Cristina Milizia – Joyful Voice Over!

cristinagoofToday’s Featured Artist is veteran voice over talent AND Global Voice Acting Academy founder, Cristina Milizia! If you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Cristina, you are really missing out! She is embodiment of joyful voice over!

I’m about to shock you with a number. She’s been a working VO talent for 24 years. Yes. TWENTY FOUR years. And yes, that’s a current pic of her cute little winky self! Let’s just say she got an early start!

I was blessed to meet Cristina at the Voxy Lady’s Summit. Not only was I shocked by her wealth of knowledge, but I was enamored instantly with her contagious, genuine, light up the room personality!

lalathekoalaThis young sprite has already overcome greater adversity than most of us will in a lifetime. Yet she hasn’t let it stop her from rocking the VO world and creating the Global Voice Acting Academy! The GVAA is graced with some of the top, most experienced coaches in the business. Everett Oliver, Anne Ganguzza, Katie Leigh, Brad Venable, MJ Lallo, Joyce Castellanos, and Elaine Clark to name a few! WOW! Obviously, the GVAA is home to many amazing coaches, but it has also has become a go-to resource for many with it’s ah-maz-ing GVAA rate guide!


cristina-monster-high
Cristina has voiced hundreds of toys, commercials, and games in her already long career! Some of her most notable roles are Monster High’s Moanika (Mattel), Doc McStuffins’ Lala the Koala (Disney Junior) and several voices on League of Legends! At this rate, there’s no stopping Cristina, and I must say, it couldn’t happen to a nicer girl! 🙂 Let’s hear more from Cristina now!
Read more

Meet (Dr.) Patrick Sweeney!

pat-on-cruiseToday’s Featured Artist is Patrick Sweeney! Pat is a full time voiceover artist based out of Toronto, Canada. He has 25 years of medical industry experience, and 13 of those years in medical narration! When it comes to pronouncing “busulfan, cyclophosphamide, cyclosporin-A, etoposide, azathioprine, hydroxyurea, vincristine, or interferon alfa,” he’s a total natural! Btw, I have NO idea what any of that is. He also has extensive experience in providing professional voiceover services for Scientific Narration, Corporate and Technical Narrations, TV and Radio Commercials, Explainer Videos, Animation, Promos, Documentaries, and even Live Announcing! With clients like International PaperNovartis, Discovery Kids, Bristol Myers SquibbBuffalo Wild WingsPurdue Pharma and Novo Nordisk, he’s a force to be reckoned with in the voiceover community!

Pat and Hollypop!

Pat and Hollypop!

I was blessed to meet Pat at a voiceover conference when he was delving into the voiceover world. Even way back then, he was eager to learn, already super talented, and insanely personable. Fast forward to now. His wild voiceover successes have not changed his charming, kind persona one teeny tiny bit! He’s now a wealth of information, and so very generous to share with those in the business. He even organizes Toronto’s Voiceover Social Networking Group, ‘VO in TO’! His talent is through the roof. He is consistently honing his craft and training with the best in the business. I’m amazed that anyone can speak medical-ese AND be an absolute hoot in animation. But Pat is freaking amazing!

Ok, see what I’m talking about? What a range!! Animation vs. Medical Narration

He adores his precious family to no end, and why the heck not?! They are perfectly Sweeney. It is a joy to know Pat Sweeney, and I look so forward to crossing paths with him again soon! Let’s hear more from Mr. Smarty Pants now. Eh? Read more

Mary Morgan – Everyone’s FAVORITE owl!

 

mary morgan headshotThis week’s Feature Artist is youthfully enchanting, audience romancing, and contrary to the ordinary! Mary Morgan, a Dallas-based voice actor, is here to tell us all about herself! She’s worked for companies like Bowlopolis, Hallmark, Hamsterball StudiosFUNimation, Eipix and SKA Studios, plus many more! She is repped by several premiere talent agencies, including Linda McAllister Talent and DeSanti Talent Agency!

I have had the pleasure of knowing Mary for quite some time now! We first adventured together in Bob Bergen’s Amazing Animation Workshops! Right off the bat, I was oh-so-impressed (and challenged!) by her talent! She can really work that mic yall! Then we got to know each other better at the Voicelympics Cruise, where we learned even more voiceover techniques from superstars like Deb Munro, Julie Williams, Bob Bergen (again), Joyce Castellanos and Bill Holmes!

Voicelympics Cruise!

Voicelympics Cruise!

And surely you remember that Dallas Producers Association (DPA) meeting that altered my existence? I told you about my sweet friend who introduced me to Keith Alcorn because I was too nervous to go and introduce myself. MARY. Anyhoo, many more workshops, meetups, and thankfully now with social media, we have been able to get to know one another even more! We FINALLY get to work together for REAL as we record Owlegories and are both proud members of the VOXY Ladies!! Speaking of everyone’s favorite cartoon…., she’s Gus, the dopey barn owl who’s ALWAYS hungry, and I’m Violet who gets slightly annoyed and sassy about his crazy obsession with his 3rd lunch. Gus is by far, the coolest owl! If you ask any Owlegories fan, who’s your favorite owl, they will 100% say GUS! He’s my favorite too! 🙂

Mary Morgan graphicMary is a unique, generous soul. Her branding by Celia Siegel fits her to a tee! Youthfully enchanting, audience romancing, and contrary to the ordinary! Let’s learn more about this little boy speaking, krav maga practicing, animal loving, world traveling, angelic singing voice talent now!


Read more

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

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

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

Meet Tim Cissell – Wishbone’s Master Musician!

Screenshot 2016-08-03 08.40.12

Tim at The Mighty Wurlitzer at The Paramount Theatre in Denver. This instrument is one of two remaining Mighty Wurlitzer theatre organs in the USA from the 1920s; the other is in Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

You may not recognize our next Feature Artist by name AT FIRST, but let me tell you…you will know him by the tunes you hum on a daily basis! In fact, you’ll knock yourself upside the head for not immediately recognizing him! Does WISHBONE ring a bell? Yeah, that’s his baby! He was the music director, composer and theme-song writer for the Peabody and Emmy award winning children’s television show, WISHBONE. Which btw, began running on PBS in 1994, and continues to be shown in the US and all over the world! Look what I found on good ole YOUTUBE! Every Wishbone Ever. You’re welcome!

Read more

WHO is BOB BERGEN? Porky Pig, plus that’s not all, folks!

bob-bergen-400x600

Cutie Bob Bergen

What can I possibly say about BOB BERGEN that you don’t already know? You already know he’s the longtime iconic voice of Porky Pig and Luke Skywalker (Robot Chicken). Oh yeah, don’t forget the Annie Award nominee for Cadet of Duck Dodgers, the TWO time Emmy-nonimated series! And of course pretty much every animated feature you love features B-O-B…Minions, Tinker Bell, Wreck it Ralph to name of few. OH yeah! Don’t forget the recent smash hit The Secret Life of Pets!

Yep, he's in this one too!

Yep, he’s in this one too!

Here’s how I know Bob! So I mentioned the Voiceover Cruise to you back in this Spotlight Post about Doug de Nance. Well, of course, the reason I signed up to go to the cruise was because of BOB BERGEN. I mean, really?! If you want be the best in your industry, you gotta train with the best, right?! I also took 2 animation workshop intensives from Bob when he visited Dallas at the state of the art, spacious Cake Mix Studios. It was early-ish on in my career, and I remember feeling intimidated BEFORE I stepped foot into the classes. After like 5 minutes though, you feel like Bob is not only your BFF, but also your biggest cheerleader. Pretty soon, you’re shoving paper towels in your mouth and making babies (baby noises that is). You soon move on to pterodactyls – baby pterodactyls, mama pterodactyls, scary pterodactyls, pterodactyls who eat rainbow sprinkles for breakfast. Of all the classes, coaching and training I have received for animation voiceover, his class has been the.most.practical and impactful coaching EVER. I find myself on a daily basis going back to his useful, practical advice. He taught me the proper way to bark for crying out loud! I owe this man my career!

Bob and Hollypop!

Enough from me, let’s hear more about BOB BERGEN! Read more

real. different. voice. – allan peck. (and all around great guy)

This week’s Feature Artist holds a special place in my heart. He’s the nicest guy you’ll ever meet, and one of my first VO buddies!

MEET allan peck. real. different. voice.

He’s the signature voice of the ELLEN Show! Can you even believe that? I feel famous because I know Allan, and Allan works with Ellen. They’re colleagues. OHMYGOSH. He’s the voice of CNBC Prime, Fox, CBS, The CW, and ABC! Oh and he did the Muppets Movie campaign and Justin Bieber’s movie campaign (though I think he’s still apologizing for that one).ellenshow

But I know him as the nice guy from my home agency, Kim Dawson Talent, in Dallas. We got to play pretend and voice obnoxious cheerleaders together for a couple of radio spots (oh the glory days)! And he’s also the real.different.voice guy who drove across the metroplex to help me figure out my first recording set-up! I still have that knock-off mic and old white Apple he recommended! I knew him before he became a dad of FIVE. yes. FIVE.

But guess what? Even though he’s all superstar ELLEN now, he’s just the same sweet Allan. Let’s hear from him now!

Bio:  I started doing this as soon as I learned how to talk, but didn’t know it paid anything until later in life.  I had two dreams – one was to be on the radio, and the other to be a voice actor.  I started both at the same time at age 19, and eventually left radio to focus on VO full time.  That only took 15 years.

Visit Allan’s Super Cool Website

Allan Peck and all his bff's at the Oscars.

Allan Peck and all his bff’s at the Oscars.

Listen to Allan’s Demos

Voiceover Specialties:  Promo/Trailer/Commercial/TV Affiliate/Radio Imaging/Corporate Narration/

Fave Gig Ever and Why:  When they just use my audition for the final cut 😉

Dream Client:  The best clients are ones that are truly make you feel a part of the “team”.  VO can be a very isolating sect of the business, and it’s so refreshing to be actively involved in the creative process.  Being in the creative field is supposed to be fun, and nothing is more rewarding than those sessions where you felt like a kid again and just “played” for a while until you’ve solved that creative problem!

What does your typical VO day look like?  Nothing like I ever imagined, I’ll tell you that.  My first session is usually around 8:30 am central time, and my last is around 2-3 am.  I’m so fortunate to have such a diverse group of clients and be able to work in so many arenas of VO, I never get bored, tired, or burned out.  I have an amazing team that supports me all the way from my wife (she’s the real star), to manager (Cope Management), to the best agents in the world, that all allow me and give me the tools to focus solely on voice acting…not voice invoicing/collecting/marketing/etc.  I’m changing diapers, picking up kids from school, and my wife’s right hand man in between.  It’s just a go, go, go kinda day, and if you’ve ever met me, you know that fits my personality perfect!

Where can we hear you next?  You can hear me every day as the in-show and promo announcer for “Ellen” and signature promo voice every night on CNBC as well as local tv and radio stations across the country.

Allan's early studio setup.

Allan’s early studio setup.

How did you get started in VO?  This is literally all I’ve ever wanted to do.  I was the weird kid that turned the sound of tv shows and music on radio stations down, and the commercials and DJ’s up.  My parents have mounds of cassettes of me in my room just talking to myself or doing my own play by play with Rangers games and VHS tapes of fake movie trailers, promos, and commercials.  Fast forward to legal working age, I figured out that those things actually paid money.  I had been making “demos” in my bedroom since I was a kid, and I shopped one around to local talent agencies in Dallas, TX with zero response…except for one agent, who I never thought in a million years would ever call me back. Kim Dawson Talent, and I’ve been with them ever since.  That was 20 years ago.  That set in motion the rest of my career and professional life.

Newbie tip:  Ignorance truly is bliss.  There is a sense of fearlessness you have as a newbie, that you’ll only have as a newbie because you have nothing to lose.  Use that to your benefit, don’t run from it, and always try to keep a little bit of that with you in your entire journey.

Be fearless.

Be fearless.

Home studio set up?  I like to keep things super simple and basic.  I use a Sennheiser 416 that goes into a John Hardy M-1 preamp, which feeds into an Apollo 8 Duo into a Mac Mini. 

Worst thing you’ve ever seen a talent do at a session? Honestly, the most common mistake thing I notice is just talking.  too.  much.  You have to understand that while this isn’t a typical business environment, there is real money at stake, and time is the most expensive thing in the world.  The client is usually paying big $$ to use that studio with the amazing snacks in the break room.  Don’t add to that cost by wasting time by talking to much, constantly making excuses for mistakes, or bringing your personal issues into that booth.  Do your job, be cordial, and snag some of those snacks on your way out.  Done.

One useful marketing tip?  Again, I don’t really handle that part, but just do your research with who you’re reaching out to.  One on one marketing is always going to be more successful than mass. 

Top social media tip?  Ha.  Don’t.  Seriously.  Actors are notorious for not having the self control to edit their social media thoughts.

Allan steers clear.

Allan steers clear.

Most useful software for your VO biz?  Dropbox, by far.  It makes my workflow so super fast.  Love.  Love.  Love.

What keeps you busy outside of VO?  Well, my wife and I have four kids under the age of 7 and another on the way that will probably be here by the time you read this, so, um, yeah.  That’s my fuel and the thing I’m most proud of.  They remind me every day that I have to back up what I teach them – chase your dreams no matter how ridiculous they seem, persevere no matter what, work 100 times harder than those that doubt you, and never stop believing.

Interesting fact no one knows about you?  Not one single person has ever told me I have a good voice for VO, lol      

Contact info: allan@allanpeck.com

Social Media: Nope.