Monday, August 31, 2009

just recorded the first of two commercial spots for a law firm.
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GKN Weekly Update 8/31/09

Hey guys! Thank goodness it finally cooled off. My sweat glands almost turned inside out!

So, over the weekend I auditioned to be part of the Awareness Audiobooks talent roster in Bethlehem, PA. Everybody there was very nice. The audition process was pretty interesting:

First, I read for the part of a teenage boy. Since most of my VO work involves sounding like a high school or college student, no problem.

Then, I read for the part of an uncle and was asked to use my favorite accent. My favorite is Russian so I used that, no problem.

Then I had to read a high energy breakfast cereal commercial. That's not my strongest area so I flubbed a few lines. Eek. Problem?

Finally I was asked to do some improvisation (YES!). I was asked to be a caller for a radio talk show. "Talk about something you feel strongly about, like sports. what's your subject going to be?"

I said, "I feel that all people over the age of 85 should be bronzed."

A split second of stunned silence was followed by peals of laughter.

'Well, at least they'll remember me.', I thought, and dived into the improv. They loved it!

TIP OF THE WEEK: There is no such thing as a perfect audition and the people that give the best auditions don't always get the part. Be yourself, work within your limitations, and have fun!

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: As to the presidency, the two happiest days of my life were those of my entry upon the office and of my surrender of it. Martin Van Buren

DISCUSS!: When was the last time you thought you blew an audition and landed the part anyway?

Have a great week!
"As to the presidency, the two happiest days of my life were those of my entry upon the office and of my surrender of it." Martin Van Buren
has an on-camera audition for ING in NYC today.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

had an audition for Awareness Audio Books in PA today.

Friday, August 28, 2009

had a great time listening to Trish Basanyi speak at a networking event last night. Go Trish!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

is going to a networking event in Whippany, NJ tonight. The guest speaker is my friend Trish Basanyi!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

is headed to Princeton for another recording session. Two days in a row, yeah!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

is heading to Princeton to narrate a video for Mercer County.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Hi! To read my quarterly voiceover newsletter “The Rognog”, please go to
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GKN Weekly Update 8/24/09

And a happy & slightly more temperate Monday to you!

So last week I got back on the cold-calling wagon. For those of you who are new to the GKN, I HATE cold calls!!! Half the time the receptionist has absolutely no idea what you're talking about and when they do you get the contact person's voice mail and most of the time they never call you back. AUGH! Very frustrating. Despite all this, cold calling does have merit:

First of all, it keeps you in touch with the industry. When is the busy season, when is it slow, what are the current trends, etc. Second, nothing can replace a one-on-one personal interaction. That's when you have an opportunity to make a positive, lasting first impression. Third and most important, it works. I've developed my client base largely from this and it landed me my first ever gig, the infamous Genital Herpes PSA!

TIP OF THE WEEK: here are a few cold calling tips...
1. Look in places like the Yellow Pages or online directories for potential contacts.
2. Try to find the name of a person in the company to ask for.
3. Be positive, be polite, and have a question prepared in advance so you can get your intent across quickly and professionally.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: There's only one me, and I'm stuck with him. Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

DISCUSS!: Do you cold call? If so, what techniques do you use to increase your chances of success?

Have a great week!
Quote of the Week: There's only one me, and I'm stuck with him. Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

Friday, August 21, 2009

My voiceover cold-call positive response rate is about 10%. Is that a good number?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

just made some cold calls to find voiceover work. What a feeling of accomplishment!

Monday, August 17, 2009

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GKN Weekly Update 8/17/09

Hello and wishing you a cool Monday!

So last night for the first time I watched the film "Everything's Jake" starring Ernie Hudson. It's a charming film about a homeless man who helps another man who's new to the streets that is more than he appears to be. It was shot in 2000 but took years to find distribution. I was an extra for a restaurant scene that was shot in Manhattan. This was the first movie I was ever in. (BTW a big thanks to Judy Keller Casting, who STILL calls me in for auditions!)

I was sitting at a table in the restaurant with three or four other actors watching the controlled chaos. I remember being fascinated by the huge white trucks lining the block, the miles and miles of cables, the crew bustling about getting everything set up, and of course my fellow extras. We were there for hours and hours. All this for one shot of one of the characters looking out the window looking lost in thought. Until that day I had no idea what goes into making a movie.

Nine years later, I've done my share of TV, film, and theater as both cast and crew. I gotta tell you, every time I step on a set I'm as excited as that day on the set of "Everything's Jake".

TIP OF THE WEEK: What we do is fun and exciting and a rare chance to be a part of something special. If you are one of the few who are fortunate to experience this on a regular basis, always remember to embrace it, cherish it, and pass along your wisdom to that new actor sitting next to you with the deer-in-the-headlights look. Count your blessings!

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Heaven will be no heaven to me if I do not meet my wife there. Andrew Jackson

DISCUSS!: Do you remember your first time on set or on stage? What was it like?
Quote of the Week: Heaven will be no heaven to me if I do not meet my wife there. Andrew Jackson

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Thanks to all my new connections on Facebook and LinkedIn!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

is heading to Princeton for yet another wonderful voiceover session!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

is heading to Full House Productions in NYC for an e-learning recording session.

Monday, August 10, 2009

(link fixed) Check out the Adopt A Cat PSA I narrated at
check out the Adopt A Cat PSA I narrated at

GKN Weekly update 8/10/09

Holy Hot Scorch-your-face-off Day! It is brutal out there.

Over the weekend I narrated a tutorial for Ebsco Host, an online library. I seem to get a lot of those. Online tutorials, I mean. Apparently, I have the right sound for it. Ten years ago that kind of job didn't even exist! Weird, huh?

Anyway, it got me thinking. What exactly is my sound? Why do I get mostly e-learning work and almost no commercial work? I'm not exactly sure. If I had to guess, I'd say I have an energetic, young, friendly, guy-next-door sound. But that sound should get you commercial work, right?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. I love the work I do and the gigs I get. It's just that I would have never guessed that almost all my voice over work comes from the e-learning niche.

TIP OF THE WEEK: Find your sound. Not the one you want to have or think you have, YOUR sound!

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: . . . as long as the heart beats, as long as body and soul keep together, I cannot admit that any creature endowed with a will has need to despair of life. Jules Verne

DISCUSS!: What is your sound? Is it different than what you thought it was when you started your voice over career?

Stay cool, my friends!
Quote of the Week: ". . . I cannot admit that any creature endowed with a will has need to despair of life." Jules Verne
donated clothes and my old computer to Goodwill today and bought "Lars and the Real Girl" on DVD for $2.19. Charity has many rewards!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

just narrated an online library tutorial for Ebsco Host!

Friday, August 7, 2009 Great review of me!
will be in NYC on Tuesday for a recording session at Full House Productions. I may be free for lunch...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

is going to Princeton for a recording session with a special guest: my mom! She's visiting from Florida. Say hello, everybody!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Monday, August 3, 2009

Check out my new blog post at!
Quote of the Week: The circulation of confidence is better than the circulation of money. James Monroe

GKN Weekly Update 8/3/09

Good evening!

I hope everyone stayed as dry as they could this weekend. We had some serious thunderstorms!

First I want to welcome our newest Good Karma Network members: Meghan Donathan, Veronica Alsina, Monica Delgado, Ydaiber Orozco, and Ken Weingart. We're glad to have you!

Last week was quite an adventure! I was tasked with casting four roles for three different voiceover projects. One of the roles was scrapped by the client, one was cast by a non-GKN member, and one has yet to be cast. The great news is that the fourth role was filled by our own Trish Basanyi! Congratulations on being selected.

I had a rather interesting on-camera audition last week for CNN. It was part scripted and part improvised. The first take went extremely well and was pretty funny. The second take was even funnier but my acting partner decided to use profanity. Even though it was used to great effect, I wasn't sure if it was appropriate. I had to run with it regardless, using the Golden Rule of Improvisation: "Yes, and...". For those of you who don't know, "Yes, and..." means that if you are performing an improvised scene and a fellow performer asks you or presents you with something, you are supposed to agree with it and build upon it.

TIP OF THE WEEK: Improvisation is a very tricky thing. Part of the magic is that nobody knows what will happen next. That means is has the potential to get out of control. Was the profanity too much? If it was onstage and it was a general audience i.e. there could be children out there it would be inappropriate. For a closed door on-camera audition? I guess it depends on the attitude of the viewer. My advice would be to avoid profanity, politics, religion, sex, etc. whenever possible. That is, unless you strike comedy gold. See the problem here...?

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: The circulation of confidence is better than the circulation of money. James Monroe

DISCUSS!: Have you ever been in an improv situation that got out of hand? How did you handle it?

Have a great week!