Earlier posts to my blog pay tribute to distinctive voices we just “know” as we hear them; one of a kind. We say farewell this week to once such voice, that of comedienne Phyllis Diller, who died in her sleep at 95.
She is a real show biz pioneer, taking to the stand up comedy stage in an era when men dominated. Diller’s resume before show business includes house wife, a role from which she drew her rich repertoire. I had the privilege to see her live show and I will always remember the outrageous wardrobe and even more over the top hair do that was her signature.
She was asked once the secret to longevity of her contemporaries, Bob Hope and others. She said it was because they laughed. Bravo, Phyllis Diller. You and that one of a kind laugh that is only you.
Self-teaching, trial and error, and “flying by the seat of your pants” is not preferred protocol for entering the world of Voice Over, or the blogosphere for that matter. But such is my lot and for what it’s worth today’s post provides a 10,000 foot view of a newbie’s voice over self-education thus far and some nifty resources, if you plan a similar journey. I made mention in an earlier post of coming late to this interest. It occurred to me as unrelated compliments are coming with regularity about the quality of my voice. At a point I began to wonder if there just might be something to it. This blog’s podcast and one demo I produced thus far may demonstrate otherwise. But here’s the work in progress to this point:
My online presence is here on WordPress, and for all its bells and whistles I have to say the setup and launch did not come easy. And that is not critical of WordPress especially; and owing more likely to a thick-skulled user (see trial and error comment above.) The folks at Dreamhost are easy to work with and is my server of choice.
Ready, Fire, Aim !
Articles abound that counsel good planning and research, and subsequently the successful launch of the viable niche website. Darren Rowse writes with authority on the subject in his book ProBlogger , and you can find his good work over at Problogger.com Even though I set about the journey from the back of the book instead of the start, it is valuable teaching nonetheless.
Quite apart from my ready, fire, aim! style, I look in often upon successful blogger Pat Flynn, (@PatFlynn on Twitter) and one of his sites smartpassiveincome.com Listen to Pat’s podcast on iTunes and find he is methodical, deliberate and organized. And although our paths on the web are very different, there is much to be learned from his success. His internet business income reports that he publishes online are the proof of the puddin’!
Speaking of Voices
Ezoomvoice.com is not monetized (yet) and in infancy stage I continue working toward even modest traffic. What’s become fun of late is the addition of a podcast to my blog. This too is a work in progress and made easier by a community of voice talents on the net, willing to share what they know. I owe a debt of thanks to Luke Truan of Luke Truan Productions for allowing my first podcast interview of his career development in voice over. My humble offering, but listen to my Skype chat with Luke here.
So my best find along the way is a couple of really helpful websites to whom I send a blatant shout out before signing off. Something I’ve learned from the successful is to endorse (plug) only products and services that one would also use. I’m proud to say I am a regular user of my accounts on Voices123.com and Voices.com They are great resources for voice talents to sharpen their skills, as well as connect with consumers of voice over services.
Thank you for commenting upon this article in the form below. I also look forward to hearing from you if you are an established voice talent. Maybe we could arrange an interview on the Ezoomvoice Podcast!
So here’s a first-ever for this site, a post via the nifty WordPress mobile application. I’m a creature of routine and order, so this is something of a leap from my comfort zone. Though “set in my ways”, I dig technology and sometimes you just got to kick the tires and drive it around the block a time or two. (Now how’s THAT for loading up on metaphor!)
It is a cool thing not to be anchored to the desktop. And as I think of it, some of the best ideas for content happen on the fly. I have to confess that blogging at the checkout hasn’t occurred to me before now, but this little app makes that possible. (And no. NEVER blog and drive!)
And I would not close this test-drive post without a shout to my latest find over on voicecoaches.com ( follow them on Twitter @VoiceCoaches ) A review follows with a later post. I’m a podcasting fan and the site includes a varied and extensive archive of programs. Check ‘em out.
In today’s edition, I chat with successful voice talent Luke Truan . With a demonstrated track record in the industry, you’ll find him at LukeTruan.com and see his profile over on Voice123.com. His formal education in music and computer science makes him uniquely suited both to digital audio production and voice over. He is gracious to let me post this podcast interview about how he got his start as a child actor, and the unique place he’s carved out in the world of voice over. Have a listen here.
In the ‘Golden Age of Radio’ of the 30’s and 40’s, families gathered around the first radios that were more like pieces of furniture. Times were tough but through the big box came variety shows, music, news, and episodes like ‘Superman’ and ‘The Shadow’. Fast forward to today and we can still enjoy all that entertainment on the go, on myriad devices, and on no schedule but our own. This episode revisits that Golden Age, including a voice clip of broadcasting legend Edward R. Murrow. Click Podcast and go to this episode.
On this 236th observance since Independence Day was established in the United States, this is appropriate, even as we prepare for our own Fourth of July party. Today’s post celebrates the voice of courage belonging to one who made gut-wrenching decisions to keep the freedom in which we still live. As a baby boomer, I remember well the words, and the sound, of John F. Kennedy’s 1961 Inaugural Address – “Ask not what your country can do for you . . . ” But he also spoke these chilling words, addressing the nation in October 1962, in a standoff with Cuba and Russia:
Too Close for Comfort
This event marked the closest our nation came to the Cold War becoming a full blown nuclear disaster. Cuba was at that time building bases with Russian missiles capable of striking targets in much of the continental United States. A new generation has since witnessed a strike on home soil, September 11, 2001. The potential of the Cuban missile crisis was arguably even more lethal, if that is possible.
The Kennedy Administration initiated a military blockade of arms shipments to Cuba which predictably escalated rhetoric coming from the Kremlin. It was through behind-the-scenes communications that same month, in cooperation with the United Nations Secretary General, that the then Russian Premier Nikita Khrushchev agreed to begin dismantling nuclear hardware on the Cuban Island and crisis was averted.
It is at times like this when the voice of a leader can marshal the resolve of a nation, even in the face unthinkable prospects. I remember the voice of President John F. Kennedy.
He was born Chesley Burnett Sullenberger III, on January 23, 1951. His nickname, “Sully”, became known around the world as he glided disabled US Air flight 1549 safely onto New York’s Hudson River. The plane’s engines had been disabled by a bird strike. All 155 passengers survived that landing on January 15, 2009; Captain Sullenberger was last to leave the sinking Airbus A320. Passengers and crew would later speak of his calm and composure in the midst of the crisis. New York’s Mayor Bloomberg nicknamed him “Captain Cool”.
It is unlikely you’ll hear Sully’s voice over a passenger cabin intercom now, announcing the weather in your destination city. But since that 2009 Hudson River landing, Sully finds himself speaking internationally on airline safety, among a host of demands for his calming and expert voice.
Voice of Authority
How could Captain Sullenberger have known how his life would change, as he left for work that January morning? Thought to be shy and retiring, his is now a voice with global reach. A good natured quip about his “pilot’s style” brought his comeback, “Is my voice authoritative enough to convince you to turn off your portable electronic device?”
In addition to owning a now sought after voice, Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger is the author of two books, Highest Duty, and Making a Difference, Stories of Vision and Courage From America’s Leaders”.
Blogs surely take off quicker than ezoomvoice.com. I’ll spare the litany of distractions that compete with my blogging. Nevertheless the ‘shot in the arm’ I am excited about is a design tweak of my blog by Tom Ross at blogs.fanextra.com As of today’s post a couple of Tom’s recommendations happened; both subtle and not so subtle.
In Tom’s “30-minute redesign” he presented my page as it was and gave credit for elements that appeared to work well. I have to admit, it’s not a place of comfort to put yourself out there for scrutiny and makeover, but I am grateful for objective suggestions toward improvement. Changes centered around more effectively targeting my blog to a niche of voice talent and the voice over profession, as well as a strong ‘About Me’ element to give the blog a more personal touch.
Less Is More
WordPress is a terrific platform with first-rate artwork for page headers. Out of the gate I chose a WordPress theme that displayed attractive alternating photography on opening. Glitzy as it is, it didn’t have anything to do with my niche and had a larger than desired presence, pushing my content down the page. My new header is still in need of scale-down, but I’m pleased with the original artwork in the new header created for me over on fiverr.com , “The world’s largest marketplace for small services, starting at $5”. I must send a shout out to Pat Flynn for the fiverr tip, picked up on his Smart Passive Income Podcast . It’s become a favorite in my ear as I do my cardio on the track at the park.
So with a “little makeover” in place, now I can concentrate on social media links, back linking, and keyword research as next steps. Fun! For more on what Tom Ross (@blogsfan on Twitter) does in a 30-minute redesign, head on over to blogs.fanextra.com
It seems like months ago I made mention of stepping in to the world of pod casting and here goes! First I want to send a shout out to Mark Blasco at podcastthemes.com for the neat free theme music I was able to build in to today’s intro. I also stumbled upon a free basic download of Audacity software to produce this little snippet, and of course the folks at Podbean.com make it relatively simple to assemble and publish, for the novice user. There are plenty more bells and whistles, I assure you. But I’m pretty pleased with how this first one turned out.
Yep. It’s Me
To my blog’s theme, once again it’s a discussion on the web of all things “voice” – so it was inevitable I’d need to post to my blog what its owner sounds like – untrained, unpolished – but still so fascinated with distinctive voice talent, how they got their start, and what it is about their voices that captures our imagination. Incidentally, I gravitated to this niche thanks to a couple of out-of-the-blue comments about my own voice and it piqued my curiosity to see if there is something there. Well you folks can be the judge of that!
OK, just this introductory offering today. But hey – you got to start somewhere, right? By the way, do come by the page in a year or so (if it’s still around!) And I guarantee we’ll all have a chuckle at how this first installment sounds. Click the link in the sidebar to listen.
Just listen to those voices . . .