Month: September 2018

Paul Strikwerda: Making Money In Your PJs – Freelancing for voice-overs and other solopreneurs

Making Money In Your PJs is the new book by author and veteran voice actor Paul Strikwerda. Subtitled Freelancing for voice-overs and other solopreneurs, it offers a unique look at what it takes to be and stay in business as a voice actor or other type of creative freelancer.

Voice acting is hot at the moment, and year after year, thousands of hopefuls are led to believe that they can build a lucrative career as a narrator using a cheap microphone, a computer, and an internet connection. Others invest a hefty sum in expensive studio equipment, coaching, and demos, only to get nowhere. Making Money In Your PJs takes a revealing look into this booming industry where many are invited and very few are chosen.

Strikwerda:

“Every day, I see aspiring voice-overs treat their new dream job as a hobby and fail miserably. It’s not as easy as it seems. People need more than pleasant pipes to make a living as a voice actor. They have to have business acumen in order to succeed. It’s the stuff nobody teaches you in voice-over school that can make or break a career. That’s precisely the focus of this book.”

“Making Money In Your PJs” covers topics such as:

– Transforming a hobby into a profession

– Successfully promoting a business online and offline

– Turning potential customers into clients

– Pricing services for profit

– Getting paid on time, every time

– What to do when business is slow

– How to stand out from the competition

These are topics that not only voice actors need to address. They apply to practically anyone who is self-employed. Although this book is written from the perspective of a voice-over, any solopreneur will benefit from chapters on freelancing, marketing, handling clients, and money management.

Making Money In Your PJs is neither a get-rich-quick by doing voice-overs guide, nor a step-by-step course that will take the reader from voice-over novice to top talent in three days. Rather, it is a practical, personal, and often humorous account of what life is like behind the mic. It’s written with insight, intelligence, and a healthy dose of realism.

The sheer depth, breadth, and quality of the information on the pages of Making Money in Your PJs makes this book an obligatory resource in your library of voice-over and freelance success-building. More info and free sample chapters at:

http://MakingMoneyIn YourPJs.

Born and educated in The Netherlands, writer, coach and voice-over professional Paul Strikwerda started working the mic for Dutch national  public radio at the age of 17.

After a career in international broadcast journalism (BBC, Radio Netherlands), he became a sought-after media coach. In 1999, Strikwerda moved to the United States where he founded Nethervoice, providing voice-over services in his native Dutch, neutral English, and sometimes even in German.

In his studio in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley, Paul records audio books, videos, virtual tours, commercials and documentaries for major clients on all continents. His weekly blog deals with issues facing voice-overs and other solopreneurs, and is read by thousands of people every month.

Previous books include “Building a Vocal Booth on a Budget,” and “Boosting your Business with a Blog.”

For Paul’s blog, audio samples and more, please visit nethervoice.com.

Barbara Houseman: Tackling Text and Finding Your Voice (books for actors)

Having helped the actor with basic vocal technique in her enormously successful book, Finding Your Voice, Barbara Houseman here shows the actor how to cope with the demands posed by the text [and the subtext] of the play itself. Full of practical exercises developed over many years of working with actors of all ages and experiences, Tackling Text [and subtext] is an indispensable handbook for any actor working with text – from acting students and young professionals, to experienced actors wanting to tackle specific problems and acting coaches wanting to discover new ways of enabling their students.

Barbara Houseman’s career as a voice and acting coach and theatre director spans nearly forty years. She trained as a voice teacher at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and as a theatre director at The Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.  She won an Arts Council director’s bursary and assisted Mike Alfreds before working professionally as a director and voice coach. 

Having worked alongside Cicely Berry in the Voice Department at the Royal Shakespeare Company, Tim Supple invited her to become Associate Director at The Young Vic. On leaving she wrote ‘Finding Your Voice’ and ‘Tackling Text’.  

Since then she has worked extensively as a voice and text coach in the West End including shows including The Ferryman, Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time and Equus (The Gielgud); Kenneth Branagh Season (The Garrick); the All Female Trilogy, Trelawney of the Wells, Coriolanus, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, St Joan (The Donmar); Dr Faustus (Duke of Yorks); Macbeth and Richard III (Trafalgar Studios); Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, Sweet Bird of Youth, Duchess of Malfi, Playboy of the Western World (The Old Vic).

She’s been resident voice and text coach at the Open Air Theatre in Regent’s Park since 2009 and was Season Associate Director since 2012.

Individual clients include Jane Asher, Kenneth Branagh, Jessie Buckley, Omid Djalili, Dynamo, Richard Fairbrass, Jerry Hall, Lenny Henry, Nicholas Hoult, Karl Hyde, Patrick Kielty, Jude Law, Clive Owen, Daniel Radcliffe, Scarlett Strallen, Will Young.

Barbara is visiting professor at the University of Tennessee and the University of Connecticut. She works as a voice over artist and coaches journalists who narrate their own documentaries, as well as coaching non-actors and individuals wishing to improve their communication skills. Barbara is a fully qualified Healing-Shiatsu Practitioner, an NLP Master Practitioner and a certified Clean Language Coach.

Anthony Abeson: Acting 2.0 – Doing work that gets work in a high-tech world

Our special guest is famed NYC acting coach Anthony Abeson who has worked with Jennifer Aniston and countless other well known stars.

Anthony’s high school summers were always spent in summer stock, acting and directing along with all the other jobs summer theatre required: stage managing, set construction, lighting design, etc. Even teaching surfaced then; his earliest memory is of writing the name “Konstantin S. Stanislavski” on a blackboard in front of bewildered children’s theatre apprentices.

During his college years at Columbia University he made his off-Broadway debut as an actor and assistant director at the Sheridan Square Playhouse in a repertory theatre whose director first introduced him to Lee Strasberg and the Actors Studio. He was unable to attend his graduation having been appointed by the Queen Elizabeth II Arts Council to serve as a resident actor and director of the Canterbury Theatre Company, in Christchurch, New Zealand, that country’s first international, professional theatre, where he worked with actors from all over the UK. As a 22-year-old American it was a challenge to direct actors whose previous director had been Laurence Olivier. Anthony’s teaching continued in New Zealand where he also served as director of the Experimental Theatre Laboratory of the Christchurch Academy of Dramatic Arts, the country’s first training academy.

In the late ’60’s he began his long collaboration with Jerzy Grotowski, first as an actor at the Centre Dramatique National du Sud-Est in Aix-en-Provence, France, and later, in the early ’70’s as a participant/assistant in Grotowski’s first “Special Project” in a forest outside of Philadelphia. Further collaboration occurred under the auspices of the Instityut Aktora in Wroclaw and Brzezinka, Poland.

In 1972 he accepted an invitation to join Peter Brook (former director of the Royal Shakespeare Company) at his Centre International de Recherche Theatrale in Paris, where he participated as an actor in the Centre’s exploration of the effect of non-linear language on the process of the actor. The research was facilitated by the deliberate inclusion of actors from Japan, Africa, France,etc. with hardly any common language between them. Instead, during Anthony’s stay, the verbal impulse was channeled into ancient Greek and /or bird calls. Texts were supplied by Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath’s husband, a distinguished poet who went on to become the Poet Laureate of England.

During the late ’60’s and early ’70’s, Anthony started a theatre company, the Ensemble Theatre Laboratory, one of whose earliest members was the wonderful actor/monologist Spalding Gray, whose richly entertaining version of their tour to Missouri of their production of “The Tower of Babel” can be found in his “A Personal History of the American Theatre.”

During this time, Anthony continued to be exposed to Lee Strasberg and the Actors Studio, becoming one of the youngest people ever to address a special session with Lee.

In 1973 Anthony started another theatre company, this time in Washington, D. C. : The Washington Theatre Laboratory with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and the D. C. Arts Commission. Their training program marked the start of many careers including that of actresses Caroline Aaron and Karen Allen. Selected as a seminal archetype of the experimental theatre movement in America, its archival materials are housed in the permanent collection of The Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee Theatre Research Institute at Ohio State University.

Returning to New York, Anthony studied with Stella Adler at her conservatory and joined the faculty of the Drama Department of the High School for the Performing Arts (the “Fame” school) where he first worked with Esai Morales and Jennifer Aniston, among many talented others. Jennifer, who went on to study in Anthony’s adult classes before leaving for LA, wrote of one of her experiences with him in Marlo Thomas’s book: “The Right Words at the Right Time.” While there, Anthony was awarded the first Manhattan Superintendent’s Award for Excellence in Teaching out of the combined faculties of Performing Arts and Music and Art high schools.

For over thirty years, Anthony has been an acting teacher and acting coach in New York City. His work has been documented in the Emmy award-winning episode of the Bill Moyers PBS series “Creativity,” the Ace award-winning Manhattan Cable Television documentary “Chasing Dreams” and the BBC’s documentary “Bus and Truck.” He has been interviewed on E! Entertainment and Shine Television of England. As an author, Anthony has had articles published in The Village Voice, The Washington Star, The Theatre Paper and, in July 2008, the Outlook Section of The Washington Post. He is currently completing his forthcoming book: “Signals through the Flames – Actors Lit from Within.” Many of his acting students have gone on to LA and successful careers in film and television.

Visit Anthony’s website at www.anthonyabeson.com

Harlan Hogan: Tales and Techniques of a Voice-Over Actor

Over the years some very famous slogans have entered your ears via Harlan Hogan ‘s voice:

From Raids ‘ “Kills bugs fast, Kills bugs dead” and Head & Shoulders ‘ “That little itch should be telling you something” to the iconic, “It ‘s the cereal even Mikey Likes”.

Today, Harlan ‘s voice is still bringing us memorable phrases like, “How ‘s that for trendy?” for Ford 150 trucks, “It ‘s not home – but it ‘s close” for Cracker Barrel and reminding PBS viewers day in and day out that, “This program was made possible by viewers like you. Thank you.” His legendary political work includes commercials for candidates from Coroners to Congressmen.

Gamers recognize that the triumphant roar of the mighty Minotaur Alistar in League of Legends is voiced by Harlan. And in a rare on-camera appearance Harlan is the Father discovering the breakthrough cancer drug, Opdivo.

Based in Chicago, Harlan sends his voice world-wide from his state of the art studio, via ISDN, Source Connect, Phone Patch and the Internet.

Not only does veteran actor Harlan Hogan offer a fascinating personal account of the crazed clients, practical jokes, and amazing coincidences encountered during his twenty-five year career, he also provides a wealth of tested tips for surviving and thriving as a voice-over actor.

This indispensable guide features dozens of techniques to help readers train their voices, gain experience, make a demo, join unions, get an agent, and more. It also includes strategies for finding work in venues outside film and television, including games, automated telephone systems, and even Web sites. Actors, broadcasters, and anyone else who longs to make money speaking into a microphone will cherish this informative, insightful, and often hilarious glimpse at the business.

Visit Harlan Hogan’s webiste: www.harlanhogan.com