A little earlier today I took part in my first training class with Nancy Wolfson. Part of this initial class was her evaluation of my main commercial demo. Now, first a little context.
Near the end of the teleseminar presented by Nancy Wolfson and Anna Vocino, a few weeks ago, Nancy was given a demo submitted by one of the participants of the teleseminar. She offered a live, no-holds-barred evaluation of the demo and it was very direct, very honest and (for the lady whose demo was featured) very tough to hear, I’m sure. Especially since the first, very direct, critique happened only 4 seconds into the demo playback.
So, I had prepared myself that I would likely have a similar experience today. We said hello and almost immediately got into the demo evaluation. I could hear over the phone line as Nancy started playing my demo. 4 seconds in and she hadn’t stopped for anything yet. 10 seconds. 20 seconds. 30 seconds. 50 seconds. 60 seconds and it had played all the way through, without stopping. Nancy’s exact words at this point?
She played the demo a second time. Again, no stopping. Her exact words?
So I said, “I hope that’s a good wow?”
“Yes! You have to promise me something.”
“Don’t spend a nickel fixing that demo.”
To say that I was amazed and stunned is a major understatement. Here I was, all keyed up for a severe time in the woodshed and instead, compliments. And from a teacher for whom I already had a huge amount of respect because of all the things that my friends Blaine Parker and Kristine Oller had told me about what an excellent teacher Nancy is. As I type this, I’m still tingling from the pleasant shock.
So that was the first 5 to 10 minutes of our 50 minutes. We then talked about some of my background and work. I told her about my excellent experiences with my current agents (The Talent Group in Pittsburgh and Cleveland) and eventually I asked Nancy about looking for additional agents as I search for more voiceover work. I told her how terrible I usually am on the phone and she said “Good, because that’s not what you want to be doing.”
She then told me that she never does this (Her words, “OK, actually I’ve done it once before.”) and then she emailed me an audition opportunity with an agency in Denver. Which I have, of course, already recorded, (carefully following the directions for slating, file naming and emailing) and have sent along to that agency. I may be a little slow at times, but I’m not stupid. When a rare opportunity pops into my pathway, I’m going to grab it and run with it. Which is just what I’ve done.
Now, does this mean I’ve arrived and I can just sit back and wait for people to pile sacks of money at my door? Of course not. But, in the last few years one of the key ingredients I’ve learned that we voiceover people need is confidence. The certainty that we can, in fact, deliver the goods when we’re called on to do so. Today’s experience with Nancy has given me a huge boost of confidence. Huge.
So, what does this mean for you? Well, I certainly can’t promise an identical experience in your first class with Nancy that I had. But, if you’re serious about pursuing voiceover work, I already believed that Nancy Wolfson is the person with whom you should study. And have written about that here before. Everything that happened today just reinforced that conviction. Here’s the single biggest reason: because Nancy isn’t just about teaching voiceover techniques, though you’ll get plenty of that. She takes an overarching approach to starting a voiceover business.
Then, it’s up to you. And yes, that means it’s up to me, too.