Dane: I’m Dane Reid, The Voiceover Guy. I am here with the team from voice actor websites. Guys! (Team Introduces Themselves) (Dane) And I don’t have any labs that fit five people.
Dane: I’m Dane Reid, The Voiceover Guy. I am here with the team from voice actor websites. Guys! (Team Introduces Themselves) (Dane) And I don’t have any labs that fit five people.
On the surface of things, I may seem like the luckiest guy in the world. I’m a digital nomad who makes a living with my God-given talent, my voice. My voice has allowed me to travel all over the world, freedom to decide how I spend my days and has set me in the company of some pretty famous and interesting people. And my work is heard literally by millions of people every day. There are so many reasons Why I Love Being A Voiceover Talent. So what could a guy with so many great fortunes have to complain about when it comes to being a Voiceover Talent? Here’s my list.
When I think about the things that I don’t like about being a voiceover talent, most of it comes down to the business aspects of the job. But there is one thing that relates directly to the job itself and that’s auditioning. Imagine that you have an advanced college degree in something and you have years of experience in the field. Now imagine that every day you go into work and before you put in 8 hours you have to interview for the job you’ve held for years each time in order to even start work. That’s what auditioning is like. It’s like a job interview every day. It’s maddening for me.
I have heard of talents who literally audition for work all day every day. This is what they do until they nail the job. For me auditioning is frustrating. Literally, you are competing against sometimes hundreds of people for one position. And certainly, I have landed many pretty spectacular jobs from auditioning but the process can sometimes feel like a time-waster. Instead, I have based my business in voiceover in marketing my voice and cultivating relationships with clients. But still, auditioning remains a part of what I do.
Who Do I Trust?
Shady managers, agents, producers, websites, and coaches all prey on talent in the voiceover industry. Some of us know who they are. Some of us don’t. The voiceover industry can be a very lucrative field even if you’ve never stood behind the mic. Many people know that and make money legitimately from it. But there is a growing population of people who lack experience and worse, morals, who are guiding others’ careers. They have everything from profit-sharing schemes of talents entire income, to quickly made demos for talent who obviously are not ready to make one. As these snake oil salesmen penetrate the mainstream of the voiceover industry, it’s tougher to tell who is who as many reputable people are befriended by them. As a voice talent, knowing who to trust to help grow your business is becoming as cloudy as Manhattan smog in the early 80’s.
The Pressure To Perform
When you think performing in voiceover, you may immediately think about copy interpretation and executing the right voice or character. But no! The real pressure for a VO professional is to be what Marc Scott calls a VOprenuer. Day in and day out marketing of your voice. For someone who entered into this profession because of their talent, this can be difficult.
There are no guarantees in life but starting any business has a unique set of risks. There is uncertainty about the future of the industry as a whole and then there is a person’s individual uncertainty about competing in that industry. There are questions and doubts about how will you retire from this industry? How will I provide insurance for myself and family? There is also the everyday questions of “where will the next job come from?” In any small business, what you kill is what you eat.
Dealing With Scissors
I probably came into voiceover at a time when rates for VO services were at an all-time low. But that money was still great money for me. But for the professionals who enjoyed even bigger checks for many years before I arrived on the scene, these checks were barely enough to pay for their 7 Series BMW’s. I was an undercutter. 14 years later I struggled to pay off my Acura in 24 months with these rates. Well, the scissors are out again and this time they keep cutting. Rates are getting lower.
Websites who promise new talent work and at the same time promise clients extremely low rates have big budgets to help them rate at the top of google searches. These websites are corporate-minded, not individually concerned and so they have invaded the industry from multiple angles in an attempt to make talent and agents mere low waged hourly-like employees. This is, of course, a fight that as the talent we must push back on both collectively and as individuals.
Billing- I Am Not A F$%king Collection Agency
Whether I’m fighting with Paypal over a chargeback scheme by a customer or calling a client several times a day to collect on an overdue invoice, the part that I dislike about my job is being a collection agency. It’s probably the most disliked part of any business. Comcast wishes they didn’t have to have a collections division either. But unlike Comcast, I deliver the work with quality, on time and with great customer service. So I deserve to be paid on time. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.
Many people are not content trying to drive the rates to almost nothing. They want to make sure that they actually get it for nothing. Others feel as if the interest is accruing on the money they owe me in their accounts so they should delay delay delay. This is extremely inconvenient because meanwhile, this puts me in the position that Comcast is calling me (I’m kidding.) Either way, I tire from having to collect money that is a given that should be simply paid to me.
I’ve added safeguards to ensure that I’m paid. I collect money from certain categories of clients before the work is performed. I also use services that confirm that the work was sent to and received by new customers. And I’ve reduced the number of clients who I accept PayPal from (Because PayPal doesn’t support it’s service providers). At the end of the day, the best way to get paid is to get paid upfront and avoid frustration.
Truthfully, I was having a bit of fun writing and recording this vlog. Some of it was a bit exaggerated. All in all the benefits of being a voiceover talent for me are greater than those things that drive me crazy about being a Voiceover Talent. It’s a great job to have. And had to give advice to anyone who is frustrated with voiceover or who is discouraged from continuing, I’d simply advise them to have fun. Release the pressure. Learn as much as you can. Just do it. It’s worth it.
At the cross section of one of the most successful voiceover careers and the embodiment of talent, is one of the nicest people in VO, Joe Cipriano. I had a chance to meet Joe Cip (as he is affectionately referred to) a few years at VO Atlanta. He was signing copies of his book “Living on Air” which was co-written by his wife Ann. As soon as he spoke, I recognized that iconic voice. I was intimidated to speak to him. But after purchasing his book, myself and fellow VO friend Scott Chambers sat around talking to him and even sat at his table for the lunch session. He was so COOL. It made me want to know even more about “How Do I Become Like Joe Cipriano?”
Joe’s career is the admiration of most voiceover talent. It spans decades and thousands of very well known promo and radio imaging projects. You’ve heard him as the voice for promos for the Simpsons on Fox and he’s been the voice of comedies on CBS forever. But inspite of his success, Joe is incredibly humble. When I decided that I wanted a chance to interview him, I doubted that he remembered me. But I knew that Scott had kept in touch with him. So I called Scott. And Scott called Joe. And Joe gave the “ok”. This, I knew, was gonna be exciting.
Not every voice actor, podcaster or youtuber visits “The Clubhouse” where Joe cooks up nationally recognized voiceover. Joe has been the voice of the Emmy’s, Network TV and Game Shows and keeps a busy schedule. So, I was excited to get some of his time for this interview. Much of the prep time at the Clubhouse I spent shooting B Roll of Joe just simply working. His schedule is of back to back jobs. He goes from Game Show, to promos to Radio Imaging with the precision of a surgeon, never missing a beat.
Reading Voiceover With Joe Cipriano
But Joe is still one of the most talented guys in the industry. I had a chance to do a promo read with Joe which blew my mind and inspired the direction of my voiceover career for 2020. Check it out in the video at 9:28. Joe showed me how to break down promo copy. We talked about timing and the nuances of the script which indicate different inflections and points at which the VO talent should change moods, voices etc. The scripts are complete with info for everyone involved in the project from audio mixers, to the SOT and the video producers. Joe showed me all of that.
Watching Joe Work
Joe changed the way I do business. I watched Joe work for hours and what I was impressed with most was his level of organization. He was like a machine. Every job he did, he documented in his system and emailed his agent about. Joe explained to me that it was not only important in keeping track of getting paid, but also making sure you were doing the work you’re being paid for. I know from radio imaging that you are contracted each month to a certain number of pages. Joe keeps track of even the length of scripts and how much he had done that month. After watching him handle the administration part of the job, I went home and became more precise.
Joe credits his success to 4 things: Relationships, Talent, Luck and his wife Ann. Back in 1997 Joe was a radio guy in LA when he was heard on air by a television executive who was searching for the right voice for their new network Fox. He made a few phone calls and a connection of Joes made the introduction. That sparked a relationship with Fox that has lasted more than 2 decades. And similarly, a relationship that he had with a CBS executive that landed him the promo jobs at that network.
But it’s the relationship that he found long before he was nationally admired, with his wife Ann that he seems most proud of. Joe and I talked about his family as much of being a part of his success as he did his talent. Ann helped write his book Living on Air, which they released in 2013. The book explores Joe’s career as well as helps VO talent build their own careers. It takes you through the wild adventures of broadcasting life.
I walked away from the Clubhouse that day thinking about luck. When speaking to most people, they credit hard work exclusively to their success. But during my time with Joe, he was humbled by the fact that there were many key moments when he just got lucky. Obviously, Joe has more talent than most voice actors could hope for. But he very plainly expressed that if it weren’t for simply being given certain opportunities, that he might not be the Joe that we all know. For me, that was humbling.
When people ask me how I got started in voiceover, I know what they are really asking; How to get started in voiceover and more importantly, how do they get started in voiceover? I also realize that they are listening for an easy answer. Since noticing that, I ask whether or not they are interested in doing voiceover, and from there, that shapes the way I answer the question. I either explain that their path in 2019 will be different from my path in 2004 or I tell them the actual story of my journey.
If the question is truly ” How I got started in voiceover ” then the real answer is long and complex. It started with my professor in College, Bill Clark mentioning to me that I should do voiceover. It was really early in the days of the internet and little info was available about…… really anything. I search the local newspaper, found nothing and quickly gave up. But as time went on and I graduated with a major in mass media, the word voiceover continued to resonate in my mind.
Fast forward a few years and I was working in the Fulton County Georgia School system. It was a job I enjoyed but it was never meant to be permanent. Voiceover seemed to continue to come up and I kept hearing big voice radio imaging guys like Mitch Faulkner, Pat Garrett, Mike Johnson, and others. I would imitate them and frequently said “I could do that”
But the catalyst to me actually getting started was being in New Orleans with my dad in the lobby of our hotel when I began thinking seriously about doing voiceover. I was still with the school system but what Bill Clark had advised me to do years prior was heavy on my spirit. At that moment, I concluded my thoughts when just shortly after, my homie Dolvett called me from Atlanta and said immediately upon me answering the phone, “Yo, I don’t know why I was thinking about this but, I think you should do voiceover”. I had never spoken to him about this prior.
When I returned to Atlanta, I got to the much-matured internet of 2004 and called the first voiceover talent I could find here in Atlanta. I wish I remembered her name, but she advised me to get a demo and send it out. She also told me a great studio that did demos. (That’s not advice I would give an aspiring voiceover talent today. Go get training first) So, I followed her advice. I called the studio and scheduled a time to record.
The studio session, much to the surprise of the engineers went so well that they gave me my demo free. The owner told me that I was the first aspiring voiceover talent, out of hundreds, to record with them who he actually thought had a future in the business and so he wanted to pay it forward by helping to launch my career. I was excited. I sent that demo around to different studios and agents and landed my first voiceover job on local radio playing a robot in a health product commercial. It paid me $75. I was also signed to a local agency, Arlene Wilson Management.
That year for Christmas, my then-girlfriend bought me my first microphone, the Rode NT1A. I, of course, had to buy an audio interface to go with it so I purchased the Emu 1616, which at the time was cutting edge technology. The Emu came with multiple recording programs, which included Cubase LE, which I became so accustomed to that it made Cubase my lifelong DAW. I worked this set up for 6 months when I found one regular client who paid me weekly which afforded me the ability to buy the TLM 103 microphone.
Throughout my early career, I attempted many things to make money in voiceover. I started a very expensive voiceover ringtone website which I profited only $6 before Apple’s Iphone killed the ringtone business. I sold my bible verse call-back tones to a company in Canada. But I also began doing radio commercials for local nightclubs, a skill I learned from a mentor in radio imaging named “Postman.” In 2006, I stopped working in the school system to do voiceover full-time.
By 2008 I published my first audiobook called “Dana The Procrastinator.” It was a physical hardcover book combined with a CD which was produced by my brother Omari and voiced by yours truly. Dana the Procrastinator was loosely based on my lifelong struggle with procrastination. It combined my two favorite pastimes, voiceover and writing. The book was great for me but was short-lived. I visited schools and bookstores from Atlanta to New York speaking and conducting workshops. Being an author even took me to Jamaica where I read to children at the Jamaican Public Library. But by 2009, the sales came to almost a halt and I was struggling financially.
At the end of 2009, I had lost the girlfriend who had encouraged me in my career up until then. While tough, it was the motivation I needed to push me to succeed and make bolder moves. As an introvert, I was forced to leave the house to find what I no longer had socially. My girlfriend was my crutch and I had to encounter other human beings which made me go out more. This meant using my business as a reason to attend more functions and meet more people. A new network could help make me more successful. While I lost love, I expanded my network. From there I began traveling outside of Georgia to find work. This was the formula which proved to be fruitful.
I’ve done a lot of things since 2010 keep my business going and growing. Training and educating myself to understand the voiceover industry has been helpful. Additionally, I have broadened the types of voiceover that I do. I’ve taken on much more narration work in the past few years. I started blogging and interviewing established voiceover talent to increase my own visibility in the industry. Also, I wanted to learn from other pros.
I have grown greatly over the years from how I got started in voiceover. My journey will not translate the same way into your journey if you are just getting started. The industry has changed. Technology has changed. The world has changed. My hope is that even if voiceover itself no longer exist 15 years from now, that I can be comfortable from the work I have done in this industry. And that I continue to be proud of that work.
#voiceover-career #african-american-voiceover-talent #How-to-get-started
Voiceover Branding and Marketing may be as important as the performance itself. In my lifetime I have seen terrible products marketed well that sold in large numbers. Equally, I have seen great products with terrible marketing and branding that had no traction. Recently, I sat down with long time friend, Marketing expert and podcaster Vanessa Kelly to chat about Voiceover Branding and VO in general.
I sat down with Brand Therapy for a lite-hearted conversation about a field that few even notice. We spoke about voiceover branding and how I started my career and how I’ve kept it alive this long. Additionally, we talked about what voiceover is and what it is not. We discussed marketing and voiceover branding. I educated the audience on how to find a qualified voiceover artist as well.
“Episode 3 features conversation with voice over actor Dane Reid of Dane Reid Media. With over 15 years in the VO field, Dane gives us his expert breaks down of exactly what VO is and isn’t, when you should hire a VO actor for your project and other fun tips
If you are some who works with, is in charge of, or are trying to build a #brand, voice over work should be a consideration for your next project.”
Demo production is both an art and a science. It’s a combination of matching the voice and personality of the talent along with the trends in voiceover production. To do that, not only do you need a producer that knows what are the current trends in voiceover (things like the 6 second commercial), that person also needs to know, or at least have a feel for you as a talent.
My Demo Producer Pick
It had been too many years since I had updated my demos. When I sent out my last set of demos to various production companies, clients and agents, I had almost always received positive feedback. But among people who knew me, including myself, I had always felt that my demo was a bit stiff. It didn’t truly reflect me as a person. So when I decided to do a new narration demo I wanted someone who knew me as a person as well as having great experience and insight into the world of voiceover. So I picked Gabrielle Nistico.
Gabby and I have known each other for years. She knows my background. She knows my voice and every time we speak it’s always fun. She teases me. We’re both New Yorkers so she gets me and she sees a lot of my crazy social media post and follows me on my adventures. Oh, and she gives great hugs too. While not every talent and their producer will have this kind of relationship, it’s important that there is some kind of relationship beyond “ok, when I press record, say this line kid”. Why is this important? Because the scripts she picked out have to be tailored toward me personally to get the best reads.
The Right Scripts
The producer has a bunch of scripts. They could randomly throw some scripts at the talent and that would be the end of that but it’s important that they can visualize the way the talent will interpret and project that copy before it is recorded. That helps them pick better scripts. Gabby knew both how I read things and how I say things normally. That helped. Bigly! Having knowledge of my background in education helped in choosing one particular script on my demo and another which we later decided to table was chosen because of my background with live announcing (I decided to create a dedicated live announce demo instead produced by Jean Francois Donaldson)
Talk But Also Listen
Short of having been to your demo producers house, finding a demo producer could leave you scratching your head. I know experienced talent who still play the guessing game as to who to produce their demos with. Firstly I recommend having conversations with demo producers who are recommended by industry professionals. Talk to them about their dogs, their favorite ice cream and their philosophies about the voiceover industry. Ask a lot of questions but also listen to hear whether they ask a lot of questions about who you are. Wait to see if they ask if you have a website or any work you’ve already done. A good producer will want to research you as well.
Not A Production Demo
Listen to a producers samples of past work carefully. Has the producer worked with voices like yours before? Are the demos overproduced? Remember that this is a voiceover demonstration of your voice, not a demo showcasing great overbearing production. And remember to take into account that the demo has to be a true representation of the work that you really perform as a talent. Don’t get stuck with a demo that you can’t reproduce in real life scenarios.
Your Producer Cares About The Next Step
Bonus points should be given to a demo producer if they also ask about how you are going to market your demo. Of course they may have additional services that help you at extra cost but it also shows that they have a vested interest in the final product with their name on it. Gabby offers complete voiceover career coaching so she stands by her work. For me that means I’m not getting trapped in a demo mill where I get coaching for a few weeks and then a demo whether I’m ready or not. (Tip for new professionals) I of course have been in the voiceover industry for many years so I know many producers but if you are new you probably don’t. But a voiceover demo takes time. First, extensive coaching and evaluation should be done, then a demo if the talent is shown to be ready. But I digress.
The Final Product
I got my demo back from Gabby within a week. Before listening I dialed back my excitement to allow myself to objectively critique the demo. It’s my voice and ultimately my project that represents me and so I couldn’t allow neither the pressure now the excitement to skew my opinion of the demo. Ultimately after listening, we decided to make some changes mostly to the arrangement of the pieces. Most people in the industry will advise you to put your best demo clip first. So we agreed to change the order around based on what I thought was the best. Also I allowed a few professionals to take a listen and give feedback which I factored into re-arranging. Working together Gabby and I came up with an order that we both felt truly told a story. It’s my story. It’s partly who I am and what I offer the voiceover world. Take a listen.
To Book My Professional Voiceover Services
Or please go to my contact page at http://www.danereidmedia.com/contact/
linkedin at https://www.linkedin.com/in/danereid/
Whether you’re a Photographer, Videographer, DJ, Graphic Designer or a Voiceover Talent and Producer like myself, you can relate to the hard decision of knowing of “when to retire your old voiceover gear?” There is a old adage that says “If it ain’t broke then don’t fix it. And for many people in many industries, we stick with what we know and works for us. I’m like that to a degree. I love new things but don’t always want to put in the effort to go with the latest and greatest and so I don’t. Meanwhile the latest and greatest flashes across facebook ads and post by fellow voiceover pros who get new audio gear. And that fuels my temptations. But usually unless I really need something, I don’t switch. Recently though, the need became obvious, so I switched out my old gear.
I did a video a few years ago called “What’s in my voiceover studio?” At the time it was about how my studio of some high end gear and some low budget solutions can get you into a pretty productive voiceover career. But as of 2016 some of that gear began to wear, especially the computer. My Dell XPS from 2011 just didn’t want to do the trick anymore. So I tried to do some upgrades but after months of being in denial, it was time. So I consulted my computer guy (Gerald X– Identity Kept Secret To Protect His Family And Friends) who steered me towards a number of great PC’s that would both do audio and some video editing. After much deliberation, I picked the HP Omen because of the graphics card. I upgraded the RAM to 32 gb instantly and I was good to go.. Right? Well No.
Now I’m faced with the other problem. I had been using a single piece of old audio gear since I started my career in late 2004. I was the EMU-1616. This was my audio interface and after getting the new Omen I realized that I couldn’t just attach the EMU to it quite so easily. The place in the back where I attached the audio card in my previous computer, now had upgraded installed ports. So now I’m stuck. It means I have to upgrade yet another piece of my set-up. This wasn’t the plan.
Figuring Out Industry Standards
So I consulted with other talent via conversation and through chats online and decided that I was going to get a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2. I was ready to pull the trigger when an old friend and classmate who is a world renowned audio guy recommended the Universal Audio Apollo Twin. I read up on it and fell in love. It seemed amazing. You mean to tell me all my plug-ins being processed on a separate box and freeing up the processing power of my computer? Plus some of the cleanest audio the industry produces. This is what all the big boys (and gals) were switching to (or had already switched to) and I model myself after the big boys. But there was a slightly higher price. It was triple the price of the 2i2. But I went with it. Plus I bought plug-ins for the UAD plus Izotope RX6, Ozone 8 and Neutron 2. Throw in some video editing software and all in all I spent a good few thousand bucks. Ok more than a FEW!!! Still, I kept using my old computer for nearly a year.
I Don’t Have Time For the Learning Curve
Some of it was fear of the new shiny gear. Some of it was attachment to the old gear. But much of it was that I was too busy earning money with my old gear to learn the new gear. It was more complex than the old stuff. And I couldn’t mess up my clients voiceovers and radio commercials while I figured it all out. And my clients were happy with what they got. They didn’t notice the difference. And legacy clients definitely weren’t gonna pay me more for my steep investment. So I continued using what I knew best. I couldn’t stop the show and restart it.
Facing The Facts
I had to face the facts. As long as I stood still, I was in a state of moving backwards. Because things had progressed in my industry, audio from my collegues was getting better and mine was sounding dated. While loyal clients might not care whats in my home studio, new clients might. My Dell was in it’s last days and I had to make time and not be afraid to mess up with the new gear. When I finally did produce my first commercials with it, the audio sounded like crap. I went back to my old set up but decided not to give up on my more recent investment. So I tried again, and again and again. Finally I got it right. In looking at it, I realized that my old audio gear represented more than just equipment that I was attached to. It represented life, progress and overcoming fear.
Dane Reid is a Voice Over Talent, Event Announcer, Author, Public Speaker, Vlogger, and World Traveler. For booking visit DaneReidMedia.com
I had met Australians in various parts of the world; China, Thailand, Hawaii and even in South Beach. And my experience with them has always been the same…. Excellent! I had found them to be intelligent, friendly and laid back people who were relatable and worldly. And this was the conclusion that I reached long before I made the plans to actually visit. But when I arrived even I wasn’t prepared for just how hospitable they are on their own soil.
I met Marion Just, a fellow voiceover artist on LinkedIn after she saw a posting of my Vacation & Voiceover Video In Hong Kong. We messaged with one another for months as I was planning to visit Down Under. Her spirit shone even through her online presence as she reminded me of the open invitation to visit her and her husbands studio in Sydney. And I accepted.
It was a 15 hour ride from L.A. straight with no layover. American Airlines had the best direct flight but for a deal, check out China Eastern. Upon arrival, we were picked up by my cousin and his best friend and taken to the hotel where we freshened up. From there they took us to a large Aussie lunch gathering of friends and family who refused to let us pay for our own meals. I wasn’t used to this. But this was the start of Down Under hospitality that didn’t stop till we boarded the plane to go back to the States. Everyone was so friendly and so conversational and happy. I felt at home in a place I had never been.
BlackBox Voice Productions
And that spirit continued when I met Marion Just and Mark Kennedy of Blackbox Voice Productions in person. The internet is powerful but not so powerful as the connection I felt with my new friends across the Pacific. Upon arrival and the beginning of the interview, everything was just so natural. We talked about a wide range of topics in the voiceover industry including the demand for Australian voices in the marketplace, the importance of their work in helping fellow voices from around the world find work and my personal favorite, the value of educating and training in this field of voiceover.
Aside from that Mark and Marion provided great insights on the country they call home. Sydney has so much to offer and so they drove us around for a while before settling in for lunch at an area cafe in Kirribilli Village near the Sydney Harbor Bridge. We talked about everything it seemed. They gave us some good advice on where to visit when we got to Melbourne too. Mark was the one who told me about the trolley system there. We spent hours chatting and had it not been for the fact that my cousin and friend came to pick us up, it might have been hours more. By the time I left their company, I had bonded with two new great friends.
New Year’s Eve In Sydney- The Greatest Party On Earth
While the best thing about Australia is definitely the people, the New Years Eve fireworks surrounding the Sydney Harbor Bridge were also truly impressive. Growing up in New York I’d grown accustomed to great 4th of July fireworks, but it was nothing compared to how the Australians used the Bridge in their celebration. Thousands of people lined the shoreline to see what I call the best fireworks display I had ever witnessed. Even before the big show there were aerial shows and pre fireworks that kept us busy aboard the boat ride. And when the fireworks at midnight hit, it was a display that would’ve made the original Chinese fireworks inventors proud.
Great Barrier Reef
If you want to see the Reef you should probably plan for it. Don’t be like Dane. Dane is a procrastinator who flew from Sydney to Cairns without a plan. Upon arrival we scrambled to find a tour in Port Douglas that would book us for the next day. And luckily, after calling almost every tour company there, weI found one that had just a few seats available. The tour company picked us up from our not so impressive hotel in Cairns the day after arrival and drove us one hour north to to Port Douglas to catch a boat 2 hours out to the Reef. I had snorkeled before but was still overwhelmed once I hopped in the water. I’m not a strong swimmer and the water in intimidatingly deep to me. But once I overcame my fear, ie received a life jacket, there was no stopping me. Armed with my Gopro I dipped into swim along the largest living structure on earth. Underneath I saw huge turtles exotic fish and of course the reef itself. Unfortunately according to our guides, the Reef is dying due to pollution and global warming.
I felt very familiar with Melbourne once we arrived. It was if I had been there before. The extensive tram system reminded me of my time in San Francisco while aspects of the city like the layout took me back to Chicago and New York. It’s a big city with great food and alleyways aligned with various places to dine. Melbourne also boast a great shopping district downtown, which I resisted my natural urges to browse and of course buy from. I couldn’t resist the souvenirs there, also I passed on the Kangaroo testicle key chain.
We strolled around the city via the free city circle tram which mostly serves tourist like us in the downtown area. In every large city I have to visit the tallest building to look down. For Melbourne, this is the Eureka building which has a retractable skydeck with a glass floor so you can look down. It’s very cool. It’s also the tallest building in Australia (to rooftop) and was the 3rd tallest residential building in the world at the time of our visit.
From Melbourne there is the highly recommended Great Ocean Road Tour. The US has great road trips like Route 66. Australia has it’s version which starts in Melbourne and takes you down the coast to see some of the most beautiful sites the country has to offer. This full day tour takes you from the Port Campbell Park with some of the biggest and interesting trees to the famed and well photographed 12 Apostles rock formation which I had seen many times on screen savers. The views were great and short of the pesky and overwhelming flies, I loved it. I highly recommend it for those who want to get out of the city.
I’ll Be Back Australia
Was it all worth it? Definitely! The bragging rights alone of being among the first in the world to celebrate the New Year was worth the trip. But this country has so much to offer. The fireworks show alone was worth every penny and every hour sitting uncomfortably in 3rd class on the plane there. I’ve been many places in the world but only a few make me want to definitely go back to. And what attracts me to Australia the most are the people. The people are the friendliest that I have met in the world.
To Book My Professional Voiceover Services
Or please go to my contact page at http://www.danereidmedia.com/contact/
linkedin at https://www.linkedin.com/in/danereid/
Should you have a personal or professional facebook page? Facebook has done well for me in a lot of ways. It’s made a person who ordinarily struggles to reach out to friends actually keep in contact. And my facebook page is more than just a portal to my personal contacts. It’s been a great marketing tool also. I’ve been allowed to share my business with clients, potential clients and colleagues. I’ve shared this blog, helped inspire and teach other voiceover pros and “newbies and I have also learned a lot from you guys. But with 1584 friends to date, admittedly I don’t know even half of the people on my friends list.
While I wanted to have a space where I could share personally with friends and family and professionally with contacts and colleagues, those two things often conflict. My ideas, ideals and even sometimes elements of my lifestyle are not always agreeable with professionalism. Striking a balance between self expression on a page that “I own” and posting the happy go lucky kind of post that don’t scare off those who write the checks or support my blog, is tough. There are things that I have passions for outside of my career like social justice which make some people “uncomfortable.” I can hear them in my head everytime I post video of police misconduct saying “Why is Dane SO political?” And perhaps that cost me a few readers. Maybe even a few dollars. But I decided that awareness and activism was more important.
But then I learned the harsh reality of facebook algorithms and the happy happy online community. For the most part, FB chooses who you will interact with based on what they think you like and filters much of what you don’t. So what does that mean for my activism? What does that mean for my business? It means that over time they have learned me and that they have learned all of my 1500+ friends. And they have picked who not to show my post regarding either. And they have slimmed down the number of people in which I interact with to about 50 people.
Still 1500+ people still have access at anytime to what I write, to what I do, to where I am in the world and to who I date (which is the reason I don’t post my girlfriends name and am not linked to her in social media). I post unboxings of new equipment. Information about my birthday, where I grew up, my first pet and sensitive info is all on facebook and can be a hackers dream. And without thought, we give it away at random friend request. We tell who our other friends are and fill out these random surveys for kicks and giggles providing our info to anonymous app companies without thinking that sometimes this is the same info we use to recover passwords and access Equifax reports.
With all that in mind I have decided to evaluate how I use social media. I post less of my thoughts and info about my personal life. I’ve covered up my friends list to protect others from hackers and profile thieves. And I participate overall less, which has refocused my energy on my business and personal peace and less on the frequent debates they I found myself in. Additionally I’ve suspended accepting every friend request, often taking a month or more to even look at new friends. While I’ve accepted 100 new friends this year, according to fb, I have rejected 2 to 3 times that many, instead choosing myself who I’ll actually interact with so facebook won’t have to do it for me. And I’ve even started eliminating friends who don’t interact with me or post things frequently that I strongly differ with.
This filter system has slowly been working for me. And recently I was reminded of exactly why I began rejecting people as friends. When a recent request by someone in my industry was rejected, I was childishly confronted through messenger by the rejected “friend”. I screened this person’s (Dan B.) page and found that while we were in the same industry, we were not of the same mindset. I found some of his post offensive and decided that we would not be a good match as friends and based on his follow up, my instincts were right. He attempted to dangle a carrot at me as if not being friends with him cost me a job as an “African American Voice” not knowing that I was touring Europe with little time to dedicate to new clients. So I suggested he find someone else.
While I could go on about the individual issue with Dan B, he is more just a symptom of the problem we face as professionals on social media. Who do we let in? What do we let out? And how do we decide? I have decided that less is more.
To reach me professionally please go to my website at http://www.danereidmedia.com/contact/ or twitter.com/danereid or linkedin at https://www.linkedin.com/in/danereid/. But to be friends, please wait in cue and endure the process. As for Dan B, someone let him know I’m doing just fine.
I’ve been fortunate to do two things that I really love to do in this lifetime. One of them is to travel. The other is to do voiceover. I’ve been all around the world to some really impressive places and in many instances, wherever my physical body hasn’t been, my voice has traveled to. But one such place where neither had ever journeyed to was Ottawa, Kansas. Ottawa is a town one hour from Kansas City and where I met Derek Chappell in person. And from the first moment we met, we hit it off. Derek was quite humble about his town, thinking that my international travels would cause me to be bored as we drove around his hometown. He was wrong. Ottawa was Middle America, at the center of who we are. And how fitting! Derek himself was at center of the voiceover world.
Derek was one of the first people to ever pick up on my voiceover blog and channel. When I first ventured to tell my story as a voiceover talent, he was one of the first ones to listen. Derek had been listening to the stories of voiceover bloggers for several years. As a voiceover talent himself, he not only blogged but was an enthusiast and cheerleader of other talents. He developed a system of being alerted of new voiceover blogs and industry news. This not only allowed him to continuously learn more about the business that he loved, but also to promote the work of fellow voice talents that he admired.
Derek and I had one major disagreement though. He is an avid Royals fan. As a lifelong Yankee fan and Mets supporter, it was hard not to be distracted by his Royal’s Blue. But we got through it. But if there is one big thing that we could agree on, it was the reasons why VO Talent Should do voiceover blogs.
Blogging in any industry is beneficial to a business. It’s a way to keep consumers aware of what’s going on with your business. Here are 4 reasons you should voiceover blog
Pinocchio once proclaimed “I’M A REAL BOY NOW!!!” It was probably after he published his first blog. Blogging makes you human. Before blogging, I was just a business with a name and it was one of many voiceover businesses. But blogging has changed who I was from “Dane Reid Media” to simply “Dane.” Blogging makes you feel as if you know some of the industry’s finest like Dave Courvosier, or Dan Friedman, or Lance Blair or Marc Scott. It puts a face to a name and makes readers feel more personal with the voiceover blogger.
And sometimes those readers become buyers… I talked about business being personal in my vacation and voiceover blog click here. In it I discussed 5 Steps to Keeping You Relevant In Voiceover. One of those very important steps was maintaining relationships. People tend to buy from people they know. In feeling that someone knows you, they are more apt to go from being a reader to a friend to a buyer.
3)Long & Short Term Search Results
People are looking for you right now. But if you just blend in then how will they find you? While Google constantly changes it’s search algorithms, one thing remains constant. The number of pages other people visit helps you with relevance. When someone is searching for your kind of voice and you have been blogging about your talent or other relevant info, you are easier to find. Initially after your blog is released you will see a bump in page view. Hopefully, since those pages never disappear someone will run into them again a year or two when you least expect it and will call you to work on their project. I can tell you from personal results that it has happened with me.
4)Establishes The Blogger As A Resource
Sometimes I still Google the word “Voiceover.” It’s because I’m looking for possibly something in the industry that I didn’t know already. I’m looking for a resource on the latest trends, the best gear, the top searched talent (and what they are doing right) and just any information on the career that I love. Today when I googled the word several things came up. Voices.com, Thats Voiceover, Gary Terzza’s page and Oh… Freakin’ Fiverr. One of those results leads you to a voiceover blogger who has a plethora of information which he freely shares. (The last one leads the voiceover industry into the depths of despair). Search results vary depending on your location but certainly Gary has done something great to establish himself as an authority and a resource. This can be great for business. Although I know from personal experience also, that it can serve as a distraction when everyone who wants information on how to get your job finds your number and calls. Either way, from where I sit, if you want a resource on the industry and training videos, contact Gary Terzza.
And if you need a voice for your business contact Derek Chappell. Derek no longer practices law during his days as he talked about in the video and has gone back to radio. He broadcasts for a local ABC Radio affiliate KOFO in Ottawa, Kansas and does phenomenal voiceover work from his home studio. Derek and I remain bitter sports rivals. I had to humble myself as his Royals beat my hometown Mets to win the 2015 MLB World Series. But if I had to eat humble pie around anyone, I’d rather it be around a great guy like Derek. Contact Derek at http://www.thevoiceofyourbusiness.com/
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