Phishers and Scammers: A Plague on Both Their Houses!

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As a relatively computer savvy person, there’s nothing more embarrassing or frustrating than getting hacked. It happened to me this week. Someone had nothing better to do than to use a third-party connection to annoy my Twitter buddies in my name. GRRRRRRR! It feels akin to having one’s wallet stolen. I contacted Twitter and followed their advice:

“Due to concern that your account may have been compromised in a phishing attack that took place off-Twitter, your password was reset. Please create a new password by opening this link (Twitter provides one) in your browser. This will reset your password. Remember to choose a strong password that is a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols. Do not reuse your old password. As a reminder, you should be extraordinarily suspicious of any third party that offers to artificially inflate your follower count. We do not endorse any of these sites.

Please make sure to:

  • Scan your computers for viruses / malware, especially if unauthorized tweets continue to be posted in your accounts even after you’ve changed the password.
  • Check the Connections page at and revoke the access privileges of any third party applications that you do not recognize.
  • Avoid providing your username and/or e-mail and password to untrusted third-party sites.
  • Remove any updates that you did not post personally.

You can also visit our help page for hacked or compromised accounts.”

Having taken care of Twitter, I went through all my important accounts and changed passwords, even though Twitter was the only account affected.

Thank goodness my Twitter buddies were understanding. Nonetheless, from now on I will be even more vigilant.

When was the last time you changed your passwords?

Hear My Voice – Voice Actors Helping Those In Need In Haiti

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From VoiceOverXtra.com: “The victims of the Haiti earthquake continue to need help, of course. And a voice-over event just announced for next Wednesday night, Feb. 10, will send all proceeds to the Red Cross’s Haiti relief efforts – plus deliver to you a stirring evening discussion with some of the industry’s leading audiobook narrators. Hear My Voice – Voice Actors Helping Those In Need, is a unique tele-conference in which industry giants will share stories, advice and perspectives on making your way in the audiobook industry. It’s slated for 8 to 10 p.m. EST and will conclude with a 30-minute Q&A between panelists and the online attendees. The event is the brainchild of David Bourgeois, owner of Voice Coaches, the voice-over training firm, and David Goldberg, owner/producer Edge Studio, the voice-over training and audio production company. Bourgeois and Goldberg will co-host the event. Narrators currently on the growing list of narrators are Alan SklarCarol Monda and Grover Gardner. And remember, you’ll be able to talk with them live during the Q&A.”

“How to Attend: Participants will receive a dial-in PIN and an access code to attend the conference. Following the event, participants will also receive a link to download the audio, to replay it at home anytime. To attend, a minimum $25 registration donation is suggested, but larger donations are encouraged. All proceeds will go directly to the Red Cross’ Haiti relief efforts, say the sponsors. For more about the panelists and to register, please visit: www.voicecoaches.com/hearmyvoice

You Run Your Own Broadcasting Show the Entire Day

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Imagine hearing this announcement when you start off each day: “Welcome to your own broadcasting show. We’re on the air today and every day. We run from this moment on, for the rest of your life. You can’t shut off the show, but you can choose what to hear. We advise you to choose wisely. Don’t be upset with yourself if the show is not proceeding the way you wish. Instead, thank your mind for working. Be nice and friendly to it. And kindly and respectfully ask your mind to give you a truly great show today. Have a fantastic day, today and every day.”

If the above represents what you would like to hear on your own mental show, then you can choose it. If you would like to run a different show, just choose what you would like to hear.

Your mental broadcast can have any guest you want. What do you want your inner mental guests to say to you? What do you want them to speak about? Choose the subject that you would like your self-talk to be about, for as long as you’d like. You might want to hear a great interview with yourself and your ideals and values. You might want to hear a certain song or many songs that uplift you and help you feel good. You might want to hear a well-known story over again. This could be a story with a lesson that you really need to hear right now. It could be an inspiring story. It could even be an entertaining or a funny story.

If you find yourself broadcasting distressful ideas and thoughts, you can switch to uplifting and joyous ones. You can give yourself messages of hope right now and at any time you choose.

When you listen to recordings of speakers or speeches you like, you can be grateful for the opportunity to add their messages to your own mental library. Once those recordings are stored in your brain, you can access them as often as you like.

Be grateful to the Creator of your mind and your life for giving you your own broadcasting show. The quality of your life depends on the quality of your inner broadcasting show. Keep raising the quality of what you say to yourself, and you will live a happier life, full of self-development and self-empowerment.

(from Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s book: “Conversations With Yourself”, pp.185) [Artscroll.com])

An Evening of Tele-Seminars

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I spent a great evening with positive upbeat people. It’s nice to soar with the eagles.

Tonight’s first tele-seminar was entitled, “Million $ Radio Imaging” with Dave Foxx, the master of radio production, courtesy of Susan Berkley and The Great Voice Company. On this call, Dave explained how to become a radio promo voice, how to do a kick-ass imaging demo, and how to market your services to the production and program directors who can use your voice. Fantastic information. I’ll be able to review Dave’s information any time I want to, because Susan will send me a CD of the entire call. Thanks, Susan!

The second tele-seminar was “Acting in Voice Acting with David Goldberg of Edge Studio, courtesy of Mark Davidson and VoiceOverDirectory.com. Highlights included ways to discover your real voice, your voiceover voice, and your acting voice. He also explained how you can project what your playback will sound like, how to continually change your emotion or your tone, and how to still sound natural and convincing at the same time. I really enjoyed the audience participation! Yes, David got us all involved using Edge Studio’s scripts page.  Immediate gratification – thanks David!

Happy New Year!

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A new year. A fresh start. May this New Year bring newly found prosperity, love, happiness and delight in your life. May the dawning 2010 fill your heart with new hopes, open up new horizons and bring for you promises of brighter tomorrows. Here’s to sharing all good things with our families and friends, our colleagues and clients, and our neighbors and communities.

Marketing Magic for 2010

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You can never have enough information on marketing, right? I continue to learn from my colleagues. Susan Berkley provides her voiceover boot camp attendees with a fabulous course on marketing (complete with usable materials).  Each month, Kristin Price of Edge Studio teaches a course entitled Marketing 101 (There’s an outstanding follow-up.). Stephanie and Dave Ciccarelli of Voices.com just completed an excellent webinar on Marketing on Social Networks (By the way, I’d recommend the whole 4-part webinar series.).

Here’s another choice: go to coxmarketing.ca, click on the tab “Cox for Sale,” and scroll down the page to where it reads “For Voice Actors Only.” You’ve reached The Voice Over White Paper written by friend and colleague Bryan Cox (Voice Actor, Stand-Up Comic, Entertainer and Author). This paper includes a wealth of information on marketing.  Bryan covers what should happen after you’ve worked hard, what you can do to offer clients more, where you can make the money, what radio stations don’t tell you, and the bottom line! Thank you, Jason LeBlanc, for putting me onto this treasure.

Keep the marketing ideas coming, colleagues.  Here’s to our marketing success in 2010!

Happy Holidays!

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The eight days of Chanukah has passed for 2009.  Joey and I shared with family and friends a lovely, warm holiday, filled with the light and peace of Hashem’s love and learning, latkes and laughter, dreidels and gifts, and good health and joy. We kept the fire roaring, scented the air with fresh-cut flowers, decorated coffee tables with bowls of fruit, and supped on delicious traditional holiday dishes. We’re so thankful for the blessings of the past year and so hopeful for the prosperity of the year to come.

I wish for you, my friend, a holiday filled with all the traditions you hold dear. May the good Lord shed his light on you and yours, and grant you a prosperous and happy New Year.

Mac Lovers: what’s your favorite recording software?

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Okay.  I started with Garageband (simple, easy to learn, but limited, especially in the variety of formats with which to import or export files). Moved on to Pro Tools LE 8 (powerful, complicated, still figuring it out). I really want the new iMac 27″ 2 T wireless beauty – no eye strain, I can see the copy and operate my recording software at the same time. I could easily call up Lynda.com and manipulate my recording software while learning more about it. Unfortunately, DigiDesign is late completing their Pro Tools Snow Leopard upgrade. And then, there’s Logic, created by Apple and even more powerful than Pro Tools; definitely Snow Leopard ready, but better for musicians, I’ve been told, than VO artists.  I like the look of Twisted Wave; very versatile in it’s ability to read and export sound files in many formats.  Of course, it’s Snow Leopard ready.

If you’re a Mac user, what do you use and why?

Physicalizing and Voice Over

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Tracy Pattin interviews Bob Bergen and Bill Holmes on just that question. The voice of Porky Pig, Bob Bergen is a big advocate of physicalizing every chance you get in the booth. Teacher, demo producer, Bill Holmes talks about how he teaches voice over students to use body language in their reads. Some other points these voice over experts share:

•How body language builds characters

•Dealing with the microphone when physicalizing your reads

•Using body language to prepare for a voice over gig in the booth

If you haven’t seen this, check it out.  These guys are amazing!