This past weekend was Combat Con @ Home, where everything was virtual on account of the pandemic. I was skeptical at first, wondering how in the world the costume contest and the Exhibit Hall would work out, but the panels for one turned out quite well. I watched several about upcoming and current shows, and several about voice acting.
“Cartoon Voice Acting” is one I watch every year, with Mark Evanier and his chosen panel of voice actors, many who whom got started with him. He said — and I’m quite inclined to agree — that cartoon voice actors are the funniest and most brilliant people around. This year’s read was “Little Red Riding Hood” and it certainly didn’t disappoint. There was also a panel on “Getting Into Voice Acting” where the actors talked a lot about recording from home, which quite a lot have been doing lately, their spaces and equipment, and about “being ready when the opportunity arrives, no matter what it is.” It amazes me all the different paths that people came into their careers of voice acting, from previously being screen writers or stand-up even to things not voice related. Yet they all wound up here because they were ready and followed opportunities. I want to be ready for anything that may come my way!
I’ve been reading Dee Bradley Baker’s Iwannabeavoiceactor.com site and among all the information is a section on “Working from Home,” as is the growing trend across the board. Perhaps this could create more opportunities, particularly for people like me who really want to get more work in VO but do not want or cannot move to L.A. I hope it would…
Recently this year I recorded a trilogy of YA fantasy audiobooks called “Chronomancer and the Time God.” “Book 1: Death of a Paradise” and “Book 2: Betrayal in the Regan Woods” are both already out on Audible, Amazon and iTunes, but “Book 3: The Champions of Rael” has yet to be released, but it now shows on Audible, so hopefully it will be there soon!
I recorded for my first audiodrama recently too! A friend wrote “Rise of the Shattered Sun,” a futuristic dystopian world where cybernetics are common. The Podcast for Episode 1 is now live!
I’ve finally filmed my first ever music video! This is something I’ve been wanting to do for a very long time, many years in fact. This is a re-edited and final version released on YouTube, where the sync is better than the first version. Next video I’ll remember to bring my speaker so I can play it louder to hear it better. Please share this video!
I was in Las Vegas for Combat Con, a large convention encompassing classes in HEMA (Historical European Martial Arts), and classes in stage and film combat. It was amazing, information overload, exhausting, and exhilarating. I even (sort of) won the costume contest at the Ball on Saturday night, which was pretty cool, in my home-made Repunzel gown, with my little Pasqual the chameleon.
I met several of the same authors I’d met at Combat Con last year, and we chatted about books, writing, characters and such. I also attended a panel on editing fight scenes, which was very informative as far as the thinking process and creative tools and ideas that can and should be employed to edit an amazing fight.
I ended the weekend with a fabulous 4-hr long Master class in Bullwhip with Anthony de Longis and Mary de Longis. Anthony is THE GUY to learn Bullwhip from, having taught Harrison Ford and many other actors to be a baddass with the whip on screen. I also purchased their recent DVD set with all that info, plus the horse whip stuff, autographed.
Now, after spending the night at the airport and returning home to care for the animals and farm again, I must retire for the night. I’m exhausted.
Yesterday I attended a workshop with Pat Fraley on TV and Film documentary voiceover. It was great instruction and I found out how different it is from audiobooks! Rather than continuous, the pace is broken up as the visuals are shown to the viewer. Another difference is that with audiobooks the voice is the sole focus, the only thing the listener has, but in documentary, the voice is secondary, or even tertiary, to the visuals and sound. There is little to no “up-speak” at the end of phrases, allowing the narrator to “own it.”
There was even a special guest, besides the two main teachers, Pat Fraley and Kay Bess, veteran of documentary voiceover. Scott Brick, who is basically the King of audiobooks in America, was in the class, and directed the last round of recordings! It was amazing, and a bit strange, to watch him work as a peer rather than a teacher, doing a style of voiceover so different from his normal field of expertise.
I’ll be getting a new demo from this class from the scripts we read, a documentary demo, which I’ll be posting as soon as Pat sends it. Stay tuned!
On Saturday March 24th I attended WonderCon 2018 in Anaheim, CA. I met with several authors and publishing companies: Mythical Legends, Acorn Publishing, 7CsBooks, Genius Book Publishing, Deen Farrell, Michelle Lowe, Neo Edmund, and more. I also re-connected with authors I’d met before, including Matthew Wolf, Todd McCaffrey and the Winner Twins! I met R.A. Salvatore and discovered he and his family wrote a whole off-shoot campaign of Dungeons n Dragons (D&D), which they’ve been playing for years. Wow, and I’ve only dipped my toes into the world of D&D, and it’s massive.
I talked with the authors and publishers about getting their books into audio, and several were interested. Some already had audiobooks, some were looking for narrators, and some already had established narrators. I got a free download of Enemy Me from Mythical Legends, as they were giving out cards, and got a potential job prospect. After a few days, I wrote to each author and publisher I’d met and collected cards from to re-connect so they would remember me, and was rewarded when many of them wrote back! All in all, a very good day. I even have a new Patron on my Patreon creation site!
He says: “Anna Castiglioni brought the creepiness of the apartments to life! She captured the atmosphere perfectly and gave me chills. Her tones and voices were really easy to define and she gave each character their own personalities. She portrayed Olivia perfectly too!”
Lately I’ve been doing a lot of work on the game content I create for Skyrim. One character is getting a complete re-voiceover, focusing on better acting, more authentic accent, and uniformity of pitch and volume. I tell you, being an audiobook narrator has taught me a few things about consistency, both in performance, and in post-production!
This mod update will be available Friday September 1, 2017, on the Nexus!