Funny Voices in Small Padded Rooms – The Madness of Voiceover by Todd Schick

Warning! This voiceover book contains audio….

Like words are to a book, so is audio to voiceover. How someone could even think about releasing a book on voice acting and not include audio is a whole other level of insanity….but let’s not go there, or I’ll start ranting like a madman…..

There are people out there who claim their book is the “bible” of voiceover. I’m here to tell you there’s no such thing, including this book. Sadly, one tacky sales pitch after another is all people can seem to find on the subject of getting into the voiceover business.

I bought a book on voiceover; I think it was written in the 1960’s – at least that’s what the cover looked like. I think I got through two paragraphs and shelved it. I concluded there was no way to learn anything about freelance voiceover from reading a book and I was correct.

What many fail to realize – including other voiceover authors – is that nobody can learn about the art of voice acting by simply reading about it. It’s like learning to how to swim; inevitably you’ll have to jump in the pool and well….sink or swim.

How the madness of voiceover began

Funny Voices in Small Padded Rooms – The Madness of Voiceover – Book 1, is based around an idea I came up with in 1998; I wanted to sell my voice on the internet. That ideation ultimately led to the creation of the on-line voiceover industry that we have today.

In the late 1990’s, I had to get really creative to make a living with my voice outside of radio broadcasting; the career just wasn’t viable, I was making barely enough to afford a used car and an apartment…..

By way of my creative drive, I unwittingly invented a digital industry which thousands of people around the globe now make their living; creating and selling voiceover content from home.

Unfortunately, the on-line voiceover business today has little structure, no standards and widespread corruption – thus, the madness. But then, what more can you expect from a group of people most of whom record in their closet at home….

I’m working on that…..

Learning voiceover? It doesn’t get much better than this

This book is a great first listen on the subject of voiceover acting and the voiceover industry because it reveals the honest truth about the business, where the sale of dreams is a primary commodity…..

You’ll discover the “real life” fundamentals of the work. There’s a lot of nuts and bolts to running a recording studio from home and making a living with your voice. This book delivers the realities of VO that everyone should be aware of before spending thousands on voiceover coaching, marketing and voice demo production services.

Subject matter aside, there’s not many digital books like this that I know of.

Go ahead. Download any audiobook/eBook from Audible, Apple, Amazon….whatever. You’ll be hard pressed to find this type of book, quality of narration and sound design anywhere. From anyone.

Why? Good question!

How many authors narrate their own book? Very few. On the subject of voiceover – almost none. What about sound design? Unheard of. It’s too complicated and expensive for the average author.

It’s a type of publication that I don’t think anyone has ever done. Call it….a game-changer if you will….

What do these guys have to do with voice acting….? Nothing.

The boys I grew up with in Winnipeg; circa late 1970’s. Ernie Sousae, who is at the front of the picture, set up the shot with his camera. It was taken at Don’s farm (the guy with the shotgun) during a boy’s weekend.

I’m pretty sure it didn’t occur to Ernie that:

One, this black and white photograph would make the cover of my book 40 years later and…

Two, his yet-to-be-born daughter, Kiana, would design the cover; inspired by this very photo, which I had simply tossed into the mix with the rest of the visuals.

I mean c’mon, putting a cool picture of your Dad in his teens on the cover of a book…that’s a no-brainer. I love her choice and her work.

The best book on voice acting? Probably.

It took a long time to create this book. Six years. Many curves…..a lot of cliffs. The creative process was anything but straightforward.

For every edit to text, there was a corresponding edit to audio…..or SFX, or mix. Then there’s the creation of SFX elements – recording somebody being whacked in the head by pounding on a bag of limestone screening with a cane hand made in Cuba…..

The SFX of an “icepick in the forehead” using eggshells and a butter knife…..walking around with a microphone/recorder strapped to my head…..

You’ll enjoy a cast of 11 unique vocal actors (many professional colleagues) contributing to the madness… parrot introduces chapters….and my personal favorite, the agent whipping a client for the commission….

Most people type words using their imagination. I went with a different approach, using sound for imagination and inspiration; leveraging the feelings/emotions/memories the audio brought to the creative process. In many cases, the sound wrote the story; I was just the conductor….

It’s called “voice acting” for a reason. Voiceover is fundamentally, theater of the mind. That’s what you need to understand to learn the skill. So, that’s what I created – an aural sculpture. It has a run time of two hours.

This is not a stupid, tacky sales pitch….

If you are really interested in learning about voiceover and the business, this is a great start. I highly recommend that you purchase the eBook version if you can. If your reader doesn’t support headphones, there are many apps available where you can use other devices such as your phone or a tablet to listen to the eBook. Otherwise, get the audiobook version.

Please, don’t buy the book if you’re not going to listen to it; you’ll be wasting your money otherwise.

There you go. A relevant, useful book about the voiceover business, that actually has audio in it! No stupid, tacky sales pitch. What a concept.

Well, I hope you enjoyed the trailer! It was Buddy’s idea. He’s always telling me what to do…..

Thanks for listening….enjoy the madness!

Kind regards,

Todd Schick & Buddy The Bird

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