April 24th, 2017 marks my 20th anniversary as an e-learning narrator.
Sounds like a weird thing to celebrate, right? Maybe so, but it was a critical day in my voiceover career. And I remember it well!
Since I knew this anniversary was coming up, just for fun I looked through my 1997 planner to see what life was like 20 years ago. I worked for Bennigans at the time and travelled the country to train waiters at newly opening restaurants. I went to Colorado, Michigan (twice), Georgia, and New Mexico.
My marketing efforts landed me a whopping total of six voiceovers that year, all for the same client, and I only got that gig (the one we’re talking about today) because a college buddy was moving and the studio needed a replacement. Some weeks I was making almost 100 cold calls to voice seekers but not doing much else to pursue a voiceover career. What else was there to do? There was no Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or P2P sites. I had no representation and was organizing my contacts via index cards. Crazy, right?
The E-Learning gig was at a recording studio in Princeton and I was nervous as hell. It was only the second or maybe third voiceover I’d ever done. I worked with fellow voice talents Kris, Jackie, and Jorji. Ruth was the director and Bill was the engineer. Kris and Jackie have since retired, Jorji headed for the West Coast many years ago, Bill moved on, but I still get to work with Ruth from time to time. They were super-nice and more than happy to work with a greenhorn like me.
Since then I’ve narrated hundreds of E-Learning projects for dozens of clients and now teach E-Learning narration among other voiceover-related subjects. I want to thank Matt Horohoe for recommending me for that gig, the many wonderful people at Educational Testing Service, the scores of voice talents I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 20 years (some of which I still work with to this day), and the great staff at Hagens Recording Studio. Without you, I wouldn’t have a voiceover career. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
TIP OF THE WEEK
What have I learned after 20 years of narrating E-Learning projects?
E-Learning can pay your rent. It’s not sexy or glamorous, but it can be a steady revenue source. Don’t dismiss it because it’s not as exciting or fun as video games and cartoons.
E-Learning narration is a tough genre to master. It requires lots of practice & understanding. 20 years ago there were no E-Learning coaches (at least that I’m aware of) so I had to listen to how my colleagues were doing it, listen carefully to the director, and figure it out as I went along. If you want to succeed as an E-Learning narrator, get quality coaching and an effective demo.
E-Learning clients are out there. You just have to find them. They are always looking for new talent and for the most part are a pleasure to work with. Google is your friend and you can also find them on various pay-to-play sites.
If you want to learn more about E-Learning narration and whether it’s right for you, let me know!
NEWS AND NOTES
Here’s another Madballs video I narrated. This time it’s for a family photo. Say (cut the) Cheese!!!
VO Strategist News!
It’s “Any 2” April! Book any two sessions with me in April and you get 25% off each session. Go to www.VOStrategist.com to choose from the selection of sessions or make up your own. There is still time to get two sessions in!
My next Edge Studio “Business And Money 201” webinar will be this Thursday, April 20 @8PM EST. The subject: Paperwork aka Workflow. We’re going to talk about how to use paper, digital, and cloud-based bookkeeping in harmony. Click here to register.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
From my village to yours; this is Tom Dheere, The H is Silent, but I’m Not.
Tom Dheere is a 20-year veteran of the voice over industry who has narrated thousands of projects for clients in over a dozen countries. He is also a coach at Edge Studio, voiceover business consultant known as the Voice Over Strategist, and is currently producing the comic book “Agent 1.22”.