomorrow will be a better day and I’m looking forward to it!  So I’ll fill out the registration for my mic and then turn on my own Xbox and go kick Dad’s a$$ in Call of Duty for a few hours.  🙂

Catch ya’ next time!