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May 2011

Official publication of the Philadelphia Local of The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.

AFTRA PHILADELPHIA ANNUAL MEETING

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mokin’ Joe Frazier and well-known philanthropist and publisher Kal Rudman were some of the AFTRA members who mixed and mingled at this year’s membership meeting and raffle held on April 27 at Paddy Whacks Pub 2nd & South Street in

Philadelphia. Other special guests included Nick Alpers, Mobilization Coordinator, Philadelphia Council, AFL-CIO, and newly franchised agent Pat Yorks of Agency Connects. The Bill Evans Award was presented to Helen and Tom McNutt in appreciation of their combined 35 years of tireless advocacy on behalf of television and radio artists in Philadelphia and across the country. Joe Conklin kicked off the event with his own brand of comedy and the evening was more than adequately emceed by Board Member Chuck Varesko. President Catherine Brown and Executive Director Stephen Leshinski delivered annual reports as well. Among the raffle prizes were a signed boxing glove donated by Joe Frazier and (L-R) Tom McNutt, Helen McNutt and Catherine Brown.

personalized wine from Pierre Robert. Both Joe and Pierre pulled the winning tickets for their donated prizes. Money from the profitable raffle will go towards The Bill Bransome and Ed Sciaky Scholarship Funds. These funds honor Bill Bransome, KYW newscaster, long-time Local President and Board member, shop steward and driving force behind the establishment of our Philadelphia Local, and Ed Sciaky, longtime Board member, shop steward and well-known Philadelphia radio personality. The Funds will provide scholarships to student enrolled in broadcast and entertainment programs in area colleges. Donations to the Scholarship Funds are still being accepted. Please send checks or money orders payable to “AFTRA” directly to the AFTRA office.

Smokin’ Joe Frazier with glove winner Victoria Dalton.

Photos by Cyndy Drue unless otherwise credited.

(Back row L-R) Victoria Dalton, Sandee Clark Bengel (Front row L-R) Carol Anne Mueller, Jennifer Butler, Sara Jane Blazo, Cyndy Drue. (Photo by Cecil Parker.) “Good Wife actress Helen Chong with Rob Charry of WIP.

(L-R) 1st VP Chuck Varesko; author and KYW reporter Paul Kurtz, and Metro Traffic reporter Sam Clover.




SESSIONS

Official publication of the Philadelphia American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. www.aftra.com/philadelphia.htm

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE By Catherine Brown, Philadelphia AFTRA President, National Vice President

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all and response is a traditional form of spontaneous communication that dates back hundreds of years. In these modern times

CAST & CREW Editor

Shelley Figures

Contributing Editors

Stephen Leshinski Chuck Varesko

STAFF Executive Director

Stephen Leshinski

Associate Executive Director

Shelley Figures

Contracts/Signatory Admin.

Lynn Koenigsberg

Benefits & Membership Admin

Michele Dooley

LOCAL BOARD OF DIRECTORS President , National VP

it comes to mind as AFTRA launches the process that could

mean a revolutionary change for our union. That would be AFTRA and SAG moving to form a new successor union. To be sure, AFTRA is calling on you to be part of this critical process. AFTRA National President Roberta Reardon long ago made the commitment that every sector of AFTRA membership must have a voice and a place in a successor union. So it’s only right that we all respond to the call to be active in its creation. Learn more by reading your AFTRA magazine and checking out the One Union updates online at aftra.com. I’m honored that President Reardon appointed me to the AFTRA New Union Committee. We’ll be getting to work very soon, and I hope you will too. That’s the Call. Awaiting Your Response! AFTRA-thought: Insurance or weight loss? You pay for an insurance policy and hope nothing bad happens. If something bad happens, your insurance policy is there to handle it. You pay to join a weight loss program and you hope you can reach your goal. But the only way to reach your goal is for you to work at it. Sweat equity! AFTRA, your union is not your insurance policy. AFTRA is your weight loss program. You get the most out of it only when you invest some sweat equity! It’s the ultimate interactive experience. Join. Commit. Work. And let’s reap the rewards, together! In Solidarity, Catherine

Catherine Brown

1st Vice President

In Memoriam — Don Lancer

Chuck Varesko

2nd Vice President

Dick Sheeran

Secretary

Cyndy Drue

Treasurer

Ed Fischer

Board Members

Rob Charry, Sam Clover, John De Domenico, Paul Kurtz, Sylvia Kauders, Volieda Webb, Susan Moses, M.J. Myers, Bill Shusta, Christy Springfield

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on Lancer, 68, of King of Prussia, a news anchor and business reporter at KYW NewsRadio from 1970 to 2008 died of lung cancer Monday, April 25, at his home.

Mr. Lancer was born in Auburn, N.Y. where he gradu-

ated from Central High School. Before he started at KYW Lancer was news director in Buffalo for WKBW radio. Lancer briefly left KYW for a talk-show host position on sister station WPHT (1210 AM) but returned to KYW a month later to do business reports. In comments on the station’s website, Harry Donahue, (a longtime Lancer colleague) stated that Mr. Lancer “loved putting together an entertaining show, an informative show, and he could do it with style.” Bill Roswell, director of digital news and media at KYW, said he had seen Mr. Lancer’s daily effort since he joined the station in 1980. When he was a daytime news anchor,

NATIONAL BOARD MEMBERS

Susan Moses, Bill Shusta

Roswell said, Mr. Lancer “was on the air for a total of three hours, with five hours” of preparation. Roswell said Mr. Lancer took his last name “from a car in the parking lot of a radio station” where a boss required him to change his name. His given name was Donald E. Kelsh Jr.

AFTRA PHILADELPHIA

230 South Broad St., Suite 500 Philadelphia 215.732.0507

Have something to share with Philadelphia AFTRA members? Maybe a comment or an article? An op-ed piece or a how-to? Contact Sessions via email: sessions@aftraphiladelphia.com

Download Sessions at: www.aftraphiladelphia.com/sessions




THE DIRECTOR’S CHAIR

By Stephen Leshinski AFTRA Philadelphia Executive Director

It’s a Small World

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we’ve always considered “AFTRA jurisdiction.”

aybe it’s because my daughter just turned four and wants to go back to Disney World (never) but this has been on my mind

The vision of a New Union is not just to

lately when I think about AFTRA: who we are and what we do.

make things more convenient or to stream-

We have had three tri-union workshops since we started the program

line contract negotiations. The vision of a New

last fall and at each event I was struck by how many people already knew

Union is for there to be an organization of radio, television, screen, and

each other and how many dual and tri-union members we already had.

new media actors who can continue to be a voice in the industry that

I was also struck by how many people wear so many different hats, wheth-

will secure decent wages, benefits, and working conditions for the profes-

er it was television reporters attending an audio-books seminar, or radio DJs

sional men and women who make it possible for the industry to exist at all.

who had significant freelance earnings as part of their tax return statements,

In addition to attending Tri-Union workshops and planning meetings

or stage actors who supplemented their income with radio commercials.

as a way to stay involved, you can have an impact on this New Union

The point is that our members are part of a larger community and

movement right from home! Members are beginning to organize house

we are all only two or three degrees from each other even though

parties with AFTRA staff and board members as invited guests to discuss

the Philadelphia area market is one of the biggest in the country.

all the moving parts of a New Union and keep the lines of communica-

This has been on my mind as the discussions for a New Union enter

tion open as we spend the next 6-9 months planning this new chapter.

a new phase and the nuts and bolts of the planning start to take shape.

If you are interested in more information on the New Union move-

Watching Comcast purchase NBC reminds us that the companies we deal

ment and have friends and colleagues equally interested, please sched-

with figured out a long time ago that there is power in numbers, or in their

ule a house party at your house or in your neighborhood and get the

case, dollars. And as the total number of these employers shrink into a hand-

conversation going. If we can do this the right away and create a

ful of mega-entities, our own power becomes diminished unless we can

new organization for AFTRA and SAG members whether the world

grow in similar ways.Technological developments have also made it a “small-

feels big or small our New Union will have a new LOUD VOICE.

er world” as more and more people have access to the type of work that

Local Board News

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om McNutt’s exit from the Local Board of Directors left an opening which has been filled by Volieda Webb. Ms. Webb brings a fresh face to the AFTRA Board and has hit the ground running with ideas for more outreach into the performing community.

Ms. Webb has an oncology nursing background and is employed at Fox Chase Cancer Center. Her long time interest in the performing arts lead her to take acting lessons with The Freedom

Theater while she was a teenager. She has appeared in several films in recent years with both background and principal roles.

Current Members of The Philadephia Board Catherine Brown — President WCAU-TV

Chuck Varesko — 1st Vice-President Freelance

Richard Sheeran — 2nd Vice-President Staff Announcer/News

Cyndy Drue — Secretary Freelance

Ed Fischer — Treasurer Staff Announcer/News KYW-AM

Susan Moses

Rob Charry

Staff Announcer/News WIP

Sam Clover

Staff Announcer/News Metro

John DiDomenico Freelance

Sylvia Kauders Freelance

Paul Kurtz

Staff Announcer/News (KYW-AM)

National Board Freelance

M.J. Myers

Bill Shusta

Christy Springfield

National Board Staff Announcer/News

Freelance Freelance

Volieda Webb Freelance



New Board Member Volieda Webb.


BROADCAST BEAT — News From our Shop Stewards tion has given three Murrow Awards to CBS 3. The Eyewitness News team shares one for breaking news coverage of the Duck Boat Collision. Andy Wheeler shares one for a story of Phillies Pitcher Roy Halladay’s no-hitter. The third goes to cbsphilly.com for its online news operation. The Catholic Academy of Communications Arts Professionals has awarded a Gabriel Award for Alex Scott: A Stand for Hope to Anchor Pat Ciarrocchi and Producer Jonelle Fabian for the documentary on the little girl’s battle with pediatric cancer.

METRO By Sam Clover and Randy Chepigan he Philadelphia Metro Traffic shop continues to welcome new members as we work with management toward expanding on a gradual improvement in staffing already achieved. We suddenly find ourselves guiding each other through countless logistics involved in a recent ownership change! (Westwood One sold its Metro Traffic unit to Clear Channel at the end of April 2011.) We look forward to successful and mutually beneficial negotiations with management and our new ownership to improve on our current contract, which expires in September.

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KYW-1060 By Jim Melwert YW Newsradio’s newsroom features several new AFTRAns. Tim Jimenez, Danny Majka, and Tim McLaughlin recently joined the AFTRA roster. The three are no strangers to the KYW newsroom as they’ve worked their ways up from nonunion positions. In addition, there are two new faces in the newsroom, as KYW welcomes reporter Cherri Gregg along with reporter and anchor Dan Wing. KYW Newsradio also has a new shop steward. Reporter Jim Melwert takes over for Paul Kurtz. Kurtz stepped down to put the finishing touches on his book, 162-0: Imagine a Phillies Perfect Season (in bookstores now). Melwert has been a reporter with KYW since 2007, and started his broadcast career in the KYW newsroom as a production assistant back in 2001. He says he’s looking forward to working with AFTRA over the next several years to ensure KYW can continue to recruit the best talent in the business.

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WXTU By Andie Summers ey, there! Andie Summers here from XTU. I’m happy to report that since my last report our CBA has been signed, sealed and delivered! YAY! Just in time to start work on the next one. We’ve had a lot of staff and managerial changes over the past year and a half. Shelly Easton, formerly of Allentown and Harrisburg, is our new PD. I said good-bye to Kris Stevens in mornings and am now joined by Wllkes-Barre/Scranton’s former PD and morning genius Doc Medek. Leigh Richards exited middays which are now split by the greatest pipes in the market — Brian McKay and Shelly Easton. Music Director Razz continues to master afternoons drive and Ken Anderson’s Pirate Radio has taken over nights. It was a tough year adjusting to the changes and working our tails off to get ratings back on track, but I’m happy to report that our XTU air family has never been so tight — both on and off the air.

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WIP By Rob Charry pecial kudos to former AFTRA office staffer Rose Cunningham, who was invaluable in helping WIP pull off a fundraiser for one of our cherished listeners and first rate callers, Linda from Mayfair, who is battling breast cancer. As everybody in the AFTRA office and those of us in the sports media know, Rose knows how to run an event, and this one was — from the comedy of Joe Conklin to guest bartenders including WIP’s Big Daddy Graham, Ray Didinger, Paul Jolovitz, Jason Myrtetus, Eytan Shander and Brian Startare ­— to the event co-hosts, the midday show’s Anthony Gargano and Glen Macnow. Special thanks to Pete Ciarocchi who gave us one of his restaurants — Chickie’s and Pete’s on the Boulevard — for the night, and to all individuals and organizations who donated their financial support to help our friend Linda. Seth Everett, who has been a special contributor to the WIP morning show as a baseball insider, now hosts the Baseball Show, Saturday morning from 8-10 a.m. on WIP.

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WPHT By Clinton Petty oe Gaines and Ian Cohen have returned to WPHT for baseball season to produce Phillies games. Eric Strain, in addition to his duties for the Dom Giordano Show, has also added Phillies production to his repertoire. Nikki Marra attended the NAB convention in Las Vegas. And finally, the entire WPHT producer staff came together to coordinate coverage of the raid and killing of Osama bin Laden. Radio listeners throughout the entire region are grateful for their effort.

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CBS 3 News

NBC10

By Neil Rattigan FTRAns at KYW-TV now have four shop stewards. Anchor Dave Huddleston and Sports Producer Andy Wheeler now cover shifts that give all members access to a shop steward in the newsroom. Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan and I still cover day shifts and graveyard shifts respectively. With Oprah Winfrey calling it quits, CBS 3 Eyewitness News moves from 4 p.m. to 5 p. m., switching places with Dr. Phil. Management is hoping Oprah’s viewers will also make the switch. New AFTRAn Vince DeFruscio leaves the assignment desk to become a writer/producer. He has been at the station for seven years. The Radio Television Digital News Associa-

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By Catherine Brown he deal is done! The long-awaited AFTRA-WCAU agreement was just ratified. It was two years in the making, with the AFTRA-WCAU team standing strong throughout and never losing sight of the goal. Comcastic? The “new” partnership is ever so slowly revealing its consequences at our workplace. Meanwhile, we bid “welcome” to Cydney Long and Jenna Yoder. And say “good luck and safe travels” to Barry Dima as

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he heads to Thailand.




Audio Demo Seminar

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n March 28, 2011 it was standing room only at a Center City Philadelphia hotel for a seminar on how to create a voiceover demo. Produced as part of the on-going Tri-Union effort

with SAG and AEA the seminar brought one of the partners from local voiceover studio Philadelphia Post, Scott Wasienko, and the voicover casting director from Mike Lemon Casting, Rob Holt, to the crowded meeting room with their advice on how to make and distribute a voiceover artist’s most effective marketing tool, the audio demo. Seminar attendees learned tips on how to create and distribute audio demos directly from Wasienki and Holt, two of the people who are responsible for casting voices in spots and industrial productions in Philadelphia. Scot Waseinko expounded many points from an article he has written for Presenters Scott “Waz” Wasienko of PhiladelphiaPost (L) and Rob Holt of Mike Lemon Casting (R).

Philly Ad Club magazine and website. We bring you that article below.

Voice-Over: Great work! Did you get it? By Scott “Waz”Wasienko, partner Philadelphia Post (Formerly AudioPost/Maja.)

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everal years ago I wrote a Big Ideas article for Philly Ad Club News

Consider your sources. Industry expert or your Aunt Kathy? It should be a

entitled “Voice-Over: Great work if you can get it!” By the looks of the

natural extension of your personality. Does it require the deepest register

picture of me, I’m figuring it was about seven years ago. I’ve grayed up

voice? Must I sound sexy? No. And no. Most people are born to do some-

pretty good since then. Google it, you’ll find it. Over the last several years,

thing that can be difficult for others. For example, very few actors come

I know many have read it because I still get emails from voice talent on a

from nowhere. It’s extremely rare to be picked from a crowd and placed

regular basis telling me they just read it and now want to know how to

in front of a camera or mic with high expectations. I think it’s easy to get

break into the business. Some tell me that, “yes”, they are the next great voice to come out of Philadelphia. Really nice people. Most are quite sincere and are hoping for more good advice. But I stopped responding to these requests a few years ago because not one of the voices I traded emails with actually became a marketable voice

your first gig. Heck, it’s easy to do one job a year. It’s the

“Today, I’m going to explore some of the reasons why I think it’s hard to break into the voice over business and even harder still to make a living doing it.”

30th gig of that year that makes you feel like voice work might be a nice way to make some real good extra income. You have a full time job already? Ok. Are you readily available tomorrow at 11am for an hour if I call you later today? Wait. Sorry. The client just called and

in Philadelphia. Frustrating indeed to say the least.Today, I’m going to explore

they don’t have script approval. Let’s go with tomorrow afternoon at 2 then,

some of the reasons why I think it’s hard to break into the voice over busi-

but hold the day after just in case. That’s right; it’s a real commitment.

ness and even harder still to make a living doing it. Sit down and strap your-

But, I’ve been told that I have a very nice voice and that I should be

self in. This may hurt a bit.

on the radio or in a TV ad. Uh huh. Ok, That’s nice. What’s the difference

Talent. There’s no avoiding it. You are either very talented or marginally

between being a busy on-screen actor and just another pretty face? Lots of

talented. And those without enough talent don’t see or I should say, hear,

beautiful people in this world, how many of them do you want to watch act

the difference between being average and being very good. Do you need to

for 22 or 43 minutes once a week, week after week? 90-120 minutes at $12

be great to make a living at this? No. But you do need to be very talented.

a pop for the big screen? My client has $500 for this ten-page narration. Are

So how do you know? Like anything else, if you’ve got it, enough people will

you worth it? What is it about you that would make me want to listen to Continued on page 6

tell you and encourage you. But who is telling you? Know your audience. 


to work with? Do you understand the process of spot making? I nearly fall

VOICE-OVER

out of my chair when I hear any voice actors say they don’t watch TV or

From page 5

listen to the radio. Really? Are you aware of advertising trends? Directorial

you for 30 seconds straight? 60 seconds? A fifteen-minute corporate narra-

references? Are you in the game or are you out? When you read a book,

tion? Sound easy? 30 seconds can be an eternity.

do you occasionally read a few pages out loud? At full voice? It’s hard to do.

Can you act? Bat your eyes, show me your biceps, trip and fall on cue and

It’s tiring. It’s necessary. Do you record yourself? There’s no excuse now not

I might have a part for you in my no budget indie film, but can you emote

too. A simple iMac and QuickTime and you could record for hours. Not

with just your voice in an interesting manner for 30 solid seconds without

professionally, of course, but have you actually listened to yourself speak on

forcing a listener to change the channel or surf to the next internet soup du

a digital playback? Would you hire you? Do you have talent? It’s a real craft,

jour site. Seriously. Can you control the timbre of your voice, inflect in just

voice acting. You have to continually work at it as if you are only talented

the right way and read the words like they were only formed in your brain

and not very talented.

at that moment without making listeners eyebrows crunch? Can you do this

How do you handle mistakes? Do you have trouble reading? Out loud?

take after take so that when the engineer pieces

Do you speed read so the words carry no weight

together the best of you from various takes it all

or meaning? Are words images to you? Or are

sounds like the same person?

they just words? Do you start every pick up

Not many can. Heck, I do about 20-30 voice

with so much variation that you don’t sound like

jobs a year now, and I can’t stand listening to myself

the same person from paragraph to paragraph?

for more than 30 seconds. I can only do what I’m

What’s a pick up? When you make mistakes do

capable of because I’ve edited millions of takes and

you know right away or do they always have

I know how to work the voice system. I don’t know

to be pointed out to you? Do you giggle, make

how many times I’ve voiced a spot for a client and

excuses, blank stare or worse, start cracking jokes

thought I nailed it pretty good only to hear my

and carry on a self-conversation after every

playback in the context of what is actually need-

blown take? Can you self medicate? Meaning, as

ed and said, “Oh crap! That’s not good.” Thankfully,

you are reading through copy or a script, do you

my listening skills are such that I can hear it out

hear yourself enough to stop and start over at

loud and switch to plan B before my client says,

an earlier sentence or paragraph because you

“Umm, we can live with that.” That’s code for let’s

know the engineer and producer are hoping not

just get this done because I’m not using you again. Ha! As engineer/owner, I have the luxury of calling

This guy isn’t getting that much work these days.

to have to chime in on every misstep? Can you do this without drawing even more attention to

a do-over to my voice-over. I can record myself, grab a few syllables here, a

yourself? Do you have the confidence to read a phrase a certain way and

sentence from there, kill some breaths, chop out an annoying lipsmack I was

without skipping a beat go back, hit it again, twist it slightly, yet do it in such a

unaware of, add some cool plugins and after a few minutes, I sound like the

way that the engineer will have no trouble dropping that alternate read into

real deal. But again, I know how to work the system and fool my audience

the body of the spot so that we don’t all have to labor over the process?

into thinking I have a better than average voice. Don’t worry, as your engi-

Can you hear volume? Too loud, too soft from sentence to sentence? Start

neer, I’ve got your back.You’ll get the same heroic treatment if necessary. But

strong end weak? Trouble breathing? Do you argue for 5 minutes or ques-

it takes time. Time is money. Clients’ money.

tion why you’ve been asked to read something a certain way, instead of just

I also know my limitations. I can be Mr. Sincere. I can be Mr. Smart. And

taking the 15 seconds to read it the way the producer wants to hear it, thus

I can be Mr. Insinuating. All of that works incredibly well for political spots,

giving them an opportunity to say how wrong that sounds, apologize, and

healthcare and the occasional combination that adds up to a smart aleck

defer to you?

with good timing. But, you’ll never hear me be smiley guy or promo guy or

And there’s more! Do you know how close you are to the microphone?

goofy guy or man of authority. You wouldn’t believe me. I’m narrow scoped.

Do you realize how close or far away you are 5 minutes later? Do you know

I can’t be all things to all people. And neither can you. There’s only a very

what your voice sounds like when you read the top of a page compared to

small handful that graduate to that level. Very small. Meaning I can count

the bottom of the page? Do you know how much noise you make when

them on my hand. My voice changed just enough three years ago at age 40

you are reaching for the script before you have actually finished reading

to pull off the above with some success. So it begs the question, where are

that page and then subsequently how much noise the paper makes when

you in life? What do you know about yourself? Some people always sound

you are removing it from the stand and trying to read the next page in one

happy. Some can sound ominous. Some sound like the guy next door that

clumsy swoop? Does every script have logical page breaks so that this does

you always like hanging out with. Most don’t. Ever. Most people have incred-

not happen? No. Do you know how to position the pages so that when this

ibly non-descript voices. Most people have no idea what it means to turn a

problem arises, you’ve bent the preceding page over the stand and off to the

phrase; to be engaging and interesting instead of annoying and boring.

left but you haven’t moved one inch from the microphone in the process?

Can you be consistent for an hour or two behind a mic? Are you fun

A,B,C, please. Three in a row please. I’m just going to leave it open, give us 


some alts. Watch those P’s. What does that all mean? Do you have a quieter

Again, they don’t own you for the whole day. Refer back to who hired you

shirt? Your pants are brushing every time you bounce your knees. Stop play-

and strike up a conversation. An agreement needs to be reached.

ing with the headphone cord, it’s banging against the stand. And yes, I know

Want to know why most of the same people continue working? Because

the stand has dropped 6 inches because you are leaning on it, just put your

they completely get the process I’ve illustrated and they have a lot of talent.

foot on one of the legs and raise it back up. Lowering your headphones

Meaning, everything I’ve described above is perfectly normal to them. It’s

doesn’t mean you pull the headphones down past your ears. You are listen-

how business gets done. Even on their worst day, talented voice actors give

ing too loud and the sound is leaking back into the microphone so that I’m

you a very solid performance. Do you get better over the years? Most do.

hearing your voice full and hearing your voice like it’s coming out of iPod

The voice changes and their skill level get better. Do some just dial it in? Of

earbuds. “Rolling” means we are recording and you should start speaking, no

course. Doesn’t everyone once in awhile? You’ve got to find your motivation

need to look at the engineer and say, “should I go?” It’s not actually warm in

deep down inside. Your passion for the craft will come through those vocal

the booth. You are sweating because you are nervous. Did you know you

chords loud and clear. Don’t smoke. Don’t drink whiskey the night before.

have a Philly accent too? Uh oh!

Don’t come in and announce that you have such a cold that you hope it

Phew! There’s some stuff to think about, huh? Still feeling talented? Great.

won’t show up in the recording.Too late. It does. More client money wasted.

Let’s move to business. Who hired you? Did the studio call you and book

Listeners can hear a person with a cold a mile away.

you and tell you how much the gig was? Or did the ad agency? Your agent?

I could have done that spot. I’m better than that voice. No, you’re not.

When it comes to money, remember who your source was and speak

You’re just different. And on the day that was all decided, the client wasn’t

about dollars only to them, in private, after the session if you have a question

feeling your audition. Why? Because. That’s why. Next week, your voice is

about billing. Nine times out of ten, the whole session should go off without

perfect for something else. It’s just life. Or maybe your audition was record-

a hitch. You read. Client was happy. Sometime in the next 20-45 days, you

ed in your living room through the iMac microphone into Garage Band and

should expect payment. Of course, that’s only if you get your billing in on

the woman who got the gig did hers with a $1000 mic in the quietest room

time. The worst are talent that email two months later and say, “Hey, should

of her house and edited her audition together giving herself the best possi-

I send a bill to you or the client?” Or 10 moths later, email and say, “I don’t

ble chance to succeed? Or maybe you read it twice, fired it off and then

think I ever got paid for that session we did.” Well, you were supposed to bill

went on vacation and became unavailable. Who knows?

the client and since it’s nearly an eternity since that job existed, good luck

Who is directing? These days, I find that I’m doing more and more. I

getting paid since everyone’s books are closed on what we all did last year.

love it. It’s my passion. I’ve been in love with the human voice since I was a

Run your business like a business.

young kid. Today I have the distinct pleasure to give feedback and encour-

At this point in Philadelphia, I’m working under the assumption of a non-

agement to actors on The Good Wife and Blue Bloods each week and a

union pay structure agreement. Meaning, you worked, check’s in the mail,

host of other films as an ADR mixer. It took 20 years of working in Philly to

we got what we needed, and my client owns it. Forever. Unless something

be entrusted with that responsibility I have now. I’m very grateful to all that

has been prearranged, unless it’s a union (AFTRA/SAG) situation, it’s a done

have allowed me to put my two cents into their recording sessions over the

deal. On to the next. There’s a studio with a lot of “locations” in this coun-

years. That kind of collaboration has afforded me great opportunities. These

try that believes that after 3 months they can ask for a “re-up” fee for their

days, an engineer with really good ears and a knack for saying the right thing

non-union talent if the spot continues airing. That is highly unusual. Almost

at the right time is still a good value. Clients know this. Do you? Oh, but

suspect.

you’re getting conflicting direction from a few people in the room? That’s

And no, your parking tab is not part of the deal. That’s a cost of doing

annoying for sure.The engineer is usually the first to bow out of that scenar-

business line item. Oh, but in the session you ended up reading more than

io and should always defer to the folks paying the time at the studio.

what was originally agreed upon. Now what? That can be a sticky situation

It’s their baby. It’s not your baby. When someone comes in with very

for sure. Out loud, you can say, “Hey, so this is more stuff, should we have a

definitive ideas, that’s great. Once voice, one vision. It doesn’t happen enough

conversation about what that costs?” See who sits up straight and addresses

these days because there are less people involved in the overall process. It’s

it. They own you for an hour per spot on average, unless it’s narration. But

fun when it’s collaborative and it’s fun when the client says to the engineer,

it’s not “how many spots can you read in an hour for one price” world either.

“I’m cool with you running the show.” And that’s a great way to get going.

Some alternate phrasing is really just that. Kind of like saying the same thing

Once the session gets up on two legs and we start making real progress,

in a different way. Clients want options if they need to resort to a shorter

clients will usually take over because they see the players in action. They see

line reading you did in case their spot balloons to 32 seconds. Options. Price

what you are capable of doing as a voice, they see the relationship you may

points, location changes, sometimes it’s hard to figure it out. But a cut down

have with the engineer and then they see themselves bringing it all together

30 from a 60 that you have to reread for timing even though “the words

in order to cross the finish line at the same time. Win, win, win.

are pretty much the same” is another spot. How much? The going rate.

So I ask of you, do you get it? Do you? Are you really the next great

How long does all this take? It varies. If you’re out in 15, cool, if you take the

voice to come out of Philadelphia? Great. And cut! I’ll save some for another

hour, that’s normal. If the client keeps you for three hours for a 30 second

article 5-7 years from now.

spot because they don’t have their act together and the spot keeps getting rewritten or the approval process is taking forever, then that’s a real issue.

Learn more about Philadelphia Post at http://www.phillypost.tv/ 


PRESIDENT’S LISTENING TOUR LANDS IN PHILLY

O

n May 5th AFTRA President Roberta Reardon and SAG President Ken Howard came to the City of Brotherly Love to listen to what Local members of both unions had to say about the One Union concept. Thirty members of AFTRA

and SAG meet at Temple University’s Center City campus to ask questions and give opinions.They wanted to know how the Health and Retirement Funds would be merged, what would happen to staff members made redundant by the merging of staffs, what would happen to office space currently in use by AFTRA and SAG, and, they wanted to know what the new union would be called. The answers to most of the questions asked was that until the process has been completed and the union’s members have voted to proceed a lot of the questions can’t be answered. President Reardon did say that the creation of one union will require all of the staff currently employed by the unions so no one will be let go. And, she said the name of the new union would be the last thing to be considered.

Local President/National VP Catherine Brown with National AFTRA President Roberta Reardon before the Listening Tour.

Traynor Steps In For Presentation Skills Seminar

M

ay 23rd, 45 AFTRA, Equity & SAG members joined Temple Univer-

sity students at a Tri-Union-sponsored  “Presentation Skills Workshop” held at Temple University’s Center City Campus. 

Although the original presenter had to cancel at the last minute, Frank Traynor, SAG’s North Regional Executive Director, stepped up to the task.  Using his extensive background in TV news and programming, Frank offered simple steps for developing good presentation skills as he shared behind-the-scenes stories of his experiences in the industry.  He demonstrated how a performer should stand, eye contact techniques and encouraged everyone to “have fun”

Seminar attendees had the chance to work out on camera.

as part of the process. Several members joined Temple University students to participate in a on-

More seminars are set for the rest of

camera exercises under Frank’s expert direction.

the year. Get more information from The

If you missed this workshop, stay tuned to next

AFTRA office or online at The Local’s page at aftra.com.

year’s schedule for a repeat of this very valuable presentation.

Frank Traynor in command of the podium.

The man was still holding the massive butcher knife and threatening police, so they shot him three times with a Taser, Evers said.

In Memoriam — Chuck Williams

When that failed to stop him from lunging at police, officers shot him in the chest, Evers said. He was pronounced dead on scene at

C

harles Fricker, 52, who worked as an

10:10 a.m. Police withheld his name, pending family notification.

insurance salesman, disc jockey and as

Charles Ficker’s funeral was May 26, 2011.The family asks that

a part-time traffic reporter for Metro

contributions be made in Fricker’s name to Alex’s Lemonade Stand

Traffic under the pseudonym Chuck Williams,

Foundation 333 E. Lancaster Ave., #414 Wynnewood, PA 19096.

was getting out of his car to visit insurance clients when he was approached by a man on

Read Nat Wright’s History of AFTRA Philadelphia at: www.aftraphiladelphia.com/convention/history.html

a bicycle. Police said the bicyclist, a man in his 20s, stabbed Fricker twice in the chest with a butcher’s knife during the course of a robbery. Fricker, of Waterford, N.J., was pronounced dead at the scene. A witness who saw the attack followed the assailant for five blocks until he saw him enter a house on Mascher Street near Grange Avenue, police said. Officers responded and found the suspect in the basement of the house, Evers said.



The AFTRA Online Talent Guide Are you showcasing yourself in The Talent Guide? www.aftraphiladelphia.com


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