VO BOSS
VO BOSS
Anne Ganguzza
The VO BOSS podcast blends solid, actionable business advice with a dose of inspiration for today’s voiceover talent. Each week, host Anne Ganguzza focuses on a specific topic to help you grow your #VO Business. Featuring guest interviews with industry movers & shakers, VO BOSS covers every facet of the voice landscape, from creating your business plan to choosing the best marketing tactics & tools. So tune in, listen up, and learn how to further your VO career!
Mythbusters Part 2
In part 2 of our Mythbusters series, we delve deep into why investing in a professional demo producer and voice coach makes a significant difference in your VO success. We highlight the essence of genre proficiency, self-direction, and social media, and why it's a better choice to develop these skills with professional guidance rather than attempting to do it yourself. We also dive into the nitty-gritty of essential voiceover artist's tools, shedding light on the need for a quality home recording set-up and a good noise floor over splurging on an expensive microphone.  0:00:01 - Intro It's time to take your business to the next level, the boss level. These are the premier business owner strategies and successes being utilized by the industry's top talent today. Rock your business like a boss, a VEO boss. Now let's welcome your host, Anne Ganguzza  0:00:20 - Anne Hey, hey everyone, welcome to the VEO Boss podcast and the real boss series. I'm your host, Anne Ganguzza, along with my real boss co -host, Mr. Tom Dheere. Hey, tom, welcome to the show.  0:00:32 - TOm Hello Ann, Thanks for having me back.  0:00:34 - Anne Oh, Tom, we had the best episode last week on mythbusters busting the myths about voiceover and telling the real truth. So we did part one, we're back for part two, and boy do we have a lot of great stuff to talk about. Yeah, I would like to start off with oh gosh, it's just such a big topic these days Social media and voice seekers. Is it going to get us work by posting on social media, Tom? What do you think?  0:01:05 - TOm Okay, there's like 15 qualifiers I gotta have when I'm gonna say this. I hear you. So at the beginning, I'm gonna say that, for the most part, voice seekers are paying absolutely no attention to anything that any of us are doing on social media. Now, with that in mind, that's a very broad brush stroke and for the most part, they are not paying attention to your hey listen, check out this explainer video I just did. Aren't I awesome? They're not paying attention to any of that stuff. For the most part, if a voice seeker is vetting you via your social media presence, it's to either see if you're an NDA violator, to see if you're a client basher oh, can you believe this stupid sentence they made me pronounce, which I see every day on social media or if you're some form of political or religious whack job that has the potential to damage their reputation. Yes, exactly.  0:01:58 - Anne Oh, absolutely, tom. And I'm gonna say, first of all, why don't we step back and say how do you engage on social media? Like, for me, it's all about entertainment, right? Yes, at this point there's so much out there. If I'm going to social media, it's going to be looking for an influencer that might be showing me about the brand that I'm interested in. I might be looking at clothes or makeup or curling irons and I want to find out how they work and if they work great.  Now, I'm not saying that a voice actor can't be on social media and demonstrate that you have a great voice. However, I think that whole direct sale method which doesn't work for voiceover, right, whenever it's supposed to be sellier or an answery also pertains to social media. So that means just provide entertainment and as a hashtag maybe, or in the notes maybe, throw in that you're a voice actor, because people buy from people they know, like and trust, and that, I think, is what you use social media for and so entertain people, give them something of value, and then they'll pay attention and then maybe they'll say, oh, you know what she's got? A great voice. I love her personality. I bet you sound great doing this campaign.  0:03:07 - TOm Yeah, so there's my social media presence as a voice actor and there's my social media presence as the video strategist. So, putting the video strategist over there, which is a different animal, as a voice actor, I feel that my job is to just to demonstrate my humanity.  I like that because I always tell my students be a good human, collect good humans, demonstrate your humanity online, which has a lot of virtue on multiple fronts. Well, one right now and this is something we could talk about is that I think more and more voice aegers are going to look to see that, when someone submits an audition, that they're actually not an AI, that they're an actual human being.  0:03:39 - Anne Oh, I agree.  0:03:39 - TOm So looking around and going okay, this person is a human. Okay, cool. Yeah, that's a small percentage, but I think that percentage will grow.  0:03:45 - Anne That's how I've met my clients actually right and are they real? Now see, I've got another idea for an episode. It's like have you ever not gotten paid right? Well, I've met my clients in a lot of ways and that's one way make sure they're human. I might actually pick up a phone. Just saying I might pick up a phone to see if there's a human on the other end of it.  0:04:02 - TOm Right. So demonstrating my humanity as a voice actor is just people work with people that they like people work with people that they trust people work with people that aren't putting on airs.  0:04:14 - Anne And are authentic.  0:04:15 - TOm Yeah, so I'm a geek. I like comic books. I talk about comic books and superheroes. I like comic book movies and stuff. So a lot of my content is talking about that. I live in New York City, I walk around New York City with my wife, I take pictures of interesting things I see in New York City and, yes, I do occasionally do a social media post pertaining to some voiceover work that I've done, but it's never about me. It's always about the product or the service, the client or whatever. So, for example, I got a one voice award nomination. Didn't win, but that's okay. I was in honor to be nominated about it's a public service announcement I did for the Humane Society of America that talked about the 4000 Beagles they rescued from that lab in Virginia last year.  This PSA announced that all 4000 Beagles got adopted, so I got cast to do that and what I said in social media is that I have owned two Beagles. I'm a dog lover, I've owned two Beagles, so being given the honor and privilege of narrating that spot meant a lot for me as Tom Dheere human being Not about don't I sound wonderful in this and I got engagement through that. I got positive responses through both voice seekers and fellow voice actors, and just friends and family that are also following me on social media. So that's a way to do it.  0:05:32 - Anne I think it just is not one of those things where you're going to create an ad that says, hey, I'm a voice actor, let me voice your copy and then run that out on social media. It doesn't work that way. I think there's more of the relationship. I mean. To me, social media has become all about relationship building and really just entertainment, because we are just inundated with content and chaos, online material, and so I think, for me, I go to social media to kind of just get away from it all in a way, and I seek out those things that entertain me or provide value for what I'm looking for.  Again, for me, I'm a big shopper, I'm a big online shopper, so now I'm looking for influencers and I'm looking for video of influencers, and I will say that my example of somebody who's so effective at really creating business for himself is Stefan Johnson, who does a series on TikTok and Instagram where he talks about food and he does like food reviews and he's funny as hell and just the fact that he's entertaining he's funny as hell.  He's got maybe that hashtag voice actor. Everybody has come to know and love him because he's sent thousands of videos and he's got like a billion followers, and so, yes, that works amazingly well. And, tom, I know that we had discussed this earlier, but let's say you are the voice in a video game or the voice of a national brand, and the other thing, you want to make sure that you are on social media, that you're being careful that you're not, like crazy, bashing other people or doing something that would risk the brand integrity of the company that you work for. I mean, one of those famous cases back in the day when I think the first thing was, oh gosh, it was the Aflac. Was that the Aflac commercial?  the duck and people that just in a minute you can ruin a brand by saying the wrong thing or doing the wrong thing on social media. So I think you have to be very careful.  0:07:27 - TOm I'll give you a name. Dropy example, because I'm very excited about it, is that in a few weeks the Inspector Gadget video game releases and I am Inspector Gadget.  0:07:35 - Anne Yeah, you congrats which.  0:07:36 - TOm I'm very thank you. I'm very excited about that and I had been talking to my business.  0:07:40 - Anne You are such an Inspector Gadget, I can totally, totally see that Go go Gadget roller skates. Well cast, well cast.  0:07:48 - TOm Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, and so, as I was trying to plot out a marketing campaign, I quickly realized it's not a good idea, because I don't want to interfere with the brand that is, inspector gadget and I don't want to interfere with the video game production company that did it and I don't want to cause any potential issues with my manager got me that audition that cast me so I will piggyback retweet.  Yes, yes, absolutely, whatever they do very smart and say, and again, it won't be about me, it'll be. I watched inspector gadget when I was a kid and it was such an honor to be able to be the voice of a character that I loved listening.  0:08:29 - Anne Tom, that's so awesome. I'm so happy for you. I mean thank you. They don't call you the strategist for nothing. I'm just saying that's a really wise strategy to retreat, retreat. Well, it is a treat reacts now, I think yeah, reax what is it?  0:08:42 - TOm yeah, what is that? Or?  0:08:43 - Anne thread, re, thread it forward, that repost, all that stuff is really wonderful, okay. So now I've got another myth. Okay, that I hear all the time. Okay, coaches and demo producers, can we just make our own demos? Can we just DIY? I can do it. You don't have to spend all the money. Don't fall prey to the predators and look full disclaimer here. I am a coach and I am a demo producer, so we are talking about this. However, I do want to address that you know a lot of people Will be crucified for doing their own demo. I can certainly throw in my opinion as to why. I think maybe that's for some people, maybe that's okay, but I'm gonna say the vast majority. There's a good reason why we are out here producing demos right.  0:09:28 - TOm So most of the time when a person decides they're gonna record their own demos because they can't afford to hire somebody to do yes Percentage of those it's out of just arrogance. I can just do this myself. I'll just go in my bathroom and close the door and just do it, and I will have no training and I will be recording in a not good environment and I'm just gonna direct myself because I can do this.  0:09:49 - Anne Yeah, I have the technology.  0:09:54 - TOm This is what I tell my students and when I do speaking engagements and conferences. The virtue of a demo producer is the virtue of a demo producer like an Is not necessarily the finished product of the shiny demo in your hand. I think it's three things. Number one and or other quality demo producers is going to teach you genre proficiency, how to narrate e-learning as opposed to video games, as opposed to audio books as opposed to medical. So what muscles do you need to flex to be able to do this particular genre well? And there are always tips and tricks and nuances and subtleties for every genre, and an experience coach and demo producer like and can teach you that.  The second thing and this is a big reason why you shouldn't record your own is what I call ism detection. Everybody has their own ism. Some people talk fast, some people talk slow, some people upward and flex, some downward and flex. Some have regionalism and has not your ears so she can hear your isms, identify your isms, talk to you about why do you have those isms and is it a problem that you need to eliminate? Is it something that you need to learn how to toggle on and off like a switch, or is it something that you can use to enhance your performance and possibly enhance your brand. Sure, good demo coach like and, can do that.  And the third one is the art and science of self direction. Yes, oh yes, you have to learn how to self direct. It is practically impossible to teach yourself how to self direct in a vacuum. Yeah, and and other quality demo producers can teach you how to do that. So it's not the finished product, it's all the things that you learn. That gets you to that finished product or makes working with a demo producer important.  save your money, be patient. That's another thing, ann, about most voice actors coming into the industry is that they are distressingly impatient and they make big mistakes by spending all this money on products and services and coaches that will not move their voiceover business for because they're so desperate to do it.  0:11:51 - Anne Or I'm going to say they come in and they don't have any money to spend and I don't look. I'm not here to shame people who are financially you know what I mean looking for a new resource or revenue stream. But like in any good business, tom and I say this over and over again you do have to invest, and one of the reasons why you would save to make an investment, tom, you said everything so eloquently and so well that really you don't have ears yet, and so while technically you may be able to go, even if you had a nice studio and you bought the best equipment and you have a good sound and you're a musician right and you have the capability to put things together, you know the software you don't necessarily have the ear and you don't necessarily have the experience or understand what content is driving this demo. How are you telling that story? How is that being put together to really showcase your acting in its very best light?  Because if you're new to the industry, you don't know right, you don't know what that is yet, and it's hard for you to hear that or have an ear for that, and so that's one of the best reasons to hire a professional. It's kind of like look, I worked in technology and I worked in computers and running our computer department and I did a website for years for the school district that I worked for. But do I make pretty websites? I know functionally what I want to do, but I cannot do the graphics. It's not what I was trained to do and so, therefore, hire somebody that's trained and then that's what they do all day, every day.  They work in the industry. They know what's trending, they know what's current, and that's why it really helps to have a vetted coach and demo producer, not just one that's going to take your money and give you a demo after a weekend. Again, that's the big misnomer is that I can do a couple of sessions and then get a great demo after a weekend. Well, if you've not spent any time actually studying and practicing to be a professional voiceover actor, you really don't have any business making a demo, because that demo, as Cliff Zelman always likes to say I always like to quote Cliff is a promise right that you're going to be able to recreate that sound any given day or night when you're being requested to. And so, if? Well, I guess if you do your own, you could probably reproduce that sound, but still I feel like without the coaching you're not going to be able to get to the sound. That is probably what most clients want without the work without the work involved.  right, you got to spend more than four hours of your life on voiceover to be professional, right, I'm just saying Nobody thinks they can pick up a violin immediately and start playing at a concert level.  0:14:25 - TOm But everybody that has an interesting voice thinks they can start doing voiceovers professionally immediately.  0:14:30 - Anne And the other thing is self-study right, like coaching. Like you can buy these online workshops and programs and I'm all for online education. I have a VO peeps group. I have my own introduction to voiceover kind of web series. I know, tom, you've got videos that you sell and I'm not saying that you cannot do that to just buy that and learn voiceover on your own. However, I'm going to say there's great value in having a coach, work with you one-on-one, so that they can really assess your voice vocally, brand your voice and have that set of ears that can tell you oh I hear this regionalism here. Oh, I hear this, I don't believe you. I need you to make that script more believable. So there's a lot to be said for having a valuable extra set of ears on the other end of that and to help coach you through the things that you don't know yet.  0:15:18 - Tom Yeah.  0:15:19 - Anne All right, and speaking of which, when we want to sell ourselves, right Tom, there's something called a website which, for most people, most of my students, is like an afterthought. They're like, oh yeah, I got to get a website. Well, I can make my own website. I can do a template on, I don't know, weebly or Wix or whatever that is. What are your?  0:15:36 - TOm thoughts. Well, it's funny because people have these assumptions coming into the industry I need an agent, I need to join the union and for many of them, it's I need a website, or it's I don't need a website because I'm going to get a big honking agent immediately and they'll just do all the work for me. The problem is is that most voice actors don't understand why they need a website.  0:15:59 - Anne And why a voice actor needs a website is for a couple of reasons.  0:16:03 - TOm One is for just credibility. Just so if someone looks you up or if you market to them and there's a website to go to, it's like, oh okay, this is a human, possibly, hopefully, human being, and here's their website and here's their demos and here's their verbiage and there's a picture of them maybe or not, or a little about page or something, or something like that, and it's like, oh okay, this is who they are. So credibility is one thing. And then, if they get that website, there's another myth, which is people are going to find me through my website. They're just going to look stuff up on Google, bing, yahoo or whatever and find you. And that is, 99% of the time, patently false, because there are literally tens of thousands of voiceover websites out there. So your job as a voice actor is to build the website and then drive traffic to the website through your direct and indirect marketing strategy.  0:16:55 - Anne And make it functional so that people can actually find you, contact you and hire you and pay you. Yes, that's it, yes, and to that end your website.  0:17:05 - TOm The most important thing that your website needs to do is one thing have downloadable demos.  0:17:10 - Anne Yes, I'm the big believer in first impressions Really make a difference.  You know, if I go to a website and I feel like, oh God, this is just like every other website I've seen, and it's a little bit like antiquated or if I cannot access the information I need right away and functionally be able to navigate it easily, and also it has to be pleasant to look at For me. I mean, gosh, I worked in technology for so many years and I actually ran the web servers Back in the day. I knew Jumala and I used to put content into our websites, but I certainly am not a graphic designer by design at all. I mean, I didn't go to school for it. I know what I like, I know what looks pretty, and so for me to think that I could make it look beautiful, I'm gonna hire somebody that does that as a full-time gig and that I believe first impressions are everything, because when I go to a website, it immediately establishes an idea of the brand right, of who I'm dealing with, who I'm talking to. They're human, like you said, and I get a sense of who they are, and it also gives me a sense of trust. Will I trust this person to click the button to pay them or click the button to contact them? And that's what I want Because, again, I'm a big online shopper just saying God, people are gonna have this idea about me, but all I do?  I mean, gosh, the pandemic didn't help at all, right? So all I did was click, click, click, bye, bye, bye, because we weren't going anywhere, right? So online shopping is a big thing for people. And again, convenience, and also like, okay, should I? What do I feel about this product? How do I feel about this product? Is it good? Am I gonna buy something that's worth it, that's gonna be worth my money, and that is something that your website is a showcase of your brand, your value, your worth. And if you don't wanna invest in that, in that look, in that first impression, well, you might be losing business.  0:18:59 - TOm Right. Everything, ann, you said is 1,000% correct and I'm gonna give all you VO bosses out there a little bit of a break. So think about this the vast majority of the work that you're gonna get when you're early in your voiceover career is online casting sites. Right, you join online casting sites, you do auditions, which is short term. It's not short term because I'm still on them, but I'm saying is it's the easiest way to get casting opportunities is through online casting sites. While you are developing your auditioning abilities, your rate negotiation abilities, your DAW abilities, your project management skills on online casting sites, you can start with a Wix or a Weebly or a Squarespace free site. For starters, this is a basic, basic landing page and as you are slowly building your direct and indirect marketing skills, and evolving your brand and your brand and your portfolio.  Now you can start to take those gigs that you've booked, the brand that you have developed and slowly layer and build that website. So this isn't something that you should feel pressure to have perfectly right out of the gate, because once you get that shiny demo in your hand, you probably have no idea what your brand is and you have no idea what the industry is going to say to you I thought I needed to do commercials when I started the industry and then I found out that my niche is primarily e-learning, so it's okay.  Start with a basic website Wix and Weebly, squarespace, whatever and then, as you are developing yourself, do everything that Ann just said to get your website to a point. When you are ready to really hit the ground with direct and indirect marketing strategies and driving traffic to your website, it will be ready.  0:20:39 - Anne Yeah, totally agree, totally agree. And people always say, well, should I do my website? I'm just beginning voiceover. I always say it's a good idea to start thinking about it because a website evolves over time. I mean it's not like you're going to have a perfect website overnight. God, if I were to show you pictures of my initial websites, whew mine is the worst. And how it's evolved.  0:20:57 - TOm You know the Internet Archive. You can go to Internet Archive. Yes, yes, yes, yes, once in a while for fun, I'll go and look at mine, because tomdeercom was first created 2002. So my website is 20, it's going to be 21 years old in a couple of weeks and it is a dumpster fire.  0:21:11 - Anne I had a microphone. I had a microphone as a logo, of course, with a flourishy thing coming out of it, and I'm not saying hey look some people have microphones for logos or built into the logo. I'm not bashing it, but it was. Every other website that was a voice actor had that microphone.  And yeah but that's okay. I mean, we learn, we evolve, and we evolve along with our brand. So, yes, all right, here's another one, and the last one I think that we'll have time for, and that is I need a 416. I need a U87. I need a TLM 103. I need really good equipment. Now I am speaking on a 416, but I will tell you that it took me 10 years to get that. So do I need great equipment, especially now because everybody says, since the pandemic, our home studios have to be like perfect, we have to have good sound for our additions, otherwise we may not get cast. What are your thoughts, tom?  0:21:59 - TOm I think it's a parallel between developing that website and developing your home recording setup. I started home recording in 2006 and I'm only on my third microphone.  0:22:09 - Anne Oh my God, me too. Oh my God, oh my God, really that is crazy.  0:22:12 - TOm Wow, that's so weird, okay, okay.  0:22:14 - Anne Wow, at2020, rode NT1A and then TLM 103 and then 416.  0:22:20 - TOm My first one was a Samson something I don't even remember what it was. And then my second one. It's an AKG perception 420. It's in my closet because it's my backup mic. And then my third mic is the 416 I'm talking to right now, which I got this in 2016. So I've had this microphone for about seven and a half years. Yeah, so I worked up to it. It's crazy, because you can't spend too much money on a microphone. You want to spend $10,000 on a microphone. You can, but how many people?  0:22:50 - Anne need that no.  0:22:50 - TOm You can start with just a basic functional microphone.  0:22:54 - Anne I have recommendations on my video strategy, just your page.  0:22:56 - TOm And I know Ann has recommendations, so I suggest you check out both of them to check out some options, because there's a price range. But the other side of that is that, yes, when a voice seeker is listening to your audition, they're not just listening to your performance, they're listening to your home recording setup, because almost 90, almost 100% of the time these days you're going to be booking your gigs at home, so it's important to have a good sounding studio.  It's important to have a good standing, but your microphone is not as important as the treatment of where the microphone is, because if you buy a microphone, that's too good upfront and you have a lousy recording environment it's going to pick up every single flaw in your setup.  0:23:39 - Anne I like how you really specified that, because I completely agree with you. Your environment, I think is, even is the most important.  0:23:45 - TOm Absolutely, because your microphone is only as good or bad as the environment that the microphone is in.  0:23:50 - Anne So that could take a little pressure off you so invest in that first is what I said, because then you can get a cheap microphone and it'll sound great for the most part. Well, maybe not complete, but it'll sound a whole lot better. It'll work.  0:24:02 - TOm The output will be more comparable, because all you really need is just clean audio with a decent noise floor, no major buzzes or hums. And also, you know, on a sidebar, don't worry about EQ processing, mastering and all that stuff. I don't know what you do for your signal chain and stuff, ann, but I have almost nothing on mine. My clients want raw audio.  0:24:25 - Anne I have an Apollo and literally and just my 416.  0:24:29 - TOm Yeah, I got my 416 and my Mo2, m2 and that's it no crazy stuff.  0:24:33 - Anne I mean, I do have a stack. I think it's important to have you know a stack that you can run to kind of clean up your audio a little bit.  0:24:39 - TOm I do too.  0:24:40 - Anne But yeah, I mean absolutely. But I will say that in this studio, right, I love my studio, Tim Tippets, love, love, love, love my studio.  Custom built by Tim, custom built by Tim. I literally could bring any mic I have. As a matter of fact, I have a USB AT2020 in here that I use for other applications because it only works with a USB mic. It sounds great in here and so, like I'm saying, is that you don't want to have a completely cheap mic? I mean you can tell the difference, but I will say that it took me almost 10 years before I worked up to a TNL103, but I had to have the environment first and then I could hear the actual difference between my NT1A, which was great, which worked for me for six years. I made a lot of money with that microphone in a decent environment, and that's a really reasonable priced mic, as well as your audio interface, which I'm not a big fan of. The Scarlett Focusrite just because for a while they had cheap components, they were introducing hissing and weird noises. I love the UR22, it's 169 bucks.  0:25:40 - TOm That's the Steinberg.  0:25:41 - Anne The Steinberg yeah.  0:25:42 - TOm Yeah, I had the UR12, it was great.  0:25:44 - Anne It worked for years and then I just upgraded to an Apollo, which I love it, but it's also flighty and a little bit it's a little bit flighty with my operating system, but that's okay. I mean I love it. But I think that you can absolutely get away with a reasonably priced microphone, as long as your environment is good and other equipment.  0:26:03 - TOm Right, and as you get more work, you will be reinvesting in your training, you'll be reinvesting in your website and you'll be reinvesting in your gear and specifically your microphone. So, it's okay to start with a cost-effective microphone. You'll get better once down the road.  0:26:15 - Anne Absolutely, absolutely Well. And then, once you do have I've traded right you have a good microphone. It lasts for years. Like gosh, I've had my 416 for I don't know how many years and it goes traveling with me too. I mean, I pull it out, it goes traveling for years, so it's not like you need a new microphone every year, although if you're a tech geek, I mean.  0:26:35 - TOm Well, some people collect microphones just because it's fun, and if you wanna do that, you can afford it.  0:26:38 - Anne great it's like me, I have lipstick color clothes, boots, shoes, handbags. Yeah, I need the new handbag. I need the new mic.  0:26:45 - TOm You need two. Yeah, you need one to talk into and you need a backup in case something horrible happens Exactly backup's great, Some have more than one if there's genre reasons, but the majority of people only really need one microphone and then have one as a backup in case something goes wrong.  0:26:59 - Anne All right, I love this conversation, tom. Thank you again for busting the mists via bosses. Don't believe everything you hear and come to the source. Come to the real boss source. And that's with Tom and I for this series. You guys, as individuals, you can have a big impact, and as a group, you can have even more of an impact and contribute to the growth of our communities in ways never before possible. Find out more at 100voiceshoocareorg to learn how and big shout out to our sponsor, ipdtl you too can connect and network like bosses. Find out more at IPDTLcom. You guys have an amazing week, be real and we'll see you next week. Bye.  0:27:44 - OUtro Join us next week for another edition of VO Boss with your host, ann Gangusa, and take your business to the next level. Sign up for our mailing list at vobosscom and receive exclusive content, industry revolutionizing tips and strategies and new ways to rock your business like a boss. Redistribution with permission. Coast to Coast connectivity via IPDTL.  Transcribed by https://podium.page
Nov 28, 2023
28 min
Custom Boss Website with Jim Fronk
  How do you turn a lifelong passion for music, radio, and video games into a successful career in voice acting? Join me as I chat with Jim Fronk, a seasoned radio veteran who transitioned into voice acting, entertaining people with his dynamic performances and engaging characters.  But that's not all, Jim’s talents extend beyond the microphone. He's also a whizz in website development, skills he's utilized to build successful websites for fellow voice actors. He delves deep into the magic of website creation, including the critical elements of a voiceover website and how you can create a one-page website in record time. Get ready to be inspired, entertained, and better yet, educated by Jim's wealth of knowledge and experience in the voice acting industry. Don't miss out! About Jim Jim has always been creative and secretively a tech geek. While working at radio stations, he gravitated towards graphic arts and webmaster duties. Through the years he created websites, not only for some of his ventures but for other radio friends and their DJ/entertainment side hustles. When Jim entered the VO world, he was amazed at how much it cost to have a basic cookie-cutter website built for a voice actor. So Jim created his 3-Hour Learn-By-Doing Website Creation Class. For a fraction of the cost, he teaches you how to create, update, and expand your own VO website as your business expands. Check out www.WebsitesForVO.com for more details. 00:01 - Intro (Other) It's time to take your business to the next level, the boss level. These are the premier business owner strategies and successes being utilized by the industry's top talent today. Rock your business like a boss, a V-O boss. Now let's welcome your host, Anne Ganguzza.  00:20 - Anne Ganguzza (Host) Hey everyone, welcome to the V-O Boss podcast. I'm your host, Anne Ganguzza, and today I am very excited to be here with a very special guest, our 20-plus year radio vet turned voice actor, Jim Fronk. Oh, thanks for having me. Oh, jim, jim, jim, let me just tell the listeners a little bit about you, oh by all means.  00:40 I'm glad that you were so excited. Thank you for being here, jim. Let me tell our listeners a little bit about you. You've been behind the microphone in your happy place since you were 10, the tender age of 10. And since then, jim has been acting and singing his way into our hearts, doing improv, stand-up comedy, live, announcing, djing on air, and now he's in his very own 5x8 padded closet capturing our hearts. So, jim, thank you, thank you, thank you for being here with us today.  01:10 - Jim Fronk (Guest) Well, thank you, I'm glad that I'm padded, because the funny thing is I got out of radio because it got so impersonal. I started voice tracking and I was on nine different stations, six different states, at the same time, and I was just in a 10x10 room recording and I'm sick of that, so I ended up in a 5x8 room.  01:28 - Anne Ganguzza (Host) Now a 5x8. Yeah, somehow that's smaller, so okay, but it's padded, so that's better.  01:33 - Jim Fronk (Guest) And this is my happy place. I love being here, I love playing behind the microphone. So I started at 10 years old singing. My dad always said that I would either be a politician or a radio disc jockey. Because of my gift of gab and the way that I like to spin the truth now and then, what would you sing?  01:50 - Anne Ganguzza (Host) That's my question. What genre would you sing? Jazz, you sing in classic rock.  01:54 - Jim Fronk (Guest) Classic rock for the most part.  01:56 - Anne Ganguzza (Host) Classic rock yeah.  01:58 - Jim Fronk (Guest) Actually back in 2000,. I was Ed McMahon's nextbigstarcom winner of the rock category. What did you sing? I sang Better Roses by Bon Jovi.  02:07 - Anne Ganguzza (Host) Oh, my God. Of course, at least she sang Bon Jovi. I was just going to say I'm thinking, bob Seeger, I don't know why. I've done some Bob. Yeah, I've done some Bob Seeger, I like the doors, yeah.  02:16 - Jim Fronk (Guest) I like the doors, my go-to when the bands are playing and they're like hey, come on up and sing. My go-to is Roadhouse Blues.  02:22 - Anne Ganguzza (Host) Oh God, if we are lucky bosses, we might get to hear, I don't know, a bar or two.  02:27 - Jim Fronk (Guest) Maybe if you go to Uncle Roy's this year or maybe actually if you went to Uncle. Roy's next year. I'll talk to them.  02:33 - Anne Ganguzza (Host) Next year. Oh yeah, hey, I personally have never heard you sing and I would absolutely love to hear you sing.  02:39 - Jim Fronk (Guest) You might be able to YouTube something Just saying there might be some poison out there.  02:44 - Anne Ganguzza (Host) Before we talk a little bit more about your journey into voiceover, because you've had such a long history behind the mic, I need to ask you about the 7.36 pounds of shelled blue peanut M&Ms that you requested from me in my little inquiry into hey, you want to be a podcast guest? What do you require? And so you asked me for shelled blue peanut M&Ms, and I could only find the brown ones.  03:08 - Jim Fronk (Guest) And yet they're still not here.  03:10 - Anne Ganguzza (Host) Somehow, oh, but they're virtually here.  03:11 - Jim Fronk (Guest) Oh, virtually Okay, great, I don't know. I was just trying to think of something weird to put on there that I need, because I really don't need anything.  03:20 - Anne Ganguzza (Host) I'm actually kind of hungry for some M&Ms. But, Jim, it's already been a wonderful five minutes chatting with you. I can't wait to dive deeper into your journey. So share with our listeners how your journey kind of got to be 20 plus years behind the mic doing radio. How did you get there? As a small child you were singing, right. Were you singing classic rock at the age of 10?  03:43 - Jim Fronk (Guest) Well, I was singing what was considered just normal pop music, I guess, yeah, and then classic rock was just music, but I did that. But when I got into school I really got into mixing things and I was making mixtapes before mixtapes were a thing.  03:59 - Anne Ganguzza (Host) I made mixtapes. I remember them.  04:01 - Jim Fronk (Guest) I was scratching records so things would skip at a certain point and you put a quarter on top, make a knot skip. No-transcript, Mr Jaws, Dr Demento.  04:11 - Anne Ganguzza (Host) Oh God, yes, I might be dating myself here, but I listen to Dr Demento every Sunday evening. Love Dr.  04:16 - Jim Fronk (Guest) Demento oh my God my favorite show. But they always had Mr Jaws. It was kind of like Mr Jaws, so why are you here? Right now, and then it'd be a song, so I used to try to do those myself.  04:27 - Anne Ganguzza (Host) And Delilah. I listened to Delilah too. Delilah yes, yeah, delilah's on the air forever. But then I got into radio.  04:33 - Jim Fronk (Guest) When I was in high school, I was at a party.  04:35 - Anne Ganguzza (Host) Okay.  04:36 - Jim Fronk (Guest) I was a senior, it was a junior's party. He was trying to be class president and I was just there being me. I mean, I am your extrovert, you know I talk to everybody, I say hi to everybody. It gets me in trouble sometimes, but whatever. But I was just being me and this guy walked up and said hey, listen, I'm the lawyer of this small little cable radio station downtown Woburn, which is my hometown. He goes do you want to try out? Okay, so I went home the next day. I got my Peter Brady tape recorder. We have to hold down the record and you know what I'm talking about.  05:04 - Anne Ganguzza (Host) I know exactly. I used one of those in college when I was recording textbooks on tape. Oh, there you go. I know the realistic. Or it was a Panasonic, I can't remember.  05:13 - Jim Fronk (Guest) I think it was realistic because I did have a radio shack within walking distance and my transistor was in there. Everybody did.  05:19 - Anne Ganguzza (Host) Wait, I'm sorry, but we're just going all over the place. So my brothers are very much into Heath Kits, heath Kits, heath Kits. Yeah, building electronics Like we did that from Radio Show. Oh my God, they would just build their own little like transistor radios and stuff.  05:29 - Jim Fronk (Guest) I never got into that but I mean, as I got into radio I did get my engineering junior engineering badge from the engineering people, but whatever. So I went home the next day I had my Peter Brady tape recorder and I had my Precorp eight track player, my stereo system at home, and yes, I'm name dropping here. With Precorp I put in Led Zeppelin and you know I talked out of a Led Zeppelin song and I had to wait because you couldn't rewind eight tracks so you only had one take. Well, you had to wait for the next song. It took me all afternoon to get like three intros and three outros and I ended up getting the gig, which was kind of cool. They made me change my name. They didn't want anybody to know that a high school kid was working at school, but yet they gave me like one of those shiny, flashy 80s type of radio jackets with my name on it and the call letters and I did J at all the high school functions and things. So everybody knew.  06:21 - Anne Ganguzza (Host) Can I ask what name they gave you? I was Jumping.  06:23 - Jim Fronk (Guest) Jim Jacobs.  06:25 - Anne Ganguzza (Host) All right, Jumping Jim. This just came to me. Jumping Jim.  06:27 - Jim Fronk (Guest) Jacobs, 935-3378, wlhg. Wow, larry Habar Enterprises. I love it. Larry lives two towns away from me right now. We had lunch about a month ago. The owner of the station.  06:39 - Anne Ganguzza (Host) Now explain to me. So you just were fascinated. Did you listen to the radio all the time? I loved radio. And then you were just mimicking all the DJs because the DJs got all the chicks. Apparently that's what it was back in the 80s anyways.  06:51 - Jim Fronk (Guest) Yeah, have you heard of Dale Dorman? He's a Boston guy from KISS, but Dale Dorman and one other guy I forget his name, but they invented top 40 radio. They were at a bar one night and they watched people put quarters in to hear the same 15, 20 songs all night long Sure.  07:05 - Anne Ganguzza (Host) That makes sense, so they made that format.  07:07 - Jim Fronk (Guest) And Dale Dorman was also on the local TV station as hey, kiddies, that after school type of thing, and I just loved the guy and I just wanted to be him, I wanted to do what he did and I just set focus on it and I ended up doing it. I met Dale Dorman. The program director of the small station I worked for was the assistant PD of KISS 108 Boston and that's where Dale Dorman was, and she brought us in for a program meeting and God, my mind was just blown at that point and I said this is what I need to do. Got out of high school, I went to college for it, went to school for it, interned, did many, many years, and it was like here.  07:43 I am learning from these people that I think are phenomenal but, they're teaching because they can't make ends meet. So I got out of radio for about 10 years 15 years, and I did stand up comedy and I always talked about getting on the air again, because if I'm doing morning radio, I can't hear them not laughing when. I tell jokes, I just play a soundtrack. So I turned 35 and I said, you know, what Everybody laughs then yeah, exactly.  08:08 I turned 35 and said I have to do this, so I just put everything else aside and I did it.  08:14 - Anne Ganguzza (Host) Now let me ask you, because you said most of the people couldn't afford working in radio, so they were teachers. Is that always been the case in radio? Is it always been? Maybe not the best paying gig, but the people in radio love radio. I mean, it's just.  08:27 - Jim Fronk (Guest) It's like being in an abusive relationship. It really is.  08:31 - Anne Ganguzza (Host) It slaps you around and I'll tell you. It's like podcasting I'm gonna say because for me, I'm gonna tell you that podcasting is my radio show. In a way it really is.  08:41 - Jim Fronk (Guest) The only difference is I was waking up at 2.30 quarter of 3 every morning to get my butt whipped every day.  08:46 - Intro (Other) But yeah, it's definitely a passion.  08:48 - Jim Fronk (Guest) You hear that word passion with VO. It's the same thing with radio. It was just something that I needed to do. I needed to have that live interaction and as far as the money goes, it's kind of like VO.  08:58 - Intro (Other) It depends what market that you're being planned in.  09:01 - Jim Fronk (Guest) I was doing mornings in Nashua, new Hampshire, which is about 30 miles away from Boston, as the crow flies, about a 40 minute trip. My salary compared to somebody doing the exact same thing on the exact same type of station, they probably were about five or six times more than I was making Just the average guy. Now if you became a star then you're up in the quarter of a million dollars in Boston market but not in Nashua. But I loved it and you got the perks I mean I'd go to concerts, I'd be backstage, at concerts.  09:30 My favorite thing was going on stage and throwing t-shirts out at people and saying, hey, I'm frog from Frank 106 or from 104.9 the Hawk, and people scream and they know me and I just love that. I really love that.  09:43 Just being a part of the community. I was very fortunate that the morning show I did for 106, 3 Frank FM I was part of the community. I would announce football games. My daughter did cheerleading but I would announce the popcorn of football games and I would go and people would know who I was. But I was very active in the community and I'd love that. I love being known.  10:01 - Anne Ganguzza (Host) You were like a local celebrity.  10:03 - Jim Fronk (Guest) Yeah, but I was able to take that celebrityism and put it to good work as opposed to evil Like I did back in the 90s. Oh sorry.  10:12 - Anne Ganguzza (Host) And that's another podcast.  10:14 - Jim Fronk (Guest) Yeah, I don't think the ever straining owners are up yet for that one, so we really can't talk about it.  10:18 - Anne Ganguzza (Host) Well, now 20 years in radio, 20 years 20 plus, yeah Now did you say you were doing synonyms, that you were doing radio, and then you went into comedy, or how did that work?  10:28 - Jim Fronk (Guest) I was doing comedy. First I was a wedding DJ, function DJ, when karaoke was all the buzz. I got my own karaoke company. I had like 35 shows.  10:38 - Anne Ganguzza (Host) Look at you being a boss entrepreneur at a young age. I mean bosses, and why you to listen to this? All of the people that come on the show, I mean they're entrepreneurs in so many ways, and that was so creative. I mean, jim, first of all, just being in high school right, and going after your dreams and having the bravery to go try out for the radio station and get the gig right At such a young age. And then you've got to be brave. Did you stand up comedy? That's for sure.  11:03 - Jim Fronk (Guest) You know stand up comedy. Five minutes can seem like 20 minutes. Yes, 20 minutes can seem like five minutes. It all depends on the energy of the crowd. But I tell you that first time I got up on stage, the very first time I was hosting a pretty big deal. It was at Berkeley, 5,000 seats. I was hosting it Not really hosting telling jokes, just kind of introducing people.  11:24 - Anne Ganguzza (Host) But I had a couple of jokes. I'm seeing kind of, yeah, I had a couple of jokes.  11:26 - Jim Fronk (Guest) That first joke I told, and when they laughed, that wave that hit me, that became my drug.  11:33 - Intro (Other) That became what I craved.  11:35 - Jim Fronk (Guest) That became what I had to accomplish on a Monday night up in Vermont for a slice of pizza, or a Tuesday doing an open mic night at the KFC in Volrica Mass. I mean, it's just, you did what you had to do, but it was again a passion for it.  11:49 - Anne Ganguzza (Host) Now okay. So, passion aside, I'm sure there were some jokes that probably didn't make it, and so did you experience like imposter syndrome. I mean I can only imagine Like I think stand up comedy's got to be one of the hardest skills. I mean it's like improv too. I feel like we all need it and it just really builds our character, because there's just so many things we have to be quick on our feet about. I'm sure that all of this is leading up to a really fabulous career in voiceover, because all of those skills have led up to who you are as an actor today.  12:21 - Jim Fronk (Guest) And as far as jokes bombing, I'm looking for a reaction. You can oh or boo or yeah. Hey, I got a reaction, and if something just didn't work, I really didn't care you laughed at it.  12:31 - Anne Ganguzza (Host) Oh well, that didn't work.  12:32 - Jim Fronk (Guest) Pretty much, yeah, I mean sometimes I'd make a joke about it and take a paper out of my pocket and say our fake paper and say okay, scratch that one off the list.  12:40 Yeah, that didn't work, whatever, yeah, okay, that doesn't work in Poughkeepsie, all right, fine. But yes, everything I've done coming up to this has helped me in VO. You know, the radio, yeah, has contributed the live stuff, the comedy, the improv and all that. I got out of radio back in 2018 because it was just impersonal to me. I wasn't doing mornings, I wasn't doing a talk show. I craved that interaction. I didn't like just talking up 15 seconds of a song coming out, absolutely. I mean, I'm great at trivia, music trivia. You know, you give me 10 seconds of any song from 1960 to 1992 and I can probably tell you what it is, but it just wasn't fulfilling. It wasn't satisfying. I did get into flying drones for a bit believe it or not, a friend of mine, that's random, it really is, but it was a passion, I flew a drone.  13:28 - Anne Ganguzza (Host) Radio VO drones.  13:29 - Jim Fronk (Guest) Yeah, well, I flew the drones and I loved it. I got a passion for it. I was making some great money doing cell tower inspections and infrared. At one point I had more money invested in drones than I did in Harley-Davidson's.  13:42 Or in your microphone maybe, or in my microphones. I'm even close. I'm completely. You know how many U87s Like. I sold one of my drones in two cameras and I bought my daughter a brand new Jeep. They were up there but it just wasn't what I wanted to do. I wanted to be behind the microphone. Okay, and a buddy of mine, AJ Duquette Actually I think you were on the show, a buddy of mine, aj Duquette, a radio guy. He's doing VO, and he told me about J Michael Collins and I was driving home year ago, april. I was driving home from New York City on Clubhouse and I think you were on it, j Michael, and I want to say Liz Atherton.  14:18 - Anne Ganguzza (Host) Oh, we've done yeah, we've done a bunch of yeah. And I asked the question.  14:21 - Jim Fronk (Guest) I just got my demos back and I was like, well, how do I know if I have a good demo? Yeah, and J Michael we talked afterwards and he went over it and gave me the good, the bad and the ugly and that just got me on the path of okay. So I'm going to talk to these people. I'm not going to be afraid to approach anybody. I'm very approachable and I'm going to approach as many people in this business that are where I want to be and it's been great. And that's my advice to everybody Don't be afraid to approach anybody, because if somebody's not approachable to you or if somebody doesn't want you to approach them, you don't want them in your circle. Why would you want them in your circle? You know, I like going to Dallas and seeing Ann Ganguza from down the hall and going Ann, and she's like jam. I mean, that's what it's all about Making connections, having some fun.  15:09 - Anne Ganguzza (Host) It's all about the relationships, really Absolutely about the relationships. So let's kind of continue on with the voice acting. So you got into voice acting around. You're saying around 2018?.  15:21 - Jim Fronk (Guest) Oh, no, no, no, I got into drones in 2018. Oh okay, excuse me, I actually celebrated two years in VO from when I started in September this past September. So it's been about two years, a month or two, but I got into it. I got some training. I did about five or six months with the training with a great coach, tim Powers, you've met.  15:38 - Anne Ganguzza (Host) Tim, actually I know Tim absolutely.  15:40 - Jim Fronk (Guest) Tim has become a great mentor and even a better friend. But from there I got my demos and, like I said, how do I know they're good? And I just started doing the marketing thing. I've since redone my demos. I'm a different animal now, different everything. I kind of went feet first and I thank my wife so much for that. We talk about not making money in radio.  16:01 - Anne Ganguzza (Host) We all know the struggles that actors have, and we are actors Not making money in voiceover.  16:06 - Jim Fronk (Guest) Yeah, I mean just acting alone.  16:08 God bless my wife. She's very successful in the pharmaceutical business. So when the time came, we sat down and talked and she said, when we first met, I was making $5,000 a year less than you and you were in radio. And I'm like I know, but we have flipped the switch. She's gone so far. So she said do what you want to do. Invest what you need to invest. Get the right equipment. You know what you need. You've been in the business. You can build radio stations. Get what you need. So I did. And here I am two years later and I'm getting clients, I'm booking gigs, I'm doing animation, video games, e-learning. It's been great.  16:42 - Anne Ganguzza (Host) What would you say your favorite genre to work in is Because I'm always a big proponent of people bring their experience to behind the mic and I feel like maybe your stand-up comedy, your DJing, your networking I feel like that all works for you in specific genres Well, animation, I love.  17:01 - Jim Fronk (Guest) I love playing in animation. Right now I've got the allergies going on so my voice is kind of right now, but I love being able to just pop into a character and be like my mind is now melted, I'm with 3.0 and I will reveal the world. I mean, just have some fun. Word, of course I will. I am the evil. I am Ludo the evil one. I just love having fun with that. Video games I love the acting.  17:23 - Anne Ganguzza (Host) I love the cinematography and the acting.  17:26 - Jim Fronk (Guest) I trained with Dave.  17:27 - Anne Ganguzza (Host) Fornoy yes he's amazing.  17:29 - Jim Fronk (Guest) Yes, and once again people say how'd you train with Dave Fornoy? Yeah, I asked, I asked, I went to his website and I booked some sessions. And there we are. Dave's a great friend now, I mean he's become such a great mentor.  17:43 So I love video games. You know what I really love doing and I hate to say it because I have spent, I'm gonna say, $10,000 in training, maybe over the past couple of years, maybe even more. I hate to look at the numbers, but to beat the DJ out of me Every time that I step back into that DJ voice, my coach would say and now up here's the dealbies, just to snap me back. But I love doing tier three automotive.  18:03 - Anne Ganguzza (Host) Well, yeah, tier three, automotive, yeah, and tier of DJ, it's radio DJ delivery.  18:07 - Jim Fronk (Guest) It's what I do in my sleep, so I'm really loving doing that. Absolutely. I've been training with Chris Zellman. He's been great.  18:15 - Anne Ganguzza (Host) Yeah, tier three, automotive. I do a little bit of that myself, and it's not as easy as we want it to be, because they're really trying to cram a lot of words.  18:22 - Jim Fronk (Guest) But I was also production director of a six station cluster for many years. I was given the commercials away, so you know, so I know, and most of those were that type of delivery, yeah absolutely that sales delivery that hype. You know, no money down and you can. You know it's. Which is so 80s DJ. It's just ingrained in me so I do love that.  18:43 - Anne Ganguzza (Host) And so now we all have to be authentic, and maybe not for tier three auto still. However, talk to me about authenticity and how. Maybe your background having a radio show I feel like having a radio show, you know, maybe not by just announcing commercials or announcing what the next song is, but I think if you're doing like talk radio and you're really getting down in personal with your listeners, I feel like that helps you to be authentic and you can kind of call upon that experience to really help you be authentic in your commercial delivery or even narration delivery or e-learning delivery.  19:16 - Jim Fronk (Guest) Before I was doing morning radio it was just that hype. Morning radio was kind of hype but it was a lot more comedy. We did bits. It was always like Frank's place with Jim and so-and-so or you know the Jim and so-and-so morning show. So it was always my animal to drive my vehicle and just to have that interaction was very conversational. And I did talk radio for the last three or four years of my career with radio and that became very conversational. That's just raw me. So when I was able to unlock that again, because we all know talking conversational and just talking like we're talking now is natural.  19:54 You should be able to do that. It's easy. Yeah, it's easy.  19:57 - Anne Ganguzza (Host) But it's not easy when there's a piece of paper.  19:59 - Jim Fronk (Guest) Yeah, when it's a piece of paper in front of you and it's somebody else's words. You have to learn how to do that Absolutely. One of the things that helped and hindered me was my ability for live read. I love being the first guy in workshops. I love reading stuff cold. I can't tell you how many times I'd be on the air and somebody would give me a piece of paper and say, read this.  20:18 And I have the ability to read about five or six seconds ahead of what I'm saying, which was good for that, but I was disconnected from my words. I was on autopilot.  20:28 - Anne Ganguzza (Host) Any cold read is you're executing from left to right and you don't know what the story is.  20:33 - Jim Fronk (Guest) But even after I read it once or twice, I would still be reading ahead which hindered me to get that connectivity with the listener, with the client, with the audience. So when I learned to put that behind me and I'm gonna say live in the moment but read in the moment, be in the moment, my conversational game went up considerably and I think that I have a very conversational read when it is asked for that.  20:59 - Anne Ganguzza (Host) No sales, no announcers. That's right, no announcers. And that's getting the DJ and getting the radio beaten out of you.  21:05 - Jim Fronk (Guest) Yeah, but then I get to go back to tier three and have some fun with it. Yeah, and have your fun. Then, exactly, come on down. The price is really.  21:12 - Anne Ganguzza (Host) And I have roles in telephony that I can be as. Thank you for calling your call's important to us. I can be that fun, smooth, promo-y sound.  21:22 - Jim Fronk (Guest) That's a lot of fun, sometimes absolutely.  21:24 - Anne Ganguzza (Host) Yeah, for the most part, we're all about the authenticity. Speaking of authenticity, from a few of the things that you've already talked about, you were so into drones, you were into, like, video games I get this feeling, and from talking to you previously, that you are kind of a geek. You are a tech geek, and so that kind of leads you into yet another talent of yours, which is websites, and I wanna make sure that we have time to get into websites for voice actors and talk to us a little bit about your expertise number one and what got you into web development first of all. Then let's talk about what's important in a voice actor website.  22:02 - Jim Fronk (Guest) Well, for the most part with the radio stations. You wear many hats and I was brand manager and web guru and graphic artist. I know enough about Photoshop to get you and I in a lot of trouble, but not enough to really make any money at it. As far as-.  22:16 - Anne Ganguzza (Host) Except nobody uses Photoshop anymore. It's all Canva, Both yes. But yeah, no, I get it Photoshop was definitely a skill, I mean for sure, and when I was deciding.  22:26 - Jim Fronk (Guest) When I was getting out of the drones, I was actually going back and forth between VO and maybe going to school for graphic arts.  22:33 I really enjoy that. But I was thinking to myself you know, it's a three-year program, $36,000. I'll be 58 when I graduate. Do I really want to enter that type of field where I'm so far behind technology wise than the kids are these days? I said, you know, my happy place is behind the microphone. So that's what I did. Gotcha, every business that I've had, I've designed my own websites. I've used Wix my whole life. So when I say I'm a website builder, I'm a Wix master, is what I go by. There's just so much that's come along with website development. It's actually very user-friendly, but people need to be taught how to use it.  23:10 - Intro (Other) So when you say I'm a website developer.  23:12 - Jim Fronk (Guest) I'm more of a website instructor.  23:15 - Anne Ganguzza (Host) What.  23:15 - Jim Fronk (Guest) I like to do is I have something. It's a three-hour website. Do it yourself, learn by doing creation class, where we'll sit down together, you'll watch me on the screen and you'll mimic what I'm doing. I'll show you where I'm getting things. I'll teach you how to do things. So by the end of the three hours you should have a one-page voiceover specific website ready to go, ready to be hosted, and I'll go in there afterwards, because I'm always like an admin and I'll go in and I'll tighten things up and I'll put a little couple extra spinny effects and different things to make them happy. But I found that so many people didn't have the crucial items for a website, for a VO website and other people are charging 15, 16, $1,700 to build a website.  24:01 We're in a business. We're not making any money, but you have to have your online you know.  24:05 - Anne Ganguzza (Host) so Sure, absolutely, that's who you're marketing to.  24:07 - Jim Fronk (Guest) Exactly so. I try to help people learn how to do that so that they don't come back to me and say, hey, can you upload my new demos? No, they're gonna know how to upload their own demos. If they have a problem, I'm always here. I will build a website for somebody. It's twice the money, and when I'm done, if you need help, there'll be an hourly stipend to be your web guy.  24:30 I'd rather give you something that's cheaper, that takes me more time, but to teach you something. So that's what I'm doing. You can find that at websitesforvocom. It's very easy. I've designed other sites and gotten really deep, like Dave Fanoy, for instance. Dave has become a great friend, but his website was terrible no downloadable demos granted, he's Dave Fanoy, but still links that went to things that were expired event page that the latest event was 2019, it just wasn't conducive for somebody that's in the business. So I kind of owed him a favor. Dave became a really good friend. He helped me out. We started off by coaching. He helped me out directing my demo. He's helped me out with a lot of coaching. That was unexpected. So instead of sending him a bottle, what's a friend of mine said? Just send him a bottle and say thank you. I decided to a deep dive into his website and I completely revamped it. On Wix all of his scheduling You're a Wix person, I am a Wix person.  25:26 - Intro (Other) I've seen your schedule.  25:28 - Jim Fronk (Guest) I see, don't you love how it's all in the back?  25:30 - Anne Ganguzza (Host) door there. I love my Wix website your scheduling your payments, your tickets your events everything.  25:35 - Jim Fronk (Guest) So, Dave being a techie guy, a web guy, when I went to book my first gig with Dave it took me about 20 minutes to figure out and it was like email me.  25:44 - Anne Ganguzza (Host) There are some coaches out there that like well, email me for pricing or email me to get set up, and that to me is like why would you do that?  25:51 - Jim Fronk (Guest) Go to Venmo and do this here, and then I'll send you my Calendly link.  25:54 - Anne Ganguzza (Host) Yeah, exactly.  25:56 - Jim Fronk (Guest) So I went in, I took care of Dave's and I taught him how to do it. He's now putting on his own events and he's doing all the ticketing and all the ticket sales and all the marketing, all the social marketing, all in the back door of Wix. So I taught him that. I try to teach everybody that, because there are things you need of your website.  26:12 - Anne Ganguzza (Host) Yes, what are those things? Let's talk about those critical things.  26:16 - Jim Fronk (Guest) Number one downloadable demos Above the fold. Everything I'm talking about right now is above the fold. I've talked to a lot of agents, casting directors. They don't want to click, they don't want to scroll.  26:29 They don't want to look so right there, front and center, downloadable demos, ready to go. Your name, obviously, something that shows your personality. It's a logo, a picture, something that shows who you are and if we have some fun with it, have some fun with it. Your contact info should always be in the header so when they scroll, if they scroll, your contact info is always there.  26:52 - Anne Ganguzza (Host) It stays there it stays there.  26:54 - Jim Fronk (Guest) One of the main things that a lot of people don't have is a call to action button. Okay, I'm on your website, I'm the customer. Look at your website as a customer. I'm a customer, I found your website. I like your demos. What do I do? Now? There's a button there that says request a free audition. What's that all about? I mean, you and I, we all know auditions are free, of course. Well, all audition. You know we're not paying to audition. We're not getting paid to audition, but they don't know that.  27:21 - Anne Ganguzza (Host) Well, sometimes we do, sometimes we do, but they don't know that.  27:23 - Jim Fronk (Guest) But they're getting a complimentary free audition. Send me a 30-second snippet of your script and I'll send you back an audio sample of what it will sound like, performed by me, and I can't tell you six. I've gotten six jobs off of that, so far.  27:39 Contact me is not a call to action. Maybe you offer some other service. I think it was Mark Scott said something about. These are six ways to book me. You know, give them something, something that has some information, whether it's directly related to booking you or VO related, but have that call to action button. Those are the basic things. Everything else after that is fluff. You go to my website. I probably have 15, 16 pages.  28:05 - Intro (Other) I have some people actually write the SEO for me.  28:07 - Anne Ganguzza (Host) It's all fluff. It really is. There's nothing there. Let's talk about SEO.  28:12 - Jim Fronk (Guest) It's for SEO. What about SEO lately?  28:14 - Anne Ganguzza (Host) Is SEO worth anything at this point? Still, because of, let's say, generative AI, which is generating content in seconds. Now, all of a sudden, it used to mean something with our websites. Right, that we had identifying words and words that could be found, but I feel like that whole SEO pony might be changing a little bit as things start to evolve.  28:35 - Jim Fronk (Guest) It is changing, it's getting simpler for people.  28:38 - Intro (Other) And with a program like Wix.  28:39 - Jim Fronk (Guest) They actually have an SEO and, by the way, I don't get paid by Wix. I'm not endorsed by Wix, it's just what I know. I've tried Squarespace play buttons, a play button, rewinds, rewind, pictures, picture, but I just didn't like how the whole system worked together. Wix was very user friendly. If you can do Canva, you can create a website.  29:00 - Anne Ganguzza (Host) Canva changed the game.  29:01 - Jim Fronk (Guest) They really did. They made it.  29:03 - Anne Ganguzza (Host) Wix is changing the game and some people might say well, what in VO is changing the game? I mean, we could talk about that if we wanted to.  29:11 - Jim Fronk (Guest) How about that? So much in VO has changed the game.  29:13 - Anne Ganguzza (Host) Tell me about a VO actor. How can they change the game to make it successfully in voiceover and what can they do to change their game to make it and not be so afraid of all this technology that people are just, oh my God, the robots are gonna take our jobs away. Let's talk about-.  29:30 - Jim Fronk (Guest) No, they're not. The robots can't act, the robots can't change. What can we do there?  29:34 - Anne Ganguzza (Host) you go. We need to act right. They can't improv, they can't crack a good joke. Well, sometimes they crack dad jokes.  29:40 - Jim Fronk (Guest) Yeah, well.  29:41 - Anne Ganguzza (Host) But yeah.  29:43 - Jim Fronk (Guest) All right, so I got a lot of my dad jokes from chat. No, I'm just kidding.  29:46 What you can do is be authentic. Be human, show your range, show your emotion when you show up for a gig. Be the person that they wanna work with. Don't be the person that they're waiting on. Be fun, be happy. Don't be a nuisance to anybody that is hiring you or that you're working with, because you never know who's going to say, hey, Jim was here two months ago, He'd be great for this spot. You know, it could be the engineer you never know.  30:11 You have to have your online inline, which I try to help people do, because your website may not generate any business for you right off the bat, but you have to have that presence.  30:20 - Anne Ganguzza (Host) Yes, you absolutely have. It has to be something that's not wixitecom.  30:24 - Jim Fronk (Guest) Backslash, jimfrong55, it has to be Jimfrongcom. Jimfrongvocom, your name vocom. Sure and keep it simple. Keep those domain names simple so you're easily found Exactly.  30:36 I was gonna be Frank the voice. I had all these domain names that I was going to do. Jimfrong was available for the first time in a long time, cause I looked for it back when I was doing standup comedy. Jimfrong was available and I said you know what that's it? That's it. So I'm Jim and Jimfrong, so it's so easy to remember. You're double branding your name Absolutely. And as far as changing the game, talk to people, make friends, go to conferences. A lot of people in this business are introverts, but a lot are extroverts. You know, you get your naked gents, your Anganguza's, you get your Jim Fronks. We're out there saying hi to people. You know, kissing babies, shaking hands, whatever the case is. Get out there and say hi to people and if you're not that type of person, find someone that is, find me, make friends with me. I'm very approachable. You hate me or love me, but hopefully you love me and I'll introduce you to people, I don't care.  31:27 - Anne Ganguzza (Host) There you go, it's absolutely fun. Words of wisdom. Jim, Thank you for that. And actually, Jim, you have offered the bosses a little deal for your website creation class that you have.  31:40 - Jim Fronk (Guest) Oh, I have.  31:40 - Anne Ganguzza (Host) Yes, you have. Remember you wrote it down.  31:43 - Jim Fronk (Guest) Well, I was kind of upset about the PNNM's not being made.  31:46 - Anne Ganguzza (Host) But you're going to give our bosses 10% off the website creation class.  31:50 - Jim Fronk (Guest) I am absolutely without a doubt. What kind of coupon do you want to get?  31:53 - Anne Ganguzza (Host) We've got that promo called, called VEOBOSS10 at Chicago VEOBOSS10,. Okay, and we'll be putting that on our show notes pages, guys, so when you look up this episode, we will have that code available. Jim, thank you so much. It's been so exciting talking to you. I mean, you have such an amazing history. Yeah, I mean we're actually kind of 10 minutes over. See how time flies when you just have so much fun.  32:15 - Intro (Other) We're going to have to have you come back.  32:17 - Anne Ganguzza (Host) We're going to have to have you come back, jim. It's really been amazing and thank you for sharing your wisdom, your wonderful personality, your fun, amazing, just the fun. Amazing who you are.  32:28 - Intro (Other) Jim Fong with us.  32:30 - Anne Ganguzza (Host) Yes bosses, I want you to take a moment and imagine a world full of passionate, empowered, diverse individuals that are giving collectively and intentionally to create the world that they want to see. You can make a difference. Visit 100voiceswhocareorg to learn more. And a big shout out to our sponsor, ipdtl. You too can network and connect like bosses like Jim and myself, just like Jim has been talking about all episode. Find out more at IPDTLcom. Jim, thanks again. You've been amazing Bosses, have an amazing week and we'll see you next week.  33:05 - Jim Fronk (Guest) Bye, guys, bye, thanks Ann.  33:07 - Intro (Other) Thank you so much Thank you Join us next week for another edition of VO Boss with your host, Ann Gangusa, and take your business to the next level. Sign up for our mailing list at vobosscom and receive exclusive content, industry revolutionizing tips and strategies and new ways to rock your business like a boss. Redistribution with permission. Coast to Coast connectivity via IPDTL.   
Nov 21, 2023
33 min
And the Winner Is
Get ready to unravel the intricate world of awards in business! We promise, you'll walk away with a fresh perspective on the role and impact of awards in business - the good, the bad, and the downright stressful. We kick off our lively discussion by peeling back the glitzy curtain to expose the challenges and rewards of organizing an awards ceremony. From the high stakes of selecting winners to the joyous recognition of one's hard work, it's a rollercoaster journey. We open up about our own awards experiences and how it can often feel like a numbers game. Plus, we'll delve into the emotional side too, sharing some insights on how to handle not winning or being nominated, and why it's important to savor any recognition you do receive. 0:00:01 - Announcer It's time to take your business to the next level, the boss level. These are the premier business owner strategies and successes being utilized by the industry's top talent today. Rock your business like a boss, a VEO boss. Now let's welcome your host, Ann Ganguzza.  0:00:20 - Anne Hey everyone, welcome to the VEO Boss Podcast and the Boss Superpower Series. I'm your host, Anne Ganguzza, and I am here with the lovely Lau Lapides. Hey everyone. Hey Lau.  0:00:31 - Lau Hey, beautiful, beautiful, right back at ya.  0:00:34 - Anne How are you today?  0:00:36 - Lau Oh, I'm fabulous. I feel like this is going to be a very rewarding show, or maybe a rewarding show oh oh hey. See what I did.  0:00:45 - Anne I see what you did there. It's funny Lau. We just attended an award ceremony and there's a lot of different opinions out there on do we like awards, do we not like awards? Maybe we should have a talk about that Lau. What do you think I?  0:00:58 - Lau love it. I haven't heard anyone really talk about discussing awards like the process, not just the winning of the award, but also like what goes into the entire process. It's really a huge thing. Sometimes takes six months or a year to prep that kind of thing. Yeah.  0:01:16 - Anne Well, I will tell you that. First of all, I guess bosses out there we want to hear how you feel about awards too. I mean, there's so much discussion happening out there, oh gosh, on the Facebook groups and in social media about awards, and are they worth it? Because some awards cost money to enter, some awards don't. In our industry right now, I know of two distinct award shows that go on. However, they are not the only awards that you can certainly enter if you feel the desire to do that.  Lau. I have been a supporter of award shows since the beginning. However, there are many pros and there are many cons to it. Pros is that if you win an award, it's validation. Sometimes it's so difficult to be validated while we sit here in our studios all by ourselves and we don't get a lot of feedback all the time. Gosh, I'm always telling my corporate students we just want to be loved. When you work for a company and you feel underappreciated, I mean, gosh, that's really all we long for is to be loved. I think awards can be a verification of that. But then again, sometimes they may not be, because maybe you didn't win, and then that enters in a whole new mental aspect of. Oh my gosh, I wasn't good enough to win this award. Why did I not win this award? Somebody else is better than me. What are your thoughts about that Lau?  0:02:42 - Lau I think that when you go into this kind of a process, if you're entering into it and really submitting yourself for it intentionally, you have to set your mindset and your psychology to the fact that it is competitive. It is a competition. You may or may not feel like it is, but it really is. It should be based on merit. It should be based on your progress, your process and your product. And sometimes we only have so much control over that right. We manage it. We only have so much control right, that's the big thing.  0:03:16 - Anne And I just said it should be based on merit, and, right there, we could probably spend an entire podcast talking about that. It should be based on merit. However, there is the other side of the coin where, yes, it should be based on merit, but then you have the people who judge the awards right, and we don't always know, first of all, who those people are. Sometimes we do. I'm not a big fan of knowing who judges are. I feel like maybe there's too much possibility for people to maybe try to talk to the judges and influence them, so I'd rather not have judges be known. And then you have to really think about what are the judges qualifications? Because within voice over, we have so many different categories right, and so many different categories of awards.  If you're going to, I would say, present these categories of awards, I think you want to have very vetted judges right Judging the entries. And I am not sure, since we don't know who the judges are all the time, or even if we do know who the judges are, what is the criteria for me, a demo award versus a performance award, and in all different genres, I think it's super important that the people judging those are very specialized in those genres or in that category. So if you're judging animation, I would hope that judges are all experienced either working in animation or doing animation day in, day out and they really know the industry, and so I really would hope that that's the case. I don't know Lau if that's the case with all the judges, because, again, we don't always know who the judges are and we don't know what their credentials are.  0:04:50 - Lau Right, and I can say just from my personal point of view that it's not always the case.  Because at times I've been asked to judge categories which I feel like I can judge them. I can judge them, but am I way off base? No, I don't think so. I think there's a general industry knowledge that you have for years in the industry, but is it my absolute forte? No, not always it's not my forte. We try to get that matching process, but sometimes it's a numbers game, just like the competitors. It's like do we have enough judges? Do we have enough judges in a particular category? Are we getting them in time? Can they get the work done?  0:05:24 - Anne That's right in time, and that's the other thing. I mean, my goodness, judging some of these awards, because I have been a judge myself. First of all, when there's a lot of categories and a lot of entries, who, it becomes like a casting process and right then, and there bosses. I want that to tell you one thing. That means that sometimes right and I'm not going to speak for myself, but sometimes if you've asked a busy person to be a judge and then they have to listen to a thousand entries, they're probably only going to get the first part of your entry listened to before they have to continue on.  So that is something to consider. I mean, if there's a nuance or an acting moment that is at the end of your performance, maybe you want to try to create that clip so that all that great stuff is right at the beginning, because it is a job. It can be a lengthy and timely job, and if judges are not given an appropriate amount of time to do that, or they don't have a lot of time to do that, and they think like, yeah, I can judge that, and then all of a sudden it becomes overwhelming, well, then you get, the judging process becomes a little skewed to be quite honest because either I don't have time or I've heard too many entries.  I'm now overwhelmed. But yeah, there's so many things that go into it, my goodness. And then are the entries anonymous. We hope they are right, because we don't want the judges to be influenced by names or celebrity or that type of thing. But our voice is our product, right? So sometimes I'll tell you what it's hard to hide, because I know a lot of voices out there and I can pick them out like this I would agree.  0:07:01 - Lau And you know this last time, one of the last ones, you and I judged we were under an NDA, which I actually really appreciated I did too Right. It took a lot of stress, because not that I would be necessarily blabbing about that, I wouldn't but it reminded my brain like, separate it, compartmentalize it, because you and I we were a lot of hats, you know casting an agent and coach, and this and that, and so there is sometimes that one or two talent that we know. We do know them, and then could we recuse ourselves?  Sometimes we can sometimes we can't, because they can't move us into another category. So it's great to have that compartmentalization and that relaxation to know, okay, if there is someone in front of me that I know that's a client or a client of a friend of mine, that I am separating that from this hat, that I'm wearing, and then I'm not going to talk about that. I'm not going to speak about that and I have.  I wonder what you think about this. And I had mixed feelings. I have mixed feelings about the awards being given and then the judge's names coming out. It sort of makes me feel like a jury that all of a sudden is being. You hear the names of the jury who's on a criminal case. It makes me feel uncomfortable. It's like why do I need to know that information? What do you think about that?  0:08:21 - Anne That's very interesting and I appreciate that you brought that up because, as I mentioned, I always have been a fan of keeping anonymous I mean for the longest time and this isn't anything that's being judged. For example, I have done the VO Peeps scholarships for gosh 12 years already and when we judge those entries I don't disclose the names of the judges and I don't even disclose the names of the judges after the fact. Because again, what if I want to use those judges, maybe again, and I don't want to have anybody influenced and I don't want the judges, I feel like I don't need credit If I'm a judge. I don't need credit in being a judge. I just want to be able to judge fairly. And I happen to agree with you.  I don't think that judges' names should ever be disclosed really, and I'm not quite sure why the reason is and it might just be that they want to be thanked properly, but it's like when I give a donation, I don't always have to put my name on that. You know it can be an anonymous donation because I did it out of the goodness of my heart. If I'm judging something, I want it to just be the most fair that it can possibly be.  0:09:24 - Lau I'm glad you brought that up, Because when I see that at a ceremony someone who's kind enough to give money towards a scholarship or towards an award. I kind of feel bad for them Because I'm like as much as you are. Oh aren't they wonderful. They don't always want that recognition. They don't always feel comfortable knowing that. It's well-known knowledge that anyone who wins a lottery like they have to be very careful about releasing their name, because then they become a target and people go after them.  So you have to wonder if you're in an award ceremony, could you then become some sort of target that people are either trying to embellish themselves?  0:10:01 - Anne to you or they're trying to knock you down, similar to being an agent Lau. I'm just saying I know nothing about that.  0:10:09 - Lau It's so true.  0:10:10 - Anne It's like they're prostrate themselves to you day and night right.  0:10:13 - Lau I'm not one to really appreciate that. Honestly, I'm very private in that way. Like, if I'm going to give a bunch of money, I'd rather it not have my name in there. But that's just me. Other people do want that recognition. That's fine. That's totally fine.  0:10:28 - Anne I'm going to say I'm not here to shame anybody saying if you put your name on a donation that it's shameful.  I just think there are times when I don't think it's necessary and sometimes, yeah, I mean I'll put my name on a donation if I can add a note to it, to the recipient in wishing them good will, that kind of a thing, and that will be a reason for that.  But I think La one thing I want to really make a point of about awards is when you enter awards. Having experienced both sides of it being a judge and then also entering into awards myself I think you just have to really be made of Teflon number one, because the process is very subjective, right, and we're starting to kind of address all the things that go into the awards submitting and then the judging process and if you know who the judges are, are they qualified and that process. But I think one thing I want to stress to the bosses out there is please do not ever belittle yourself If you do not win an award or if you don't get nominated for an award. I think that, especially in our business, because it's very much a personal part of us, it's our voice, right, it is so personal and if you ever don't feel as though we've succeeded, it can be really, really damaging to our psyche.  0:11:44 - Lau I would agree, I would agree. Do not give a ton of weight to that process. And it's very funny, it's almost like auditioning.  It's like don't give a ton of weight to anyone audition brush it off and leave and go on to the next thing. But yet, when you're actually auditioning, give it the 100% it deserves, completely, commit to it completely, invest in it, completely, appreciate it. So, if you're awarded something or nominated, completely be present, be appreciative, love the moments, enjoy your community, love the attention. But then when you walk away, I really do believe you have the award. You're not going to forget about the award, you're going to utilize it as well in your marketing.  0:12:23 - Anne Oh, absolutely, but don't hang your hat on it. That's another positive.  0:12:27 - Lau Absolutely, don't hang your hat on it Like I'm the best, I'm the expert, I'm finished. No, it's a recognition that your work is at an industry standard that people want to appreciate, but there's a lot more to go.  0:12:40 - Anne Absolutely, absolutely. And I think that it's wonderful to get an award and it's wonderful to get nominated. I mean, if I want to make a distinction between being nominated and winning an award, I feel that the nomination is an award in and of itself because, listen to this award nominated, award winning, I mean honestly, they still start with award and so if you're going to use that to market, I mean gosh, just to be like sometimes narrowed down and be put on the shortlist, you can be proud of that to be nominated, and I really, really do believe that that can be celebrated as a win. And again, even if you're not nominated, understand that your work has value, you have worth, you have value and just because you didn't get the nomination or get a win doesn't mean that you are any less of a professional or accomplished and successful individual. I agree totally agree.  0:13:30 - Lau I'd love to talk, too, about the length of awards ceremonies. I think that that is either thought about or it's not thought about, maybe it's thought about, maybe it's not thought about, but they could run three, four hours in length, sometimes Absolutely, and I wonder how the audience feels about going through that kind of process and sitting through that process. We did an awards not long ago, you and I, where we literally sat in a chair for three hours.  There was no break. There was no moment to take a breath, walk around, nothing, and I thought that that was a very strange choice on the part of the organizers to keep people in a seat for that length of time and expect that focus to really stay there and be there late at night. What do you think about that?  0:14:20 - Anne I'm just thinking about all the awards ceremonies that we've become accustomed to on television. If you watch the Emmys or the Golden Globes, and there's always either food or drink at the table. Number one that helps If you're going to have to be planted or seated in an audience. I think that that works. And what if you have to leave to use the restroom right?  And then they announce your award. Hopefully you want to have like a series of events and when are they going to announce this category? I happen to know a very good friend of mine who was caught in the bathroom when they won and, yeah, it was not able to come to the stage and give their acceptance speech. But I think that sometimes sitting through the awards ceremony can be laborious if there's not any kind of entertainment kind of interspersed in there and or some sort of a schedule of events. And I know that that's difficult and sometimes they want to keep it a surprise for the people, they want to keep people in their seats. But yeah, it can get tiring. I will say that my tushy got a little bit sore and I've been to longer ones Okay, I have been to longer ones than the one that you and I were at, which we're really excruciating just because of the length and not all categories were called up to the stage.  0:15:30 - Lau So no, no, they need to sell cushions like they do it at the stadiums.  0:15:34 - Lau Buy a cushion.  0:15:36 - Lau you have to sit on the cushion and that would make a lot of sense, though I did think of a shortcut because I'm an organizer myself events, and one of the shortcuts I don't think anyone would ever do, but I think makes total sense. There were a handful of people at a few of the ceremonies that you and I intended that one more than one award One in particular. I can remember he won three. Okay, lovely, good for him. Why did they spread that out and why did he need to come up three times, have three spills in which he ran out of things to say? He was telling jokes by the end of it. Why not house those categories One, two, three. They have a sense. Maybe he's gonna win, maybe.  0:16:16 - Lau I don't know I mean they're preparing?  0:16:18 - Anne No, I don't know who's preparing the envelopes, remember they?  0:16:20 - Lau well, yeah, they're preparing the envelopes.  0:16:22 - Anne It's under lock and key right. So nobody knows. So that's theoretically. Somebody knows.  0:16:27 - Lau That's theoretically. Somebody knows Theoretically?  0:16:28 - Anne somebody knows. But again, but then I don't think Lau you'd want the audience to expect right that the next category he would be the winner as well. So there'd be no right. No, but if you think about it that way, right, if they know he won in multiple categories and then they called the second category once they did a series of right, the audience would expect it so. I don't think you can do it that way, and I think he handled it well.  0:16:50 - Lau Personally, listen, I think theoretically, it's true, but you and I know most of the audience was dying to get out and get a hamburger. You know what I mean. Like if I could get some french fries and cut this a little bit shorter, I'm all over the nuggets. You know what I mean. Like I'm ready to go. I don't need it to be that extra hour.  0:17:07 - Anne Well, I think that it could be maybe addressed at the amount of categories, maybe. Maybe, but then they wanna make sure that they're covering everybody, so I can see where organizers have a big job here.  0:17:19 - Lau Yeah it's tough, you know, there's a lot.  0:17:20 - Anne You know everybody wants to be represented. As a matter of fact, I am like all for let's have the best medical narration demo. I want that because you know that's something that I do and that's something I would love to submit for, and there's no category anywhere for that, so I can see where they have to.  0:17:37 - Lau Of course it's entertainment as well, so they have to pad the whole evening with different kinds of entertainment and videos and jokes, and that pads it with another hour or another hour and a half. So I get that, but I totally get that.  0:17:52 - Anne I'm gonna say what do you say Lau about? Like cause, I'm okay with the words. I'm okay with the words because over the years I've learned a little bit more about how they work. And I've won, I've lost, I've not been nominated. I've been nominated. I've been through it all myself, the emotional swing that it can cause, right. And I'm still okay with the words because I can understand them for what they are.  And so, bosses, I hope that this helps you to just kind of get a better grip on what they are and not that it determine your value at all. If you choose not to enter or not support award service, that's entirely fine. You can still be a boss, absolutely. But I don't think that this kind of back and forth war that we have about awards, I think it gets a little bit divided and for not really a good reason. I don't think. If you want to enter, go ahead and enter and don't shame people who enter awards. I really am a big fan of that. I mean I don't love negative talk on social media for people who enter awards or get awards or that kind of a thing.  0:18:54 - Lau I am so with you on that. And that would extend too to people who do not come to the awards, who for many reasons, can't, won't or don't want to come to the awards. I think that's fine. I mean, if I'm being nominated, I'll go because I'm very honored and I'll buy the dress and I'll do the thing and I'll enjoy it. But there are others that say no, it's not my scene or I can't afford it.  0:19:18 - Anne Yeah, oh yeah, I don't want to because I'm in Florida. It can get expensive. I mean, you're talking about, typically, people like to dress for these things. So you're talking airfare, maybe, travel expenses, hotel expenses, dress expenses or suit? Yeah, absolutely, and for me, I had makeup and hair, but I always liked to have an excuse to have it make up and hair.  0:19:40 - Lau But You're so schmelzy that way. Well for me.  0:19:44 - Anne I'm telling you, for me it's a little spa day.  I mean, if somebody can just handle that for me I can think about like what I have to do I always talk about when I present. I like to have hair and makeup because then I don't have to worry about those things, that I can concentrate on my presentation. So while I'm somebody who's doing my hair, I am like doing notes for presentations. For me it's just an investment, but it can be very expensive. Awards can be very expensive and sometimes you have to buy the award after the fact and that is also expensive. So there's a lot of, I think, pros to it but yet a lot of cons, and I don't want you bosses out there to feel any less than worthy or valuable just because you do or don't enter an award show.  0:20:26 - Lau I'm with you on that Ann and. I would say no matter how you take part, I would urge people to take part in some way, whether you're a witness or you're submitting or you're just congratulating someone who won and just support the community in any way that's best and comfortable for you because it is ultimately, I would imagine, there for the people and for the community and for the recognition and we don't want to completely lose that. We want to preserve that, you know. However, you take part.  0:20:57 - Anne And also I wanna just say, unless you're organizing an award event, I think if you could maybe steer clear of criticism. I just I mean, I just I think that if people criticize people who hold events and they say, well, it's all about the money, or they try to figure out, oh, how many people times how much the cost of a ticket, wow, they're making a lot of money. And then they make assumptions on the fact that, oh, they're just doing that because they're greedy or whatever reason you have. I think, honestly, just having a husband who does events and myself I've done events live- YouTube events like.  I think, anybody that can sit back behind a keyboard and criticize about an event if they've not organized one themselves, especially one that's in a hotel, where you have to pay probably a big chunk of fees to a hotel for food, for the space. Just to do that is not a cheap thing at all. And so what event organizers charge for their event? I mean, I just steer clear of any kind of criticism because I know how expensive it can be very expensive, Very, especially in this day and age.  0:22:05 - Lau it's the most expensive it's ever been.  0:22:07 - Anne Oh yeah, absolutely so have a little mercy and understanding on event organizations.  0:22:11 - Lau And then the other thing too and I wanted to say not just about awards, but we're talking about awards right now is like don't look the gift horse in the mouth in regards to, like, the people who organize a range direct all of that deserve the profit they make oftentimes.  0:22:29 - Anne Oh, absolutely, because they are going through such stress.  0:22:33 - Lau It's beyond a full-time job. No one realizes that unless they're involved with that kind of work.  0:22:38 - Anne Well, my husband does it as a full-time job, I mean, and it's crazy because even people that he works with don't understand what it takes to prepare for an event.  0:22:46 - Lau It is crazy, but I love that you said please have compassion, I'm backing you up on that.  0:22:51 - Anne I'm backing you up on that, because it's not easy to do something like that.  But yet it seems so easy for us to sit behind our keyboards and just make assumptions. And I think yeah, and so don't make assumptions about, I think, awards, events, the event organizers or even the judges, or even if you agree or don't agree with awards. I really feel like just one of my favorite sayings is to mind your own business, and I don't mean that in a mom way, I mean that my VO business is my business. And if I feel that maybe entering an award competition will maybe help my marketing, I'm going to do it and I don't want to be criticized for that or looked upon badly for that. But again, and I will try not to cry if I don't win, because I think anybody that knows me knows how darn competitive I am- Ooh, I am competitive, you are, I've got a box of tissues for you.  Thank you, so you don't need to worry about that at all. See the Lau.  0:23:41 - Lau that's why I want you at my side at all at all times I'm ready with a tissue, a handkerchief whatever, a shoulder and a turkey sandwich and a turkey sandwich at all costs A turkey sandwich, and that's what support is like.  0:23:55 - Anne I love that, that kind of support. Right, we need to lift each other up, and so, if awards are your thing, support the people in the community, like Lau supports me with a turkey sandwich and a box of tissues. I love that right, it's so true, it's so true. And Lau. And if I can get you a turkey sandwich at any time, I will do so, and that's why I love you back because we're all about getting of the turkey sandwich.  0:24:23 - Lau It's not even Thanksgiving, that's the best part.  0:24:25 - Anne Bosses, you might be wondering what are they talking about? Well, at one of the last conferences, it happened to be late at night and I had been presenting and had gotten out of like multiple panels and X sessions or whatever it was, and by the time I got to the restaurant to eat they had closed. It was like after 10 o'clock and everything had shut down and I was starving. I literally was like I need something and there was no door dash that could be quick, and so Lau to the rescue. Who actually went and secured me a turkey sandwich that magically appeared from behind the desk Late at night.  0:25:05 - Lau Behind the front desk. Yes, I was like the Ooma Thurman in the Kill Bill series. I just jumped over the desk, I tackled the woman behind there and I said how could you not be?  0:25:17 - Anne open and it was fresh and I ravaged that turkey sandwich. I did, I literally did, and it was, the bread was flying, the turkey was in my mouth and I ate it like a caveman. I mean literally, it was beyond Quentin Tarantino stuff. I didn't even have utilities to eat it with. I ate it with my hands, I know I didn't even have a sword.  0:25:35 - Lau I just used the verbal sword play of my mouth and my words.  0:25:39 - Anne But that's the story of the turkey sandwich and Lau how she came to save me. Okay, so everybody needs a Lau, right, Everybody needs a Lau on their side.  0:25:47 - Lau So, Lau.  0:25:48 - Anne I mean, what a great conversation. I mean, I hope bosses, you guys always know your value, whether you are winning awards or not. Winning awards, you guys, you are gifts and awards in our hearts, and so make sure that you feel that way about yourself and, of course, others in the industry, and let's lift each other up. So I love it.  0:26:08 - Lau We love you if you win, and we love you even more if you don't win, because it's all about your process. There you go.  0:26:15 - Anne There you go, and, speaking of awards and making a difference, you guys can use your voice to make an immediate difference in our world and give back to the communities that give to you. Just like Lau gives me turkey sandwiches, so you guys visit 100voiceswhocareorg to commit and big shout out to IPDTL, our favorite way to connect Bosses. You, too, can find out more at IPDTLcom. Have an amazing week, guys, and we'll see you next week. Bye.  0:26:47 - Lau Join us next week for another edition of VO Boss with your host and Ganguza, and take your business to the next level. Sign up for our mailing list at vobosscom and receive exclusive content, industry revolutionizing tips and strategies and new ways to rock your business like a boss. Redistribution with permission. Coast to coast connectivity via IPDTL.  0:27:17 - Anne This time a little more conversational. I'll give something I actually give something really, really conversational once and they're like oh yeah, give me a little more conversation and I'll give it completely conversational. They'll be like oh Hmm, how about a little more energy? And you know, when they ask for more energy, that usually means they're looking for a little more cell, yeah, if you're not anywhere near it, oh yeah maybe a little more smile, a little more smile, a little more smile, a little more energy that gives you the cell back.  Transcribed by https://podium.page
Nov 14, 2023
27 min
Casting Trends
Gain a fresh perspective on the evolving casting landscape. Whether you're a newbie or an industry veteran, this episode will equip you with knowledge on how to market yourself to a specific niche. The Bosses cover the importance of understanding the language and mindset of your clients. Don't miss this enlightening chat where Anne and Lau share the emerging trends in casting, especially the push for diversity and authenticity. They emphasize the importance of staying true to your individuality, advising actors to embrace their unique accents and regional characteristics, as more companies are seeking authentic representations. Transcript: Anne Ganguzza: Hey everyone, welcome to the VioBoss Podcast. I'm your host, Anne Ganguzza, and I'm here with the lovely and most wonderful Lau Lapides. Hello, welcome to our Business Superpowers series. Lau Lapides: Mmm, so excited Anne Ganguzza: Woohoo. Lau Lapides: to be here as always. Anne Ganguzza: And you know, we always need to really up our business superpowers, don't we, Law? Lau Lapides: We do, Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm. Lau Lapides: always, every day. Anne Ganguzza: And I think probably one of the most common things, questions that I get asked as a coach, and also you must as well as an agent and casting directors, what are the current trends in casting? And so how can I better prepare myself to evolve my business to keep up with the trends in casting? So I thought it would be a great opportunity to talk, especially with you, who casts on a day-to-day basis. What are you seeing in terms of casting trends these days, Law? Lau Lapides: Mm, trendy trendy, yes. Well, what's been going on for quite a while is diversity casting. Like Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm, Lau Lapides: we're Anne Ganguzza: mm-hmm. Lau Lapides: always in need of more diversity, more representatives, both accent-wise, language-wise, Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm. Lau Lapides: delivery-wise, culturally. ethnically, I mean, this is all in the mix right now and kind of at the front of the line, Anne Ganguzza: Yeah, Lau Lapides: which is exciting Anne Ganguzza: yeah. Lau Lapides: to see such an international mix of Indigenous peoples that are really representing their country, their region, their, you know, their profile, so to speak. So we're always looking to certainly up our roster, up our game in our roster, finding authentic talent from all over the world, even just Spanish talent. Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm. Lau Lapides: I'm totally in need of authentic Spanish talent of many dialects. Accent-free is fantastic, but then if you're not accent-free, dialects are wonderful if we know specifically where you're placed, because we really have to go with the real deal. Anne Ganguzza: Sure. Lau Lapides: It can't be an actor who's just really great at sound or accents. It really has to be the real person representing. Anne Ganguzza: Well, I'll tell you what I love about it is... not just diversity, but authenticity. I think authenticity all the way around, which has been a trend just coming through the years, and especially now, people are just looking for other people to be authentic. And Lau Lapides: Yeah. Anne Ganguzza: so when it comes to my students who originally used to be there, they're like, can you please take away my accent? Or I wanna be good at narration, so should I have this neutral accent? And I'm like, look, as long as I can understand you, number one, important. I mean you don't want to have necessarily you know maybe a speech impediment that would inhibit me from understanding what you're saying. However when it comes to accents I don't think it's as critical as it used to be. It used to be that thing that you had to have absolutely neutral accent whatever that might be these days. But I'm having people in you know embrace their authenticity and if their authenticity is regional right and they have an that would really, you know, work with that. And, you know, I think we've always tried to do that, but even more so now, I feel encouraged to tell my students, don't worry about that. We really just want you to be, I want you to bring you to the party first. That is the most important objective that I have as an educator and as a coach to get you to be authentic. And that really is what I think casting trends today are all about. Lau Lapides: Mm-hmm. If you can be the best version of you and really Anne Ganguzza: Yeah. Lau Lapides: bring that to the table authentically, that's what we're looking for. Anne Ganguzza: Yeah. Lau Lapides: If you can also neutralize it a bit, you know, round it out a bit, Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm, Lau Lapides: that's great too. It just gives Anne Ganguzza: mm-hmm. Lau Lapides: you more options. But Anne Ganguzza: Yeah. Lau Lapides: I fear for clients that come in, or I should say talent that comes in, especially at a certain stage, you know, once you hit Like even 30 or 35 or 40, it's very, very difficult to authentically change your Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm. Lau Lapides: dialect or shift your accent. It just is. It's not impossible, but it would take a lot of work with a dialectician to do something Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm. Lau Lapides: like that. And I don't think it's necessary. I don't Anne Ganguzza: Yeah, Lau Lapides: think it should Anne Ganguzza: yeah. Lau Lapides: be an objective for you. It really Anne Ganguzza: Oh, Lau Lapides: should Anne Ganguzza: gosh, Lau Lapides: be Anne Ganguzza: it, Lau Lapides: like your vocabulary. Anne Ganguzza: yeah. Lau Lapides: What is it, Anne Ganguzza: I mean, Lau Lapides: right? Anne Ganguzza: work with a dialect coach if you want to Lau Lapides: Yeah. Anne Ganguzza: maybe consider other dialects for characters, maybe. Lau Lapides: Yes. Anne Ganguzza: But I don't think it's to remove your dialect these days unless, of course, you have a very heavy regional accent, in which case, if you would like to maybe try to lessen that a little bit, I don't think it's necessary to remove it at all, actually. So many companies embracing that authenticity. And now, of course, in the casting specs, they're looking for talent who are authentically from particular areas and regions. And now, if you kind of had that fake accent or that generic accent, that I don't think is needed as much anymore. Is there such a thing? What was it the other day I was on a panel? What is it with the authentic, Midlantic accent, I think. Lau Lapides: Oh, right, Anne Ganguzza: Is that even Lau Lapides: right. Anne Ganguzza: a thing anymore? Lau Lapides: I don't know, Anne Ganguzza: I think Lau Lapides: I Anne Ganguzza: really Lau Lapides: mean. Anne Ganguzza: it's just, they want to have some sort of a, maybe of a dialect where you can't really tell where you're from. I'm not sure. So Lau Lapides: Mm-hmm. Anne Ganguzza: guys, embrace your authenticity. I think that's so important. And first of all, that's a tall order law Lau Lapides: Mm-hmm. Anne Ganguzza: to embrace your authenticity. Lau Lapides: Yes. Anne Ganguzza: That I think as actors is really one of the hardest things that we have to do many times I encounter talent who want to sound a particular way or they Lau Lapides: Mm-hmm. Anne Ganguzza: feel it should sound a particular way and again bringing their authentic selves to the copy is so very difficult. They're either able to you know do that if the copy is written maybe in a dialogue format but when it's not it's very difficult to do that and also I find that a lot of character actors law like Lau Lapides: Mmm. Anne Ganguzza: their characters seem authentic, but yet when you ask them to bring themselves to the table, that becomes an immense challenge. Lau Lapides: Huge, huge challenge. Anne Ganguzza: Yeah. Lau Lapides: I would say too, in regards to the Superpower show that we're Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm. Lau Lapides: working on right now, like one of your superpowers is being a really great business person. Anne Ganguzza: Yeah. Lau Lapides: So a trend I've seen over the last few years is, how qualified are you as a business partner? in terms of your correspondence, in terms of your timing? Are you timely about your responses? We're casting something really big right now with a client and one of our talent, not her fault at all. But our records were just, they either weren't updated or whatever Anne Ganguzza: Mm. Lau Lapides: the case may be. The email never reached her in regards to availability. And so I called her on the phone, I reached her. She said, that's actually not even my email. That's person lets me know when they get my emails. There's something in the system Anne Ganguzza: Mmm. Lau Lapides: that defaults. So my point is, like, are you on top of your records, your Anne Ganguzza: Yeah. Lau Lapides: emails, Anne Ganguzza: Oh. Lau Lapides: your back? Are you flagging your people Anne Ganguzza: I would be Lau Lapides: that you're reaching out Anne Ganguzza: kicking Lau Lapides: to? Anne Ganguzza: myself if that were the case. You know what I mean? If there's one thing that you can prevent, right? In terms of what can you do to help get yourself cast more. Lau Lapides: Right. Anne Ganguzza: It would be making sure your agents and all your, you know, rosters have the most current relevant information and demos as well. Lau Lapides: Mm-hmm. Anne Ganguzza: Yeah, and demos as well. Lau Lapides: And making sure it's easily accessible. You expedite really well and really quickly. And, like, being on top of those trends. Like, when we went to a recent conference, you and I, I found that less and less people were giving out actual physical business cards, even though I still Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm. Lau Lapides: love them. I'm old school that way. I like to hold something in my hand. They were doing QR codes. They were Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm. Lau Lapides: on their phone going, you know, take it right off my phone onto your phone, boom, it was fun, it was done, it was quick, I got it. My point is, do the physical business cards if that's what you love and do, but know what the trend is for the online business card Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm. Lau Lapides: because that shows you've got your finger on the pulse of technology Anne Ganguzza: Yeah. Lau Lapides: and what's going on in our industry. Anne Ganguzza: Yeah, and I think casting trends in terms of, yeah, making yourself available, understanding what your agent expects from you communication wise, I think, is very, very important. And also, I'm going to go back to the sound slash demographic. One thing that I want to make people aware of is a lot of times demographics and casting is based on, and trends in companies selling products to a specific demographic. So there are a lot of companies that may have an older audience, or there might be companies that cater to moms, or products that are catering towards young people. I think there's a lot, a lot of times we see the trend going back towards millennial young, because there's so many companies that are just trying to expand their market. So understand guys, I think sometimes we don't think about it. think about casting in terms of, oh, did I, was I making it sound correct, right? Was I the right sound for them? But sometimes you're not the right demographic, right, for the product. And so just remember that if, you know, the next time you get really disappointed that you didn't land that big gig and think that you didn't perform to your ability, a lot of times it's because it's a demographic, a sales demographic, right? It Lau Lapides: Mm-hmm. Anne Ganguzza: wants to cater to a particular age group. And Lau Lapides: Mm-hmm. Anne Ganguzza: that would be another thing, La I wanna talk to you about. In terms of casting age groups, I see a lot younger, but also middle-aged. What about older? What about the older demographic? Lau Lapides: We're Anne Ganguzza: That's Lau Lapides: getting Anne Ganguzza: always, Lau Lapides: more. We're Anne Ganguzza: okay, Lau Lapides: getting more Anne Ganguzza: okay. Lau Lapides: and more of that. I mean, probably, Annie, now more than ever, we've had the more Anne Ganguzza: Mmm. Lau Lapides: mature demographics. So the senior in the industry is known as like 50 to like 65. Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm. Lau Lapides: 50 to 64 would be a young senior, and then a more mature senior would be the 65 and up. Anne Ganguzza: Okay. Lau Lapides: So we're seeing more of 50 and up for sure, whether Anne Ganguzza: That's Lau Lapides: it's Anne Ganguzza: good. Do you Lau Lapides: health Anne Ganguzza: know what Lau Lapides: or travel. Anne Ganguzza: type, yeah, I was gonna say health, Lau Lapides: Yeah, health, Anne Ganguzza: travel. Lau Lapides: travel, Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm. Lau Lapides: finance, you know, even software is seeing more and more of that coming through. Anne Ganguzza: Okay. Lau Lapides: So Anne Ganguzza: That's actually Lau Lapides: I think there's Anne Ganguzza: really Lau Lapides: a Anne Ganguzza: good. Lau Lapides: lot to look forward to. Anne Ganguzza: Yeah, that's really good because I know for a while there, it's tough sometimes, you know, because what products do we have that cater towards, you know, that 55 and up age group? You really have to start thinking about it. And I would always encourage bosses, you know, I do a lot of work in corporate, I do a lot of coaching in corporate and just researching companies in general, researching what products are out there. for what Lau Lapides: Yeah. Anne Ganguzza: age groups and as a matter of fact, I'll always have my students, they fill out one of their very first forms and in the vocal branding form is, let's talk about brands you're familiar with for babies. What are brands you're familiar with for teenagers? What brands are you familiar with for middle aged, for seniors? And really try to come up with the brands that you hear being talked about today for these different groups. And understand, just understand that there is a sound in a demographic for each group, and it's all based on sales. So the next time you don't get that big gig, it could just be for the, and we discussed this during our audition demolition, multiple times, Law, that the person might've nailed the performance, but they just didn't have the right demographic. Lau Lapides: Yes, yes, Anne Ganguzza: Mm. Lau Lapides: actually, that is so much of casting, whether Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm. Lau Lapides: you're just, you know, you're a voiceover on camera or both. So much of it is based off of things that, you know, you just is out of your hands. It's out of Anne Ganguzza: Mm hmm. Lau Lapides: your hands. So Anne Ganguzza: Yeah, Lau Lapides: you Anne Ganguzza: yeah. Lau Lapides: have to understand that the profile of who you are, your bio, your background, your is sometimes we can't do much about that. We are Anne Ganguzza: Yeah. Lau Lapides: who we are. And that's why accepting who you are. being the best version of that is Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm. Lau Lapides: really, really important. Anne Ganguzza: Oh, yes. Lau Lapides: You Anne Ganguzza: Yeah Lau Lapides: know, and finding Anne Ganguzza: Amen. Lau Lapides: what is your strongest Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm. Lau Lapides: suit? Like, what Anne Ganguzza: Yeah Lau Lapides: is your strongest, most competitive value proposition? And really putting that at the forefront Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm, Lau Lapides: so that Anne Ganguzza: agreed. Lau Lapides: you're spending a lot more of your energy in that direction than Anne Ganguzza: Yeah. Lau Lapides: in 10 different directions, Anne Ganguzza: Yeah, Lau Lapides: right? Niche it. Niche it down. Anne Ganguzza: it's wonderful to have versatility. I'm all for versatility. However, you need to be able to market yourself, right? Lau Lapides: Yeah. Anne Ganguzza: Niche it down, right? To specific niches. Lau Lapides: Mm-hmm. Anne Ganguzza: And I found that myself as well, right, in terms of voiceover-wise, right? Where would my voice fit in? Where was I getting hired the most? And Lau Lapides: Mm-hmm. Anne Ganguzza: I think that bosses out there, depending on how you're being cast, you're gonna be able to find that and also do work to develop that more and to really push that, go for auditions that speak to that strength. Lau Lapides: Mm-hmm. Anne Ganguzza: Now, I'm not saying that you should not audition for anything else. I truly believe that every once in a while you surprise yourself and you audition for something that maybe you don't feel is in your wheelhouse and all of a sudden you'll get cast because you never quite know where that company is headed, right? Maybe they want to switch directions and maybe their demographic is... maybe an older sound, and then maybe they've decided they wanna go more middle-aged, or maybe they wanna, I don't know, speak from a millennial point of view. And so you're never really gonna know. I mean, just like we try to cater to the people who will hire us the most, we can also, every once in a while, give ourselves that surprise. Audition for things that you feel maybe you're not. well suited for, but maybe the company will have a change of heart. Lau Lapides: And also, too, Annie, to piggyback onto that point, is you can, when you're going after your own client base, your own prospects, right, outside of casting director, outside of an agency, outside of all of that, you can mold a little bit of what you do Anne Ganguzza: Mmm. Lau Lapides: and who you are in a couple different directions, Anne Ganguzza: Sure. Lau Lapides: but it has to be based on the target demographic. So for instance, if you're going after... as a talent, I'm going after the medical field, I want to do some medical reads, I'm excellent at that, I'm wonderful at technical language. I want to put that out there in my cover letter or at or in my website so that they can point right to that and Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm. Lau Lapides: see, oh, there's my there's my technical reads, I can do medical Anne Ganguzza: Sure, Lau Lapides: reads, Anne Ganguzza: sure. Lau Lapides: I'm understanding healthcare, I get that. Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm. Lau Lapides: So speaking the language and understanding the lingo of a prospect client is going to go a long way. versus them sitting and listening to four Anne Ganguzza: Yeah, Lau Lapides: demos. Anne Ganguzza: absolutely, Lau Lapides: Oftentimes Anne Ganguzza: absolutely. Lau Lapides: they won't do it. They wanna Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm, Lau Lapides: see where are you coming from? Where's your mindset Anne Ganguzza: mm-hmm. Lau Lapides: and where's your language actually coming from? Does it match Anne Ganguzza: Sure, Lau Lapides: the Anne Ganguzza: absolutely. Lau Lapides: type of work that we do? So I would say go on the website, go on the YouTube channel, look at who they are and what they do before you approach them. Anne Ganguzza: Yeah, absolutely. And then have a portion of your demo or have your demo catered to that. You know, I'm a big believer in, let's say, in a lot of corporate demos that I do or long format narration demos. I'm always looking at the different industries that hire voiceover and making a spot for each one of them. So therefore, if you want to cater to an automotive company and you're going to be maybe a narrator on a walkabout or a new sales video, can cater a spot on that demo that speaks the language of the people that you are going, you know, you are selling to. Lau Lapides: That's Anne Ganguzza: And just Lau Lapides: right. Anne Ganguzza: like they want to, you know, a company wants to sell to their demographic, you want to sell your voice that is specifically suited to a particular genre or a particular industry. Make sure that you have samples and you have demo. material that can be sent to these people so that they can hear it right away. And it doesn't, they don't have to listen to like, oh, I listened to your entire commercial demo or your entire corporate narration demo and it was the sixth spot. And I didn't know, you know, from the get go, if it was even in your demo. So Lau Lapides: Mm-hmm. Anne Ganguzza: you have to really start catering. And I talk about target marketing a lot in my business. And I like to create target marketed demos because I think that helps you to get cash. easier. And now, Law, I'm going to talk to you specifically on the commercial aspect of things because you cast a lot of commercial work. How important is the demo in the commercial work or is it the audition that's most important? Lau Lapides: It's Anne Ganguzza: What Lau Lapides: both. Anne Ganguzza: do you think? Okay. Lau Lapides: It's both. Of course, first it's going to be the demo because I may not have met you or Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm. Lau Lapides: may not have heard you yet. Until you're in our roster, you Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm. Lau Lapides: know, we don't know what you do. We don't know what you're capable Anne Ganguzza: Right. Lau Lapides: of doing. So the first thing that we're going to look at is the demo because chances are great we're not going to do a live audition. Like we never Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm. Lau Lapides: do a live audition when we're listening to people to bring them in as talent to the Anne Ganguzza: Right. Lau Lapides: roster. It's always from a demo. It just Anne Ganguzza: But your Lau Lapides: is. Anne Ganguzza: clients, however, are they going to want to hear a demo or an audition? Lau Lapides: You know, it's a good question and there's some guesswork in that. It's Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm. Lau Lapides: shifting. The trends are really shifting. I think less and less clients are listening to demos and Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm. Lau Lapides: more and more just for time's sake. They want an audition Anne Ganguzza: the audition. Lau Lapides: with a copy from their specific job. Now, that's not to say that if they're considering five people, that they're Anne Ganguzza: Yeah. Lau Lapides: not going to quickly go and listen to the demos. And here, have you done that kind of work before? I'm sure that they Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm. Lau Lapides: do. But I think upfront, time seems to be always of the issue and they just want to get people in. They want to get them reading and they want to get, so they're relying on us to Anne Ganguzza: Sure. Lau Lapides: have listened to the demo. We have the demo. We've vetted the demo. They're relying Anne Ganguzza: Mm. Lau Lapides: on us that we don't need they, that we don't need to listen to the demo. Anne Ganguzza: because Lau Lapides: The Anne Ganguzza: you've Lau Lapides: agency Anne Ganguzza: already Lau Lapides: already Anne Ganguzza: done it. Lau Lapides: listened Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm, Lau Lapides: to it. Yes, Anne Ganguzza: right. Lau Lapides: yes. Anne Ganguzza: Now, I asked you that question specifically because we were talking about commercial or things that typically Lau Lapides: Yeah. Anne Ganguzza: are broadcast, right? Now, let's talk about non-broadcast, which I like to think is one of my specialties, right? Lau Lapides: Yeah. Anne Ganguzza: Non-broadcast, yeah, your demo's gonna be an important part of it, as well as your audition, okay? So you may get those auditions from an agent, right? I get a certain percentage of corporate work from my agent, and I know that you cast as well. But probably the majority of what you do is commercial work. But for me, corporate work, I get cast either on my audition, but I also get cast quite a bit from my demo. And so it is very important that demo is strategically target marketed towards the market you want to sell to. And so it's good Lau Lapides: always. Anne Ganguzza: to have that demo, because I've been hired off my demo multiple times Lau Lapides: Mm-hmm. Anne Ganguzza: in a non-broadcast. Lau Lapides: Yes. Anne Ganguzza: market multiple times and my spots on my demo have been able to be split up if I needed to send an independent spot to You know to a particular client to showcase a particular talent They're also on my website kind of they are they are always split apart so that people can see the industry and they can also Listen to the spot and they can say oh, that's automotive and it is You know informational and Inspiring believe it or not. It could be inspiring to be automotive. Lau Lapides: Absolutely, absolutely. Anne Ganguzza: And so both are very, very important. So for me, I'm always a big proponent and a big fan. And I know I, yes, I'm a coach and I do produce demos, but I really believe because I have had personal experience and I know a lot of people in non-broadcast get hired off their demos quite a bit. Lau Lapides: Mm hmm. Anne Ganguzza: So Lau Lapides: Yes. And Anne Ganguzza: it's important. Lau Lapides: I just want to impress upon your bosses, your listeners, that you could get hired in all different realms and for all different reasons. Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm. Lau Lapides: I've gotten hired so many times just during lunch, like Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm. Lau Lapides: just having a lunch meeting with someone just talking to them as I talk to them. And and just recently, I don't know if you even know this, but we're where producers in an audio drama that we're recording in the fall with some big partners out Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm. Lau Lapides: in New York and some amazing names coming into that. And I was producing a preliminary rehearsal table read before it was even cast. Anne Ganguzza: Yeah. Lau Lapides: And I was reading one of the roles because we needed another voice for one of the roles. And the producers came to me and they said, Yala, we kind of want you to play the role. And I said, oh Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm. Lau Lapides: wow, really? Anne Ganguzza: Well, that's Lau Lapides: And Anne Ganguzza: that Lau Lapides: they said, Anne Ganguzza: personal. Lau Lapides: yeah, we do. And that's Anne Ganguzza: That's Lau Lapides: the Anne Ganguzza: that Lau Lapides: personal Anne Ganguzza: personal, Lau Lapides: relationship. Anne Ganguzza: the personal relationship, personal network, which Lau Lapides: Yeah. Anne Ganguzza: is really important, guys. Lau Lapides: Really. Anne Ganguzza: And casting trends, I think this has always been a trend in casting, is that relationship. Lau Lapides: Mm-hmm. Anne Ganguzza: And gosh, when I went to Amsterdam, you know, to teach at one of the retreats there for J. Michael, I met up with a studio in Amsterdam, who just because they saw me on my website, listened to my demos, and then I met them in person, a working relationship with them. And is it because, am I the absolute best female voice they've ever heard in their life? Of course so, but no. But really, do you know what I mean? Like, Lau Lapides: It's... it's... Anne Ganguzza: it's all about that relationship, right? That relationship. And I, Lau Lapides: Yes. Anne Ganguzza: look, I am not proud, guys. I, my ego does not get in the way. If I get the job, I get the job. You know what I mean? And I'm like, look, this is a business to me. For me, my ego doesn't need to be the best, be labeled as the best and touted as the best female voiceover ever legend. Because gosh, it's all subjective. We know this over and over again. But because I worked on that relationship, I had things in place. And I was ready, willing, and eager to help. and lend my thoughts when they asked, hey, what's it like in the States in hiring for this type of work? And because I developed that relationship and I did that work, bam, I got the job. Lau Lapides: Mm-hmm. Anne Ganguzza: And that is absolutely a valid, successful way to get cast. Lau Lapides: And sometimes it's not, it's very pure. Sometimes your Anne Ganguzza: Yeah. Lau Lapides: intention is literally not to get cast or get the Anne Ganguzza: Yeah? Lau Lapides: job. Anne Ganguzza: Yeah. Lau Lapides: It's really to get the relationship. I always Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm. Lau Lapides: like to say, I would rather get the relationship than the job because I'm building a career. I'm not working jobs, I'm building a career. And there are two different things. So if I'm gonna sort of lose the battle, but I'm gonna win the war, so to speak, I'd rather do that. In other words, I wanna make myself invaluable. So if I'm not the voice, as a voice talent, I'm going to find you great Anne Ganguzza: Yeah. Lau Lapides: people that are the voice. I'm going to recommend friends of mine. Anne Ganguzza: Oh, absolutely. Lau Lapides: I'm going to recommend Anne Ganguzza: Now, Lau Lapides: other agencies. Anne Ganguzza: law. way Lau Lapides: Right? Anne Ganguzza: back in the beginning, it's one of the reasons why I wanted to start the VO Peeps networking group. Because I started the VO Peeps because I wanted to have a collection of like-minded people, but then I said, what am I going to do for them? I want to provide an educational resource. So I started interviewing, right? I started interviewing all of my idols because I Lau Lapides: Mm-hmm. Anne Ganguzza: wanted to develop that relationship. Lau Lapides: Yes. Anne Ganguzza: Okay? And it wasn't coming at them in a hire Lau Lapides: Yes. Anne Ganguzza: you know, a very different format where I just wanted to, I was interested in them and I wanted to share their resources with my community. And because of that, I became known. And once you become known, right, over the years, then you become top of mind for referrals. Lau Lapides: Yes. Anne Ganguzza: And that absolutely is where that relationship work comes into play. Lau Lapides: And there's no, or at least there shouldn't be any desperation surrounding that. I don't know if you'd call that a trend. Anne Ganguzza: Yeah, Lau Lapides: I think that Anne Ganguzza: yeah. Lau Lapides: was always the case. Anne Ganguzza: Well, I like Lau Lapides: But Anne Ganguzza: to Lau Lapides: now Anne Ganguzza: say Lau Lapides: so Anne Ganguzza: casting Lau Lapides: more than Anne Ganguzza: trends, Lau Lapides: ever Anne Ganguzza: this Lau Lapides: is Anne Ganguzza: is just Lau Lapides: like, Anne Ganguzza: a casting like known, Lau Lapides: yeah, Anne Ganguzza: it's a Lau Lapides: if Anne Ganguzza: known Lau Lapides: we're talking, Anne Ganguzza: fact. Lau Lapides: right, it's a fact. Anne Ganguzza: Why Lau Lapides: If Anne Ganguzza: do Lau Lapides: we're Anne Ganguzza: you get Lau Lapides: talking Anne Ganguzza: cast? Lau Lapides: to people like, like quiz yourself, if Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm. Lau Lapides: I'm in an event or if I'm talking to someone on Zoom, am I thinking the whole time, oh, I want them to hire me. Oh, I want that Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm. Lau Lapides: job. Or am I? really actively listening to what they're Anne Ganguzza: Yeah. Lau Lapides: saying to me and offering value to them in points that make the conversation invigorated and alive and then following up after that and doing Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm. Lau Lapides: the due diligence to follow up after that. Am I doing all of that or am I just Anne Ganguzza: Right. Lau Lapides: thinking oh I want I would love them to get that get me that job and I really want Anne Ganguzza: And Lau Lapides: to Anne Ganguzza: yeah, and a lot of times, you know what? You'll get the job because you have proven yourself to be reliable, to be focused and intent on serving that client's needs and or agents needs. I can't tell you how many agents I interviewed first and then they got to know me and guess who got put on the roster? Just saying, right? As long as everything is in place. Right, we have that. And again, I know we're talking casting trends, but I think we would be remiss if we did not mention the importance of, maybe it's not a trend, but the fact that the relationships account. And that's relationships between you and your agents, and relationships between you and your direct clients. Lau Lapides: Yes. Anne Ganguzza: And of course, agents are all dependent on relationships with their clients to get you work, right? Lau Lapides: Yes. Anne Ganguzza: It all just kind of feeds into the system. Lau Lapides: Yeah, and I think the trend part comes in, Annie, where we say, okay, we all know this, we want real voices, casual, relatable voices, we want that. Well, how does that transcribe to the real world? Well, as I'm making the relationships, building the relationships, really talking, really conversing, really paying attention, I'm showcasing and demoing what I do for my real Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm. Yeah, I love that. Mm-hmm. Yeah. Lau Lapides: in like now the last couple years are gonna say, ooh, I'm listening to them. I like the way they sound. Ooh, Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm. Lau Lapides: they sound really cool. And they're going to assume, they're gonna run on the assumption Anne Ganguzza: that Lau Lapides: that Anne Ganguzza: you Lau Lapides: you Anne Ganguzza: can Lau Lapides: can Anne Ganguzza: do Lau Lapides: then Anne Ganguzza: that. Lau Lapides: bring that into the booth. Anne Ganguzza: Yeah, Lau Lapides: Yeah, Anne Ganguzza: yeah. Lau Lapides: so that's Anne Ganguzza: That's Lau Lapides: where Anne Ganguzza: a Lau Lapides: I think Anne Ganguzza: huge, Lau Lapides: the trend is. Anne Ganguzza: that's a huge assumption guys. So bosses, I want you to be prepared for that. That means, right? The fact that you're gonna bring that authenticity, that connection to you in the booth. What does that mean? That means you need to be the actor. You need to be an actor. You can no longer, no longer is it. And maybe back, I don't know, in the 60s, it was okay to have that announcer-y voice and make it sound a particular way, but it is no longer the case where you can just go in and make it sound pretty. You just can't. You just can't. You've got to be able to bring that connection, and that requires acting. And if you do not have the acting chops, then you need to get the acting chops. And I'm a big believer that you can train. You can train to get this. You can train to... have that connection and that authenticity to the story. Because again, how important, how many times do we hear, we are storytellers. And you, you know, I don't know if I've heard that phrase over and over and over again, but sometimes it's like, yeah, okay, I know I'm a storyteller. But really, am I a storyteller when I'm doing an e-learning module? Yeah, you absolutely are. You've got to know how to Lau Lapides: Yeah. Anne Ganguzza: take those words and make them sound meaningful and make them come alive. And so that is being able to tell a story, being the actor. So casting Lau Lapides: Yeah, and Anne Ganguzza: trends, Lau Lapides: it's- Anne Ganguzza: be the actor and showcase that to whoever will listen. And that's what's going to get you cast. Lau Lapides: And we Anne Ganguzza: Right? Lau Lapides: don't equate story with fiction. Story Anne Ganguzza: Yeah. Lau Lapides: is connection. It's really Anne Ganguzza: Yeah, yeah, Lau Lapides: sharing, Anne Ganguzza: yeah. Lau Lapides: sharing an experience, sharing a happening, sharing an event Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm. Lau Lapides: with another or with a group for information, for persuasion, for entertainment, for whatever purposes. It doesn't necessarily mean it's false or fiction or fake. It Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm. Lau Lapides: means it's very well could be real and fact-based. but it's in a story form, it's in a narrative Anne Ganguzza: Yeah. Lau Lapides: form. And understanding how to handle that in very real and authentic ways, exactly the trend of the industry today. Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm. Wow. I know we just kind of, I feel like we went off, but I mean, honestly, the whole, Lau Lapides: Ha ha! Anne Ganguzza: what's important? Diversity, Lau Lapides: Mm-hmm. Anne Ganguzza: authenticity. It's not so much about having that perfect sound. It's about the connection you have, and the connection you have not just to your material and the fact that you can actually vocalize that, but the connection you have with your agents, with your. your potential clients, because that is what's going to get you cast. Lau Lapides: Absolutely. Anne Ganguzza: And knowing yourself and knowing where you fit in this, knowing yourself enough to go for those areas that you excel in. Lau Lapides: and staying bright and hopeful and positive and humorous. Anne Ganguzza: Mm, Lau Lapides: That Anne Ganguzza: yes, Lau Lapides: is a Anne Ganguzza: yes. Lau Lapides: trend of like, whether it's Anne Ganguzza: Cause Lau Lapides: we're Anne Ganguzza: I Lau Lapides: looking Anne Ganguzza: wanna work Lau Lapides: for, Anne Ganguzza: with somebody like that, Lau Lapides: yeah, whether Anne Ganguzza: yeah. Lau Lapides: we're looking for a standup comedian or we're looking for a mom Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm. Lau Lapides: sitcom type, or we're looking for, we want pops of humor and pops of humility in your work. Anne Ganguzza: Oh, love Lau Lapides: And Anne Ganguzza: that. Lau Lapides: that's real for us, that's Anne Ganguzza: Puffs Lau Lapides: real, Anne Ganguzza: of humor and humility, Lau Lapides: you know. Anne Ganguzza: I love that. Yeah. What a wonderful topic, wonderful topic. And Law, thank you for lending your ultimate wisdom in Lau Lapides: Mmm Anne Ganguzza: what you do and what you love every day. And again, we appreciate you so much, Law. Lau Lapides: I appreciate you tremendously. Anne Ganguzza: Well, you guys, I want to ask you, you know, as individuals, right, it's difficult sometimes to feel like we're making a huge impact, but as a group, we can absolutely contribute to the growth of our communities in ways that we never thought possible. Visit 100VoicesWhoCare.org to find out more and to learn how. Big shout out to IPDTL. I love connecting with law and all of you bosses. Find out more at ipdtl.com. You guys have an amazing week, and we'll see you next week. Mwah! Lau Lapides: See you next Anne Ganguzza: Bye! Lau Lapides: week. Mwah!
Nov 7, 2023
29 min
Mythbusters Part 1
  Ready to lift the veil on the VoiceOver industry and its many facets? My guest co-host, Tom Deere, and I are here to give you the insider's scoop on the role of agents, pay to plays, and emerging technology in the field. We spill the beans on how agents earn their crust, the types of work where they might prove beneficial, and why they're not a must-have for a successful voice-acting career. We also venture into the territory of synthetic voices and the effect they have on non-broadcast contracts, while underscoring the importance of time limits on contracts for one-off jobs. Plug in and join us on this enlightening journey that will offer you a new perspective on the VoiceOver industry.     About Tom   Tom Dheere is the VO Strategist, a voiceover business & marketing consultant. As a voice actor with over 25 years of experience, he brings his wealth of voiceover knowledge to the table with his 1-one-1 voiceover strategy sessions, Diagnostic sessions, his Mentorship Program, and many public appearances. 0:00:01 - Anne Alright, everyone, welcome to the VO Boss podcast. I'm your host, Anne Ganguzza, and this is the real boss series. I'm happy to welcome back to the show real boss guest co-host Tom Deere. Tom, thanks so much for joining me. 0:00:16 - Tom Hello, thanks for having me back. 0:00:20 - Anne I love having real talk. I think there's so many things in this industry that sell the dream of being a Vio artist, being a Vio actor making money just talking behind your microphone, all of those things. I like to think that Tom and I have been in the industry for so long that, god, we've seen it all. We're just going to be real with you guys, because I think that everyone deserves the real talk, the real story behind VoiceOver. I'm going to tell you that I had a student this week who came to me, a beginner, and who was asking me all about agents. They were under the impression that they needed an agent in order to get the work and that the agent would be the one that got all the work for them. All they had to do was perform behind the mic. Perhaps we should talk about some myths and truths about what this industry is really about. We'll start with agents. 0:01:25 - Tom Tom Sure. One of the biggest challenges for voice actors coming into the industry aspiring voice actors is that most of them feel that they immediately need to relieve themselves for the responsibility of actually doing the work to get the work. 0:01:41 - Anne This leads right into that. 0:01:44 - Tom That's exactly the mindset that your student that you just referred to has. It's like the second I get into the industry, I got to find someone who will do all the work for me, because that's how it works. A huge myth is that you need an agent to be a successful voice actor. 0:02:00 - Anne I'll be honest, tom. When I first started I didn't know. Again, we talk about this all the time. I didn't know what I didn't know. Here we are bosses For those of you just starting out. You don't need an agent, Tom. We're going to expand on that. I used to think that I would get an agent and then that would give me all of my work. I erroneously thought that. Then, once I realized very quickly that that wasn't the case, I proceeded to work for four years before I got my full time, before I got my first agent. 0:02:32 - Tom I don't remember how long it took. I know my longest standing representative I got in 2005. It's been 18 years that I've worked with that particular manager. Everyone before that was either ripping me. Everyone I had that rep me before that was selling me stuff or wouldn't pay me on time. It was just a big mess. 0:02:54 - Anne That was a different time. Tom right, yes, With agents and agents that we didn't really know who they were and there were people that did take advantage. I don't know if that exists so much anymore, but that might be a different podcast. 0:03:09 - Tom Tom One of my students just said this week that there's a particular agent that they have that keeps bothering about. Oh, you need new headshots. You got to come to me to get headshots, but you have to pay me. I know a guy you want to stay on my roster. 0:03:20 - Anne You got to work with him. I know a guy. I know a guy. I know where he's from. 0:03:23 - Tom I think it still happens just a lot less than it used to, mostly because of educational reasons. Most people now know what it means to be a franchised agent, which is one that is certified, approved by SAG-AFTRA. That's one of them. But yeah, you don't necessarily and the operative term is necessarily need an agent to be a successful voice actor, because you, as a voice actor, need to define what success is for you as a voice actor and that will tell you if you need an agent. So, like, if you want to you know you want to narrate audiobooks you don't need an agent. You want to be in fallout halo cartoon network pilot. Yeah, you probably need an agent. 0:04:03 - Anne You want to do a national spot commercial? Probably, although I would say local spots maybe not so much anywhere but national spots, national spots probably you're going to need an agent, and I think the one thing is to be educated on, first of all, what an agent does and truly you know what is in the best interest of an agent. Right, agents are a business as well, right they're? I mean, they want to make money just as much as we want to make money. So how are they going to make money? They're going to develop relationships with clients who will then hire them to cast or help cast right for voiceover jobs, and typically they will be spots that will be paid with usage intact, and so there's an opportunity to make a percentage of money each and every time that voice gets used. And that's why agents will deal in a lot in commercial or anything that's broadcast, and anything that's non-broadcast typically does not require an agent. So, again, as you, as Tom, as you mentioned e-learning, corporate, anything that's one and done. But I'm going to just kind of put this out here, tom, with the advent of synthetic voices and I know we had a wonderful podcast episode about that not so long ago, and actually we're going to be at evocation talking about. Yes, we're going to be on the same panel talking about that, yeah yeah, I think that we have to start thinking about maybe changing that non-broadcast in perpetuity clause. I mean, I know that for me, with the coming up of synthetic voices, I have been really wanting to put like a time limit on all my non-broadcast stuff. Just at the end of my little contract or my email I'll say this is for a year and most people if I'm doing a one-off they're not going to need it or the content will expire after a year and so that's okay. So I actually put a time limit on it. So I kind of give it usage, but not necessarily broadcast usage which every year. Well, of course, it would be great. You're going to pay me again in a year. I'm going to do another content module for you. But yeah, I diverge off of that. So for agents, you don't necessarily need an agent, but I do get corporate work from my agents. 0:06:20 - Tom Literally. Yesterday I narrated two explainer videos for a company through one of my agents and so, yeah, once in a while it'll be an explainer or corporate thing. But yeah, the majority of the stuff that I get through my agents and managers is political, which is broadcast. And I get a lot of pharma commercials but like spec demo stuff which doesn't necessarily turn into broadcast. And if they do choose my voice and it does turn into broadcast, then I get paid for the usage beyond just the internal usage of the project. So, yes, agents, do you know who is it said that agents are like baseball cards they're fun to collect, but only a couple are valuable. 0:07:06 - Anne I love that. That's actually. I think that's really true. Yeah, somebody in our business and somebody in our industry said that that's very interesting because I at one point acquired I have 11, but in reality pandemics come and go and markets shift and change, and so there are a number of agents who are not. I have a couple of agents that I think I really stick with because they know me, they know my voice, they give me opportunities that are catered to my voice and it's not necessarily a cattle call and I'm not belittling any agent that does that, because agents are busy. I mean, if they've got work, they wanna make it available to their roster, and I think that that's a wonderful thing. But just you don't have to have a ton of agents either. I mean really just work with the ones that you have a great relationship with, and that becomes fruitful for both of you. 0:07:58 - Tom Yeah, and it is a synergistic relationship. And here's another myth when it comes to agents is that most voice actors think that they work for their agents. That is not true. 0:08:12 - Anne You work with your agents. 0:08:14 - Tom It's a complimentary, synergistic B2B relationship, because they can't make money without you and you can make money without them, if you think about it, because you can use other ways of booking voiceover work, which we'll talk about down the road. But yes, but just remember, it's an equal relationship and you need to vet your agent and ask them the right questions to see if they're a good fit for you, if you have determined that they're right for you, at this current point in your voiceover journey and for the vast majority of voice actors who are starting out, you do not need an agent. You don't. You also don't have value, yet you don't have the value delivery that an agent would want you for for the most part. 0:09:00 - Anne For the most part, they're looking for you know you've already done some work, so typically they're looking for some experience in the field and a recommendation, typically All right. Let's talk. Another myth. All right and it's another big one that always causes a lot of controversy. Pay to plays right, pay to plays okay. Do you need pay to plays? Do you not need pay to plays? If you use pay to plays, you're a loser because you're bringing down the value of the industry. There's just so many things, and especially certain pay to plays. Right, oh, if you use this pay to play, you're evil or you're working for the enemy or whatever it is. I think that there are good pay to play online casting sites, and there are online casting sites that maybe I wouldn't want to align myself with. 0:09:45 - Tom But that's a personal preference. 0:09:47 - Anne It is a decision I make for my business. But yeah, I think myths about pay to plays is, if you are on them, you are a bottom feeder. Tom what are your thoughts? 0:09:57 - Tom Here's the thing about that, ann, is that every sector of every industry, of every business on the planet has a percentage of people who are sketchy, shady bottom feeders. 0:10:11 - Anne Every single industry. 0:10:12 - Tom So true, the voiceover industry is no exception. There are a percentage of people, because there are humans doing this. A percentage of them will be predatory. That will try to get you to do voiceovers for as little money as possible and clone your voice or turn it into a commercial. You know, do stuff. 0:10:30 - Anne Speaking of which, if I can just interject, that's the whole discussion about AI as well. You will have bad actors. You will have evil companies that will try to steal your voice. The same thing, right A? 0:10:42 - Tom percentage of them AI, pay to play or anyone else will try to take advantage of you, and there are a percentage of voice actors, regardless of how they're booking their voiceover work, will be unscrupulous, because there are a percentage of voice actors who try to go behind the back of their agent and work directly with the producer. There's a percentage, and just like there's a percentage of them, who are on certain pay to play sites whose guideline says you need to maintain the relationship with the client on site, for reasons that I totally understand. I understand and they will try to undermine that. So pay to plays does not make people unscrupulous Unscrupulous people go to pay to play sites. They have agents. They do all sorts of stuff. So I do not buy that argument. It's also pay to plays is just reflection of technology and the economy of supply and demand. 0:11:35 - Anne Oh, thank you. Thank you, tom, for saying that. I mean really it's, and you know I worked in technology, so I mean just having been in that industry for gosh, you know, over 20 years. It just it happens, guys. Technology happens. We're not stopping it. We can fight it, we can put our head in the sand, we can kick and scream and yell and cry and do all these things, but gosh, it's not going away and ultimately we need to evolve. And, gosh, I will just say this until the cows come home and, tom, you say the same thing. We just need to evolve with it and the market will evolve with it. Ultimately it doesn't happen. I just caution. I tell the story. When I, in the early, well, late, 1990s, I installed voice over IP phone systems and it was early adopted technology and the calls would drop. There would be horrible sound, it would sound echoey, and everybody said this technology sucks, it's never gonna last. Well, guess what? Everyone? We use it today and we don't even realize that we use it. So give yourself, I say for any large disruptor of technology, right, which happens for all of us. Like home studios were a disruptor of technology. Digital music, mp3s were a disruptor of technology. Synthetic voices there, a disruptor of technology. I say it's got a lifespan of. You know, not a lifespan, but let it evolve a good 10 to 15 years, because that's what I saw from voice over IP, and then it's going to be seamlessly integrated somewhere in some way. That will become the norm. And that is something that if we do not accept that right, the norm, then we certainly it's gonna be hard for us to be in business. 0:13:08 - Tom Yeah, pay to plays are now. What was once disruptive 15 years ago is now part of the norm, and I know this because my direct marketing and indirect marketing strategies became, over the few, over span of a few years, far less effective. My cold calls. My emails, my blogging, my newsletters, my social media, all of it just took a nosedive and effectiveness because those clients that I was courting or working with via direct and indirect marketing strategies went to pay to play sites. 0:13:40 - Anne And why? Because it was easy for them. 0:13:42 - Tom Easier, faster. 0:13:44 - Anne Convenient and fast, and isn't that the whole idea behind the technology? So reality bosses right. Reality bosses, is technology right and again myth or you know, we're going to bust the myth. Another myth that I'm going to say that goes along with this is that technology is a disruptor and we can fight it and we can stand up together and we can stop. What we can do is we can maybe stop unfair usage through technology of our voices, but we're not going to stop the technology itself? 0:14:17 - Tom No, no. 0:14:18 - Anne Technology is designed to make lives easier, exactly and convenient and human nature is to do those things right. Yes, that will be easier. Right, I'm. And again, I say it all the time I use Alexa, I talk to Alexa. All the time I use new softwares on my computer that are faster, easier. You know new apps that I download. Oh my God, this is going to be great. I can do this now. I can now record this, or I can do this so much easier. I've got rocket money tracking my subscriptions. Oh my God, that's fantastic. This technology, ai, synthetic voices, all this stuff that we are fighting and screaming about, it happens and at some point we do evolve with it, without necessarily having a complete impact. just the one of us right. I will say, though, that I do believe, like you know. I want to say that this is no way reflective of my thoughts about the strike right now, because I do believe that you can fight collectively for rights that are due to you. You just cannot stop the technology. 0:15:23 - Tom Right, it's yes, because I mean, do you think back in the day when the wheel was invented, that there were people who were protesting the use of the wheel because it was disrupting? Their you know whatever business they were, that was disrupted by wheels. No, it's insane, everyone's like. Of course you use the wheel. It makes your life easier. Pay to plays, make voice seekers' lives easier. And it also makes it easier for us because, instead of spending so much time going on Google and LinkedIn and creating all these marketing campaigns which you should do- and can do and can be effective. 0:15:55 - Anne It just adds to your marketing plan. 0:15:57 - Tom Yes, it complements it. 0:15:59 - Anne It's not one size fits all, because direct marketing can be effective if you've got a plan right. I mean, I have a direct marketing package. I mean, tom, I know you do direct marketing, so I do. And it will. It will work, but I think to be just the one solution. I think you've got to really just grab as many solutions as you can and get yourself out in front of as many people as you can to have more and more opportunities. 0:16:23 - Tom Absolutely, absolutely. 0:16:26 - Anne Yeah, so what's another myth, tom? 0:16:28 - Tom Oh well, let's see. Well, you know the union, that's another one. 0:16:32 - Anne Yeah. 0:16:33 - Tom Absolutely. The myth is that if you, if you want to be a successful voice actor, you have to join the union SAG After we're talking about, and if you are not in SAG. The other myth is that if you are not in SAG After, you are, by definition, unethical. 0:16:50 - Anne Yeah, okay. 0:16:51 - Tom And I have had conversations with both people who are desperate to get into SAG After because they think that once they enter SAG After they will automatically be successful as a voice actor, which is not true. That will be the top echelon of being a voice actor, which is not necessarily true, and I have spoken to SAG After members who think I am scum and I've been pursuing voiceover and charging you know industry standard rates for 25 years. Well, isn't that great. But I am a scumbag because I am not in SAG After. 0:17:21 - Anne Isn't our rate guide based off of SAG After, to begin with anyways, absolutely. I think that's everything started that way I mean I remember when I started you know, quoting people, jobs and it was all based on SAG After rates. And then, ultimately, you know GVA. Everybody talks about GVA rate guide, which is amazing, but that evolved after. You know, a bunch of us that have been in the industry for 5000 years had developed our own rate sheets and our own painstaking ways and by the way that is oh, there's a met. That's another myth, tom, that we can talk about in just a minute. That's the myth of like there's a specific amount to charge per job. Okay, yeah, we can get that, let's finish talking about yeah, let's finish talking about the union. And I based my rates off of union and I thought, oh God, am I a horrible actor if I don't join the union, or I must join the union? And once I do so, I will have made it, and so, in reality, you just have to understand what jobs the union is supporting and behind and helping to serve their client base. 0:18:26 - Tom Right, I am, and for the record I am non-union but I am pro-union. I am pro-collectively-bargained, Absolutely. You know, protecting everybody, make sure everybody gets paid a fair amount. 0:18:36 - Anne Agreed. 0:18:37 - Tom And health intention and all of that stuff, but as a voice actor who's early in your journey, you wanna make the same exact calculation about SAG-AFTRA as you do about agents, which we just talked about a second ago. Which is what kind of work do I wanna have? What's my perfect voiceover day? What genres of voiceover am? 0:18:56 - Anne I doing. 0:18:57 - Tom And are those casting opportunities that I want? Are they union driven? So if you wanna do class A national commercials, yes, you need to be in SAG-AFTRA. Do you wanna narrate audio books? Well, you can be in SAG-AFTRA, because there's very specific contracts which I don't pretend to understand the intricacies of. But you can be union or non-union and do audio books and it can contribute to your health and pension. And I know a lot of people I know you do too whose path into and saying in the union is through audio books and they do a great and they make a great living and they get their health and pension and everything's fantastic. So it just all depends. If you wanna be an e-learning narrator, do you. Must you join SAG-AFTRA? Not necessarily. It all depends on what kind of work you're getting, where are you getting it. And then there's the whole. You can turn non-union into union work, but that's a whole other conversation. But, yeah, you go through the same thought process of will being an agent make me an effective voice actor for my definition of success and will joining SAG-AFTRA make me, or contribute to making me, an effective voice actor based on my definition of success. 0:20:09 - Anne Absolutely, absolutely. So now let's get to that point where there's a magic number to charge for every specific job. So I like to address this one because I think, tom, you and I both we're in the trenches okay that in the trenches where there weren't a lot of Facebook groups, we were like before there were, you know, voiceover conferences, before there was really the internet. I mean, I'm not saying not before there, although the internet really became big in the early 1990s. 0:20:40 - Tom Remember we talked about it, Right, but social media. 0:20:41 - Anne But social media and all of this collective right, collective networking online which has really brought a lot of wealthy, a wealth of information, I should say, to us as voice actors and for our businesses. It didn't exist. And so, Tom and I, when we I feel like get off my lawn, I had to walk 10 miles to the voiceover booth and-. 0:21:08 - Tom Up hill both ways. 0:21:09 - Anne Up hill in the snow and there was no one there to tell us what to charge no one. And literally from I swear to God, from the air I pulled rates. I didn't know what to do. The only thing I had available at the time was SEG after rates, and all the SEG after rates didn't really talk about e-learning and so, in reality, I just pulled it from the air. I pulled it from the air based upon what I thought my time was worth, and I'm gonna say we clawed our way into creating our rate sheets. And remember, tom, when it was a big thing, do we publish our rate sheets? 0:21:49 - Tom Or we not. I always say no. Every job is negotiable. Every job is negotiable, Terrible idea. 0:21:56 - Anne But honestly there is no magic number for really any of it. There's a baseline, there's a guideline right. And you can certainly. Today we have all sorts of references. We have SEG, after we have GVAA, we have gravy for the brain all those wonderful guides that give us ideas on what to charge. But is there a perfect number for a live announce that's going to happen three days in a row? And what do you charge on the third day if it's only half a day? You know that kind of thing and you're gonna be sharing the mic with another person. You know that kind of thing when there's all sorts of special circumstances. Is there a perfect number for that? And why isn't it in the rate guide? There just isn't. And guys, sometimes you just gotta pull it from the air or your rear end. That's what. 0:22:37 - Tom I say I just tell you that's where I got that number and there's no shame. There's no shame in that, and there's no shame in just asking the client what's your budget? Yes, oh my god. And they say the boss gave me this amount of money to work with and either you're comfortable with that number or you're not and if it's in within 10, 20% of what you normally charge, take it, do it. 0:22:58 - Anne That's, I think one of the smartest things you can do is ask what the budget is. I mean really. I mean because your budget, like you, might only wanna charge them, I don't know a few hundred dollars, but then their budget might be a thousand. I'm like, oh yeah, I think I can manage that. 0:23:10 - Tom Right right. 0:23:11 - Anne And so always asking the budget and that's like real. I think that's rule one of negotiations, right. Ask what the budget is. 0:23:18 - Tom And it's funny, ann and I know you know this is that budgets, you know, Budgets are usually set in advance for departments and whatever, for the often the year or sometimes quarter or whatever, and and these people that we're working with know that if they don't use all of that budget, next year their budget may be smaller Because they didn't use all of that budget. 0:23:39 - Anne Oh my god, you just brought your corporate to me. I love it. 0:23:42 - Tom Yeah, so sometimes, sometimes they want to pay you more than you would normally charge because they want to make sure they have they can get this budget, same budget for next year. So and that actually puts you at an advantage, that puts you in an advantage, not over them, but with them. 0:23:59 - Anne Are you with me in terms of have we not more than once thought about, oh gosh, if I were to, if I were to go on the corporate side and charge my coaching fees for corporate? Or what I do for Corporate and a corporate rate. 0:24:11 - Tom I'd be putting zeros at the end of my hourly rates. 0:24:13 - Anne That's exactly it I mean. So, remember, guys. I mean, companies have budgets and again, companies, departments, fight like hell for budgets, right, and they fight like hell to get Bigger budgets so that they can be successful, right, and the and and really is it are they. Are they caring so much about the company? Well, in reality, I think the people within the companies and within the departments, they again, we all just want to feel loved, right, we want to do a good job, we want to be appreciated and loved for what we do, and and that's really what it is. So I, you cannot, you cannot scrape me away from loving the corporate market, for sure. In a lot of ways. I may not work for a corporation anymore in the traditional sense, but I certainly do. In voiceover land, I work for them and I and I understand that budget. So, yeah, so there is no magic number, for you know what will it cost me to do? You know three pages of on hold messages for this company that I? You know they said their budget is only this amount. What should I do? You know, a lot of times, guys, you, you really just have to learn the art of this, the subtle art of negotiation, and sometimes that number just is is made up. 0:25:32 - Tom Made up. Guys. Sometimes and most of the time, it's not about you taking advantage of them or trying to take advantage of you. It's not about, yeah, what most of our students and go through is like they're terrified that if they're too aggressive the client's gonna walk away and if they're not aggressive enough they're gonna get taken advantage of. I'd say at least 80% of the time that is not the case at all. They've got this budget, they've got this thing to do. They found you, they like you. They want to give you money to say stuff out loud, which is what you want. So, most of the time you're gonna be fine and you know I've got so many clients I'll be like 400. They'll be like okay, or just same as last time, okay or hey. It's a new year. Can I up this by 50 bucks? 0:26:12 - Anne And they go okay. 0:26:13 - Tom Yeah, so most of time it's just, it's just easy peasy, just you know. 0:26:17 - Anne And here's one other thing I'll say is up in your price, yeah use the workaround of the rate guides. 0:26:22 - Tom I don't charge this rate. 0:26:23 - Anne This is the industry standard. 0:26:25 - Tom You know what I mean. You can use that so yeah, do we have time? For one more myth. 0:26:29 - Anne All right, one more myth. We got time for one more myth. What do you? Got time? 0:26:33 - Tom The AI myth well, which we don't even know, is a myth, yet not because it's still too early that could be an entire, that could be an entire podcast episode. 0:26:40 - Anne But okay, yeah, let's start. Let's start well. 0:26:42 - Tom Well, just just just the inkling of you know the myth, the well I, well I the myth that AI is gonna take all of our jobs, take our jobs away? 0:26:49 - Anne Yeah, no, and look, I'm a technology buff. I worked in technology for gosh 20 some odd years. I love technology. Tom and I are on multiple panels talking about AI and, honestly like, is it going to take our jobs away, tom? 0:27:05 - Tom It's gonna. It has the potential to take small percentage of some of our jobs away. I think that's reasonable. 0:27:15 - Anne But I think the mass panic right now, I think Tom is maybe good because it will get people's attention and it will and mostly our attention right, I wanted to get the people in the industry's attention so that they can educate themselves on how to be smart about their business. And that means don't let anybody take advantage of you, don't let anybody put something in a contract that will allow them to steal your voice or use your voice in perpetuity, forever and ever and ever, without knowledge, or create a synthetic voice, and that's what is going on now. I think that you know a big part of the strike is, you know, is got that AI rider in there and that companies need to compensate us. If they're going to use the technology and utilize our, our creative assets right, then we need to be compensated for that. We need to be compensated fairly and that's what I think we are all fighting for and as long as you are smart about that and you educate yourself and again, vo Boss has done over 30 episodes of talking. I talked to CEOs of companies who make voices. I talked to industry leaders in the AI industry, tom I've talked to Tom. I've talked to I'm going to be presenting next week, actually at an AI conference talking about ethical, you know, and and and rights for voice artists and in synthetic voices. So, guys, educate yourself on that. It's it will not there. We will have to evolve along with that technology. But be stay on top of it and understand how you can. You can run your business around that. 0:28:48 - Tom Right. One quick thing all the way on the other side of it is that there are certain voice actors and groups of voice actors on social media who are perpetuating the myth that AI is not going to take away any of our jobs and if you are just doing nothing but direct marketing, you're gonna be perfectly fine. That is also not true. It's not true because that means they are ignoring the reality of technology that is affecting our industry. Don't put your head in the sand either. Don't put your head in the sand, yeah absolutely and just and just understand and evolve. 0:29:19 - Anne And so, if it's going to, if it's probably and again, I I'm of the belief that there is that percentage of the market like we talked about in the beginning right, the bottom feeders. Right, they'll always be the bottom feeders that don't care about the quality of the voice, right, when that's not you know, the top quality of voice is not on their, their budget or on their brain then they're going to use synthetic voice and there's nothing you're going to do to stop that. Right, because it's going to be convenient and it's going to be easy and it's going to be cheaper. Okay, now, if somebody but again, I am the, I'm always the perpetuating manifesting, I am a celebrity voice, I am an influencer, right, tom, you are an influencer. If somebody wants to use my synthetic voice, they're going to have to pay me, compensate me for it. Oh yeah, and I'm not going to be cheap, right, because my brand is not cheap and I'm not saying it's going to be more expensive than my human voice, but I'm certainly going to be able to. Oh sure, I can cut you a deal on that, right, but it's not going to be pennies. I'll tell you that because my voice is worth something, my influence my the way that I can help brand and market for a company. I am holding true to that now. Whether a company chooses to buy into that and pay me fairly, then that's awesome. If they don't, they don't. I say no to it. Right and that's it, and my voice is protected just like any other type of job that I would do, right. Yeah, if you are not going to pay me what I am worth or what I am. You know this is my price. Then that's okay. I will spend that time looking for people who will. Right Simple as that, right, right, good topic. Oh my gosh, we could probably go on. We maybe should have part two of the myths. 0:30:55 - Tom Oh, we can do that? 0:30:57 - Anne Yeah, I think we should do that. So, yeah, bosses, tom, thank you again for another amazing real talk with the bosses. We totally appreciate you bosses. Simple mission, big impact. 100 voices, one hour, ten thousand dollars. If you need to know more, or if you want to know more, find out at 100 voices who careorg and join us and big shout out to sponsor IPDTL. Youtube can connect and network like bosses, like Tom and I. Find out more at IPDTLcom. You guys have an amazing real week and we'll see you next week. Alright, take care. 0:31:31 - Tom Bye. 0:31:31 - Anne Bye, alright, stopping. Transcribed by https://podium.page  
Oct 31, 2023
28 min
VO and Comedy with Tom Sawyer
The stage is set, the mic is on, and the cue is yours. In this episode, stand-up comic and voice actor Tom Sawyer shares his golden nuggets for aspiring voice talents hoping to benefit from the power of comedy. From the importance of having fun in the booth to taking a well-deserved break, and the power of belief in oneself, Tom is a reservoir of invaluable insights. We talk about standing out in a sea of talents, catching the ears of the right casting person, and the art of continuous learning. But remember, feedback is the breakfast of champions, and as Tom says, it's all about enhancing your performance. Get ready, it's showtime! About Tom   Tom Sawyer ran lengendary San Francisco comedy club, Cobb's for over 30 years. After stepping away from the comedy business, Tom was encouraged to explore voice acting by after famed comedian and voice actor Carlos Alazraqui (Rocco’s Modern World, the Taco Bell Chihuahua) who knew Tom was an excellent celebrity impersonator. Tom signed with JE Talent in San Francisco and Aperture Talent in Los Angeles in 2017, and the rest is history. https://kitcaster.com/tom-sawyer/ 0:00:01 - Announcer It's time to take your business to the next level, the boss level. These are the premier business owner strategies and successes being utilized by the industry's top talent today. Rock your business like a boss, a V-O boss. Now let's welcome your host, Ann Gangusa.  0:00:20 - Anne Hey everyone, welcome to the V-O Boss podcast. I'm your host, Anne Ganguzza and today I am super excited to be here with very special guest actor, comedian, entrepreneur oh my God, the list goes on Tom Sawyer. Tom ran the legendary San Francisco Comedy Club Cubs for over 30 years booking legendary greats, and this list just goes on and on, but I'll give you just a few of them Jerry Seinfeld, dana Carvey, Bob Saget, Jim Carrey, Rita Rudner, Joe Rogan, Sarah Silverman and the list just goes on. He stayed on as a booker until 2012 and then ultimately stepped away from the comedy business. After that, he was encouraged to explore voice acting by famed comedian and voice actor Carlos Ellsrocki, a good friend of his. He signed on with JE Talent in San Francisco and Aperture Talent in LA in 2017, and the rest, they say, is history.  But boy, we've got a lot of history I'd like to talk to you about, tom. Thank you so much for joining us and welcome. Thank you for having me. Oh, it's my pleasure. So, gosh, there's so many things I want to start with. I mean the first tell. You have such a large history of comedy, so, of course, I'm sure a very common question you get asked is were you a funny kid, or have you always loved comedy? What is it that drew you to comedy?  0:01:44 - Tom Well, yeah, I was the kid in the back of the class making all the other kids laugh, so that was where I started and I always did impressions. So when I was a kid I was doing Don Adams from Get Smart and Ed Sullivan and Richard Nixon and you know, it's probably a little weird seeing an eight-year-old doing Richard Nixon but that's what I was doing. When I was very young I realized I could do voices and never stopped and that's what kind of led me to voiceover when I got out of the comedy club business.  0:02:15 - Anne But boy, there was a long history of being in the comedy business. I label you as entrepreneur 20 times over because I think just following that passion of yours and then ultimately opening up a club that literally was just famed and just housing some of the comedy greats. Tell me a little bit about that history. I mean, that is just so, so fun and impressive.  0:02:36 - Tom Yeah, actually, I went to San Francisco to become a stand-up comic and there were all these clubs, the Punchline and the Holy City Zoo and the other cafe. They were very packed all the time and getting stage time there was next to impossible. Or you'd get on at one o'clock in the morning in front of a very tired, very small, very drunk audience. And then there was this little.  0:02:55 - Anne Sometimes that helps, I'm not sure Mostly doesn't, oh okay.  0:03:00 - Tom But there was this little club in the Marina District in San Francisco called Cobb's Pub and they were trying to do comedy there and there was no audience, but there was stage time. You could get on stage there. In fact, sometimes you couldn't get off stage because there was no one there to take over, so you had to stretch, stretch and that was terrifying sometimes. Especially if you're the third or fourth comic going, hey, where are you from? And the audience goes we all know where we're from, so stop asking.  0:03:29 - Anne That's so funny. I just wanted to say that a lot of my actor friends I feel like being on that comedy stage is like a rite of passage almost, and it's probably I would think one of the toughest things to do is to stand on stage like that and try to make people laugh. I mean, that's just to me it's comedy without a net. Yeah, exactly.  0:03:48 - Tom And the thing is it's like you're stuck there, literally. You have an allotted time that you have to perform and they give you 10 minutes. You have to do 10 minutes, doesn't matter if it's horrible right from the word jump, you're on stage for those 10 minutes. That's the time you have to do and that's one of the things you learn right away is like if you get on stage early.  you're not going to get back on stage. So you have to go through the rite of passage of bombing, and I've seen comics bomb from Paula Poundstone, kevin Meany, kevin Nealon, the list goes on and on. Every comic has bombed. But even later on you get in front of an audience that just doesn't dig you.  0:04:27 - Anne And again, nowhere to go. You can't run off the stage.  0:04:31 - Tom You're mean, I get that.  0:04:38 - Anne And it's funny because I literally I just went to a comedy club a couple of weeks ago and I was thinking about that, like what do you do? I mean, they are there until the next comedian is called on stage. And it feels interesting as being a part of the audience, because a lot of times I think, as the audience, you are part of maybe not part of the act, but it's very interactive, it's very back and forth and engaging because, of course, you're trying to make us laugh.  0:05:02 - Tom Yeah, you have to communicate to the audience without really engaging the audience, because you're the boss on stage, you're kind of like the crowd master and you're crowd control and entertainment at the same time. And because comedy, some people feel like, oh, I'm going to be as funny as the comic.  0:05:22 - Anne And that's when things get really sideways.  0:05:24 - Tom You're there to be entertained. Sit back, relax and leave the talking or the driving to the person with the microphone.  So you got some stage time on Cobbs and and then I realized that I just kept seeing these shows that weren't very good. The guy who was booking the club at the time wasn't doing a great job, and I was a big fan of stand up as well. So I started thinking about what I would do instead, and then I started telling the owner at the time first owner of Cobbs. I was telling him you know, here's what I would do differently, and then I could tell him at the beginning of the show how the show was going to fail. And then he was started realizing that everything I was saying was happening and he went what do I get to lose? We're doing horrible business. And so he gave me the job of booking and from there I started getting the people I really, really like to perform and it started going great and we went from being like about 20% capacity to 90% capacity in about a year.  0:06:23 - Anne So let me ask you a question that, to me, is very interesting how do you get, at the time, the talents that you booked? I mean, they were big names. Were they big names then? And how did you get them to book? I mean, that's a skill, right? It's something that we do in our businesses every day, right? We've got to try to get clients to like us and to work with us. So how did you do that? Did you have a secret?  0:06:42 - Tom Yeah, my secret was I paid really well.  0:06:45 - Anne Okay, okay, that's a good piece.  0:06:48 - Tom My biggest competition, which was twice the size of our club. We were out paying that Because we decided that the most important thing was getting butts in the chairs and the only way to do that was having acts that actually brought an audience. So the only way to do that was to offer these guys more of an opportunity to make more money. So we would give them a percentage of the door and say, hey, the more people come to see you, the more you're gonna make. And because of that we had people that would call up and go, hey, I'm gonna be on the Tonight Show in six weeks with Johnny Carson, do you have anything open? And I would move stuff around and get them in there and then I would get a Tonight Show plug or a Letterman plug or Arsenio Hall. At the time and that was kind of my thing was I'm gonna pay everybody. Really well, so everybody could. Percentage of the door.  In the early days before all the big agencies came in, sure, and remember this was at a time where there were just like a couple agencies doing personal appearances for comedians. Comedians were pretty much on their own. They were doing their business themselves. So if I wanted Bob Sagan, I'd call Bob Sagan, so I get his number from another comic and everybody was kind of looking for each other and I would bring one comic in. They'd go, hey, you should book these guys. And I go, okay, great, and call them up. And they'd go, right, when can you give them me a date? And I'd give them a date. Plus, we flew people up and we put them up in the hotels. So we didn't personally make a ton of money. That wasn't my thing. My thing was having the best shows I could possibly have and making a name right.  And making a name for the club?  0:08:24 - Anne Absolutely, and that's interesting because, again, I like to talk about the entrepreneurial business side of what we do as creatives and freelancers, and there's a lot of thinking outside the box and also recognizing the value of the talent, that if you wanna put out great work, then you wanna hire a talent that's amazing and great and pay them fairly and absolutely. And so talk to me a little bit about the networking aspect. I mean, the cash is a good draw, but you also had to communicate effectively, I would say, to really book these talent.  0:08:58 - Tom Well, the thing that separated me from everybody else, besides being generous with the money that was brought in, was that I knew what they were going through, no matter what it was going on on stage. If they were dealing with a heckler, I'd gone through that as a comedian. If they were bombing, I knew that pain, so I could empathize with them, I could be their counselor, I could give them advice. I looked at it like I wasn't really a good comedian, and mainly that was because I wasn't true to who I am personally. So my mantra after that was be yourself.  0:09:32 - Anne I love that.  0:09:33 - Tom Yeah, that's who I wasn't. I was trying to fit in and have everybody like me and that really affected the quality of my stand up because I wasn't being true to me. So that was my mantra to everybody be yourself. Because nobody can take that away from you.  0:09:49 - Anne That's so interesting because I never ventured into comedy myself. However, I find that people find me the most funny when I am being my dorky self and I'm making mistakes and I'm just being oops, sorry, and I think in voiceover as well. I wanna talk more about that. I think it's all about being authentic and being yourself and that's really, I think, what connects you to people and engages you to people and endears you to people.  0:10:14 - Tom Yeah, I think it's really important when you get a job, and especially if it's somebody you want to get more bookings from play around, have fun. I mean, I booked a video game and the first thing we did we went through several of the lines I had to do and then we went through all those and I just did just the lines, basically no acting or anything like that and they went. Yep, that's about it. I went great, thank you.  0:10:33 - Anne Love it, love it, bye, bye.  0:10:35 - Tom So everybody started laughing. It loosens everybody up and that's really it's just. Don't be a pain on the ass. Realize that you're always learning. They're always learning. Everybody's a professional too, and so be courteous and nice and smart and be entertaining. You are the talent, so show some talent as a professional as well.  0:10:53 - Anne Show some talent. I love that. So talk about in the transition while booking talent. So you did that for a very long time, I mean 30 years, and so, wow, I mean, was there a point? I mean, were you just so busy for 30 years Did you think about voiceover? Was that a thought in your head or something that you would do, or you just were completely. You loved running the club and booking talent.  0:11:18 - Tom Prior to moving to San Francisco, I lived in Florida, lived in Sarasota, Florida, and I did a lot of theater there.  That's why, I fell in love with theater and acting. You know, I always thought like, oh, stand up might be a good gateway to getting into acting, but then I got into the business end of it. So I didn't really think about it until I got out and I didn't know what I was gonna do. And I was talking to Carlos and he said dude, you do so many voices and stuff. You'd be great at voice acting.  Cause I've always done impressions, never stopped doing impressions. In fact I would teach other people like Kevin Pollack or something, if they had an oppression and they couldn't figure it quite out. They were doing it but they weren't quite right. We'd kind of jam and help them get there, or they would help me get there and we'd all do our really weird outside the box impersonations. You'd have to spend five minutes explaining who that guy is Right right right.  0:12:07 - Anne So you can't do that one.  0:12:09 - Tom But for comics, we love doing those, especially impersonators, impressionists, we love doing those for other impersonators. It was kind of like our jazz moment, you know, where you get to jam behind the scenes with another musician.  0:12:20 - Anne Absolutely.  0:12:21 - Tom So Frank Calliendo, I had the club, and Dana Carvey, of course, was the master of the not perfect impression, but getting the perfect funny it didn't matter, that's what his genius is. Bye, you know, is finding the perfect funny to any voice. And then Tom Kenny played. The club started at Cobbs as well Again, the guy who did so many crazy voices. It was another inspiration for me to move there, and every once in a while I talked to him, cause I'll get a audition for something that I know is directing or in, so I go heads up and he's going dude.  I have nothing to do with casting, you know sometimes they cast people and I'm scratching my head. So yeah, but I'll put in a good word for you.  0:12:58 - Anne So Well, hey again, networking totally helps. Now comedy skill. I think comedy is a skill and art form. What are your thoughts on that?  0:13:07 - Tom I mean cause, oh, absolutely.  0:13:08 - Anne Yeah, it's not something that I can go on a stage and execute.  0:13:11 - Tom Yeah, it's like anything else I personally believe.  my philosophy is we all have a gift somewhere along the line. We might not be in a position ever to know what that gift is, but we all have a gift and sometimes there are people out there have more than a couple fair, but there's also people who just don't ever find theirs. And I think that the idea is you know to try to discover who you are and your strengths, weaknesses. Stay away from those weaknesses and hurdle towards your strengths, you know, and don't get locked up into one thing to always be on the road to discovery.  0:13:42 - Anne I guess I want to ask you first of all about once you got into voice acting and then was it like you were always wanting to book a certain genre because you've had lots of characters inside of you that wanted to come out? Or did you find any of the genres outside of character Interesting, because I'm a believer that you're a character in just about everything you do, even if you're doing e-learning.  0:14:05 - Tom Yeah, I always try to find a person, even when it's just one of those hey, you're a dad, or hey, you're a regular guy. Or I just had an audition yesterday where you're just a regular father, you know it's regular. But the line said something else, you know. So I gave one as what they were saying and then one. That's what I felt the lines were doing. It was a subtle difference, but it was a difference that maybe whoever put this together wants to see. If somebody figured it out, or they didn't know that's where they were going and they don't know. Sometimes they don't even know until they hear it.  So give them what you think they want, and then give them what they say they want.  0:14:39 - Anne So interesting. I guess I would talk to you then about writing right, especially now that you've transitioned in voice acting and you're given a script right, or you're given an audition and finding the humor. Sometimes there's subtleties in that humor, sometimes it's obvious. Are there telltale signs to look out for? And then, once you do see it, is there a specific way that you feel it should be performed? Should it be performed in the obvious way? Or maybe, if you wanna capture the ear of the casting director, you do something different?  0:15:08 - Tom Well, I think you know what you do with a couple takes is you do the one that's on the page and then you do the one that where you think they go or where you can go with it to show what you can bring to the party. I always like to find the humor in something, especially if it says it's humorous, you know, and then play around with it and add a little bit, do a little improv with it, find a little spontaneity into there, or sometimes I'll even rewrite a line, cause I think it's kind of like flat, so I'll make it a little funnier. A punchier.  0:15:36 - Anne Okay, now that gives me a segue into a question In terms of with the script, in terms of improv right For an audition, are you improving in the audition and or improving the line, and at what point do you feel that people may go too far if you're completely rewriting, or do you think that's offensive maybe?  0:15:54 - Tom I think you have to be pretty subtle in rewriting. I think you do run the risk of people going why do I bother sending you a script? Cause you're adding all this stuff to it. So you pick and choose your moments. You know I've done that before, I've added jokes. But I'll listen to it again and go okay, that's a little too much. Plus, I want to have them. I don't want the person thinking after the third one, is he gonna go back to the script or what you know. So I wanna pick and choose my moments and make sure that I think of the funniest, the ones that have the most oomph. You want them to land, and so era on the side of too few than too many.  0:16:33 - Anne Let's talk about character development for you, especially because you're an impressionist. So how can you take, let's say, and you don't necessarily wanna have a character that's just after a particular person, but you wanna develop it into your own character. Is there a formula or a process for that, in terms of developing new characters?  0:16:51 - Tom Well, I have a book of all the impersonations I do, well, a book with the impersonations I do. And then I have like one that's like the ones I do pretty right on, and the ones I do that are just kind of soft. I don't really have it down, but that's great because it's a character.  0:17:07 - Anne Do you have a number for that? Somebody wants to have how many characters in their arsenal, how many to build off of.  0:17:13 - Tom Every day that I can figure out how to do a different celebrity or something like that. I write it down in the book Cause it comes to you sometimes. I mean, when I figured out how to do Robin Williams, it just was an accident. It's one of those things where you find a word and all of a sudden. Then you find a place in your throat and you're doing it and you can't stop.  0:17:32 - Anne It's crazy so it just never stops. I love it, I love it.  0:17:37 - Tom So one day I did Robin for Robin and that didn't go so well, apparently I didn't know he doesn't like his voice, apparently being impersonated. You didn't like that. No, it's really a very awkward Cause. I thought it'd be a lot of fun.  0:17:50 - Anne Yeah, and that's interesting because I'm curious about that. You know, celebrities like their voices impersonated, or now we've got a whole another, a whole another digital thing to be thinking about, when voices might be impersonated or turned into right With synthetic voices. But that might be another podcast.  0:18:10 - Tom That's a little scary.  0:18:11 - Anne That's a scary one, absolutely.  0:18:13 - Tom The thing about it is is like the flaws, like, let's say, go back to Dana Carvey, cause again there aren't many that he does right on, he'll leave me be the first to admit it. He's not like somebody like Frank Caliendo, who's just like amazing. He's verbatim, you can hear the voice. He's somebody who can do a sound alike. Dana could never do a sound alike, but he gets people's caricature down. That's the thing is it's like, and that's kind of what makes it funny is the imperfections is going up, finding those words.  I just, you know, I used to do Bruce Stern and a lot of people kind of forgot who he was, and then one day I just was doing it for somebody to just start laughing Cause they didn't even remember who that Bruce Stern was. But it's just his voice is funny, you know, cause he has a kind of voice like that and it's very inquisitive either. Everything goes up at the end Doesn't make a darn gosh darn bit of difference, and not sometimes he gets crazy. But and so you find those little imperfections actually make a character and make it really funny. That's what I like to do. You know, I did a animation pilot and it was like a hippie character and I was going through a bunch of voices with a writer cause they booked me and they didn't feel like they wanted to do something different with it. They said what can you do? And I was going through my book and I started doing Nick Nolte and they loved it and then you ended up going with that over what they originally had, with me doing it.  0:19:37 - Anne So I love how you have a book with everything written down. Now, do you also have audio files that go along with that, so that you can help yourself get into words?  0:19:45 - Tom Yeah, I have one where it's all my impressions, so that way I can go back. And how do I do that? One Cause I don't practice them all the time. Cause.  0:19:54 - Anne I have life.  0:19:55 - Tom So, and I don't want to be walking around talking to myself, of course, of course. Man, it's got so many voices.  0:20:00 - Anne So are you writing down then the name and then you write down the qualities of the characteristics or how you get into it. Is it a kick phrase? Maybe that gets you into the character.  0:20:10 - Tom Well, there's certain words, for example, you know, I came up with for Christopher Walk and I came up with the word pantaloon being the perfect Christopher Walken word. I'm thinking cowbell but that's yeah, cause. Well, that's, this is before cowbell yeah, before cowbell.  0:20:26 - Anne But pantaloon automatically gets me there. I love it. I love it Cause I say it.  0:20:33 - Tom I can't help but do more. Christopher Walken, who doesn't like a nice pair of pantaloons?  0:20:43 - Anne I love it. I love it.  0:20:44 - Tom Cause you want your calves exposed. So yeah, and then with Kurt Douglas, it was horse, oh Horse, okay, I'm going to read my horse. If I say horse, I go into Kurt Douglas Well.  0:21:01 - Anne I think there's something always so obviously so entertaining, but something that just draws people to comedy. What are your thoughts about this crazy, chaotic world that we live in today, and where does comedy sit now, I mean, in terms of how important is it?  0:21:17 - Tom I think comedy is as important as it ever was. And it's in a weird place right now, cause I think a lot of people are reacting to people saying words and there's a lot of people getting offended easily and comedy is not for those folks that have thin skin, both sides of it.  I find it funny that I think a lot of comics right now have thin skin as far as getting some criticism back, cause it's also about growth. What was funny in 1970, if you listened to comedy in 1970 or the 80s, it's not as funny now. In some of it's just not funny at all. We grow, we expand, we move on, and to me, that's what's great about comedy is it's about adapting. You're always adapting. You're always growing, as you should be as a person. So to me, if you're moving the ball forward constantly in your life, you're gonna be a better person than you were 10 years ago. So why not take that to comedy? Absolutely, the things that were funny like 15, 20 years ago are real cringy right now, and it's not because they weren't funny back then. They were. It's the same reason I get upset with people who go back like 20 years and go. I can't believe you said that back then.  0:22:28 - Anne Well, back then that wasn't offensive.  0:22:30 - Tom Exactly, we didn't find that offensive back then. Now we've all grown up and we've all moved on a bit and we understand that's not the same. But don't punish me for something that was okay Back then. Mark Twain, who wrote a famous book about a guy named Tom Sawyer, had a lot of cringy stuff in his books. There's still masterworks of literature, but those were the times. We have to accept. That's where those books came and there were a reflection of those times. Same way we would stand up. So to me it's just about. Everybody just needs to grow up. Everybody needs to understand where everybody was back then and where they are now and be better for them.  0:23:06 - Anne Yeah, yeah. Do you find that you miss owning a comedy club or booking talent or having that in your life?  0:23:12 - Tom I miss working with young comics. That's the thing I miss the most and it was actually when I started. The last version of Cubs when it exists now, because it's a 400-seat room has really amazing acts, but they're much bigger acts and they generally bring their own acts with them, and comedians who can bring their own acts generally don't bring really really great acts because they don't want to have to work as hard. I would make comics work hard because I would have really good acts going on before them.  Sure, so they have to try to continually stand tall, so they had to keep their game. My thing was like Interesting strategy. I like that yeah yeah, absolutely Nobody could coast. And then later on it was comics they would bring in.  I didn't think they were as talented as some of the people I could book with these guys, and so I wasn't really working with the comics anymore as much as I used to, and so that's one of the things about smaller room is you can get to work with younger comics and you get to tell them the dos and the don'ts and hopefully guide them to a path where they can be their best selves on stage. Sure, that part I miss.  0:24:14 - Anne And actually, speaking of that, what sort of advice would you give to voice talent out there that want to continually up their game and stay on top of the voiceover game, because, boy, it's competitive out there, super competitive.  0:24:27 - Tom It's crazy, it's crazy.  0:24:29 - Anne Like just as I'm sure it was in comedy and being in the club. It's such a mental game a lot of the times too.  0:24:34 - Tom Yeah, the nice thing about voiceover having been a stage actor very early in my life is you don't see the person who you're auditioning for, so you don't see that look, as soon as you hit the stage, that you've already lost your audition. You're not the person they're looking for, and that's so disheartening sometimes so at least you go into every audition with this could?  0:24:56 - Anne be the one.  0:24:57 - Tom And I love auditioning, so I love going into another character or finding something I haven't found before, or even sometimes there's a couple of characters I do that I think, oh man, this one is definitely gonna find a home someplace. It's just a matter of getting in front of the right casting person hearing it. So I'll bring out those guys every now and then, when it's the right opportunity for those characters, cause they're like they're my buddies. I want them to succeed. Yeah, I think just have fun in the booth is the main thing, and if you need to take a break, tell your agent I need to take a break. I mean, I talked to other voice actors and it gets a little depressing. Everybody came in this business thinking that everybody always said I should be in voice acting and everybody always said this is what I should be doing and I did it and nothing's happening.  0:25:43 - Anne Yeah, what's your advice for that? Because that becomes like a mind game. It becomes like oh my God, I've done all this work, what else can I do? I mean, what would you suggest in terms of getting work? It seems like the question I get most often as a coach is like so all right, I've got this great demo now and had this great coaching, and so now, where's the work? How do I get the work? Or how do I stand out?  0:26:04 - Tom I think the thing about it is acting as a lottery. You're buying a lottery ticket is what you're doing. I mean, carlos Alice Rocky was a comic Lucky, had a job, state entertainment state creative, but it was getting the Taco Bell, chihuahua and all those people you auditioned from and he hit it, hit the lottery, you know so, and from there he's done so many other things. But when I say who Carlos Alice Rocky is, when I bring him up, I always go the Taco Bell, chihuahua guy and they go oh, I love that. So it's the same thing where you just go, my lottery ticket is gonna come and you're gonna believe in yourself.  When you believe in your talent and talk to other people in the business too. Just do classes I think it's still a good idea to do, just as even a workout session. Plus, you get some inspiration from other people who have a different style, maybe that you see something in yourself or you bring out something in yourself you didn't know was there. So I would say, take a class every now and then network with other people who just to have support, just so, hey, I'm here for you when you're down on yourself, in the same way that if I need somebody to talk to and say, hey, I'm really kind of wondering what the hell I'm doing here.  And they can talk you down from being sad or lift your spirits up and let you know you're really a talented person. That's why you got into this whole thing in the first place.  0:27:16 - Anne Yeah, I think that self-sabotage can happen to the best of us even.  0:27:20 - Tom And then sometimes you'll hear it in the reads. I mean, again, I'll go into a class and you can tell the person who's been beat down on pretty bad by themselves, mostly Cause do you have an agent? Yeah, do you have a demo? Yeah, well, you're doing all the right things and I think it's good to have an agent or two that are giving you good feedback or giving you feedback.  0:27:40 - Anne I was with an agency that way too many people.  0:27:43 - Tom The poop sticks agency you have 400 people that they represent and you just go. That's too many. I don't feel special when you're just going okay.  You got a demo, you're in. So I think, being with a smaller agency, that's a little more hands-on. Both my agents give me feedback every time, even if it's just a nice job. Yeah, and because of that I feel like I'm better for it, because I already know if I see a script, I know exactly what kind of read in the ballpark I need to be, so that's what I'm gonna get back. I'm at the point now where I really get back oh, you need to do this, this is too much, and something like that. So it's always I recognize what I'm working with right away. I do it, get it out, get the feedback, forget about it.  0:28:26 - Anne That's what you gotta do. I think a lot of people really crave feedback in this industry because we are just in our studios, kind of just talking into our little four padded walls, and so a lot of times it's hard when you don't get feedback and it's interesting.  0:28:40 - Tom Yeah, especially if you don't have a partner in a relationship, you know where you can at least go hey, honey, what do you think of this?  0:28:47 - Anne Yeah, you can bounce it off.  0:28:48 - Tom I don't bother my wife with everything, but every once in a while, you know, I go. You know, what do you think of this? Or she'll hear me and she'll go. I need to hear the whole thing. She'll hear me in my booth screaming, you know. And then now she has to hear all the stuff I did in that character.  0:29:04 - Anne I love what you said about well, at least when you're in front of a stage, I can, you can get that reaction from the audience. You know that, if you've bombed or not already, and the fact that when you're in your studio you actually use the fact that you're not in front of an audience as a creative kind of positive outlook, that you can be creative and not have to face that which is so interesting from, let's say, somebody that doesn't necessarily or hasn't started from being on stage. They might've worked a corporate job and now all of a sudden they're getting into character acting, and so they don't have that perspective. So I really like that perspective of taking the challenge and I think the creativity has to be in your brain, your imagination. You have to imagine that character in that scene, which is so difficult for some people. Do you have any tips on how to really create a scene realistically while you're sitting here in your studio?  0:29:53 - Tom Yeah, I think the most important thing, especially when you get those video games where it's like one line, one line, one line, one line, five, one lines and they're like hey, don't touch that rock and you're going. How are these people going to book somebody based on five lines that are no more than 10 words for the longest one?  and you're going, how am I gonna stand out in front of anybody? So you gotta kind of create a scene around those and those. I generally will write a bigger scene for the line and then because I'll have the line in there and I'll make sure that it doesn't bleed into the other words that I'm saying, but that gives me a little bit more emotional pop for that line.  0:30:35 - Anne Are you developing the characters that you're interacting with as well?  0:30:38 - Tom I know who I'm talking to. Yeah, so I might not have the character fully developed, but I know who I'm talking to.  0:30:44 - Anne Right, and what's happening in that scene? And what's happening, yeah, and you actually write that down.  0:30:48 - Tom I'll go on Word, I'll cut and paste the lines and then I'll put words around the line and highlight the line that is actually in it. So I have all the other words and a highlighted line to make sure I hit that one. But I know what's going on and I try to create more around it.  0:31:05 - Anne So how long would you say do you spend, let's say, analyzing and doing all that work? How long would you say you take for an audition to kind of do that creating the scene and writing that down before you go in and record?  0:31:17 - Tom It depends on my schedule and what I have to do and also how much I think something is really in my wheelhouse. I mean there's things you get where it's like I knock it out in 10 minutes because I really have a solid idea of what I'm gonna do with it and I go and do it and I listen to. It sounds good. With characters, though, with video games and animation, I really like to do as much as I possibly can. I remember I did this video game audition where the character was cockney. I called my dialect coach and we went through the whole thing together.  It was like a class for me. I thought this was a good opportunity to have a little class on doing a cockney accent and I said can I book our session with you? And we just worked on the script I was auditioning for because I really I loved it and I really wanted to nail it and, regardless, I got a class out of it. So it did two things for me helped me learn, and I put that learning to immediate use.  0:32:11 - Anne Absolutely absolutely.  0:32:13 - Tom And again, that's a really good thing to do is have a network of people, find a good dialect coach, find people that are teachers or coaches that you can work with, that you can go to and use them when you need, when you're stuck or when you just need something. Had a Pixar audition that I did and the character was obviously somebody from Eastern Europe and I had a friend who's from Ukraine and we went through the script and she helped me with some of the pronunciations and I didn't book it but I really felt confident sending it in.  0:32:45 - Anne I really felt like I nailed it Exactly. I love that because you've gotten the worth out of it, whether you booked it or not. So that's the other thing. So when you really are excited about something and you do all that work and you feel like you nailed the audition, but then you didn't book it, thoughts on how to stop that from getting you all upset and, oh my God, that's it.  0:33:03 - Tom Well, it's sort of like you still have to go. This is out of my control. I have no idea what the other person at the other end is going through what they've got in front of them. If they end up going with somebody that they've already booked for something and they can give them another character because union rules and it's like you did a really good job, maybe even better than that person but they're already booked and they don't have to pay another person to do that voice. They can do up to three voices and not get a penny more. So they go. Let's just give them that, so you don't know all the little things that transpire for somebody to get that part over you.  0:33:35 - Anne Yeah, and I think it's important for people to understand that it doesn't necessarily reflect on a poor performance or a poor audition.  0:33:42 - Tom No, my agent is a very funny woman and my auditions who I'm getting in front of have escalated. I'm doing more Disney Pixar auditions and stuff like that and she just goes. You're feeling upwardly.  0:33:53 - Anne There you go. I love that.  0:33:56 - Tom Which I thought was hilarious, because we always think we're failing. We're not. We're all doing the best we can and we're all doing great auditions. But because I'm doing so well in my auditions, other casting people are getting interested, so I am getting in front of people that I didn't get in front of, like four or five years ago.  0:34:12 - Anne Awesome, that's awesome. So even if you don't book the job, you could be making an impression on someone that can get you maybe the next job or the job after that.  0:34:21 - Tom That's the idea. They go well.  I really like that because you don't know, when I was booking COBS I would get DVDs and before that VHSs of comedians from around the country. We were very well known so I would get them from New York, boston, other parts of the country and they'd just pile up on my desk because it was excruciating for me at some times. So then at one point, when they were ready to fall over, I would just start watching them. In the beginning I would watch two or three minutes of somebody. Then it came down to just 30 seconds to a minute, because you know right away and that's how I'm sure it is for casting people.  0:34:56 - Anne You know right away if there's talent or if they were gonna be bookable absolutely or if they're right or wrong.  0:35:01 - Tom You might like them and you might wanna listen to the whole thing and you would go ah, they're just not quite right. I need a little bit of a younger voice. This is obviously somebody who's an older voice and I think it's really. I mean, I try to do what I can and have as much fun as I can, because there's gonna be probably 10 years down the road where this voice isn't gonna sound the same and I'll be doing grandpas and wizards.  0:35:22 - Anne So yeah, our voices do change as they age. I have experienced that myself. I certainly sound a whole lot different than I did 10 years ago. Well, well, this has been an amazing discussion, Tom. I so appreciate you taking the time and just dropping all these wonderful tips and tricks and words of wisdom for the boss listeners out there.  0:35:45 - Tom Yeah, yeah, have fun kids. That's the message.  0:35:47 - Anne There you go. I love that. So, bosses, I want you to take a moment and imagine a world full of passionate and powered, diverse individuals giving collectively and intentionally to create the world that they wanna see. You can make a difference. Find out more at 100voiceshoocareorg. And a big shout out to our sponsor, ipdtl. You, too, can network and connect with amazing people like Tom. Find out more at IPDTLcom. You guys have an amazing week and we'll see you next week. Bye.  0:36:18 - Outro Join us next week for another edition of VO Boss with your host, Ann Gangusa, and take your business to the next level. Sign up for our mailing list at vobosscom and receive exclusive content, industry revolutionizing tips and strategies and new ways to rock your business like a boss. Redistribution with permission. Coast to coast connectivity via IPDTL.  Transcribed by https://podium.page  
Oct 24, 2023
36 min
Expanding Your Creativity
In a world dominated by templates and a constant push for efficiency, Anne and Lau are serving up a fresh perspective on using creativity for business success. In this episode, The Bosses dissect the art of brainstorming, the power of accountability groups, and the role of improvisation in expanding your horizon of creative thinking. Hear about our unique take on how a business coach can help you conceive novel ways to stimulate business growth. Anne and Lau also break down the process of taking a raw idea and creating a tangible vision for it through research and education. 0:00:01 - Intro It's time to take your business to the next level, the boss level. These are the premier business owner strategies and successes being utilized by the industry's top talent today. Rock your business like a boss a VO Boss. Now let's welcome your host, Anne Ganguzza.  0:00:20 - Anne Hey, hey everyone, welcome to the VO Boss podcast. I'm your host, Anne Ganguzza, and I am here today with the lovely and most talented Law Lapides. Hey everyone, ah, law, it's a wonderful day today. A wonderful day today. It is. Yeah, I am feeling a creative spark in the air Law.  0:00:43 - Lau I felt that too. I wonder if it's change of season or with the new fall rush coming on, I don't know. There's a little mixed with vacation-ish August. We've got that spark going on. I feel it too, Anne.  0:00:56 - Anne And you know what? I just got together. As you know, we just got together with a bunch of creatives and there's nothing to help spur your creativity rather than being with more creatives. Right, I think we should talk about ways to expand your creativity, because expanding your creativity is going to help you in the booth, it's going to help you create your characters, bring something new to the table and just, I think, get a lot of fulfillment and joy out of what you do, as long as you can find the creative angle. And I'll tell you what I get so many people that want to come into the voiceover industry because they say I'm creative and I don't feel like I'm able to express that creativity. And I'm always of the belief that, no matter where you are, you can find your creativity. You just have to sometimes be a little more, maybe, resourceful than at other times, but I always feel as though you can express creativity or expand your creativity by just digging in a little deeper and thinking a little bit outside the box.  0:01:57 - Lau Absolutely. And why do they call us creatives? We're creatives because we create. We love creating. We should be creative at all times, even if we're resting or on vacation. There's all different ways we can be creative, whether you're trying a new food or a new restaurant, or you're going down a new street to look at architecture. How are we expressing our creativity in our worlds that then we take into the booth and in the studio and in the office. That directly informs the kind of business and the kind of process that we create. And you know what's funny? One of my pet peeves was you know, when you get asked on a forum what are your hobbies? What do you like to do? I don't know. I don't know how to answer that. I don't consider myself having hobbies and yet I'm a very creative force and love doing a lot of things. I just never categorize it as a hobby. I always feel like it's integrated with my identity and who I am.  0:02:55 - Anne Yeah, and it's integrated on what you do on a daily basis. And I'll tell you one area where I think that expanding your creativity or knowing how to delve deep into that part of you will help is that I have many students where you know I'm teaching acting for long form narration and a lot of times, long form narration doesn't have an obvious story to it. So I will oftentimes and I know you'll do this as well for your actors You'll tell them to create that scene, and we are constantly needing to create a scene, and I can't tell you the amount of times that I've had students say, well, that doesn't make any sense, I don't, I can't know. And I'll say give me the scene, what are you doing? What's the conversation? And they'll just be like well, this is hard.  Well, your creative brain is a muscle, guys, and so I truly believe that you can exercise that muscle on a day to day basis and you can come up with scenes.  You can come up with things that will allow your voiceovers to be believable and authentic and really relate to your audience that you're talking to. So one of the things that I like to do to delve deep into my creativity is I used to have this little jar where I had all these little creative ideas and it didn't have to be creative ideas for voiceover, although I think I could tailor it to that right and you would pick one idea out of the jar and it'll say create a character that is based on your favorite aunt or uncle and record a five minute monologue. Okay and so right there, it really requires you to delve deep in and focus and focus. I think focus is one of the most important things to really start to dig deep and find where your creativity is and to think about all the possible ways. Law what are some tips you have for delving deep into that creativity?  0:04:43 - Lau Ooh, what a good question. And it's like if we can make it a real thing, a technique, a process, then we could be more mindful, potentially, of doing it every day to help balance our health and our mind and our body and everything. I think that's fantastic. I would give one tip and I would say that mindfulness is something that you have to structure. So I think people think, oh, it's an aesthetic and it's sort of impulse or knee-jerk reaction.  When I think of it, I do it, but really I feel like the strategy and the structure comes, the habit that you do over time and then goes from creative technique into a business strategy. So, even if it's a small thing, like every day, I wake up and I mindfully do a brain dump and I do it on paper, I speak it out loud to empty my brain. To me that's a very creative thing to do, because I could not only feel better and feel more neutralized, but I also may make discoveries about what's in my head that I didn't actually realize was there. It's subconscious stuff that's kind of rolling out and I find that very useful. Especially you and I are idea people. We're like advertising agency people, like we have to come up with ideas just like that, whether it's for a script or a delivery that helps come up with ideas.  0:06:04 - Anne I love that you segwayed so lovely into that, because I was gonna say you have to have an end goal in mind, right? I also used to scrapbook and that was one of my passions. And I say I used to, I feel bad because I really want to scrapbook. Still.  Other things started taking up my time, but it used to be that I would see a picture of a scrapbook page that I thought was gorgeous and it was just a layout and I said, oh, and it was a layout of, let's say, the first date with my husband or the wedding, or it could be my hobby, where I used to ride horses, and so it would be maybe a page or a layout that I saw about that, and it would be a creative spark and that would allow me to go and delve deep into like, okay, let me go find my pictures, let me go write something about that, because in scrapbooking it's very much about journaling and one thing that I love the most about scrapbooking and I know things have gone digital, but I'll tell you what there's nothing like looking at a paper scrapbook and just thumbing through those pages of memories, looking at pictures and reading, and I absolutely it was going to capture those memories and I love just looking back on that. And so I still believe that there's something to the writing it down on a piece of paper and having something tactile that you can touch and feel, and I think the end goal can be something to start with and then kind of work backwards to think about how are you going to reach that end goal? So, perhaps in voiceover, maybe you want to create a new character, right, and your new character would be maybe some like give it a characteristic, right, you want to have that funny, dorky character? Well, okay, work backwards from that, okay. And so who is it in your life that's funny and dorky? What do they say all the time? Write that down. Those could be funny lines that you could then practice and just really shape your character to that. I think that's one good way to do that, and I love your brain dump in the beginning in the early morning, because that's great, just getting all that stuff out and then maybe setting a long-term goal for your creative Like creativity can also be. It doesn't just have to be let me create a character voice.  Creative is let me get better at telling stories. So how am I going to develop my creative style to be able to tell stories better? And I want to be able to tell stories better on, let's say, really dry material. Well, I got lots of that for you because I do tons of long format narration. I can help you with that. Just go find some really dry material out there and let's figure out what's the storyline, figure out how to break it down. And again, I think number one is have that end goal. Number two is educate. Gosh, I'm such an educator, right, I mean I love education. I think along the way, if you can educate yourself. You can certainly Google storytelling, key steps for storytelling, and you can also work with someone as well to help you develop key steps for storytelling. But educating yourself like that, I think there's just nothing that can beat that.  0:08:53 - Lau You know. It's so true. When you get it down on paper, there's something that becomes real about it. To get it out of your head and do, the process of writing it down or typing it out becomes real, and then even speaking it to someone becomes even more real. Before you manifest these ideas as actual events, I'm gonna give a tip too, and I'm gonna call it alchemy.  So I always feel like what we do in our craft and in our art and in our businesses as bosses is create alchemy and meaning taking nothing and creating something out of it. Unlike a magician, which I always think of magic as something where we're making something disappear or removing something or we have an illusion going on. This is a little bit different. I think of this almost more scientifically, like nothing is there and then all of a sudden, something is there and it's very real and you did it and you manifested it so creatively. Do anything you can do where nothing is there and then you create something.  So, for instance, take a blank canvas, create a visual, take clay and then create something out of the clay. Or take a seed and plant it and then there's a flower, so that you can manifest the idea that my ideas may not all come true, they may not all manifest, but because they're there and they're present and I'm allowing them to come out into the world that there is a chance that alchemy can happen from that process. And that's that risk that we talk about, that's that falling off the cliff and saying, oh, sometimes things actually happen and are created out of process. So, creatively speaking, I think that's a tremendous hobby, if you will, to just practice that, practice creating something out of absolutely nothing. And now where?  0:10:40 - Anne do you go for ideas? That's a good question, right, gosh. I just say the internet is at your disposal, right? And also other creatives, right? Other creatives doing brainstorm sessions, you know those accountability groups. I mean I say take five, 10 minutes and talk about, hey, what can we do to expand creatively? And there's lots of things that can help you to expand creatively too. That's within the realm of voiceover. One of the biggest I can think of right now is improv. Right, improv is creative. Take a conversation and go with it and run with it.  0:11:10 - Lau That's the best of Alchemy, actually. Yes.  0:11:12 - Anne Exactly and just create that, but I think also getting together in brainstorming. I do have a business coach that I have had for the past gosh 12 years and I absolutely love my business coach and we brainstorm, we brainstorm. Once a month we have a session where we brainstorm and we say where is it that Anne wants her business to go? But that is a creative brainstorm and what can we do? And I'm constantly evolving. I think we had an episode on either parallel streams of income or what is your plan B, right? You should always have that backup plan. And so what else will you do to grow your business right? And that's a very creative endeavor. And for me, I'm going to tell you that the VO Peeps and the VO Boss podcast the very podcast that you're listening to, bosses was a creative endeavor because one of the things I saw was an end goal of like, oh, a podcast that sounds really cool, I wanna do that.  And then I took that one idea. That was really nothing and I had said, okay, now what do I have to do? What are the steps that I have to take in order to create that right? And the first step was what's the vision for it? What is it that I wanna do, or what is it that I want to conceive and will other people and it doesn't always have to benefit other people, but for me, I wanted it to be a resource. So that was within the realm of my project scoped. Okay, I want this to be an educational resource. Now, how am I gonna get there? Right, what am I gonna do?  Well, first step started brainstorming it with somebody and then educating myself on the process, and I did that a lot. When, as a scrapbooker as well, right, I saw a scrapbook page with paper flowers and I'm like I should be able to make paper flowers, like there are some really beautiful paper flowers out there. Right, there's techniques, there's things that you can do, there's all different patterns and kinds of paper and techniques, and you can crumple the paper first and then you can put layers of that with a different pattern paper. It's amazing, and I think, even if you're doing creative things that don't have to do with voiceover or don't have to do with your business, they will absolutely, number one, bring you joy if creativity is what you are seemingly lacking in your life, but it can also open your mind to doing things to propel yourself forward personally and professionally.  0:13:26 - Lau Ooh, I love that. So you're really looking the fine details, the really small little minutiae in what you're doing, rather than just the big task of it. But look at the little moments that happen, that really are like sliding doors. They really change the trajectory of where your piece or art or business is going to go based on those little tiny details. I think that that is phenomenal. I would even motivate people to be very visceral and very kinesthetic about it every day, meaning don't stay online, go outside, do something outside, like I love to go into a little bookstore and see what's in there that inspires me, that makes me excited or happy, or go get a massage or go to a movie or go I've been bike riding lately and outside Go shop yeah.  I don't know. Do something that's physical and visceral bike riding, walking, whatever you're doing. Go to a restaurant, go to a diner, go sit and have french fries so that you can really observe people, look at human behavior, watch the servers smell the cooking, feel the table, and it sounds insane. But it's like we forget how to do that when we're inside too long and we're locked in too long. And that is my hobby. That is like my hobby.  0:14:45 - Anne I love that. People, people, people. Can I just reiterate people. And again, because Law-U and I just came back from a conference gosh, being around other creative people, just soaking up the energy. Not even you don't even have to be discussing things that are creative, you just have to be around other people that have that creative energy and observe them and see what they're doing and then be inspired by them and be motivated. So be open to that instead of let's say maybe I don't know, being at a conference and being I don't know like sad or feeling bad about yourself or not feeling like you're enough. I went and saw the Barbie movie, that kind of a thing.  I actually always thought that for me, creatively watching wonderful media, great movies, listening to great music was always such a wonderful experience to bring out the creativity in me and to relax me, to get me thinking, to get me outside of myself, because sometimes we're so stuck inside ourselves that we cannot get out of it. And I'm gonna say this for those people who say I am so miserable in my job Okay, I get it. If you're maybe miserable in a situation where maybe you've got people around you, that it can become toxic. You're not happy, you're bored, whatever that is, I think that there's always a way in your mind creatively to get out of it, okay. So here I'm gonna get a little bit philosophical. Maybe I was the youngest child and I had three brothers and one of the things was because obviously I couldn't share a room, right, I was on my own quite a bit and my brothers would do off doing their things, having fun and doing their brother things, and I would very much, a lot of the time, be alone playing by myself. And that play time right, playtime guys, we should have playtime even as adults right, that playtime allowed me to be creative. And of course now I'm thinking of the Barbie, that I would play with my Barbies and I would play with lots of toys. I did all sorts of things with my imagination to create scenes. So it's absolutely in every one of us. I think we just have to revisit and give ourselves some time so that we can have that time for ourselves. And if you're miserable in your job, I think there's always a way to find a part of your job that you can become creative in. I say that I mean I worked gosh, I was in a couple of different industries, right, I was an educator.  I loved being an educator number one because I loved learning. Learning meant that nothing was ever the same and I was able to educate. But also, in that way, I was creative. Right, I was creating classes. If I thought this was a really cool technique, I would create a class and I would teach someone. When I worked in the medical industry, you know, I was an engineer, I was trying to solve problems, and when I worked in technology and networking, I was trying to solve problems that people had, or create something so that people wouldn't experience the problems that I did. I mean, one of the reasons I created the VO Boss Blast was because I didn't have time to do a ton of auditions and I wanted to be able to direct market, and so I said I need something where I can just put my name out there to the people who might be able to hire me. And so I created the Boss Blast for myself initially, and then I said, oh my gosh, wouldn't it be great to be able to share this Boom yes, there you go.  0:18:08 - Lau In essence, you're satisfying your needs as a business owner while satisfying others' needs. Is that not perfect? I think that's a perfect alchemy right there, and a whole bunch of stuff came to my head, like go bowling, play games, collect shells on the beach, like, do stuff, do stuff, do stuff. Not only will you find what feels good and meditative and right for you, but you're really gonna make these discoveries that you can't necessarily make sitting in your room or sitting in your booth. It really is about your environment. How are you reacting to your environment and how are you informed by your environment? I know I love to dance, like I was at this conference with you, annie, and I was up half the night dancing and I couldn't move the next day because you know like my hip and my this.  0:18:57 - Anne I was insane.  0:18:58 - Lau I was a crazy person.  0:18:59 - Anne I saw you and I thought oh my God, look at her go. I loved it. I know People are like do ages dance. It made me so happy, Lau. I meant to tell you that and I was like look at her, go. She's having such a good time, and I think everyone on the dance floor that night right, it was just expressing themselves, having a good time letting go, and, again, that's something that can really help spark your creativity.  0:19:22 - Lau Yes, and there's an honesty about it, there's a purity about it. There isn't a motivation in it that we all have to do this or think this or say this, or there isn't like that we have in business, because ultimately we're trying to please the client and give them what they need. This is really not only for yourself internally, but it is for your community as well, so it satisfies both needs. And sometimes you know who your community is and sometimes it's just the world and you don't know who the community is. And it's important, I think, to relate easily and fluidly with all of that to then bring that realness to the script and bring that familiarity and authenticity to your scripts, because you've had a lot of these sensory experiences, sure you know just for yourself.  0:20:09 - Anne I think a lot of it is the creative in your brain, but it's the creative outlet as well, right, and I say outlet because that means you've got to let it out. Right, it's in your head, it's floating around. You're either gonna let it out by writing it down, by talking to someone about it, by creating something like a piece of music or a beautiful piece of art, and that is the outlet, that is the expression of creativity and that, I think, is the step that's going to come back and really give you that sense of satisfaction, fulfillment, joy, and just make sure that it gets out. I have all sorts of ideas floating around in my head. I love that. I like to think, well, okay, I've got these great ideas, now how am I going to execute that idea? Right, and again, that comes to writing it down, maybe setting a goal, working backwards from that, creating that list of things that you wanna do, talking about it to people, letting yourself go and allow yourself to be free from other garbage that's in and out of your brain. That can be bitterness, tiredness, anger, anything that's not bringing you joy. However, you release that.  Again I go on a bike ride. It's really done wonders for me and I remember it was silly because for many years during the pandemic I did not do that and I just was work, work, work, work, work. And it became stressful. And I remember for 18 years this is my husband and I. I met my husband. He was my spin instructor, so I would go spinning with him three to four times a week and that was after a day's worth of work and it was such a wonderful release for me to get rid of the tension, the stress, the annoyances of the day if I had any and then it allowed to free me up to just feel joy and start to grow and be creative again.  0:21:58 - Lau I love it, and you took the words right out of my mouth I was just about to say. The ultimatum of the day is that if we don't do this for ourselves, we really run the risk that we may have self-destructive or self-sabotage tendencies, as a lot of creatives we kind of have at building.  A lot yes so much the smoke coming out of the ears, the brain that hurts, the part that's pulsating. So being able to not only release that, but give yourself permission that it's really okay to take time for you and your world, and it's going to inspire you and make you healthier. It's really necessary to do otherwise. It can all be internalized and then start working against your process.  0:22:38 - Anne And you mentioned something so important self-sabotage, gosh. That just happens so much to us, doesn't it in this world?  Yes, because I think we're constantly trying to judge ourselves by our perceived success and success is defined in so many different ways and I think that we have to fall down and brush ourselves off and get back up and really consider that a success and not just, oh, I've booked the gig or I got that national spot or whatever that is because that self-sabotage is destructive and we had a whole episode on that but it is so self-destructive. Am I enough? Do I belong in this industry? I felt them all, by the way, at one point or another and I think, as a human being, I think we can all say that we've probably had self-sabotage creep in to our lives at one point or another, and how you get yourself out of that can be a great testament to becoming successful understanding how to release the negative and bring in the positive and bring that creativeness back to you, your product because you are your product right and your performance.  0:23:47 - Lau I love that. This is so inspiring to me. So fuel yourself with feel-good stuff that really invites invigoration and them invigor. And if you really feel that you're being drained by it you're not your best self, it's destroying you then look elsewhere, because you're going to know the difference between something that inspires your work and fuels it and something that drains you and steals your focus. Love it.  0:24:15 - Anne Well, that's another podcast, right? How do we remove ourselves from a situation that is not bringing us joy and is not bringing our ability to create, right? So what a great conversation, law. Thank you so much. I love talking to you, law. My pleasure, I think, between the two of us. Brainstorming, I mean, we do that all the time right? We are helping one another to become more creative, and bosses, you can do that as well. So I want you to now imagine a world full of passionate, empowered, diverse individuals that are giving collectively and intentionally to create the world they want. It's exactly what we've been talking about, and you can find out more at 100voiceswhocareorg. All right, big shout out to our sponsor, ipdtl. You, too, can connect and network like bosses and bring that creativity out in all of us. Have a wonderful week, guys, and we'll see you next week. See you then, bye.  0:25:13 - Outro Join us next week for another edition of VO Boss with your host, Anne Gangusa, and take your business to the next level. Sign up for our mailing list at vobosscom and receive exclusive content, industry revolutionizing tips and strategies and new ways to rock your business like a boss. Redistribution, with permission. Coast to coast connectivity via IPDTL yeah.  0:25:46 - Lau Yeah, yeah, you know, okay, just why don't you try something else? No, I don't know, just take a chance, I don't know, surprise me, surprise me.  0:26:02 - Anne Surprise me with something different, and at that point it's always like walk out of the room.  0:26:07 - Lau Okay, I don't walk out of the room.  Transcribed by https://podium.page  
Oct 17, 2023
26 min
Virtual Assistants
So you're thinking about hiring a virtual assistant... Ever wondered how to hire the right person for the job? The Bosses have got you covered. In this episode, Anne and Lau lay out the importance of understanding the job scope and setting realistic expectations. From sifting through rates and fees to seeking referrals and testimonials, we discuss it all. We share insights on how to prioritize, make substitutions, and be resourceful to afford the luxury of investing in your business. Remember, when hiring, the focus should be on what's best for your business, not just personal preference. So tune in, and let's build a successful business together, with a commitment second to none. Transcript Intro It's time to take your business to the next level, the boss level. These are the premier business owner strategies and successes being utilized by the industry's top talent today. Rock your business like a boss a VO Boss. Now let's welcome your host, Anne Ganguzza. Anne Ganguzza: Hey everyone, welcome to the VioBoss Podcast and the Boss Superpower Series. I'm your host, Ngan Gusa, and I am here with my amazing, wonderful Boss co-host, Lau Lapides. Lau Lapides: Oh, and I'm so thrilled to be back as always in the booth. Anne Ganguzza: In the booth with the bosses. Lau Lapides: What happens in our booth stays in our booths. Well, not Anne Ganguzza: Well, Lau Lapides: really, but I Anne Ganguzza: but Lau Lapides: don't Anne Ganguzza: wait, wait. So wait, we also Lau Lapides: know about Anne Ganguzza: project Lau Lapides: that. Anne Ganguzza: that, we also project that out into the global universe there. Ha Lau Lapides: We'll have to change that tagline, I think. Anne Ganguzza: ha ha. Oh man, I'll tell you what, look, I have been so busy this week and I cannot split my time up anymore. I am one person and I'm telling you, I literally have no more hours in the day. So everybody knows that has heard me go on and on and out about. the fact that I outsource and I do have a team, I think maybe we should really talk about that because I might need to increase my team because right now I'm feeling like I don't have any more time and so how am I going to do the things that I wanna do and grow my business if I don't have the time to execute the daily tasks or whatever tasks are needed to do that law. Lau Lapides: That sounds like what my dad would always say a really good problem to have. We Anne Ganguzza: Yeah. Lau Lapides: all want to have that problem where we're growing a company, we're outgrowing what we're doing and how we're doing it, and we're Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm. Lau Lapides: not spending our time wisely. We're not working smarter, we're just working harder. And really, how do we do both? Right? Anne Ganguzza: Yeah. Lau Lapides: How do we get to that next level? We call it leveling up in the biz. How do we actually do that, Ann? What Anne Ganguzza: Yeah. Lau Lapides: do we need to do? Let's talk about that. Anne Ganguzza: Well, first of all, I think it's important to note that there's a lot of people that are just getting into voiceover. And they may think to themselves, oh, my gosh, I can barely afford to be in voiceover, right? I just got in. I'm not booking gigs yet. Or maybe the gigs that I'm booking are few and far between. And so how can I even begin to think about hiring somebody or getting help? Because I can't even get a job. first. And Lau Lapides: Right. Anne Ganguzza: so guys, I want you to really this is where I think it takes courage, it takes boldness, and it takes some, I think some street smarts and savvy to really strategize how you might be able to make this work for you. Because, well, you know, while somebody might be doing some of the more maybe mundane tasks that take up a lot of your day when trying to acquire work, I mean, half of the time it's we're trying to acquire work, right, Law? Lau Lapides: Mm-hmm. Anne Ganguzza: And it's the acquiring, that getting out there, that marketing, how do I acquire, you're either auditioning or you're marketing, right? And you are the expert at auditioning, right? Maybe you're not the expert at marketing. And so therefore, if you could have someone help you with the marketing, right, it would give you more time to be the expert in auditioning and perfecting your craft or honing your performance. Lau Lapides: Right, and the truth is, whether you're a solopreneur and you're working alone, just starting out the first couple of years of your biz, or whether you're growing and starting to think about adding team members, we're all at that level. All of us are at that level of thinking about, we're marketing, we're constantly reaching out and going out and figuring out how we're gonna get our next prospect. So you never grow out of that, no matter what Anne Ganguzza: Oh, Lau Lapides: is happening, you never grow out. Anne Ganguzza: amen, Lau Lapides: But Anne Ganguzza: amen. Lau Lapides: you do have to time it well. everyone and Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm. Lau Lapides: at the beginning stages I wouldn't do anything prematurely to make you know Anne Ganguzza: Agreed, Lau Lapides: go broke I Anne Ganguzza: agreed. Lau Lapides: really want to make sure you Anne Ganguzza: But Lau Lapides: have Anne Ganguzza: I Lau Lapides: a Anne Ganguzza: would Lau Lapides: little Anne Ganguzza: start Lau Lapides: bit Anne Ganguzza: strategizing. Lau Lapides: of capital Anne Ganguzza: I would Lau Lapides: start Anne Ganguzza: start Lau Lapides: strategize Anne Ganguzza: strategizing Lau Lapides: yeah Anne Ganguzza: because I think just having the thought of, or the thought that, yes, I'm going to need help at some point, you're manifesting the fact that you're going to be getting the work. I'm a big believer in the manifestation of getting work. And also, I think you're never too early to kind of plan or strategize what type of help you might need. And just, you know, it takes time to find help. It's not something typically you can get in a moment's instant. And it is something that you will have to kind of, I would say, educate yourself on in terms of, well, you know, is there a service out here that can help me to do this? Is there someone who can help me to, I don't know, write emails to prospects or maybe generate leads? What type of work could you use? I think if you start by really assessing your business. Breaking down on a piece of paper, how much time do you spend on each thing per day? How much time do you spend auditioning? How much time do you spend researching? How much time do you spend practicing? How much time do you spend on social media? I think that's a good place to start. And then find out if there is. And of course, I totally agree with you a lot with the make sure that you've got a little bit of a nest egg that you can invest. When you need somebody to help you because again, I think we've said this so many times if you want to make money You know you need to spend some money Lau Lapides: Mmm. Absolutely Anne Ganguzza: Hmm Lau Lapides: no doubt about that one. Second that notion. And I would say take a step back and look at your psychology Anne Ganguzza: Mmm. Lau Lapides: and really keep it real, really keep it real. Despite the name of our wonderful series here, you do have to realize that no one is a true superhero in doing everything yourself. And we like Anne Ganguzza: Oh Lau Lapides: to Anne Ganguzza: god, Lau Lapides: think we Anne Ganguzza: yes. Lau Lapides: are, especially us ladies like to think we are. Anne Ganguzza: Outlaw Lau Lapides: We can do everything and we're a failure if we don't. Anne Ganguzza: Can I, oh my God, can I just like say yes Lau Lapides: Amen, Anne Ganguzza: to that? Lau Lapides: amen, Anne Ganguzza: Amen Lau Lapides: say yes. Anne Ganguzza: to that. I am the biggest control freak that there is. Lau Lapides: Me too! Anne Ganguzza: And no, if you wanna get it done right, I'll just have to do it myself. But I'll tell you what, that gets old pretty soon. Once you really wanna grow, I mean, I found that I couldn't move if I didn't outsource and I didn't hire. And I kept thinking, oh God, but maybe I won't have the money. Maybe I won't have that steady stream of income that I can pay them. And I'm here to tell you that it can work if you strategize and you're smart about it. And you really take a look at the money that you have coming in and the money that you have going out. I think that really, Law, is another sit down and really look at the numbers. Number one, how much are you spending on, you know, your marketing. How much are you spending on? And when I talk about spending on marketing, if you're not hiring anybody to do your marketing, you're spending your time. And your time should be worth X amount of dollars per hour. I like to say that I am worth so much per hour. Now, if I want to break down what I do in a day and then say how much it costs me, if I'm spending an hour doing marketing, that's, you know, it's my hourly rate. And so really taking a good look at how much is coming in. how much you're putting out. And sometimes in the beginning, that's gonna be a little unequal. I'm gonna say that I had to invest a little bit more in the beginning than was coming in. And I just needed to make sure that I had a good handle on how much I could put out to be safe and still be able to pay the mortgage. Lau Lapides: And you don't want to go in and with a blind faith, you want to have Anne Ganguzza: Yeah. Lau Lapides: some real strategy behind how you're going in, especially if you're at a place typically within the first three to five years of growing a new business where you really are not making an actual salary just yet. Anne Ganguzza: Yeah, Lau Lapides: You're really Anne Ganguzza: yeah. Lau Lapides: not making the return on anything just Anne Ganguzza: Sure. Lau Lapides: yet. And that's expected. And I think in our culture, North American business culture, I think we're sort of trained in a way that is more mythical than realistic and that is we should be making profit as quickly as possible in the Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm. Lau Lapides: first five years. That's a real myth that just, Anne Ganguzza: Oh gosh, Lau Lapides: it very rarely Anne Ganguzza: it Lau Lapides: exists Anne Ganguzza: so is. Lau Lapides: that you find someone who's starting any business that in the first five years, sometimes longer, Anne Ganguzza: Yeah. Lau Lapides: is making any kind of a Anne Ganguzza: Yes. Lau Lapides: profit, right? Anne Ganguzza: Please. Let's Lau Lapides: So Anne Ganguzza: say Lau Lapides: going Anne Ganguzza: that Lau Lapides: in Anne Ganguzza: again. Lau Lapides: realistically, Anne Ganguzza: Let's say that again. How Lau Lapides: yeah, Anne Ganguzza: long, Law? Lau Lapides: going in. Anne Ganguzza: Five years, if not longer. Lau Lapides: If not longer. Anne Ganguzza: If not longer. And I will tell you, for me, it was longer. You know, it was longer than the first five years. I mean, I came from a job where I was making a particular salary, and I was like, oh, I want to be able to make this salary. You know, and I always ask my students to put their goals on a piece of paper of what they want to do in the first year. after they get their demo from me and that sort of thing. And I have a lot of people, they have very high goals of basically making that six figure salary in the first year. And I'm here to say, not to crush your dreams, but I'm here to say that it may take you a little bit longer to get to that point, but that's okay, I mean, that's very normal. And as long as you are okay and you have that little kind of nest egg there that you are strategically pulling money out of investing wisely, you're going to be okay. I mean, but it's very, very normal to not make any kind of money back in the first, you know, years of your voice over business. And especially now, it's kind of a little bit crazy these days. It just Lau Lapides: Mm. Anne Ganguzza: keeps getting more and more. more and more people in the industry. And then there's a lot of hype around, you know, advancing technologies and, you know, I do believe there is, you know, are we going to have jobs in 10 years? That kind of a thing. But again, I'm very much of the mindset that we create our work, we create our businesses, and we evolve. And Lau Lapides: Mm-hmm. Anne Ganguzza: I believe we will always have a need for our human voices in Lau Lapides: Yes. Anne Ganguzza: any aspect in the creative entertainment educational spectrum. Lau Lapides: Yeah. And I would second that. And I think that creative energy coupled with the entrepreneurial resilience Anne Ganguzza: Mmm. Lau Lapides: is really the thing, capital T-H-E, the thing that's going to help make you successful in our businesses, being able to pivot, being able to be Anne Ganguzza: Mmm. Lau Lapides: resilient. And I did want to qualify one area you brought up that I absolutely totally agree with and adore is that it's not that you're not making money Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm. Lau Lapides: in your first five years. investing and reinvesting Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm, absolutely. Lau Lapides: in what you need to have for your studio or have for your marketing or have for yourself. And you need to do that and in order to make money back, you need to invest money in order to make money. It isn't it's not just let me do things for free or get things Anne Ganguzza: Yeah, Lau Lapides: as cheaply as possible Anne Ganguzza: absolutely. Lau Lapides: and make as much money. Business just doesn't work that way. Anne Ganguzza: Yeah. Lau Lapides: Right? Anne Ganguzza: And I think you made mention of get things as cheaply as possible. You know, we all want I think we all we all shop for a bargain. Right. Lau Lapides: Mm-hmm. Anne Ganguzza: I know I do. And so you have to understand the market as well when people are shopping for a bargain that may include your voice. Right. So I think, you know, the fact that you mentioned even that law is something that we have to take into consideration. The investment that you make into your business, sometimes making it all about the amount of money you're investing isn't necessarily the object or even necessarily a wise strategy. Because I would say if you're trying to maybe skimp on demo creation or coaching or workshops, that kind of thing, I truly believe that they are worth their weight in gold for you, because that is developing your product. Lau Lapides: Yes, Anne Ganguzza: Right? Lau Lapides: yes. Anne Ganguzza: Your product is, I mean, if you don't have a product, you don't have a business. Your product is your voice. Your voice is, you know, physically, you can't, well, can you buy a new voice? Well, maybe. I mean, I don't know, but not really. I can't buy, like, I can't buy your voice law. I wish, you know, I mean, your physical voice for me. So all I can do is develop my own and Lau Lapides: Yep. Anne Ganguzza: learn how to use it. more effectively and perform my job to my client's specifications. And that investment, I think, is a wise investment. And I don't think that there isn't a cheap, good way of going about that, really. Lau Lapides: No, Anne Ganguzza: There's Lau Lapides: I had... Anne Ganguzza: less expensive, but I don't think if you go cheap, you get what you pay for. Lau Lapides: Yes, it's bringing up one of those little signs, those funny, cute characters, aluminum signs that one of my friends and former engineers bought for me on a birthday. And it was like a mechanic, you know, in front of a car. Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm. Lau Lapides: And it said, good work ain't cheap and cheap work ain't good. Anne Ganguzza: Yeah. Lau Lapides: And I never forgot that. I was like, it's so Anne Ganguzza: Yep. Lau Lapides: cute and kitschy and silly, but yet it really bottom lines it. It's like you do get what you pay for. So pay wisely, invest Anne Ganguzza: Yeah, Lau Lapides: wisely, Anne Ganguzza: yeah, absolutely. Lau Lapides: and just know that you want to spend money in the most researched and educated and referred areas that you can, because you know it's gonna grow you. So getting back to that growing your team. Anne Ganguzza: Sure. Lau Lapides: It's like, woo, all right, let's say we're ready to grow the team and take Anne Ganguzza: Right. Lau Lapides: on a VA, a virtual assistant, Anne Ganguzza: Sure. Lau Lapides: or take on an accountant or taking on a marketing specialist. What are the steps that we need to be thinking about strategically so that we're staying conservative, we're staying frugal, but we're unafraid, we're coming from abundance, not fear to grow the business Anne Ganguzza: Sure, Lau Lapides: knowing that Anne Ganguzza: absolutely. Lau Lapides: I'm going to look for a return. Anne Ganguzza: Well, I'm gonna say number one, I think, you know, I think number one of everything is education, right? Educate yourself on the things that you are going to want to have outsourced or want to maybe hand off to someone else to do. If you've done them yourself, you know how much time it takes, right? If you know how much effort it goes into the creation of content, you know what can be done and what... maybe can't be done by a virtual assistant. And so I feel as though you've got to really research. I think in a lot of cases, you have to find someone who really understands you and understands your business and understands your voice. If you're going to have them help you, let's say, craft emails or generate leads or do social media, they still have to kind of understand who you are and what your brand is about because they're going to be representing you. If they're gonna be just doing something like, you know, the monthly numbers, you know, like my accountant, that's not as necessary, but still she has to be educated about, what are my expenses? Who am I paying? Who's a vendor? Who's, you know, what, you know, what is this expense for? So there will be some time, I think, that you'll spend, first of all, in educating yourself about what it is that needs to be done and the scope of that job, because that's the scope of the job that you will be having to provide anyone that you hire. And then that is going to then either there'll be a price for that and you'll decide if that price is worth paying for their services and what can they do that's realistic and what can they do, what can't they do. There can be a lot of people out there that will promise you the world, I'll do all of your social media. Well, okay, that's a pretty blanket statement. Does that mean you're going to actually... content for me on TikTok? Are you going to create videos? Or if you're going to do that I'm gonna have to provide you with videos that you can then edit and so that's another step that you're gonna have to keep in mind in the process. What's Lau Lapides: Absolutely. Anne Ganguzza: your part? What's their part? Lau Lapides: Yes, yes, and I mean, when I think of some of the mistakes that I made when I was hiring the first year or so, I won't I don't want people to make those mistakes. So think like a chess player. Think Anne Ganguzza: Mmm. Lau Lapides: like a strategy game player where you're thinking three or four steps ahead. So just because you're hiring someone in a particular area that either you are not qualified to do yourself Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm. Lau Lapides: or not mean that you don't have to know what needs to be done. Anne Ganguzza: Oh god yes. Lau Lapides: So it's a very fine line of knowing as much as you can without actually becoming that Anne Ganguzza: Yes, Lau Lapides: expert Anne Ganguzza: absolutely. Lau Lapides: and not micromanaging that expert, but also being three steps ahead of that expert. So the expert... never is bored, they never are left with nothing Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm. Lau Lapides: to do, and they know exactly where they're going for the next month or the quarter or even the week. Sometimes, like for instance, I'll have what I call stand up Zoom meetings at the beginning of the week, and sometimes those will continue all week Anne Ganguzza: Yeah, Lau Lapides: where we'll Anne Ganguzza: yeah. Lau Lapides: jump on Zoom and we'll have coffee and we'll talk about our goals and we'll have a laugh and then we'll get right to it. And it has a very, it has a team cohesion to it. Anne Ganguzza: Sure, absolutely. Lau Lapides: that I find a lot of people really love and crave Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm. Lau Lapides: that connection, Anne Ganguzza: Oh, absolutely. Lau Lapides: but Anne Ganguzza: I have Lau Lapides: it Anne Ganguzza: a team Lau Lapides: also keeps on top of people, Anne Ganguzza: Yeah, Lau Lapides: right? Anne Ganguzza: I have a team Lau Lapides: That... Anne Ganguzza: meeting as well I have a team meeting as well once a week with you know Not everybody but once a week and then you know if I have like my accountant of course we meet you know At a particular time she doesn't have to be with the team of social media But I do have a general team that handles social media and all communications by behalf or some communications on my behalf. And so we meet once a week. And usually it's a two or three hour meeting. So it's not a short meeting. And of course I pay them for their time at that point as well. I think it's important to note that, oh gosh, finding the cheapest, you know what I mean? Assistant is not always the best solution. I really believe, again, you've got to research, look for testimonials, look for referrals. Because, you know, There's a lot of people can promise things. And I'm always very wary of people that I don't know, that are maybe outside of the industry. And so, I know Law, you and I have spoken about it. You interview, you interview people. And I do the same to make sure that I get a good feel for who they are. And if they are from the same industry, you also have to kind of keep in mind, well, is there a conflict of interest? Or is there, you do have to kind of think about that. I mean, I hate to say that, but you do. You've Lau Lapides: Yeah. Anne Ganguzza: got to think, is there a conflict of interest, or is there something that you're doing that they may be also kind of taking what you're doing and then utilizing it for themselves, which is absolutely fine in certain cases, but in other cases, it may not be fine. So, Lau Lapides: so important Anne Ganguzza: yeah. Lau Lapides: and so you have to think about this stuff. Anne Ganguzza: Yeah. Lau Lapides: Also, not to downgrade in any way services that do provide voiceover talent that become VA's. That's really great Anne Ganguzza: Oh yeah, no, yeah, Lau Lapides: for Anne Ganguzza: absolutely. Lau Lapides: the talent themselves. That's a great side hustle for them. But my strategy is a little bit different. I actually do not want that. That would not Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm. Lau Lapides: be something I would be looking for. for reasons that you're saying, but also, I actually find that people who are in the non-creative space, if there is such a thing, I Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm. Lau Lapides: don't know, I think everyone's creative, but consider themselves a non-creative. They're more business-oriented, administrative, Anne Ganguzza: Yep, they have a different Lau Lapides: more Anne Ganguzza: perspective. Lau Lapides: numbers, Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm. Lau Lapides: they have no emotional Anne Ganguzza: Attachment. Lau Lapides: investment or attachment to what we are doing, and I actually Anne Ganguzza: Agreed. Lau Lapides: like that better. Anne Ganguzza: Yes, Lau Lapides: because we Anne Ganguzza: yeah. Lau Lapides: are the emotional ones. We are the hypathos. We're what I call the crazy Anne Ganguzza: Oh, law, Lau Lapides: creatives. Anne Ganguzza: really? Are we really that? I'm Lau Lapides: We Anne Ganguzza: not a, Lau Lapides: are, Anne Ganguzza: I'm Lau Lapides: and Anne Ganguzza: not Lau Lapides: I'm Anne Ganguzza: a, Lau Lapides: one of them. Anne Ganguzza: I'm not dramatic or emotional at all. I'm just Lau Lapides: I Anne Ganguzza: saying. Lau Lapides: fully admit it. So I actually don't mind and really enjoy the other side Anne Ganguzza: Yeah, Lau Lapides: of Anne Ganguzza: yeah. Lau Lapides: that coin. People who can come Anne Ganguzza: Well, Lau Lapides: in Anne Ganguzza: mm-hmm. Lau Lapides: and they're very consistent. Their personalities are not up and down. They have Anne Ganguzza: And they, Lau Lapides: nothing in it for them personally. Anne Ganguzza: well, that's it. And they bring a very different perspective. And they also can reach possibly people that you don't have access to, right? Or have, you know, in terms of, you know, it could be reach people for marketing or even reaching people for helping and doing other things. right, and you would never have been able to find them. So I actually, law, I am like, I'm between, I actually utilize both. I utilize some people in the industry, and then I utilize people outside of the industry because for that reason, exactly for that reason, law, the one thing that I run into when I look for people outside of the industry, because, and I'm just gonna say this because I've been doing this for so long, selling into this industry. When you sell into a creative industry, right, we're all starving artists. So it always seems like, okay, I don't have a lot of money to invest. I don't have a lot of money. I'm sorry, I don't have the money. I don't have the... And so what happens is when, you know, if you are that starving artist and you're trying to outsource to somebody else who's a starving artist, right, there's gonna be that, well, I don't have a ton of money. And then again, remember, you get what you pay for. I'm a big believer in paying people what they're worth because that's what I speak about and I think we should all walk the walk, right? And talk the talk, walk the walk. You should pay people for what they're worth and they will want to do a better job for you. You have to make them excited to work for you and excited to wanna be at work. And so if you're always trying to get the cheap, right? Or you can't pay a lot of money, then you may not get the performance that you're expecting out of people. as well. Lau Lapides: Yeah, I agree, and I'm gonna take issue with this. rhetoric that floats out there in the artist's crowd, that I don't have the money. I'm gonna challenge Anne Ganguzza: Yeah, yeah, Lau Lapides: that because Anne Ganguzza: please. Lau Lapides: I would sit you down and believe me, I'm not a financial advisor. I do not give financial advice. But I know from living the life that I've lived, that if I sat you down even over seven days and really documented everything you're doing, everything you're spending money on, Anne Ganguzza: Oh, yup. Lau Lapides: what's your fixed costs, what's your variable costs, it would kind of blow you out of the water to see Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm. Lau Lapides: how much money you're spending in directions that are luxury, you don't need, Anne Ganguzza: Oh yeah, Lau Lapides: they're not necessities, Anne Ganguzza: absolutely. Lau Lapides: or that you're just throwing away and unaware of that could be invested. right into Anne Ganguzza: Yeah, Lau Lapides: your business. Anne Ganguzza: totally Lau Lapides: That would Anne Ganguzza: agreed. Lau Lapides: be what I call Anne Ganguzza: Totally Lau Lapides: found Anne Ganguzza: agreed. Lau Lapides: money. That's like that's like coins under the couch, right? Anne Ganguzza: Yeah, Lau Lapides: And Anne Ganguzza: totally Lau Lapides: as you're finding Anne Ganguzza: agreed. Lau Lapides: the coins under the couch, Anne Ganguzza: Yeah. Lau Lapides: say, Wow, well, before I claim poverty, and before I identify with not having money, let me take accountability 100% with the money that I earn or that I'm saving Anne Ganguzza: Yes. Lau Lapides: and how I am spending it. Anne Ganguzza: Yeah, that's why I say over and over again, you're right, you're so right on that. You've got to sit down and look at the numbers. It is, take a hard look at your numbers and don't just do it once, right? Revisit it, like revisit it monthly, revisit it weekly. I mean, really revisit it. I have, you know, I installed the, oh my gosh, I forget the name of it, the app on my phone, the financial app on my phone that tells me what I'm spending money monthly on. And you will, oh, Rocket, I think it's Rocket Money. So Lau Lapides: Yes, Anne Ganguzza: I invested Lau Lapides: great. Anne Ganguzza: in that, because now that's something I spend monthly on, but Rocket Money tells me what I'm spending every month. And so there could be those unknown subscriptions that I'm paying for. And I totally agree with you, Law, that there is that constant, I don't have the money, I don't have the money, I hear it all the time, trust me, I do. Because I sell services to the voiceover, I sell events, I sell coaching services, I sell demo production, I constantly hear the I don't have money. And it's... It's really a thing you have to understand that if you are going to hire outside of this industry people will be charging accordingly. Meaning, it's not like you may be surprised at the hourly rate that these other services, marketing services in particular, social media services will get for these things. And So, you know, that might be a nice eye-opener or maybe not a nice eye-opener. It is something, though, to be aware of, though, that in our industry, I think we're so used to hearing each other going, well, I just don't have the money, and, you know, we're trying to, like, skimp and say. But yet we speak about charging what you're worth all the time. And so consider that from all... all areas, right? Don't just consider like, well, you know, I'm charging what I'm worth, but you know what, when it comes to hiring a virtual assistant, well, you know, I can only pay you like $5 an hour. No, that's just not going to cut it. Lau Lapides: Mm-hmm. Anne Ganguzza: Just, you know. Lau Lapides: Yes, totally. And really, okay, I'm about to say the C word. I think this audience can handle it. Commitment. Anne Ganguzza: Oh! Lau Lapides: Are you willing to make Anne Ganguzza: Yeah. Lau Lapides: a 100% deep dive commitment, which means you do have to sacrifice. Anne Ganguzza: Yeah. Lau Lapides: Sacrifice Anne Ganguzza: Mm, Lau Lapides: goes hand in Anne Ganguzza: yep. Lau Lapides: hand with commitment. So I may want to go to the movies all weekend. I may want to go to the amusement park. I may want to take long drives to New Hampshire. But guess what? I may not be in a financial position right now to do that while I'm building my business Anne Ganguzza: Yeah, Lau Lapides: or Anne Ganguzza: yeah. Lau Lapides: while I'm leveling up my business because now I need a CRM tool. I need a Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm. Lau Lapides: marketing VA I need it. Okay, so maybe I don't want to take that vacation next month. Anne Ganguzza: Yeah. Lau Lapides: Maybe it isn't absolutely necessary to eat out all weekend and get Grubhub. Anne Ganguzza: There's a big Lau Lapides: Maybe Anne Ganguzza: one. Lau Lapides: I can pick Anne Ganguzza: Yep. Lau Lapides: up my food or cook my food or there's so many ways to cut Anne Ganguzza: I can Lau Lapides: your Anne Ganguzza: give up the Starbucks. Lau Lapides: cost. Anne Ganguzza: Oh, I just said Lau Lapides: Right? Anne Ganguzza: that. Oh my Lau Lapides: Hello. Anne Ganguzza: God. I know, Lau Lapides: And what about Anne Ganguzza: even my virtual assistant, she's a Starbucks Lau Lapides: I know Anne Ganguzza: lover. Lau Lapides: I was like, Anne Ganguzza: She's gonna be like, what? Don't Lau Lapides: what? Anne Ganguzza: you say that. You know, Lau Lapides: Right? Anne Ganguzza: hey, Lau Lapides: And what? Anne Ganguzza: look, it's all in where your priorities are. And that's fine. Lau Lapides: Totally Anne Ganguzza: I'm not saying Lau Lapides: totally Anne Ganguzza: you can't go to Starbucks. I mean, that Lau Lapides: no Anne Ganguzza: can be, that's like me. I have my priorities. I will Lau Lapides: right Anne Ganguzza: always pay for. this, and this, but I make substitutions, right? So that I can pay for this, I will also do this, or I will work an extra hour, or I will try to market myself in this way, Lau Lapides: Mm-hmm. Anne Ganguzza: so that I can afford that luxury. Lau Lapides: Yeah, Anne Ganguzza: But, Lau Lapides: you have to Anne Ganguzza: you Lau Lapides: be Anne Ganguzza: know, Lau Lapides: resourceful. You have Anne Ganguzza: yeah, Lau Lapides: to be resilient Anne Ganguzza: yeah. Lau Lapides: and you have to be creative and you have to make a commitment and be willing to sacrifice. You know, some people are doing a four, five, $600 gym membership every month. Well, could I replace that possibly with a bike or with walking or with anything at home just for the time when I'm building my business? There's so many ways. And again, we're not financial advisors here, but we could sit you down and spin your head around Anne Ganguzza: Sure, Lau Lapides: ways to be Anne Ganguzza: absolutely. Lau Lapides: creative about saving money, not spending money, and then reinvesting that right into the business. Anne Ganguzza: Oh yeah, yeah. Lau Lapides: And then all of a sudden you can get that great microphone Anne Ganguzza: I schedule. Lau Lapides: or that great coaching. Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm. I schedule that review, actually. I schedule that review. It's on my calendar, you know, monthly. Because especially, you know, lately, it's been a little tough, the economy out there these days. And, you know, I don't know if, you know, I don't know where it's necessarily going, right? So I want to make sure that I'm spending my money as wisely as I can. And that includes, you know, my team and, you know, making, you know, necessary do, which is not something I love to do. But it's something that, again, I have to make sure that I've got the strategy there Lau Lapides: Mm-hmm. Anne Ganguzza: to make sure that I'm investing my money wisely in what services I am paying for and what I'm doing to grow my business. Lau Lapides: And I would say too, as you grow your business, to document Anne Ganguzza: sure I understand. Lau Lapides: what you're doing. Anne Ganguzza: Oh, Siri doesn't understand. Lau Lapides: I would say to grow your business, I would document what you're doing, whether you're writing down or video, Anne Ganguzza: Yeah. Lau Lapides: what you do during a day, like record it on Zoom, record it on Anne Ganguzza: Yep. Lau Lapides: Loom, record it so that the new people coming in can either train each other or they can be watching the videos of what you've been doing because you'll forget, you'll forget half the things you're doing because you're doing so much. Everyone's multitasking. So you really have to be documenting everything you're doing as your business builds. That way the learning curve for the people coming into your business is very quick. You don't want Anne Ganguzza: Yeah. Lau Lapides: someone on a month's learning curve. You want them on like a three Anne Ganguzza: Oh yeah, Lau Lapides: day learning Anne Ganguzza: yeah. Lau Lapides: curve so they can get to business, Anne Ganguzza: Yeah, Lau Lapides: right? Anne Ganguzza: and you will have to train them. That is absolutely, you do have to understand and be prepared for that. You will have to train them. They are not gonna know your brand immediately. But you can make it easier for them to learn your brand as Lov was just mentioning. What a great conversation, Lov. Lau Lapides: Great stuff. We could Anne Ganguzza: Yeah, Lau Lapides: go Anne Ganguzza: good stuff, Lau Lapides: on and Anne Ganguzza: we could. Lau Lapides: on with this. I mean, I got one more tip. Don't hire people that you necessarily like only. Hire people Anne Ganguzza: Oh yeah. Lau Lapides: that are good for you Anne Ganguzza: Yeah. Lau Lapides: and good for your business. Not everyone is a growth person. Some people are great people. They're great to have around, Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm. Don't Lau Lapides: but they Anne Ganguzza: hire Lau Lapides: may Anne Ganguzza: your Lau Lapides: not Anne Ganguzza: friends Lau Lapides: grow you. Anne Ganguzza: necessarily. Lau Lapides: They may not grow your business. Anne Ganguzza: Yeah, exactly, Lau Lapides: Yeah. Anne Ganguzza: exactly. Lau Lapides: Know the difference between your friends Anne Ganguzza: But Lau Lapides: and your business partners. Anne Ganguzza: I think you do have to be in a good relationship with the person that you are working with. That is Lau Lapides: Yes. Anne Ganguzza: for sure. Yeah. But yeah, they don't have to be your best friend. So yeah, and that could be a whole other discussion for another day. But. Lau Lapides: Yes, for Anne Ganguzza: I'm Lau Lapides: sure. Anne Ganguzza: gonna give I'm gonna give a great big shout out to our sponsor IPD TL you two can connect a network like a boss find out more at IP D TL comm and Also, I want to ask you guys a question. Do you have a local nonprofit? That's close to your heart. I know that I do You can make a huge impact as a group and contribute to the growth of our communities in ways that we never thought possible. If you wanna find out more, visit 100VoicesWhoCare.org to learn how. All right, bosses, you have an amazing week and we'll see you next week. Lau Lapides: See Anne Ganguzza: Bye. Lau Lapides: you next time, bye.
Oct 10, 2023
28 min
Do the Hustle
This week, Anne and Lau discuss the importance of side hustles to your VO career. A side hustle can be anything from pet sitting to retail work, or offering computer consulting services. Side hustles provide more than just an extra income - they teach you to set priorities and work towards your goals. They can also provide transferable skills, and that is why the Bosses believe in the transformative power of side hustles in career development. Side hustles equip you with the skills to be trusted leaders and provide the practical knowledge to run your own business. More importantly, they offer the chance to pursue your passions and reach your goals. So, are you ready to embrace side hustles and level up your life and career? Transcript Intro It's time to take your business to the next level, the boss level. These are the premier business owner strategies and successes being utilized by the industry's top talent today. Rock your business like a boss a VO Boss. Now let's welcome your host, Anne Ganguzza. Anne Ganguzza: Hey everyone, welcome to the V.O. Boss podcast. I'm your host, Anne Gangusa, and I'm here with my lovely boss co-host, Lau Lapides, hey, Lau. Lau Lapides: Hey, Anne, you look super disco sexy. 70s, maybe 80s. Anne Ganguzza: Why, thank you. Lau Lapides: You want to do the hustle? Anne Ganguzza: Do the hustle. Do, do, do. Lau Lapides: I just turned into John Travolta for Anne Ganguzza: Hey, Lau Lapides: a second. Anne Ganguzza: who said we don't have fun here in Boss Land, in Lau Lapides: We Anne Ganguzza: Boss Lau Lapides: do Anne Ganguzza: Land? Lau Lapides: we do. Anne Ganguzza: You know, hustle, hustle. I think that's the, that is like the word for my business, is hustle, hustle. Lau Lapides: Mmm. Anne Ganguzza: And you know, I think I've been kind of a hustler all my life. Lau Lapides: Me too, in a good way, Anne Ganguzza: In Lau Lapides: not Anne Ganguzza: a good Lau Lapides: a Anne Ganguzza: way, Lau Lapides: negative way, in a Anne Ganguzza: in Lau Lapides: good Anne Ganguzza: a good Lau Lapides: way. Anne Ganguzza: way. And I think it probably helped me to get where I am today, really, all those little side hustles. I think we should take a, let's take a journey. Let's take a journey back in time and talk about our side hustles. And I'll tell you what, bosses, there's no shame in a good side hustle, that's for sure. Because Lau Lapides: Mm-mm. Anne Ganguzza: I think it helps build your character and get you to where you are today to become a resourceful and entrepreneurial boss. Lau Lapides: Yeah, there's no shame in that game. Let's go down memory road and Anne Ganguzza: Mmm. Lau Lapides: I'm willing to share. I'm actually proud of working really hard to get to the day where I was able to open a studio. Anne Ganguzza: Yeah. Lau Lapides: I think that there's a whole long path leading up to that the public doesn't see and doesn't know about that really is the building block to getting to your business end. So Anne Ganguzza: Yeah. Lau Lapides: take me way back, take me back to like even Anne Ganguzza: Way Lau Lapides: your teen Anne Ganguzza: back, Lau Lapides: years Anne Ganguzza: okay, my Lau Lapides: of your Anne Ganguzza: teen Lau Lapides: first Anne Ganguzza: years. Lau Lapides: jobs. Anne Ganguzza: Okay, Lau Lapides: That Anne Ganguzza: okay, Lau Lapides: counts. What Anne Ganguzza: so Lau Lapides: were your first Anne Ganguzza: all Lau Lapides: jobs? Anne Ganguzza: right, I, all right, so I am trying to remember, I grew up in New York State, upstate New York. And so, you know, there was a legal, you know, working age. Lau Lapides: Okay. Anne Ganguzza: But I started Lau Lapides: Which you Anne Ganguzza: very Lau Lapides: ignored. Anne Ganguzza: early. I started very early. I started at the very young age of 12. And, but I wasn't working for cash, I was working for writing lessons. So, Some of Lau Lapides: Oh. Anne Ganguzza: you may, that follow me on Facebook, may have noticed that I've been spending an awful lot of time on the weekends going to horse shows. Well, that is just a blast from my past. And it just, I'll tell you what, when I was young, horses were my passion. I mean, I wanted to grow up and become a professional horse rider. And I, you know, had a couple of horses growing up, and I showed growing up. And I'll tell you what, that is not a cheap hobby. And so I used to work at the barn from the young age of 12, shoveling lots of manure and taking care of the horses, grooming the horses. Oh my goodness, I spent Lau Lapides: Bye. Anne Ganguzza: probably seven days a week at the barn. And I would do that in trade for my riding lessons. And yeah, it was really, and riding of course is a whole, like I can have a 30 minute podcast on what riding taught me. I think that the lessons that I learned from my horses were just invaluable in helping me to shape who I am today and to be fearless, because I had a lot of fear. I was afraid. I mean, I was thrown off my horse multiple times, you know, and I just. was taught to get back up on that horse and face those fears. And oh, it was a wonderful, wonderful time in my life. And my mother loved it because she knew where I was. You know, I wasn't hanging out. I wasn't hanging out in the bank parking lot, you know, drinking Lau Lapides: Yeah, Anne Ganguzza: beer. Lau Lapides: right, Anne Ganguzza: So Lau Lapides: right. Anne Ganguzza: that was Lau Lapides: And Anne Ganguzza: my Lau Lapides: the horses Anne Ganguzza: very, yeah. How Lau Lapides: know you. They Anne Ganguzza: old were Lau Lapides: love Anne Ganguzza: you when you got Lau Lapides: you. Anne Ganguzza: sick? Lau Lapides: They Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm. Lau Lapides: know your voice. They're so emotional and creative. Anne Ganguzza: Well, that's it. It was such Lau Lapides: Right? Anne Ganguzza: an emotional connection. I mean, outside of like, Lau Lapides: Yeah. Anne Ganguzza: it's not just a physical ride. It's very much a mental ride because animals sense every, you know, every essence of your being. They can sense when you're nervous. They can sense when you're afraid or fearful. And really just becoming one. And you know, it amazes me, and I'll just, I'll shut up after this, but it amazes me because I used to jump, that was, I wrote English and I used to jump, that you take a beast. that is, you know, 2,000 pounds, and you point it towards a fence, and he willingly goes over it. Sometimes they don't willingly go over it, but usually that's, I say, operator error. You haven't brought them Lau Lapides: Hahaha! Anne Ganguzza: into the fence properly, so they can safely jump the fence. But I'm telling you, just, the animals, they're just amazing, beautiful, kind, wonderful beings that here, I'm gonna point you at this fence, and I want you to jump over it, and Lau Lapides: Mmm. Anne Ganguzza: I'm gonna be on your back while you do that. And you know, I'm going to continually ride around these different fences and courses And you're gonna just willingly do this for me and it just it amazes me the kindness and the and the Connection you have to have with that horse to really have that be a thing Lau Lapides: So it sounds like a very profound way of teaching a moral lesson to our listeners that you learn a lot of hardcore skills when you side hustle, Anne Ganguzza: Mmm, Lau Lapides: right? How to Anne Ganguzza: absolutely, Lau Lapides: build trust, right? Anne Ganguzza: absolutely. Lau Lapides: How to go on the ride and Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm, Lau Lapides: trust, Anne Ganguzza: mm-hmm. Lau Lapides: how to get up into fearful heights and fall and get back Anne Ganguzza: And you make, Lau Lapides: up again, Anne Ganguzza: yeah, when you make a mistake, Lau Lapides: right? Anne Ganguzza: you know, get right back Lau Lapides: Love Anne Ganguzza: up again. Lau Lapides: that. Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm. Lau Lapides: Love that. Anne Ganguzza: So Lau Lapides: Love Anne Ganguzza: much. And Lau Lapides: that. Anne Ganguzza: that was not necessarily for money, although I used to groom. I mean, that was a side hustle after I would work at the stable. I would also groom as a side hustle. Then I would make cash Lau Lapides: Mm-hmm. Anne Ganguzza: for the horses that I braided and groomed. I would do that. I would go to horse shows and groom for people. And Lau Lapides: You Anne Ganguzza: oh Lau Lapides: braided. Anne Ganguzza: gosh, it paid for a lot of my... my professional riding gear, my Lau Lapides: Ah, Anne Ganguzza: show Lau Lapides: so Anne Ganguzza: entry Lau Lapides: good. Anne Ganguzza: fees, my jackets, my boots, horse tack and equipment. Ugh. Such a good time of my Lau Lapides: So Anne Ganguzza: life. So Lau Lapides: good. Anne Ganguzza: that was my very first. What about you, Law? Lau Lapides: Well, you know, besides the typical before 12, which I did like babysitting and I did mowing lawns and all of that Anne Ganguzza: Mmm. Lau Lapides: delivery Anne Ganguzza: I mode lawns Lau Lapides: of Anne Ganguzza: too, Lau Lapides: stuff, Anne Ganguzza: mm-hmm. Lau Lapides: those were not prolific to me, even though I was doing skills. The first one was when I was 15, 15 years old. Think about that, 15 years old. I think I was a freshman in high school. I had a shoe store across the street from my high school, a family owned shoe store, and they trusted me to be a manager. gave me Anne Ganguzza: Wow. Lau Lapides: keys to the shoe store and that changed my entire life because I suddenly realized that I had the ability I didn't think in this way but I had the abilities and skill sets to be trusted and to be a leader and so I would literally open up the store close the store man it was a shoe store Anne Ganguzza: Wow. Lau Lapides: managed the store at 15 and I and I think back on that you know 40 years ago and how those little bits and pieces really built my life built my Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm. Lau Lapides: whole mindset over a lifetime. So that was the first, I think, prolific side hustle Anne Ganguzza: Yeah. Lau Lapides: for me. What's your next one? Anne Ganguzza: Well, let's see. So I was constantly, I probably did that all through high school. And then in addition to that, I was like, well, I gotta make some cash, some cold hard cash cause I like to buy clothes and or other things, just back then it was like, or records or CDs. Actually it was records, CDs weren't in college. So now I'm really dating myself. But Lau Lapides: Ha ha! Anne Ganguzza: yeah, so then it became, I worked at a department store in retail. So I worked at Sibley's. Lau Lapides: You learned Anne Ganguzza: And I Lau Lapides: so Anne Ganguzza: also, Lau Lapides: much doing that, right Anne Ganguzza: oh yeah, Lau Lapides: Anne? Anne Ganguzza: I worked Lau Lapides: So Anne Ganguzza: in retail Lau Lapides: many. Anne Ganguzza: in the kids department and I also worked for a gas station kind of mini-mart, which there I had the keys and I had to like lock up at night, I was working that nights. And yeah, I mean, those were like, you make the minimum wage and I worked, God, however many hours I could. And believe it or not, I'm gonna go one step further and I'm going to say that, In high school, they had a work study program, so I had enough credits by the time I was literally at the beginning of junior year to graduate. So I elected for my senior year to do a work study program, where I came to school for, I think, just the morning hours, and then in the afternoon, I worked. Lau Lapides: Mm, Anne Ganguzza: So Lau Lapides: great. Anne Ganguzza: I had to just put in a certain amount of hours per week, which I'm quite sure I did 15 to 20. But most of that was encompassed just me going to the stable. and working. And so that was really kind of great. I mean, the work study and I just I absolutely loved all my little side jobs that I did and you know, waitressing, you know, which was again, you know such a such a learn those life lessons that really help you to you know When you are running a business and owning a business that can really help you in a multitude of ways I mean that was the customer service aspect, you know Which really helped me in my job today What about your next one? Lau Lapides: I tell you, it's so subliminal. You Anne Ganguzza: Right? Lau Lapides: don't even realize for many years how it gets ingrained in your core and then it comes out in really important ways as a business person and as a business owner. I too was a server, Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm. Lau Lapides: I too worked in retail, Anne Ganguzza: I was a bus Lau Lapides: but Anne Ganguzza: girl. Lau Lapides: you're a bus girl, I was a Anne Ganguzza: And Lau Lapides: waitress, Anne Ganguzza: a waitress. Yep. Lau Lapides: right? But the next prolific job for me was at 19. I was in college. and one of my professors who was actually teaching me singing said, you know what, we're going away on vacation. Can you stay at my home and take care of all of my animals? And I was Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm. Lau Lapides: always a huge animal lover like you, like my Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm. Lau Lapides: fur children. I said, okay, I'm happy to. And she said, how much do you want me to pay you? I said, you're gonna pay me Anne Ganguzza: Ha Lau Lapides: to do Anne Ganguzza: ha Lau Lapides: that? Anne Ganguzza: ha! Lau Lapides: What do you mean? I said, I don't know, pay me. And she paid me, so I was, changed my world. I launched a pet sitting business at 19, Anne Ganguzza: Oh, nice. Lau Lapides: and I did it for 10 years, and it brought me through Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm. Lau Lapides: all of my professional performing through my 20s and through my college Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm. Lau Lapides: years and bought me a new car. and savings for what would soon be later or later in my 20s, my graduate school career. So Anne Ganguzza: Oh yeah. Lau Lapides: that side hustle was major and it set me up for the next whole piece of my life and I loved it. It was like Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm. Lau Lapides: if I didn't do what I did, I could have easily gone in another direction of creating like a multi-million dollar animal business or Anne Ganguzza: Sure, Lau Lapides: something like that, Anne Ganguzza: absolutely. Lau Lapides: which turned into that. And the skill sets were amazing because I already knew like you knew how to have keys in my pocket and be totally trusted Anne Ganguzza: Yep, Lau Lapides: with someone's Anne Ganguzza: yep. Lau Lapides: property. So I was like a janitor. I had huge Anne Ganguzza: Mmm. Lau Lapides: sets of keys of houses all over my area that I'd be going into and taking care of. I loved it because I'm a very pragmatic person. I love taking care of things. I like things that are purposeful and I love my animals. It was like check, check. Anne Ganguzza: Nice. Lau Lapides: And the money was terrific even at that time, which was a good you know 30 years ago now. time I was a young kid pulling in 25 or 30 dollars per animal and could take up to 10 a day. Do the Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm. Lau Lapides: math! It's Anne Ganguzza: Yep. Lau Lapides: like oh my goodness I can do my theater, I can finish my bachelor's degree, I can love on my baby pets all over the place because I'm trusted and where's that gonna lead you see? Anne Ganguzza: Yeah, Lau Lapides: And that was Anne Ganguzza: yeah. Lau Lapides: started out of a accident side hustle. Anne Ganguzza: Wow, I'm gonna Lau Lapides: Mmm. Anne Ganguzza: say, okay, college Lau Lapides: Witchers. Anne Ganguzza: then next for me Lau Lapides: Mm-hmm. Anne Ganguzza: was, okay, so I started off doing, and this is my preliminary voiceover. So I started reading textbooks onto tape for disabled students Lau Lapides: That's Anne Ganguzza: at the college. Lau Lapides: nice. Anne Ganguzza: And okay, so I'm gonna set the scene for you. I was reading physics and calculus books onto like, tape recorders, like with the cassette tapes. Lau Lapides: I remember Anne Ganguzza: So when Lau Lapides: those! Anne Ganguzza: I had to record, I pressed play record at the same time and I would be reading the actual questions in the back of calculus problems. So I had to understand what all the symbols meant. And so if I made a mistake, I had to stop, rewind, and then record the whole thing all over again. And that paid for my single room. I had a single room in a suite, which was great. And I was also an RA, I was a dorm guard. So that also paid for my room at the college because I basically kind of paid my way through college by doing things like that. And also that was when I continued, I was a singer in high school in musical theater and choir and then continued that in college. and met up with a person where we started singing at weddings at venues. So we were like a little bit of a singing team. We would do duets at weddings. And so I made money Lau Lapides: Oh. Anne Ganguzza: that way. Lau Lapides: Why did I not know you were a real singer? How come I didn't know Anne Ganguzza: Uh, Lau Lapides: that? Anne Ganguzza: you know, it's, I'm not, I mean, I, Lau Lapides: What was your favorite song? What was one of your favorite Anne Ganguzza: oh my Lau Lapides: wedding Anne Ganguzza: gosh, Lau Lapides: songs? Anne Ganguzza: we're talking Lau Lapides: Ah! Anne Ganguzza: about the wedding songs that were back in the day. We used to sing like theme from Ice Castles, you know, we Lau Lapides: Oh! Anne Ganguzza: used to have like those kinds of things. Lau Lapides: Oh my god, Anne Ganguzza: Um, Lau Lapides: the Carpenters! Anne Ganguzza: Ave Maria, oh yeah, but all those, you know, all of those things. Um, so, but it was cool because she had a 12 string guitar and we would sing harmony. Lau Lapides: Oh my Anne Ganguzza: And Lau Lapides: gosh, Anne Ganguzza: so yeah, it was Lau Lapides: so Anne Ganguzza: one of my favorite Lau Lapides: good. Anne Ganguzza: things to do. Although I can't say that I'm a singer today, but I can carry a tune, that's for sure. Lau Lapides: That's amazing. Anne Ganguzza: So, and that's a lot of my musicality comes from my singing as well as, you know, I played piano for, you know, eight years, I took piano lessons. So again, that's another core, I think, a core skill that I think is so important that contributes to my business today and what I do today in voiceover. It's very musical for me. So, Lau Lapides: Totally. Anne Ganguzza: yeah. Lau Lapides: And I'll share my last, I think my last side hustle in my life, which actually became part of my career. And that was when I was 28 years old. I was still pet sitting, because I was a huge multitasker, but I fell Anne Ganguzza: That doesn't Lau Lapides: into Anne Ganguzza: surprise Lau Lapides: teaching. Anne Ganguzza: me. Lau Lapides: I fell into teaching and I started teaching in a modeling agency. Anne Ganguzza: Mm. Lau Lapides: And I Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm. Lau Lapides: absolutely fell head over heels for teaching while I was trying to get into grad school. And it took me about four years to get into grad school. And I was doing my pets my teaching and doing my performing. Anne Ganguzza: Yep, Lau Lapides: And Anne Ganguzza: yep. Lau Lapides: then I got into grad school. All of that stopped. I moved to California and started a whole new life. But the teaching became Anne Ganguzza: Mmm. Lau Lapides: an integral part of my whole career and my whole program. So I don't know if it's a side hustle or not, but at the time it was. And it just seemed fun. It seemed like something cool to do and something to... challenge me and my knowledge Anne Ganguzza: Yeah. Lau Lapides: base. Like, you don't really know what you know until you have to teach it to someone Anne Ganguzza: Isn't that true? Lau Lapides: else. Anne Ganguzza: Yeah, Lau Lapides: You know what Anne Ganguzza: yeah, Lau Lapides: I mean? Anne Ganguzza: because you have to learn it like 20 times more. I'll tell you what, Lau Lapides: Yeah. Anne Ganguzza: my after college, my teacher kind of came out of me because I went to work in the corporate world. As people know, I was a design engineer for an orthopedic company and I was designing hip and knee prosthetics. However, I used to go for training. I used to go up to Massachusetts, used to go up to Boston. And I used to go for computer training because I did a lot of my design work on a CAD system. And I'd go for training frequently up to the Boston area because that's where the company was. And I met my 2B boss there at a computer class. And he said, hey, I need somebody to teach this, you know, CAD at my school. Would you be willing to do that at night? And that became a side hustle for me. at night and I said sure I'd love to and I started teaching at night and boy I'll tell you what I fell in love with that and I should have known because back in the day when I was a tiny girl before I was 12 and you know working in the stalls and shoveling my manure every day I was teaching my dolls you know flashcards so I feel like I always had teaching in my blood I started teaching at night and then I ultimately you know went to work full time for the school did that for 20 some odd years. And then ultimately that was my last career before I decided to, well, I went into voiceover part-time while still working in that career and then decided to go full-time into voiceover. And I just loved the teaching. I continued the teaching, started coaching in voiceover. And Lau Lapides: Me Anne Ganguzza: while Lau Lapides: too. Anne Ganguzza: I was working my way through the corporate world, I also consulted on the computer end of things so I would work for companies. setting up their computer systems or you know doing you know whatever system admin type of deals so I Constantly, I think I worked like oh my god 60 to 80 hours a week since I was you know 21 since I got out into the working world I mean the real working world after college and interestingly enough I remember setting my priorities. I was like, you know what? I hate cleaning houses. I mean, I'm a clean person, but I hate having to clean my house on the weekends because that was the time that I had to do it since I was working full-time. And I said, you know what? I'm just gonna work overtime so that I can pay someone to come and Lau Lapides: Hmm. Anne Ganguzza: clean my house. And I said that at age 21 and I've had that happen ever since. I mean, there's Lau Lapides: You've Anne Ganguzza: maybe Lau Lapides: delegated. Anne Ganguzza: a time when I stop it, but I was like, I will always make sure I make enough money. That's how, when we were talking about priority setting, right? Lau Lapides: Yes. Anne Ganguzza: I will always have someone to clean my house because I'd rather work the overtime than clean my house. I mean, not that Lau Lapides: Yeah, Anne Ganguzza: I'm not a clean person, because I Lau Lapides: yeah, Anne Ganguzza: really am. Lau Lapides: no, that's Anne Ganguzza: I do Lau Lapides: delegating. Anne Ganguzza: all the clutter and yeah, Lau Lapides: No. Anne Ganguzza: that exactly is what Lau Lapides: Listen, Anne Ganguzza: it is. Lau Lapides: listen, just because you're capable and really good at doing something doesn't mean you should be doing it. Anne Ganguzza: Yeah, Lau Lapides: Right. Anne Ganguzza: it's really so Lau Lapides: Sometimes Anne Ganguzza: true. Lau Lapides: you have to take that time. That's what we were talking in our in our last podcast about building the team. It's like, well, You have to be the head of the ship, the captain Anne Ganguzza: Yeah, Lau Lapides: of the ship, which means Anne Ganguzza: yeah. Lau Lapides: you have to steer the ship. You can't be doing all the jobs on the ship, even though you may know how to do Anne Ganguzza: Sure. Lau Lapides: them, you shouldn't be doing them because you need to steer the ship. So it's the same in this case. It's Anne Ganguzza: Yeah. Lau Lapides: like you are already smart enough and mature enough to understand that, oh, I can do a great job cleaning my own house and I don't mind doing it, but I wanna spend that time really building my career and Anne Ganguzza: Yeah, Lau Lapides: really Anne Ganguzza: absolutely. Lau Lapides: putting that into more Anne Ganguzza: And Lau Lapides: important things. Anne Ganguzza: that's so you're so right, because that's actually what I was doing. I was building my career and Lau Lapides: Yeah. Anne Ganguzza: moving up in every aspect of my career. Whatever I was doing, I made it a point to grow and to move up, to get promoted and, you know, and do what I needed to do. And a lot of that included, you know, spending time educating myself. And Once I got into my last job, which was at the school teaching, but actually I was on staff as a tech person, but I also taught all the IT electives, I taught at night and ultimately did phone installs, which is where I ended up being the voice of the phone system. And that got me into voiceover. Then I did that part-time, right, while I was working full-time at the job. And then ultimately when I decided to go full-time into VoiceOver, I then had another side hustle because then I wasn't, you know, full-time, I didn't have the clients built up yet. So I was like, whoa, gosh, there's no money coming in. So I need a side hustle. And so again, the side hustle for me for that was I literally worked. for a chiropractor. I went to a chiropractor and he needed help and I was like, you know what, I need to bring in some cash to help pay the bills. And he needed an office manager and so I became an office manager for just about, gosh, I'm gonna say it was a while, maybe it was the first five years of my business. I worked 20 hours a week. I got free adjustments, which was great. And that's what I did. And I just remember my mother. God bless her. She was always like, so Anne, when are you going? Because I'd had all these career jobs and promotions and titles. And she's like, so Anne, when are you going to get a real job? Lau Lapides: Nyeh Anne Ganguzza: And Lau Lapides: ha Anne Ganguzza: I'm like, Lau Lapides: ha! Anne Ganguzza: mom, I am building a business. I'm an entrepreneur. And Lau Lapides: Good. Anne Ganguzza: so yeah, but I had side hustles. And I always encourage students that are just coming into the industry to do the side hustle. Take the experience from life, from your work. and utilize that to continue the revenue stream while you build your business. So Lau Lapides: Yeah, Anne Ganguzza: important. Lau Lapides: and make sure it's flexible. It has Anne Ganguzza: Yeah. Lau Lapides: to be flexible in nature so that you're not putting your career and your education on hold. Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm. Lau Lapides: You don't ever want to side hustle to take up so much time and energy Anne Ganguzza: Exactly. Lau Lapides: that you're not building the more important building blocks you want it to support, but not to take up all of your. your time and your energy Anne Ganguzza: Yeah, Lau Lapides: and focus Anne Ganguzza: yeah. Lau Lapides: and make sure it's something you kind of like. You don't have Anne Ganguzza: Yeah, Lau Lapides: to be in Anne Ganguzza: absolutely, Lau Lapides: love with it, but Anne Ganguzza: absolutely. Lau Lapides: make sure it's not something that's causing anger, disdain, grief, because then you're gonna bring that into your career and Anne Ganguzza: Sure. Lau Lapides: into your education and you're not gonna be successful there and sabotage the thing that you wanna build. So you have Anne Ganguzza: Yeah, Lau Lapides: to kind of think the Anne Ganguzza: absolutely. Lau Lapides: whole thing through and don't be afraid to switch it out. If Anne Ganguzza: Yeah. Lau Lapides: it doesn't work, switch it out, you Anne Ganguzza: Well, Lau Lapides: know? Anne Ganguzza: that's the cool thing when you're in business for yourself, right? You can, you Lau Lapides: Yeah. Anne Ganguzza: know, it's like, well, try it. If it doesn't work, you can try something else. And I can't tell you how much my own experience has helped me to become, you know, I'm also a business, I have business mentorship programs that I work with my students that has helped me to help my students. I mean, and the fact that I'm like, hey, I was an office assistant, you know, and my mother's like, Ann, you know. Lau Lapides: Hahaha Anne Ganguzza: I'm like, there's nothing wrong with being an office assistant, right, or an office manager. In reality, it's, you know, again, it's people serving, and I, you know, had developed a lot of skills doing that, and I was very organized and wonderful. And at the time, it was just enough hours so I could bring in money to contribute to the household expenses, and yet gave me time to be able to audition, you know, and it was close to where I live, so I could run home and audition during the day if I needed to during a break. It was wonderful. I mean, I cannot, I cannot talk enough about the benefits of the side hustle. Lau Lapides: and there's Anne Ganguzza: And, Lau Lapides: probably hundreds of them. Anne Ganguzza: yeah. Lau Lapides: that you could really get your hands on and learn from and enjoy, Anne Ganguzza: Absolutely. Lau Lapides: make money at, learn skills. And don't look at it as you're wasting your time or you don't want to do it Anne Ganguzza: Yeah! Lau Lapides: or you resent doing it. Look at it as, no, this is part of my education. This is Anne Ganguzza: Yeah. Lau Lapides: part of my investment into Anne Ganguzza: Yes. Lau Lapides: my education and career. I have to do this so that not only I build money and capital, but I learn things. I learn how to take care of someone else, something Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm. Lau Lapides: else, build trust. you know, learn skills, selling skills, dealing with money, all of that. Anne Ganguzza: It's so funny, I think education has always been in my blood. I mean, again, I say it how many times a day, La when people say, what is your purpose in life? It's to educate. I truly, truly believe that from being a small girl teaching flashcards to my stuffed animals, to the V.O. Boss podcast was a whole resource for education. The V.O. Peeps was, when I got out of teaching full time, I was like, oh God, I miss teaching. So let me have a group. you know, that I can provide educational resources to. So I say follow that passion in all aspects of your hustle and side hustle, really. And you can't go wrong. And I think education is such an important part of just continual growth and building and growing your business Lau Lapides: Mm-hmm. Anne Ganguzza: as a boss. Lau Lapides: And be proud of it. Anne Ganguzza: Yeah. Lau Lapides: If you're not willing to share it or talk about it, if you're hiding it, if Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm. Lau Lapides: you're embarrassed by it, it's probably something you shouldn't be doing. So find things that you can add to your resume, that you can chat about at an interview, Anne Ganguzza: Yeah. Lau Lapides: or that you can be proud of and make some good connections through. Anne Ganguzza: Yeah, absolutely. And that's like the biggest thing that I'm always promoting too, when people are just getting into the industry. What are your skills? What is your life skills? What are your job skills? What have you done? The more things you have done, the more you can bring to this side of the business. Lau Lapides: That's Anne Ganguzza: I mean, Lau Lapides: right. Anne Ganguzza: it is, I mean, think about it. What we do is we have a product, we sell it, right? We sell it to companies. It's not just, I mean, it's creative. Yes, it's creative, right? And it's artistic, of course. But think about what you really, you have a product, your voice, that you are selling to companies. So all of your life, you've probably worked in some form for a company or for a business that you've gotten paid for. So you can bring that experience to the table to enhance your business, to either side hustle it, have what I call the divisions of your business or the tendrils of your business. And it's funny because even now that I'm in full-time VO, for many, many years now, I now still have many divisions of my business, which I consider to be my side hustles. And you yourself, Law, have multiple divisions of your business as well. Lau Lapides: Mm-hmm. And they're growing. It's not Anne Ganguzza: Yep. Lau Lapides: static. Like, you're never done. You're never saying, okay, this is my business, and that's where I cap it. Like, you should always be saying, what's my projection for the next year Anne Ganguzza: Yeah, Lau Lapides: or five years? Where Anne Ganguzza: yeah, Lau Lapides: do I want to go with this? What Anne Ganguzza: absolutely. Lau Lapides: do I have to do in order to figure out how to do it? And maybe that's a professional side hustle, Anne Ganguzza: Yeah. Lau Lapides: you know, that you have to do or you have to hire someone to do in order to figure out how to grow. Anne Ganguzza: Oh, I'm constantly thinking of I love that I'm constantly thinking about that again, as we move through, you know, changing and evolving markets right in voiceover. Is there an opportunity for you to continue to take these skills into even something else. Let's say if you wanted to do something else in addition or parallel with voiceover. What skills do you have now that you can evolve into what's going to happen in the future. for this industry. It's always good to try to look and really predict what's happening in the future. And that might be another podcast episode for us, Law. What's Lau Lapides: of Anne Ganguzza: going Lau Lapides: it. Anne Ganguzza: to happen to voiceover in 10 years? There's a lot of people asking that question. And there's a lot of people that have ideas and theories. And I've got my own theories. But it doesn't stop me from thinking about, if this were to happen, what's your plan B? What's your side hustle? How are you going to evolve or maybe shift into something else? Or? maybe not something else, maybe something in addition to. And I think it's always something that it's wise and strategic for you bosses to be thinking about. I mean, if you are not thinking about it, then you might wanna rethink being in business for yourself, Lau Lapides: Yeah, always Anne Ganguzza: right? Lau Lapides: have your backups ready to go. Anne Ganguzza: Mm-hmm. Lau Lapides: Have the safety nets there for you. Anne Ganguzza: Yep, Lau Lapides: Just Anne Ganguzza: yep. Lau Lapides: know your plan A, B, and C is always gonna work for you. I think we are gonna go back to that hustle, right? Anne Ganguzza: Yeah. Lau Lapides: We're gonna go back and do the Anne Ganguzza: Yeah, Lau Lapides: hustle. Anne Ganguzza: we're all so well. Now I have to go see if we can lease the music. Right. Lau Lapides: Ha ha ha! Anne Ganguzza: Anyways, so yeah, bosses do that hustle. It has been a wonderful conversation. Boss, I love love, love talking to you. Law, I called you boss law. Yeah, I love I love our conversations Lau Lapides: And Anne Ganguzza: and Lau Lapides: I love you right back Anne Ganguzza: yes. Lau Lapides: to pieces. Anne Ganguzza: And and it just thank you so much for continuing to be by my side here. Lau Lapides: It's just Anne Ganguzza: Uh, yeah, for- Lau Lapides: a joy and we're coming up on our year's anniversary. Anne Ganguzza: Oh my God, oh my God, we're gonna have to celebrate with a big party. Lau Lapides: Yeah, yeah, Anne Ganguzza: Big party, big party guys. Lau Lapides: party! Anne Ganguzza: So, bosses out there, simple mission, big impact. 100 voices, one hour, $10,000. Four times a year. Gosh, do you even know what I'm talking about? Well, if you wanna find out more, visit 100voiceswhocare.org to join us and join in on the giving. Big shout out to our sponsor, IPDTL. You too can connect and network like bosses. Find out more at ipdtl.com. You guys have an amazing week and we'll see you next week. Lau Lapides: next Anne Ganguzza: Bye. Lau Lapides: week. Bye!
Oct 3, 2023
26 min
Real Bosses with Tom Dheere
What would it look like if you could harness the energy of a conference and convert it into effectiveness? What would it feel like to be your own boss in the voiceover industry? Our esteemed guest, Tom Dheere, joins us as we unravel the answers to these thought-provoking questions. We share valuable insights on setting the right objectives, maximizing conference experiences, and the commitment required to become a full-time voice actor. Plus, we examine the liberating perspective of entrepreneurial freedom offered by the voiceover industry. 0:00:01 - Anne Hey everyone, welcome to the VO Boss podcast and the real boss series. I'm your host, Anne Ganguzza and I am so happy to bring to this series Mr Tom Dheere. Thank you so much, tom, for joining me on this.   0:00:15 - Tom Yay, thank you so much for having me. I'm very excited about this. This is going to be great.   0:00:19 - Anne Oh, tom, first of all, it was so awesome to see you at the One Voice conference.   0:00:25 - Tom Yes, likewise.   0:00:27 - Anne I know we just had. You were just a guest on my podcast and, lo and behold, like two times I see you within the span of a month or two, which is really incredible, right?   Sometimes we have to go to conferences to just meet in person so whew, I was exhausting that conference, but super motivating, and I know a lot of people who went to that conference are all revved up and ready to go, motivated, inspired. We took amazing classes and so I think it's a good time to talk about. You know, what do we do with all that amazing energy that we just absorbed in that conference? Because I'm revved up, I'm motivated, ready to go. What can we do to, I guess, keep ourselves or keep the momentum going, tom?   0:01:16 - Tom That is a fantastic question and I know you've been presented at dozens and dozens of conferences over the past 10 years, and so have I, and we go and we meet wonderful people and we present and we also attend workshops and panels and we learn a lot and we get to commiserate with our peers, voice actors and coaches and other producers and stuff like that. And then there's this glow.   0:01:42 - Anne There is a glow. It's wonderful glow. There is a glow.   0:01:46 - Tom And then you go home and then for the vast majority of people that go to these conferences, it's like whew.   0:01:53 - Anne And then life sets in right. I have laundry to do. Yeah, family, yeah, right Bills and auditions and stuff like that.   0:02:02 - Tom So it's great. Conferences are great for, obviously for education. They're great for networking, they're great for renewal of purpose, refocus, re-energizing. The trick is how to take all that positive energy and inspiration and revved up-ed-ness and coming, taking it home with you and turning it into effectiveness. Because the positive attitude, while great it can only get you so far, it's not going to get you home. You're going to run out of that momentum and now there's work to be done.   0:02:37 - Anne Interesting, tom. Before we went to the conference, I think somebody had actually created a note sheet of like here are the I guess the talks that I want to go to, here are my goals, or here's what I got out of it, and I thought it was a really great way for people who like that type of thing and they take a lot of notes to write down your objectives. What are you hoping to get from that? And then what do you hope to do once you get, maybe once you get home, to put those lessons learned in place? And so I think that maybe everything should start even before we go to the conference in terms of writing things down and what is it that you hope to get out of this conference. And I'm a big planner, so I am a big proponent of yeah, you guys should plan out what sessions you want to go to, look at the schedule multiple times and just see how you can get the most out of the money that you've spent on that ticket of yours.   0:03:33 - Tom Yeah, absolutely, and different people at different points in their voiceover journey go to different conferences for different reasons, if it's. I've never been one to been one to one before, and I just want to. I haven't even produced a demo yet. I just want to see what this universe is like.   0:03:47 - Anne Great.   0:03:48 - Tom If it's, this is my 15th conference. I've had all these demos done, I've gotten all this work. What am I going to get out of it this time? Or some people go because they specifically want to meet you, or they want to meet another coach or demo producer to see, I want to get in the same room with this person and see if we click because I may want to work with you as a coach or a demo producer. Um, you know, and some go purely as presenters and you know, and then they, you know, do their stuff and then they get out of there and yeah, which is which is which is cool too.   0:04:19 - Anne I think there's such a, there's such a momentum to be gained by just joining forces with like-minded people and, just you know, renewing um relationships, and that just keeps you going, because it's so isolating sometimes just what we do and yeah and I will tell you, though, that the other day I was I don't even know what it was that made me think of it, but I I think I was getting ready to, you know, start.   I had a full day of students, and I said, I don't know what made me think about, oh god, what if I had to go to work for somebody?   um, you know, back in my days of corporate and I'm like I I could never do that again. So boss is out there. This is just a little segue. If you, if, if you know that this is what you want to do and you end up pursuing it full time, I don't say rush into it with your, you know, with your eyes closed. But, um and Tom, we can talk lots of strategies about that, but once you make that decision to go full time, I don't do you know anybody who's actually gone back because they've been unhappy being their own boss um, I know lots of people who have gone back to a regular job because they just couldn't book enough right they needed the money.   0:05:24 - Tom Yeah, exactly, it was purely financially, like I've been trying this and I just, I just can't get enough work to sustain myself and they've come gone back. Um, I can't think of anyone specifically, but I'm sure there are people out there, because there are people who just like to be told what to do, because then they don't have to think about it and there's a level of security in that and I totally that's sympathize with that.   0:05:45 - Anne I'm not one of those people, I can't. I don't, I don't think I could, I could not go back to taking now, I think, now I can take. I can take instructions from my client. Sure, I can be directed um, and then I want to get paid and be done with it. I think that's really it's. It's an interesting. It's an interesting, it's a different dynamic, because that's a, that's a, that's a business to business thing where you and the clients are on equal footing there's no high. There's no hierarchy.   0:06:10 - Tom It's it's you and the client trying to make this finished, great finished product, which is, you know, the audio files that you're gonna send to them or their, their source connecting you through. But with what? When it's a, I am in charge of you and. I'm telling you what to do, and this is when you can go to the bathroom and stuff like that it's like ah, I don't know if I could.   0:06:29 - Anne I don't know, I don't think I could go back to that it makes me think of okay, it's similar to I know I just went off on that on that weird tangent, but that happens sometime, bosses, sorry, um, but it was just a weird like. It just came to me. I was like I could not work for somebody now, so I will do everything in my power to make my business so that I do not have to do that. I think that also was leading into that.   But I think isn't that similar to, let's say, I, I pay my money, I get my ticket, I go to a conference, I take these classes, I'm inspired for a new genre, I'm inspired to work with a new coach, and then we come back and, oops, we're by ourselves, right. So now, yeah, it's very similar to what now, you know, we're gonna be talking about is we've got to take the reins and we've got to do the work and it's, it's now up to us, and we're not necessarily having that coach or that director saying, okay, do this, do this, do this. Now we've got all of this energy and this motivation. How do we cement that and you know, and and start to just really move forward on that?   0:07:27 - Tom right. The trick is if you want to be the vo boss you need to learn how to be your own boss. Yeah, yeah, you know it's empowering to like be the boss. Yeah, I'm a tough boss. I'll tell you that my boss is a jerk my boss, I would say my boss is a bastard oh, I just said that oh. I had another word in mind, but I didn't use it.   0:07:49 - Anne I'm not sure if we'll bleep that out, but yeah woo, I'll tell you what. I've never worked for a harder boss, but isn't that true?   0:07:57 - Tom yeah, yeah, I'm hard on ourselves. I'm pretty real, I'm I'm often pretty relentless and I have to be because I have this bad habit.   0:08:05 - Anne It's called eating and and having a roof over my head, yes, and not living in a cardboard box, yes, yeah, you know.   0:08:14 - Tom So yeah, the motivation is like there's no net yeah, you know what I mean. If I don't audition for this, there's a 100 chance that I'm not gonna book it well, yeah, and I think that's what propels me for sure you know what I mean to get work done, I mean right the fact that I need right.   0:08:30 - Anne I need to be able to pay the mortgage right, and that's the, and that's a.   0:08:33 - Tom That's a great point, anne, is that different people need to find different motivations. To stay motivated when you are alone in your booth talking to yourself? You know, so that's a big part of you know I talk about effectiveness. There's a difference between talent and effectiveness. There's a lot of talented aspiring voice actors out there with interesting voices but like I have an interesting pen, it doesn't make me an author, you know.   0:09:02 - Anne I own a wrench. It doesn't make me a plumber, so having talent, voice doesn't make me effective. Yeah absolutely.   0:09:11 - Tom You know, because no one's going to get discovered, you're not going to get your big break. It doesn't really work that way.   0:09:16 - Anne It's what you do with that pen that matters. It's what you do with that voice that matters.   0:09:20 - Tom Exactly and consistently. Yes, absolutely so when you get home from that conference and you've got all that positive attitude. That's great If you can bottle it and put it on a shelf for later.   0:09:30 - Anne That's great.   0:09:31 - Tom But when you get home, it's about what can I do to be effective today, tomorrow, next week, month, quarter year, two years, five years? And I'm not necessarily talking about writing a business plan, which is something I do do as the, as the video strategist, but it's about how do I think about myself to stay motivated. How do I think about and understand the voiceover industry? So there's a reality, because that's the other thing and, as you know, people coming into the industry have no idea what the industry is. They just have this odd preconceived notion of what it is. Oh yeah, I talk interesting. I got to just get an agent and then they'll just throw Saxa cash at me.   0:10:10 - Anne Exactly and I think, yeah, you don't know what you don't know right.   0:10:13 - Tom You don't know what you don't know.   0:10:15 - Anne And especially not only that is it a new industry for a lot of people, but it's also the fact that there's a lot of people who are very unhappy in their current job situation and get out of that work for somebody else, but then working for yourself is a whole different animal and that really is, I think, where the double it's.   The double whammy comes in for those people new to the industry, because not only are they trying to acquire the skills to be a good talent, but now they also have to have good business skills as well, and they're not used to working for themselves or having to go out and market themselves and get work and all those hats that they've got to put on.   0:10:58 - Tom Yeah, I had a maybe 15 years ago here in New York City. I had a 10 minute meet up with an agent I don't remember which one but he said tell me about yourself. And I talked about all the things I do. He's like, wow, you got a lot of hats.   And I'm like, yeah he's like but you only have one head and I'm like, yeah, so you kind of to be an effective voice actor, you need to kind of be the Dr Seuss Bartholomew in 1001 hats and have all those hats stacked up on. Some of them, some of them, you can take on and put on and take off, but a bunch of them you have to have stacked on your head at the same time, because there is no job description for being a voice actor.   I mean, there is, but nobody knows what it is, until you get here and it's like unlocking these doors and you know, moving these hedges aside and going oh, I need to do, I have to do that. You know it's like. It's almost like a maze, which is the logo of the VO strategist. Now that I think about it helping you navigate the voice over the industry, absolutely. So, navigating the maze of what it means to be an effective voice actor, and staying motivated at the same time. Because, yes, invoicing.   0:12:08 - Anne Staying, staying motivated when you're doing something like accounting.   0:12:12 - Tom Like for me.   0:12:12 - Anne I mean, well, I'm not. I mean, there are some people who love accounting, right, so there's accounting for me. How do there you go See for me? I'm like, oh God, actually I will tell you, tom. So for me, staying motivated while I have an S corp, right, and an S corp is creating all of this paperwork for me and for me, I can't, god it's, and it's just like I need to, either just, you know, be educated about, you know, the entire S corp thing, or I outsource, right. So I think if I had to do all that paperwork and try to understand it all and to stay motivated, it would be very, very difficult for that to happen, and it may discourage me from wanting to have a voiceover business because of this paperwork that I continually have to supply to the government, to you know, support this business, but I, you know, for me one of my solutions is to outsource that right.   And make sure that I have somebody that I trust and can go to if I have any questions, that can handle that aspect for me. So if I'll, I know, constantly get mail, mail, snail mail saying you need to provide this information, or you owe us this amount of money, or you need to prepay this or you know whatever that is, and so I literally will just be like, oh my gosh, this is a lot of paperwork. So I will literally scan that in and send that to my accountant, which, by the way, I will say to the to to my dying day, I will say my accountant was my very best investment for this business. I just I can't. I can't do the numbers.   0:13:45 - Tom Right, well, and that's that's a very important point, and is that if you're getting into the voiceover industry, obviously you need to understand what does that entail on you know soft skills, hard skills, hardware, software, marketing, money and all that stuff, and you need to know, you need to have an understanding of what your S corp is, or what this is, where that is, and then you can decide okay, this is a skill I need to just understand, but I'll outsource it and this is a skill like, for example, using your DAW.   0:14:14 - Anne You have to know how to use your DAW.   0:14:17 - Tom You need to know how to audition and you need to know how to record and clean up and save and, you know, deliver audio file. Some stuff is non-negotiable. You know what I mean.   0:14:27 - Anne But managing your S corp, you know right, that's another thing.   0:14:31 - Tom Or if you're an audio book narrator or a long form e-learning narrator, do you want to hire an audio, an audio engineer, to clean up your clean up your audio or do you want to do that, Do it yourself? Or do you say do it yourself first to understand how it works and why it works and then outsource it? And I'm sure some of your bosses are thinking I don't have that money. To outsource yes, I don't have the money to outsource.   0:14:54 - Anne You need to invest your money to make the money. That's what I always start by saying invest the money to make the money, but and maybe not try to put yourself wholeheartedly into the business until you do have money that you can invest, because that would be, from any perspective, any business. You have to have some investment money.   0:15:15 - Tom I mean it's not just voiceover, just some.   0:15:17 - Anne for some reason it became this like oh, we just talking to a microphone, how easy is that. I don't need to have any money or be prepared, or maybe I just got to buy a mic.   And that, I think, is where, where in the problem lies, where then you start to have, you know, predators in the industry that will sell that dream and people who will get taken for that dream and without the realization that, yeah, they have to put things in place and make investments to do that. So let's, let's kind of go back to we've gone to a conference and we've gotten motivated, and even it doesn't have to be a physical conference, it could be a virtual, online, you know, workshop or whatnot. I just went to a workshop called Unstoppable you. It was a Tony Robbins thing, which was all about the motivation, all about the motivation.   But yeah, now that you've, now that you're motivated, you've got to do the work and you've got to maybe take a look at the hard like really take a look at the the hard questions and and then make concrete steps to move forward. So it's like I can ask the hard questions. I can maybe, I can maybe get through the answers and they might make me cry, some of them Right, they right and so I can do that, but now I have to actually do the hard part, which is moving forward. So what, what would be the first thing you would recommend? Let's say, somebody that comes back from a conference or, you know, a workshop or whatever, and maybe a meeting with a coach and they're they're inspired, they're motivated. What's the first thing that you would have them do?   0:16:46 - Tom The first thing that I would have them do is write down in severe detail what they're perfect.   0:16:51 - Anne Severe detail, not just detail. Severe detail, severe detail.   0:16:55 - Tom What their perfect voiceover day looks like.   0:16:58 - Anne Oh, okay, okay. Follow me with just work with me for a second.   0:17:02 - Tom What time of day are you waking up? What time zone are you in when you wake up? Are you waking up in a house, a cabin, a condo, a space station?   a bunker, a submarine Like? Where are you waking up when it's time to start doing voiceover? Does the limo pick you up? Are you walking downstairs into the basement? Are you getting on a bicycle to go downtown? Are you going into your backyard to your custom built booth? Are you going into the attic? Are you taking a bus or a train? And then, when you get there, what are? What kind of? What kind of bookings are you doing? What genres or subgenres of voiceover? One or more? How much are you getting paid? Obviously, we all want to get paid as much as possible, but what is that actual number that you need to cover all of your voiceover expenses, all of your personal expenses? Manage your debt, save for retirement, save for that college education for your kids, save for that car and have enough to have a little fun.   0:18:01 - Anne And this is before. You're a working talent, right, this is still a, really, if you're just new to the industry and you want to get into it and you're let's say, you're in the process with a coach and you're making demos.   You want to project what genres? First of all, if you're working with a coach, you should probably have a genre in mind already yes, right, and with a genre specific coach. So you kind of know where you want to go. But putting that down, right, even if you're not actually doing the work as you were mentioning okay, this is the work, I'm going to be doing these auditions, even if you don't have audition opportunities yet and you're still just working. Put down that on the list because you want to make sure that you have the space for it and the time for it. Right, right, right. And then the goal, steps, the steps.   0:18:42 - Tom Right, exactly. And once you have that perfect day realized, written down in severe detail, you walk that backwards to the day to the moment that you're writing that list. What are you missing between right now and that perfect voiceover day? What money, how much money do you need? What training do you need? What tools do you need? What marketing acumen do you need? All of the things big and small, knowledge, hardware, software, tangible, intangible mindset to get you where you are and figure out what are you missing and what you need to do to fill those gaps. So when you come home from a conference, all motivated, try to figure out what the practical application of all the wonderful information that you just collected is. We go to all these workshops and listen to all these panels and take all these notes and some of the knowledge is immediately actionable and others are, for you know, I took this genre workshop. I'm gonna keep these notes and maybe I'll be ready for it in a year or two.   And so on and so forth. Organize, organize everything, because you need to figure out how actionable and practical everything that you need is to do to get you to that perfect voiceover day and use the glow and energy and momentum of the conference that you just got home from to kind of build that foundation, build that scaffolding, create that structure. So, when you get back into the day to day grind of trying to build or develop or nurture your voiceover business, you have effective systems of thought and effective systems of execution.   0:20:23 - Anne And let me interject also what I think is important is, of course, yes, you took that workshop on animation or whatever promo, imaging, whatever it is, you know, medical narration, I say because I just did that, love it or corporate.   I think that you always have to keep your eye on the market. I gosh, I feel like sometimes we become so blinded by our own like performance because we're like, oh, I want to get really good at animation or I want to get really good at, you know, whatever commercial or corporate. But I think we always have to keep our eye on the marketplace because if there's not a demand or if the demand is not as big and I'm always telling this to my students about corporate, it's a huge market, is a huge opportunity there Versus animation. Not that there isn't a huge opportunity there, but there's less of an opportunity there than there is in corporate. There's more of an opportunity in e-learning than there is in even I would say, promo, promo, of course. Right, documentary. Everybody that comes to me for narration says I want to do documentaries and I'm like well, how many documentaries do you think there are at any given time? Do you know?   0:21:32 - Tom what I mean yeah.   0:21:33 - Anne Compared to the 30.4 million registered companies that have a product or service to sell that need a corporate narrator.   0:21:40 - Tom And need human resources videos and need orientation videos and need compliance videos Right.   0:21:45 - Anne And I think that that is something that we really need to take into consideration at all points in our business, because that will affect right when you're talking about here's where I am. Here are the here's my perfect day, here's where I want to be, I want to be animating, I want to be doing animations on television or whatever that is, or I want to have a national commercial spot. That's all well and good. However, I think that you also have to take in account what is the market for that? Is there okay? Are you going to be able? And I used to think erroneously back in the beginning, before I realized what the market was oh, I just need a commercial a day, right? Or you know, oh, wouldn't that be nice.   Oh yeah, tom, we're talking about real talk, right? Real bosses. Well, okay, I don't know anybody that gets a commercial a day, except for people who are maybe on rosters for serious exam or they're doing, and that's usually for lower pay. But if you're thinking like, oh, if I got a national spot, even one a week, right, I mean, unless you're in it, voice for a campaign. I mean, I love how you laugh, that's the perfect way.   0:22:46 - Tom Well, I laugh because I thought I had to sound like James Earl Jones.   0:22:47 - Anne Right, I mean yeah, and so like that is. You know you have to understand what's realistic for the, for the industry too, when you're jotting these down. So any education that you can get on that right. Listen to podcasts like Vio Boss. I mean, we've been doing this for six years, right, talking about markets and business. And, tom, you've been doing gosh. How many years have you been doing business consulting?   0:23:10 - Tom and strategizing Over 10 years.   0:23:12 - Anne Yeah, over 10 years and specifically in our industry, and so, like guys, I mean, look, I'm not saying of course you should come to us, but I mean we've been doing this for a long time, we've watched the market evolve and so that's why I want to point it out and say that this is so important for us to have in consideration in our, in our step by step process of here's where we are, here's where we want to be. Now, if I want to be, you know, a commercial, you know Vio artist, well, maybe I want to think about another genre as well, to add in, to supplement those days when I don't get the national campaign every day. And I'm not trying to crush your dreams, guys, that's just not, that's just not it. But you know we're. This is a dose of reality, right, tom?   This is our whole series is based on let's talk real yeah.   0:23:57 - Tom The reality is is that you may be. You may be good at something you don't like, and you may not be good at something you do like.   A lot of people are drawn to the industry because they love cartoons and video games, and a lot of them may not be good at it, but they may find out that they are good at corporate or e-learning, which is a far more to your point, stable form of voiceover income, because, when it comes to effectiveness, the bottom line of effectiveness as a voice actor is you're able to make money. You're able to develop a revenue stream.   0:24:28 - Anne Develop any revenue stream that you need to make. Yeah, develop any revenue stream.   0:24:32 - Tom you can in any genre, whether you like it or not, and I always say all genres of voiceover is storytelling. I get my storytelling jollies out of any voiceover genre.   0:24:44 - Anne I don't care Teaching statistics right or you're narrating corporate responsibility or HR policies. You are absolutely a character and you are acting, and so that is a requirement, that is, I mean, baseline requirement, especially now when we talked about this in our last podcast. It is such a requirement for us to be the actors that we are called to be, I mean, and that includes all genres. So, yes, and that's the reality, that's the real talk.   0:25:14 - Tom Yes.   0:25:15 - Anne The real talk is you've got to invest in yourself, in developing those skills and getting good coaching, and not just taking acting classes. I know everybody would say take an acting class, and I think that's wonderful too, but you've also got to take acting classes as they pertain to voiceover as well.   0:25:32 - Tom Yes, there's a crossover. I mean, I always say improv classes are extremely important because it gives you the ability to make strong decisions quickly while you're narrating your copy. But to an end, compliment stuff like that, and there's like there are people who do improv for voiceover and acting specifically for voiceover. It's a very specific skill.   0:25:54 - Anne There's very specific muscles that you need to flex, Absolutely, absolutely To be to do voiceover as opposed to on camera or as opposed to theater. I'm all about teaching the acting for narration and, by the way, tom, I miss you. I don't see you. Did you turn your camera off by any chance?   0:26:09 - Tom No, I'm still here.   0:26:11 - Anne Oh, I don't see you how interesting. That's that's. Do you see yourself?   0:26:16 - Tom I do.   0:26:17 - Anne Oh, okay. Well, I'm just going to assume.   0:26:19 - Tom Okay.   0:26:20 - Anne I'm going to assume that it just kind of blipped off. But you know, hey guys, technology Riverside, hopefully we'll have your, we'll have your video anyways.   0:26:30 - Tom Okay.   0:26:30 - Anne Absolutely, so, okay, so, so what a great conversation. So now you're back. Okay, so that's interesting. So now we've taken our, we've come back from the conference, we're motivated, we're, we've written down our, our perfect voiceover day, right and so, and then we've worked backwards to the steps. And so what would be next after that, tom, how do do we need to? We probably need to take time to evaluate whether we've accomplished those steps right, absolutely.   Once we've written them down and we've and we've developed our to-do list. Now we've got to go back, maybe in a week or so or in a you know at the end of the day and say did I accomplish my tasks?   0:27:07 - Tom Yes, self-evaluation and self-reflection is one of the most important skill sets to be an effective voice actor. Because you don't have. Unless you're part of my mentorship program or you're mentoring with Ann, you are working in a vacuum. You need to develop the ability to metacognate, which is the ability to stand outside of thank you, the ability to stand outside of yourself. Look at yourself objectively and say did I do what I assigned to my assigned for myself? Did I do it? Well, if I didn't do it, why didn't I do it? Was there a logistical problem? Was a financial problem? Was there a motivational problem? You know and find out why, why you do what you do, how you tick, and there's a time to be kind to yourself and there's a kind, there's a time to be tough on yourself. You know.   0:27:56 - Anne And so taking I think I've always tough on myself, but you're right, yeah.   0:27:59 - Tom You have to be able to. You have to be able to do both, because we're all human. We all have different energy levels and emotional states that fluctuate constantly throughout the day, week, month, year, decade, and we need to be accommodating for that. Oh, mercury's in retrograde today, so I'm not going to get my invoicing done, or what were you?   0:28:18 - Anne know oh, technology sucks, technology sucks. You know what I mean?   0:28:21 - Tom Oh, great retrograde, yeah, you know but if you find yourself making excuses for yourself about why you're not doing things, then you are not being effective.   0:28:28 - Anne Because I have an, I have an action for it. That's a whole another podcast right there.   0:28:32 - Tom Yeah, I have my action plan right here and I don't check off every single box. I get about 80% of my action plan stuff done every month, dating back to 2006. And sometimes it's-.   0:28:42 - Anne Do you have records from back then? Do you do you have a-.   0:28:45 - Tom I have a binder right here with every single one of these. So January 2006-. I love it Was my first printed one and I've done 12 a year since 2006 and it's in this binder right over here.   0:28:54 - Anne It does not surprise me that you love numbers too. I love numbers, right, yeah, see, and so that I feel goes along with.   Now I'm not so much, although I will. I will share my book is out there, but I have my to-do list that I love to cross things off on and I have my planner where I like to write my goals down. I'm not always as good as I propose to be, but, yeah, I think that's super important. But, wow, what a great conversation. I want to talk to you more, in more detail, about a lot of these steps because I think they're super important in our series. So, tom, thank you so so much for joining me for our first, our first in a series of real bosses.   0:29:35 - Tom Yeah.   0:29:36 - Anne So, guys, if you, I have a simple mission for you, but one that has big impact 100 voices, one hour, $10,000. Four times a year. Do you want to know what I'm talking about? Visit 100voiceswhocareorg to find out more and to join us. And big shout out to our sponsor, ipdtl. We love IPDTL. We love connecting with bosses like Tom and myself. Find out more at IPDTLcom. Bosses, have an amazing week and be real bosses. We'll see you next week. Bye, bye.   Transcribed by https://podium.page
Sep 26, 2023
26 min
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