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    Voice Over Integrity

    Jun/28/2010 | Posted by John Melley
    Voice over is a fun business, but keep in mind YOU are an important part of making your clients' dreams come true! Honor them by giving them your best every time.

    Some thoughts.

    How Did You Do That?

    Jun/08/2010 | Posted by John Melley
    Watch this short video, then click the link below the video for more information.

    Here's the link to get the the Video: How Did You Do That DVD and FREE Sound Effects CD! Thanks!

    My New Twitter Thing-a-ma-jig

    Jun/01/2010 | Posted by John Melley

    Watch Sound Disappear Right Before Your Ears!

    Mar/29/2010 | Posted by John Melley
    How can one sound affect another sound? Watch this quick video and hear what happens! Post your comments and feedback below!

    Adding Reverb to Voice Over Track

    Mar/11/2010 | Posted by John Melley
    This is the video I promised that would go into more detail about adding the reverb effect to a voice over track. Enjoy. Please feel free to add your comments and feedback below!

    Production Video Update

    Mar/10/2010 | Posted by John Melley
    Here's a quick update on the status of the next voice over and production video lesson.

    How To Create A Radio Commercial Part One

    Feb/27/2010 | Posted by John Melley
    This is the first in a series of short videos I created that shows you the steps I take in producing a radio commercial when the script is provided to me.

    In this video I give an overview of the process and the steps to be covered in the other videos.

    I'd love your feedback, please feel free to comment below.

    The Mighty Egg Timer

    Jan/28/2010 | Posted by John Melley
    I thought I'd share something that may seem rather simple, but I've found it to be highly effective in getting A LOT accomplished in one day.

    I have a little timer in my studio - a little egg timer. People laugh, but what I do is set that little sucker to 30 minutes and just crank out copy, scripts, spots and dubs for that period of time.

    No phone. No email. No internet. That's the rule that I have with it. Once that thing starts quietly ticking away, I'm fully engaged.

    When it rings I stop what I'm doing and go get a drink of water, etc. Then I come back in and crank it to another 30 minute cycle.

    When I use it, I get a BOATLOAD accomplished and I have 2 mantras going for the new year. One of them is G.S.D.F. which stands for Get Sh!t Done Fast. I was a little slow starting this year and I have some serious goals set for myself and it dawned on me to ask myself - What am I waiting for?

    I'll admit I'm not perfect with it, but I'm really starting to love this tool. Here's why.

    My studio becomes available at 10:00 AM (the morning show uses it until then)

    Today:
    • I loaded 40 spots into our system
    • Produced 4 spots for client review approval (pending)
    • Reviewed and provided feedback to my artist on some graphics I'm having created
    • Revised 3 scripts
    • Met with our General Sales Manager
    • Processed 3 airchecks
    • Had a recording session with a client (half hour)
    • Arranged for revisions for another recording session
    • Made a car appointment
    • Touched base with my accountant... twice
    • Sent out about 20 emails and...
    It's now 5:30 PM and now I'm spending time writing this blog post to you and I have another half hour before I need to leave for my drum lesson tonight. The time will be spent working on my February Newsletter. (Let me know if you'd like to be on my mailing list - it's free.)

    I'm writing this, because I've been doing this on and off for a couple of months and I'm amazed at how much I get accomplished. It is now a fixture in my day. I'm also excited and wanted to share.

    It's so simple! Yet so effective. I recommend you try it. Let me know your thoughts and feel free to share any tips you use to increase your efficiency.

    Staying Healthy In Cold & Flu Season Part 1

    Jan/12/2009 | Posted by John Melley

    How were your Holidays? Mine were a little less hectic than I expected which had its merits on one hand and some disappointments on the other.

    We had what we call up here in Boston a “Wicked Stahm (Storm)” a couple of weeks before Christmas. I had taken that week off to use up the remainder of some vacation before the end of the year. We were invited to a couple of Christmas parties, but couldn’t make them because it basically snowed for 3 days straight.
    Ann and I shoveled a few times and then stayed in and watched DVD’s of our favorite TV shows—”Buffy The Vampire Slayer” for Ann and “The Sopranos” for me. I absolutely love that show and have all the seasons on DVD.

    I also spent some time writing some letters about my new Audio Interview Program and organizing our home office.

    We had a lot of clutter around and I’m pleased to say that as I am writing this Newsletter to you, we have 3 recycle bins placed next to the snow bank at the end of my driveway just LOADED with paper, boxes and more that will no longer be occupying my space… and be disposed of in an environmentally friendly way.
    We also caught the tummy bug that’s been going around so we had to cut short our visits with family over Christmas and New Years, which was a real bummer. My birthday is a couple of days before Christmas and I basically spent it in bed. Fortunately, it wasn’t a head-cold, so I’m pleased to say I was able to do the voice session I had for EMC Corp. that day.

    I haven’t had a cold in 3 years and I can’t afford to get that kind of sick.
    This all leads to a question I get asked all the time from voice talent: “How do you stay healthy or get rid of a cold quickly?”

    That’s the subject of this month’s tip pulled directly from my Exclusive Voice Over Training Manual that I use with my In Studio and Tele-Coaching Voice Over Students.
    I hope you find it helpful. Stay healthy!
    John

    Staying Healthy in Cold & Flu Season

    Jan/12/2009 | Posted by John Melley

    If you’re in Voice Over and use your voice to earn money and entertain people, taking care of it should be your number one priority. I’ve lost out on voice gigs and had to skip auditions due to colds and laryngitis. As a voice talent, nothing is more frustrating. Who knows the lost opportunity as a result of not having a chance at being cast for a part?

    The best thing you can do for your voice is to drink plenty of water. Keeping hydrated is critical to keeping your voice in good working order. Try to stay away from drinks with a lot of sugar in them as it coats the vocal folds and they have to work just a little harder. This extra effort is multiplied over the course of a day and your voice can tire out more quickly. Also minimize your intake of caffeinated and alcoholic beverages, as they can dehydrate you.

    Some say you need to have an intolerance for dairy to have it affect you, but I have found that milk, cream and other dairy products increase and thicken mucous. I find it’s best to minimize my intake of these items at least a few hours before a voice session.

    You should also get plenty of rest. Tension and fatigue can be heard in the voice. Over the course of the day we naturally get tense in response to various events and activities. Even mundane tasks add tension throughout the day. This tension is felt throughout the body, your neck and shoulders. It affects your ability to breathe and translates into tension in your vocal folds affecting the quality and pitch of your voice. Relaxation exercises will help with this.

    Before I share my tips on preventing colds, I need to prevent a dumb lawsuit by saying I am NOT a doctor. I am a Voice Actor and producer. These are things I do to prevent and shorten colds. I am NOT giving medical advise. I am sharing what I do with you. If you are under the care of a doctor for any condition, please consult them prior to taking anything that may adversely impact your health or condition.

    Having said that, here are some things I do to minimize my risk of getting sick. As I mentioned before I drink plenty of water. I probably drink about 2 and a half liters a day. I also get sufficient rest and exercise fairly regularly. I don’t drink any coffee or caffeine of any kind. I stay away from soda but I drink carbonated water like it’s going out of style.

    I wash my hands regularly. People don’t think about where their hands have been when they shake hands with you. I remember showing up for a voice session during the crew’s lunch break and one of the engineers was eating his lunch. As I was being introduced to him he put down his sandwich and licked the tips of about 3 or 4 of his fingers and stuck out his hand to shake mine. I can remember the dialogue playing inside my head, “Oh my God, he’s just licked his fingers and now I’m going to have to shake those hands. How am I going to get out of this?” I pretty much said “Aw, don’t get up. I’m interrupting your lunch. Nice to meet you.” It worked.
    I really try to make a habit of not touching my face with my hands, or eating without washing my hands first. If I have to rub my eyes I avoid using my fingers and try to use the back of my hand or forearm. I always open bathroom doors with a paper towel in my hand and will usually head straight to the restroom or a sink to wash my hands after I’ve shaken hands with several people. Also wash your hands after tying your shoes. Just think about what those laces and shoes have been tromping through all day.

    If you’re traveling, wipe down the telephone and remote control for the TV with a alcohol-wipe, or other similar product. They’re never cleaned by hotel staff and they’re covered with germs. I never put a phone receiver directly against my mouth or chin. I also frequently wipe down my computer keyboard and mouse if I know others have been using it.

    You may think I’m a bit paranoid, but I don’t need the hassle of getting sick. It puts me out of business for about a week!

    You should consult your doctor or other care-giver before taking any medication, but other things I do to minimize my risk of getting a cold is to take a multi-vitamin, a B-Complex vitamin and vitamin C. I also take a Zinc lozenge at the first sign of a sniffle and have found them to be most effective in keeping colds away.