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I live in Brooklyn, NY and I love it here.  I came here for my career in 2009 and haven't once looked back. 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Victory!

At 8:30 am Saturday morning, I stretched out to the end of my bed to swat the alarm clock, grabbed my phone and sat back in bed, thinking as I thumbed through my email that rolling over to go back to sleep for a few hours would be nice, seeing as how I didn't need to be up for my regular shift.  I had swapped with someone who wanted to work a morning shift so I didn't need to be in until 3 pm.  The night before I literally did nothing and slept early though so I didn't mind being up early.  As I do, when I can make it to classes that I normally can't, I go to yoga and that was my plan, to make the 10 am class and then come back home for a bit before work.

However, the first email I saw on my phone made me start to rethink my plan.  It was a direct invite from a voice over producer on Voice123.com.  This one actually had a personal email attached to it saying he liked my voice and would love to work with me on this project.  This being my first such email from a producer on the site, I was initially cautious but I figured I would go to yoga, then try to knock out an audition before I needed to be in at 3 pm.

Yoga was a great class with one of my favorite teachers whose class I never get to take.  Afterward, feeling refreshed and wide awake, I opted to go on ahead to work instead of trying to do the recording at home really quick before heading to work.  I had packed my lunch in case I decided to go this route and it proved a good idea because I wound up getting the job.  Had I recorded it at home, surely my audition would have sounded different from the recordings I would end up having to make at work.  Either way, the irony is that I've spent all this time perfecting my set up and my workflow at home only to have to pull off my first job in a tricky unpredictable environment, improvising, as it were, with the equipment I had available.

I had to use one of the USB mics from our edit bays and track my audition in said edit bay using my laptop and managed to knock it out before I had to be in to work.  I sent it off and within minutes had a response, submitting it online at voice123.com and then also emailing it to the producer directly.  The producer said he loved my read and was going to run it by his client and, if we were a go, he asked if I could finish it by the end of the day.  Excited, I said I could, thinking I would track the rest of it during my break around 5 pm and figuring I'd say I'd have it done by 6 or 7 pm.

When my break rolled around though, the newsroom was a bit busier and the glass door of the edit bay was not blocking out nearly enough sound, so I spent most of my break running around trying to find a quieter edit bay and a mic that wasn't noisy.  The Blue Snowball USB mic that everyone in the industry is raving about was giving me more trouble than it seemed to be worth.  I thought about it after the fact and realized I probably should have downloaded drivers for it.  But I managed to get it to work for me but I had to finagle the noise reduction plugin in Logic to cut out the room noise; an unfamiliar plugin to me as I do most of my voice recording in Sound Forge, and their plugin uses a noise print removal method where you can actual select a chunk of the recording with nothing but background noise, capture the frequencies and then remove them from the rest of the recording.  Logic's is much more trial and error, as you actually have to figure out on your own what frequencies are bothering your recordings.

So, much of my time was spent figuring out an alien setup but I did manage to pump out some awesome reads of this guy's script.  The job was for a short web commercial and they were looking for a casual guy next door read and apparently I nailed the audition and my first take that I sent only needed two revisions.  When he emailed me back a few minutes later, he even asked me to record a tag for a totally separate job.  The pay was good so I took it as well and ended up finishing the revisions and that tag at the end of the night after I clocked out at 11pm.  I didn't leave here until midnight but I got paid!

The tag I was able to finish up this afternoon/evening after a rockstar nap I took which should carry me through the rest of the night…should.  But we'll see.  Anyway, the payment for that as well is already in my paypal account, which goes to show you how quick it can happen.  Feeling pretty psyched about all this especially since this guy sounds like he potentially has more work for me.  Now, I shift gears to work on the music for Steve's reel, the turnaround for which is totally different from those voiceover jobs.  Should be kind of relaxing by comparison.

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