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Five Essential Elements for Great Audiobook Narration | Stacked

Five Essential Elements for Great Audiobook Narration | Stacked | Voice Actor | Scoop.it

"Narration can make or break an audiobook. No matter how excellent the writing, how exciting the story, how deep the characters, if it's narrated poorly, it makes for a bad listening experience. Below are my top five requirements for great audiobook narration. What other elements do you look for in a satisfying audiobook?" 


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Sirenetta Leoni's curator insight, July 12, 2013 1:56 AM

Interesting perspective on what makes a good audiobook narration from the popular "Stacked" blog, which is written by librarians for librarians and all lovers of books.Who knows better than the ultimate consumers of audiobooks after all?

 

An excellent observation on how portraying characters of the opposite sex believably is a common problem. It's also absolutely true that many male narrators make all their female characters sound very breathy ala Marilyn Monroe.    

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The Great Voice Over Performances of this Generation | Explosion.com

The Great Voice Over Performances of this Generation | Explosion.com | Voice Actor | Scoop.it

"...Voice acting is now an integral part of most games helping to define characters, forward narrative, and in some cases offer the primary form of gameplay.  While rising to prominence in the age of Playstation and Nintendo 64, voice acting really got its hooks into the industry with the following generation and has seen the start of a golden age with the current generation.  Today, whether games are AAA or independent, featuring robots or humans, comedic or dramatic, voice acting is an important part of the experience.  Let’s take a look at some of the highlights in voice acting over this current generation..."


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Sirenetta Leoni's curator insight, July 21, 2013 2:10 PM

Really interesting list of exceptional voice actors in games that is not just a rehash of the usual suspects. While they give excellent, reliable and well-known voice actors like Jennifer Hale, Phil LaMarr, and Troy Baker their due props, they reserve their "Great" status for six characters/actors each ground-breaking in hos/her own way. 

 

We're particularly glad to see one of our own SF Bay Area voice actors and friend to many regular followers of this blog, Melissa Hutchinson, on the list for her unforgettable portrayal of "Clementine," the young protagonist of the award-winning "The Walking Dead Game." Congratulations, Melissa!

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Oscar-nominated sound editors explain key challenges (including the role voice actors play) in creating sounds you may not know they create | EW.com

Oscar-nominated sound editors explain key challenges (including the role voice actors play) in creating sounds you may not know they create | EW.com | Voice Actor | Scoop.it
Even for realistic films like Argo and Zero Dark Thirty, there are moments when they do non-literal things with sound to express the emotion of...

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Sirenetta Leoni's curator insight, February 23, 2013 12:41 PM

Fascinating article that really digs deep into the process of what exactly sound editors do, their challenges and what a key role they play in advancing the story and creating a mood.

 

There's a really interesting backstory on how Farsi-speaking ADR voice actors in LA played a key role in recreating the sounds of late 1970's Tehran for "Argo."

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Gloria Koss Photography Offer - Industry Deal Entertainment Industry

Gloria Koss Photography Offer - Industry Deal Entertainment Industry | Voice Actor | Scoop.it
Pay $89 for a FULL 4-Look Session with Los Angeles-Based Photographer, Gloria Koss. PLUS, 2 Retouched Photos. A $275 Value!
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Superbowl Reads with Award Winning Creative Director Mark Choate 10/24/12 | Garden of Sound

Superbowl Reads with Award Winning Creative Director Mark Choate 10/24/12 | Garden of Sound | Voice Actor | Scoop.it
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Gene Dixon's comment, October 19, 2012 10:18 PM
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Don't "Lead With Need"- How to avoid becoming a desperate voice actor | Backstage

Don't "Lead With Need"- How to avoid becoming a desperate voice actor | Backstage | Voice Actor | Scoop.it

Smart, real-world advice from voice actor/blogger Meredes Rose.  

 

There is no bigger turn-off to agents, casting directors and prospective clients than a desperate actor, and any person who works around actors regularly can easily spot one from a mile away. Their work is labored, not effortless. They seem worried, not confident. Their fear inhibits them from making good or strong choices they might otherwise make. They are obsessively preoccupied with other actors who are booking, and constantly second-guessing themselves.

 

Please note that many desperate actors aren't necessarily bad actors. In fact, they might actually be good actors, but it's the behavior that accompanies desperation that impairs their ability to do good work.

 

Here are a few tips on how to avoid becoming a desperate actor:

 

1. Stop comparing yourself to others. Your journey is YOUR journey. You can't compare it to anyone else's. 

 

2. It's good to set constructive goals, but not impose artifical timelines. A constructive goal is something that you can control, like getting a demo completed or submitting to agents in a specific geographical area within a certain timeframe. Imposing an artifical timeline is, "I'm giving myself 6 months to get an agent of I'm throwing in the towel!"

 

So what if it takes you 8 months...or 12...or 30? Would you give up on doing something you're passionate about just because it takes a while longer than some self-imposed deadline you pulled out of your you-know-what? (If the answer is "yes," it probably means that you weren't tha passionate about it in the first place.)

 

3. Have financial back-up. This doesn't mean that you have to have tens of thousands of $'s socked away necessarily (though you definitely need to have some savings), but it does mean that you need a job that  will pay the bills while providing enough flexibility to time to pursue your acting work. 

 

Mercedes Rose: "Desperate actors are not bookable. This last bit of wisdom was cleverly coined by casting director Bonnie Gillespie as "Don't lead with need". Casting directors, clients, even other actors can literally feel the desperation reeking from an actor that fears they will never again book a role. And these same casting directors will turn away from that desperation as fast as they can, even if just subconsciously."


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Primetime Emmy Awards nominations for 2013 - Outstanding Voice-Over Performance

Primetime Emmy Awards nominations for 2013 - Outstanding Voice-Over Performance | Voice Actor | Scoop.it

2013 Emmy Awards Outstanding Voice-Over Performance Nominees:

 

An Apology To Elephants • HBO • Lily Tomlin as Narrator

 

Family Guy • Brian’s Play • FOX • Seth MacFarlane as Brian Griffin, Stewie Griffin, Peter Griffin

 

Family Guy • Lois Comes Out Of Her Shell • FOX • Alex Borstein as Lois Griffin, Tricia Takanawa

 

The Looney Tunes Show • We’re In Big Truffle • Cartoon Network • Bob Bergen as Porky Pig

 

Robot Chicken • Hurtled From A Helicopter Into A Speeding Train • Cartoon Network • Sam Elliott as Narrator

 

Robot Chicken DC Comics Special • Cartoon Network • Seth Green as Aquaman, Batman, Nerd, Abin Sur, Martian Manhunter, Robin, Green Arrow


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Sirenetta Leoni's curator insight, July 19, 2013 7:34 PM

In case you missed it the other day when the awards were announced, here's the list of 2013 Emmy nominees for "Outstanding Voiceover Performance." Glad to see talented, veteran voice actor, Bob Bergen, friend and coach to many InsideVO followers among them. 

 

For those of you who may not know Bob's story, he decided at the age of 5 that he was going to grow up to be "Porky Pig" and has succeeded beyond his wildest dreams. Bob is another great example of focus, hard work and persistence paying off. We're pulling for you, Bob!

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Want To Succeed As an Actor? Stop Caring What Other People Think Of You | Backstage

Want To Succeed As an Actor? Stop Caring What Other People Think Of You |  Backstage | Voice Actor | Scoop.it
You’ve got to stop caring how you think other people think of you. The truth is – they’re not thinking of you – because they’re thinking of themselves. Like all of us.

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Sirenetta Leoni's curator insight, March 5, 2013 10:38 AM

This recent post by LA acting coach Anthony Meindl is dead on, and very similar to what we've been telling voice acting students for years, "You have to learn to care enough not to care."

 

It is so true that the more you are focused on "getting it right," or trying to guess what "they" want, the more it inhibits your performance and impairs your ability to be free and creative..And how's this for an ironic twist..? Usually what "they" want" is you being uninhibited and free to be creative and playful.  

 

It's equally true that this is far easier said than done, and not something you can just suddenly learn to do overnight. But we can promise you that as you get better at your craft and more experience under your belt, it becomes easier to relax and have fun when you audition, and then forget about it as soon as it is done, whether you record it at home, or at your agents' or casting directors' office.     

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Brilliant! A 5-minute acting masterclass from Sir Michael Caine | BBC Radio 4

Tears, nudity, alcohol, and what to do with your eyes. Sir Michael Caine provides an acting masterclass to the BBC's Mark Lawson. Sir Michael came into Broad...

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Sirenetta Leoni's curator insight, March 5, 2013 8:19 AM

Michael Caine is not only one of the world's great actors, he is also one of the world's best acting technicians; he's amazing in his ability to break down and explain the process simply and clearly;in a way that even someone who has never taken an acting class in their lives can understand. If you want to learn more about the craft of acting in 5-minutes than you do from many multi-day workshops, watch this clip from a 2010 BBC interview. 

 

When you have more time, there is a 2-hour video of an acting master class Michael Caine taught years ago, called "Michael Caine: Acting in Film" that has become a standard for anyone who wants to learn the craft of film acting, or any really acting for that matter. It is viewable on YouTube in six parts: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLCD9BE10083655A6F 

 

Bear in mind, that good acting is good acting, whether it applies to film, tv, stage, videogames, audiobooks, commercials or TV documentary narration and you have to put a lot of time and effort into honing the acting part of your craft if you aspire to become a top notch voice actor, For instance, almost all of the most successful audiobook narrators are trained actors, That's no coincidence.  

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Voice Actors: What Are Your Commercial Strengths? Part 1

Voice Actors: What Are Your Commercial Strengths? Part 1 | Voice Actor | Scoop.it

A new post in a continuing series from Kata McClanaghan at Sound Advice geared towards helping you pinpoint your commercial voiceover niche(s).

 

Her assumption (and it's a logical one) is that if you understand what you do, who you are as a talent and where your strengths lie, you can focus on looking for work from the types of clients that are most likely to hire you and not waste your time pursuing gigs that you are unlikely to get. Makes a lot sense, right? And yet you 'd be surprised at how many voice actors havn't figured this out yet,especially the most experienced ones. 

 

Sound Advice: "Chances are you’re more likely to book a job based on what you already know first and foremost. So if you’ve been trying to be something that’s a bit of a stretch for you—try for a moment to stop shoving yourself into a mold you might not fit. Too often, we’re taught we’re supposed to be someone else. We’re asking you to abandon that concept for a while. We’re not saying stop trying new things, but perhaps this entire notion we’re suggesting might contradict the approach you’ve been taking."


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