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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. 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Impromptu Voice Over gig...

I just booked another voice over gig last week, this time through Edge Studio, the place where I did my training.  The beauty of it is that it came out of nowhere and I was able to make it happen, despite the general insanity of my weeks these days.  They called me sometime in the early evening when I had just arrived at NY1 and, since they're number is saved in my phone, I had one of those, "I need to take this" moments, where I knew what the call had to be about.  They haven't called me for a very long time since the time when they're phone calls were about trying to sell me more training.  This had to be a gig.

I excitedly slipped out and down the back hall a little ways where I could talk in privacy and sure enough it was a gig.  It turned out, luckily for me, that 2pm the following day was one of the times they had available, close enough to the end of my shift at CNN that I could just give them a heads up I was leaving early and early enough that it didn't overlap with  NY1 at all.  So, I gave CNN a heads up, waited for the confirmation and called back and left a message with Edge as they had asked me to do, since the contact person was leaving the office for the day.

The next morning, they called me back, literally right when I had the phone in my hand trying to call them to touch base, and said they'd email me the rate and all the details.  It was a corporate video for internal non-broadcast usage, and the rate was $200.  The email said to expect a script later in the morning.  It never came.  So I found myself sitting in the office at Edge Studio, frantically scanning the script on an iPad and realizing it was a lot more copy than anyone could feasibly deliver in a half hour, accounting for second, third, and however many takes.

When I entered the booth, the engineer told me that the clients would be phoning in for the session and they joined us shortly after I got settled.  So that was kind of interesting, just hearing the clients and not seeing them.  Add to that they wanted a commercial sounding voice for a narration type read, emulating a Verizon ad they let me hear before we started.  It was a video describing technology that was going to use wireless data from people's cars to track safety and emissions data.  Pretty cool, but because of the safety angle there was something of a dramatic tilt to a lot of the lines.  They had me pitch my voice pretty low and I went with one of my low commercial voices like the Ketel One Vodka ads or the AMC promo voice that I have fun mimicking when I'm watching TV and they come on, but they wanted me to go even lower so I joked, "Do you want like, Christian Bale Batman?"  Thankfully, they laughed...well at least the engineer did.

The client booked me for a half hour and the other two talents, with one line a piece, for half hour as well.  Unfortunately, though, because I had far more copy to read them, my time was dwindling down fast.  After using the first two paragraphs to zero in on the tone and mark up the script, twenty minutes had passed and the office lady came in to tell us to wrap it up because the other talents would be there soon.  The clients immediately responded that it was more important that we finish my lines and that they didn't mind going over by a little.  Still though, I was a little nervous and found myself hoping that it wouldn't come across in my reads too much.   I ran out of air at the end of a few lines, stumbled on a few things when I got to the part of the script I hadn't spent as much time on before, and a couple of times caught myself changing the pitch of my read inadvertently from the tone I had been working with and having to reread those lines.  

Overall, though, it was a relatively painless process and the clients were satisfied with my reads.  I was out of there by 2:45 and on my way to NY1.  The whole thing was great for a couple of reasons.  First, it shows that I can still get gigs even when I'm not actively auditioning.  Second, it shows that I can pull those gigs off and squeeze them in, even though I'm doing ten other things now.  Third, it showed, somewhat to my surprise, that I can certainly go in and read something almost completely cold and still interpret it in a reasonable amount of time.  

Onward and upward.  Finding an agent is the next thing.

Tonight, on another note, I'm playing a gig with Lacy at Zirzamin in the Village after I get done with this overtime shift at NY1.  Come out and join us!  It'll be a free show with no drink minimum and there's a pretty good chance I'm going to play the piano and maybe do some looping.  Rock!


  1. very cool Tim keep on kicking tail

  2. Rock on Tim! Glad to see that things are happening for you :-)

  3. Good story. Thanks for sharing. I read every word. It's fun to see what challenges come up in that kind of work. It all seems so easy when I hear voiceovers in commercials, etc., never knowing what sort of craziness accompanies getting all that audio just right.