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Old Veteran Needs Help

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I'm finally having to take my hat in hand and request assistance. Addym is my creative half who is not having much success with publishing his books. Wayne (my real name) is the half who has to deal with the mundane matters of life. For the past six years I've been unemployed because my knees and hips prevent me from getting employment in my career of choice, construction. It doesn't help that I'm 59 and employers, at least in this area, are looking for younger men. During that time, I've had to rely on friends and family to keep me off the streets. My latest landing pad is becoming difficult and I need to do something drastic to change my circumstances.

What I'm striving for is a career change into the Voice Over industry. I've been assured many time in the past 30 years that I have the voice for it. Well, I have found a school. Unfortunately I do not have the funds to make this dream a reality. So I have set up a fund raiser on gofundme to raise the $6000 that will cover tuition, equipment, travel (to get professional demo tapes created), design and implementation of a quality website, and creation of a small space to do the work.

For those who are sympathetic and wish to contribute to my efforts to return to an independent life, please use this link:


Whether you contribute or not, thank you for taking the time to hear me out.

Wayne <Addym>

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Thank you, Lugnutz. I should have done this a long time ago, but it's hard to admit when you've reached the end of your resources. I've heard it said that 'change is good'. Well, here's to making things good once again. It's been less than 12 hours and I've received $25. That's .4% of the goal. LOL. Since I hadn't expected any response quite so soon, I'm happy and encouraged. Here's to young men with old, decrepit bodies trying to make a new path.

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Here I go jumping in with both feet in my mouth, which I do not recommend as helpful for a budding voice over actor.

I think the answer is to do as much work as you can volunteer for, as this will give you exposure to those who might advance your career. I'm told a good agent is essential, but trying to get a leg-in with an agent can be difficult, expensive or both, but keep trying.
A local theatre group might be able to provide a list of agents, or even acting experience in a play, which is well worth the effort, and looks good in a résumé.
Also try playing back some movies. Select an actor's scene that you feel you can handle, and then coach yourself to deliver (out loud) the same scene's speech.
Then try again with another actor's scene so that you don't get stuck with one delivery style only. Keep doing this with other movies. Watch the movie My Fair Lady and follow the exercises that Eliza is given by Professor Higgins. We want to widen your range as much as possible whilst you learn to vary the delivery with, and this is most important, with conviction in your delivery.
If you can record yourself you will soon hear where you need to work on your delivery skills. Don't worry if you think you sound funny...everyone thinks they sound funny when they hear their own voices, at first. Be aware of the local accent you were trained in as a child, and be prepared to work at removing at least some of the more obvious accents, or alternatively, utilise them for effect .
All this will give you confidence as well as extending your range and learning how to hear the appropriate conviction in your delivery.
Do not imitate the voice overs on TV ads or radio personalities. Anyone can do those once they have learned how to control their voices.
Don't take elocution lessons. What is important is voice production and control, not sounding like a pretentious snob.
Learn how to open and close the larynx, which is quite tricky to get right.
Remember that actors and pop singers use the front of the mouth to speak and sing. Whereas, opera and classically trained singers work from the back of the throat. Learn the basics of breath control and expand the lateral chest rib cage motion when breathing in, so that you gain a nice full column of air which maintains your speech without gasping.
Diction is formed in the front of the mouth using the tongue and teeth, and avoiding speaking through the nose unless you are imitating Cary Grant.
I hope that is helpful. If I lived closer I would give lessons. LOL.
Please let me know how you do with all this as it might seem a little overwhelming. Just take it one step at a time.
If you want we can try to work on Skype so that I can hear you and give an assessment and advice. I used to teach dramatic voice production when I was younger, but newer methods are being taught today, often not all they could be, in my opinion.
My very best wishes to you,
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I second Des's suggestion that you accumulate some credits and tapes. One way to do it is to contact your local public radio station. Most are hungry for volunteers--perhaps not for speaking roles, but it is a great place to make contacts. They might also be able to point you toward whatever your local programs are for reading for the blind. Here in Virginia that's a very active undertaking, and it is entirely staffed by volunteer voices who have become locally well-known and sought-after, and has helped some of these readers move toward the kinds of professional careers you are seeking.

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Wow, and the hits just keep on coming. And I mean that in the kindest way, believe me. I'm making notes on it all, trust me.

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Wayne, what Des says is good. I can only offer a bit of additional advice, which is read and publish your own work at www.podiobooks.com

You have a computer, Audacity is free (http://audacity.sourceforge.net/), so, apart from time, all you actually need is a good mic, headphones and a quiet place to record (oddly, a closet works).

Check out this: http://blog.podiobooks.com/tips-and-and-tricks-of-success-before-submitting-your-work-to-podiobooks-com/

All the best!

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Hm, never heard of podiobooks. Just had a look see at the link and found it has definite possibilities. And that's why I've bookmarked it. LOL. Thanks, Camy.

Isn't it amazing what you can learn when you finally ask for help.

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