In this issue:

Sept is National Voice-over Appreciation

Vetting Member Applications

Peer Review Responsibilities

How to sign up to

New Members

SaVoa Newsletter:
September 1, 2010


Whereas Voice Over talent live and work in communities everywhere across the globe, supporting their families and their cities and towns with their talents...

Whereas Voice Overs ubiquitously and quietly contribute to many and varied sorts of original productions, benefiting businesses, advertisers, and consumers with their creativity...

Whereas the business of Voice Overs has grown, matured, developed, and achieved an indispensable status in the marketplace...

Whereas the community of Voice Over talent by and large comprise a most singular and exceptional hard-working support group for each other...

Whereas the abilities required to be a successful voice talent borrow from and demand proficiency in many endeavors (not the least of which are marketing, promotions, sales, bookkeeping, hardware, software and internet)...

And whereas Voice Over artists everywhere strive to elevate the status of their industry and their professional excellence to a higher standard...

...We Therefore, as the Executive Board of the Society of Accredited Voice Over Artists, do hereby declare September to be


Vetting Member Applications:

Greetings From The President

(, the last time I saw those words together, there was a Draft Number attached. Sorry for any unpleasant flashbacks. - rg)

It's only human when you've submitted your work and not gotten the fabulous response you expected, to wonder: WHY? (...or profanity to that effect.)

While the SaVoa members responsible for delivering good news/bad news try to be as objective and explanatory as possible, we understand there could still be some curiosity as to why some folks just don't make the grade.

Fortunately, I've been able to become your "fly on the wall" for a few of these decision-making sessions. And while SaVoa was never intended to be a teaching or coaching service, we thought it might help to share some actual evaluation comments. Maybe they can help you see some ways to improve your own promotional efforts or career development.

Here are some selected quotes from the Secret Files.

Some are based on Performance:

"...demo sounds like the same exact recording session with different beds behind it."

"I'm hearing small-market, jack-of-all-trades. The guy has been around the block, but...I'm not hearing seasoning or heavy pro sound."

"Sounds like the same thing on each demo."

Some are based on Technical drawbacks:

"A 'studio' that's a table-top with awesome logitech speakers and an awesome 48v power supply, a website with no demos, no clients... “ OMG, shoot me now!!!"

"...voice123page...crap equipment, “ dynamic mic, actually listing the mic stand, pop filter and Garage Band as 'equipment' probably means a newbie."

Some are faulted first for Presentation:

"...has a webpage that's buried inside another business' website and isn't even searchable..."

"...couldn't find any evidence of actual VO work, just coaching."

"...not finding a lot here other than one generic-sounding demo on [voice]123 and, a few self-inflating mentions on VU [Voicover Universe message board] and elsewhere, and a website that seems to showcase more than is really there."

"...found no VO at all on the site. My biggest problem with her was the experience difference between her application (11-15 years), her resume which doesn't support that, and her LinkedIn page showing 4 years."

(One quick note: please be aware that the comments citing a "Voice123 page" or aren't condemning the fact that the person is listed there, but that it seems to be the only web presence the applicant has. -rg)

And some, admittedly, for our collective sense of what constitutes being a Professional:

" more than a little concerned that this guy is kind of a 'dollar-a-holler' guy. Look at his rate wonder [he] works like crazy. that something we want to promote ...holding up industry standards that this guy's pricing quite obviously tears down? ...Yes, he's professional, but is he 'professional'?"

Then there's one of my absolute favorites:

"...she even says in one posting on Facebook: 'I haven't been in voiceover very long..."

But the Blue Ribbon Winner is:

"...[his] form was stopped by my anti-virus program."

Your biggest takeaway from this should be what more and more people presenting themselves or their work in public are finding out: the internet has made it possible to check up on you! So if you're claiming one thing, and there's no visible trail of evidence when someone looks ...guess what happens to your credibility.

The main reason SaVoa was created was to provide a reliable indicator which producers can use when looking for professional voice talent. That indicator is the SaVoa shield. Seeing that means the person whose name it is next to is a proven commodity, as attested to by other working professionals. Much like people rely on the UL symbol on an electrical appliance, or the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval on a household product, there's a certain level of excellence expected where the SaVoa shield is displayed. What you do above and beyond that is Value Added.

This, by its very nature, makes the group "exclusive". We're not trying to be snobs about it, but there are levels of expectation which our reviewers look for when anyone submits work for evaluation. It's our view that serious customers will want those standards from you as well. And when it comes right down to it, you should want them for yourself.

Does that mean you're no good if you don't get the nod? Not necessarily. Does it mean you're perfect if you do? Absolutely not. Even those of us who are, as Mark Twain put it, "approaching the Threshold of Age" are still looking for ways to improve or adapt our talents to better fit the marketplace. And it's always in flux.

So if you've been disappointed in a SaVoa evaluation that didn't turn out the way you wanted...or if you're honest enough to admit you're not living up to your own's by no means the final word.

But look at it this way: your potential clients aren't going to take the time to tell you why your submission didn't measure up.

They'll just delete you.

Peer Review Teams:

Each member has a responsibility for peer review - when called...

As SaVoa members, we want to encourage the growth of our organization by accepting and accrediting new members. Part of this process is both peer and technical review, which each of us had to undergo as a condition of certification by SaVoa. We have, in fact, included this in our bylaws:

SaVoa members shall strive to contribute to the development of SaVoa by participating in the governing of the organization through elections of any directors, officers, and committee members as may be set forth in the By Laws, or by accepting appointments to committees and panels for the development of peer review criteria and educational support, as well as to conduct actual peer review evaluations for accreditation.

From time to time, members will be approached by the SaVoa Admissions Committee to conduct Peer Reviews. If you receive a request from the SaVoa Admissions Committee to conduct a Peer Review, please reply promptly as to when you will be able to complete the review. It's best for all involved if we can conduct Peer Review quickly and efficiently. Generally, a Peer Review will only take 10 to 20 minutes of your time. As stated in our bylaws, refusal to conduct a Peer Review is grounds for dismissal from SaVoa. This is not meant to intimidate, however, ensuring everyone participates in Peer Review is the best way to have some small contribution from each member and not burden any one in particular.

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SaVoa welcomes new members:

10012 Bob Hurley, US,

10013 Susannah Kenton 107, New Zeland,

10014 Robert Andrew (Andy) Bowyer US,

10015 William J. Fike, US,

10016 Kristin Price, US,

10017 David McAlister, UK,

10018 Doug Turkel, US,

10019 John Woodlock, Canada,

10020 Gonzalo Moreno, Argentina,

10021 Elizabeth Chatsworth, US,

10022 Robert John Hughes, US, robertjohnhughes.html

10023 Stefan Margenfeld, Germany,

Thom Wilkins, for the Savoa Executive and Advisory Boards, SaVoa Advisory Board Chair, Savoa Board of Directors You are receiving this newsletter because you are an Accredited Voice Over Actor or Friend of SaVoa.

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