Allison Hamblin

Author and Female Voice Overs

Sitting VS Standing

Standing up I have found gives your voice that extra emphasis just when you need it. It gives you a maximum range of options, like bending your knees or talking with your hands. You will find that your voice will have an extended range by being able to take deep breaths because you have proper posture.  Try standing the next time you are voice acting a bold energetic piece so you can move a bit, and swing your arms, or whatever feels natural to you.

Let's face it, sitting is more comfortable but compromises some of the bigger movements.  Standing for too long is also impractical and can affect your voice after a while because you get tired.  I don't think I am going out on a limb here; sitting is not a bad thing when recording an audio book for 10 hours. I know a lot of people record sitting down especially during long narations. Setting can stress your voice if you don’t get the proper air flow due to improper posture, so to improve your sound quality set up straight and shoulders back. Oh and make sure to oil that chair the last thing you want to hear in your recording is your squeaky chair.

So I think in the end it’s up to you and your voice style.

Desperate for work

Don't under estimateFinding yourself desperate for work, can make your judgment cloudy.  Don't fall into paying someone first for the chance to do work later. Even if they are a casting agency you could find yourself at the end of their line.  So let me be clear do not pay someone to hire you.  Real agencies don't work that way, they get a percentage of your work that they book for you.  Education is one thing taking your money for the promise of work is completely another.  It reminds me of the horror stories in the modeling industry, so let's get the word out so we can put a stop this before it happens to you or a friend.

Voice over dos and don'ts

  • Do invest in the promotion of your business
  • Don't pay money to someone that promises work
  • Do create a portfolio of your work
  • Don't under estimate your talent
  • Do put yourself out there to find work (Think internships)

Are You My Mother?

My role for being a mother has always been very important to me.  I choose, as a woman, to be first, and foremost, a full-time mother to my children. My children are the number one reason why doing Voice Overs works for me.

I have decided that having full control of my time allows me to be there for my kids every day, whether it be homework, or that occasional sick day.  So, as I've stated before,  my children are the number one reason why doing Voice Overs works for me.  Now,  I know that there are many female voices out there, that take their carriers in a different direction and I don't fault them but applaud there strength and character. 

Due to the creative nature of my work, I am always trying to get the balance right.  Between writing childrens books, reading and other hobbies, at the end of the day being a voice artist is perfect for me.  I think it works because I'm able to put it all in. So any of you VO girls wondering how to fit it all in with a family, rest assured I am here to say that you can.  And trust me it all becomes worth it when you capture your kids attention when you put your voice over hat on and read, Are You My Mother? to your kids.  And because I get to stay home and work, I can be their Mother!

Networking with my peers

One of the things that I wanted to do this year, and yes it was a new year resolution, was to network with other voice actors.  I know, I know,  we are well in to Feb but I am doing it.  So I sent out some e-mails hoping to expand my network.  I was so pleased to hear back from some of them.
Male Voice Talent, Johnny George

male voice over talents

Audiobooks: To remove the breath or not

When I started recording audiobooks I started hearing breaths in my work and I panicked. Should I leave them in or take them out?  After studying a few of my favorite audiobooks I decided to leave some of the breaths in.  Not all but most, because some breaths are not always a bad thing.  Breaths can help communicate emotion or bridge one idea to another. That pause in a read is a dramatic statement. Listen the next time you turn on the radio or TV you'll hear inhales on many phrases and sometimes you won't.  Often, a breath can be acceptable if it connects sentences into a flowing thought. I even convey the story with, a snort, a laugh, a hiss, a long breath, or even short breath because they all communicate the story to the listener.

But they can also be distracting, such as at the beginning of a paragraph or a long pause while you catch your breath.  So, for starters make sure you are recording in a studio with good room acoustics so you can listen later to remove the unwanted breaths and keep the natural sound coming.

There are ways to set up your recording software like Audition to try to remove and keep breaths in but to be honest I have always liked the hands on approach when doing audiobooks.  I just think it's important to in control of the sound you want, and I think you'll be happy with results. 

Getting rid of the clicking noises

One of the things that strikes me as odd about voice overs is the tendency to make unwanted noises from your mouth.  It could be clicking, or smacking and it is all annoying to me.  In normal conversation I don't think people hear it but with my recording gear on, I hear everything.  In an effort to remedy this,  I do my best to keep  my mouth clean and moist so I can provide a clear and concise read. After a few hours it's not as simple as it seems.

The key to a successful voice over is to keep your mouth moist; water for me has the best result but too much and I end up in the bathroom too many times.  5Gum RPM Mint has been been the fix for me. It goes in and out of my mouth all day long.  Don't get me wrong I like diet soda too, but soda has another side effect that can be pretty funny to my kids when they hear a recording of me burping.  Yep, mom is pretty cool!



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