Stu-Stu-Studio… Whoa-oh-oh…

All it takes is Taste, Panache, and a Sweetwater Budget

 

Scruffy. No Style At All.

Pictures & Photos from Superman II (1980) | Superman, Superman movies, Terence stamp

General Zod mentioned those four words as a hostile intruder in the Man of Steel’s home-slash-giant-deformed-igloo.  “Scruffy.  How morbid!  A sentimental replica of a planet long-since vanished.”  That’s what he said, and it was somewhat deserved, because Supe-Baby had earlier trashed his control panel after he was superjonesing to sleep with his reporter lady-friend in an ahem, Fortress of Solitude.  But have we not all wrecked our own control panels whilst pursuing reporter lady-friends?  No? Just me then.

Up until The Last Son of Krypton went nutso berserk with hormones, his icy palace was, well…palatial.  It was spacious, opulent, sprawling….the envy of any scarf-sporting real estate investor.  Sure, it could have used a little spackling and some napalm to warm up the ambience a bit, but you generally cannot put ice and fire together and have unity.  It is the same as tying two cats together by their tail: you can have union, but you will most certainly not have unity.  I do not speak from experience and have not tried this.  Please stop dialing the SPCA.

I promise there is a point here somewhere.

Ah yes!  I have it.  The point is that his palace was his.  It was beautiful; it was decorated; he found his solace, his function, his identity in it.  It was his sanctum.

It is the same with us as voice talent.  Just without the ice.  And a bit warmer.  And with cables. And usually with no sexy reporter lady friends in there with us.  Unless we need to keep warm.  Like if our studio is also made of ice.  And we are particularly lonely.  And perhaps we are feeling super randy to boot.

I will see myself out.

 

Finding Our Happy Place

studiocontentment

You can find a million images on the Interwebs where voiceover artists pin up things or make bird noises.  On any given day, any single scroll on Facebook or other social media will return hordes of pictures of fellow artists in their studios, with lights, displays, acoustic treatment, and large cylindrical objects pointed threateningly at them.   But the photos are rife with smiles from voice talent who have no fear.  They are, after all, in their place of solace.  Their place of identity.  Their place of function.  Their sanctum.

We do not have much fear of the outside world when we are in our studio.  In a way, it is like being in vitro again.  All we hear are muffled noises outside, we are nurtured, and we get to be naked.   Admit it.  You've recorded in the nude.  Look for a blog on this later, written while naked.

I am going to employ a bit of contrast here, mostly because this is my blog and not yours. Stay with me.  Think of a place that you have visited, that you would never want to go to again.  For me, that is prison.  KIDDING!  The proctologist.  ALSO KIDDING!  A cemetery at night.  I am not kidding.  It was a silly stunt pulled by my friend Brandon and I when we were growing up in Riverbend, Washington.  We were playing Truth or Dare, and some foolish idiot (him) dared another hapless dimwit (me, but also him too) to ride our bikes through the local graveyard at 1:30am.  Just looking at the pictures in this link make me want to curl up into a fetal position and ask someone to help me find a happy place.

Allow me to take a moment to ask my young readers "Why are you so young?"  Following this query, I would posit, "Why would you ever want to do such a thing?"  Scary fireside ghost stories cannot do these experiences justice.  Even the bravest prepubescent emerges on the other side of the cemetery needing new underwear.  I do not know if the cemetery caretakers were feeling particularly mischievous that night, but there was dry-ice looking fog slowly creeping down the hillside.  There was moonlight.  There were strange noises coming up from the ground.  There were strange noises coming from strange animals in strange trees.  There were strange noises coming from me.  Pretty sure I saw a Nazgul. I promise I am not making this up, and no, this blog was not ideally timed for strategic release in proximity to Halloween.  We were literally riding through the Thriller video and pedaling for our lives.

Brandon will not willingly speak about that night because:

  1. We both needed new shorts, and
  2. Pretty sure Brandon is dead now.  Unrelated to this incident.  I think.

It is a memory that will forever lurk in my memory as a lurking memory.

 

Stu-Stu-Studio

promopic

In contrast to a cemetery, our recording studios are our special places where we are safe.  Where we go to record and make money.  Where I shut myself in and hope to God that the small creatures that my wife seems to call "our children" will leave me alone and go have fruit snacks or something.

Every picture of every voice talent in every studio that we see on the internet is different!  We are all pursuing our passions and love what we do, whether we are sporting a:

We give our all, whether we are projecting our pipes into a:

The lists go on!  Most of us by now have stock in Sweetwater.  But wherever you are recording from, and whatever is pointed at you, this is our pleasure and our passion, and we are all situated behind the mic bringing words to life and lifting them off the page, breathing humanity into them.  We all share it!  It is a rich privilege that no other career can touch.

Well, except for maybe a fiendish cemetery caretaker scaring the bejesus out of a frightened preteen boy who may or may not have squealed like a girl.  Brandon did.

For you, enjoy your little home inside of your home.  May you prosper in there.  Enjoy it, wherever you are...make like Phil Collins and experience great passion in your stu-stu-studio.  Take that, General Zod.  I'm not scruffy; YOU'RE scruffy.

Now if you will excuse me, I must go work on my naked blog.

 

Mistake, Oops, Dead, Death, Graveyard, Cemetery

Used by permission from Craig_Steffan via Pixabay

 

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Joshua Alexander
Seattle Voice Actor & Voiceover Artist for hire
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22 thoughts on “Stu-Stu-Studio… Whoa-oh-oh…”

  1. A clever use of a classic Phil Collins song. I admit, I wish I had thought of it myself. Before you. You know, so I could write a blog post with it so you would open your browser one morning and realize your great idea had already been used so you had to take the time to go back and re-write your own blog post without it, thereby leaving amazing auditions not auditioned for which I auditioned for and booked.

    I also realized while reading this that I do relate to my recording space as my own private kingdom, where I rule supreme. It comforts and motivates me. However, I have not decorated it at all. I need to put my robot collection in there somehow, and clever inspirational reminders like “Don’t flail your arms about so much you knock your microphone out of position again, you idiot”. Don’t judge me. You use your inspirational reminders, I will use mine.

    Finally, please let me know in advance when your naked blog post is due to come out. I need to schedule that day off from the internet.

    Thank you once again for your sense of humor and your use of the word Nazgul.

    1. I presume you probably meant that last line in the reverse order, but I will honor you and let you use your own inspirational reminders. If it were up to me, I would Nazgul in every blog. That high-pitched shriek is certainly attention-getting. But my wife (and I daresay my audience) would never allow it. It tends to make one nervous, and I am already quite nervous while naked. By the way, naked blog day is today – I’m so sorry you missed the alert! I sent it via a naked carrier pigeon but they must have flown right over you because your private kingdom remains undecorated with robots. Next time maybe use something attention-getting, like, say, robots?

  2. I am one to admit that I stay in a quandry… <-Should I eagerly / quite passionately pursue my on-and-on activities as a Voiceover Artist or should I pass-by this pursuit in aim to find yet another activity that keeps my hands and mind busy?

    Having attended the Broadcast announcing course and Vocal-training class at my community college sometime ago, should I give this activity all my intent while I should know the difference between Commercial copy and Narration gigs? Should I add-more-schtuff (equipment, more sound-dampeners, another Condenser mic) and possibly go all-the-way to build a Hutch inside my home?

    Can my bank account tolerate these ^ expenses – when I am beginning this merely as a Hobby?

    1. Hi Charlie! Thanks for writing. I actually just taught a course on this which is now available at http://www.supervoiceovertraining.com. Check it out. First things first though, before you go hog wild and splurge on equipment and courses and hardware and software, get coaching. A coach can help you determine if you should really do this. It’s a minimal investment that might save you maximum expense. Also it can equip you to do this glorious thing we call voiceovers. I highly recommend Scott Burns! http://www.bookscottburns.com. Cheers!

  3. Yes! I am such a Sweetwater junkie now, it’s amazing how much I’ve learned and invested in tech in my 6 years of pursuing this business! Always helps to feel inspired by your space, even if it’s a treated walk in closet!

  4. Thanks for the plunge back in time! (And now the Huey Lewis memory too – hahahaha ha). Great blog, Mr Joshua – my studio is still coming together but I’m working on it.

  5. I kind of wish my recording space was cold! Summer had some tough days in that booth. It’s extremely insulated, which kind of causes it to… Well, insulate.

    I’m a little thankful for the change in weather. Now I can be fashionable AND record! AND IT’S VINCENT PRICE IMPRESSION SEASON!

    Thanks for the fun update Josh!!

  6. Ahh the joys of recording booths… and the freedom they allow 😁 (i do remember the Seattle heat and recording in 96°F. I also remember your blog about it :))

    my favorite booth someone else has basically looks like a fairy cave and I am jealous 😁
    In all seriousness though, I have a bit of a space station – the combination of sonex one panels (their pattern is amazing), the white side of VBTG blankets and light strips with a blue-ish white turn it into that.

    Originally I wanted my own booth to be like a magical fairy land, with silk drapery, fairy lights and whatnot. But I like my space station. I love it, actually 🙂

    Next booth goal for in a few years is the 10karat Diamond Vocal Booth.
    I wonder what that will be designed like. Inspiration will hit when it comes 🙂

  7. My booth is my domain! It’s also the second half of my walking closet and It’s eerily quiet. I have green sound blankets up so I can someday do some green screen work — I always have plans. Underneath the blankets I have foam. And now we are using it to store extra mattresses. Extra thicc sound proofing LOL
    I have an adjustable standing desk and a bed for my dog because it’s also his safe space. I love going into my booth. But I do dream someday I having one with a window so I feel a little less like a crazy person talking to myself in the closet.
    But I do hollering out to the family: I’m going into the closet please ignore any weird sounds LOL

  8. My studio – aka top of a credenza by the window so there is no reflection in the room – is definitely my happy place. Unfortunately, since it’s so open and free, like toe fungus, it does let other sounds in. BUT we do not give up! I am definitely at my happiest singing in mine for sure. Recently had an audition for a jingle and I wanted that gig soooooooo much – I had the greatest time auditioning for it, because it pushed me so far out of my comfort zone with harmonies – wow… Oh well – thank you, next! lol.
    Glad it’s going so well with you btw! Set that bar for next year! 😀
    Have a su-su-super day! hehe.

      1. Well, you know what they say: “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine:…” Prov 17:22a, KJV. Gotta get into that happy place so the dose of jingles can do it’s thing! hehehe.

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