Podcasts

Meet Stephanie Ciccarelli – Co-Founder of Voices.com

Stephanie Ciccarelli is the Co-Founder and Chief Brand Officer at Voices.com. As the top champion of the brand, she oversees the creation and review of content, and leads the industry in conversation.

For over 25 years, Stephanie has used her voice to communicate what is most important to her through the spoken word, written word, and song. Possessing a great love for imparting knowledge and empowering others, Stephanie has been a contributor to The Huffington Post, Backstage Magazine, and the Voices.com blog, which has a readership of over 30,000. She is also a popular public speaker and mentor, as well as the host of Sound Stories, a podcast series for creative professionals.

With a Bachelor of Musical Arts from the Don Wright Faculty of Music at Western University (2006), Stephanie has special skills in vocal education and performance. Having studied music intensively at the conservatory and at the university level, Stephanie has won awards for academic achievement and vocal performance.

When she’s not spending time with her husband David and their four children, Stephanie volunteers her time consulting local organizations on social media, singing and connecting with her community.

Stephanie is the author of Voice Acting For Dummies (Wiley Publishing, 2013), The Podcasting Ebook: Your Complete Guide to Podcasting (2005), and The Definitive Guide To Voice-Over Success (2005).

David Ciccarelli

David is the co-founder and CEO of Voices.com.  The unique blending of his audio engineering background with self-taught business savvy and website development afforded David the creative freedom to pursue his passion for innovation during the first dot com boom, the result of which catapulted him onto the scene as a pioneer in his field in the early 2000s. 

David is an honours graduate of the Ontario Institute of Audio Recording Technology and an alumni of the Entrepreneurship program hosted by the Ivey School of Business.  When he’s not spending time with his wife and four children, David serves as a volunteer for a number of local organizations.

Jonathan Cain from Journey – Don’t Stop Believin’

Jonathan Cain, the keyboardist and songwriter of the band Journey writes a long-awaited memoir about his personal story of overcoming and faith, his career with one of the most successful musical groups in history, and the stories behind his greatest hits including Don’t Stop Believin’.

About the Book

From One of the Greatest Bands in History Comes a Reminder to Never Give Up Hope. In this long-awaited memoir, complete with color photographs, songwriter and keyboardist Jonathan Cain takes us on an odyssey from center stage with Journey when all America was listening to songs like “Don’t Stop Believin’,” “Faithfully,” and “Open Arms,” to his hope and faith today. He tells of the thrilling moments when the music came together and offers an inside look at why Steve Perry left and the extraordinary story of their gifted new vocalist, Arnel Pineda.

When Jonathan Cain and the iconic band Journey were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cain could say he had finally arrived. But Cain’s journey wasn’t always easy – and his true arrival in life had more to do with faith than fame.

As a child, Cain survived a horrific school fire that killed nearly 100 of his classmates. His experience formed a resilience that would carry him through both tragedy and success. Moving from Chicago to Sunset Boulevard, Cain never let go of his dreams, eventually getting his big break with Journey – and writing the songs that would become the soundtrack of a generation.

Don’t Stop Believin’ is an epic story of one man’s dream that takes you from playing old-country songs at an Italian Deli in Chicago and his experiences with a warm, encouraging father who died too soon, to suddenly writing mega-bestselling songs with some of the most talented musicians and performers ever to take the stage of some of the world’s largest arenas. The song “Don’t Stop Believin'” is the most downloaded song of all time, and is one that has been covered by major televisions shows and adopted by a whole new generation.

Through a wonderful retrospective of music that takes us right to the present, Jonathan Cain reminds us of the melodies and lyrics that serve as milestones for our biggest dreams as they call us to never stop believing.

Dr. Jeff Schmidt – A Critical Look At Salaried Professionals

Who are you going to be? That is the question.

Our special guest is Dr. Jeff Schmidt, author of Disciplined Minds: A Critical Look At Salaried Professionals and The Soul-Battering System That Shapes Their Lives.

“This book is stolen. Written in part on stolen time, that is. Because like millions of others who work for a living, I was giving most of my prime time to my employer…” 

So begins Jeff Schmidt in this riveting book about the world of professional work. Schmidt demonstrates that the workplace is a battleground for the very identity of the individual, as is graduate school, where professionals are trained. He shows that professional work is inherently political, and that professionals are hired to maintain strict “ideological discipline.” 

The hidden root of much career dissatisfaction, argues Schmidt, is the professional’s lack of control over the political component of his or her creative work. Many professionals set out to make a contribution to society and add meaning to their lives. Yet our system of professional education and employment abusively inculcates an acceptance of politically subordinate roles in which professionals typically do not make a significant difference, undermining the creative potential of individuals, organizations, and even democracy. 

Schmidt details the battle one must fight to be an independent thinker, showing how an honest reassessment of what it means to be a professional in today’s corporate society can be remarkably liberating. After reading this book, no one who works for a living will ever think the same way about his or her job.

Jeff Schmidt was an editor at Physics Today magazine for 19 years, until he was fired for writing this provocative book. He has a Ph.D. in physics from the University of California, Irvine, and has taught in the United States, Central America, and Africa. Born and raised in Los Angeles, he now lives in Washington, D.C. You may write to him at jeffschmidt@alumni.uci.edu.

Michelle Griep – Once Upon a Dickens Christmas

Our special guest is Michelle Griep, the author of 12 Days at Bleakly Manor and A Tale of Two Hearts. Michelle is a member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) and MCWG (Minnesota Christian Writers Guild). Michelle Griep has been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She seeks to glorify God in all that she writes–except for that graffiti phase she went through as a teenager. She resides in the frozen tundra of Minnesota, where she teaches history and writing classes for a local high school co-op. An Anglophile at heart, she runs away to England every chance she gets, under the guise of research. Really, though, she’s eating excessive amounts of scones while rambling around a castle.

Visit her website at www.michellegriep.com to learn more.

Russ Ramsey – Advent of the Lamb of God

Russ Ramsey and his wife and four children make their home in Nashville, Tennessee. He is the author of StruckBehold the Lamb of God, and was awarded the 2016 Christian Book Award from the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association for his book Behold the King of Glory. Russ grew up in the fields of Indiana and studied at Taylor University and Covenant Theological Seminary (MDiv, ThM). He is a pastor at Christ Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Tennessee, and his writing has appeared at The Rabbit Room, The Gospel Coalition, The Blazing Center, and To Write Love on Her Arms.

“A page in history was about to turn. Though Israel’s world was in the throes of upheaval, it was only a matter of time before the sun of righteousness would rise. These people needed rescue, but they weren’t waiting for the stars to align or for the political climate to change. They were waiting for God. They were on histimetable. He was sending his Messiah—Immanuel, God with us.”

For centuries God’s people awaited the coming of a Savior. In the midst of a world of trouble, they hoped for one who would deliver them from evil and restore them to true life. Would God be faithful to his promises?

Pastor Russ Ramsey narrates anew the greatest story ever told—the true tale of the coming of the Christ. It’s more than the story of a baby born in Bethlehem; the story encompasses the whole of the Old Testament and all of human history, unveiling God’s longsuffering, loving pursuit of his people. Rediscover how the purposes of God culminated in the coming of Jesus, in twenty-five readings ideal for Christmas or any season of meeting the Savior.

Also including The Passion of the King of Glory and The Mission of the Body of Christ, the Retelling the Story series explores the narrative arc of the Bible from Genesis through Revelation in compelling language that is faithful to the text of Scripture. The stories are told afresh to help readers hide God’s word in their hearts by way of their imaginations.

Voice123 Co-Founder Tania Zapata and CEO Rolf Veldman

Our special guests are Voice123 Co-Founder Tania Zapata and CEO Rolf Veldman. In his spare time he volunteers as a political advisor for Neocratia, where they use technology to shape the future of democracy!

Back in 2002, Alexander Torrenegra and Tania Zapata were recently married and had just moved to New York. He was freelancing as a webmaster and online marketing consultant for several clients; she was a radio hopeful who wanted to break into television, advertisements, as well as video games, and was working as a sales associate at Banana Republic. They often joked that their 35-square-meter studio apartment was so small they had to leave to let the sunlight in.

Tania’s voice acting aspirations got repeatedly mauled in the maze of casting directors, managers, recording studios, paymasters, and agents in the city. In fact, one so-called ‘talent agent’ charged her a thousand dollars for a photo shoot. To be a professional voice actor apparently, being beautiful was also a prerequisite. The agent never delivered—and disappeared with the deposit.

Tania was devastated and her frustration palpable. There seemed to be no way to advance her career in the voice-over business without pandering to the whims and abuses of the middlemen, but she was determined to find one.

Alex decided to help her. Together they started researching the processes involved. They realized that the advent of broadband Internet would allow them to create a website with simple algorithms—algorithms that could automate and replace what middlemen were doing. The idea of a global marketplace that could quickly connect established voice actors with potential buyers while also offering aspiring voice actors the opportunity to grow their professional careers, was such an obvious one. Well, wasn’t it?

They found nothing on the ’Net.

In January 2003, they started working on the idea. While Alex coded, Tania collated and compiled lists of email addresses—actors they would invite to join the marketplace as soon as the website was ready.

Alex diligently hammered his nights and weekends away on a keyboard. Tania worked whenever her crazy shifts at Banana Republic allowed some free time. To speed up the process, they employed a friend in Bogotá, Colombia to help code part-time.

On June 13, 2003—five months into the project—the website launched: Voice123. Because booking a voice actor was going to be as easy as 1-2-3.

Tania had collected over ten thousand email addresses. She started sending them out. They were hoping for a 10% conversion rate. To their surprise, the conversion rate was twice that. Voice actors loved the idea. Before long, they had thousands of voice actors ready to be matched with clients. On June 16th, they started running pay-per-click ads. A few hours later, a client posted the very first job on Voice123. Alex and Tania laughed and hugged and wept. The journey had begun and barely three months later, they had a functional marketplace.

To cover hosting, salaries, and marketing costs, they developed a subscription model and began providing Premium memberships in early September. By the end of the month, they had over $3,000 in revenue. The following month, Tania quit Banana Republic to become full-time CEO of Voice123. The appointment of subsequent team members started in January 2004.

Today, over 200,000 voice actors are registered in Voice123’s database, and millions of auditions have been processed. Thousands of actors now have flourishing careers in over 100 countries. Voice123’s client list includes companies like Pixar, the History Channel, Electronic Arts, and Pandora, to mention only a few.

Tania is the CEO of Akily, a free adaptive child development app for modern parenting that wants to democratize children’s development. She also co-founded Torre, a group of brands that are making work fulfilling for everyone; among them is Voice123 and VoiceBunny.

Besides their own ventures Alex Torrenegra and Tania have invested in other companies like VivaReal, the largest real estate marketplace in Brazil, Cornershop a grocery delivery app in Latam and the Endeavor Catalyst among others.

 

Chuck Duran and Stacey J. Aswad – VO Buzz Weekly

Chuck Duran is the Owner and Head Producer at Demos That Rock Studios in Los Angeles, California. He has a varied and extensive background in the entertainment business, with hundreds of impressive credits to his name.

From producing thousands of commercials for companies such as Nike, Chevrolet, Budweiser and so many others, to having two hit rock albums in the Japanese & European markets, to writing and performing songs in award winning movies like “My Cousin Vinny” for TV and film companies such as Warner Brothers, 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures and Disney. And you can hear Chuck’s voice as the singer in Disney XD’s sitcom, “I’m In The Band”. Watch episodes on YouTube!

Chuck is one of the most capable studio talents in LA, taking immense pride not only in consistently turning out the absolute best product in the business, but having a great time doing it as well and making sure that his clients do too. That’s one of the many reasons that Chuck Duran has become the city’s most sought-after voiceover demo producer.

And after one meeting with him you’ll understand why.

Stacey, known to her friends as “small and mighty” is a versatile voice actor in commercials, promos, narration, animation and video games heard recently in projects for The Ellen Show, Netflix, Food Network, Toyota, AT&T, Nescafe, McDonald’s and Subway. She’s a captivating on-camera actress and award-winning host, producer and scriptwriter, pro dancer/choreographer and spokesperson who grew up between Upstate New York and Manhattan. Since 2005, millions of people love her as the effervescent Host of Walt Disney’s World “Top 7 Must Sees” and “Must Do Disney” TV shows. Stacey and Chuck Duran are the producers and hosts of the Voice Arts Award winning web show VO Buzz Weekly.

As the youngest of five daughters, this petite powerhouse earned her BFA in Dance from The Juilliard School and is a 5-time national champion in artistic rollerskating. Stacey always “Blooms where she plants herself” and is a gourmet chef & baker, animal advocate, fitness buff, renovation junkie, crafting wizard, diehard fashionista and trusted confidante who adores throwing posh dinner parties where pajama attire is always encouraged… if not required.

VO Buzz Weekly is the global web sensation that is inspiring, educating and entertaining viewers in over 80 countries around the world.

Aspiring voice actors, established VO pros and curious fans alike can finally put a “face to the voice” of the mega-talented voice actors from cartoons, animated films, movie trailers, video games, TV promos and commercials, to getting the inside scoop from the best voice over agents, directors and others, in a way that has never been done before.

Every week, hosts Chuck Duran and Stacey J. Aswad get up close and personal with their special guest as they share fun and poignant personal stories, insights on how they became so successful, reveal tips, techniques, products and equipment they use to maintain their voice, create characters and continue to stay at the top of their craft.

Subscribe now at www.VOBuzzWeekly.com, because you won’t want to miss a single episode! And the best part, it’s totally FREE!!!

Gabrielle Nistico – The Gift of Gab for Voice Overs

Gabrielle Nistico has been a voiceover actor for 20 years. She’s behind the mic every day recording for voiceover clients. She reports from the front-lines and teaches you how to survive and stay current in the voiceover industry. If you’re new and looking to learn more about a career in voiceovers, start here. Gabrielle Nistico is the author of VO101: Everything you need to know to start a voice over career and How to Set Up and Maintain a BETTER Voiceover Business: A complete VO business guide to help you stay organized, focused and goal oriented.

She offers voiceover training & lessons in her Charlotte, NC studio as well as remote training for those outside of the area. Gabrielle shares her collective knowledge in my weekly podcast VOBoss with her amazing co-host and bestie Anne Ganguzza.

Even if you’ve never heard of her…you’ve probably heard her. Boston Market, Invisalign, Office Depot, Harley Davidson, Whole Foods and Food Network are just some of Gabrielle’s credits.

She is an honest coach that prepares people for the often brutal acting industry. She’ll turn you into the business owner/entrepreneur you need to be in order to thrive as a voiceover actor.  Wanna know how to find voiceover work? How to meet a voice client’s expectations? And how give the best voiceover performance? Let’s get started!

A Tough Coach for a Tough Industry

My philosophy for successful voiceover training is business FIRST. A well run voiceover business that includes networking, branding & marketing know-how will succeed. A great voiceover actor who lacks these skills may fail because no one knows who they are or how to hire them. I teach you how to out-business your competition.

You Cant Spell Voiceover without CEO

Some coaches hold your hand & ‘mommy’ you in the voiceover booth. That’s not me. You are not paying a coach to tell you how great you already are. I will challenge you vocally so that you achieve your full performance potential. It’s not in my interest, nor in your best interest, for me to tell you that you’re ready for something (like a demo) when you aren’t.

I put a strong emphasis on sales, promotions, and marketing because I want to help you become a better business owner. I will inspire you with intentional planning that will ignite your voiceover career and your entrepreneurial spirit.

Got 15 Minutes?

If you’re already working in the voiceover industry, I’ll make recommendations that fit YOU, even if it means referring you to another coach. Bring a thick-skin & your questions, and in 15 minutes, I will help you improve your voiceover demo, website, marketing, and performance.

If you are brand new to voiceovers, first, – start with my 12 Steps To Voiceover Success. 

Visit Gabrielle Nistico’s website: www.gabriellenistico.com

Steven C. Hayes – Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Get ready to take a different perspective on your problems and your life-and the way you live it.

Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is a new, scientifically based psychotherapy that takes a fresh look at why we suffer and even what it means to be mentally healthy. What if pain were a normal, unavoidable part of the human condition, but avoiding or trying to control painful experience were the cause of suffering and long-term problems that can devastate your quality of life? The ACT process hinges on this distinction between pain and suffering. As you work through this book, you’ll learn to let go of your struggle against pain, assess your values, and then commit to acting in ways that further those values.

ACT is not about fighting your pain; it’s about developing a willingness to embrace every experience life has to offer. It’s not about resisting your emotions; it’s about feeling them completely and yet not turning your choices over to them. ACT offers you a path out of suffering by helping you choose to live your life based on what matters to you most. If you’re struggling with anxiety, depression, or problem anger, this book can help-clinical trials suggest that ACT is very effective for a whole range of psychological problems. But this is more than a self-help book for a specific complaint-it is a revolutionary approach to living a richer and more rewarding life.

  • Learn why the very nature of human language can cause suffering
  • Escape the trap of avoidance
  • Foster willingness to accept painful experience
  • Practice mindfulness skills to achieve presence in the moment
  • Discover the things you really value most
  • Commit to living a vital, meaningful life

This book has been awarded The Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies Self-Help Seal of Merit – an award bestowed on outstanding self-help books that are consistent with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) principles and that incorporate scientifically tested strategies for overcoming mental health difficulties. Used alone or in conjunction with therapy, our books offer powerful tools readers can use to jump-start changes in their lives.

Steven C. Hayes is Nevada Foundation Professor in the Behavior Analysis program at the Department of Psychology at the University of Nevada. An author of 44 books and nearly 600 scientific articles, his career has focused on an analysis of the nature of human language and cognition and the application of this to the understanding and alleviation of human suffering. He is the developer of Relational Frame Theory, an account of human higher cognition, and has guided its extension to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), a popular evidence-based form of psychotherapy that uses mindfulness, acceptance, and values-based methods.

Dr. Hayes has been President of Division 25 of the APA, of the American Association of Applied and Preventive Psychology, the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapy, and the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science. He was the first Secretary-Treasurer of the Association for Psychological Science, which he helped form and has served a 5 year term on the National Advisory Council for Drug Abuse in the National Institutes of Health.

In 1992 he was listed by the Institute for Scientific Information as the 30th “highest impact” psychologist in the world and Google Scholar data ranks him among the top ~1,500 most cited scholars in all areas of study, living and dead (http://www.webometrics.info/en/node/58). His work has been recognized by several awards including the Exemplary Contributions to Basic Behavioral Research and Its Applications from Division 25 of APA, the Impact of Science on Application award from the Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapy.

Dr. Murray Nossel – Powered by Storytelling

Murray Nossel, Ph.D.,
Co-founder and Director of Narativ

Murray Nossel co-founded Narativ with Dr. Paul Browde in 2000. Their mission was to humanize business communication through the power of listening and telling. Nossel has taught storytelling for 25 years in more than 50 countries to more than 10,000 people. He believes unequivocally that we all have a personal story to tell. We simply need a method to excavate, craft and present that story. Nossel is the author of Powered by Storytelling: Excavate, Craft, and Present Stories to Transform Business Communication.

Signature Stories for Executives

Nossel works one-on-one with executives to create a signature story. This is a story he or she can use especially during mission-critical moments, such as when strategy shifts, during an internal reorganization, or to support PR efforts.

Keynotes and Workshops

Murray presents his 7-step method along with essential storytelling principles in keynotes or team workshops. Participants will gain insight into the reciprocal relationship of listening and telling, develop the outline of their own personal story, and experience the skill of presentation.

Nossel has applied his listening and storytelling methodology in the theater and documentary filmmaking. Two Men Talking, a performance of his listening and storytelling method developed with Dr. Paul Browde, has been performed in the West End of London and Off-Broadway in New York City. His film, “Why Can’t We Be a Family Again?”, about African American brothers in Brooklyn struggling to reunite with their mother, a recovering drug addict, was nominated for a 2002 Academy Award®.

Nossel is currently producing and directing “Sala” a documentary film about a Nazi Holocaust survivor who resolutely chose not to tell her story until age promoted her to speak. He is the founder and director of the World Mother Storytelling Project.

Visit Dr. Nossel’s website: www.narativ.com