Tag Archives: changes

Climbing another hill…

Ok, so I think I might have said something before about some of the feedback I’ve been getting on my demos being….well……not great.  I contacted my director about it, she called and we discussed it.  She was very nice about it, she didn’t get defensive or rude or anything, which I was very grateful for because I wasn’t trying to be rude either, and we chatted a bit about some of the things that were said, what type of people they were coming from and things like that.  In the end, she still has all of her notes and the raw recordings I made in December so she is going to go back to the production team and see if we can’t change it up a bit and get some better feedback and get some work. I certainly hope so!  I haven’t had any work since my job on Upwork.  That’s ok though, I’ve been using my time as wisely as I can.  I’ve been learning every tiny little thing I can about just about everything.  Watching YouTube videos, reading blogs, reading all the posts in my many VO groups on FB and stuff like that.

I have my cart at Amazon filled up with all the new techy toys I’d like to have in my studio.  Ok, not ALL the toys, but the ones I feel like I definitely need there. 🙂 I have the basket at just under $512.  I have ten dollars in credit with Amazon and in a day or so, I’ll have five more dollars in credit.  That brings the total cost for my audio chain down to less than $500, which is my goal.  I get free 2- day shipping with my Amazon Prime so I don’t have to worry about that part either.

I think I have an idea for a recording space that is definitely ‘out of the box’.  It has no parallel walls and uses no wood and costs less than $400….at least that is the goal.  While it isn’t ‘take it to your hotel room’ portable, it is something you can take with you without much of a problem when you move houses, like I’m planning to do in the semi-near future.  I’m waiting to run the idea by my new favorite YouTuber, Mike Delgaudio, who does Booth Junkie.  I love watching him.  Despite the fact that he hates combing his hair, he has some great information on his videos.

Since I mentioned groups earlier, I just have to say this.  When I started all this, I was told I needed to join groups.  Yeah, that was easy.  Then they said I needed to be active in ALL of them!  Are you joking me?  I forgot how exhausting it was to be so active in a bunch of groups.  Yes, there is some excellent information I would have missed in these groups if I wasn’t active and reading all the posts and comments and links, but WOW.  How do pro VOs get any work done?  If I didn’t work a day job, it would take me all day to get through my groups (I’m only in about ten or twelve I think) with reading, posting my own stuff (which I don’t really have much of right now), congratulating folks (because these people really do deserve it for some of the amazing stuff I’ve seen) and liking various comments.  See, I don’t just go through and like everything.  I actually read the posts, the comments that have already been added, all of it.  If someone is asking about something I don’t know anything about, I keep my proverbial mouth shut and ears open.  If the question is a good one, I’ll like it, but seeing as I have little to no experience with any of this, I (thankfully) get to stay mostly silent for now.  That will change though, because I AM going to get work and I AM going to get paid well for it and I AM going to expand, because I LOVE it and because I CAN!

Despite all of that, I have ‘met’ some really great people in the groups I’ve joined.  Yes, there are some bad apples, idiots, ass holes, people that are just bitter at the world and taking it out on others, but luckily they’re few and far between.  One got ejected from a group for a really crude comment that was made because someone else in the group was non-union.  Well, a lot of us in that group are non-union.  She got a few crass comments in before she was shown the door.  Never take it personally or seriously folks.  Those idiots feel threatened by the ‘next generation’ of Voice Actors and they don’t want to be made obsolete.  They think it’s us that will make them obsolete when it’s the market that will do that.  Won’t have a thing to do with us.

I’ve been playing around with another idea.  I am going to try to find where I can upload audio files to each of my posts and record each one, a little like a podcast.  That way folks can read it or listen to it.  I mean really.  I’m a Voice Actor, why wouldn’t I record my blogs?  It’s great practice, it let’s people (read as potential clients or connections to them) hear my voice and I can also get some practice in editing audio.  No way but to practice, right?!  Can’t get any better if I don’t do it.  While work isn’t exactly plenty right now, I can still get my practice in and maybe even do myself some good!

I’ve been told several times that I shouldn’t let potential clients know I’m new to the VO world.  While I don’t necessarily think this is bad advice and I don’t normally go screaming that I’m a newbie at every mountain top, I don’t see anything wrong with being a newbie.  Not even to a client.  No VA will last forever, the market will change, people will retire.  Every VA was new once.  As the market changes, the voices change, too.  Yes, there will be some that want a seasoned VO, but then they get a seasoned voice.  Nothing wrong with using a New Voice Actor and getting a New Voice!

The good, the bad and the ugly.

Hey folks!  Boy do I have some stuff to share today!  Not all of it is good though.  so hold on to your seats folks, here comes the roller coaster.

The GB groups I am in for VO are amazing.  Ninety eight percent of the folks there are actually there to help and to listen.  There’s always a few bad apples though.  The last few days I have been the target of some pretty ugly….bashing.  Not only me personally, but new Voice actors.  I have heard folks say some horrible things.  But there’s always a bully, right?  They can say all they want to me; as far as I’m concerned, their talk says more about them than it does about me.  I don’t try to defend my actions, I don’t even respond to them, I figure they’re just not worth my time.  I firmly believe they people that matter will see what they’re doing and it will degrade them instead of me.  So folks, bring it on, because you can’t hurt my feelings.  An NCO in the Army I used to work with used to say that you “have to have skin like woodpecker lips” to get through.  I love that saying and I believe it.

On to better stuff……I have been watching Mike Delgaudio on his “Booth Junkie” YouTube channel.  This guy is great!  He speaks language normal folks understand, he has great information.  He compares products, he answers questions and he doesn’t say UM every third word!  lol  Sorry, that’s one of my pet peeves.

Now on to even better stuff!  I can’t give all of it away, but I’ve got a plan, an idea, a thought….whatever you want to call it…for a semi portable vocal booth for less than 500 bucks!  This includes the treatment of the space!  I can tell you it isn’t a square, it isn’t a rectangle, it isn’t a diamond and it’s not one of those super cool units that are made to fit into a corner!  It’s fully customizable to what you need/want in your booth and it’s expandable!  You don’t have to be a carpenter to make it because there is no wood involved!  The way I see it in my head you only need a circular saw, a tape measure, a marker, a set of three door hinges, a door handle and maybe a long strip of rubber weather stripped type stuff…and of course the secret thing that makes it all.  I’ll post more on it after I’ve hit up a couple of folks to see if the theory is sound, no pun intended.  If mine works, I could possibly monetize it later on down the road.  If my sound gurus say it’s a viable theory, I’ll build one for myself taking careful notes on supplies, cost and taking lots of pictures…screw ups included, because hey, I’m not perfect.

As for my logo, my friend Jack sent it back to me and I’ve sent a couple of questions back to him on “what does your artistic eye say about…” type stuff.  Minor potential changes and then my logo will be good to go and I can get rid of these pictures of me that are posted all over my stuff!

And finally, down to the last bad thing.  Over the last two weeks, I’ve had some disturbing feedback on the demos I have posted on my website.  Again, it doesn’t hurt my feelings, especially considering what the comments were.  I have approached my producer/director about it and we’ll chat it out and see what we will do about it this coming week.  In short, most everyone that sent feedback agrees on the issues and it boils down to one thing.  I should NOT be using these demos to promote myself.  Ok, I can take a hint, even one I was hit in the head with. 🙂  That just means it’s time to adjust and take aim again.

If you’re not excited about it, you shouldn’t be doing it.  Now, as Mike says, “Go record something amazing.”


No longer difficult

Well, I have mentioned in past posts that I was having a heck of a time working with the SAV website editor and another voice actor mentioned another site.  Wix.  I went and read the reviews and looked at prices and checked out a few others and decided that Wix was indeed for me.  I have now posted my fully functional website at http://www.ddholley.com.  I have my demos  posted and even a picture.  I’m still working on building my brand visually, but for now I am using my picture across all platforms to keep it the same.  Start locally, move forward globally. I do need to put something together for CRM, an excel spreadsheet might work for local contacts, but once I move past the local guys, that just won’t cut it.  I’m thinking Zoho is a great place to start.

First Contact

I made my first contact (ish) with a local ad agency today.  Yes, it’s Sunday. Yes, they’re closed.  Hence the ‘ish’ after contact.  I wrote a short, succinct email on their website contact form, checked it for spelling and grammar mistakes and sent it off.  I ran over to my spreadsheet for contacts and put all of their information in and copied the email I sent them to the page as well.  As soon as I did that, I realized I’d forgotten something in the email.  My phone number!  It’s ok, I have my website address in it and the site has my phone number on it.  But I need to make sure and include that information in the future.  Live and learn, right?  I set a follow-up date on my calendar so I can reach out again in a couple of weeks if I’ve had no response.  So begins the self-marketing grind. 🙂


Why so difficult?

After fighting with the videos and the ‘editor’ on my such a voice website, I decided to look around and find another website hosting program with a better editor.  I found one, on WIX.  As the reviews said, not the cheapest but perhaps the best looking.  Best of all, it’s WYSIWYG!  So I have set up a site, still needs a few tweaks here and there for the overall feel, but I’m on my way now.  I fought with the SAV site for over a week.  I set up the WIX site in one evening.  I purchased my domain name and in a day or so I will have ddholley.com out there and ready for marketing.  Now I have to go learn something about SEO.  More research!