Episode 51 Final
[00:00:00] Amanda Rose Smith: The VO meter, measuring your voiceover progress, whether you’re a veteran voice actor just starting out or don’t even know how to set a level. We’re here to help you avoid the pitfalls along your voiceover path to success. The VO meter is brought to by Voice Actor websites, Vocalbooth to go. global voice acting Academy.
JMC, demos and Sennheiser. The VO Meter is produced in part using source connect made by source-elements.com and now your host, Paul Stefano and Sean Daeley.
Sean Daeley: Hi everybody, and welcome to episode 51 of the VO meter,
Paul Stefano: measuring your voice over progress. Our show today is featuring. The awesome audio engineer to the stars or to the audiobook stars, at least Amanda Rose Smith. She’s based in New York. We’ll talk to her about her process, [00:01:00] uh, some of her clients and how she’s dealing with this whole COVID 19 crisis.
Sean Daeley: But before that, a word from one of our sponsors,
Amanda Rose Smith: Walgreens, because it’s flu season, you live in a place with torn up handrails and you know, people tried booking a vacation rental on one of those other websites. They don’t always tell you everything.
Paul Stefano: The
Amanda Rose Smith: stars take it until the red carpet. We are back live from the red carpet in California leads the way.
Before change in America and sodas, Kamala Harris graded M for mature and who exactly are you? So yeah. What hashtags should I use to describe a grown man in a tuxedo wrestling a goat prior to 1933 but any of them belong to a variety of political parties that were now outlawed in Germany. This is the story of how Q got curly.
Queen was crazy about curls, curly fries, curly straws, curly hair. Doug’s. Hey Jay. Michael. Here. Thanks for listening to the VO meter podcast. It’s one [00:02:00] of my favorites. If you’re looking for a great demo, like the ones we just heard, check out JMC demos.com for more information.
Sean Daeley: Awesome. Thank you very much.
JMC and I always wanted to say that on the podcast. I don’t know if we have before, probably because we’re carpet shales.
Paul Stefano: Absolutely. And there’s no shame in that, at least in my book.
Sean Daeley: How do you think we bring you such wonderful content before we get to our talk with Amanda, it’s time for our VO meter reference levels.
Amanda Rose Smith: Voiceover extra brings you the VO meter reference levels. Uh, seriously, guys, that’s the best you could come up with. Hey, it’s your show.
Paul Stefano: So, Sean, do you have anything cool to talk about?
Sean Daeley: Ah, more of the same, uh, more auditions, more audio book chapters. Oh. And I got my taxes done, so, Oh,
Paul Stefano: really? I’m taking full advantage of the delay and doing that later.
Sean Daeley: I’m actually sent all of my documentation off to a tax rep to have them help me and make sure, just because like over the last couple of years, since I [00:03:00] have income coming from various sources and I’m not incorporated yet, I really need some advice on whether like that’s something I want to do or I don’t know.
The IRS has been really finicky about whether it accepts my things on the first go or not. So I’m just like, help me through this. Someone plays,
Paul Stefano: Oh man. Have you been audited?
Sean Daeley: No, not necessarily. Like. I, it would be, it would take multiple submissions before they would accept it, and then like I was just kind of an IRS limbo one or one or two years.
So I’m just like, I’m tired of that. I don’t know if it has anything to do with me moving from Japan to here or what, but basically I just wanted to sit down with someone and then make sure I’m getting the most out of it. And. And what I can do, like should I incorporate, if I do, should it be an S Corp LLC?
All that stuff. So I’m excited to have to have hold someone’s hand through the process.
Paul Stefano: Very wise decision. Let the pros do it.
Sean Daeley: Yes, indeed. And it took so much less time to, instead of just like agonizing over a computer for eight hours, it’s [00:04:00] spent less than an hour just gathering documents and sending it to them.
It’s much nicer.
Paul Stefano: It is somebody you can still work with virtually, or did you have to send actual receipts and documents?
Sean Daeley: Yeah, you can work with them online. It’s through H and R block. I used to be a big fan of all of those lends that you can do on your own, like turbo tax or tax act and stuff like that.
I’ve had a lot of success with them in the past, but like I said, as I got. Uh, my income coming through various 10 99 MIS, CS and stuff like that. Uh, the IRS is like, uh, I don’t know what to do with this person. So, you know,
Paul Stefano: like you said,
Sean Daeley: definitely helps.
Paul Stefano: Oh yeah, yeah. You’re actually making money.
Sean Daeley: Yes. Sweet.
But then the government wants to take more, and I want to figure out how I can hold onto more. So they’re, here we are.
Paul Stefano: So anything else you want to mention.
Sean Daeley: Keeping busy with auditions, audio books and GVA stuff. How about you?
Paul Stefano: A couple of things going on. I can’t remember if I mentioned this last time, but if not, who cares?
I’m going to promote it again. I did two more TV spots [00:05:00] for the COBA 19 prevention campaign for the state of Maryland, and I was, I received a text last night from one of my college buddies and said, Hey, I just heard you on. Uh, channel 11, which is the NBC affiliate here. So that was a bit of news. I was not, I was not aware it was playing on other affiliates.
My initially talked to the production company and said it was going to play only on PBS and that was fine. And even this was fine too. I charged them based on the usage for the region, not for, um, specific networks or, or media. But it was kind of surprising to hear from a friend saying, Hey, I heard you on on TV, cause that doesn’t happen to me very often.
I think the only time it’s happened was when. Steven George texted me because he heard me on the amazing race, and that happens mostly to me for other people, other friends and colleagues where I hear them and reach out to them. It doesn’t happen that often to me, but that was kind of a cool thing to have happen.
Sean Daeley: Well. It’s funny you mentioned that too, because I think it was our sponsor JMC wrote a whole article about what kind of voices would be popular during this common cry or the current [00:06:00] crisis. Probably going back to that more mature, authoritative sound. I was like, Paul’s got a voice like that. I hope he gets more work.
Paul Stefano: Absolutely. Maybe this is my time to shine. No, but it’s seriously. It is. It is cool to have that. They had that experience and just like we talked about last episode is be ready for when an opportunity arises. What did they say? Luck is really just, um,
Sean Daeley: luck favors the prepared.
Paul Stefano: Yes, exactly. Thank you. Luck favors the prepared, not the ones who can’t throw out cliche phrases obviously.
Sean Daeley: Why don’t you make like a tree
Paul Stefano: and you can leave. Yes. So I have that going on and then I am three quarters of the way through my latest audio book, hoping to finish that soon. I landed another audio book just today. With my partner Avon shore. So. Episode down the road, you’ll hear a little bit more about duet and dual narration.
But, uh, I’ve been working on some projects with Avon shore out in the, uh, the Midwest area in Minnesota, and we just landed a book, a [00:07:00] romance book about a hockey team in Philadelphia. Big stretch for me because as you know, I’m from Philadelphia and apparently, so he’s the author. What was that?
Sean Daeley: I said, but are you a hockey player?
Paul Stefano: No, but I was a big fan of the local hockey team, the flyers, the NHL team, and it turns out the author is actually also from Philadelphia, so it worked out well. I don’t usually do a whole lot of comments. This is an ACX book, and I don’t usually do a whole lot of comments in the pitch area because frankly, nobody reads it.
I know from casting, I don’t read them very often, but in this case it works because Avon is Canadian and a huge hockey fan, and. Me being from the same area as the author really, I think helped us secure the job. So we got the offer today and we’ll be working on that soon.
Sean Daeley: Well, I actually like to touch on that sort of the, um, the application process for maybe ACX or any other indie publisher.
What do you write in those blurbs? Is it just like, thank you for the opportunity and obviously you’re not writing your bio out for them, but
Paul Stefano: typically I write nothing honestly. [00:08:00] And that’s because leave it blank. Yeah. Because I know from the casting side, when I, when I, when I cast a book on ACX and I see a big blurb.
I don’t read it ever. I might read the first sentence and that’s it, but most of the time I’m just listening. I don’t care if you have a pet dog or you like to take strolls on the beach. All I want to hear is your voice sounds for the flux.
Sean Daeley: That’s really interesting. I try to keep it to like three sentences.
You know, one of the reasons I. Like I’m really grateful for my English language background is just you learn how to write concisely, so just try and say hello, why I think I’d be a good fit, and like three sentences or a small paragraph or whatever, and then just say goodbye and thank you for the opportunity.
Paul Stefano: Yeah, I think there’s two schools of thought. One is that from my side of the casting side, you probably are thinking that people are not going to read it, and in most cases it’s true, but. And it’s on the other side, that there are cases where it does make sense. And even. My partner actually encouraged me to [00:09:00] write a bit about this because, because of her connection to the copy and her being an avid hockey fan too, and it’s a book about a hockey team.
So in this case it made sense to write something out and it does seem like it worked and made a, I made a connection instantly,
Sean Daeley: and I think that’s why people where they go wrong is that they just have this blanket. Statement that they copy and paste for everything. And sometimes that applies to say like commercial auditions or whenever, like an online casting site has that kind of body of text you can use and you just want to let them know you’ve got good equipment, stuff like that.
But I find for audio books, it’s really just, do you have a connection to the text or not? Like, you know. If, if I do a lot of self help stuff and be like, Hey, I was at adult educator, things like that. I’ve got like a lot of experience in that area. And then that’s it.
Paul Stefano: And you have to get that up front quickly.
So if you’re going to write a note, make sure whatever you’re going to say is in the first sentence or two first two sentences. Don’t write this long paragraph about how many titles you’ve done and where you can find demos. Get the relevant part up front quickly. So that’s the [00:10:00] audio book I have coming up.
And then finally my work for twin flames studios has kind of blown up. I’m working on three author narrated projects now, two of which I’m recording remotely here in my studio. One is in New York city and one is in Florida. No, that’s not true. New York city. And, uh, Colorado and I’m recording them both over, uh, you know, internet telephony and recording them here and live booth directing basically.
So that’ll be interesting. I’ve done one of those before and it worked out quite well. Book has like 17 reviews now and all five stars or four and a half to five stars, so it can be done and I’m looking forward to doing those as well. And then one other book where due to the internet speed and the internet, lack of internet speed for it, his area, he’s actually doing it himself.
I coached him through narrating himself, operating audacity with punch and roll. And he’s done now. So far, the preface and the dedication, it sounds pretty good. He’s actually able to [00:11:00] pull it off. No big gaps or any problems with the edits, so I think that’s going to work too.
Sean Daeley: Is this part of your new audio book consultant business?
Yeah. Because this isn’t the first time you’ve helped. I mean, you’ve, you’ve had at least one other author before, right?
Paul Stefano: Well, in person.
Sean Daeley: Well, I was just thinking to some previous projects you’ve done before where you either had them record in your studio or you actually helped consult them. They make their own.
Paul Stefano: Yeah. So I’ve done it a couple of times, two or three authors locally in my studio, and then one over over the internet and one other consultants job. So yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s a whole other vertical market that if you have the. The knowledge and the facilities to do it. I think it could actually be become even more booming in this post Cobra 19 world because I don’t think people are going to get back to normal, so to speak for a long time.
And I think this could be something that could really take off.
Sean Daeley: So before we get to our interview with Amanda, we’ve got a short blurb for our
Amanda Rose Smith: crushed or newborn
Sean Daeley: gear [00:12:00] purchases, but before that, a word from one of our sponsors, vocal booth to goes patented acoustic blankets are an effective alternative to expensive soundproofing, often used by vocal and voiceover professionals, engineers and studios as an affordable soundproofing and absorption solution.
We make your environment quieter for less. It’s time for
Amanda Rose Smith: Oh, gear her.
Paul Stefano: Okay, so headphones, headphones, headphones. I put out a post on Facebook last week saying I need new cans, and I was talking about headphones, which is absolutely true because the pair I use inside the booth is completely worn out. I was doing a long.
Coaching session, or I should say group workout last week, and by the end of the 90 minutes, I literally couldn’t wear them anymore. I had one hanging off my ear and it was alternating having one ear cover because it was hurting so much that the fake leather pads are completely cracked and mourn off and.
It’s just something I can’t really deal with anymore, [00:13:00] so I really need to get rid of him. The longest piece of equipment I’ve held on to, I think now that is definitely there from the Scarlet studio, which was the first ever piece of equipment I bought when I got into VO five years ago. It was that set that comes to the microphone and the headphones and microphone stand and a Scarlet to I to not, everything else has been long gone, but this is the one piece of equipment I still have.
I still have so. I’m not going to throw them out for nostalgia steak, but I need to replace them for everyday use.
Sean Daeley: I’m curious because to me, they look kind of like rebranded, like AKG two forties have you used both or was it, was that strictly like a focus, right? Product?
Paul Stefano: Well, yeah, the AKG two forties are what I use out in the editing area because they’re open back.
They’re not as fatiguing and they’re very countable. They do look a lot like them, but they’re slightly different because they’re closed back, so that’s why I have them in the booth. Oh, okay. They won’t pick up. The sound, the mic won’t pick up the sound coming out. Then when you and I are talking, or when I do coaching or live session, so I’m looking for something specific.
They closed back again [00:14:00] and uh, yeah, these are always sounded good. That wasn’t the problem. It’s just that they, they hurt now. Now they’re five years old.
Sean Daeley: Well, that sucks. But, uh, and for listeners, if you’ve been listening to this long enough, you probably know the difference between open back and closed back, but basically closed back or just that they, they’re closed around your ears and they don’t, they isolate the sound coming out of the headphones well enough that you can use them in the booth and it’s not going to get picked up by your mic or anything if you’re monitoring yourself or being directed while open back.
I mean, you can use them, but you have to be much more mindful of your output levels. So you’re not. Like actually picking up any of that sound coming from the headphones into the mic, but it better just to have clothes back. I’m a huge fan of like the buyer dynamic series, the DT seven seventies I have two pairs of those and luckily I haven’t had to get anything else since.
But um, but Paul, you’ve had a hell of a journey trying to find some headphones that work for you.
Paul Stefano: Yeah, because I have a giant head we talked about, I think. Okay. If you’re familiar with baseball [00:15:00] hats, I wear a seven and a half sized baseball hat, which was quite large. Oh, dang. I think it maxes out at like seven and three quarters in most stores.
So I almost need like a big and tall head shop to buy stuff. So consequently, most headphones are too tight on my heads. I bought a pair of DT seven seventies I went on a long journey. I think we talked about it a little bit over the years when I bought the AKG two 40 so I tried the DT. Seven seventies, they were too tight.
My son has a pair of , which I’ve also tried also too tight. They want the worst for me, where the audio Technica aid T H series, like the, um, the fifties and the
Sean Daeley: seventies and the seventies.
Paul Stefano: So I tried three in that range, and those were the worst. Those were causing me pain almost immediately. So,
Sean Daeley: I mean, I know they, they tint, it’s very like compact, like, um.
Almost like tension plastic for those ones. Cause like, and let it be said, I have a pretty big head too, so I was very surprised. You don’t have this much trouble. [00:16:00] Um, but, but yeah, I remember, um, cause I was looking at the audio technique of the series when I was in Japan because I mean it’s a Japanese brand, so they had it locally.
And so I actually got to try on the. Forties and the fifties and both of those were too tight, but then the seventies were like, ah, this is great. Unfortunately, they were twice the cause. They were like $300 for something that any to me sounds almost identical to the buyers, and I’m just like, that’s half the price.
But it’s just really sad to hear that you had so much trouble. Like even those ones were, were to are, or excuse me, were too tight. Yep.
Paul Stefano: Another pair I liked that I actually have here from our friends at Sennheiser is the HD 20 fives. They are, they’re good on their studio headphones. And I was surprised because, um, well they have a very small ear cup so they don’t actually cover my whole ear.
And I think that’s by design. They basically only cover the ear canal. And I was surprised how soundproof they were cause they are closed back. But because they didn’t cover the whole ear canal I had, I had the impression [00:17:00] that they would leak or bleed sound. But. I used them for the last part of that work that I was speaking of because I literally was in massive pain.
So I ran to the outside and plug these in quickly and they work pretty well and they sound really good. So now I’m thinking maybe I might investigate more of the Sennheiser models, maybe the bigger cups and that might help.
Sean Daeley: Yeah, definitely. I had a lot of success with, um, I actually want a pair of like the HD two eighties.
Um, they’re, they’re like, they’re a hundred dollar pair. At via Atlanta, and those sounded really nice, like they were only like a hundred dollars I think. I don’t know if those ones are still around. I think the current model is like the HD 300 pros. It’s between a hundred and $150 and honestly, if you spend that much on a pair of studio headphones, you’re right.
Probably going to be good, like whether it’s the Sony 75 Oh six is, which I’m not a big fan of personally or the Sennheisers or the buyer dynamics or the, uh, the auto technical models. Anything in that a hundred $150 range is probably going to be fine.
Paul Stefano: How [00:18:00] was uh, the two eighties on your giant heat? On my
Sean Daeley: giant heat.
Paul Stefano: was a little bit generic pants.
Sean Daeley: No. Oh no. Try trying to cart that giant cranium about, um, such a good film. Now you got me doing like spoken word poetry. Wilma Josie in those hot pussy cat. Again, it was a little tight, but the ear cuffs themselves are actually very comfortable and, and the sound was super duper clear.
If budget is an issue for you, if budget is an issue, you heard Paula and I talking about the AKG two forties which are like 60 to 80 bucks and they sound amazing.
Paul Stefano: Yeah, those are great. Those are my favorite for, for editing cause I can wear those for hours and not have any sort of fatigue whatsoever.
Sean Daeley: Yeah, yeah. There those are open back. So you might not want to bring them in the booth, but unless you’re doing like punch and roll or a live directed session, it’s not an issue.
Paul Stefano: So one pair I was talking about on Facebook was the triple the one [00:19:00] more triple driver over the year and funds. And you said you had tried those.
Sean Daeley: the over the ear ones cause they the, um, the in ear buds that like, they’re not necessarily monitors per se, but they did have these like reference quality in earbuds from triple driver that, that George Whittam and Joseph Brianna were recommending a few years back.
Paul Stefano: That’s what you’re talking about.
Sean Daeley: Yeah. Yeah. I haven’t heard of the over the ear model, but I mean, these are like, I mean, they look like earbuds, but they’re supposed to be. Good enough for, for like reference quality editing and stuff like that. And to be honest, I don’t know if I got a bum pair, but they sound kind of bad to me. I mean I can’t make a fair comparison cause I only have the one pair.
I would love to like send it to someone and be like, is it supposed to sound like this? I mean it comes in a great kid, it’s well designed and it’s got all these different size ear attachments and foam and hard foam and stuff like that. In the ear tips do actually change the sound a little bit. So I might just need to do some more experimentation with placement and the [00:20:00] different pads.
But, but again, I mean, if you’re spending a hundred dollars on a pair of earphones, you want them to work.
Paul Stefano: Yeah. And work well. I tried their double driver ones. They were a sale on mass drop a couple of years ago, which is now just drop.com and. I liked them a lot. The only problem is I would, I use them for on the go, not editing, just on the go, listening like on my phone or the old office and like computer and I broke the wire by constantly coiling it up as shoving it in the backpack so the wire broke and I can’t really use them anymore.
Sean Daeley: Yeah. I don’t know why they don’t either give you like a good holder for those or they just don’t make it strong enough. Cause I mean, that’s what people do with them anyways. That coil them, they not them,
Paul Stefano: they,
Sean Daeley: they don’t, they don’t always put the best care into them, you know? But maybe we’re just too demanding of a user
Paul Stefano: convenience.
So yeah. Listeners out there. If you have any recommendations for headphones, put them in in the comments of the episode links or on the Facebook page. I’d love to hear some recommendations for what you use.
Sean Daeley: Yeah, and speaking of question of what gear purchases, as you might’ve noticed, [00:21:00] Paul and I have been pretty good about that and haven’t been buying too much extraneous gear.
So in lieu of dipping into our savings and breaking open, the piggy bank, we want to hear from you guys. Why don’t you send us like a short. Three to five minute MP3 of your questionable gear purchase. We’d love to hear about it
Paul Stefano: and we’ll play it on the show and
Sean Daeley: send those. Yeah, you can be on the show. So yeah, if you want to send us those questionable gear purchase stories, just send us an MP3 to eitherPaul@paulstephano.com or Sean S E a N at daily VO.
That’s Dai L Y V o.com and we’ll put you up on an episode of the show.
Paul Stefano: So with that, it’s time to get to the interview portion of this episode with Amanda Rose Smith.
Amanda Rose Smith: As a voice talent, you have to have a website, but what a hassle. Getting someone to do it for you. And when they finally do, they break or don’t look right on mobile devices, they’re not built for marketing and SEO.
They’re expensive. You have limited or no control and it takes forever to get one built and go live. [00:22:00] So what’s the best way to get you online? In no time go to voice actor websites.com like our name implies, voice actor websites.com just does websites for voice actors. We believe in creating fast, mobile friendly, responsive, highly functional designs that are easy to read and easy to use.
You have full control, no need to hire someone every time you want to make a change and are. Front pricing means you know exactly what your costs are ahead of time. You can get your voiceover website going for as little as $700 so if you want your voice actor website without the hassle of complexity and dealing with too many options, go to voice actor websites.com where your VR website shouldn’t be a pain in the, you know what?
Paul Stefano: All right, everybody. Welcome to the interview portion of this episode of the meter. Today, we’re pleased to welcome Amanda Rose Smith.
Amanda Rose Smith: Hi guys.
Paul Stefano: So Amanda grew up in rural new England where she learned early on to amuse herself through music and stories. She first became interested in film music as a kid when she [00:23:00] discovered herself humming movie themes more than pop songs.
Ever since then, she’s been fascinated by the way in which music and sound interact with other media. Amanda was originally musically self-taught, but continued on to graduate to graduate from Smith college with a degree in classical composition and New York university with a master’s in music technology.
She possesses a wide range of skills needed in today’s fast paced audio world and as well versed in every aspect of sound production from the words or notes on the page to the recording, mixing and mastering processes. She is capable of delivering a finished product that is finely crafted at every stage of the production.
Amanda’s music and sound work have won awards and various independent film festivals and game award ceremonies across the country. She has also recorded, directed and edited numerous ADI nominated and winning audio books. Amanda is currently the head of the audio department at cereal box, so please join me in welcoming Amanda Rose Smith.
Amanda Rose Smith: Hey guys, how’s it going?
Sean Daeley: Great. It’s great to have you, Amanda. How are you doing?
[00:24:00] Amanda Rose Smith: I’m good. So you know, luckily when you work in our field, a lot of us are all already hermits that spend so much time alone at home. So uniquely qualified for our current situation.
Sean Daeley: Exactly, exactly. So we’re really happy to have you.
And we did touch upon it a little bit in your bio just now, but we’d love to hear more about your background and how you got to where you are today.
Amanda Rose Smith: Sure. So, as you said, I was a music major, so I’ve been a musician for pretty much all of my life. Um. And that’s what I went to college for originally. But while I was there, my work study job was actually working for the office of disability services.
Um, and what I used to do is I had one of those old little mini cassette tape dictator, or a dictation, sorry, uh, takers. And what I used to do is I would be assigned a couple of students who are blind or dyslexic or had other sort of reading issues. And, um, I would read their weekly [00:25:00] assignments. Onto these little tapes and sort of make, um, low rent audio books essentially for education.
So that was sort of when audio books and VO sort of first got on my radar and I did that the entire time I was in college and ended up, um, sort of running that program there and, and getting stuff onto tape for various people. And then I came to New York to go to grad school. Um, basically I realized that as a composition major.
It would be very difficult to enter the workforce with only that set of skills, uh, without, you know, like family money, you know, I mean, a lot of us who are artists feel that and have survival jobs and that kind of thing. Um, because I had already gotten into recording my own music and sort of delving into that, I thought maybe I could augment my musical skills with some technical skills.
So I came here and I went to NYU, uh, to learn more about. Recording, um, and [00:26:00] I completed that program and. When did you know? Right before I wrote my master’s thesis, I saw of all things a Craigslist ad that was saying, do you love to read? Are you a recording engineer? And I was like, both of those things are true.
Okay. Tell me more. And it ended up being a job for the American foundation for the blind, doing NLS books for the library of Congress. Wow. Uh, so that was my first like official audio book job. But then they went out of business 10 months later, not the whole foundation, just the studio that I was working at.
And then I ended up a few months later at a post studio doing post production for film and television, and they started doing some audio book work and I got onto the commercial side of audio books. And then I worked there for like five years. And then I went freelance and I did that for like five years.
And then I started with serial bucks and here I am.
Paul Stefano: That’s great. So you mentioned cereal box obviously, is what you’re doing now. [00:27:00] So what does a typical work day for you look like? And. Even outside of CEO box, the five years you spent being freelance, what are some memorable projects you’d worked on or you’d like to share?
Amanda Rose Smith: Oh, so many. I mean, at this point, I’ve probably worked on something like 1200 audio books.
Paul Stefano: Wow.
Amanda Rose Smith: It’s been a long time. I mean, that’s not that I counted everyone, it’s just that I did sort of an average of, I looked at some of my studio backups, like for various years, and then I looked at how many books I had done and I sort of extrapolated, um, I’ve been.
Working on books since 2008. That’s when I got that job, uh, working for the foundation for the blind. So it’s been a, it’s been a minute. One project that I did here, we’ll go way back to 2010. I did this one really cool project called until Tuesday, that was a veteran who had had, um, two tours in Iraq and he got a traumatic brain injury.
Um, and he came back home and he had to rehabilitate and he got this service dog that just sort [00:28:00] of changed his whole life. And it was a really great book. And it was also a really cool project because the dog came with him into the booth.
Paul Stefano: Oh wow.
Amanda Rose Smith: So, yeah, he, he, he author narrated it. So he had, he was not an actor.
He had never narrated before. And just due to his disability, he needed to have the dog with him in the booth. And so it was a really interesting experience. And the dog was amazing. She made no noise at all, because, you know, service dogs are super well-trained. It’s part of their deal. Um, but it was just a really unique experience.
Direct, you know, I’ve done a lot of author. Direct sense rather read sense. But this one was just sort of stuck out for me and we were ADI nominated too, so that was just really cool to see him show up to the audience with Tuesday the dog, that was the dog’s name. We didn’t win, sadly, but it was just a really amazing project.
So even 10 years later, I still think about that sometimes. And then just so many others. I mean this past year, right before I came on officially with cereal box cause had been working with them [00:29:00] freelance for a number of years already before that, uh, last year I worked on the blender woman, uh, me to anthology.
Nevertheless, we participant me too. And that was really, really cool because there was just so many stories. That resonated so deeply in so many narrators, you know, that were really amazing. Got to participate. And also, um, for my part, we made original music for it, which was really cool because, so I created this theme and then we got, I made like a little temp tracks so people could know the tune, and we got actors from all over the country.
I sent them like the temp track, and they recorded themselves singing. And then I combine them all into one track. So we had like a chorus of voices.
Paul Stefano: I’m always amazed by that.
Amanda Rose Smith: It was so much fun and people did such a great job, and I was amazed that it actually worked, to be honest. I was like, I dunno. Oh, these will mixed together and it’ll work.
But it worked great. You know, it’s [00:30:00] amazing how many actors are also musicians and can do so well at that. And um, and yeah, we went to the audience. Uh, just a few weeks ago. And we also didn’t win. But you know what they say about it being an honor, just to be nominated is really true. Cause you get, you go there and you have the whole experience and you get to to be all together.
And especially with such a big group of people who all worked on this thing, it was a really amazing experience. Um, and, and Tanya really did a lot to make sure that we could all be there and that was really cool of her as well. So those are my non cereal box projects that I think about a lot. And then with cereal box, it’s all been really, really fun too.
Paul Stefano: What are some typical projects you work on? A cereal box?
Amanda Rose Smith: Well, the great thing about cereal boxes is that it’s a lot like audio books. I mean, they basically are audio books, but they change it up a little bit where instead of having chapters of a book that all re release at once, we have episodes. So it’s kind of like a season of a TV show.
Uh, [00:31:00] so every week a new episode will come out. And there’s usually somewhere between 10 to 16 episodes total. Um, so it gives you kind of that TV feel, but also an audio book field because it’s audio only. There’s no visual. But we do add sound design and musical themes to all the originals. We distribute some things.
We have some earlier projects that don’t have the sound design and music, but all of our originals now do. So it’s really cool for me to be able to bring various skillsets together. You know, um, the audio book stuff obviously. And then also my original degree, which is, you know, the music composition and also a lot of the sound designing things that I learned when I was working in film and TV.
So in a weird way, it feels like everything kind of coming together.
Sean Daeley: That’s amazing. I’m so happy for you. And, uh, and I absolutely love those full audio productions. It really adds so much more atmosphere to it.
Amanda Rose Smith: Yeah, I mean, I think I hear it. It’s one of those things that you, a lot of people fall [00:32:00] very strongly on one side or the other.
I’ve had some people say, well, I don’t listen to audio books because it’s just people talking and whatever, blah, blah, blah. And then you’ll have other people who say like, don’t ever use like an offense and all your books. And I think that obviously, I don’t agree. With either of those things cause I’ve worked extensively with, with both kinds of products.
I think that it just has to be done. Like anything that has to be done well,
Sean Daeley: absolutely. I, I’ve actually listened to some projects where it was kind of a mishmash of both. And those are the ones that I find jarring. If it’s one or the other, then it’s not a
Amanda Rose Smith: problem. What’s weird is we are kind of, we are kind of in the middle though because most of our things, they’re not radio players.
They’re still single narrator. So it’s like. I like to call it like enhanced audio or immersive audio because it’s not you. You still have one actor playing all the parts, but there’s just like sort of an enhancement of that. Like it’s not like you don’t still need to use your imagination like of course you do, but it just gives you a little bit extra without [00:33:00] getting in the way.
Sean Daeley: I like that you can, you can brand that new category for us. Yeah. But we’re so happy that you found, like you said, this work that was really just a perfect marriage of all of your previous skills. That’s amazing.
Amanda Rose Smith: Thank you. Yeah. I. I really, really enjoy it. I love working for them. Um, I had been working with them freelance since like 2015 so it’s been been a minute, and I didn’t think once I went freelance.
I enjoyed that so much in the hustle and everything, but I never thought I would go full time again, but it was just the right. Sometimes when the right person or the right group asks, you know?
Sean Daeley: Yeah, absolutely. So we joked about it a little bit before we got on the interview, but how has the current coven climate affected your workflow?
Amanda Rose Smith: Um, I think that we’ve been a lot more fortunate than some people, but it definitely has affected, I think that I did have, you know, there have been. There’s been some scrambling when people don’t have home [00:34:00] studios, you know, um, a lot of people who work solidly in the audio book world do, because that’s sort of been a thing for audio book narrators for awhile, but it’s not necessarily as true for a lot of.
Voiceover artists and other groups. And some of the people that we cast occasionally, um, aren’t primarily audio book narrators, just because we like to live in the pool a little bit in terms of who we hire and who we bring on. So that’s been something that I’ve had to navigate a little bit. Um, you know, I’ve been lending out foam and mikes and things as necessary to try to come together with hubs, studios and.
Uh, luckily I think we have a really supportive community. So even when there have been times where it’s been rough, there’s usually, there’s almost always somebody there to help pick up some of the Slack. I think luckily the kind of equipment that we need is obscure enough that there’s not a huge run on it.
So I think a lot of people have been able to sort of get stuff shipped to [00:35:00] them and get going with their. Tom city was if they didn’t have one yet. So no time like the present on that, I guess.
Paul Stefano: Is it tougher in New York? I’ve noticed some, we’re both members of some Facebook groups that are primarily New York talent base, and I’ve noticed some, some questions and some posts there that seem really rudimentary because I think there’s people who never ever had to recall anything at home now, and they’re really struggling right.
Amanda Rose Smith: Yeah. I mean, to some degree that people who are spread out over the country have a leg up. Right. Because they always had to have home studios because there are no studios really out there. But New York has hundreds of recording studios, so it’s probably one of the few places. Uh, where people have gone their whole careers without ever having to have a home studio.
Uh, lots of people. I mean, I was a freelance recording engineer in New York for some time, so, and I got a lot of work doing that. Um, so yeah, there are a lot of talent, particularly people who’ve been doing this for a long time, like 20 years or so, who just never needed to have [00:36:00] a home studio. Um, so yeah, there are some questions that are pretty.
Pretty low level. And, and look, not, that’s not to denigrate anyone, like everybody has to start somewhere. Right? But yeah, I think that to some degree, people who live in major markets who’ve been doing this for a long time are actually at a disadvantage right now. Um, and so one of the things I actually did to try to combat that a little bit, because I’m getting a little, I’ve been getting a lot of people coming to me and asking me questions and I really want to answer all of them.
But. Like I said, we’ve been fortunate enough that my work hasn’t really slowed down, so I don’t have extra time to go over that. But I did make a Google doc and if anybody listening is interested in getting a link to that, I can definitely send where I’ve been trying to get. Yeah. List of, of out of work recording engineers in New York, because there are a lot of freelance recording engineers who.
Because they have that knowledge and that experience being a recording engineer could help people create their home studios. Um, because you know, George Whittam and Tim [00:37:00] Tippetts and all them can’t take everybody. So, um, I know that they’re slammed just like I am. So I thought some of these people, freelancers, yeah, these people have been missing out of work.
They have the knowledge, they know how studios and microphones and all that work. Um, and they’re just sort of waiting. They don’t, you know, they’re on work right now. So I thought I made a list and they’re already about 30 names on it.
Paul Stefano: Just definitely great.
Amanda Rose Smith: So if anybody wants that list, I’ve been posting it various places, but they can definitely contact me and I’ll send it to them.
Paul Stefano: Yeah, send it to us. We’ll put it on our Facebook page as well because sure, we could definitely help. I think Sean is in a similar boat where people are reaching out to us too, because I think that they seem to think we know what we’re talking about and I’ve been answering questions all week from talent trying to get up to speed.
Sean Daeley: Yeah, me too. I mean, I’ve gotten like literally a hundred Facebook requests in the last week, and they’re just like. They all want to know what Mike to use. How do I say it? And I’m just like, look guys, I know enough to get in trouble. So like it’s, I don’t want to [00:38:00] get them in trouble either. I mean, we’re, we’re hobbyists then.
Yes, we have competitive home studio setups, but we don’t consider ourselves engineers by any means. So we’d be happy to share that list.
Amanda Rose Smith: Yeah, absolutely. I know a lot of, a lot of the names on there were people that I know, um, and I did also add a column so that they have to have a referral name. So it’s not just like there, there’s a little, there’s a layer of vetting in there.
There we go. So that if you talk to someone and they don’t, you can call the person who referred them and be like, what the hell man, don’t do that. Don’t do that. Oh, rep
Sean Daeley: on the line too.
Amanda Rose Smith: Yeah. But I just, you know, I figured that that would be doing something like that for the freelancers spreadsheet and the ACX group, which I’m an admin of, and I just thought that it would be a nice sort of compliment to that.
Um, but yeah, definitely check those people out. They can help you. Um, yeah. And I know that was the answer to a question you asked, but now I forget what the question was.
Paul Stefano: Well, you’ve actually, you’ve actually segue quite nicely into our next question in that, as we’ve talked about, a lot of talent are jumping in now [00:39:00] and maybe even not seeking out help from you or, or professional and setting up a USB mic behind a cardboard, a reflection filter, and saying, all right, I’m all good.
Why do you think that’s a bad idea to, to jump in and skimp on the tech?
Amanda Rose Smith: I mean, it’s always a bad idea, right? Uh, and, and the sad thing is, is that’s happening all the time, regardless of coven, but it is happening more now. And I think that there’s another edge to it right now where you have a little bit of desperation because there are a lot of people out there who their usual revenue streams have all of a sudden dried up.
And that’s really scary. And I get that. And everybody wants to hustle and find a way. To mitigate that. Um, but like a lot of fields where people have expertise, this is so much more complicated. People realizing that
Paul Stefano: actually.
Amanda Rose Smith: And I think that, you know, you really just have to take, it’s a business. It’s starting a business.
And I think that in a lot of entertainment and arts fields, people forget that and they forget. That, you know, if [00:40:00] you were starting a restaurant, say you know that it doesn’t make any profit for the first year, at least like, that’s just a given. And what I think a lot of people don’t realize is that’s really a given for almost any business, including if you’re starting a voiceover business or an audio book business.
Um, can’t, you can’t do it quick and on the cheap. That’s just not, if you could, everybody would, right?
Sean Daeley: Yeah.
Amanda Rose Smith: It’s like. We all know the basic ways to get fit right, but we’re still looking for pills and magical exercises that only take six minutes. Cause the truth is we don’t want to exercise for like 45 minutes a day and not eat potato chips.
At least I would prefer not to do that.
Sean Daeley: When will they make magic potato chips?
Amanda Rose Smith: I know, right? But it’s like anything else that’s worth doing. It takes knowledge and time. And work, and it’s just stock gonna happen in a couple of weeks.
Sean Daeley: I see this all the time [00:41:00] now that’s just like, well, I can’t invest in this, and I’m just like minimal investment, minimal return.
It’s just, yeah, it is really frustrating. But you’re right, the people are in desperate times and are just trying to grasp at straws at any possibility to get income coming in.
Amanda Rose Smith: Yeah, and I think also for some reason in the, in the VO world at large, there’s this perception. That audio books
Paul Stefano: are easy, and I
Amanda Rose Smith: don’t know why, because I think they’re actually probably the hardest genre of voice acting, because first of all, there’s the part everybody knows about the endurance, right?
I mean, it’s a marathon. Um, and if you don’t think that, like just go and try to read a couple pages without stopping at all. Like it’s really hard, even for most voice factors, that’s hard. Um, if they don’t do long form on a regular basis, um. And secondly, you have to play an entire cast of characters. And there’s really no other genre, whether it’s true, not even animation [00:42:00] and animation.
You’ll occasionally have gender bending when like a woman plays a kid, you know, maybe a young boy or something like that. But in audio books, everybody plays everybody. So because, yeah, and you have to give them, I mean, there’s, there’s so much contradicting style advice about like, how much. Of a character voice to give characters in a book, right?
Like there’s no one right answer to that, so I’m not going to get into that too much. But you are still playing a cast of characters and things like accents and backgrounds and all that come up that you would never be cast visually to ever play or even in other voiceover. Additions.
Sean Daeley: Yeah. It’s maybe just the illusion of accessibility.
I mean, with things like ACX, you can really just sign up like it’s true free and like there’s no real vetting process until you have to give them the first 15 but still like, I mean, people just sign up without any previous acting background without a home studio. Right. And they’re like, [00:43:00] Oh, this is easy.
And they might even land a few projects and then they have to figure everything out after the fact.
Amanda Rose Smith: Yeah.
Paul Stefano: Yeah. That’s the thing. It’s really easy to land, bad work, and a lot of that hopefully is being dismissed by ACX is new policies on the code farmers. But yeah, up until the last couple of weeks, it was really easy to land a bad job.
That may have been a complete scam book. And I think that’s where part of the illusion comes from too.
Amanda Rose Smith: And that’s the thing. It’s easy to give things away. Right? Like if you stand on a corner handing out flyers, a lot of people are going to take them even though they don’t even know what it is, or while you’re there.
And that’s basically the issue here where it’s like there’s a, there’s a way to do that. And it gives people the illusion of, Oh, people are taking my stuff. They might like it. And you’re like, well, they might, or they might just be like, Oh, it’s free. I wonder what that is. Oh, it’s nothing. Okay. Toss it out.
Like, and that’s. What I want to caution people against. You know, people get really flattered when they get messages from rights holders who haven’t even heard them read or audition. They’re [00:44:00] like, I want to cast you for my book, and that feels very nice to hear, but it doesn’t mean anything if they’re not.
Serious about making money with the book. Cause I’m not going to tell people that all royalty shares are bad. They’re not. But it needs to be a serious endeavor, right? Like when you do accept a reality show, you need to have questions that you ask this person to make sure that they’re serious, that they’re going to market the book, that there’s a chance that you’ll get your investment back.
And if there’s not. Don’t know, don’t take the book. And
Sean Daeley: I feel like people are just so scared of losing those opportunities without doing that due diligence that they’re just like, Oh, I’ll do it.
Amanda Rose Smith: You know? But it’s not an opportunity if you’re not going to gain anything. Right. It’s just you doing work for free for somebody.
And I think that, and I get it also, you know, as a musician, because like we said, I’m not just an engineer. I understand. Wanting to get your work out there and how people have it hammered into them, that exposure is good and all of that. But I really think that just as artists, [00:45:00] we need to have more business sense.
And when you to, to look at, for instance, a rights holder that’s offering you a Realty share. They’re not your boss, they’re your business partner. And you have to make sure your business partner is pulling their own weight.
Paul Stefano: Yeah. And getting your work out there doesn’t always work. Even if you take a bad, a bad book and put it out there, it doesn’t mean anyone was going to buy it.
No. The first book I ever did in 2015 I still sold only nine copies. And it actually is a good book and I’m proud of the work, but nobody knows it’s there.
Amanda Rose Smith: Yeah. I mean, I’m not saying you can’t learn something from projects, especially early on, like I do think on somebody’s first book, no matter how much it sells or how good it is, they’re going to learn.
Something like it’s sort of a a steep curve. It’s like in the beginning it’s a exponential curve or everything you do teaches you something. So I don’t necessarily discourage people right at the beginning from taking whatever book. Cause I think that it has, it might have value just for teaching them how they work and if they even like doing this.
But if you’re expecting to make money on it, [00:46:00] yeah. I mean you have to look into that a little bit more. Like the codes thing. Recently I’ve been. Frankly, I’ve been a little shocked how many people were considering free money and an integral part of their business plan. I don’t say that to be cold, but you know, these codes, basically, you were getting a royalty check for books that were being given away for free, so there’s no profit being generated there.
And while that’s wonderful, and I would certainly take whatever money Amazon is leaving on the table at the same time, you can’t consider that. That’s like finding $5 in the ground. You know, it’s not part of your business revenue.
Sean Daeley: It’s really well put. All right, so switching gears a little bit, just I really wanted to ask this of you because you’ve been very candid about the challenges you faced as a woman trying to establish yourself in what many would consider to be a male dominant field.
So would you mind sharing some of those challenges here? Sure.
Amanda Rose Smith: I mean, the first thing I’ll tell you is that as of last year. According to the audio engineering societies data, [00:47:00] the field is 95% males.
Sean Daeley: Wow.
Amanda Rose Smith: So it’s literally 5% and that’s, that’s a pretty current figure, at least within the last year or two.
So it’s very definitely male dominated. Uh, I’ve been really excited recently within the past, like five years or so, how many female engineers I’ve started to meet. I didn’t really know any when I was coming up in my early twenties there just weren’t any around. Internships I had. It would always, you know, I was always the only woman there.
You know? It’s funny, I now, my brand is sort of like angry feminists, but I wasn’t, look, I know who I am. I’m not gonna. I’m not going to pretend that’s not the case. I know it is, but what’s funny is that I wasn’t a feminist at all until about my mid to late twenties. Um, even though I went to Smith college, as you mentioned earlier, it’s a woman’s college.
I went there because it’s a very good school and it’s 20 minutes from my house, and they gave me a lot of money. So it’s [00:48:00] not like this has been my path all along. I had a lot of, I have a lot of mail. Uh, stereotypically male hobbies, and obviously, you know, my job and all that. Uh, but then I went out into the world of this field and things started happening and I was like, Oh, this is what they were talking about.
Like, uh, so keep in mind, this wasn’t too long ago, 2008, I had an internship or 2007, maybe right around there. At a post house downtown and it was, we had 11 interns, me and 10 guys. And some people don’t know this about audio engineering, internships and a lot of entertainment internships in general, but because they’re so competitive, they really get a lot out of you.
So part of our job, even though we’re there working for free, was to clean the entire studio. And I mean like toilets, everything. And we had to do that every day. Um, for the privilege of being there and watching [00:49:00] engineer’s work. Uh, and I was coming down in the elevator with a head engineer one night. Uh, I had stayed a little bit late to work on, to work on a project we were working on, and he was complaining about the level of cleaning, but we had done in the studio and how he didn’t think it was acceptable.
And he turns to me and he goes, well, you’re a woman. Can you just teach the rest of them?
Sean Daeley: Man,
Amanda Rose Smith: I got to sit there for a minute. And I was a little confused cause it was just so like, I was like, is that a joke? Like, you know, I don’t want to think like, I don’t have a sense of humor. So I like stand there for a beat and I look at them and I’m waiting for like the smile or the laugh or something like that and it doesn’t happen.
And then I just sort of look at him and I go, yeah, you know, and then I could, uh. I can make you a sandwich after that. Would that be cool?
Looks at me. And the elevator opens and I’m like, I leave. And I come back the next day and it turns out that he had complained about me [00:50:00] and he tried to get me fired. And I ended up leaving anyway in a few weeks just because I got everything I needed out of the internship. But that sort of thing would happen a lot.
I was alive, sound engineer. Um, people would shake gear right out of my hands. I had a couple of guys tell me straight out, they would never hire a woman. Um. Because they didn’t think we could do the job. And for really like stupid reasons, like, Oh, well, you can’t carry the gear. And I’m like, well, I can dead lift 205 pounds.
So I’m pretty sure like I, I’m not a small person. Like I can, I can hang a, but. It’s, it’s, it’s irrational. So when I say it, it sounds almost like I’m like making it up or something. But it’s crazy. It really happens. Like I remember one of the things I left out of that last story about the guy in the elevator is that I have this crystallized memory cause I was about 24 so I think when that happened, 24 25 of looking at him and thinking, geez, I thought all of you [00:51:00] were dead.
But turns out no. I will say the further I get in my career and as time goes by, it happens less and less. For the most part. It doesn’t happen that often to me anymore. And when it does, it’s usually like, yeah, smaller microaggressions, like people assuming that I don’t know what I’m talking about, or like when I go into a studio, you know, sometimes someone might assume that I’m not an engineer, that I’m like the actor or something like that.
Just little things like that that aren’t, aren’t such a big deal. But. You know, they can be frustrating when they happen over and over again. Well, I
Paul Stefano: think thankfully, uh, unfortunately, but also, thankfully because of the, the me too crisis and all the things going on there, some people and people probably who were more attuned to the situation are now more aware of these things have been happening for years and years and accept it.
There are still those dinosaurs that will never believe those things happen to women. But I think [00:52:00] people who. Who were more open to hearing those stories now believe them even more and are trying to change. I hope
Amanda Rose Smith: that’s kind of like a different angle too though, right? Because those are two different things.
Like you have the people, I guess too. I guess I interpreted the question more on the side of people who think you can’t do the work or that you’re not good enough, but the. The sexual harassment aspect of it is like a whole other side. And I mean, I think pretty much every woman has stories of that too.
Like I have people, I was at GDC one year, which is the game developers conference, cause I do some, or I used to do some video game work here and there too. And I had a guy who was a well known director who worked for blizzard and a lot of big companies. Um. Offer me work contingent on my coming back to his hotel room with him.
And that was in 2015. It wasn’t that long ago. Uh, you know, I was also wearing an engagement ring at the time. Not that that should matter, but, you know, stay classy.
[00:53:00] Sean Daeley: I think it’s your matter a little. It’s just incredibly unfortunate because just listening to you talk, it’s just, I mean, you’re obviously very exceptional at what you do and it’s just any, the field is suffering by kind of being closed minded like that.
Amanda Rose Smith: Yeah. I mean that said, I’ve also had a lot of people really go out of their way to help me and to be really great mentors, and I don’t want to make it seem like I’ve had this like terrible triad career. I haven’t, it’s just, I’ve actually been very lucky and I’ve met a lot of really wonderful people, but.
I’m not, you know, this is a thing that happens and I think that people need to consider stuff like that and need to consider just not shrugging and thinking that it’s no big deal. Like another instance that I think about, and this is sort of weird looking back in context, but I actually recorded a book with, um, Gavin McInnes back in like 2012 and for people who don’t know, he’s the leader of the proud boys, which is.
Uh, pretty anti [00:54:00] woman organization among other things, and he probably predictably at this, but he wasn’t the leader of the proud boys then. So I had no idea who he was except for that. He was a cofounder of vice, but he was predictably at this point, if you know anything about him, pretty horrible to me.
And. Uh, I was in my late twenties, you know, I didn’t, I, no one else was in the room. I was engineering him by myself and he’s making comments about like my body and things like that, and I didn’t know what to do. So I went to my boss at the time and they were basically like, we can put, you can either have power through or we can put a male engineer on the project.
Um, and I didn’t want to be taken off of our project. You know, that felt like a punishment. So I just pushed through and I finished. And at the time, and this wasn’t a long ago, you know, it’s like maybe not even a full [00:55:00] decade. I just considered that kind of the price of being in the field, you know, and getting the work done.
And now it wasn’t until I progressed in my field and I became a manager myself, um, that I realized that that was a real breakdown of. The chain of authority in that situation. And that I really hope that if I had been put in a situation like that as a manager, where somebody came to me that I could make them feel as though they were being taken seriously and protected.
Sean Daeley: To be Frank, I find you to be a very inspiring person. And, and I was wondering what words of advice or encouragement would you like to give to the next generation of aspiring female audio engineers.
Amanda Rose Smith: Wow. That’s such a heavy thing to like, that’s such a big responsibility. Um, I guess just know your shit basically like just no more than [00:56:00] if you can like attack everything that you learn about, like just attack it and consume it and know everything about it because I’m not going to say that my communication style is ideal.
I know that I can come off a little harsh and a little brash sometimes people, and there’ve been times when that hasn’t necessarily worked in my favor, but I think that when you know what you’re talking about and you’re right, eventually, no matter what other stuff is in the situation, you know, no matter what other people you’re working with that maybe aren’t, don’t have your back or what other people are arguing with you or saying things about you.
If you know what you’re talking about, you always eventually turn out okay. That’s been my strategy anyway.
Sean Daeley: Awesome.
Paul Stefano: That’s fantastic. So switching gears a bit, and in spite of all the serious issues we just spoke about, which are obviously important, and I always appreciate your, your take on it, both in social media and, uh, other times I’ve heard you speak, I know you to be a [00:57:00] happy person and having, having a lot of fun, both professionally and personally.
So what are some of the crazy things you’ve done to cope with the Cobra 19 crisis?
Amanda Rose Smith: Oh, man, I. So for the record, I am a happy person. I am so lucky to do what I do. Like sometimes I just, yeah, like I love. All of it. And you know, people would be like, what are your hobbies? And I’m like, I don’t really need any.
That sounds scary and I’d help me. And it’s not completely true. Like I have things that I do, but I also just love what I do so much. And like yesterday, uh, for Mokena, which is one of our. Oh, one of our cereal box projects. Uh, that’s an area that by Natalie novice, who by the way just kills it. She’s super, super great.
Paul Stefano: Great. Yep.
Amanda Rose Smith: And it’s about two rivaling companies that are trying to send the, first are trying to establish the first colony on Mars, um, and sort of like an inside tech, you know, tech devs and [00:58:00] stuff going back and forth. And they have w. One character has a robotic dog. He owns a bar and he has a robotic dog.
And then people can like program the dog to like do stuff. And then a recent episode that I was just sound as sound designing, um. The robot dog speaks in Morse code barks
Paul Stefano: accurately like you. Actually I did.
Amanda Rose Smith: I went, I went, I went down a rabbit hole and I went to like Morse code websites and I couldn’t, I couldn’t sound design the whole message cause it was just too long.
And Morse code is not exactly short. So it just didn’t work for the timing to do the entire message, but the first word is actually real Morse code. That’s awesome. And as a giant nerd who like look, stuff like that up when TV shows do it and it’s actually, you’re wrong, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I really proud of the fact that if anyone tries to do that on this, they’re going to be like, Oh, it is more scope.
Paul Stefano: Oh, they will.
Amanda Rose Smith: And I’ve been writing a lot of themes lately, [00:59:00] so that’s been cool too, for all our stuff coming up. So I had one that, I’m not gonna say which one yet, cause it hasn’t released yet. But there was one I did that was very rock and roll. Um, but I was writing it and doing all the, the middy work in my headphones, but every so often I would just yell out to try to like get into it before I play down the part, you know, one, two, three, four.
And I just kept imagining my neighbors being like, why is she counting what comes back? What comes after the counting.
So just little things like that. And I don’t know, like I said, I’m already kind of a hermit. I think I come off really extroverted, especially on the internet, and I, I go to mixers and stuff like that here and there. But to be honest, I spend, I already spend the majority of my time, uh, locked in my living room and talking to myself.
So. It’s, uh, more of that.
Sean Daeley: Awesome. Well, thank you for sharing that. And, and like loving what you do is [01:00:00] just so important because it gets you through the hard times as well and the dry times anyways, kind of keeping the light flow going. So under normal circumstances, what are some of your favorite New York boroughs?
Like any cool eateries you like to visit there or might even call up on door dash now.
Amanda Rose Smith: Uh, so I live in Brooklyn and I live in a neighborhood called Windsor terrace, which is kind of park slope adjacent. Um, for anyone who knows New York parks slope is kind of a ritzy, Brooklyn neighborhood that I can’t afford to live in.
So I live next to it. Um, let’s see. In terms of food in my neighborhood, there’s this place called East wind snack shop that’s really tasty. They basically just have dumplings and like. Bubble D
Sean Daeley: Oh my gosh.
Amanda Rose Smith: Which are both amazing. So, you know, um, and that place is really good. I don’t know if they’re actually open right now.
That’s been one thing with, with, uh, the virus is a lot of, some places are doing delivery, but some places too, it wasn’t super feasible for have just closed. Um, which is a [01:01:00] bummer. Yeah. And I hope that a lot of them can make it through this time because food is one of the best things that out in New York.
Um. So I really love Brooklyn. I’ve lived in New York for 13 years. Um, actually in June, it’ll be 14 years. Jeez. And, and, uh, I’ve lived in Brooklyn that entire time. I’m not in the same place in Brooklyn, but various Brooklyn neighborhoods. Um, so I don’t know if I have a fair accounting of the boroughs, but obviously I love Brooklyn.
And Queens has some great food too. Like if in the Queens Chinatown, you can find a lot of really good food. Mexican in sunset park in Brooklyn is really good. I just like food, man.
Paul Stefano: Yeah, me too. I wrote that question even though Sean asked that because that’s my favorite thing about New York too, is just finding new places to eat every time, so it’s awesome.
Amanda Rose Smith: That’s one of the things about New York is that the best of whatever it [01:02:00] is. It’s often here. I’m not going to say, I’m not going to say it’s accessible to everybody, but, um, and there are certain things that geographically, like, look, the West coast has better sushi than we do. I’m sorry, but they just do, um, putting for that.
Like, I wish it wasn’t, but it is. I’ve, I’ve had some amazing sushi over there, and I was like, Oh, right. That’s what they’re talking about. Uh. But in Mexican too, like we ha we do have some good Mexican here, but I’d say in like, you know, the LA area, as for obvious reasons, they’re right next to Mexico, but we do have a really high level of almost any kind of food you could want, which, you know, I come from rural new England, as you guys said earlier, and I never even had sushi until I was in college, and I didn’t even know I was, I was such a Rube.
I tried to take a bite out of a sushi roll.
Paul Stefano: Well, [01:03:00] that’s what I got. First time I had sushi in New York with some friends. Uh, and I’m not even from a small town. I’m from Philadelphia, but the first time I had sushi in New York, I had some ed mommy and I tried to put the whole thing in my mouth, like a sugar snap pay, and they were like, what are you doing?
No, no, don’t eat that part. I had no idea.
Amanda Rose Smith: I might’ve done that too. I’m really food adventurous too. Like in September I went to Ethiopia. To do some field recording. That was, that was a really, really fun. Um, so I was up in the mountains in Ethiopia, like 13,000 feet up, like a 10 hour drive from, you know, the major city.
And you know, when they see someone who looks like me, a lot of people are like, Oh, here’s some Western food. I’m like, please don’t give me that. What are you eating? I want to eat that. It’s probably better. And I just loved going places and eating all their foods.
Paul Stefano: One of our favorite pastimes as well.
Sean Daeley: You and I are of a kind.
Paul Stefano: So going back to the how you love what you do. Let’s talk about some, [01:04:00] some fantasy projects. If you could engineer any current or past musicians album, who would it be? Huh? Tough one. I know.
Amanda Rose Smith: You know, to be completely honest, I’m not much of a studio music engineer. It’s not, it’s probably the thing I have the least experience in.
I’ve done live sound music and I mean, I do. I mix and create my own music, but that’s. That’s an interesting question cause it’s not something I’ve done a lot of. Um Hmm.
Paul Stefano: Well we can put, we can pass.
Amanda Rose Smith: I mean probably I’d want to work on a film music album.
Paul Stefano: Okay. Pastor, pastor present film. You wish you had scored or would like to score
Amanda Rose Smith: anything star Trek related.
Paul Stefano: There we go.
Amanda Rose Smith: Another thing you might have noticed, um, occasionally my, my Facebook profile photo is a picture of me in a, in a science officer uniform circa next gen. Uh, that’s something I really love. I’m a big, um, huge star [01:05:00] Trek fan. So,
Paul Stefano: so second season of Picard, right? Second season of Paccar is in production if you’re listening, Amanda.
Amanda Rose Smith: Yes. Yes. Um, yeah. That would probably be, that would probably be the main thing. I am very jealous of Jefferson right now who’s scoring the card.
Sean Daeley: So yeah. Going back to how you’re occupying your time when you’re not doing your work. So what are some current TV or web shows that you like to binge watch?
Amanda Rose Smith: Let’s see. Uh, I’ve been watching a lot of Steven universe recently.
Paul Stefano: Brilliant.
Amanda Rose Smith: Um, I know it just ended. I hadn’t seen it. For whatever reason. I knew a lot of people that I liked liked it. It was just, you know, there’s so much TV that sometimes you just don’t get around to things for a while. But my husband, Patrick and I have been binging it lately, over the past like week or so.
And I love it. It’s such an adorable and whole areas. So, um, and then there’s [01:06:00] the usual stuff that I’ve binged periodically, like. Obviously star Trek and uh, parks and rec
Sean Daeley: night,
Amanda Rose Smith: last Saturday. Like much of the world right now, it seems I binged the entire tiger King documentary.
Sean Daeley: I don’t even know if I want to say
Amanda Rose Smith: it’s, I don’t usually like, like reality shows or crime docs, but it was just so.
Paul Stefano: a train wreck.
Amanda Rose Smith: Yeah. I mean, at one point, like you’re going along a certain track, they’re there, like at any ran for president, and you’re like, what? What, how is that? Yeah. That’s part of it. Of Eddie. He makes, uh, condoms with his face on them for like campaign gifts. And I was just like, like, is this, you can’t look away.
Right. It’s just so. Nuts, but it’s this weird, perfect storm because frankly, if we weren’t in this situation we’re in now where we don’t even [01:07:00] have the option to leave because not not to, I want to keep this in a light place and not to bring it too far down, but I have two underlying conditions. So for me, it’s like super important.
I mean, it’s super important for everybody to stay home, but it’s like even more important that I really shouldn’t go out. Um, if I can help it. This is just a long way of saying, I don’t think I would have watched it. Otherwise.
Sean Daeley: Gotcha.
Paul Stefano: I don’t think you’re the only one. It wouldn’t have been a phenomenon.
It is if it wasn’t during this week.
Amanda Rose Smith: Yeah. Yeah. That’s exactly what I mean. Is it like, it was totally like a peer pressure thing where I was on Facebook, I think that Friday and just everybody was like, Oh, you’re gay, tiger, take you take it. And I was like, what is happening? And I just turned it on while I was, you know, on the internet or doing whatever on that Saturday, not expecting.
To watch that much of it, and before I knew it, the whole five hours was over. I was like, Oh, wow. It’s just watch that whole thing.
Sean Daeley: So meme worthy. But [01:08:00] yeah, and just ending on a light note. I just love that people in their thirties and older, it’s perfectly acceptable nowadays to just binge watch animation.
It wasn’t always the case, but
Amanda Rose Smith: yeah.
Sean Daeley: But anyways, Amanda, I mean, this has been such a joy to have you on the podcast and we just wanted to know if there’s anything else you wanted to say before you wrap up or how can people follow you in your work.
Amanda Rose Smith: Oh, well as you too, I’m sure now I’m super active on Facebook.
Uh, that’s probably where I interact the most. Um, I’m on Twitter. It’s just a lady sound. Smith is my handle, and, but I’m really only on there periodically. I’m trying to be better at Twitter. I guess this is like, to some degree in age thing, right? Like my. Old millennial self, like hit Facebook, right. Right at the right time.
Um, I was halfway through college when it came out, so that’s just sort of where I landed. And Twitter came out like a few years later and, um, it just feels a little like screaming into the void for me. So
Sean Daeley: yeah,
Amanda Rose Smith: I have a hard time. [01:09:00] I could feel like I can have a conversation at a Twitter. I just feel like I’m like, ah, um.
And then I’m sometimes on Instagram, but it’s kind of the same thing as Twitter. So basically if you want to, if you want to talk to me or yell at me or whatever you want to do, it’s Facebook’s probably the best bet. Or you can send me an email. My email is just Amanda Rose email@example.com.
Sean Daeley: Cool. And listeners check out cereal box.
Amanda Rose Smith: yeah. Yeah. Um, I’m really proud of the work we’re doing and we’re also offering a lot of things at discounted rates, um, and somethings even for free during this time where everybody has to say at home. So definitely. And we’ve been doing, Oh, and Instagram, we’ve been doing live readings. Uh, Neil Gallagher’s, who is amazing, uh, just did one for us last night.
And usually you can sample the first episodes of all of our stuff for free too. So there’s a lot of stuff there. People are looking for more content to binge,
Sean Daeley: and just to make sure people know, because it’s a clever play on words. It’s serial, S E R I L box. [01:10:00] So don’t, you’re not looking for lucky charms.
It’s serial because they’re serial episodes. It’s clever.
Amanda Rose Smith: Exactly. I’m glad you did that because I often have to, to make that point too, to make sure we’ll find it. So yeah.
Paul Stefano: All right. Well, Amanda, as Sean said, it’s a pleasure to have you on. Thanks so much for being here and stay safe out there.
Amanda Rose Smith: Thanks so much for having me.
It’s been really fun. You guys are wonderful and. Yeah. Thanks. How many times has this happened to you? You’re listening to the radio when this commercial comes on, not unlike this one, and this guy starts talking, not unlike myself. Oh, maybe it’s a woman that starts talking, not unlike myself. And you think to yourself, geez, I could do that.
Well, mr, well, Missy, you just got one step closer to realizing your dream as a voiceover artist because now there’s global voice acting Academy. All the tools and straight from the hip, honest information you need to get on a fast track to doing this commercial yourself. Well, not this one. Exactly. Pluses, private coaching, [01:11:00] webinars, home studio setup, marketing and branding.
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Find firstname.lastname@example.org because you like to have fun.
Sean Daeley: All right. Thank you so much for being a guest, Amanda. Man. We really covered the gamut, didn’t we? That conversation went and destroyed new places.
Paul Stefano: Yeah, it was awesome though, and I really liked showcasing Amanda’s personality because I feel like she gets a bad rap on, on Facebook and other social media, but she really is a lovely person.
Sean Daeley: Oh yeah, absolutely. I definitely felt like we were kindred spirits and if you want to check out more of our work, once again, you can find her at cereal box. That’s S E R I a L box.com. So that pretty much wraps up this episode of the VO meter,
Paul Stefano: measuring your voice [01:12:00] over progress. We have a pretty cool episode coming up next.
Not that they’re all cool, you know that by now, but we’re going to be talking about dual and duet narration with a pair of narrators have teamed up on over 15 audio books together. Jeffrey Kafer and Heather Costa.
Sean Daeley: Well, we hope you guys look forward to that. It was a great interview. We certainly enjoyed recording and.
Thanks for listening and we hope to hear you on the next one. Thanks for listening to this episode of the BEO meter. Follow along. Visit us at www dot dot com
Paul Stefano: we’d also love to hear your comments or suggestions for the show, or if you have a question about gear purchase,
Amanda Rose Smith: tell us all about it
Paul Stefano: on our Facebook page or on Twitter at the V
Amanda Rose Smith: millimeter.