- March 2017
- October 2016
- July 2016
- June 2016
- May 2016
- June 2015
- April 2015
- October 2014
- August 2014
- July 2014
- May 2014
- April 2014
- March 2014
- February 2014
- A Child’s Creativity
- Dealing with Rejection
- eLearning logistics – how to create files in seconds
- Character Voiceover Tip: Build a library
- Character Voiceover Tips: Learning an Accent
Exceeded expectations. Lighting speed delivery.
"Jay was amazing to work with. Exceeded expectations. Lighting speed delivery. Easy to work with and a great communicator.
A couple of unique things about Jay. First, his demo reel shows a great selection of voice options to chose from... but none of them were exactly what we were looking for. However, when we told him what we wanted he was able to take our abstract ideas (about being educational, sincere, conversation etc) and transform those directions into EXACTLY what we had in mind.
So if you're thinking about hiring him... tell him what you want... give him a sample to read... I'm sure he can deliver what you want. We're very VERY impressed. Will use Jay's services many more times in the future. Secondly, he delivered our project within a day and made adjustments within the hour. Highly highly recommend."
- John Sweeney - Academy of Mine
"We are now big fans and I'll tell my colleagues about you as well!"
On receiving my read as Arnold Schwarzenegger Barbara had this to say:
"THIS IS GREAT!! Love it already, you are very talented, glad we found you! We are now big fans and I'll tell my colleagues about you as well!
-Barbara Schroeder, Answers Productions
Booked a gig on a Pay to Play site? Well Done!
Pay to Play sites, love them or hate them are rife within the industry.
For those who may not be aware a Pay to Play site is a website where you pay a yearly fee (usually between $200 and $400) and in return get a profile page and invites to auditions, or a client may engage with you about a booking directly. Further into my VO career work now comes to me from many different avenues; direct marketing, pay to play, cold calls, websites and fellow voiceover artists…
Actually I’m just going to go off on a tangent on that last one, receiving work from other voiceover artists. Unless for some reason you have a slightly maniacal personality, you should always treat other voiceover artists with respect and professional courtesy as this industry is extremely unique. Whilst it’s easy to label other voiceover artists as competition, the reality is that they’re your colleagues. Why? Well it’s because ALL voiceover artists are selling a 100% unique product, my voice sounds entirely individual and is my own to sell. I have a couple of clients who provide me with regular income that have come to me via other voiceover artists that recommended me, in fact some have been as nice to say “No, you don’t want me for this, Jay is the voice you need” so always be considerate of your “competition”. My last point on this comes from the masterful voice talent Rob Paulsen who sums up competition in VO by simply saying “A high tide raises all boats” so keep that in mind!
Now back to P2P……I started on Pay to Play sites so they’ve always been part of my voiceover world. I’ve been on all the major ones; voice123.com, voices.com etc. but something struck me recently that I wanted to share, particularly with people new to voiceover who may be starting out on these sites as I did.
What I wanted to share was that if you manage to book a job on one of these sites…WELL DONE!
Why do I feel that landing a job on a Pay to Play site needs singling out for congratulatory high fives all round? Well, it’s because of the demographic of the people you are up against for the gigs. When you audition for a gig on a Pay to Play site you aren’t just up against the 10 people on your agents books, or the 20 people who found out about the casting call and were free that day, you’re potentially up against 100’s of potential talents (a very quick search on Voices.com for British, Male, Middle Aged voice talent throws up 234 results). Also you’re not only up against people local to you, you’re up against the global stage of voice talent and that means only one thing….. the client WILL find the perfect voice so for you to book it you must be the PERFECT voice!
For example, I do a pretty mean Ian Mckellan impersonation (“YOU SHALL NOT PASS!!!!” see sounded great right?) so if you want an older gentleman with a Shakespearean edge to deliver a story opening I’m your man! Except on a Pay to Play site with 100’s of talent the client will find someone who actually is an older gentleman and naturally sounds like Ian McKellan which means I either have to nail the script fantastically or I need to make the wiser decision and pass on that particular audition and save my voice.
It’s easy to get disheartened when auditioning on Pay to Play sites (I know, I’ve been there!) as you may well only book 1 job for every 10 auditions but if you get the right training you can bump that up significantly.
Just remember that you’re never going to be the perfect voice for every job and Pay to Play sites can be a great place to find jobs and get contacts so stick at it!
All the best
BAFTA Games Awards 2014 – A night to remember
For me this day would combine two of my greatest passions in life; voice acting and video games. My interest in video games extends far beyond voice acting and I have been a gamer for around 20 years and (as you’ll soon find out in the video tour of my studio) am something of a collector (in fact I bought a piece whilst at the show!)
I am a firm believer in the power of video games as an entertainment medium and believe they can offer truly unforgettable experiences that are simply unmatched in the likes of Movies or Television because they are not passive experiences, you as a player engage fully with what is happening on screen. They are only going to become more immersive with new technologies such as the Oculus Rift which I got to try out at the show and was, as suspected, amazing!
Video games have provided some of my most memorable and emotive experiences and bought characters to life that I have genuine affection for. In my eyes saying you’ve not played Last of Us or Bioshock Infinite is comparable to saying you’ve not seen the Godfather or Star Wars, they are iconic and seminal parts of our culture.
Anyone who has watched the making of the Last of Us (which picked up a plethora of BAFTA’s last night) will know that the scale and effort involved is similar to your blockbuster movies and that to call Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson “voice actors” is to do them a massive disservice, they are actors, and damn good ones (Ashley picked up best performer). Acting in video games is set to get more and more demanding as technology such as Full Motion Capture (capturing body, voice and face) become more common place which is why it’s key (in my opinion) that if you want to “voice” video games you need to first and foremost be a good actor, the voice comes last!
For me the highlight of the evening was getting to meet both Troy Baker (Joel from the Last of Us and Booker from Bioshock) and Courtnee Draper (Elizabeth from Bioshock). To me they are on a par with Johnny Depp and Meryl Streep, fantastic actors responsible for bringing my favourite characters to life and very nice people too!
Overall though I have to say that the defining moment of the night was simply getting to be in a room with so many people responsible for creating something I have an unadulterated passion for. To be in a room with so many of my peers whose talent and creativity is astonishing just like the work they produce year in, year out. To call the media they produce “games” doesn’t even begin to do them justice, I’m still on a high just from being in that room.
If I can make it far enough in my voice acting that one year I get to be sat with them as a colleague I will be truly, truly grateful.