Bits & Pieces Part Cinq

October 12, 2009  |  Articles

So I’ve been slacking a bit with my blog duties…

Problem is that me and my family are moving to a new apartment end of this month and I’m neck deep in logistics to make the transition as smooth and painless as possible. Also I got hired to put together a website for someone and they wanted to launch it before the end of this month (as well) so now I got two deadlines that I need to meet.

Yeah this whole webdesign thing was kind of a surprise addition to my roster of professions. It was revitalized when I decided to build a website for myself to showcase my Voice Over work and then one thing led to another and now I’ve built and designed 4 other websites and am in the middle of my 5th…. so great.

In the meantime I have been keeping up with the Latest Voice Over happenings… and it doesnt seem like much is happening anyway.

The Irony of course is that Voices.com is going to revamp their website (and improve it apparently) just before my subscription with them runs out. I’m not going to renew to tell you the truth … I don’t feel that it has been very beneficial these past 3 or so months…. their work emails have decreased … far far less than the 70 emails a week that they initially advertised.  Anyway here is the link to those updates that they mentioned

1. From Bob Souer’s Blog

As you know when I can’t find anything much to talk about I get you the most interesting tid bits from other voice over bloggers (well in my opinion anyway) and post them in the bits and pieces section… so just in case you didn’t watch this video… this is Philip Banks.. one of the few High Larious brits I know talking about how to voice movie trailers:

2. From Peter O’Connell’s Blog “We’re All Starving So Be Quiet”

http://blog.audioconnell.com/2009/10/01/were-all-starving-so-be-quiet/

I’m glad I live where I live and not in the US because if I got an email from that producer that was anywhere in the vicinity of contemplating being that rude to me… I’d make do with having to buy a new pair of shoes (or crocs) cause the one’s i’d be wearing would be so far up their…. well you know what I was gonna say.

3. Philip Banks Again “Because you make me laugh”

4. Dave Courviosier ” Synthetic Voice-Overs: ‘Hal’ Has Arrived – But Where’s He Going?”

This article was published at Voiceoverxtra.com so I’ll just link back to it cause John Florian gets antsy when I cut and paste stuff from his site. Click Here to read about this.

Thats it for now… I’ve gotta go buy some boxes for the move and…. oh wait… hey if you got this far in the article maybe you’d like to go to ILVOW (I LOVE VOICE OVER WORK) and leave a story… its free and entertaining (and set up by yours truely).

ILVOW


3 Comments


  1. Hi Taji,

    The improvements that are referred to in the Voices.com blog post are in fact updates that have already been made. We are not re-vamping our website, we are simply working to make it a little better every day.
    I’m sorry to hear that you are not having much success with us. May I recommend adding some information to your voice description? I see that you have some keywords (which is great), but why not add information similar to what you have on your personal website? In addition, consider setting vocal ‘ages’ for your demos as many clients search for particular age ranges.

    Best,
    Erica Stapleton
    Voices.com

  2. Hello Erica,

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and taking the time to leave a message. Regarding my voices.com subscription. I appreciate that you guys try to follow up with your users concerns. In my case within a week of joining voices.com in November of last year (well not joining but rather paying a subscription fee) The website was taken offline and revamped. I actually kind of liked the old layout … I’ve emailed your boss Stephanie about the Nov 2008 revamp and how I actually lost a job in the system because the system was not, in fact, ready. But she never replied regarding this issue and I am still upset about the lost prospect. I also mentioned to Stephanie via email the sections that seem to have gotten buried in your website like the ebook store. Again all I got was… yeah some sections got lost when we upgraded.

    Now my question is if sections from your website that make you money get lost are treated with such nonchalance how would you guys react to a subscriber losing jobs or data because of the decision to upgrade without properly testing the site.

    Anyway regarding the age range suggestion you made. I did set an age within my profile (Ages Young Adult, Middle Aged) but not specifically to my voice over demos description because I didn’t actually vary my vocal range to include the different age ranges.

    I welcome the new upgrades… and I wish what you guys had done last year was a slow and sure upgrade instead of a sudden in-your-face revamp.

    All the same I doubt this will increase the number of jobs or alerts that are targeted toward Arabic Langauge Voice Over talent (like myself) but any improvement to better the voice over artist’s experience is a welcome one.

    Taji

  3. To Stephanie, David, and the Voices.com staff, this is for you:

    You had a great idea when you started Voices.com It has taken off like crazy, and what started out as a business idea grew into a full-scale voiceover marketplace. I’m sure Stephanie and David had no idea what they were in for when they started this just a few short years ago. I like Stephanie’s podcasts, but mostly appreciate that she is not a nameless, faceless corporate structure, but a recognizable figure front and center.

    A few years ago, when I first discovered Voices.com, I experienced professional, friendly, helpful staff. I still receive that treatment today, when I am able to reach someone. Today, phone messages and e-mails go unanswered.

    And submitting auditions has turned into a maddening event, to say the least. Producing custom demos, complete with music and effects, is very time-consuming, and I take great pride in the finished product I send to clients.

    Now imagine all of that time, effort, and hard work, and then….the audition will not go through! That day I left for work and came back 9 hours later to an audition that still hadn’t submitted is nothing short of inexcusable. And just imagine all the people that got ahead of me in the audition line during those 9 long hours! There is absolutely nothing the staff at Voices can say to justify this.

    For example, this week, there was a Health Presentation Promo that would have been perfect for me. Since I work in the fitness industry, it is my type of project. But my audition would not go through! Now there are 118 people who have sent their auditions ahead of me, and 1 has already been selected! Another lost chance.

    So I , too, have lost potential clients simply because the auditions are not submitted – after all those hours of time, effort, and frustration.

    I actually jumped in with both feet and purchased a full one year membership this year, but have made the decision not to renew when my time expires. All of the hours and work I spend on these auditions is simply not worth it. I could be using that time to earn income on projects, instead of simply bidding for the chance to get a project. And when I made the decision to purchase a premium membership, I was told that the minimum bid for projects started at $500. In fact, most bids run at $100 – $250, so I was given false information from the start.

    I think of the audition process as a giant pinata where the bat is struck, and when the candy explodes, all of us rush like madmen to capture our pot of gold. I am constantly racing against the clock to produce auditions that are ultimately never heard.

    Whether online and over the phone, I have communicated with Stephanie, Lin, and Erica. It is clear that Stephanie’s staff is following her lead of professionalism and class. I appreciate that. I simply wish it had been more beneficial for me personally.

    And thank you to Lauralynda Pasma, who sent me an e-mail over the weekend to alert me of a job posting. I wouldn’t have looked in my inbox on a Saturday otherwise, so I appreciated the heads up on that. Clearly they work on the weekends as well. At least they are asking for feedback from us and have implemented improvements on their site, such as listing the project rates on the audition page.

    Thank you to Voices for adding jobs as late as 2 p.m. Pacific Time, (a benefit to those of us on the West Coast) which is prime time for me to send auditions…but unfortunately they are not going through. I used to think that auditions weren’t going through because there were so many other people sending them at the same time, but I have noticed that when my auditions don’t go through is generally when they are in the process of adding new projects to my inbox, which impedes audition submission.

    Again, I don’t think they realized what they were in for when they began this business just a few years ago. It’s taken on a life of its own! With a small staff of under 10, it is nearly impossible for them to handle the enormous amount of work generated on this site. When you think about it, it is amazing and overwhelming what they are able to accomplish with a skeleton crew.

    I will say that through the audition process, I have grown as a voice talent, honed my skills, and grabbed the attention of clients. For that, I offer them my thanks.

    The layout of their site is beautiful and eye-catching. The audition process (up until the time of submission) is easy and user-friendly. I also appreciate Voices’ notations for watermarking, and opening script attachments. And I like the Voiceover Guide, articles, informational materials, and blogs on the site, all of which are most helpful to Voice Talent.

    Overall, it seems to me that what we require is a much smaller venue, where our services can be showcased front and center to clients. I know the nature of the biz is competition, but due to technical issues, many of us have lost the opportunity to even be HEARD. That is precisely the opposite of what the site is supposed to do.

    And with over 100,000 talent on this site, we are lost among the masses. Ironically enough, our voices are silenced because no one will hear them.