Ask a Casting Director

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Ask a Casting Director

I've cast hundreds of computer games and directed thousands of actors. Voice acting is much more demanding than voice overs. Happy to help anyone interested.

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Get Skype, Yousendit and FTP

Started by Lani Minella. Last reply by Lani Minella Jan 31, 2012. 2 Replies

Character demo for games, cartoons etc

Started by Sini Manner. Last reply by Lani Minella Nov 15, 2011. 5 Replies

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Comment by James Eastman on July 23, 2010 at 8:39am
Video games are one of the hottest industries as thousands of copies are sold on average to teens and adults at $50 to $60 a pop! That's a chunk of change! For the last 7 years I've voiced independently produced cgi/animated movies and would one day love to have the opportunity to do a successful video game. How cool would that be! Definitely on my 'bucket-list'. ~ James
Comment by Daniel Wallace on April 22, 2010 at 8:12am
Hi ya Lani. Was thinking about you and decided to stop by and say hi. Hope to see you at Voice. I'll be in one of the blue t-shirts. :)
Comment by Mike Coon on March 17, 2010 at 3:36pm
Happy St. Patrick's Day all....just joined this group and read a couple of pages of recent comments. Regarding the "dry mouth" problem...I've used "Entertainer's Secret" spray to get me through dry times during recording sessions. It's commercially available, has an apple taste and really does the trick! I just uploaded a video clip of a promo that's now running on cable in San Jose for the local reperatory theater. (If you get really bored, please check it out....I'd appreciate any feed back!) This was a gig I landed by not giving up on networking activity. My $0.02...always follow up with potential clients you meet if you don't hear from them every 3 months or so!
I look forward to learning more from y'all! Mike
Comment by Nicole Cabell on March 8, 2010 at 6:57pm
Hi everyone, I am new to the group as well. I am enjoying VU immensely.
Comment by Sean Crisden on February 23, 2010 at 3:23pm
Lani, I see you subscribe to what I call the "Phil Collins" school of performance. I read an interview with him once where he said that he rarely if ever does any vocal warm ups before a show. I applaud that ability! I still stick with a 10 minute routine of facial stretching, vocalizing and general tomfoolery that I used in my 10 years of being the lead singer of the rock band Divided Sky. Perhaps out of habit, perhaps out of my need to make what appears to the casual observer to be my best facial imitation of a gorilla in heat.

I am going to have to check out your Diet Coke vs. mouth noise match up. I also find that water doesn't always do the job well enough, no matter how much I've downed that day. I have had some success with warm Throat Coat tea on longer audiobook sessions, but still can fall prey to the occasional snap, crackle and pop. Its typically the middle of my tongue in contact with the roof of my mouth that makes for a nice "ok, lets get that last line again".
Comment by Lani Minella on February 20, 2010 at 4:38pm
Here's another suggestion about what to drink during sessions to avoid mouth noise. Everyone has their preferred potion, but I find if I drink water, it flushes out the natural slime coating and I get a lot more ticks or clicks and my throat feels actually drier and drier as I proceed. Diet Coke is my choice, but anything that has a slight bit of syrup, sugar or artificial sweetener in it is worth a try. Apples never did a thing for me concerning mouth noise, but theoretically the sugar in the apple could temporarily help provide a quick coating. Trust me, water can be guzzled by the gallon and any mouth noise you get rid of may soon return. Not trying to push soda on anyone, but I've been relegated to water after I run out of my Diet Coke, and I find myself drying out and having to drink more and more water in shorter spurts.
Another tip, if you use lip balm, lipstick or something somewhat sticky on your lips and this causes noise or lip smack, simply lick your lips frequently and also don't close your mouth completely after saying a word (unless the word ends in an "m") If you can leave your lips parted before beginning a new word, you won't have to worry about "lip smack."
Comment by Lani Minella on February 20, 2010 at 4:30pm
To be honest with you Sean, I don't warm up at all. Sometimes I cough or talk loudly or do a long loud Haaaah just to get the dust and mucous out, but I've never done some of the ridiculous looking and sounding warm up exercises I've seen others do. Whatever floats one's boat is ok with me. I have other tricks I've taught in classes or coaching that get you instantly through difficult or fast reads.
Just moving and contorting your face and lips quickly to wake them up is good. AND ALWAYS READ YOUR SCRIPTS aloud the night before.
Comment by Sean Crisden on February 14, 2010 at 2:36pm
Agreed all around. I keep a handy list of all of my favorite warm up exercises in my iPhone. Its also convenient to add new ones that I stumble upon and have them ready for easy access. Now, the challenge then is to either arrive early and warm up while parked, (you DO arrive at auditions early right???) or risk life, limb and odd stares by warming up as you're driving. If you catch public tansportation, depending on the city you live in you will either be ignored, threatened or arrested : )
Comment by Bill Sleeper on February 12, 2010 at 8:10pm
Thank you Lani!

It's a real treat to have an experienced professional validate what I thought might be the right way!

Your sage advice and tips are most appreciated!
Bill
Comment by Kevin Scollin on February 12, 2010 at 8:04pm
Lani,
Great advice...common sense...but not very common these days!
 

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