By Dan Friedman
What an incredible honor it was to find out this week that I had been named one of the most influential voiceover writers for 2011 in a Voices123 survey. It is such a thrill to receive that kind of recognition. While I’m very grateful and appreciative, my goal has never been anything more than to provide helpful information that all of the people in our industry can enjoy, and hopefully use to their benefit.
For me, the most exciting part of this accolade is the company that I get to share it with. This is an amazing group of people, many of whom I’m proud to be able to call my friends. Each of them has written articles during this past year that have been inspirational and helpful to our community or that simply remind us to stop and think. I strongly encourage everyone reading this article to check out the blogs, newsletters and postings of all of these great voiceover talent and writers.
Along with a little tribute from me, I’ve put together a collection of what I consider to be, some of their most important pieces. This collection also includes a few great articles by some very talented guys that were not mentioned in the survey, but I believe what they’ve written… should not be missed.
For those of you listed here… I look forward to reading more from all of you in 2012!
While there are many helpful and kind people in this industry who are willing to share their secrets of success, I can’t think of anyone who demonstrates this kindness and shares more than Bob Souer. Bob truly is (as he says) the “second nicest guy in voiceover”. His “Invite the Avalanche” discussion at Faffcon is always a huge hit and now it is available on his blog. Thank you Bob!
Cliff Zellman’s article about “Branding vs. Positioning” is a must read. He wasn’t on the list but this article received a great deal of attention and positive feedback… read it and you’ll understand why. If you are new to the industry, or even if you’ve been around awhile, the concepts discussed here are essential to understand as you travel down this career path. Thank you Cliff!
Connie Terwilliger’s conversational style and years of experience make her blog postings both educational and relatable. She tells it like it is, and she is always thought provoking. This post encourages self-evaluation which, when performed, should help the reader make choices and ultimately focus on what is best for them. Thank you Connie!
I felt I would be doing a disservice by choosing only one article or series of articles from Dave Courvoisier. Dave’s blog is jam-packed full of information that is updated almost daily. When it comes to tech stuff, Dave is almost always one of the first to try out the newest gadgets and tell the rest of us about them. Thank you Dave!
Like Dave, I simply could not choose one article from Derek Chappell. Besides, providing great information throughout the year, Derek is currently challenging us with a fun and informative contest called Match Game where you match a voice talent to their demo. Not only is it fun, but it entices us to listen to some really good demos by some great voice artists. Be sure to stop by and take the challenge… you might even win a prize! Thank you Derek!
If Doug Turkel had only written one post all year, this post, which provides vital resources for voice artists would have been enough to get him included as an essential writer. His blog offers even more, but years of experience and a great deal of research went into this article and it is one every voiceover artist should keep bookmarked. Thank you Doug!
Ed Victor leads a very active VO group on Linked In where nothing is off limits for discussion. He prides himself on “whacking the nest” from time to time. Frankly, I think it needs whacking. Ed gets the ball-rolling with a topic and the group takes it and runs with it. Rants, raves, controversy and praise… you can find it all at Ed’s “Working Voice Actor Group”. Thank you Ed!
I’ll be honest, I don’t know J.S Gilbert from blogs. I know his writing best from the VO-BB. He has strong feelings about a range of topics and is not shy about expressing his feelings or point of view. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Why should he be shy? This article is great because it clearly shows that he has asked himself this same question. It reminds every one of us that we should consider the things we write carefully. We also need to be prepared to either call “bullshit” or back up our position if someone calls it on us. Thank you J.S!
Exceptional beauty and a brilliant mind for business… what more could someone ask for? Maxine Dunn has both and she shares her business advice in her newsletter. She is a frequent contributor to VoiceOverXtra and her latest article is indicative of how she wants each of us to overcome obstacles and take our voiceover business to the next level. Here is a link to that article and a link to sign up for her newsletter. I signed up… what are you waiting for? Thank you Maxine!
When Paul Strikwerda received word that he’d been mentioned in this list of influential writers he commented somewhere that he does it (writing) “for the music, not for the applause”. Well, when Paul writes, it is like a conductor leading a symphony. He turned his series of blogs about building a studio into a book and wrote a blog… about effective blogging. But one of the biggest topics he covered in 2011, that everyone can benefit from, is pricing and value. Enjoy the music. Thank you Paul!
Peter O’Connell is a funny guy… and a marketing whiz. This article is about social media, marketing, image, writing and blogging. It discusses the concerns all of us have, especially those of us who write, about how much or how little we should put ourselves and what we have to say out there in the world of social media. This article is witty and thought provoking… which is quintessential Peter O’Connell. Thank you Peter!
Randye Kaye combines years of experience as (among other things) a radio personality, voice talent, coach, and most recently a published author. Her positive attitude and exceptional knowledge of the skills needed as a voice talent, help people overcome obstacles everyday. Radio personalities often have a unique set of obstacles they must face while making the transition from radio to voiceover. This article gives those folks the encouragement they need to do just that. Thank you Randye!
Some Audio Guy
I don’t even know his real name and he wasn’t named in the list, but SomeAudioGuy’s blogs are often about raising the bar… and I’m all for that. Here are two great examples. Thank you “SomeAudioGuy”!
Steven Lowell writes thought provoking articles that get people sharing, communicating and involved. He also shares a great deal of information offered by others. If it wasn’t for his post asking who the influential writers were… I wouldn’t have been able to honor the people you are reading about with this post. It is a fine example of what he offers to the community.
Terry Daniel cares about this industry and it comes through in his writing. He is not afraid to show some emotion and is also not afraid to tell it like it is. Like everyone on this list, he wants to raise the bar for our industry. These two articles are great examples of his passion and common sense approach. Thank you Terry!
My biggest thanks go out to those of you who read our blogs and put our words into action in your own careers and in life. Without each and every one of you, our efforts would be futile. I think I can safely speak for everyone on this list when I say that we all appreciate the comments, feedback and helpful information that you add to our posts and we really appreciate when you share our posts with others. Sharing is caring.
The next time you see a post about an issue someone is struggling with, or are talking to someone about our business (the greatest business in the world), let them know about us, our writing and most importantly that we are here to help.
Happy holidays and best wishes for a happy and prosperous 2012!