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Latest voice over work

After three years of auditioning, I finally landed a voice-over job a couple months ago. It has snowballed and  within the last six weeks and I got two more jobs in commercials. It really helped that I took a short voice-acting class. I had all the ability and work ethic, but was clueless about the industry. I would advise anyone, especially reformed narcissists like myself, to pay the cash for a course or two. Not only will you learn a few things but you'll have the opportunity to meet people in the business. There were at least two established actors in my class who were there to improve their skills and network.

The first job was a radio spot for (click to hear). It was a very short process. I auditioned on a Tuesday, got the job on Wednesday and recorded on Thursday. Strangely, I think my audition may have been better than the final recording. Also, they went with my first take during the recording. I did it a couple times more, but they found the initial one was best. I'm told this will happen sometimes, but it is not the rule.

Two weeks later I was asked to come in to the studio for what I thought was an audition. When I was asked to sign the release form, I realized it was the job. It was video motion capture for an Eastlink digital cable web ad, so they didn't need a voice or likeness. I was glad to make a nice bit of cash on my lunch break from my day job.

Last week I had another Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday job for the Scotiabank Bluenose Marathon 2010 (click to see). I was glad to do a few more takes and go over some of the trouble spots on this one. It gave me a chance to really get a sense of what working in voice over is like. The final product is a skillful composite of a number of takes. I also got a sense of how much work and how many people are involved in a 30 second TV commercial.

Hopefully, with a few more media jobs, I can afford to take some time and write a play for the Atlantic Fringe Festival this September. I've been meaning to write one for two years now. I think this is the year it will happen.

Making your site searchable

I recently created a flash website though Wix. It's a great tool for building flash websites with very little effort. My website, is a domain name I can live with which I've set up through GoDaddy. I pay about $15 per year for GoDaddy and Wix is free.

I've tried to make my site as searchable as possible, but I can't seem to get the site on the first page of searches for my name, Daniel Gervais. That's why I've been using all three names: the combination is unique and brings up my Facebook page, Youtube Channel, MySpace page, and twitter.Among these, twitter and facebook are the most found, I presume because they are so frequently updated and have the largest number of links to and from other web pages...and probably some high-tech networking techniques I'd need a Phd to understand.

Four or more things I wish I knew about blogging and Twitter

So I read a few articles about how one can make $30,000/year blogging. I give it a try. From the following one can surmise why I kept my day job.

1. Motivation: Like anything else that earns income, blogging takes work. I've discovered that I can't simply sit around on my days off and post the brilliant ideas that come to me while I wait for the laundry.

2. What the heck is SEO?!: I found out this week it stands for Search Engine Optimization. Thank you Wikipedia. The details still escape me.

3. Not everyone who adds you–unsolicited–to Twitter does so because they found your profile or website interesting. In fact there are many Twitter profiles with scripts that follow trends and add anyone who tweets a certain #hashtag. Some are legitimate individuals/businesses wanting to increase their online presence. Others are scammers/spammers.

4. If your tweets are public they are available to be displayed in Real-Time search. 

Ian Laurie:

He talks about how Real-Time Search can be abused to damage reputations. This got me thinking about how careful on has to be on social media now. Many of my friends have no idea what twitter is and couldn't be bothered. Like them, I assumed it was a flash in the pan an that the content was isolated to the few people that used it. With Real-Time Search, all that has changed. One particular key word could put my tweet or blog post could put it to the top of the most current web content.

Recently Canada changed its libel laws. Online journalists now have more freedom:

Despite this we have to be very careful what we write on the web. I'm going now to check out if anyone's Retweeted anything nasty I've said about my boss...

Ceci n'est pas un pipe

Appearing in this city are graffiti, apparently by an "artist" who styles himself after "Banksy"—an anonymous British artist known for placing stencil graffiti around the city of London. This copy cat obviously fancies himself quite clever. Take for example this copy of "rude cop" found on the walls of a rather seedy establishment in south end Halifax. This design, among other Banksy classics, is commonly available on the internet for about £60 GBP or $100 CAD. Hardly underground! This is hefty price tag for what is likely a street urchin, barely able to afford his spray paint, designer espadrilles, marijuana, web-enabled portable telephone, gold chains, and most coveted—his rebellious attitude. Yes, it is a glimpse into the rotten under-belly of this our mythical Haligonia.

If you see any more of this hack's leavings scattered about the city, I urge you to photograph them and send them to all your friends, with a link to this blog so we can ensure this type of thing never happens again.