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Monday, July 10, 2017

Talent Profiles: Jim Cooper





This week I'm talking with new talent Jim Cooper, a former commercial production pro, who recently booked his first gig as a professional voice actor. Jim's a talented and interesting individual, and I enjoyed working with him on his delivery and new demos over the past few months, (hear them here: goo.gl/vKgJ54, goo.gl/fAiBFJ.) Discover Jim's perspective on getting into the industry below.




JMC
 
How did you get interested in voice acting?
 
JIM


I'd like to say a white light fell from the sky to guide me into the industry where my talents would be most useful.  But that's not going to fly is it?  OK.  I spent many years in radio but the part I always liked the best was the commercial production side.  Being on-air was cool, but creating commercials was my favorite, letting all my creativity break out and have fun.

JMC

As a new talent, what process did you go through before deciding to pursue this professionally?

JIM
 
I had my own home baking business - does that count?  I attended a VO seminar in Manhattan some years back and was told I was too "announcery" for voice over work - all that radio training was working against me.  It wasn't until recently that a voice inside my head told me it was time to get over myself and get some training.

JMC

What sort of VO work puts a smile on your face?

JIM
 
I have the most fun recording scripts that are fun, witty and well-written, regardless of category. Characters with well defined emotions that I can really dig into.

JMC

What is your dream VO job?

JIM
 
I don't know that I have one yet, as I'm just starting to experience the many facets of this business. On my VO bucket list is recording an audiobook, being part of a cast in a radio drama, and being the introduction announcer for bands at concert venues.

JMC

What have you found most challenging so far in your VO journey?

JIM
 
Patience and keeping expectations real. The first few weeks of auditioning provided many lessons; it took awhile for me to pay attention to them.  For example, it dawned on me eventually that I didn't have to audition for everything; that doing auditions that were outside of where my core talents lie was a waste of time.  Also, having been exposed to advice from many of the top VO talents, the one thing that really struck me was to just be myself - use my own voice.  I don't have to be Sam Elliot or James Earl Jones or Morgan Freeman.  They certainly aren't spending any time trying to be me - that's my job.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Talent Profiles: Mindy Baer

This week I had the privilege of chatting with Mindy Baer, a prolific and highly talented voice actor from the Miami area who recently completed a suite of four demos with me, (Automotive goo.gl/tuD9Ao, Pharmaceutical Commercials goo.gl/8AnE3h, Political goo.gl/xJzeV6, and TV Narration goo.gl/r1xf4T.) If anyone has, "the voice," it's Mindy. I often joke that she is a thoroughbred, blessed with classic pipes that touch the most refined VO notes effortlessly. Check out what she had to say below.

JMC

You've been in the business for awhile. Tell us about some of your favorite jobs.
 
MINDY
 
WOW that's tough....
Over the (many) years of my career, I have enjoyed most of my jobs thankfully. So let's see.....
I LOVED being the Female voice for HSN -it was a great group of people to work with and I had a great run for over 7 years there. I often really enjoy directed sessions, and I absolutely LOVE Promo work - so doing Dateline and Weekend TODAY was awesome. I enjoyed being an animated avocado more than I expected - perhaps thats why I love guacamole so much? Midas Muffler, Volkswagen were memorable as well. And there a several local companies who I will always love and adore as they have been with me from the beginning. Truly a special place in my heart for those!
SO many jobs...SO MANY YEARS ouch!


JMC


How did you get started in voiceover?

MINDY
 
I started as a morning radio personality.  I was on the air in Miami/Ft Lauderdale for almost 15 years.  Not unusual I know, and I have had to work hard to "beat" the radio out of me.

JMC

What advice do you have for new talent?
 
MINDY
 
You have to decide if you want a hobby or a little side money.....or if you want a career.
And Voice acting is NOT easy and it IS acting.

JMC

I understand you are a client of Celia Siegel. How has she managed to advance your career?

MINDY
 
Celia really helped take my career to new levels. Marketing and promoting has never been my strong spot, and she changed that. Celia really helped me find excellent representation i.e. Abrams in Los Angeles. She keeps me accountable and is a partner in my success.

JMC

You specialize in a more traditional, polished sound. What encouragement can you offer talent who just don't do the whole 'conversational' thing?

MINDY
 
Haha!  If I had a nickel for every gig I didn't get because I wasn't natural enough...
I have trained and been coached and I can get there SORT OF.....but I don't beat myself up anymore.  There is plenty of room for all of us in this industry. I focus on what I can do well and just keep climbing the mountain.


JMC

If you had to start again today, what would you do differently?
 
MINDY
 
I would take it more seriously from the beginning, and wished I hadn't waited so long to get the support I need.  For example, I use a virtual assistant (Raquel Wilson from PeachTree Virtual Assistants.) It's been a game changer for me!  And more recently, I wish I hadn't eaten that donut this morning.