Cliff Zellman – Emmy Award Winning Audio Engineer!

Today’s feature artist is none other than Emmy Award Winning Audio Extraordinaire, Cliff Zellman! Cliff is a renowned Audio Engineer, Producer, Director, Editor, Coach, and overall VAST resource for ANYONE involved in any aspect of broadcast audio. He is the Chief Audio Engineer and head of audio production for RadioVision. AND he owns Amazing Demos, a company that produces hand-crafted demos for VO pros! AAANNNND he created the now 975 member Dallas Voice Actors Meetup Group (DVA)cliff hat

Speaking of the DVA, I met Cliff when I was searching for some VO coaching, and answers to all my home studio set-up problems. I was astounded that in all my years of VO, our paths had not crossed! Here was this phenomenally-talented, overly-qualified guy right in my own backyard! I went to his intro class and was FLABBERGASTED at the amount of high-quality, industry-specific information he gave out for such a reasonable fee! His wealth of knowledge, industry connections, and expert experience far exceeded my expectations! Anytime anyone calls/emails/facebook messages/etc with the generic “how do I get started in VO?”, I send them to Cliff! Oh, how I wish I would’ve known about him YEARS before so I could’ve saved myself wasted $$$ and time. Live and learn.

CZ-SausalitoHe’s such a kind, genuine soul that you feel as if you’ve known him for a decade. He’s that protective upperclassman during your awkward days in jr high! I’m so blessed to know Cliff! And to refer dozens of up and comers to him. He also works one on one with more seasoned talents. RUN, do not walk your little butt to “meetup” with Cliff! And if you need an auto commercial (well, basically ANY commercial) produced, duh. He’s your guy!

Time to hear from Cliff himself! Read more

Submitting Voiceover Auditions

Howdy Guys and Gals! Here are a few tips on submitting professional voiceover auditions!dummies

FILE NAMES:

  • Always follow file name submission guidelines! For example “FirstLast_Role.mp3” would be “HollyFranklin_ADHDSquirrel.mp3”.
  • If no submission guidelines are included, be smart! Don’t label your file “Suckytake7AGAIN.mp3”. Consider keeping it simple with your name, a dash or underscore, and the role or company for which you are auditioning.

SEPARATE FILES:

  • Speaking of submission guidelines, do they want each role in a separate file? Do it. Do they want mp3 (most likely)? Do it.

SLATE:

  • To slate, or not to slate, that is the question. I’m not touching that debate!
  • BUT if you do slate…say through an agent, find out how’d they’d like you to do it. Probably something overthetop like “Holly Franklin”.

    Standing out = GOOD. Not following directions = BAD.

    Standing out = GOOD. Being a moron = BAD.

  • Avoid this…”Hi there! My name is Holly Franklin, and yes this is my real voice. Actually I’m in my 40s even though I sound like a toddler. I was born the day after Christmas in Fort Worth, Texas in room 367 at XYZ Hospital. My mama stayed in the hospital for 3 days on account of my head being so freakishly large….Later that afternoon while I was nursing, Mama said I bit her!…Fast forward to 6 months old, when I was in my crib, I remember jamming out to Delta Dawn on the family radio…One day at preschool…Jr High…College…Extensive VO training…But anyhoo, 13 takes…yall have a great day now. Oh and be sure to check out my website at holly franklin dot com. OH and if you need me i can be reached at xxx-xxx-xxxx. That’s xxx-xxx-xxxx. Or if you want I can give you my personal cellular number…Whew. Ok, now I’m starting. Ready? Seeeeeeeeetttt. GO!!!!!”

DUE DATE:

  • Be prompt. Duh. Pay attention to time zone deadlines! (I’m guilty of missing time zones.)duh

EMAIL ADDRESSES: 

  • Think like an agent or a casting director! If I received something from iluvmillivanilli@aol.com or letsseeifthisusernameworks@flunkytownusa.com, I’m gonna take a shot in the dark and guess you may not be professional (or current) in the industry.
  • It’s so easy to get your own domain these days, with an accompanying email address. If you are a “professional” voice actor, get a “professional” email address. Like holly@hollyfranklin.com. Not the same one you use for PTA at the kid’s school: crazymomof16boys@aol.com

EMAIL SIGNATURES: 

  • Include your contact information in an easy to read, legible fashion. Like so.

Holly Franklin

Hollypop VO!

hollyfranklin.com

holly@hollyfranklin.com

817-368-3789

 

What else guys?

Talk soon!

Hollypop! 🍭

Larry Brantley – the heart (and voice) behind Wishbone!

 

Larry Brantley is our featured artist this week! He’s a man you know well. Unless you are a recluse and don’t own a TV.

Cutie Larry Brantley

Cutie Larry Brantley

Otherwise, you’ve seen him literally hundreds of times as the world’s busiest (and funniest) on-camera commercial actor! Money Man. Brookshire’s. Texas Tourism. JCPenney. Cici’s. AT&T. yada yada yada. I could go on and on and on! But that’s not all he does! He’s also quite a big deal on the voiceover scene! From household name commercial brands to videogames to promos to voicing your favorite childhood star, WISHBONE, he’s literally done it all! The little dog with a big imagination!Oh yeah, and he was everyone’s favorite Lord Chancellor at Medieval Times!

I had the absolute delight of first meeting Larry when we recorded the BOZ the Bear series (He’s BOZ) with Alison Viktorin and Tim Cissell at Reel FX in Dallas. Y’all, this guy is a comedic genius. Yeah yeah yeah, he’s definitely funny on camera or behind the mic on a cartoon. But it’s the in-between takes stream-of-consciousness-type-funny that will make you die laughing. Sometimes I’d be driving down the road 3 days after a session and be like OOOHHHHHHHH! Bahahahahaaaaaahhhhhhaaaaa! Not only is he hysterical, he is the biggest pro in the booth I have ever worked with! Do it 77 ways. Got it. Improv. Done. Sing it this time like a cowboy wearing nothing but a tutu while hulahooping and drinking scorching hot coffee in Tibet. Check! But what I love most about Larry is the way he loves his daughter.

fatherdaughterThe apple of his eye. Not an hour goes by where he doesn’t mention her in his gentle, fatherly doting way. Trust me, he’s not obnoxious like OMGosh would you please STOP talking about your kid? It’s more like holy crap this girl is so blessed to have a daddy who adores her more than life itself. She is growing up ahead in the world because of her father’s one-of-a-kind love for her.

Enough sappiness. Let’s hear straight from the old fart now!

Read more

VOICEOVER equipment you never knew you always wanted.

Today’s tip is a bit weird.

When we think about equipment recommendations for VOICEOVER, the usual elements come to mind:

THERE'S SOOOO MANY!

THERE’S TOOOO MANY!

  • Mac vs PC (is that EVEN an option?!)
  • Which Mic enhances my signature sound so I can be the clear winner of xyz audition?
  • Monitors (they basically bore me to death)
  • Pop Filters (or spit catchers as I like to call them)
  • Protools vs Twisted Wave vs Adobe vs idk how many others there are!
  • Audio Interfaces out the wazoo
  • Source Connect vs. ISDN vs ipDtl vs Skype vs Phone Patch
  • Acoustical Treatments

blah blah blah.

But I’d like to recommend a little something you may not know you NEED! If you are a Mac user (and if you’re not, bless your heart), you NEED iMovie!

iMovie!

iMovie!

iMovie? What?! Why?! I’m a VOICE ACTOR. Hate to tell you but the world is not abandoning social media anytime soon, and on social media, video a major trend! Plus all those kids who receive the IV fluid of life from their ipads and video games are going to one day grow and hire you (or not). They expect to be entertained.

I don’t profess to be an expert at making videos. There are a lot of people WAY better than me making professional movies. But sometimes, we all need a redneck video until it’s time to take it up a notch and hire a pro. Here are some ways I’ve used iMovie:

Hollypop VO! Video Section

It’s super easy to use. Even a dummy technology novice can do it! Basically, for me it involves importing existing photos, videos, and sound clips; adding premade transitions and titles; and voila! The more you play on it, the better you get!

What video opportunities have you utilized that I’m missing out on? Do share!

Later tomaters!

Love,

Hollypop 🍭

p.s. Here’s a playlist of some reeeeallllllyyyy STOOPID videos I made using iMovie.

 

 

 

Meet Alison Viktorin – Anime, Animation, Film, Commercial, Print

This week’s Feature Artist is Alison Viktorin! If you are a fan of anime (Detective Conan, Summer Wars, and Wolf Children to name a few), you have definitely heard of Alison! Queen of the South? Check! FUNimation fanatic? Check check checkity check!

Up Close!

Up Close!

I first met Alison when we were auditioning for BOZ the Bear. Remember I told you about that sweat-inducing experience here? She was friendly as can be, and we soon became VO buddies when we booked twin siblings, Drew and Gracie! When we recorded BOZ, we ALL got to record together at Reel FX! So I had the extreme pleasure of hearing just how awesome she is in the booth. And I’m not gonna lie, when I do boy voices, I totally try to channel this lovely lady’s boy voice!

If I were to describe Alison during those years of BOZ –  Full of life! Hilarious! Soul sister. True friend. Fast forward to today. She’s married, has a precious son, and we are both blessed to be a part of the fantastic Owlegories cast! She is perfectly cast as the jokester owl, Joey!

Joey always tries to make the class laugh with his stupid jokes courtesy of Keith Alcorn. Violet pretends he’s not funny, but I feel strongly that she’s LOL’ing on the inside! Alison is a truly genuine, joyful, beautiful inside and out friend. Let’s hear more about work as a VO artist, print model, host, film, and commercial actor!

Selfie with Joey and Violet ...in an ice cube? "Everybody say anchovies!”

Selfie with Joey and Violet …in an ice cube? “Everybody say anchovies!”

Bio: Alison Viktorin has years of experience both in front of the camera and as a voice over artist. She is skilled in many different types of voices from children (both boys and girls) to teens, adults, and even animals. She has worked on cartoons (Boz the Bear, Owlegories), videogames, and anime (Funimation). Voice over is one of Alison’s greatest passions.

alisonmic

Alison doing her thing!

Alison also enjoys On Camera Hosting and is proficient with a teleprompter. She has done television (Killer Women, Queen of the South), national commercials, corporate video, print work, even hand and foot modeling. Alison is a mother of one rambunctious little boy and feels comfortable working on set with other children (as seen on Step 2 marketing videos). Alison is ready for anything, and feels that life is an adventure. If you need someone hip and cool, professional, or even a ‘mom’ type, she’s got you covered!

Demos:

Link to many more demos!

Voiceover Specialties: little boy/girl voices, southern accents, teens

Fave Gig Ever and Why: I liked working on Boz the Bear. It will always hold a special place in my heart because it was the first big cartoon I worked on. The actors and everyone working on the show were top notch and not only professional, but fun too.

I learned so much about myself during that time.

BOZ the Bear family! Alison and Holly twin sibs Drew and Gracie!

Alison and Holly as twin sibs Drew & Gracie!

Dream Job: Revlon/Loreal, any kind of makeup company…love those vo commercials. Also, doing the narration for a home channel or travel channel would be super fun.

Gorgeous Alison!

Gorgeous Alison!

What does your typical VO day look like? After I take my son to school, I come home and do any auditions that I didn’t finish the night before. Then, I go to work in an actual studio…not just my closet…in Dallas or Plano, usually.

Where can we hear next? I’m always doing work for Funimation, I’ve got some videos up for Step 2 on youtube, and if you’re up North…you can hear me on Dutch Wonderland and Story Land commercials and also on Rent-A-Center radio spots. I also played a secretary in Queen of the South on the USA network.

How did you get started in VO? When I was 13, the first thing I auditioned for was a radio commercial and I booked it. I beat out a few Barney actors at the time, tee hee…I was proud!

Newbie tip: Make sure you practice, practice, practice with the script before you go in to audition or work.

Home studio set up? Closet, Robe, Snowball, Macbook Air, Garage Band…not too cool I’m afraid, but it works!

Worst thing you’ve ever seen a talent do at a session: Huge egos can be irritating. I’ve seen someone try to direct the director…no bueno.

Read more

Get to Know Keith Alcorn of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius!

YOU know Keith Alcorn, this week’s Feature Artist, as the producer and co-creator of Oscar nominated feature film, Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius for Paramount and Nickelodeon. And you also know him as executive producer of The Ant Bully for Warner Brothers.

I’VE been blessed to know him as the guy whose jokes tickle my funnybone and who makes me giggle until my sides hurt, the director who always has time to ask me how it’s going or respond to the dumbest questions, and the guy who would never in a gazillion years brag about his MANY accomplishments.

My fave cartoon EVER.Wanna know how I met him? When I heard he was going to be speaking locally, I high-tailed it to hear first-hand from this creative genius. See, my boys, now 16 and 13, were HUGE Jimmy Neutron fans at the time. I felt it was my maternal duty to listen to the man share his creative insights. I also felt a weird connection to sassy Cindy Vortex, a Jimmy Neutron character. She is basically my inner voice who I have to keep shushing so I can be nice to people. Well, imagine my DELIGHT, when I won the door prize (a bottle of wine) that night at the Dallas Producers Association. I felt weird because A. I don’t drink, B. I am not a producer, C. I kinda shouldn’t have been there, and D. I was basically just stalking Keith Alcorn. But they had me get up and say a bit about myself. “Hi, I’m Holly Franklin. I’m a voice actor. Yes, this is my real voice….blah blah blah.” Never mind that I secretly prayed I would win, because maybe, just maybe, it would be like a mini audition. MAYBE he’d hear me speak and hire me on the spot to be Cindy in case the real Cindy was away in Tahiti? Maybe he’d create a whole series just for me because I’m so spectacular?! Yeah, none of that happened. But it didn’t matter bc I was in the room with THE KEITH ALCORN, a man I had professionally admired from afar for a freaking long time.

Ant Bully!

Ant Bully!

After the talk which was fantastic, as expected, I was WAAAAY too nervous to go talk to him. Lucky for me, my VO pal Mary Morgan was there, and she knew Keith from a project they had worked on previously. She was so kind to introduce me to my hero. What stood out to me that night was how he was so kind, and genuine.

Fast forward a few years. I got an email out of the blue from Keith saying he wanted me to audition for his upcoming project. WHAT?! He remembered me?! I guess those prayers really worked! It was for Owlegories, a Gospel-centered animated series. And much to my delight, I booked the role of Violet, the pretty purple snow owl!

Over the course of the last 2? 3? years, I have been so honored to work under the direction of Keith Alcorn. He sets up each scene beautifully, fosters a true environment of creativity and teamwork, and really pulls out of each of us what he is looking for to make each episode super-special! I’ve always said that God created imagination, and I can say without a doubt that Keith Alcorn has been gifted with a extra helping of imagination and creative genius.

VIolet and Uncle Fly (me and Uncle Si) on the cover of the latest Owlegories DVD!

Violet and Uncle Fly (me and Uncle Si) on the cover of the latest Owlegories DVD!

If I could handpick and choose ANY director EVER to work with, it would be this man – my friend, Keith Alcorn.

Let’s hear more about Keith now! Read more