Being a part of such a caring, generous community, I know you all must be wondering what to get me for Christmas. So to make it easy on you, I have written a few ideas down. I am not bothering to list things like a gift card to Sweetwater or a personal fan for the vocal booth. You would think of those yourself. For more personalized ideas, here is my VO Christmas list. You’re welcome!
A lifetime membership to the gluten-free pumpkin pie of the month club. What? You think this has nothing to do with voice-overs? If you could witness the morale boost pumpkin pie has on me, you wouldn’t say that. A happy attitude makes for a happy voice performance!
A gift certificate for at least 5 free coaching sessions with the coach of my choosing. To ensure my deepest appreciation, you might want to consider adding free demos too.
A new microphone. I don’t really need one, as my Rode NTG5 is working just fine… but I’ll admit I am not immune to the occasional attack of tech envy. A nice Neumann TLM103 or Sennheiser MKH416 would go a long way toward helping me to not feel left out. Hand over my heart, I will even promise I won’t return them to the store afterward.
Since those microphones are very noise sensitive, it would be best if I could upgrade my recording booth also. So, to not appear tooo greedy, I will compromise on a StudioBricks One XXL Voice Over Edition booth. What’s that? Are you asking how a StudioBricks booth could possibly be a compromise? Well, I think it should be obvious. I could have asked for a bigger size, right?
A personal assistant for marketing. I hate—and suck at—marketing. I am also totally dependent on marketing. Naturally, if you decide to give me the gift of a marketing assistant so I don’t have to do that odious job any more, I would be eternally grateful. So grateful in fact that I would be willing to give you my first born in return. Just so you know ahead of time, my first born is in his thirties, is very large, and has ongoing anger issues. I am serious. You can have him.
Here’s an awesome idea: an automatically triggered fireworks display for whenever I book a new job. You know, like they have at football stadiums whenever the home team scores. I can imagine it might be a problem if I take a call and book a job while riding on a bus and the fireworks go off, but, hey, life is full of risks.
Pre-paid tickets to any and all voice-over conferences, preferably with transportation and hotel provided. To make it easier on you, I will agree to pay for my own meals and drinks. If you are really feeling generous, you could do this on an in-perpetuity basis. That’s not too much to ask, is it? Again, I don’t want to appear to be greedy.
Personal theme music. Don’t tell anyone, but this is my new marketing idea. It grew from listening to Jodi Krangle’s podcast about audio branding. She never said this, but I think if I have some catchy, easily recognizable theme music that would follow me around and adapt to whatever I am doing, I could rule the voice-over world! (insert maniacal laughter here).
Imagine a triumphal theme for when I exit the booth after knocking a performance out of the park. A version full of confidence and mystery for when I enter a room at a conference. A light, friendly version to put everyone at ease when I arrive for an in-person studio recording session with other voice actors. Oh, oh, and a big, rousing fanfare for when the fireworks go off!
I’ll also need others that show my serious side, my intense, giving-it-all-I’ve-got moments, my compassionate, heartfelt side… or a dark, foreboding one for when a client starts hinting that they are no longer in need of my services. There is a reason they do this in movies you know; it works. Everyone will be so impressed that they can’t help but want to do business with me, or be afraid not to, which is just as good.
Hmmm… come to think of it, if someone were to gift me with this awesome audio package, I might not even need to do other marketing at all, so I may need to do a return after Christmas on the personal marketing assistant mentioned previously.
A lifetime membership in the JMC Voiceovers Euro Retreat Club, again, preferably with first class transportation included. I’m not too worried about seeming too greedy with this one. I figure if I am going to be self indulgent somewhere, this is the place to go all out. And don’t bother trying to correct me with all your bubble bursting “there isn’t a JMC Voiceovers Euro Retreat Club” sass. If there isn’t, there should be. Long enough for someone to buy me this gift, anyway.
Guaranteed reservations for an open-ended fireside chat with Mel Blanc, Daws Butler and Paul Frees in Heaven after I die. These gentlemen are woven through the tapestry of my childhood and were an inspiration to me in becoming a voice actor. I would like a chance to tell them how much it meant to me.
That’s it for my VO Christmas List for 2021. There is plenty to choose from, so I am sure you will find lots of useful inspiration.
An idea for you
If you want a last-minute gift for yourself or another voice talent, a VO themed tee-shirt is always a great idea. They are fun to wear and are a unique marketing tool. I especially like this one, this one, this one, and this one, all available on Amazon from the brand, Dystopian VO. They are available in male, female and kids sizes and on multiple colors of shirts. Rumor has it that for a small addition fee, your shirt can be customized. And if you deduced from this oh-so-cleverly disguised sales pitch that Dystopian VO is me, you are right. Which means, if you buy one of these, it will not only be a great gift for a worthy voice talent in your life (including you!), it will also be an indirect gift to me. Bonus! Not to mention, a lot cheaper than pretty much everything on the list above.