Monthly Newsletter

Issue # 88

   May 2012   


Date Change  

Making It M.I.N.E has been extended to June 13 as there will not be a class on May 23.


Upcoming Classes
All 2012 Classes


TV Tags & National Reads  -  5/1-8


Preparing For A Demo  -  5/2-9


Narration Simple  -  5/4-5


Home Recording  I  -  5/10

Long Form Narration  -  5/12-19


ADR/Looping I  -  5/14


Small Group Workout  -  5/15


Making It M.I.N.E.  -  5/16 - 6/13  


Home Recording II -  5/17


Auditioning Tips & Tricks  -  5/20


Marketing Wizardry  -  6/2-3


Toy Voices  -  6/5/12


Articulatory Flexibility  -  6/7-8


Dialects I  -  6/9-10


Dialects II  -  6/11


Long Form Narration II: Docs  -  6/11-25


Small Group Workout  -  6/12 


Intro: Starting Out  -  6/16 


Classes often sell out. Register early!    

Summer Fast Track

This July/August, we're running our 8th annual Summer Fast Track. This is an opportunity to take three of the Core Curriculum tracks in 23 days - Commercial, Character and Narration. Visit Summer Fast Track for complete details. 


Commercials  -  July 21-29, Aug 3   


Characters  -  July 30 - Aug 5   


Narrations  -  Aug 6-12 


Take one class, one track, mix and match - it's up to you.


Reservations are now open!



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Perfect pitch, accents and characters.

You know those actors who can just switch from one voice to another without taking a beat: people who play four voices on a single cartoon or game, impressionists and sketch comedians? Are they musical prodigies with perfect pitch? Is there any hope for me if I was not born that way?


Well, some people certainly seem to be natural-born mimics, but psychologists are still debating the nature/nurture question. That debate is similar to the debate about 'perfect pitch' - the ability to recognize and reproduce a tone in isolation without also having to hear a reference note. There is a lot of misinformation out there about perfect pitch, just as there is for speech talent. First, few great musical performers have perfect pitch. Second, there is no strong evidence of a genetic basis for perfect pitch, though it seems to be found even in people who do not have the training to name notes using in traditional terms. Some recent studies have suggested that infants normally start out with perfect pitch, but that some lose it along the way. Although there is no strong evidence that perfect pitch can be restored once lost, there is some evidence that phonetic training, especially articulatory training, may improve an adult's ability to master a foreign language accent. Phonetic training appears to be very effective in helping actors hone accents and impressions in their own language. Given that, talent at imitating voices appears to be trainable, unlike perfect pitch.


Certainly, we have all seen great character performances with full-blown accents. We have all also seen great impressions of politicians and celebrities. However, when you measure impressions against their target voices acoustically, it turns out that the impressions are usually not perfect replicas of the original voice, but primarily exaggerations of the most recognizable aspects of a voice.


I deal with these issues in my dialect workshops. We start by building a phonetic 'toolbox'. Then, we work through phonetic imitation of every aspect of the voice of real speakers - imitations that are much more true to the original than a typical comedic impression. From those imitations, we build voice types (accents), and create novel characters that are vivid, consistent and fun to play. This technique works great for people who are already good at doing voices, but also for actors who have previously hit a wall when trying to morph their voice in any consistent way, especially with dialect parts. The voices that come out can be very believable. In fact, many actors have walked out of five days of intensive dialect training with new, demo-ready voices, even actors who always thought they could never pull off dialects.

Doug Honorof teaches a series of classes on Accents & Dialects at Voice One between Thursday, June 7 and Monday, June 11.

Look Who's Talking

Mic Small
Congrats to all who've recently landed agents and jobs. Send us your good news and we'll add it to next month's Newsletter.     

* Pierce Brandt
recorded a promo for ABC Family TV and a commercial for Ace Hardware - both airing on Pandora Radio.

* Alexandra Matthew shot an "Earth Day" industrial for Safeway.

* Jeff Sun was an on-camera talent in an industrial for VMware and is filming a web series called Help! I'm Alive.     

* Meghan Weimer recorded VO's for GlobalEnglish, the Breast Cancer Fund, the Goldman Environmental Prize, and Interactyx. She also worked on a short film, The Queer Specimen with Rossana Schneider.

Jonathan Murphy recently recorded the Announcer role for Great America's new live show, 'The Magic Hat'.  

* Keri Fishman recorded an ad for Temptations Kitty Treats.

* Sharon Huff recorded another couple of 30 second spots for Haven Hospice.

* Just weeks after signing with Tonry Talent, Owen Walker landed his first paying gig - a narration for On Lok.   

* John Starr recorded a VO for the Healdsburg International Short Film Festival.       

* Deborah May filmed a tv commercial for Aetna and completed an eLearning module narration for the Partnership for People with Disabilities in Virginia.



Sunday Drop-In Improv

Improv Improv1
Every Sunday 5:30-8:30pm.
$15 cash at the door.

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send a message to Improv Mailing List 

Voice One
Voice-Over > On-Camera > Improv > Casting > Audio Production 
665 Third Street, Suite 227  San Francisco, California 94107   
Tel: 415-974-1103  Fax: 415-974-1105