Living Out Loud

The Voice Over Journey of Cat Smith

August 27, 2013
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Tongue Twister Tuesdays! 8-27

Lloyd the Conqueror on VODTongue Twisters are a great thing to do with your vocal warm ups.  They loosen the lips, jaws, cheeks, and of course, the tongue.  Every Tuesday I will give you a new one to add to your toolbox.  Here is today’s Tuesday Tongue Twister.  Say it at least 5 times.

The blue bloods blood is blood red blue.

This one was suggested to me by Brendan Hunter, actor/producer in and of Lloyd the Conqueror releasing in two weeks to video on demand!  Stars include , , and .

 

Listen to our interview with Brendan from Hollywood & West Napa St for more details on the story.  Also, he will return to our show on VOD-Day, September 10 at 10:45 am PST.  Listen live or watch for the podcast!

 

Also, check out the trailer below (but don’t forget to twist your tongue!):

 

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August 23, 2013
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TGIFF! 23Aug2013

I debated posting the voice from the last Saturday Sketches this week or next.  Next week won.  Mostly because I want to use it as an auditioning process lesson.  Also because I wasn’t able to get the next Saturday Sketches posted and I’d like to keep them together.

I have many lovelies for everyone to check out this week from the Twitterverse.  Let’s start by reminding you all that if you haven’t listened to podcast of my interview with John Florian about Voice Over Virtual, what are you waiting for??  Go on.  I’ll wait.

Voice Over VirtualAfter you’ve listened to that and are ready to register, follow this link to sign up!

Now that your education is out of the way, let’s have a little fun.  I found a new site called “Scoop It!”  According to my blog’s traffic reports, someone came to my site through a link there, but I couldn’t find it.  If you see it, leave a comment.  This site is pretty cool and it’s really just a collection of blog posts that you can find by subject.  Type in “voiceover” and there is a wealth of knowledge to be had.  You can also type in someone in the industry you admire and find what they’re sharing.  For example, it’s fun to follow Derek Chappell.

Speaking of Derek Chappell, he also shares in his blog every week his favorite blogs.  This week there are 15 and all worth taking a look at.  Read his blog here.

Twitter lesson of the week:  On Fridays, when you see #ff, your friends are sharing with you people on Twitter they suggest you follow.  It means “Follow Friday.”  Thank you to the Word Mice for giving me that information!  And if you need a social media presence, but don’t like the task, hire these ladies and the word about you or your event will be out in no time!

Also, a lot of people ask me where I get my auditions living in a small town.  I mainly use Voice 123.  I’m experimenting with others right now, but if you’d like to get going and want to try one, I suggest signing up with them today.  Let me know what you think in the comments below after you’ve given them a try.

More thank goodness it’s Friday favorites next week!  For now, enjoy the Blogoverse!

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August 20, 2013
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Tongue Twister Tuesdays! 8-20

Tongue Twisters are a great thing to do with your vocal warm ups.  They loosen the lips, jaws, cheeks, and of course, the tongue.  Every Tuesday I will give you a new one to add to your toolbox.  Here is today’s Tuesday Tongue Twister.  Say it at least 5 times.

The sixth sick sheik’s sixth sheep’s sick.

This one hurts.  Good luck!

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August 19, 2013
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Announcement: John Florian will be on Hollywood & West Napa St

DSC01488I’m blogging this a little late, but I wanted to let my readers know that the fantastic John Florian will be on my radio show, Hollywood & West Napa Street tomorrow morning.  The show begins at 10 am Pacific time and he will be phoning in at 10:25.  I hope you all will listen in to hear about Voice Over Virtual, an online voice over convention happening next month.  Here is a link if you want to check it out on your own.  By the weekend, I will share the podcast in the blog as well for those who can’t tune in.  If you’re local, 91.3 FM, or you can listen to the live stream at www.sunfmtv.com or through the smart phone app, TuneIn Radio.

 

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August 18, 2013
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Voiceover on your nails? (Rob Paulsen backs Espionage Cosmetics)

Nerd NailsOkay, well no, the voiceover is not going to be on your nails.  And I know this is a voiceover journey blog, but I’m going to derail briefly to share a “Rob Paulsen is awesome” moment.  My new friends over at Espionage Cosmetics have an awesome Kickstarter going.  They designed a collection of nail wraps, Nailed It!, with “geek girls” in mind.  One of those sets happens to be inspired by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, complete with googly eyes!  (As seen here.)

Did you know that not only is Rob Paulsen currently the voice of Donatello on TMNT, but he also was the original Raphael!  Who says you have to grow up?  Your voice certainly doesn’t.

I just received my set of Tentacle nails which I will be reviewing for the Geek Girl Project.  They aren’t applied yet, but I can tell you they are gorgeous in person!  Stay tuned.

Now, the Kickstarter campaign is completed (you can still get in on it for additional designs), but early on, as it was starting to gain wind, a little birdy mentioned the line to Rob Paulsen, who then Tweeted it himself.  And then, this video appeared…

(If for some reason you can’t watch this video, in a nutshell, Rob promised that if the Kickstarter reached its goal, he would wear the nails for a photo, sign them, and sell for the charity of Espionage’s choice.)

As promised, he is holding up his end of the bargain and as announced today, the charity chosen by Espionage Cosmetics is the Seeing Stars Foundation.  About Seeing Stars:

“Seeing Stars was founded by Neurologists with an expertise in sports related neurological issues in an effort to improve the quality of life of athletes of all ages.”

More information on ordering the pictures for charity will be posted soon.  This has been Cat with another “Rob Paulsen is Awesome” moment.

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August 18, 2013
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Listen to my radio show podcasts!

Untitled-1I’m not sure if you all know, but I have a weekly radio show on Sun FM in Sonoma.  It’s called Hollywood & West Napa St and you can hear it every Tuesday morning at 10 am Pacific.  One of my very best friends, Melissa Byrne is my co-host and we have on a variety of guests from the entertainment industry; everything from filmmakers to composers.

A lot of people have expressed an interest in listening after the fact as a podcast.  I get it you’re at work or in a meeting and you don’t feel right without your weekly dose of Cat!  Fret no more, gentle readers.  Hollywood & West Napa St now has a blog, and within it the podcasts.  There is a page available for listening to shows in their entirety, but each individual interview is broken down into its own entry.  On those pages you will be able to hear the interview as well as find all the information on each guest and what they were promoting.

I invite you all to listen today!  I’m loading a few a day until it’s all up to date.  August 27, we will be celebrating our one year anniversary on the air.  To tune in live that day, simply turn your dial to 91.3 FM if in the Sonoma Valley area, stream it from Sun FM, or download the app, TuneIn Radio, for your smart phone.  It’ll be a party for your earbuds!

Visit www.catsmith.net/sunfm for all the podcasting goodness!

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August 17, 2013
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Saturday Sketches 3

Two exercises, three Saturdays, and lots of fun voices for me to listen to!  Here is a recap of what to do and how to submit:

I have a lot of illustrator friends.  Every Saturday, I will load one character sketch.  It may be rough, or it may be complete.  This exercise may even help to flesh a few of them out.  We’ll see!  Look at the character.  Study it.  It may be a person.  It could be a toaster with a face.  We don’t really know what to expect until Saturday rolls around.

When you feel like you have a feeling for this character, record no more than 30 seconds, in that character’s voice.  (The script will be above the drawing and adlibbing is welcome.)  Save that file as yourname_exercisenumber.mp3.  For example, I’m Cat Smith and this is exercise 3 so my file would be CatSmith_03.mp3.  Set that file aside for a moment.

This voice I want to be your first instinct when you look at the character.  The reason I will place the script above the drawing is that below the drawing will be a different set of instructions.  To avoid jumping ahead, here is this week’s script and sketch.  Record your character voice for it now.

Before you look at this image, I know I said I’d be having my artist friends do the sketches, but inspiration can happen anywhere!  I found this coaster and was thoroughly entertained as my friend bombarded me with voices he thought would fit the character.  Perhaps he will even submit for you this week?  This is a PBR (Pabst Blue Ribbon) promotional coaster.  Use the character for inspiration while reading the following script:

Character script: Water? You want water, you better go dunk your head in the
horse trawl back there.  (laugh) In here… we pour whiskey.

 

Image (27)This script is actually from a movie if you want to take a guess.  Normally, I would insert artist information here, but I have no idea who gets credit.  I would provide a link here to Pabst, however, their website is not working for me.  If you want to check later, it’s on the coaster.  Hopefully, you haven’t scrolled down too far and cheated.  Here’s your next set of instructions:

Here is part two of the challenge.  I will now give you 3 facts about the character.  Using demo one’s voice as a base, create a new voice by altering to accomodate the facts below and see what you come up with.

  1. He’s known to break out in song.
  2. He’s from Baltimore.
  3. He is not an old time saloon employee but rather current in 2013.

Script again:

Character script: Water? You want water, you better go dunk your head in the
horse trawl back there.  (laugh) In here… we pour whiskey.

Record this demo and label it yourname_exercisenumber_b.mp3.  So again, the example for that is CatSmith_03_b.mp3

To submit, either send me your files to voices@catsmith.net or, upload them to your favorite sound sharing site, such as SoundCloud, and post the link in the comments below.  On TGIF, which is now TGIFF- Thank Goodness It’s Friday Favorites!- I will post my favorites.  In the future, if there is a good response, maybe we will actually have prizes once in a while.  You have from today, Saturday, until Wednesday midnight to post your takes.  This doesn’t have to be on professional equipment.  You can record on an iPhone and email me.  Please only include one reading for parts A & B and do know that it is okay to improvise past the script as long as you stay under 30 seconds.  By turning in your mp3s to me, you are giving me permission to share them.  Have fun!

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August 16, 2013
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TGIFF! 16Aug13

Welcome!  I’m going to keep this a bit short as I’ve got an article I’m writing for the Geek Girl Project as well as an essay to write for a scholarship to Voice Over Virtual, an online voice over event with tons of training!    By the way, if you’d like to hear more about it, the amazing John Florian will be on Hollywood & West Napa St next Tuesday morning at 10:25 am PST to discuss all the details!  Listen to my show either locally at 91.3 FM, or stream it via SunFM online or TuneIn Radio on your smart phone.

Voice Over Virtual

Hopefully, you all saw last week’s Saturday Sketches and submitted an entry for the sketch.  This week, I just had to post a man doing the voice for basball girlie-girl.  I wanted to prove that you shouldn’t be afraid to try the exercise no matter what the sex of the character.  Have you seen Bob’s Burgers?  A lot of those females are voiced by men; interesting fact.

1079375_10151784439307264_238603024_nThis sketch was drawn specifically for Saturday Sketches by my amazing artist friend, Chad Welch.  Here is another good friend, Andy Boyns giving his first take on the character.  (WordPress added a new audio player, so forgive my blog if it comes out a little weird design wise.  I haven’t found if I have control over it yet.)

 

 

And here is the second take after learning 3 facts about the character.  This one is funny to me because he says he has no idea what a New Jersey accent sounds like and that he felt it came across as “like the character is lurking in the corner in a dirty raincoat.”  I laughed.

At any rate, tomorrow will be a male character and I want the women to remember, one of the top 10 wealthiest cartoon voice actors is the voice of Bart Simpson.  And she is Nancy Cartwright!  Check back for Saturday Sketches and I expect even more voices turned in this week!

Here are some links to my favorite things this week from my Twitter feeds:

  • Disney Bound, a site dedicated to putting together wardrobe ideas based on Disney characters.  I’m all for living a Disney life.
  • Robapalooza Atlanta- An intensive voice acting workshop with Rob Paulsen & Maurice LaMarche.  I’m jealous of everyone going, so if you’re near the area, be one of those people.
  • Vox Daily posted a blog on Victorian Thaumatrope Animation which I think is another fun exercise in coming up with new voices.  Make your own today thanks to instructions from Stephanie Ciccarelli!

See you next week with more fun finds from my exploration in the Twitterverse!  And check back tomorrow for this weekend’s Saturday Sketches!  By the way, do you follow me on Twitter and “like” me on Facebook??

 

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August 13, 2013
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Tongue Twister Tuesdays! 8-13

Tongue Twisters are a great thing to do with your vocal warm ups.  They loosen the lips, jaws, cheeks, and of course, the tongue.  Every Tuesday I will give you a new one to add to your toolbox.  Here is today’s Tuesday Tongue Twister.  Say it at least 5 times.

If you understand, say
“understand”.
If you don’t understand, say “don’t understand”.
But if you
understand and say “don’t understand”.
How do I understand that you
understand? Understand!

Confused?  You will probably be for a while.  But your mouth got a workout!

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August 11, 2013
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Take Two Weeks

imageI’ve been inspired by several blogs and articles this week about goals, time management, and the future.  There was even a Swatch Watch ad that motivated me.  I don’t really understand where they are going with a 27 hour watch, but the rest of the message spoke to me.  I will dedicate 2 weeks to this, instead of 24 hours.

Here’s a helpful tip: use an online calendar service.  There are many out there.  The one I use is Yahoo!  It syncs to my emails and iPad, as well as any other mobile devices I may use.  There are plenty of others so explore and find the one that works for you.  I use it as the homepage when I open my web browser.  When I turn on the computer, I immediately launch the Internet Explorer which means that I see that “month at a glance” immediately.  I never have to worry that I’m missing appointments because it is the first thing I look at every day.

Now, the reason I give this tip is that there is also a daily tab on that calendar.  For the next two weeks, I’m going to fill that in, hour by hour, and commit to a new schedule; a schedule that is dedicated to time managing my goals into what I want for the future.  See how I recapped that whole inspiration from the first sentence?

Breaking down the ad, step by step…

Make a Memory- I’m not going to go all deathbed on you, and I’m certainly not having a midlife crisis, but I am at an age where I feel as though time is slipping.  It could be a good time to make a bucket list.  It’s one thing to say, “I’d like to see Paris someday,” and completely another to actually go there.  Right now it’s not too late, but if I don’t focus some time on planning, someday it will be.  Today I plan to sit and ponder the things I don’t want to later regret never having done.  Perhaps I will give myself until 50?  60?  That will come in the brainstorming I suppose.

Try Something New- Classes.  I’ve been wanting to take some classes and this happens to be the perfect time to think about the possibilities as it is “Back to School” time.  There is always something to learn with voiceover and there is always something that can help me become a better boss to myself.  Answering to myself is pretty hard because I am a pushover and let myself get away with everything.  Maybe, simply, the “something new” is just to be strict with myself.  What’s your something new?

Learn A Language- I have a curious mind.  I’m always researching and learning new things.  There’s a pile on my desk whether it’s refining my skills with a computer program, mastering something with sound recording, or picking up that guitar that sits in a case at the end of my bed.  Part of that new schedule is going to be an hour daily dedicated just to learning.

Start A Hobby- Let’s face it.  Anyone who knows me knows I have plenty of interests, which means plenty of hobbies.  They do hit the back burner frequently which is unfortunate.  Hobbies can be like therapy.  They get different parts of the brain working, help with relaxation, reduce anxiety, and being creative can unblock other road blocks in daily tasks.  Even if it’s just one hour per week, it’s important to have things in life that are done simply for the joy they bring.

Set A New Goal & Achieve It- I felt like lumping those together.  Really, there were some goals I set at the beginning of the year and it’s now past the half way mark to making new resolutions again.  I’m going to sit down and revisit everything I wrote at the start of 2013 and see what I can still accomplish before it’s over.  These goals will break down into tasks that fit in that daily calendar.

Two weeks starts now.  How do you break down that ad?  What will you do with your two weeks?

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