I didn’t know you could do that! Finding a better way to market talent.

by Doc Coleman on December 24, 2014 · 7 comments

in Voice Work

Creative endeavors have taken a bit of a hit this year due to family emergencies and various domestic disasters. Things are still moving forward. I’m finally back to working on the fourth draft of Perils, and I’m on schedule to get it back to my editor by the end of January. I did finish a voice project for PC Haring, pending any retakes. But my other podcast projects have suffered, and I haven’t had much time for auditions for other voice work. That is a situation I want to rectify in the coming year.

I’ve received a lot of compliments about the quality of my voice and my voice acting over the past year. Unfortunately, what I haven’t received are offers for jobs. This has led me to believe that I need to do something about better marketing the scope of my vocal abilities. Toward that end, I’ve sought out audio producers and asking them what they look for in terms of vocal samples. Obviously, they look for the ability to create clean audio, but what is the best way for an actor to present the range of their abilities? Especially when that range is broad.

I had one of these conversations recently with Bryan Lincoln, producer of Hidden Harbor Mysteries and other fine audio works, and one of the hosts of the Full Cast Podcast. I mentioned to him that I do a variety of accents. Enough, in fact, to make it rather exhaustive to record an audition sample for each variant of accent. This was news to Bryan. And confirmation that I need to do a better job of marketing my talents.

Byran told me that he doesn’t have an actor use an accent unless the accent doesn’t get in the way of the acting. So it seems that not only do I need audio samples in various accents, they can’t just be quick snippets of this or that. I need to actually take a script with some dramatic range and act it out in accent. In a variety of accents.

This is do-able. I can add to the collection of different accents over time until I build up a portfolio. But first I need a script. Specifically, I need a script that features a single voice and has a range of emotion to it. Right now, I don’t have anything that fits that bill. Anyone out there care to make some suggestions?

Some of you, if you’ve read this far, may be wondering what accents I can do. Well, in The Cross of Columba, for season 2 of The Tales from the Archives, I do four distinct English accents, four Scottish accents, one of which is female, and even had the fun of pronouncing Scottish words correctly in an English accent. In Absolution, I do a German accent, although unfortunately the production of that show hasn’t gone far enough to introduce my character yet. For last year’s Metamor City live audio at Balticon I played a younger version of the wizard Artax, which was essentially an Irish accent. In a previous Metamor City production, I did a Russian accent. Essentially, if I can get the sounds associated with a language down, I can pretty much do any accent I’ve heard.

Here’s the bullet version of accents I can do.

  • American
    • Deep South
    • Midwest
    • New England
    • Bronx
    • Brooklyn
  • English
    • Cockney
    • Upper class
  • German
  • French
  • Russian
  • Australian
  • Indian
  • Chinese
  • Jamacan
  • Spanish
  • Mexican

Some are better than others, of course. My English accent has fooled actual Brits. The Chinese and Indian accents need some work to rise above the stereotype level, but that can be done.

And then there is Gollum, but that is less an accent and more of an impersonation. (Nasty voice man mocks us, he does, precious.)

So if you’ve got suggestions for scripts I can use to record voice samples, other observations on marketing oneself as a voice actor, or potential leads to voice work, please let me hear from you!

Until next time, Merry Christmas, Cool Yule, Joyous Solstice, Io Saturnalia, or greetings for whatever winter solstice holiday you choose to celebrate. I’ll see you in 2015.

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