Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Episode 15: Behind the Scenes at the Academy Awards

Ken’s guest is Randy Thomas, one of the premier live event voice over artists in the country. She has been the voice of the Oscars, Tonys, and Emmys. She tells what really happened during that colossal snafu at this year’s Academy Awards. She also discusses her career, what it takes to be a VO artist, how to break in, do’s and don’ts, and of course “Hooked On Phonics.” For anyone wanting to make a living with their voice, this episode is for YOU.

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Barefoot Billy Aloha said...

Very cool! Randy is wonderful.

The voiceover world has changed a lot in the last decade or so, and I wish all the newbies the best. Randy's advice and coaching service would be very helpful because she is at the peak of the voiceover mountain and her perspective is golden, I bet.

I'm not nearly as accomplished as she is but I've found my niche doing car spots and European industrial videos. Occasionally, I'll get a big one (Google, Microsoft, Intel and very few others) but my bread and butter is as I said.

The real challenge, IMHO, is not doing voiceovers, but rather finding voiceover clients. Marketing oneself is vital. Here's why:

The competition is horridly intense. Example: On only one services Web site alone - - there are more than 5,000 voiceover folks willing to do a voiceover job for FIVE DOLLARS. Go ahead and see. Visit the Web site and search "voiceover." You'll see all of those nice people ready to record anything for five bucks...all with the hope that somehow, those clients will agree to pay more for future gigs. Again, that's just one Web site. There are many others. (...and I'm not listed with any of them...)

The good news is that the large majority of those folks probably don't make sales calls to win clients. I think that it's natural to sign up for a Web site service (many pay-to-play Web sites like or and WAIT for the jobs to come rolling in. Well, there won't be enough to live on, I've experienced years ago; so, I make sales calls and write pitches everyday. I'll close about 10% and that's pretty good.

So, best wishes from me to all v/o folks everywhere...and make those sales calls.


Andy Rose said...

Nice discussion about the Tonys ceremony and Glenn Weiss. Jodi Roth, the CBS executive in charge of specials, recorded a great video of Glenn directing the 2013 Tonys opening number, which I think is still the best awards opening of all time.

VioletStella said...

Thank you for this very interesting episode. I've wondered about the woman behind the voice and now I'll enjoy the Tonys even more after hearing her anecdotes.

Mike Barer said...

Well done as always, Ken!

Roger Owen Green said...

I LOVE the Tonys, and she's one of the reasons.

Charles H. Bryan said...

Will Randy let you keep using the show intro? As one would expect, it's very good.

By Ken Levine said...

You'll have to tune in next week. :)