Wishing you a happy and healthy, wonderful holiday season.
Thank you all for a fantastic 2015. I truly appreciate having been a part of yours. Looking forward to what the New Year will bring!
Hiring a voiceover talent can be a very daunting idea; there’s so many different voices to choose from, it’s obvious why it can seem overwhelming. But do not fear– I’m here to tell you that hiring professional voiceover talent is much easier than you think and an incredible investment as well.
One of the most important aspects of a company is good advertising. Without it, how would anyone ever reach new clients? In today’s digital age, the fastest and surest way to reach the public is through online videos, television or radio ads. Consumers nowadays have shorter attention spans and little tolerance for commercials thus making it more crucial than ever to have an efficient and engaging ad. Luckily enough, this is exactly what a professional voiceover talent can provide for your company. Voiceover talents are trained to sound natural, yet enticing, informative, yet captivating. A good voiceover talent can be the difference between someone switching the station when your commercial comes on the radio, or tuning in to listen more!
Consumers can also tell when you put time and effort into your commercial. An ad often is the first time a person is coming into contact with your services; they will instantly associate the quality of your commercial with the quality of your product. First impressions are important, and a smooth, crisp, professional sound isn’t something you want to overlook.
So you may be thinking, “Okay, Heather, you’ve explained why it’s good to hire a professional voiceover talent, but what makes it so easy?” To which I would reply, “Outsourcing.”
You can’t do it all, and outsourcing makes it easy. Outsourcing can, and will, save you money, time, and effort on jobs that aren’t directly related to your business’s core services. As long as the voiceover artist has their own recording studio, you do not need to invest in one separately. Most voiceover artists are also familiar and skilled with editing software; so not only are they delivering the message, they can also make the post production process effortless. Both the voiceover talent and editing talent are being provided when hiring a professional voiceover artist.
Happy Halloween from Heather Costa Voiceover
“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” -F. Scott Fitzgerald
How true these words are! Fall often feels like the actual start of a new year; the weather becomes brisk and enticing, farms are ready for the harvest, and the smells and colors of the world are changing. The month of October is especially magical, with every day leading up to the hidden terrors and wonders of Halloween!
My intern, Hannah, loves to bake and swears that this recipe for pumpkin cookies is the best one out there. She makes them every year and they are always a huge hit!
(Yield: 3 dozen)
Brown Sugar Icing (optional):
Combine dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in egg and pumpkin. Stir in vanilla. Add dry ingredients to the batter. Bake at 375° for 10-12 minutes, or until slightly brown (they should feel semi-firm when you touch them- if you don’t bake them long enough, they will be extremely soft and messy!)
Brown Sugar Icing: Combine melted butter, brown sugar, and milk in a small saucepan, stirring continuously. Boil for 2 minutes. Cool (an ice water bath makes it cool quickly). Add vanilla and powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
Hannah’s Baking Tips: Always make sure your eggs and butter are at room temperature before adding them to the batter. This helps the ingredients to combine smoothly. The icing should be thin but just thick enough that it doesn’t roll off the cookie. If you have a pastry brush, use it to add the icing to the cookies.
Spooky Halloween Facts!
The largest pumpkin ever grown was 836 pounds!
There’s an old tradition that says if a person wears his/her clothes inside out and then walks backwards on Halloween, he/she will see a witch at midnight!
Snickers & Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are the most popular Halloween candy.
The first Jack-O’Lanterns were actually made from turnips.
Orange and black have become the colors of Halloween.
Orange represents the harvest, and black represents darkness.
In My Studio
It’s been a wonderful autumn, filled with voiceovers for Subway, Garmin, Glamorise, Trig’s Supermarket, JFK Medical Center, Indigo Kids, and the Educational Testing Service, to name a few. Not to mention the political recordings and of course Christmas spots, because it’s never too early to start voicing for the holidays!
Enjoy this festive time of the year with those you love. Thank you for being a part of my world and welcoming me into yours.
Happiest of summer days to all of you! I hope you’re enjoying a relaxing summer, putting your feet up and not working too hard. Things have certainly been bright and sunny here in New York!
I am thrilled to share my new animation demo. A big thank you to Michael Yurchak for his amazing coaching and expertise! It’s always fun creating different characters, focusing on how they think, talk and carry themselves. Watching these characters evolve was an amazing experience!
On a tasty note, I’ve been very fortunate to be recording regularly for one of my lifelong favorite restaurants – Subway! You can currently hear the deliciousness on radio & TV commercials all over the U.S. My children are continually walking around the house reciting “Eat Fresh” now.
With summertime, my mom role has been fun in and out of the studio! You can catch my voice currently airing on a TV spot for Beados Gems, on kid-friendly networks like Disney & Nick Jr, and TV and radio spots nationally for Today’s Parent. Plus you can hear my voice on radio spots around Wisconsin for the Trig’s supermarket chain. I’ve also recently voiced for the Educational Testing Service, Lowes, Indigo Kids, a medical narration for Caris Life Sciences, and a singing animated Chihuahua named Charity!
Thank you from the bottom of my heart to my amazing agents, clients, family and friends who I’m honored to have in my life. I couldn’t be more grateful to spend my days doing what I love and sharing it with all of you.
Live in the sunshine, swim in the sea, drink the wild air. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Last week I spent five days at a voiceover “un-conference” called FaffCamp, which is a FaffCon event. What makes these FaffCon events un-conferences? They’re built upon a collaborative effort of table top discussions and group conversations. There is nothing else like it! Egos are left at the door and the wealth of voiceover information is abundant and flowing. From technique, to marketing, running a business, to health, and everything in between. Endless hours are spent among talented colleagues and kindhearted friends sharing their knowledge and love of voiceover. Each person has something to offer. Whether you’re a seasoned pro, or a talent just starting out, you’re immersed in new information.
As voice talent, we spend countless creative hours alone. Our outlets are stand-up partners and meet-up groups, social media, voiceover networking and educational events. As we engage with each other, we become more inspired and informed. Through our common passion and love for the industry, friendships are easily made and our studio walls are no longer a barrier. The industry’s collaborative efforts in working together benefit both those that are behind the mic as well as those that are hiring voiceover talent.
My heart and mind are so full right now, more inspired than ever. I feel incredibly fortunate to have been included in such an amazing experience.
In honor of Valentine’s Day, I wrote a little poem. Please cut me some slack as you read it, I’m a voiceover artist, not a poet 😉
Roses are red, violets are blue, sending sweet Valentine’s wishes from me off to you.
Hoping your holiday is filled with love and with cheer and that you’re surrounded by happiness smiling ear to ear.
Celebrate your loved ones, your family and friends, eat mounds full of chocolate, the fun never ends.
At the root of all things we treasure so strong, is love for mankind, together we all belong.
Thank you for being a part of my world, this mom and a mic, just a fun, happy girl.
With Valentine’s falling on a Saturday this year, those of you with children may be looking for ways to share this holiday with the kiddos during the day, before a romantic evening that night. From “Cupid Says” to Hearts Dominos, here are some great ideas to get your entire family celebrating together!
Here’s some fun Valentine’s Day trivia:
– Although no one knows for sure, it is believed that Valentine’s Day began around 270 A.D.
– Red is the color for Valentine’s Day because it’s the color of blood. It was once believed that the heart is where love came from.
– The saying “wearing your heart on your sleeve” is from the Middle Ages. Boys at that time would draw names of girls to see who would be their Valentine and then wear the name pinned on their sleeve for a week!
– Cupid is associated with Valentine’s Day because he is the Roman God of Love. Cupid means Amor.
– Over 1 billion Valentine’s cards are sent worldwide each year.
Valentine’s Day tongue twisters:
(Great for vocal warm-ups!)
Six lovesick swans swim. Swim, swans, swim! Well swum, swans! Swim some more, sweet swans. Swim!
Quick kiss. Quicker kiss. Quickest kiss.
Sweet Sally swears she’s silly for Sam, so silly, she’s now sweaty in the palm of her hands.
The lazy ladybug looked for love at the lake.
Vicky Vickorson vigorously celebrated Valentine’s Day.
Teeny tiny turtles took turns teaching tadpoles to tango together.
“The only way to do great work, is to love what you do.” -Steve Jobs
As 2014 came to a close, I reflected on all that I am grateful for. I am humbled by all of the opportunities, experiences and new relationships from this past year. It was by far, in voiceover, my best year yet! Thank you so much, to all of you, who were a part of it.
The year began with the launch of my new branding and website. I was like a kid on Christmas when my Sennheiser 416 arrived and the installation of ISDN in my studio. Craig Spear produced my newest commercial & narration demos and once all of my new tools were in place, I was more encouraged and motivated than ever!
Things really started to bloom in springtime as I gained representation in additional parts of the world with voiceover agencies I have greatly admired: RSH Management in Atlanta, VOX Talent in Toronto and DeSanti Talent in Chicago. I was also very fortunate to be picked up by Groundcrew Studios, Voice Talent Warehouse and ProComm Voices. I also had the honor of learning from some of the best this past year, Marice Tobias, Philip Banks, Celia Siegel and all of my insanely talented colleagues at FaffCon 7.
I can’t wait to see what 2015 will bring!
Thank you from the bottom of my heart, for being a part of this journey. You have all helped to shape this career I love and I truly appreciate it. Wishing you all a healthy, prosperous and fun 2015. Here’s to another great year!
Resolution = a firm decision to do or not to do something.
Almost everyone makes resolutions as we embark into the new year. These include personal goals, financial goals and dreams you’re pushing yourself to finally go after. Then for those of us who are entrepreneurs, those resolutions also include goals for your business.
So how do you keep your resolutions? Here are 10 of the top ways to help you achieve that:
1. Keep it real. As you’re creating your resolutions for 2015, make sure that they’re realistic. You can’t expect yourself to achieve something that’s near impossible. If you have a long term goal in mind, take a part of that and make it a resolution for this upcoming year.
2. Make it a part of your daily routine. Most resolutions fall to the wayside because they’re just thoughts people have during the joyous celebration of the holiday season. Once we’re back into the day-to-day, if your resolutions are not a part of it, they’ll end up on the “when I can get to it list.” We all know how well those lists work out! So break down your resolutions into attainable pieces and fit those into your daily or weekly schedule.
3. Do it with a partner. When you have someone to hold you accountable it makes a world of difference! Find someone who has the same resolution as you and work together to achieve it. Or, if it’s something you prefer to do on your own, find someone you can use to check-in with, to share your struggles and successes. Perhaps you can do the same for them! This will make a huge difference in your outcome.
4. Write it down where you can easily view it. Out of sight = out of mind. If your resolutions are in your face, you’re less likely to forget about them. You could put them on something you see every morning, or view once a week. You could write them on sticky notes you place around your home, office, or studio, or on wipe off boards as little reminders. Get creative with it!
5. Set benchmarks for yourself. Resolutions can often be big goals. It’s hard to get from A-Z, without recognizing the successful steps along the way. Create milestones that you can work toward so you can feel accomplished as you complete them.
6. Keep a log of your progress. For example, if your resolution is to workout for 20 minutes a day, keep a log each day of how long you exercised for and what you did. If your resolution is to reach a certain amount financially for your business, by the end of 2015, log it all in a calendar, or on a spreadsheet, as I learned from fellow voice talent Liz de Nesnera. This way you can easily tally up the totals of what you’ve earned each week, with a running annual total. You’ll always be able to see how much you’ve earned to date and if you’re on track to reach that goal by the end of the year. Tracking your progress should be a fun task, something you feel great about. If it becomes daunting, it’ll make the resolution harder to stick to, so adjust this as needed to keep yourself motivated and on track.
7. Create small rewards for yourself along the way. Who doesn’t like to be rewarded for their success? What better way to keep yourself on the right track, then to celebrate your achievements along the way. Plan out some rewards ahead of time, so you have something to work toward, but don’t hesitate to throw in rewards as you go too. You should be proud that you’re sticking to your resolutions!
8. Identify the potential pitfalls before you begin. If you know ahead of time where you may struggle to keep these resolutions, try to address those points before you begin. The more in control of the situation you are as you’re doing it, the easier it will be to get through those difficult steps.
9. Share your successful steps with others. Thanks to social media, you don’t have to look far for a cheering committee! There’s a reason they have cheerleaders in sports, the big hurrays, supportive comments, social media “likes” and shares are almost a necessity when working toward a long term goal. It’s easy to get in your own head sometimes, but don’t ever think that you’re alone. You have an entire community of people that love and support you.
10. Don’t quit. This is obvious in order to keep your resolutions, but also incredibly important to point out. You can’t achieve something, if you give up! Before you find yourself even contemplating throwing in the towel, go back and review 1-9 and make the needed changes to stay on track. You made those resolutions for a reason. Believe in yourself that you can achieve them. There is nothing more powerful than the human spirit.
Make 2015 your best year yet!
Faff Camp: the Hire Education Conference for Voiceover Professionals
If you’ve never met Faffy before, then you have no idea what you’re missing! Faff Con changed my career. Faff Camp is a Faff Con event. Yes, there is some Faffin around at Faff Camp, but more importantly there’s life changing VOICEOVER EDUCATION and NETWORKING and total submersion in the VOICEOVER COMMUNITY.
“Spread the word… We’re looking for bright, friendly, down-to-earth VO people who you think would love Faff Camp’s smart, ego-free, solution-oriented learning and sharing; people who’d fit in well with the Faff culture of VO people helping VO people get better at VO stuff (and make more money doing it).”
WHEN: March 19-22, 2015
WHERE: the Omni San Antonio Hotel at the Colonnade – San Antonio, TX
HOW MUCH: Kickstart Registration $375 (through July 11, 2014)
Regular Registration $449 (Beginning July 12)
*AND – if you put in the PROMO CODE VT9076975, you will save $25 on your registration! You will then be given a promo code yourself, which you can share with your voiceover friends. Then when they sign up, THEY will save $25 and YOU will get a $25 rebate, EACH TIME your code is used (up to 14 times or $350 off your registration fee!)
Registration for Faff Camp is Kickstarter-style and the attendance goal HAS to be reached by midnight PST, Thursday, July 10, or there is no FAFF CAMP II. So don’t delay!! If they don’t reach their goal, everyone who has signed up, will receive a full refund, and there won’t be a Faff Camp II. Let’s not let that happen – it would make Faffy very sad.
Unlike Faff Con, that is only for the working pro, Faff Camp has two tracks – Starting Right and Working Pro. So if you’re new to voiceover, this is the PERFECT opportunity to surround yourself with the top VO talent! Not only will you learn by osmosis (there is a lot of hugging that happens) but you are able to soak up all of this incredible information and energy from the pros who have experienced their own success!
Don’t just take my word for it, although I promise you it is the MOST AMAZING voiceover educational experience you can imagine. Check it out for yourself at http://faffcamp.com DON’T DELAY!! If they don’t reach their sign-up goal by midnight Pacific Standard Time on Thursday, there won’t be a Faff Camp II.
Head on over there and join the Faff Camp community. You will be welcomed with open arms. Hope to see you in San Antonio in March!
Exciting news from Heather Costa