Thursday, October 9, 2008

Shaking the Bee Out Of My Bonnet? Part I

OK, so here's the thing.  Those voice over "classes" were each taught by people who work for national companies that offer voice training/coaching and demo producing.  So, while neither teacher gave us the hard sell, even trusting li'l ol' me suspected these folks weren't spending an evening in a portable classroom in Vancouver for the pure love of education.  The experience didn't scream "Hey, suckers!" quite as much as those classified ads in the paper that say "Actors/Models Wanted," but it was still a little disappointing.

Intro to Voice Over was taught by the very energetic Lisa Foster.  She's spent her entire career on the west coast, and she immediately put me at ease.  Or, as at ease as I could be.  I was really nervous.

There were only 6 students.  Two had been to broadcast jounalism school over 20 years ago, one was told by friends she had a great voice (an older lady, and she did), one was turning 50 and wanted to "do something for herself" and one was a man whose wife signed him up because she thought he had a nice voice.  And me, of course.

At the end of the class (which didn't cover any voice stuff, just what it's like to work in voice over), we had a chance to record.  Parts were assigned randomly, and I was annoyed to get three sappy daughter lines when some of the other folks got marginally funny material.  Oh well.   My copy was so basic that I didn't need much coaching, so I didn't really get nervous.  When Lisa played it back, I was pretty amazed to hear what my voice sounded like.  I still don't love it, but I can accept it.   

Lisa emailed feedback to us later that night.  "Gypsy has a sweet youthful sound that is fun and friendly - easily the best talent in class, with a very marketable voice. A pleasure to listen to!"

I tell you, I was on cloud nine for several hours.  Lisa had played us her demo that she'd produced herself, and I was really impressed by it. It was very professional, and she was very talented. I figured if someone as good as she was thought I was good, then maybe I was good.

Over the next few days, I became somewhat deflated.  I visited the site of the company she works for and realized that the evening had mostly been about drumming up business.  And I wondered about myself.  Had I given a good performance because not much was required of me?  How would I do with other people and a different teacher?  Could I in fact take direction well?  I figured that going to the next class (basically the same thing, but with a teacher from another company) would give me a little more to go on.  I was excited about the possibilities, but not ready to plunk down a few thousand dollars for a demo based on what I'd seen so far.

 I leave my very different second class experience for the next post.  I WILL say this:  my sister Hillary was totally right.  Checking this out did nothing to quell my interest in looking into voice over.

No comments: