Sunday, January 22, 2012

Link Update!

Hey kids!

The link in the previous post is all kinds of broken & stuff. You can now follow the Good Karma Network at and lick on Blog so you can read (or ignore) it to your heart's content.

Thanks and keep the good karma flowing!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Blog Update

I will no longer be posting the Good Karma Network Weekly Update here. You can now find it at:

Please subscribe to the RSS feed or you can read it on WordPress, Twitter, MySpace, Facebook, or Yahoo! Groups.


Monday, March 7, 2011

GKN Weekly Update 3/7/11

Happy Windy, Flood-Warning Monday!

Be careful out there guys. It's pretty gnarly out there today!

I, like most people, love to be needed. It's good for the ego as well as the soul. When I am called upon for advice by my peers it makes happy to know I can help. With that in mind, this morning I got a lovely email from my dear friend & fellow GKN member Christina Rodriguez, asking for tips on how to turn a new client into a regular client. That's a good question! We had a great chat and I hope it helped. I only wish there was some way I could share it with you. You know, put it in some part of my blog that's designed to pass along advice. Hmm...

TIP OF THE WEEK: When you land a gig with a new client, try to connect with them on a site like Facebook or LinkedIn, if you think it's appropriate, that is. It’s rare they don’t have one of those accounts and don’t want to connect. Say something like, “Do you mind if I send you a LinkedIn invitation so we can easily stay in touch?” Then make sure your status updates show a steady stream of auditions and bookings. Even if you have a slow week, post about new equipment, websites you discovered, anything just to show you’re immersed in your craft and moving forward.

Also, I think it’s critical to have a quarterly newsletter, even if it’s just a simple email you send to all of your contacts.

Here’s another trick. I save every job submission done via email and once in a while send a follow-up letter to all of them just to say hi. I did it recently and I got more than a few auditions as a result. Once I go through all of them, I save the new responses and delete the emails of the contacts who didn’t respond, then I do it again a few months later.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: I am so sick of people taking out their insecurities on me. from the film American Beauty

STUFF!: This is most likely my last Good Karma Network Weekly Update sent via Blogger. My WordPress account should be up & running by next week. I don't know diddly-squat about WordPress so forgive me if things get a little weird. I'm also going to stop posting it in so many places. Most likely just WordPress, Facebook, and Yahoo Groups. For those of you who read this in other venues, I encourage you to subscribe to the three venues I just mentioned or pick up the RSS Feed. Thanks!

From Tom Dheere's apartment, this is Tom Dheere, GKN News...

Monday, February 28, 2011

GKN Weekly Update 2/28/11

Happy post-Oscar Day! Did your favorites win? Not only did I forget to print up one of those voting sheets to track my picks, I almost forgot about the Oscars entirely. All I got to say is: Nine Inch Nails won an Oscar!!!

So, last week was very cool in my world, technologically speaking. Allow me to elaborate...

I got studio monitors! The ever-spiny Phillip Banks recommended the Alesis M1 Active 250 but they were out of stock at Guitar Center (BTW that's where I get all my studio equipment and they have never steered me wrong). Instead I got the Tascam VL-M3. They were on sale and I love them. I've always had PC speakers and they make a world of difference!

I downloaded a new Internet Browser called Rockmelt. This thing rocks! (get it?) This browser is geared online toward social networking and it has a bunch of great little features towards that end. This was recommended to me by my buddy Morgan Barnhart. Thanks, Morgan!

Here is the big news: I'm getting a new website!!! It will still be but it will be powered by Wordpress and have a completely new look. This here blog will also be hosted by the website. Remember how I posted a little while back about how inefficient my blog posting is? Well, no more! A big thanks to Jessalyn Coolbaugh for all her hard work. The new site should be up & running in a few weeks.

TIP OF THE WEEK: I'm not a real tech-savvy person in general. I'm better at teaching people how to use stuff than to use it, actually. My parents were teachers and I was a corporate restaurant trainer for many years so I guess it comes naturally. I was given a great piece of advice when it comes to learning new things, which gets harder and harder as we get older: learn with the intent to teach. It completely changes how you process new information! You find yourself not just mindlessly sucking in data just so you can belch it all over a test a few days later in hopes of getting a good grade. It forces you to listen, truly listen (remember last week's Tip?) This will be my approach when I have to figure out how to use Wordpress in a few weeks. Wish me luck...

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: I swore I'd live above myself. Gabriel Byrne as Dean Keaton in the Usual Suspects

STUFF!: The GKN Update is coming at you a little late today since I was watching my darling Asha all day. She is the best-behaved little girl I have ever encountered, and she STILL trashed my place like Axel Rose at a hotel party!

From Tom Dheere's fershimmeled apartment, this is Tom Dheere, GKN News...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

GKN Weekly Update 2/22/11

Happy President's Day! Wow, that's two weeks in a row I didn't have to make up a holiday...

Sorry I'm late. I was recording for the bulk of yesterday then I went monitor shopping. I got a set of Tascam VL-M3 monitors. I haven't hooked them up yet but I'll let you know how they sound.

So yesterday I recorded two short audio books: Eight Miles and Under the Moons of Venus. Eight Miles takes place in 1840's London and the protagonist tells the story in the first person. Other characters in the story have different accents, most notably Upper Class British and French. I asked the engineer if I should give the other characters their own accents, even though the same guy is telling the story. She said I should for two reasons:

1) To make it easier for the listener to know who is speaking
2) It's more esthetically pleasing

So I did and it was pretty hard! Changing accents from one sentence to the next was very challenging. I hope it came out alright...

TIP OF THE WEEK: When I took my lunch break from the session, I had a Snapple and the Snapple Fact under the cap said, "It takes an interaction of 72 different muscles to produce human speech." That sounds like a lot of work! It actually takes far more effort than that to produce EFFECTIVE human speech. I'm not just talking about an audio book where it takes preparation, technique, breath control, etc. I mean taking the time to craft real thoughts that inform, enlighten, entertain, soothe, and inspire.

I've noticed lately there are a lot of VO online forums, groups, clubs, etc. where almost everybody feels the need to chime in just to feel like they're part of something when they have no idea what they're talking about. They often embarrass themselves and hurt other people's feelings. The "flaming" that's been going on recently has been very damaging to the voice over community and it concerns me.

Here is some advice to everybody, not just VO folks, and this is coming from a guy who loves to babble all day: if you can't contribute positively to a conversation, whether it's at a cocktail party or on a forum, zip it. Just listen. Listen, listen, listen. Listening is everything. You'd be AMAZED at the stuff you can learn about yourself, others, and the world around you if you spend more time listening and less time preparing to blurt out your own opinion.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Every time you argue with your wet blanket, you lose. Sally Johnson

STUFF!: I saw "Taxi Driver" for the first time in about 15-20 years. What a freaky, disturbing, brilliant movie! If you want to watch a genius of an actor portraying a man slipping into insanity, this is the film to watch.

From Tom Dheere's apartment, this is Tom Dheere, GKN News...

Monday, February 14, 2011

GKN Weekly Update 2/14/11

Happy Valentine's Day! Look at that, I didn't have to make up a holiday...

Today's GKN update is coming a bit late in the day because I was recording for about five hours. I narrated the first of five stories for "Top Ten Tales of Science Fiction 3", courtesy of Allan Kaster and the great people at Infinivox. Today's story was 77 pages long. I'm pooped! Narrating audio books wipes me out. The energy and focus required to sit still for all that time, speaking clearly and at a proper pace, and keeping all the characters distinct is considerable. Man, I wouldn't trade it for anything! Audio books are my absolute favorite form of voice work.

TIP OF THE WEEK: Being a voice actor is my dream job. The funny part is that I didn't know it until I was well into it! Like most people, it was the abstraction of the career that appealed to me at first. Talk for money? Hell, I can do that! When I actually started doing it and discovered how hard voice acting is and was told what the odds are of making it, that's when it became a dream job. A real challenge that I knew I could meet, though for many years I didn't know how to meet it. It took me until the age of 35 to be truly successful in this field and happy as a human being. Coincidence...?

I talk to people all the time who are stuck in jobs they hate as a result of making a series of choices that put them there. So I ask them "What did you want to be?" and many have no idea or just some vague notion of doing something cool and highly profitable that apparently requires little or no effort (BTW that's the curse of the VO industry!). Some of them, however get a wistful look in their eyes and say "You know? Everybody always told me I was good at X, but I just never applied myself..."

Unless it's something that's beyond your physical capabilities or natural talents, it is NEVER too late! It's just a matter of how hard & long you're willing to work at it to make it happen. That's why they have night classes, summer courses, online courses, student loans, etc. If you really, truly want to do something different with your life, you can make the time for it and find the resources necessary. Now get out there and be what you've always wanted to be!

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: There is no fight when you go to your dream. Sally Johnson

STUFF!: I want to wish everyone out there a very Happy Valentine's Day. I know it's a goofy, made-up, over-commercialized holiday, but the take the time to tell the people in your life how much you love them. It makes a big difference when they actually hear it!

From Tom Dheere's apartment, this is Tom Dheere, GKN News...

Monday, February 7, 2011

GKN Weekly Update 2/7/11

Happy Post-Super-Bowl Party-I-Lost-My-Shirt-In-The-Box-Pool Day! I hope every had a good time and a safe drive home.

So, I was at my friend's Super Bowl party for what I think is the tenth year in a row, whooping it up, then I realize I'm halfway through my third beer. I said out loud "Crap! It's a school night." (yes, I got some strange looks from my friends, but I'm used to that by now!), poured the rest of the beer out, and grabbed a soda. Why, do you ask? Was it because I didn't want to have too much to drink and then drive? That was part of it, but I was eating a lot and I know my limit and it was early so I had plenty of time for it to wear off. The other reason is that beer dries my voice out and I have two recording sessions today. I lose that young, energetic sound that gets me the majority of my gigs and I didn't want to risk sounding "off".

Why are some voice actors able to smoke, drink, etc. and they sound great whilst I, the gentle flower, can't have so much as a second glass of wine the night before and I sound like Hervey Fierstein? Is it genetic? Is my voice not in good shape? Do I need to do a particular kind of exercise to stave off the effects of shouting, alcohol? Does such an exercise exist?

TIP OF THE WEEK: Many times I have quoted the Chinese proverb, "One disease, long life. No disease, short life." It means know your limitations and work within them. It takes time, observation, and objectivity to know what you can and cannot do. Learn to look at yourself, I mean really look at yourself, to know what your strengths & weaknesses are and work with them, not against them.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Never complain and never explain. Benjamin Disraeli

STUFF!: BTW I did the first recording session this morning and I sounded fine. My next recording session is in Midtown Manhattan at 4:00 PM. When I'm done I'm free for dinner! If you want to get together either write me at or give me a buzz at 973.216.3808. There a bunch of great places by the studio I'll be at. It would great to hang out!

From Tom Dheere's apartment this is tom Dheere, GKN News...