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I'm baaaaack...

Yes, that's right gang. I'm back on the blog, miss me? I missed you too. I do hope you've found other blogs to fill your minds with in my absence. 

It's been quite the year. A full time MA and keeping the VO biz going. Good job I'm an organised bod with a penchant for fourteen hour days and no social life. But it was all for the greater good. Nine months on and a new stage of life begins - me the voice coach. It's been going well so far. As well as work in various Drama Schools (RADA, Arts Ed, East 15) I've been collecting an eclectic bunch of 1-2-1 clients who I help with accents, voice for voiceover and general vocal assistance. Add to this some work with comedians for comedy pilots on TV and Radio, merging my two passions of comedy and voice, I don't think I can ask for much more.

Not one to exaggerate (I literally never do...) the course has been a life changer. Not only for me as a voice practitioner but as a person (#barf) Going back to studying at this age has been really hard and my brain has been put through its paces. But now, having survived, I've rediscovered a love for learning things. Some of which is science?! Whaaat? Yes. I know stuff about anatomy and muscles and acoustic science and things. Turns out learning IS fun if it is something that you're actually interested in. Who knew? And they have apps for literally everything these days. Which is both helpful and entertaining. 

The main purpose of this blog is to spread the word about next months exciting project. Myself and fellow voice colleague and pal Laura Hunt are offering Pay-What-You-Can voice coaching to those at the Edinburgh International Fringe Festival. I'm up at the Fringe with a brilliant show, Welcome to Tiddleminster starring comedian and Twix fan Chris Cantrill, and want to lend a vocal hand to those in need. Be it help with an accent, some warm up ideas, vocal health advice or text work, if you or anyone you know is at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this year, send them our way. (#festvoice) We are happy to help. We are accepting all cash donations and offers of drinks/show tickets as payment. Which isn't too shabby. Prices usually start at £40-50/hour so if you've got the budget for something that would be fabulous. But I will accept part payment in haggis and hog roast. 

Anyway, a 12,000 word thesis awaits, which is more than I'm used to these days, damn Twitter and it's 140 character limit, so I shall sign off for now. 

Keep an eye on #festvoice and #tiddleminster for all the shenanigans and goings on at the Festival.

Kind regards and thanks for reading.

Nic

 

British politeness, customer service and my hair...

Well, thank goodness I'm not in any 'on camera' jobs for the next 6 to 8 weeks. Because I'm currently channelling a young Jon Bon Jovi, minus the excellent vocal skills. Oh wait, I do have excellent vocal skills. Never mind.

I went to a different hairdresser and, despite explaining what I needed in order to look fabulous for my impending 30th, ended up with a mullet and a wonky fringe. What was my reaction? I said, 'thank you', paid my pennies and left, mumbling to myself and trying to tuck said 'do' behind my inhumanly small ears. They don't have lobes. But that's for another blog.

A lady doing good voiceover-ing for her happy clients...

A lady doing good voiceover-ing for her happy clients...

Why didn't I say anything?! What madness is this?! It's not a new concept but why do us british find it so hard to complain? If you're paying for a service and it isn't right, you should let it be known shouldn't you? Maybe it's the face to face thing that makes it harder. Most of my work, as a service provider (the service being my dulcet Irish voice tones, nothing dodgy, you...) is conducted via phone or email. Client gets in touch with what they want, I give client what they want, if it's not right the client asks for something else, I give client something else, etc. They certainly let me know if what I've provided isn't right, that's for sure. But I wouldn't expect anything less. And I don't mind at all. They are paying me to meet their brief.

 

 

Why on earth didn't I tell this bloke to fix my mop? Why?! I essentially paid him to make me look like a tribute to Rod Stewart circa 1985 which was NOT the brief. Maybe this says more about my character. Hey look, I've sent food back in a restaurant or not tipped the waiter if I didn't think the service was good enough, but these are still technically not direct interactions which the responsible party. Food is cooked by a chef in the back and by the time the service staff see the lack of tip you're mid self righteous flounce outa there.

Perhaps I need to 'strap on a pair', as they say. 'Pair' being metaphorical testicles hinting in a sexist manner at increased strength and 'they' being me, mostly, I think. Is that an Irish saying?  That's not for now. And yes, looks like I did just used the word 'testicles' in a professional blog. Twice now. Oh dear. 

What is your view? Complain or keep schtum? Voice over folk, do you take it personally when people aren't happy with what you've provided? Or is it all part of the service. Do let me know. I'll have a lot of time on my hands what with not leaving the house at all for the foreseeable future...

Mulleting-ly yours, 

Jon 

(...Bon Jovi)

by Nicola Redman

January? Janu-ages-ry

January is a funny old one. It's loooong. Except it's not. It's just the standard...(wait, "30 days has September, April, June and Novem...yep) 31 days. I've been busy which is nice. A couple of new clients rearing their heads. One of which lead to a job for which I had to say the word 'police' approximately 1600 times. If ever there was ever an exercise for practising how not to pop your 'P's', this was it. I'll tell you all about that one when it launches in the near future.

Got me thinking, what's your weirdest/longest/most challenging job. How did your year start? Do share. Always interesting to know what folk have been up to in the booth.

Ta ra for now. I'm gigging all weekend at The Stand, Newcastle, on a cracking line up, so must go and practise my jokes.

 #lolz

 #hopefully