I’m sitting in seat 2A of Delta Flight 4181 heading for Buffalo. We’re cruising along at 20,000ft and as I wave so long to the breathtaking New York City skyline, I’m reflecting on a weekend I’ll always remember.
If you read my previous blog (It’s Commercial Demo Weekend With Uncle Roy), you’re aware of the story of how I came to record my demo with Uncle Roy. Now that the recording is complete, I’m reminded of how wise a decision it was to choose Uncle Roy in the first place, over all the other options out there to get a demo done.
It’s An Experience!
With Uncle Roy, you don’t just record a demo. You have an experience… which is likely why he’s everyone’s favourite Uncle! Sure, when you’re done, you’ll walk away with one of his KILLER demos. But really, you bid farewell to Bloomfield, New Jersey blessed with so much more!
Beyond a demo, I needed a confidence boost. I’ve built this incredible voice over business for myself. I’ve experienced success in ways I never knew in a 20 year career in radio and television. I’m earning more money, having fun more, and living more life than I never did before. Still, somewhere deep inside of me there’s always been a small voice that had me questioning. Doubting.
Dealing With Self Doubt
“Am I good enough?”
No matter what I seemed to do, I couldn’t shake that voice. Even as I booked new work, signed new clients and coached others to new levels of success, in quiet moments alone in my studio, sometimes I’d doubt myself and my ability.
“You’re good enough for these voice overs, but not those.”
“You can only do these genres, not those.”
Coaching others to think positively is part of my business, but I’ll be the first to tell you, it’s not always easy to do.
When I walked into the WhisperRoom at Antland Productions, I was nervous, timid and unsure of myself.
When I walked out at the end of the day, I was inspired, encouraged and, most importantly, confident. Credit to Uncle Roy.
How Did I Do That?
Don’t ask me how – I’ve yet to figure it out and may never – but, somehow, he pulled reads out me I had no idea I had. Reads I’d never delivered since recording my first voice over in 1995!
When I told him I couldn’t, he’d push back. Not aggressively, but gently, with humour and, dare I say, a little love. He knew just how to coach and direct to stretch me in a way that challenged me to find a voice I’d not previously discovered. Not a character, to be clear. Rather, my own voice. Used to it’s fullest potential.
Even his wife Cheryl, while sitting around the table in the “train room,” chimed in to challenge me. “I think you should have him read the Polo spot,” she said to Uncle Roy.
“What’s the polo spot,” I inquired?
“It’s a sophisticated, cool, sexy read.”
“Yeah, I definitely don’t have an ounce of that in me!”
“We’ve already got too much material,” Uncle Roy pointed out.
I Told You So!
In the booth, I fought it (like in this outtake clip). Those deep down seeds of doubt seeking a little light. Uncle Roy paid me and my protests no mind. Cheryl said we should do the spot. We were doing the spot.
It took a while. It wasn’t pretty. God bless Uncle Roy, who may be the most patient man on the planet. Even after a full day of recording all the scripts they’d prepared for me, delivering styles I’d never delivered before, at 9pm, we we’re back at it finding something else in me.
The next day I sent Uncle Roy a text. “Tell Cheryl she can say, ‘I told you so.’”
When the final demo is delivered, I may not recognize myself; unquestionably though, I’ll be proud of myself!
Yes, there was recording. There were plenty of laughs (XLR Condom, anyone?). People following our adventures on Facebook may have questioned if we were actually doing any work at all!
So Much More Than Just Talking Into A Can
There was Chinese food like I’d never tasted from Wo Hop. Sign me up for more French Toast bagels with fried eggs. Mouth-watering thin crust pizza and Shrimp Parm Heroes will most certainly bring me back to Bloomfield! Authentic New York Cheesecake has probably ruined all other cheesecake for me.
Pez breaks happened frequently. If you’ve recorded at Uncle Roy’s you’ll get this. If you haven’t, go and you will!
I stood in awe of an Emmy trophy, and posed for a photo with it. When I sent my brother-in-law a picture of an original animation cell from a Cookie Crisp commercial Uncle Roy worked on, Uncle Roy became his hero too.
Melissa Exelberth is the best parallel parker I’ve ever had the pleasure of driving with. Like! A! Boss!
I drove over the Brooklyn Bridge and the George Washington Bridge. I saw the sites in Manhattan. If there’s a more spectacular skyline than NYC at night, I’d like to see it.
Who wouldn’t want to ride in a ’38 Plymouth? Heads turn on every street corner, from every store window. People gawk in awe. They smile. Wave. Nod their heads in approval. I felt like a king!
Yes, recording a demo with Uncle Roy is indeed an experience.
An experience that transformed me into a voice actor, not just a voice talent.
Need a demo? Coaching? Seriously… call Uncle Roy! Visit antlandproductions.com