Realtime Casting Founder Builds His Home Voice Over Studio

Andrew Peters, Australian voice actor and co-founder of Realtime Casting, describes building his own home voiceover studio (slideshow below)

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Andrew Peters of Realtime Casting states, “Building your own is possible.”

Over the years, I have built a few voice over booths in places like cupboards, small sheds, bigger sheds and finally…a car garage. The main challenge is always understanding the difference between sound proofing and acoustic control. Through trial and error (and yes…there were a few expensive mistakes along the way) I came up with a pretty good design.

Getting started
Before you start remember the outside dimensions will be somewhat different from the inside dimensions. Therefore, it is best to work from the inside out when calculating the size of the voice over booth.

In my particular case I had one small issue; a pitched ceiling. This is good news because it eliminates one right angle, but the bad news is it becomes a trip wire for someone not skilled in any building trade! Once I worked out “where I was going to build it” I had to work out “how”. Building against walls, especially walls I could NOT touch, makes construction challenging.

Next few steps
I had to build two of the walls at another location and then bring them in order to secure them to the floor I had built. Once I had the two walls up, the third wall and framework for the door could be built.

The next trick was the ceiling, which I had to slide into place, then screw to the inner stud-work. You can see from the pictures of construction that it was not a simple task. Once the walls were in place everything had to be sealed to make sure the booth would eventually be airtight. Any air getting in brings with it sound.

Materials
The materials used in building a voice over booth are the key to its performance. I have experimented with all kinds of materials in the past, but my favorite has always been “yellow tongue-floor timber”. This material is dense, VERY heavy, and when you get multiple layers in place, it is sure to work. I also had a plasterer finish off the outside to make it look nice, but I also did that to add another layer.

Here is a list of the materials I used and what they were used for…

- Heavy-duty rubber to float the whole structure. I also used a second layer between the two layers of flooring.
- Yellow Tongue for walls, floor and ceiling. Inside the layers is stud-work 90mm x 45mm

voice over booth materials
- Acoustic insulation is used inside the cavity of all walls
- Tubes of sealer to fill in gaps
- Auralex is superb and worth the money.

Important note: Remember Auralex is not soundproofing. It is used in order to control sound inside the booth.

- Double-glazed patio door, and make sure it is well-sealed; no cheap stuff. Spend the money for a door with a good energy rating and acoustic qualities. These also save you the task of having to build a double-glazed window (I’ve built one!).

Things you must do to make your booth work…

- Float the structure on heavy duty rubber to isolate it from the floor
- Do not have your booth touch any part of the existing building
- Make sure you bog all gaps so the booth is airtight
- Use multiple layers of dense materials

My booth has been put through the ultimate test; a major construction site next door! I was able to have a voice over session, as 4 jackhammers were going, and my voice over booth worked perfectly.

Keys points to remember…

- Isolate
- Density
- Airtight

Are you planning on building a voice over booth? Did you build one already?

Leave a comment or question below.

Why Should You Join The Realtime Casting Community Now?

Jim Kennelly of Realtime Casting and Lotas Productions explains why you should join the Realtime Casting community now

voice over community

As human beings, we’re always joining communities. We coach our kids’ sports teams, we belong to book clubs, we go to conferences to network, or join non-profit groups to make our world a better place. A sense of “Community” empowers individuals by delivering connections, they add social experiences, teach new skills, and even offer a sense of fun.

Strong, integrated niche communities are the future

community of voice actors

Realtime Casting has created an online experience that connects proactive talents to the global voiceover community. Realtime Casting is keeping the SagAftra conversation alive and well. This enables the professional voice community to support each other and allows us to adapt and evolve in harmony online (and offline) with a forever changing voiceover business.

How does the Realtime Casting Community help voice actors?

The truth is you do not need to be a celebrity, or to under sell your talent, to captivate the attention of new producers. Realtime Casting believes our site offers seven reasons to make today’s very busy broadcast producers pay attention to your voice and your talents.

The Realtime brand does the following:

1. it shows power
2. it demonstrates passion for the creative process
3. it generates mystique surrounding a voice actor
4. it offers prestige to a voice career
5. it gives alarm to the voice over industry
6. it has rebellion
7. it evokes trust

How can I make my talent brand stand out by using Realtime Casting?

voice over branding

1. Don’t try to fit in.

Too often, we search for similarities in an effort to fit in with the environment, but it’s the person who embraces their differences that is interesting. Producers want what they never had before; a thing that will make their creative different. Once you identify what makes you different, concentrate on it. To be successful, you don’t have to change who you are; you have to become more of what you do best. Keep it Real!

2. Rethink your strengths.

You probably already know your strengths, or think you do, but in the crowded voice market you need to identify your competitive differences. Strengths point to what you do best; maybe a “Movie Trailer” or a “Quirky Mom” read. But your differences, point to your “REAL” voice, and that gives you a natural competitive advantage. It is how you do what you do, and how you voice and audition and work in a session differently than everyone else, that could be your highest value.

3. Create your tagline.

Our professional experience has shown that when producers and clients are fascinated by a voice, they will pay more for it. Your personal Realtime Casting site allows you to articulate your differences; you’ll be seen as you should be, valuable. Similar to a brand, it’s helpful to write a tagline, or slogan, for your personality and voice. BMW used the slogan “the ultimate driving machine”. This not only describes the car but the company. Many Realtime members have created their own taglines.

MaraJunot

Mara Junot recording a Realtime session

For example, Mara Junot, a Realtime Casting member with Stars Agency in San Francisco voice, has the slogan:

“Providing the 3-dimensional sound that promotes companies, services and entrepreneurs around the globe.”

That is a phrase you can orient your entire career around!

We hope you found this helpful. If you have any questions about using Realtime Casting, please write us in the feedback section on our homepage, or leave a comment below!

How and Why Voice Actors Should Take Control of Their Voice Over Industry

Explaining why voice actors have control over their industry and how to take control of it

voice over

There was a time when voice actors had to watch what they said in front of other people because “they did not want word to get around they are difficult to work with and lose jobs because of it”. This applied at a time when voice actors truly had little to no control over the voice over industry. Then casting sites changed things like a big reset button leaving many to wonder if the industry was starting to dissolve.

Why did voice actors lose control so fast?

1. Imbalance of power: Too many were starting out feeling like they never had a chance in the world, as they were expected to follow some preconceived dogma of the 20th century. The Internet was already dismantling other industries, and those who made websites looked like “champions of good against evil”.

2. Forgotten definition of purpose: Those who believed they were held back by traditions in an industry, even if they did get into voice overs because of the “movie trailer guy”, never knew why they had to work to get things like agents and union memberships. All they saw were people saying, “No”, or people who could not get along for reasons that extended years back. Voice actors wondered why they should work so hard to get an agent or be in a union. They had forgotten their definition of purpose, even if now a decade after some trusted casting sites aim to lower prices, they are realizing, “Wait, maybe it is better to have union benefits and better paying work through agents”. Things would never have gotten to this point, if their purposes had never been forgotten.

3. Dysfunctional teams are easier to defeat: It is easy to say that something is “dysfunctional” in a world (no pun intended) driven by data. You can see numbers on what is working and that can be deflating. The data also allows for persuasive arguments, which often involves “counting all the hits and not the misses”. What must never be forgotten is that people are not born to always get along; especially competitive voice actors. What must never be forgotten is what happens when someone takes advantage of their divided unity. It is incredibly easy to stay in charge of people who are always fighting in-house. (Need I post a link to Lincoln’s “House divided” speech?) The same still holds true today.

The unions that survive the longest are those who have weathered change with compromise, while still teaching the world, “You need this union to do the job more than anyone else.” When a team is fighting within itself and that dysfunctional behavior becomes common knowledge, it quickly becomes something that can be used to explain “why they should not exist”. There is no doubt that in 2004, casting sites took off like they did because a large group of people felt like they were playing for a dysfunctional team. Even if they still stayed loyal to the team in private, they could not help but notice what others were doing and try it themselves. It is very sad when people feel so unwilling to work with others that choose to trust computer software services created by less than 10 people.

How voice actors can take control of their voice over industry again

1. Sticking together through difficult times: This one takes a bit of courage, understanding, and filtering out of nonsensical arguments. The voice actor who hates what you say on Facebook, finds you to be rude, or even competes with your voice so heavily that no one can tell you apart; this voice actor may still have the same vested interests in the voice over industry as you, and therefore you should be on the same team. Surely you cannot stand the sight of him/her, but you need that person anyway because him/her works hard towards:

a. Better pay rates
b. Benefits for house and home
c. Financial security

Accept that people will have different opinions than you and focus on what is best for the needs of the team. There is beauty in diversity, if you give it a chance, and that patience for diversity is a requirement for working online.

2. Ignoring those who do not look out for your best interests: Are you using a casting website? Do you know what the owners of the business believe in? Do they put forth policies that help you or hurt you? If you are into voice overs to scratch something off your bucket list, do you know how much you could be getting paid? If you are a career voice actor, do you want to be paid the equivalent of doing rock band gigs at the local bar? Working hard takes energy. Do not put your energy into a casting website that does not look out for you. Do not put yourself in harm’s way with a high-risk/low-reward relationship with a website that never listens to what you really want: More better paying work with less competition. If the website does not have your best interests at heart, why patronize them as an individual, then give them web exposure by complaining about them?

3. Courage to do what you know is right: There is not much to say on this one. If I came up to you on a street and said, “Hi, would you like to do voice overs, and be paid so little for it that you had to work 70-80 hours a week with no guarantee of benefits as you get older?”, what would you say to me? Chances are you would either think I am insane. If you are just starting, with no ties to family or friends, you may take me up on the offer just long enough to eventually resent me. Deep down, you always knew what was “right”, and my offer was “just wrong”.

The courage to do what is right is a collection of everything in this blog: Stick together, work with those who look out for you, ignore those who do not, and remember that despite all differences, we are still in a voice over industry together. Do not let anyone make you forget that with promises of perceived value or perceived illusions of volume of work.

The most dangerous thing about data is that it can be used to both tell the truth and lie at the exact same time. The courage to do what is right means knowing the difference and acting on it.

4. Penetrate the .edu level. Be a mentor! : Yes, if you are one of the best in the industry, you need to start sharing how you got there and what you did in the process. Unfortunately, there are lots of young talent getting into voice acting who believe they deserve to be paid less, now and in the future, because recording from home can be considered “easy”. Those who are in school, and learning how to be an actor, need advice on how to guide their career on a healthy path. They will find out quickly no one pays back student loans on $10 gigs. It is physically impossible.

They also need to know the pitfalls of working with casting websites who do not look out for their well-being. For them…these may be great places to start, but if they want to be paid for the work that attracted them to voice overs to begin with, they need to be guided by a helping, successful hand.

5. Do not be critical of change or what others want changed: The best way to influence positive changes is to be involved with people who roll with changes. Standing your ground is not the same thing as progressive thinking. The best way to influence positive change is to apply those positive aspects of the industry, today, in methods of casting to be used in the future.

Any thoughts on this? Please comment and let us know!

Voice Over Recording Studio Etiquette

Dylan Tishler, recording engineer at Lotas Productions, talks voice over studio etiquette

realtime casting dylan tishler

Dylan Tishler, Audio Engineer at Lotas Productions

Humans in the Analog World

It is becoming less common in this digital era, but every now and then we experience human interaction in the voice over studio. Most Realtime Casting members have had, and maybe miss, this experience of auditioning in person. It is great for voice actors. Someone else is recording and directing allowing you to focus on your delivery, while you learn, get paid, get feedback, and see the people you are working with.

Here are some things to remember to make a good impression:

1. It’s a Team Effort

Whether you‘re at a studio or an agent’s office, keep in mind that everyone around you has a role. A studio manager may be scheduling, printing out scripts, and greeting voice talents. The director is helping the talent understand his or her vision, and the engineer is making sure every performance is captured well.

Making a good impression for the director is paramount, but you will likely come in contact with the studio again in the future. Simple phrases like “hello”, “please”, and “thank you” show that you appreciate the help and maybe go a longer way than they did years ago.

2. Don’t Touch That Dial

Many home studio voice talents have become skilled engineers, and as you know, audio gear is expensive. You might be capable of adjusting a microphone stand, but your studio  engineer isn’t aware of your home studio experience.

Let him or her take care of all things microphone-related. When you’re finished, gently place the headphones somewhere safe.

3. Ask Questions

Do not be afraid to ask questions. In fact, asking questions can show that you’re interested in the project. Unsure about something in the script? Your director is happy to answer.

Need a pencil to write notes? Just ask. Are there several talents waiting to audition after you? If yes, it’s OK to still ask questions, but try to keep the questions focused on the job and brief. If your first read is off the mark, your director will guide you.
This may be tricky, as you want to increase your chance of booking. Just keep in mind that your director or engineer may have a tight schedule.

4. Make Life Easy For Your Engineer

It’s hard to gauge the skill-level of your audio engineer at an audition. Who knows? Maybe you can teach him/her something, but do not act like it. The skills you deal with can range from “top-notch engineer” to “person who only knows how to press the record button”.

Flubs and misreads happen all the time, but it may be wise to say “pickup” and leave a small pause to make sure any engineer can make the edit.

5. Clean Up Time

Home studios are great because…you’re at home! No one knows how messy the room is or that you’re in your pajamas, and that’s great! When you’re requested to audition somewhere else, though, it never hurts to show your best manners.

It’s not an on-camera audition, but looking clean and presentable is always a good idea. No one ever went wrong by being over-dressed, but things can go wrong being less than presentable. If you’re noticeably sick and probably contagious, there is no need to share too much information. If you bring water, food, or tissues into the booth, think of your peers and clean up after yourself. The last thing we want to do is clean up after others.

6. It’s a Pick and Choose Industry

There are many voice actors out there. Clients often have multiple choices and usually prefer to work with someone they like. We all do, but get this…Sometimes the client will allow the studio or casting house to make the choice.

You never know who’s making the final decision and what’s being factored. Realtime Casting’s advice?

Be nice and courteous to everyone!

10 Words Explain Why You Should Use Realtime Casting

Staff asked the founders of Realtime Casting to give 10 words why voice actors and producers should use this casting website


whyComing up with blog posts is easy compared to convincing voice actors and producers why they should use Realtime Casting in 2014, instead of other casting websites, to hire voice actors or audition for jobs. It is easy say things that have already been said such as, “Non-union sites are low quality, low paying cattle calls that over-promise and under-deliver!”, but it is hard to be late to the party.

Then why do it? When you get past all that debating of who does what…it is simply about time voice actors kept it real again. What do you do next?

You focus on your career to influence change…not theirs

The staff at Realtime Casting has more than enough years of experience in voice overs, both offline and online, to pull apart everything wrong with certain websites. Unfortunately, many non-union casting websites focus highly on their own personal bottom dollar to make sure their careers as “web entrepreneurs” stays intact. Fair enough, but if you consider the thousands of voice actors looking to make a career of voice overs, combined with those who already have a career, the scales of ‘doing what is right’ begins to tilt. Getting back on point, when the founders of Realtime Casting were asked for 10 words to explain why Realtime Casting should be used, their answers were definitely focused on the careers of the customers.

10 Words Why You Should Use Realtime Casting

1. Union
Last year, every job booked on Realtime Casting was through SAG-AFTRA. We had a 68% booking rate. Do we have a mashup of low paying non-union work? No. Not what we do.

2. Easy
Our website is easy to use, and you never have to ask yourself strange questions such as, “Will I be punished for auditioning too much?”.

3. Professional
Perhaps, this is our point of difference. We are putting a cap on the amount of voice actors who can pay to audition.

4. Community
The staff and founders are part of the voice over community and feel they work for it; not the other way around.

5. Future
We want voice actors to feel like they have a future in the voice over industry. We want to offer the work people think about when becoming a voice actor. This is the work that offers a financial future; not a future of glued eyes to a laptop. Residual income is stronger than fly-by-night contracts.

6. Exposure
Work with the best in the industry who can take your career to new places.

7. Quality
The voice actors on Realtime Casting are experienced, most have agent representation, and the non-union talent are screened for quality assurance.

8. Support
Over 60-years experience on staff means…You have proper support when something goes wrong.

9. Control
You feel, for the first time in a long time, like you have control of your career.

10. Affordable
Do not be afraid. No low-balling here. We just mean, “Affordable for voice actors”. Our subscription is a very low $199. For producers looking for union voice talent, and must pay to do castings elsewhere…we offer a free union casting service. We also have a paymaster on staff.

If you are interested in checking out how we work, please take a look at our homepage today.

We are going through some positive changes in 2014, so please write us if you experience any issues in website usage!

Necessary Quick Change to Realtime Casting Homepage

Did you notice anything different lately about Realtime Casting?

Where did all the slides go? The homepage of Realtime Casting had to undergo a change this past weekend.

Why? We simply needed to focus on the purposes of the homepage:

  • Posting voice over jobs
  • Attracting the best voice actors

free SAG AFTRA voice over casting

What existed until last Friday was a slideshow that did more to chase people away from our services than it did invite them in for a look around.

Not a good thing at all.

Baby steps people! Baby steps!

The greatest part about Realtime Casting has to be the fact we only have SAG-AFTRA voice over work. We also understand that those looking for voice actors may not always want to fill out forms. If this is the case, and you would like Realtime to do the job posting for you while we make our website easier to use for you:

Please write us with your requirements for finding voice actors.

We handle the rest for you and make sure you get the best voice actors for your next Union voice over job. Our staff has more than 60-years experience, both offline and online, in voice over casting. We know the troubles of using online casting sites and can help you get around it.

What happened to the content from the slideshow that was removed?

It still exists. We are just rearranging the website, so that everyone looking to cast a SAG-AFTRA voice over job knows that our voice actors are the best, and the casting process is free.

You can still find all the great content via the social media icons available on the homepage.

realtimecasting voice over jobs union jobs

Why the changes?

We had to because something special happened…

In 2013, Realtime Casting posted only SAG-AFTRA voice over jobs with a 68% booking rate through the website. This is a success rate that deserves to be built on because it offers voice actors a better-paying voice over career. Realtime Casting is not a cluttered clearing house resource of thousands of voice actors. We have a limited number of voice talent because we put their success as priority #1.

We will have more updates on changes in the very near future. We hope you will be around to enjoy them! We are not done yet!

By all means, please try us out and let us know what you think!!!

Why SAG-AFTRA is Important: History Blog

Revisiting the history behind why SAG-AFTRA, or any labor union, is important…because voice overs is hard work

If you talk to a 21st-Century business owner or entrepreneur they may throw at you this statement:

“You can’t live in the past! Live in the present! History is history!”

To a degree, they are correct: You do need to let go of grief, but that does not mean you should forget what has happened in the past. Yet, holding onto grief prevents moving forward.

However, at times this can be taken out of context. It is true that times change, but human nature never fails to repeat itself, especially if you have not learned from it. The same holds true for business owners and labor Unions, so today we wanted to blog about:

Why SAG-AFTRA is Important: A History Blog

sagaftra

I am going to be referring to this blog source from SAG-AFTRA, as well as, lessons from history on labor Unions’ issues with businesses and how people often forget why they did something in the first place. Again, anyone who says, “Forget about the past!” is asking you to forget a key point of education or experience. They are asking you to forget the past because it serves their business; not you.

How SAG was Founded…

The year is 1933 and you deal with the following:

  • Working with unrestricted hours
  • No required meal breaks
  • Working with contracts for years that you cannot break and are may be forced to renew
  • A producer tells you who to marry and what your morals must be
  • A producer decides for you what your political stance will be

And does any of this (almost) sound familiar?

The year is 2014 and you deal with:

home studio

  • Wake up at anytime to do work
  • Eyes glued to a website hoping to get the next voice over job that comes in
  • You live and sometimes sleep in your home studio.
  • You miss work…you miss money.
  • You work on short-term contracts that offer no financial security
  • You are forced to marry to a website’s software (haha!)
  • The website romanticizes the above behavior of voice overs being a life-style
  • Yet, you work for day-laborer wages, and if you complain you are told, “You must be doing something wrong.”

Think of the most important common threads:

  • Everyone is human.
  • You need your voice (health) to continue doing business.
  • You need financial security for those times that we cannot work or experience hardships that may keep us from working for a period of time.

Business tools change…not people

This is a simple reality: Business owners want to make money. This is understood. We all do. They hope you can help make it for them. Their interests are often different from the employees. They will protect their business, before they protect the employee. It simply makes sense. But…

This is where the “fairness train” derails….Business owners can, and do, run a business with greedy intentions. We know this now more than ever before. Non-union casting websites may offer “opportunity”, but definitely not “security”. The last ten years have proven that these websites were not “saviors” as believed in 2004. They are businesses.

This is fine, but it does illustrate why the importance of Unions has not gone away.

The Importance of Labor Unions

Did you know that New York City, only in the last week, passed a Paid Sick Leave Bill? This means that for years and years in New York City, if you were sick for a period of time, the business owner could fire you. The business owners who cry, “That is not fair! I started my business! I should be able to do what I want!”, often neglect to mention that they hired people to help run that business, and that they are human or have lives of their own.

But this is something every capitalist market deals with…and THAT is the importance of labor unions. They are in place to protect people working for a business from greedy, unhealthy business practices. They regulate to protect because simply put…A system of rules put in place without regulation is a system of rules dictated by the savage few.

The importance of SAG-AFTRA takes into account that people will not always be working, and that at some point, they will not be able to work anymore. “In a world”, where voice actors are not guaranteed work, and exist in the business of inventing “want”, they need to be protected now and in the future.

Counter-points

In the last 20 years, the arguments that have come from those I have seen “against unions” or “against SAG-AFTRA” would be the following:

  • “It’s a class system.”
  • “They do not want me to get work, unless it helps them!”
  • “It’s too dysfunctional.”
  • “It does nothing for me.”
  • “I make my money. I want to keep it.”
  • “It’s a cut-throat business. If you cannot handle it, get out.”
  • “I feel like I can work more as a non-union talent.”

All this goes to prove is that making it work will take work, and it is important to everyone that wants a career in this industry, that it succeeds. Anything really good in this world, takes work, debate, understanding others, the absence of greed, and an abundance of courage. It also takes the behavior of “seeing what you can do for the greater good, and not just yourself.” (Yes…Ask not what a Union can do for you, ask what you can do for your Union)

We all need support at some point in our lives, especially if you are in a tough business like voice overs. The support should come from your colleagues because the history of human nature has proven that business owners have only their profit interests in mind. You may come across a great business owner, who treats people well and understands Unions, but chances are these business owners were raised by parents who grew up in Unions to begin with, and had these Unions to take care of their family.

Still wondering why they are important? 1933 vs. 2014

  • The average annual salary in 1933 was $1500
  • On the average non-union casting site in 2014, you would need to book 10 voice over jobs a year just to make $1500.

Do you know what 10 SAG-AFTRA voice over jobs a year would make you? Do you know what it would do for your family?

One thing it will definitely do is make you NOT feel like your pay is “Depression Era”. But of course, the 2014 business owner wants you to forget about the past, as they politely repeat the mistakes of the 20th-century.

At least voice over mics were cheaper in 1933!

voice over

 

Just remember...

There is no “them vs. us”. There is only working together to find a solution that works for everyone.

ps- This topic never gets old. Why do you think that is?

Why SAG-AFTRA Union is Important: The Ballad of Aunt Jesse

Realtime Casting staff member illustrates the importance of SAG/AFTRA voice over work for a voice actor’s career

I would like to introduce you to a very special person, who taught me the importance of Unions.

Her name is Aunt Jesse. (seen below)

SAG AFTRA

This picture reminds me of what made my Aunt Jesse so special to our family as a child. Every Christmas she would sit in this big red chair surrounded by kids (me and my cousins). We were astonished by her silver-white hair and big smile. She held a chaotic event every Christmas Party by handing out crisp, fresh, new dollar bills to all kids in the room. It was the 1970′s, we were kids, and having this fresh dollar made us feel rich. It was hard not to enjoy all of my cousins screaming, laughing, and crowding around her.

As time passed, we all grew up and still my Aunt Jesse’s dollar was something to look forward to, if only to represent a family tradition.

One Christmas, at age 18, she was not able to make her usual visit to hand out dollar bills. We all found out my Aunt Jesse had to be moved into “a home”. (“Senior Living” or “Assisted Living”). It was sad not to see her smile, the silver-white hair, and crisp dollar bills, but we found out she would be just fine.

Why?

She had been moved into something we never heard of called “The Actors Home”. I found out that year she was actually my 2nd aunt, not a direct relative, yet she always came to this Christmas Party. I also found out she was roommates in this home with Imogene Coca.

How she got there

I also found out she was moved into this home because she was a direct relative of Tom Dillon, former president of The Actor’s Fund of America, who passed away in 2005.

I learned all of this the same year I was starting out as an actor. I admit it felt like “klout”. Many of my professors in college were surprised to learn that Tom Dillon was relative. One professor used to constantly stop me to say, “I cannot believe you are related to good ole’ Tom Dillon. You should hear him sing ‘Danny Boy’!”. This instantly made me special, but in my open-hearted, 18-yr old mind, I only recognized these three things:

  • “There is this fund related to a Union somehow”
  • “They are taking care of my Aunt Jesse when she cannot take care of herself”
  • “I should remember this. Unions are important. Sticking together is important.”

This may seem like a simple way of thinking, but look at what my 18-yr old mindset was focused on: I had learned through the actions of a caring aunt and uncle that I would not be young forever. I learned that fresh dollar bills are nice, but Aunt Jesse was just showing us as children that we were indeed special.

What Tom Dillon showed us was the importance of family, union, sticking together, and that at some point in life…we do need services that are focused on taking care of us in the present and the future, when we no longer have the energy or strength to perform.

Voice over work, SAG/AFTRA, and what many have forgotten

In the last 15 years, there have been events that have gone to make those starting in the voice over industry look at Unions with a negative perception. It is a shame, but it is understandable how this happened:

In 2004, when a Union appeared divided, came along voice casting websites that seemed to offer opportunities to those who simply wanted a chance. This made voice casting sites look like the “Champion of the Little People”, which is one of the most popular themes to run a marketing campaign with, but can go horribly wrong under the worst of intentions. It can give power and life to an idea that was self-serving from the beginning.

What people have forgotten:

  • Why Unions were the original “Champions of the Little People”,
  • Why they were needed because people were paid horribly and had to work extra-ordinary amounts of hours just to make ends meet, if they could do this at all.
  • They had no security of a future after their careers.

Does this all sound too relevant and familiar? Through all their “championing of the little voice talent”, non-union voice casting sites can and will shut themselves down on a whim of fancy, if something better comes along. They can change their business model, and if the owner of the business decides it is best to no longer run the website, thousands will be out of work. This imbalance of power of “one wealthy owner vs. thousands of hopefuls who barely make a crisp dollar” has damaged the ability for all voice talent to have sustainable careers. A select group of people, who promised non-union voice over careers would be the future, have failed to deliver on their promise.

We are now seeing in 2014 that Unions are still extremely important, as are websites protecting these Union ideals; not websites existing only for the personal gain of maybe 5 to 10 people.

The Future…Your future

In 20 to 30 years, do you think these websites, their owners or staff, will be your Aunt Jesse or Tom Dillon? Are you willing to risk that for the dollar bill you receive once a year?

Through all the good and bad Unions exist for positive reasons we should never forget; forged almost out of need for protecting the interests of many people from greedy business practices. They have lasted as long as they have because they offer more for a person’s voice over career than any web entrepreneur could imagine.

The Ballad of Aunt Jesse

My Aunt Jesse, with a simple act of kindness, made my family care about her enough to remember her throughout the years. A distant relative, Tom Dillon, showed me the benefits of having others look out for my Aunt Jesse when she was not strong enough to do it.

In the beginning, as well as the end, we do have to factor into our career plans when we will no longer be able to work and what will happen at that point. Thank God my Aunt Jesse had Tom and Tom Dillon had his Union. And the Actor’s Fund had this “home”.

Realtime Casting talks ipDTL with In:Quality Founder

Jim Kennelly of Realtime Casting and Lotas Productions had the chance to try ipDTL recently and speak with In:Quality Media

The latest discussion for voice actors working from home and professional recording studios is, “What is ipDTL? Will it replace ISDN? Does it work? Is it expensive?”

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Late last month, Realtime Casting’s Jim Kennelly had the chance to use ipDTL for a voice over session. Afterwards he spoke with three other studios for comments on the service given the 2013 Technical Innovation Award Winner from The Radio Academy, and reached out to the founder of In:Quality, Kevin Leach.

The Founder, Kevin Leach

Kevin Leach, founder, established In:Quality in January 2013 to provide live broadcast facilities for TV and radio. relayed the companies key message:

  • “ipDTL does the job of ISDN at a fraction of the cost”

He continues:

  • “Having spent much of my career attempting to establish good quality audio links between radio studios and remote contributors for the BBC, I’m well positioned to offer services that fit the needs and budgets of broadcasters and audio professionals”. – Kevin Leach, founder

Usage of ipDTL – Customer Service

Jim Kennelly initially signed up for a free trial, which expired the same day he had to work with BKP Music in Dubai and ARU Chicago. The expiration email stated:

  • “In the next few weeks we’ll be upgrading with lots of exciting new features including the ability to search and connect to other users and online account servicing.  After the upgrade, only one login will be issued for the basic VO account but, buy now and your second login will be converted to allow any unregistered user to connect to you after the upgrade.” – In:Quality Customer Service

Jim was…well…in a jam. The best part of the customer service experience was ipDTL’s ability to give a day’s grace period to help out Lotas Productions to get voice sessions recorded for the day.  This deserves some props and should be mentioned in this blog. The small things mean so much, especially given the grace period was offered by the founder. (good to know people care about others’ businesses!)

What BKP Media had to say about ipDTL

BKP Media Group felt inspired to write this blog:

  • “Are you a voiceover using ipDTL yet?”

Chris Atkins of BKP Media included the following in an email:bkp media

  • “As a studio based in Dubai, we outsource most of our English voice talent from abroad, ipDTL saved us about $50,000 dollars a year on ISDN costs! It is the first VoIP which actually works flawlessly, it’s so easy to use with no software to download or configure, and it’s practically free!. ” – Chris Atkins, BKP Media

What voice actor, Dustin Ebaugh, had to say…

The following quote comes from Realtime Casting voice actor, Dustin Ebaugh:ipdtl

  • “Jim (Kennelly) told me that the client wanted to use ipDTL for the session.  I had heard of ipDTL, but that was about it.  I went to their site in my Chrome browser and followed the instructions for the VO account.  They even had a free trial.  It was easy and worked flawlessly!” – Dustin Ebaugh, voice actor

Important points checklist:

  1. Saves LOTS of money for both producers and voice actors
  2. Easy to use and actually works when you need it
  3. Producers and voice actors enjoy using it
  4. Customer service in check by owner who understands the needs of the industry
  5. Free trial

Explainer video for you!

Would you like to know more or share your experiences? Please leave a reply or write us to email

Realtime Casting Founder Looks Back at INXS Documentary

Andrew Peters, voice actor and co-founder of Realtime Casting, revisits his behind the scenes documentary with Australian rock band INXS

History Coming to Life…Again!

28 years after Andrew Peters, co-founder of Realtime Casting made a documentary on INXS while touring the UK and Italy, it has finally aired. 

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Realtime Casting Co-Founder

It is hard to believe it was nearly three decades ago, yet back in the 1986, INXS was on their first tour of England. Already well-known and loved in Australia and United States, the rock band went to England touring universities and clubs.

Andrew Peters, then a TV host, followed along to create a documentary surrounding the band’s tour, which remained untouched for years until recently.

Read more on this story here! (Andrew Peters appears at :35 seconds)

Life on the road to Wembley Stadium
The documentary by Realtime Casting’s founder shows what it was like to experience life on the road, staying in hotels, rehearsals, and the happenings that come with playing in clubs and universities. Five years after the tour, INXS played in front of 70,000 people at Wembley Stadium

The VIMEO Proof…for INXS fans
The following video comes from Rockmans Creative Media. Unfortunately, the documentary was never given the green light to proceed and sat in an edit suite unwatched for years.

Guess who this sharp-dressed young guy is sporting the 80′s hair!
Realtime Casting’s own, Andrew Peters!

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You can listen to his recent radio interview here with Triple M, 104.7

Do you have an amazing career story to share? Please write us to email!