Webster’s debut how-to guide explains best practices for every facet of a voice-over career.
The book begins with the premise that “[v]oiceover may very well be the best job in the world.” The author’s enthusiasm for the trade, along with his applied experience, provides a unifying tone for the highly particular chapters that follow. Each section deals with a specific aspect of the trade, beginning with the basics (“How to Take Care of Your Voice”) and moving on to more complicated issues, such as “The Union” and “How to Make a Killer Demo.” Throughout are selected bits of industry history that show how it’s changed with the digital revolution. Several particularly detailed chapters on setting up and properly using a home studio present options and clear recommendations regarding software, equipment, remote recording and soundproofing. The author even provides an introduction to mindful meditation, not only as a means of vocal care, but also for its other benefits. Still, much of the advice here is equally applicable to other entrepreneurial or freelance disciplines; for example, it often returns to core points such as “don’t work for free” and “be professional.” Webster writes comfortably in the first person, but his informal tone is occasionally a bit disorienting; for example, at one point, he gives a real-time report: “As I write these words…I’m expecting that my agent might call….Update: I booked the gig and recorded at home.” Overall, however, the prose is generally clear, and many chapters include additional suggested resources at the end. In many ways, it’s hard to evaluate Webster’s many claims without putting in the years of hard work it takes to become a successful freelance voice. That said, the authority of his 25 years of experience, and his attention to even the smallest aspects of voice-over work, makes this informational guide feel complete and practical.
An easy-to-read introduction to the joys, challenges and techniques of an increasingly marketable entertainment career choice.
Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.
Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").
Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)