ASK JOE: Week 3 posted: May 27, 2008

Hey Gang....This week I'm on a plane to Washington, DC for my
nephew's wedding. So, these answers come to you from Seat 5E aboard
American Flight #144 which took off two hours late and since I won't
be arriving till after 1am, I'm wondering whether or not my rental
car will still be there or not :-)

Lets go to the mailbag....

Comment by Roy P. Cunningham
HI Joe...

Thank you for allowing folks to share in your experience(s)

I'd like to know what opportunities exist for imaginative individuals
like me? I play music, voice, sing, am very directable and in fact
was the initial announcer at Paramount for Star Trek Deep Space Nine
intros/ outros, etc...

At the time i was involved in a rather large loss of finances and
quite distressed... so I split L.A. after a particularly debauched
night at a local studio with a famous rock keyboardist.

I ran away to Portland where I've been on air at KBOO,,, helped
literally hundreds of small business people increase their
profitability and now I feel like I can "go back" to the SoCal venues
I really did enjoy as a guitarist and as a voice talent... OH... I
also had a radio show in SoCal on cable radio! It was actually quite
successful... (a fluke indeed...but folks really did listen...)

It's true...one can go back!... this time I have quite a lot of very
good pals in the industry at all levels of expertise and yes it
really is a true joy to help whenever one has the opportunity...

I'm a heck of good dishwasher!

Joe's reply:

Hi Roy, great note and great questions. You actually remind me of a
voice over friend who was a fantastic musician, singer, voice over
artist and had somewhat of a mischievous past. :-) If you don't
mind, let me take a moment to tell you about him. You may know him
or at least know "of him." His name was Michael Stull. Michael
first achieved fame, I guess you would call it, as a blues singer.
In fact if I remember correctly, he was considered as a replacement
for Jim Morrison at one point when the Doors were deciding what to do
now that Morrison had left for Paris. Michael was very talented. Of
course, his lifestyle was that of an blues artist, late nights...all
nights and so on. I don't know that as a fact, but I'm pretty sure
it's true and it may have something to do with his untimely passing
several years ago. In any case, from singing the blues he got into
singing commercial jingles and one of his most famous jingles lead
him to his very successful voice over career.

I guess it was the 70's and he sang the jingle for Yamaha
Motorcycles. His deep, raspy voice blasted out of radio and TVs from
coast to coast singing, "Yamaha...today is the day." At one of the
sessions the producer said, we need an announcer tag line for these
spots, but we want the announcer to sound like Michael, our singer.
I don't know if Mike spoke up or the producer said, "Hey Mike...give
this a read." But in any case, he did and a major voice over career
was launched. I haven't heard a voice like Michael's since. I'm
going to give Rick an MP3 of Michael's demo to post here on the site
so you guys can hear him. I worked with Michael at Fox for a number
of years and would bump into him a sessions several times a week all
over town. Those of you who know him, or know his work will enjoy
the trip back in time, not so long ago. Those of you who don't know
of Michael Stull...get ready to be amazed. My point in this story is
that a voice over career can be started any number of different
ways. Your patch to VO can be a winding road. :-)

And now back to you Roy. You do sound like an imaginative person.
Imaginative and determined. And those are two pretty good virtues to
have when building a voice over career. Along with the fact you've
got quiet a history to draw upon. A diverse history that will serve
you well, because you already know what it's like to have something
and then loose it. You are very aware of the differences between
being UP and being DOWN and that experience will focus your energies
on a positive outcome now and in the future. Don't you think? I do.

So, whether you come back to LA or not, because you can start your
voice over career again via SDN from Portland, I think this time
you'll be coming from a different perspective. To answer your
question, "what opportunities exist for imaginative individuals like
me." The world is at your feet. Michael Stull started a hugely
successful voice over career via his singing voice and his musical
talents. You possess several talents yourself. Use them ALL to move
your career forward. Call on your past contacts and get them your
new demos. I think the answer lies in using all of your talents and
working at it every day.

Best of luck.

Comment by Melanie Haynes 12 hours ago
Hi Joe,

Thanks so much for this Q&A. I'm wondering if you know whether any of
the better voice over agencies in NY or LA even consider representing
talent from other areas of the country? I know lots of established
clients are working via ISDN from home studios, but I'm not sure if
they're open to representing a new client (even one with years of
experience and ISDN) who does not live in LA or NY.

Joe's reply:

Hi Melanie....thanks for dropping by. It's a good question and
probably some agents would tell you that's not true, but I believe it
is. Some agencies don't quite "get" the ISDN thing yet. For some,
it's not even that they don't get it...it's just they don't want what
they consider to be a hassle. It isn't at all of course, but they
are resisting change, even this late in the ISDN game. There are
agents that just want their talent pool sitting on the sofa in the
lobby going over copy and auditioning in their booths. Sometimes
it's a control thing, many times it's because they feel they can get
the most out of their talent in an audition situation by having them
physically THERE in their booth.

I don't want to throw around agents names but I know for a fact of
one agent in New York, for example, who makes tons of money off of
his ISDN talents all over the country. He and his company embraced
the idea early on and probably has the best stable of ISDN high
profile talent who work in trailers, TV Network promos, syndication,
local television...and on and on. The talent he represents are
scattered all over the country.

It's something to ask point blank to an agent when you are
considering hiring them to represent you. Where do they stand with
YOU as an ISDN talent, living out of the market.

Comment by DC Goode
Thanks very much for the "Insta-Trailer" One of the most hilarious
things I've seen in a month of sundays! I noticed even Marc Graue put
it on his site....after I told him about it '-)

Joe's reply:

Hey DC....LOL. Insta-Trailer. What a kick that was to do. It's one
of the short films that trailer companies produce to run during the
Key Art Awards every year. You may remember one of the most famous
which is, "5 Men in a Limo" starring Don LaFontaine. That was done
several years before Insta-Trailer.

Insta-Trailer was produced by the trailer company, The Ant Farm in
Los Angeles three or four years ago. I got the job from an on-camera
audition. It wasn't that I got it because I did voice overs, in fact
they didn't really want to see me at first because I did do voice
overs but I think it was Mike Soliday, who worked at SBV at the time
that said, "You really should see Joe Cipriano for this." I only
learned later on that the role model for the character was this new
up and coming guy who was doing comedy pieces on the Daily Show. His
name was Steve Carell. I was told that after I auditioned, they said
"Screw Steve Carell, lets go with this guy." I'm not sure I believe
it, but that's what I was told :-)

We shot it at the Ant Farm facility and also at Disney Studios over a
two day period. They wanted to do it quick and much like a Saturday
Night Live sketch, with cue cards. I told them that I had no problem
taking the time to memorize the script and doing it right. I'm glad
I did, because it plays so much better this way.

Glad you like it. I get a smile whenever someone tells me they've
seen it. Thanks so much for telling Marc Graue about it. How cool
is that, to have it up on his site. Thank you.


Comment by Ladie Most 1 day ago
Hi Joe,

What's the best way to get gigs doing cartoon/animation shows and films?

Ladie Mo$t...

Joe's reply:

Hello Ladie Mo$t...thanks for stopping by. The best way to achieve
real success in animation is to be represented by a franchised agent
who reps other animation talent. These agents are on the call list
for all the animation producers and studios and while they look to
cast the "known" talent for the major studio releases, they are
always looking for the "next big thing." So, I would get your
animation demo all shined up and get it out to agents who have a
strong animation department. I know my agent in LA, SBV has a strong
animation presence. There are many others.

Best of luck.

That's it. We're on approach, its' 1:10am. Will my rental car still
be waiting for me? That and more next week. :-)

Tally ho.

P.S. The rental car was waiting and I got into the city by 3am. The
wedding was FANTASTIC and I'm back in LA. :-) Talk to you next week

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