Ready to send out your demo? Learn how to promote your voice over demo in a professional way.

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/twap/2009.08.04%20-%20CD%20and%20Media%20Duplication%20Expert.mp3

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15 things n-o-t to say in your voice over cover letter


After reading many, MANY cover letters (mail and email), we've seen it all. And then some. The following will make a BIG difference when you write to a prospective customer. Call with questions: 212-868-3343.

- - - - -

1. To whom it may concern,

When you receive email addressed to "Dear Sir" or "To whom it may concern", don't you delete it? So do casting directors. You may think you're SAVING time by avoiding the 4 minutes it takes to get a contact's name.... but in actuality, you are WASTING time because a large percentage of recipients will probably never open your email to begin with! Beginning with a name greatly increases the likelihood of your email being read! So look on the company website, do a Google search, even call the company,.... do what you must to get the recipient's name!!! And begin your letters with "Hi Frank," or "Dear Mary",...

- - - - -

2. I know you're busy,

Really? How do you know that? Many voice actors who email us write this in their letter. For example, they write, "I know you are busy so I appreciate you listening to my demo." This is no way to begin your email. Instead, I encourage you to begin with something that will catch the attention of the recipient. Perhaps, "Ever need a French voice talent with a home studio?" or "Sure times are tough, so I'm offering voice over at half price!" or "Your company looks terrific - especially the fact that you donate services. I'm willing to donate my voice over services with you."

- - - - -

3. Would you mind if,

Date: 
July 28, 2009
Meta Description: 
The following article will make a BIG difference when you market for voice over work.
Meta Keywords: 
Edge Studio, voice over, cover letters, marketing, CV, resume, demos, reels, what to say, business, commercial, narration, email, promote, professional,

Learn about CD graphics, logos, branding and more.

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/twap/2009.07.28 - CD Graphics,logo,branding EXPERTS.mp3

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Ha Ha! How Jokes Can Help Your Voice Over Delivery...

"A voice actor and casting director walk into a bar...."

Jokes are invaluable in our industry. Not to tell anyone else. But rather to tell ourselves. Here's why:

When narrating a voice over script, voice actors sound best when they are physically loose, vocally-free, and natural sounding. But many voice actors have tension in their body when they read; and tension causes a rigid physical stance and vocal tightening which results in a strained, contrived, and less-creative delivery.

Not good.

The fix: Think about a joke! As funny as it sounds, just thinking about a funny joke helps voice actors loosen-up and free-up any tension!

How to do it: Before reading your script, tell a joke and continue from the punch-line right directly into your script. But be careful:

     1) If you're in your home studio without a client on phone-patch, tell the joke aloud. If you're with a client, tell it to yourself. You see, jokes should NOT typically be told at voice over recording sessions when clients, directors, or agents are present unless they tell a joke first, there is a natural break for you to tell a joke, your joke is very short, funny, appropriate, and you tell it well. Otherwise, best to not tell it!

     2) Unless your script requires the same emotional character as the joke's punchline, you'll need to quickly change your emotion after the punchline and before reading the script.

Time to put this to the test:

First, record these 3 taglines without telling a joke first.

Date: 
July 21, 2009
Meta Description: 
The best voice over is delivered without tension in your voice, and jokes (listening or telling) help us do so.
Meta Keywords: 
Edge Studio, voice over, natural delivery, jokes, conversational, flow, tension, strain, script, casting director, copy, recording session.

Animation voice over questions? Stevie Vallance has the answers. Learn how to hit the ground running.

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/twap/2009.07.14%20-%20Animation%20Expert%20-%20Stevie%20Vallance.mp3

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Eileen answers multiple questions on how to land national commercial spots.

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/twap/2009.07.07%20-%20National%20Commercial%20Expert%20-%20Eileen%20Mcnamara.mp3

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Voice over work. 13 creative ways to get it

Why do so many voice talent tell me they wish they had more work?

Change that. Why do so many voice talent market the BORING way?

LET'S COMPARE BORING MARKETING and CREATIVE MARKETING:

BORING MARKETING

...is easy: Just email an MP3 and hope.

CREATIVE MARKETING

...is easy
...is more fun
...gets more customers

Ready? Here are 13 ways to MARKET CREATIVELY:

  • MAKE A PRESENTATION to a local group of adults such as the YMCA, the PTA,... and talk briefly about what voice over is and the services you provide
  • HAVE A LOCAL NEWSPAPER write a story on your voice over business
  • DONATE YOUR SERVICES to non-profit groups
  • OFFER A FREE VOICE OVER JOB to casting professionals, audio studios, film production companies, on-hold companies,...
  • TAKE AN ADULT-ED business course at your local high school and meet all the entrepreneurs in it
  • EXHIBIT AT A LOCAL BUSINESS MEETING such as the local Better Business Bureau, Chamber Of Commerce,...
  • EXHIBIT AT A LOCAL EVENT such as a tradeshow, lecture, networking event,...
  • SPONSOR A LOCAL SPORTS TEAM
  • BECOME INVOLVED WITH YOUR LOCAL government - attend town meetings
  • JOIN A LOCAL BARTER organization
  • TELL MANAGERS OF LOCAL BUSINESSES, such as banks, grocery stores,... about what you provide
  • PARTNER WITH A NON-COMPETITIVE VOICE TALENT, such as one who speaks a foreign language, is the other gender, is a different age,... and co-market each other
  • WALK INTO THE HR DEPARTMENT of a large business and explain what services your provide

OUR SUGGESTION: Pick any 3 and DO IT! By next week, you'll have a new customer!

Date: 
June 30, 2009
Meta Description: 
Here are 13 ways to MARKET CREATIVELY for voice over work.
Meta Keywords: 
Edge Studio, voice over, marketing, business materials, business cards, creative, HR department, adult education, continuing education, casting professionals, casting agents, agents, demos, reels,

David Ciccarelli explains marketing on the internet to get more voice over work.

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/twap/2009.06.23%20-%20Voices.com%20President%20-%20David%20Ciccarelli.mp3

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Voice Over Practice Tips That Work

There is an old saying; "Practice makes perfect." But this saying is nonsense because reaching "perfect" suggests that there's no room for improvement. The fact is, there is always room for improvement, and voice actors should always strive to be better.

And to help you be better, here are 13 practice techniques.

First, PRACTICE TIPS

1. Practicing incorrectly can do more harm than good - so read the following carefully!

2. When new to voice over, do not record more than 30 seconds worth of copy without listening back. If you are reading incorrectly, and you read for long durations, the incorrect delivery will become reinforced.

3. Do NOT ask friends and family "how you sound." Their ears are not trained. They will miss things and you will reinforce bad habits. INSTEAD ask us.

Next, PRACTICE METHODS:

4. Begin by listening to TV.  Rather than watching TV, close your eyes and pay attention to just the voice over on documentaries and national commercials. (Tune out local commercials which sometimes are recorded by business-owners and other less-experienced talent.) Extract the music and sound effects. Notice how the voice over is less energetic than you originally thought. Then gauge how much energy the visuals, music, and sound effects added, so that you do NOT overdo it when recording. In other words, if a script needs an energy level of 7, perhaps reading at a 5 is sufficient since music, sound effects, and visuals will add more energy.

Date: 
June 16, 2009
Meta Description: 
This article offers practice tips and techniques for voice over talent.
Meta Keywords: 
Edge studio, voice over, practice techniques, tips, recording, natural voice, microphone, practice sessions, duration training, libraries, schools, radio stations, mimic professional voice talent, speed, energy level, emphasis, word flow, delivery style practice scripts,

Practicing is crucial in the voice over industry. Joan Franzino answers questions and describes the best tactics for practicing.

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/twap/2009.06.16%20-%20Practicing%20-%20Joan%20Franzino.mp3

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David Goldberg responds to questions on the importance on being prepared in the voice over industry.

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/twap/2009.05.26%20-%20Being%20Prepared%20-%20David%20Goldberg.mp3

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Good economy voice over: 7 ways to prepare!

"One day" you wish, as you stew in self-displeasure. Why? Because as a couch potato, you listen to OTHERS narrating voice over commercials wishing it was YOU narrating them.

The economy is slow blah blah blah. Okay, but its an opportune time to DO WHAT YOU CAN TO COME OUT OF A SLOW ECONOMY AS A WINNER!

So we thought we'd provide 7 WAYS TO PREPARE:

- - - - -

TAKE CLASSES

Get off your ass and into class. Whoever wrote that (it wasn't me) was smart (it was me). Seriously, do NOT become rusty and do NOT become complacent. Classes keep you motivated and keep you "in tune." And voice over schools (at least ours) focus on long-term objectives so you and your voice will be primed for when your phone starts ringing.

- - - - -

SELF PRACTICE

Think your favorite sports player or musician doesn't practice? Wrong. Think your favorite doctor doesn't read about new techniques? (If so, find a new doctor.) The point is, professionals practice. And so should you. Just 30-minutes a day makes a BIG difference and will ensure you're ready when your phone rings.

...Low Price Or Free Suggestion:
Free practice scripts: www.edgestudio.com/scripts.htm

- - - - -

STRENGTHEN YOUR DEMO

Think of your voice over demo as a resume. Resumes are always updated and tweaked. Likewise as you learn new styles and/or strengthen existing ones, update your demo!!! Casting professionals will expect quality demos (as they ALWAYS HAVE) when the busy season begins... so ensure yours remains top-notch.

Date: 
May 26, 2009
Meta Description: 
This article discusses 7 ways to find voice over success no matter what the economy is doing!
Meta Keywords: 
Edge studio, voice over, slow economy, marketing, classes, workshops, tune up, technique, practice, home practice, practice scripts, demos, reels, update demo, producers, engineer, casting agents, auditions, training, professional feedback, home studio classes, marketing plan, rate card, CD’s, estimate, MP3’s, voice technique, recording sessions, part-time, full-time, commercials, narrations, documentaries, audiobooks, vocal delivery, vocal style,

Hey voice actor, are you wearing 4 hats?

It's really cool hearing your voice on the radio.  Does it give you a big head?

I hope so, because as a voice actor, you have a lot of hats to wear!

In today's world, you (an entrepreneur - running your own voice over business) must know a LOT more than just how to read a script well. You MUST ALSO KNOW:

MARKETING: Essential for gaining new customers and maintaining existing ones

ENGINEERING: A must in today's world of home-studio work

BOOKKEEPING & THE BIZ: Need we delve into the importance of appearing professional?

So take a moment and consider your friend the chef who can't even manage his own checkbook. He tells you he's opening a restaurant. Will good food alone make him successful? NO! SO WHAT WOULD YOU TELL HIM?  You'd tell him that he'd better learn how to wear the hats above.... or he'll be out business.

So back to you, with the great voice:  Please remember that you're a business, and you MUST LEARN how to wear a number of hats.


WHY AM I WRITING THIS?

Because we've seen too many voice over actors who rely ONLY ON THEIR VOICES. So while they sound great, auditioning and hiring them requires TOO MUCH EFFORT.  Subsequently, our clients no longer request that we cast them. 

What do they do wrong?  From wrong information on their invoices to saying the wrong thing at the wrong time.  With the NUMBER OF VOICE TALENT WE HIRE, we cast talent based on their BUSINESS-side as much as their PERFORMANCE-side.

No worries, most everything can be learned. Examples:

Date: 
May 21, 2009
Meta Description: 
The voice over industry today requires talent to be capable in marketing, engineering, bookkeeping and the “biz” in addition to providing quality voice over.
Meta Keywords: 
Edge Studio, voice over, business, industry, marketing, engineering, bookkeeping, jargon, producers, entrepreneur, small business, home studio, home auditions, protools, editing, accounting, accountant,

Promos is a voice over genre that many in the industry would like to get into. Listen as promo trailer expert, Jimmy Hodson, shares his advice for breaking into this industry.

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/twap/2009.05.19%20-%20Promo%20Trailer%20Expert%20-%20Jimmy%20Hodson.mp3

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Don't Miss 6 Voice Over Marketing Opportunities

DID YOU NOT SEE THAT OPEN DOOR?

It’s shocking that, when Edge Studio founder David Goldberg spoke at a recent voice over conference, only 6 people handed him their voice over demos. Six people – out of more than 150 attendees.

That’s weird.

While David is a good speaker, and is known for giving lots of valuable information, the point here is not the entertainment and information value of his appearance. The point is that Edge Studio is a major force in the voice over industry, and having Edge Studio hear your stuff can hardly be bad for anyone.

Why didn’t more people seize the situation? Maybe they don’t know what to say. Were they “waiting for an invitation”? Did some feel they’re not professional enough? We can only guess. But none of those reasons are valid.

Here are 6 of our guesses as to typical situations.

-----

1) MEETING NEW FACES

Every day, we curiously watch talent leave our studio withOUT handing their demos to folks they’ve just met, folks who could lead them to voice over jobs. Such a waste. New faces mean new opportunities, so work your way in and (politely) shove your demo and business card into their hand. And be sure to tell them what service you provide.

If the location isn’t someplace like a studio, and the recipient doesn't know what “voice over” is, explain it. In fact, even if they stop you and say they know what it is, transition to a follow-up explanation. Because most people think voice over involves only screaming-style commercials.

By the way, when you explain it, avoid the word "do." (As in, "Hi, I do voice overs.") "Do" is a nondescript word. Rather say, "Hi, I provide the voice behind documentaries, audiobooks, videos, annoying phone systems, commercials, and so on."

Date: 
April 3, 2013
Meta Description: 
This article discusses the often-overlooked opportunities for networking and getting more voice over work!
Meta Keywords: 
Edge studio, voice over, marketing, CD’s, MP3’s, networking, new clients, demos, reels, business cards, build my business, vacation, documentaries, audiobooks, videos, annoying phone systems, commercials, home studio, email delivery, FTP, donating services, producer, engineer, recording,

Learn how to prepare yourself in the voice over world. David Goldberg shares his knowledge and experience.

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/twap/2009.05.05%20-%20Opportunities%20-%20David%20Goldberg.mp3

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6 ways preparation will lead to more work

Want more voice over work? Then be prepared!

Nothing in life goes as planned. (You ought to know this by now.) This includes recording sessions. But a little proactive preparation can turn any situation into one your clients applaud you for. Which means more work.

- - - - -

New client?

New clients often don't give enough information. Learn about their company by reading their website. Who and where are their customers? What product or service do they sell? Can previous voice over recordings be heard on their website? Knowing these things will help you gauge your vocal delivery and create a very happy client. Plus a little compliment goes a l-o-n-g way ("I like your website"). You'll further win them over and also show that you've done your homework.

- - - - -

New words?

Foreign cities, historical figures, scientific jargon,... You think "ugh!". But we see an opportunity to impress your client. Prepare! Request the voice over script early (often the final version is not available, but usually a working version is). Research the pronunciation of new words. To make it easier, many online dictionaries contain narrated pronunciation guides. So learn your words. Write them phonetically in your script. Practice. And make a client very happy!

- - - - -

Unexpected work?

Date: 
April 28, 2009
Meta Description: 
Voice over recording sessions rarely go exactly as planned, but the session will go more smoothly if you are prepared for demanding clients, technical mishaps, and other unexpected situations.
Meta Keywords: 
Edge studio, voice over, recording session, unexpected situations, demanding client, new client, new script, additional copy, voice delivery, jargon, pronunciation, phonetically, rates, rate card, technical problem, engineer, poor telephone connection, impress, preparation, practice, prepare,

Being prepared for a session will allow you to do a better job and look more polished in a client's eyes and can earn you future jobs. Marty answers questions and offers tips on this subject.

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/twap/2009.04.28%20-%20Being%20Prepared%20-%20Marty%20Moran.mp3

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5 reasons your demo is less marketable

5 Reasons Your Voice Over Demo is Less Marketable

Want voice over work? Make sure your voice over demo works, by avoiding these five marketing mistakes.

(1) You try to sound like someone else

WHY DO VOICE OVER TALENT DO THIS?: Talent mistakenly believe that another voice is more marketable (a deeper one, a more powerful one,...) and/or they want more variety.

SOLUTION: Be yourself.

WHY?: Voice Over Casting agents hire authentic voices, because listeners connect to them more than to someone who affects their voice. Plus, it's easy to find/hire any type of voice by searching online and emailing a script to wherever the talent resides. There are exceptions when talent must affect their voice, such as when narrating cartoons, talking toys, video games, anime, etc. A note for those who dislike their voice: Don't worry about it -- just think how cool it is that someone else likes your voice SO much, that they're willing to pay you to read!

- - - - -

(2) You show too much variety

WHY DO TALENT DO THIS?: Talent mistakenly believe that more variety equates to more work.

SOLUTION: Do what you do well, and nothing else.

Date: 
April 21, 2009
Meta Description: 
This article discusses 5 ways to make your voice over demo more marketable.
Meta Keywords: 
Edge studio, voice over, demos, reel, CD, tape, marketing, marketable, casting, authentic, online casting, casting directors, casting agents, variety, delivery style, auditions, record a demo, training session,

David Goldberg offers guidance on voice over demos. He also explains how to market your demo smarter.

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/twap/2009.04.21%20-%20Demo%20Expert%20-%20David%20Goldberg.mp3

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This discussion centers around medical narrations. Colleen Brown answers questions on how to get work in this and other genres.

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/twap/2009.04.07%20-%20Medical%20Expert%20-%20Colleen%20Brown.mp3

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During this discussion, Nadette Stasa, a casting director responds to questions about how to get voice over work.

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/twap/2009.03.31%20-%20Casting%20Director%20-%20Nadette%20Stasa.mp3

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Joel Haberli answers questions and gives advice on all areas of voice over.

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/twap/2009.03.24%20-%20Industry%20Guru%20-%20Joel%20Harberli.mp3

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How Do I Obtain Foreign Language Work?

With the advent of Internet websites, international business growing, and a more culturally diverse population...demand for foreign Voice-Over Artists has never been greater. Let’s explore these 3 areas:

1. Website narration is one of the largest and fastest growing sectors of the voice-over industry, as most websites will become narrated within the next 3 years. In fact, over one quarter of our production clients require website narration.

When producers hire voice over talent to record foreign language work, they generally look for a voice over artist who speaks the language fluently, with no dialect, accent, or regionalism. In other words, it is important that the listener believes that the voice over artist is from the country in which the language is from.

2. As for international business, any company with foreign customers will typically narrate their training films and telephone services in those languages. For example, many English based companies begin their automated telephone response systems with, "Please press 1 for English, press 2 for Spanish, etc.

Also, any narrated products to be sold in foreign countries must be narrated in those languages - such as software (which is always narrated nowadays), encyclopedia CD roms, talking toys, educational films, etc.

3. And as for a culturally diverse planet, many voice over recordings are offered in numerous languages, such as dubbing of foreign films, audiobooks, television shows, commercials, radio programs, museum tours, and even video games!

---

To find foreign voice-over work, we suggest our marketing seminars, as they are intense and details. However, a quick peak at some marketing tactics for foreign work are:

1. Go to every company who has foreign relations, or foreign clients. If they have no need for your services now...eventually they will. Leave them your demo.

Date: 
March 18, 2009
Meta Description: 
Demand for foreign Voice Over Artists has never been greater. In this article, Edge Studio explores 3 areas of particular industry interest.
Meta Keywords: 
Edge studio, voice over, foreign language, demos, reel, CD, tape, online casting, home studio, internet auditions, international clients, production, international businesses, narrate, narration, dubbing foreign films, marketing,

Alan Sklar answers various questions pertaining to voice over narrations.

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/twap/2009.03.17%20-%20Audiobook%20Expert%20-%20Alan%20Sklar.mp3

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Microphones - What are the Types, Patterns, and Shapes?

Choosing the right voice over microphone is a critical part of recording. This is because the right microphone will help create a professional sounding recording. Conversely, the wrong microphone can greatly degrade your quality. This article will walk you through the process of choosing the most appropriate microphone for you.

There are many, MANY microphone choices today. Unfortunately, most recording books and specialists will tell you which microphone is the best for you WITHOUT asking you important questions... questions that MUST be answered before determining which microphone is best for you.

You can always ask our office to schedule a private consultation with you, so that we can help you determine the most appropriate microphone for you.

DEFINITION:

A microphone (also known as a ‘mic’) is a transducer, which converts sound waves into electrical energy. Sound waves leave the mouth of the voice-over artist, are converted into electrical energy by the microphone, and then travel through a microphone cable (called an XLR cable) into the audio-recorder.

TYPES:

Different types of microphones have different characteristics, making each one appropriate for different recording applications. There are three general types:

Date: 
March 11, 2009
Meta Description: 
Edge Studio will help you choose the most appropriate voice over microphone for you and your home studio.
Meta Keywords: 
Edge studio, voice over, mic, microphone, transducer, XLR cable, condenser mic, electric condenser, dynamic mic, moving coil, ribbon microphones, directional pick-up pattern, bi-directional, figure-8, omni-directional, sound-proofed room, pencil shape mic, open diaphragm mic, script, record, home studio, home recording, popper-stopper,

Erik Sheppard shares his knowledge of the voice over industry with listeners.

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/twap/2009.03.10%20-%20Industry%20Guru%20-%20Erik%20Sheppard.mp3

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Why Some Folks Don't Get Hired!

We have casted and hired, we estimate, over 7,000 voice actors. Some we will NEVER hire back. Following are things WE HAVE SAID IN OUR PRODUCTION DEPARTMENT'S OFFICE which explain why:

- - - - -

STUDIO ETIQUETTE MISTAKES

  • James wore WAY too much cologne to his recording session today. Mark, the talent for the next session, is highly allergic and can't record now because of the residual scent in the booth. Let's not bring James in again.
  • Jill showed up for a session without telling us about her nasty head cold that affected the sound of her voice. Now there's no time to replace her, and Jill can't produce the sound that got her cast in the first place. Grrrrr...
  • Ed committed the cardinal voice over sin - he touched the mic and tried to adjust it himself! He could have avoided an engineer meltdown by just asking Sam to do it for him.
Date: 
March 10, 2009
Meta Description: 
This article discusses common marketing, casting, studio etiquette and invoicing mistakes voice over talent make that prevent them from being re-hired.
Meta Keywords: 
Edge studio, voice over, marketing, casting, studio etiquette, invoicing, mistakes, demos, reels, CD’s, MP3’s, file name, email, billing, audition, phone service, answering service, recording session, sick, mic, microphone, late, headphones, copy, script, script mistakes, rate, looking professional,

This discussion, led by Jay Snyder, answers many voice over questions relating to cartoons. How to separate yourself from the pack to succeed.

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/twap/2009.03.03%20-%20Cartoon%20Voice%20Expert%20-%20Jay%20Snyder.mp3

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Have questions about audiobook narration? Grover Gardner answers questions various questions about the subject.

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/twap/2009.02.18%20-%20Audiobook%20Expert%20-%20Grover%20Gardner.mp3

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