Wow, I actually won?

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Award ceremony with Mayor Tim Burchett

It’s surprising to me that even when I plan to succeed – I’m still surprised when I do? I realize ‘success’ can be defined many different ways. For the purpose of this particular scare crow contest, success was defined as winning first place and having a great time doing it. I whole heartedly planned for and wanted to win the $100 first place prize and I definitely had a great time creating ‘Say What?’, so why was I surprised when I won? As I wondered, I thought about the whole process, and I began to see a pattern emerge.

Success #1 – I started the contest by deciding I wanted to make my scare crow as much as possible from re-useable items and made the plea on face book for clothing etc,. to be donated. “Random” things were offered and when I went to pick them up they revealed a much need theme. But what if no one responded to my face book request? Eeek – awkward 🙂 What if no one participated?

Success #2 – Finding that perfect plastic ice cream scooper at the thrift store to make a great mic – once wrapped in duct tape with a plastic bag balled up in the scoop part and colored in with a sharpie. What if I hadn’t found anything to make a mic? What if I hadn’t ‘seen’ a mic when I saw the ice cream scoop? I can’t have a voice over scare crow with out a mic? It’s like a chef with no food!

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Hmm, how do I get the body to stay on the boots? This is when I realized it’s not going to work as planned

Success #3 – Being able to salvage my complete failure of engineering design on the fly and come up with something that at least stands, and is still standing over two weeks later?! What if I had given up? What if I hadn’t been able to find a workable solution? Granted the new solution didn’t show off her sassy boots 😦 but sometimes function beats fashion!

Success #4 – The magnificent response in voting- wow! But what if no one voted? What if everyone thought someone else would vote, and no one actually did?

Ahhh now I see it! The reason I’m still surprised is because at any one of those moments – plus several others – it could have failed. I think the reason we are surprised when we succeed, even after we plan to, is because inevitably there will be moments when failure looks like the only viable option. Yet when we persevere, get creative, and ask for help when we need it – we can turn the inevitable ‘failure’ before us into the hoped for success.

BTW – I never knew Mayor Tim Burchett is so dang funny? 🙂 He had us all laughing for the entire award ceremony.

P.S. – Yes, plans are already in the works for next year’s contest, it will be the main character of the King series trilogy that I wrote!

 

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"Say What?" © G. Paxton

Update: Thanks for your votes everyone – I won 1st place  😉

Sometimes we need a good dose of fresh air and the chance to use our brains in a completely different way. So when I saw a Scarecrow making contest at the park where my farmer’s market is I thought, hmm, I’ve never made a scarecrow before, let’s do it!

Here is “Say What?” my “unique” voice over scarecrow that didn’t turn out much like I originally planned, but she does at least stand (which was a feat of engineering)! She was going to feature knee high boots, which proved quite the challenge on top of a hill in the wind 😉

Now, she needs YOUR vote!

It only takes a few seconds, there is no sign up, no connecting, and no facebook app seeking access to all of your friends. Just click HERE  (http://surveymonkey.com/s/ScarecrowVOTE) click on “Say What?” and then “done”. You don’t have to vote for each category, although you are welcome too – my favorites are Bea Greener, and Miss Muffet)

Best of all, you can proudly show off your “I voted today” sticker 🙂

Thanks for your support!!!

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New Upbeat Commercial Demo

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Much like on camera talent often gets pigeon holed into a particular character, the same is often true for voice talent. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, it means you excel at whatever that ‘thing’ is. But it implies you aren’t good at any others, which isn’t always true.

My voice is naturally suited to more conversational, informational, storytelling work. I haven’t yet mastered a ‘used car’ or a game show host voice. (Sidebar: to improve I read out loud in those voices. Imagine hearing cook books or info about dental insurance read like that … my poor dog! :)) Someday I hope to be able to master them both. In the meantime, there is a middle ground between my comfort zone and the high octane game show host voice. It’s the upbeat, playful, ‘no one else says it quite like another’ zone that I love to work in.

Yesterday, I received a request (from the Director of Programming of a company that creates content for several cable channels – yay!) for some recent samples of upbeat/playful commercial work. So I pulled out a few and made a new short :23 second demo.

Is that one sentence?

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Ahh, nothing like a good voice over challenge! Here is part of the copy for an elearning algebraic thinking narration job.

Is this one sentence? Yes. Yes it is!

Go ahead and give it a try. Read it out loud and see how you would do it. Chances are you will quickly find more than one way to say it.

“They bring two complementary abilities to bear on problems involving quantitative relationships: the ability to decontextualize—to abstract a given situation and represent it symbolically and manipulate the representing symbols as if they have a life of their own, without necessarily attending to their referents—and the ability to contextualize, to pause as needed during the manipulation process in order to probe into the referents for the symbols involved.”

Love it!

Benefits of doing Voice Overs

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Lately I’ve been overwhelmed with the number of jobs to audition for, which is a good thing!  But it has made for some long days of work, which has led to some observations about some of the many benefits there are in doing voice over work.  I am amazed though that I haven’t heard mention one, of them, anywhere?  Not that I have covered the internet when it comes to voice over articles tips, techniques, and advice – but I sure have made a large sized dent in it and haven’t read or heard one iota of these?

So without further ado,..

My 1st benefit that I have noticed lately is getting plenty of water!

I have been told the importance of drinking lots of water since I was a child, but have never reached the 8 glasses a day goal consistently for any length of time, until now! 🙂  Auditioning for hours on end = drinking water for hours on end.

Plus I usually add some lemon juice to mine, (to help my voice and pronunciation) which supposedly increases the detoxifacation factor.  If nothing else it tastes good 🙂  It’s also handy to have a filter for your water so you can get the ‘good’ stuff right from your tap.

I won’t bore you the benefits of drinking water, if you don’t know, here are a few in this pic.

More voice over work + more water =a good thing!

Benefits of drinking water

A Favorite Example of what a Voice Over is

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Dawned on me last night that one of the best ways to explain what voice overs are is to include some in action!

Here is one of my favorites – I watch it anytime I need a pick-me-up!

This little girl is a natural voice over artist!  This is pretty much what I do all day, (JK 😉 )

New Commercial Demo

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Hot off the press – new commercial demo.  Many more to come!

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