Sunday, April 29, 2012

Heavenly Voices

2012 has already been a challenging year with illnesses in my family and the loss of several loved ones that were close friends. There are always times where we feel alone. In those moments, we may feel like we are the only ones feeling that way. However, in the real world, just about everyone does!  And you know what?  It’s perfectly okay. It is in times like these that we are drawn closer to each other. My late Uncle and Grandmother are always smiling down from the heavens, telling me everything will be alright. They are the ghosts in this house. They keep things in perspective. In a way, they are protecting my house.

When I feel alone or like I am really struggling, I look up to the old record album of my late Uncle Terry. I feel as if he is looking down upon me and saying, “Come on, guy. You gotta keep going!”

Do you have a ghost in your house looking down on you? I bet you do. Don’t take life for granted; not even the lives of your loved ones that have passed on. Every single breath, thought and even chuckle are all precious moments. Embrace them. Accept them.

There is always a voice in your head offering words of wisdom. These voices do not have to scare you; they can be positive reinforcement that you could have received from a loved one before they passed away. Maybe one of your grandparents or another close relative said something to you that engraved itself into your mind. Now, every time that you are having a rough day, you are able to reflect on those empowering words.

There have been many times in this house where my dog would look up and bark even though no one would be there. Sometimes, I even hear whispers throughout the house or strange noises in the middle of the night. Imagining that it is just one of my loved ones hanging out in the kitchen or fumbling through the clutter in the storage room always brings a smile to my face. I never feel afraid. I am comforted because I know the memories I cherish about the people I love will always live within me.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Voice Over Cafe

A few years back, Trish Basanyi and I recorded twenty episodes of "Voice Overs on Demand", a podcast that quickly earned a steady following of voice over pros and students. We interviewed guests like Joe Cipriano, Randy Thomas and Rodney Saulsberry, just to name a few. We were very candid the way we went out about our business on this show. We kept it educational but didn't take ourselves too seriously because we wanted it to be a fun show.

This year, we are launching a brand new podcast that will begin where "VOD" left off. It's called, "The Voice Over Cafe." We decided on this title because we were looking for that laid back coffee shop vibe.  Like coming to a coffee shop, relaxing and engaging in some good conversation.

The new show will feature some entertaining segments.  Rob Sciglimpaglia, an attorney, film/tv/theater and voice actor based in the NYC area will be a regular on the program. He will be doing "The Legal Minute", a segment in which Rob will offer up some tips for voice talents and their business. For example, contracts, incorporating your business and more! Rob's latest role was playing a young father on the famous Chevy Super Bowl commercial, Happy Grad! His new book, Voice Over Legal, will be released soon. For more information, visit

"The Cafe Mailbag" is a feature we're bringing over from the old podcast. The segment will feature both of us taking questions from listeners about the voiceover industry. I suppose if someone wants to know our favorite 80's bands, we'll be glad to cover that as well!

"The Random Skype Call" will be an entertaining feature. This is a segment where we'll find another voice talent who is currently logged in on skype and just call them with no prior warning and ask them a few questions. Perhaps they can provide some insight into the industry as well. Beware all you voice talents who are linked up with us on Skype!

The show will feature other segments as we go along but we also plan on having guests on a regular basis. The show will be featured on the Entrepreneur Podcast Network and also available on iTunes. EPN is the brain child of Eric Michael Dye and is the ultimate source for business advice, information, motivation, inspiration and major live event coverage.

Trish and I plan on recording the first episode of "The Voice Over Cafe" next Thursday. Stay tuned for more information. This is going to be fun!

UPDATE:  The link is

Monday, April 2, 2012

A Healthy Diet Means A Healthy Voice And A Healthy Attitude

Towards the beginning of every year, millions of people around the world make the decision to get in shape and get healthier. That day came for me about a month ago. 

Up until that moment, I was still fairly active throughout the week by playing basketball. However, my biggest weaknesses came in the form of breaded foods especially the greatest invention that I could not say good-bye to – FRENCH FRIES!

Many people may not know this, but consuming foods that are high in carbohydrates (such as white bread, white potatoes, noodles, etc.) will cause you to feel tired throughout the day. Why is this? These foods have very high levels of sugar, which cause your blood sugar to rapidly rise and require more and more of your energy to become absorbed. Therefore, before you know it, you’re crashing soon after you ate because of all of the work that your body had to do just to process all of that sugar. Many of you may be experiencing this day after day and probably did not have any idea why it was happening. Until I changed my diet, I was just like that. 

My body was being negatively affected in two different ways. The first way was my energy was being drained. I felt energized and ready to go when I woke up in the morning but because of what I was eating, I felt bloated and extremely tired in the afternoon. The second way affected my voice. Like many of you, I make my living my using my voice so this was definitely not a good thing!

With the research I have done and because of the negative affects, I decided I needed to make some changes. With doing this consistently, I can now hear and feel the changes in my voice throughout the day. It is much stronger and lasts much longer because my energy levels are higher than they have been in years!

Let me break down my basic day for you and the changes I have made. I have always preached to my voiceover students to stay away from cream in their coffee but was still at times putting it in mine. So now, in the morning, I normally stick with a cup of black coffee mixed with a lot of bottled water at room temperature. Studies have proven that drinking lots of water works wonders for your voice. In the afternoon, I get an extra boost by adding a little bit of honey to a cup of green tea, which makes a great afternoon beverage! 

I used to eat a sandwich every day for lunch. I have now cut out bread, potatoes and pasta from my meal choices. I eat a lot of soups, vegetables, fruit and meat/cheese without the bread. To get a little exercise in throughout the week, Tracy and I started running together. It’s been great in so many different ways. It’s great for our bodies, attitudes, energy levels and has even benefited our relationship in general.

Until I jumped on the scale, I had no idea how much weight I have lost just by making these small changes in my exercise routine and diet. Within one month, I have lost 15 POUNDS!  Now, that was a nice surprise! I didn’t have to join any weight loss program or follow any hardcore diet to see a drastic change in the way I feel and look. Keep that in mind when you are thinking about the resolutions that you probably made for yourself over the past couple of months. It really doesn’t take much to see a change; you just need to be consistent! If I can do can you!

Please excuse me now as I go to Taco Bell to celebrate my accomplishment.  Juuuust kidding. Ha!