Episode 52 final
[00:00:00] Female announcer: The VO meter,
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progress, whether you’re a veteran voice actor just starting out or don’t even know how to set a level.
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your host, Paul Stefano and Sean Daeley
Hi everybody, and welcome to episode 52 of the VO meter, measuring your voiceover progress. So we’re really excited because we have two wonderful duel slash duet narrators with us today, and that’s going to be Jeffrey Kafer and Heather Costa. And. Uh, [00:01:00] among many other things, they actually explain what the heck the difference is between dual and duet narration.
So really happy about that. But before we get to that, we’re going to start off with our VO meter reference levels.
Male announcer: Voiceover extra brings you
VO meter reference levels. Seriously, guys,
that’s the best you could come up
with. Hey, it’s your show.
Paul Stefano: Cool. So, uh, I’ll start since I’m being selfish and just feeling like it, and I have a couple of cool things to talk about.
First of all, in spirit of the Cobra 19 pandemic, I shaved my head completely bald.
Sean Daeley: It didn’t help that you wore one of those stereotypical orange shirts that let you just look like a criminal man. I’m sorry.
I kind of do. It’s because I’ve had such a, I’m blessed with such a quaff of hair, and normally that when I, I did a before and after picture on Facebook and because I literally.
Shaved that all the way down and then took a, uh, cordless, um, [00:02:00] electric razor and went all the way around it. Like I was shining a floor buffing a floor, so it was really down to nothing. So I really do look like either a criminal or a member of a certain gang. One of my neighbors mentioned I don’t want to, I don’t want to bring up because I don’t want to be associated with that, but yeah, I look ridiculous.
He’d make a great thug. I mean. Yeah, I was, yeah. I was going out for some, some evil roles right now for on-camera. It would be great. I was telling my wife, I looked kind of like, I’m mr big from a, from Daredevil. No, no. What’s his name? Not mr. Big King. Pin. Pin. Yes. Thank you, Vincent. Yeah, exactly. I can see that.
Especially with all the extra weight I put on during this pandemic. Yeah, me and me and Vince are pretty close. Maybe just put a like, or we could like scar one side and give you a long haired cat and it can be a bond villain. Yeah, I do have a scar in the back of my head. I never knew it was there. It’s kind of funny.
My wife was saying, what is that thing? And I said, I don’t know. It’s been covered as long as I can remember. I’ve had hair like this since I was about three weeks old, so it’s hard to [00:03:00] tell him. But anyway, it was a fun activity chip. Yeah. Anyway, it was a fun activity for a Sunday afternoon. I did my son’s hair as well.
So we have a set of barber Clippers here, and I did my son’s hair and gave him sort of a mini Mohawk and he has been begging for it, so he looks ridiculous and so do I. No time like the frame that I was tempted to do that too, just cause it’s like it’s starting to get warmer and my hair is longer than I ever care or like usually have it, but it’s just.
Funny story when I was like 13 or so, I was like trying to maintain my hairstyle. At the time it was like, I don’t need to go to the bar and just trimming my bangs. And of course I messed up and size. It’s like, Oh, I’m just shave it all off. And it was like, I just looked like a gorilla. It was not good. So I’m like, ever again.
I just don’t have the shit, like the head shape for it and I don’t want to find out again. So, but anyways, work stuff. Yeah. Not to belabor the point too much, but, uh. I do have that gorilla look because my hair is, my hair started growing back almost immediately. I was telling [00:04:00] my daughter, I think I see it growing back, like as I’m trying to cut it, it’s almost like playing whack.
And while I was cutting it down with a razor and I could see other patches, almost like a chia pet. So two days later, or three days later, now I actually have like visible fuzz in my hair, which is kind of ridiculous. Oh, you want a little sunburn protection, I think. Yeah. But anyway, yeah. The other reason I did it is because I just signed up for the virtual one voice conference.
So if you know about gravy for the brain, they are, they’re doing a virtual conference. Lower the price to ridiculous levels. And if you were going to be an Atlanta and registered member of the, of the conference there, they actually offered an even steeper discount. So I just bought a full pass for the virtual conference for 150 bucks and change American.
So I’m going on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I won’t make all the sessions, especially because the weird time difference, um, it’s, it takes place in. London, or at least that’s where it’s based. Obviously it’s virtual now, but [00:05:00] most of the logistics are done in London, so it’s all based on on London time, and I’m going to be a few hours past that.
It looks like five hours. I can’t remember if it changes during daylight savings time, but at least right now it’s five hours, so I have to adjust my schedule accordingly. But there’s some cool stuff and I think it’s going to be a really cool alternative to what would have been all the conferences that I was going to before the pandemic was happening.
I would have just been coming back from camp VO. On Monday. So this will be a nice substitute for getting to see some of my, some of my friends and colleagues and learn something along the way. But the reason I did the heads thing is because the founders, Peter Dixon and Hugh Edwards are both suffering in the, in the, uh, the amount of hair department.
They’re both completely bald, let’s just say it. And then they rocket man. Yeah. And the J Michael Collins club now, right. And then Jim Michael Collins, who’s who heads their, uh, us division of gravy for the brain is also completely shaved down. So now I fit in perfectly for the weekend. Showing solidarity [00:06:00] for your bald brethren.
Very cool. This actually reminds me, cause I mean, it’s funny because a few years ago, like the, uh, I remember voiceover extra did like the, like kind of the first voiceover virtual conference and stuff like that. And at the time there just wasn’t like I participated in it because I was in Japan and it was like the only real opportunity like that I could do.
But. I talked to John Florian about it afterwards and he’s like, yeah, we’re, there just wasn’t a demand for it. But obviously how times have changed and people are getting super creative with this. So I think it, it’s something that I’m really happy that they’re revisiting because obviously for, for various reasons, people can’t always attend these conferences live, whether it be a matter of location, cost, uh, travel, all of that.
So I’m really excited. I hope it goes well. Yeah, I’ll be interested to see how it goes and how people actually participate. I’ve done a couple of ’em happy hours would be APA, the audio publishers [00:07:00] association, and we’ve had upwards of like 40 to 50 people on those. And while you can’t all talk at the same time, there is the chat that you have in zoom.
So those facts have been pretty fun as a nice conversations with people on Friday night. We had a PA one this past Friday and it was a lot of fun to talk to people and just reconnect, especially people I know. In real life, you know? So I reference some of the things that we’ve talked about in actual personal conversations in the online chat.
And it does offer a little bit of a, of a. Replacement for the in person networking. Absolutely. And it’s funny because that the affirmation voiceover virtual conference I was talking about, there wasn’t really a live component to it. It was essentially just like this hub that you could just look at all of these previously recorded presentations from.
So I’m really interested to see how they figure out the logistics of having so many people attending live per se. Yeah, we’ll see if they do it right and it can, it can work, I think, and I wish them the best of luck. But it’s really interesting. I mean, like [00:08:00] I’ve mentioned a few episodes before, GVH has done a number of free talks as well, both within the membership and outside of it for the greater vio community.
We’re doing our Monday cup of Joe with David Rowe Rosenthal. That is, and um. So, yeah, we just do those Monday mornings at like nine to 10 and then for within the membership, we do something similar called their Friday fireside chats. So I mean, it’s like there’s only so many names we can think of for these things.
I see a lot of fireside chats, a lot of cocktail hours or happy hours, things like that. But, but there really is a demand for that connection and just being able to hang out. And sometimes we talk VO, sometimes we don’t. But yeah, it is really nice to just be able to talk to people. So that’s the conference, a couple of work related things going on, mostly audio books right now because frankly, it just isn’t anything else for me to do.
But, um, I’m working on an audio book right now as a duet narration. No, [00:09:00] that’s not true. Dual narration, uh, apropos to the topic at hand. But my partner and I even shore. Are working on a hockey romance. I think it might mention some in the last episode about how it was upcoming, but it’s gone. We actually started it and it’s due the end of in two weeks.
So I’m full throttle with it right now and it’s going well. And like I think I mentioned the last episode to Abe and I have done another book that was pretty successful as a, as a dual narration and I’m really enjoying it. I like that concept and in fact, I just saw another casting call today that I’m going to put it in with a, with Ava, and it’s another.
Hockey romance, so perfectly perfect fit. It’s almost the same book I’m doing now, but by different author and very similar topics. I have high hopes for that. Is that also on ACX or is that one of your other, um. Yeah, I mean, you don’t have to give away secrets if you don’t want, but I was just curious. The platform people have probably seen it.
It’s, it’s from spectrum audio books, which is a publishing company, and it was putting [00:10:00] the, the indie or ACX narrator group on an on Facebook. So I’m sure other people have seen it. And then independently. I just finished my last book called Archimedes’ principle, which is a Saifai thriller, and that is currently waiting with ACX to be approved.
Who knows when that’ll be. It’s a lot of delays with ACX right now because of the crisis, there’s only so much you can do. I’ve had one book that went through in 14 days, like normal, and then I have a client for twin flame studios who has been waiting for two months and we have no way of knowing, dang, when it’s going to be pushed through.
And to that end, I’ve completed one book with twin flames studios where I recorded the author remotely. We spent a whole week, three hours a day recording him remotely here in my studio, edited it and mastered it. And that’s been sent to ACX as well. And I started the second, well, not second, but the, another project second in this last group of, of projects that I, that we have booked, uh, [00:11:00] yesterday.
So that author has done five hours so far and it’s going pretty well. And I have another one on the docket. It’s coming up in about three weeks. So really busy with twin flames studios. And so happy to have that, that opportunity and that and that work. So thanks to Tina Dietz, who is the owner and founder there.
Very cool. So what’s been going on with you, sir? Oh, nothing much. Just finish. Like speaking of audio books, I’m finishing up. The one I’m working on right now, got about five chapters left, so I’m happy about that. Other than that, just keeping our members happy through or through GVA. And we also had a really cool webinar on e-learning with, uh, John Kissinger, who’s just as amazing.
He’s done e-learning for a number of decades himself. He’s just an instructor, uh, at heart. And the webinars is filled with so many golden nuggets on like on how to pursue e-learning work with the delivery, like the style of delivery for it, how to like, or like I said, how to market yourself effectively for it.
And right now it’s obviously a genre that’s blowing up and then people are [00:12:00] trying to scramble to get more work in. So. It was a service we were happy to provide. So if you’re interested in finding that, it’s called e-learning strategies for success with John Kissinger, and it’s right over on the global voice Academy site.
So check it out if you’re interested. Yeah, John’s a cool dude. I met him last year at, you know, Atlanta. It was helping him out with his ex session. Yeah. Yeah, that’s right. We at, we’re also working on a number of, um, of doll webinars. Uh, we’ve got another, uh, Udacity, one coming up, I believe we got re or a Reaper webinar in June with everyone’s favorite booth.
Chunky Mike DelGaudio really excited about that one. And outside of GVA, um. I actually got, I mentioned this before, but I found I was offered a job to teach at a local independent arts school in Seattle to teach voiceover, like one Oh one like a 100 series. And at our first unit you had mentioned you actually got the job.
You did? Yeah, I did. I swear I did. Well, if I hadn’t then. Alright, well congratulations. [00:13:00] Yeah, we talked, I think we talked about it a little bit before, but like Paul actually found a Craigslist ad for a job in my neck of the woods, and he’s like, Hey man, you sound perfect for this. And so I applied immediately and then we met in like we met in the wintertime before shit went down.
And then, uh, eventually they decided to hire me. Uh, and we just had our first class last Saturday and it was great. I did kind of just like an industry overview and virtual and commercial. Yeah. It’s all, it’s all online. It’s actually very similar to what I do for GVA. It’s just kind of like, instead of just doing performance practice, there’s little elements of ’em or like, there’s like a short lecture before with each class cause it’s only like two hours with 11 participants.
And if you’ve ever done a workout, honestly like, I mean you can, we, we regularly have eight or 10 participants in our workouts for GVA and like. And 90 minutes goes by real quick. Yep. I’m like, that’s honestly barely time for two, [00:14:00] two rounds of reeds and like with five or six minutes each. So yeah, this first session went a little long cause there obviously there was like that industry overview and I like to, I like to ramble and inundate people with information.
Jeffrey Kafer: Oh.
Paul Stefano: Um, so hopefully the next ones are going to be more streamlined. And I’m still kind of figuring out exactly how I want to organize the course. And they’re already talking about doing like not only more advanced courses to continue with these participants, but like another round of this class. So I get to experiment.
I’m trying to kind of balance it out. With like sort of like a professional lecture. Like for example, this one’s going to be on home studio and then couple it with like a performance practice in like animation or whatever. So, uh, so each iteration of the course and probably going to tweak it a little bit, maybe like put technical narration with home studio and stuff like that.
We’ll see. Well. That’s great. Yeah. To my recollection, and granted, I may have lost some brain cells along with the hair I shaved off, but I don’t think you mentioned actually getting the job. We talked at length [00:15:00] about you, the application process and the interview. Yeah. But congratulations. Well, thank you very much.
Yeah. If you need curriculum ideas, you can just follow the, uh, the episode release schedule, the VO meter. Just go episode one. Well, that’s the thing too, is like, I’m also trying to, not like, I want the, the, our time together to be a lot more like Mike, time in performance practice and stuff like that. So I’m starting to just make like free recorded stuff or send people resources of, of either of stuff that other GVA coaches have made, um, to, to serve as the lecture, you know, to kind of like warm them up for our actual sessions.
So then we can just dive into reading scripts. Okay, cool. That pretty much wraps up our Veo meter reference levels, but it’s time for questionable gear. Her chest. All right, well, this questionable gear purchase segment is going to be very short because Paul and I didn’t buy anything. We’re both being super selective [00:16:00] with our finances for obvious reasons, and the fact that you can’t really return anything right now, um, for those same reasons.
So we want to kind of open this up to you guys. We want to hear what you have bought in the past or recently, and which you might have regretted head, the buyer’s remorse, if you will, or. Uh, or just didn’t work out for your current situation. So if you want to send us your questionable gear purchases, you can do so at the VO meter Facebook page, or you can reach out to me firstname.lastname@example.org.
So that’s email@example.com. So we’ll get to our interview with Jeffrey Kafer and Heather Costa in just a moment, right after these words from our sponsors.
Jeffrey Kafer: As a voice talent, you have to have a website, but what a hassle. Getting someone to do it for you.
Paul Stefano: And when they finally do,
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They’re expensive. [00:17:00] You have limited or no control. And it takes forever to get one built and go live. So what’s the best way to get you online in no time.
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How many times is 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.
Paul Stefano: Maybe it’s a woman that starts talking, not unlike
[00:18:00] Jeffrey Kafer: myself.
Paul Stefano: And you think to yourself, geez, I could do that.
Jeffrey Kafer: Well, mr, well, Missy,
Paul Stefano: you just got one step
Jeffrey Kafer: closer to realizing your dream as a voiceover artist
Paul Stefano: because now
Jeffrey Kafer: there’s global voice acting Academy.
All the tools and straight from the hip, honest information you need
Paul Stefano: to get on a fast track to doing this
Jeffrey Kafer: commercial yourself.
Well, not this one. Exactly.
Paul Stefano: Pluses, private coaching, webinars, home studio setup, marketing and branding. Help members only benefits like workouts, rate, negotiation, advice, practice scripts and more.
All without the kind of hype you’re listening to right now. Go ahead. Take our jobs from us.
Jeffrey Kafer: We dare you. Speak for yourself, buddy. I like what I do,
Paul Stefano: and you will too. When you’re learning your craft at global voice acting Academy, find firstname.lastname@example.org because you like to have fun. Hey everybody, and welcome to the interview portion of this episode of the VO meter.
I’m super excited because we have our first duet dual interview going on, so I’ll go [00:19:00] ahead and introduce our first guest. Heather Costa is a sag after audio book narration and voiceover artists located in Los Angeles, specializing in young adult romance and urban fantasy audio books. Heather’s also a 2020 finalist for the independent audio book awards for her young adult title, waters of salt and sin, and her new release crave by Tracy Wolf was just option by universal to become a major motion picture.
Take it away, Paul. And also joining us is Jeffrey Kafer, who is an award winning Los Angeles SAG-AFTRA audio book narrator and producer. He has performed over 650 titles in all genres from indie authors. Two best sellers. He’s a cochair of the independent audio book awards and the founder of both audio book, boom and free audio book codes.com which helps authors and narrators promote their work to listeners.
He also owns a SAG-AFTRA, a signatory production studio, high gravity productions. So welcome to you both. Thank you. So we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the current craziness going on around the [00:20:00] world. Uh, the COBIT 19 crisis. And I’m wondering now that we’re in the middle of it pretty much around the country and around the world.
What has changed about your work or how has it affected your work? Um,
actually not much. Uh, fortunately we worked from home before. Uh, so, um, other than not being able to, you know, go out and. Go to the movies or go to dinner. It’s kind of the same thing work-wise, that that really hasn’t changed much.
Jeffrey Kafer: I know I’m doing more laundry cause I’m wearing double the amount of pajama pants every day, evening EGA pants. And I have my daytime work, PJ pants. So
Paul Stefano: are they labeled by time of day?
Jeffrey Kafer: No. I like to mix it up, keep things, you know, loose and, you know, on the fly. Um, but yeah, no, Heather’s right. I mean, we, we.
We narrate all the time from home. So in this, in a way where we’re really lucky that our, our jobs are Covidien immune, at least at this point.
Paul Stefano: Yeah, [00:21:00] yeah, absolutely. I would agree. We recently talked to Amanda Rose Smith out in New York and, uh, we had somewhere discussion and I said, I feel kind of guilty because I’m still working as much, if not more than ever.
And I’m wondering if, if the rest of us, I’m sure everyone was counting their blessings to an extent, but like I said, some of us might even feel a little guilty about it. Yeah. Yeah. These be strange times. So as I mentioned at the start of the interview, you guys do a lot of dual narration and now you’re starting to do what’s called duet narration together.
What’s the difference? Well,
Jeffrey Kafer: dual narration is when the book is written from two POV. So chapter one could be the male, chapter two could be the female. The narrator of that particular gender reads the entire chapter. Including the male female dialogue. So male POV chapter, I would read everything, including the female dialogue with duet.
It’s more like a radio play where Heather would narrate the female parts and I would narrate the male parts, um, the quotes,
Paul Stefano: you know, the, the dialogue
Jeffrey Kafer: and [00:22:00] such. So it’s, you know, going back and forth in the chapter. Male, female.
Paul Stefano: Very cool. That sounds very difficult.
Jeffrey Kafer: Um, it can be, it’s almost impossible to do it in separate studios.
But it’s, you know, when you’re in the same studio, it’s, it’s not that difficult to do, and it’s actually kind of fun to, you know, bounce off each other like that.
Yeah. So real time responding to each other. It’s great.
Paul Stefano: Yeah, absolutely. So it seems to me that the genre is a little more popular than it has been until recently.
Maybe it’s my imagination, or maybe it’s because I’m actually being hired for a few, so my eyes are open. It’s like when you, you buy a Honda and then suddenly you see a Honda, every car you pass on the road. Right. But do you think that the genre has become more popular and the demand is greater for duet and do and dual narration?
Jeffrey Kafer: Absolutely. Especially in the romance genre. Yeah, I’m not going to say that it’s becoming more popular because it really depends on how the book is written. Um, some books are more suited for duel, while others are [00:23:00] more suited for duet. Depends on how the book is written, but it’s extremely popular, especially in the romance crowd.
Paul Stefano: And why do you think that is?
I, I think they like to hear it adds to the story. It’s, it’s, um. There’s a natural chemistry that happens that I think the listeners really enjoy. And especially when it’s a love story, they, you know, if it’s a female listener, they relate to the woman. They want the man, you know?
And if it’s a male listener, you know, they, they are the man. So I think it just adds more realness to it for the listener.
Jeffrey Kafer: Yeah. It really is about hearing the chemistry between two people. You know, the more popular narrators, you know, they, the, the listeners. I already have. They feel like they have a relationship with that narrator in a way.
So to hear two narrators that they really love working together in the same booth, that really, it’s exciting. It’s exciting. Yeah.
Paul Stefano: Very
Paul Stefano: We touched on it a little bit, but what are some of the unique challenges of doing [00:24:00] dual and duet narration?
Jeffrey Kafer: Well, for, so it takes longer. Um, you’re both sitting in the studio for the entire eight hours
for the, yeah.
Okay. He said do a lap or do it.
Jeffrey Kafer: Oh,
Paul Stefano: Oh no. You can touch on both. It’s fine.
Jeffrey Kafer: Alright, well I’m just going to not answer the question at all.
Paul Stefano: Give us a full Bruno ladder.
Jeffrey Kafer: Maybe you should take over on this one cause I’m just fumbling
with duel. You tend to record in in separate studios, so there isn’t really that challenge. I think it’s more just when you’re, when you work with somebody that you’re familiar with, you. No, they’re, uh, the style of how they work, you know, their characters, but you’re sharing, you’re sharing a folder of character samples, so you’re matching each other in that way.
With duet, like Jeff was saying, you’re actually in the booth together at the same time for the whole book.
Paul Stefano: So that real time collaboration going on.
Jeffrey Kafer: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, if I’m doing a [00:25:00] specific character, she’s going to hear how I’m doing it and
Paul Stefano: you know, emulate and vice versa. We’re always
in touch with each other on the character choices that we make so that they match.
Jeffrey Kafer: know, the real challenge with duet is not so much when you record in the booth together, that’s actually not that difficult cause you’re still punching roll. You know, you still do the job. It’s when people try to do it outside. They do do two different studios and they try to do duet. There’s, that opens up a whole host of new challenges.
Um, that people who don’t, who record together don’t have matching sound matching, timing, et cetera, et cetera. And the technical hurdle of how do you communicate with each other in CD quality in real time over the internet, et cetera, et cetera. It just, there are a lot of tech challenges with that. Um, and you limit, we eliminate that by recording together.
Paul Stefano: Yeah. I’m wondering if that’ll change, especially post COBIT [00:26:00] 19, you know, when we get to our, our new normal quote, unquote, because the technology that’s being used now is, is being tested basically for, for stress stress levels. Um, Jeff from the old, uh. Quality assurance days. I know you’re familiar with that term.
So the software, I think it’s almost to a point where it’s possible to do it. I’ve actually done it with another narrator, and it was a short book so early. It’s short for the female parts. It was only about maybe 50 lines for my partner and I was able to drop it in and match it. The sound was not. Too hard because I just kinda know what I’m doing.
But as the software becomes more robust, like zoom, like put, go call it, we’re using now like source connect. I think it’s going to be, I’ll say, easier for people to try and still be, they’ll still be some challenges, but I think it might be possible to do once we get past this current current crisis in where we really can’t be together right now.
Jeffrey Kafer: It’s certainly not impossible. It’s just creates more challenges you have to have. [00:27:00] Yeah. There’s more work. You have to have a certain technical know how, et cetera, et cetera. You just have to know how to do it. And a lot of people just, you know, they’re, they’re narrators. They’re not computer nerds like you and I.
Paul Stefano: Yeah. I think it was fascinating. I’m, like you said, it is fun. Especially. Because I’m on the East coast and a lot of the, the narrators that, that are prominent like yourselves are in LA. So it isn’t really possible for me in some cases to work with somebody in person, but I do enjoy it when I try to do it remotely and, and use the technology that’s available.
Absolutely. Just kind of elaborating a little bit more on what the prep looks like for doing these dual and duet narrations versus a single audio book for you guys.
So that’s where we will share a Dropbox folder for character samples and kind of decide together the different voices and characterizations of, you know, if it’s a character, that’s mostly in my point of view, most likely I’ll be making those choices.
And if it’s Jeff’s point of view, [00:28:00] then I take the lead from him. And just always, you know, it’s a, because it’s Dropbox, we can constantly be adding. Different samples and making notes. So we’ll have either in the, in the name of the audio sample. Um, sometimes there’ll be, you know, a description about the character.
Just we know each other well in. You know, in that sense so that it can say, Oh, it’s the, the higher pitched best friend. And we kind of know where that pitch lies in each other’s voices. Or sometimes there’ll be a, you know, a Google doc with notes that we reference. Um, so that we’re on the same page and we’re updating it as we go.
Jeffrey Kafer: Yeah. A lot of times the author will provide director notes for us in, in advance, not, not after, but in advance. They’ll provide. Who is the muse of who was their celebrity inspiration when they’re writing this character? How do they hear that? The act, the character sounding, and they give us that as a baseline.
So it’s important that we share that and if we deviate from [00:29:00] it to make notes in that same document. So just so we’re on the same page, it’s really just about communication.
And if there is, um, we’ll also drop in pronunciation files, you know, if it’s a weird name, um, or place, we’ll make sure that we’re both saying at the same way.
Jeffrey Kafer: Right.
Paul Stefano: Oh, brilliant. Yeah. And then are there ever any arguments about character choices? Like Jeffrey, have you ever said, well, that’s not how I imagined her. You’re way off base.
Jeffrey Kafer: Um, no, no. We, we sometime was it, we struggle on, on accents. Um, they’re not exactly our strong suit. So we’ve been, we’ve been, we’ve been struggling on a, on a character who’s got a British accent in this next book, and.
It’s, it’s been a challenge sinking up the posh RP accent with the sort of the lower socioeconomic, like London. Almost Cockney accent and getting those [00:30:00] to align to because
Paul Stefano: British accent
Jeffrey Kafer: means a lot of different things. So that’s been, it has been an argument per se. It’s just been an exploration. It’s been work to get those
Paul Stefano: to sync up.
While I was listening to ’em day aside this morning, um, thank you for the free code, whoever came that to me. And, um, I enjoyed your portrayal of Hermes so far at Jeffery. Oh, thank you.
Jeffrey Kafer: Thank you. That’s so that, that actually is, that’s a, yeah. That’s one of my favorite books to do so far. Um, and that’s a good example of a duel that’s done.
That’s not enrollments.
Paul Stefano: Yeah. Because it’s more mystery science, science thriller. Right.
Jeffrey Kafer: Yeah, it’s urban fantasy comedy, mostly comedy, comedy action. I mean, it’s, it spans a bunch of genres. It’s deicide by MK Gibson, and
Paul Stefano: it’s like a way I love urban fantasy and stuff that references the Greek mythos. So awesome.
Jeffrey Kafer: Yeah. And it’s, and, yeah, and it’s got very, uh, the humor is, I [00:31:00] don’t wanna say juvenile, but it’s,
Paul Stefano: uh,
Jeffrey Kafer: was childlike. I mean, there’s. Pooping unicorn or something like that, that shits, excuse me.
Paul Stefano: Yeah. It’s a great book.
Jeffrey Kafer: It’s, it’s
Paul Stefano: hilarious. It answers the deep questions.
Very cool. So I was curious, do you, do you guys market yourselves differently as sort of like a dual narration package or, um. Or how do you pursue your own marketing strategies differently?
Jeffrey Kafer: Well, um, so we’re working on that. We have been promoting ourselves as dual. We will, for example, on ACX, we will audition.
If we see a book calls for dual, uh, dual narrators, we will actually submit an audition that has both of us in that audition, and we’ll say in the notes dual narration team, Heather Costa and Jennifer Kafer. But there’s also sort of a catch 22 [00:32:00] about that in that if they, the, the listener loves Heather, for example, but doesn’t love me.
They may think that we are a bonded
Paul Stefano: pair,
Jeffrey Kafer: right? So if you look in, in something in romance. I mean, it’s very poly amorous, whatever that is. You know, you share partners a lot.
Paul Stefano: Um,
Jeffrey Kafer: so they, you know, even, you know, couples who are actually married in real life, they will go and do narration with other people all the time.
So you don’t want to be, you want to, it’s, it’s cool. It’s a challenge to, to Mark it. With the other person, but not give the impression that you’ll only work with that person.
Paul Stefano: So do you add that little like fine print, like we’re totally okay if you just like one of us cause that, cause I’ve heard certain uh, voice actor, couples like Terra plaid and Yuri Lowenthal or lower Bailey and Travis Willingham do just that.
They’re like, we’re not, we’re not strictly a package set. If you like one of us, we’re not going to be offended if you only hire one of us. Right.
Jeffrey Kafer: That, well, that’s, that is the [00:33:00] challenge. I mean, I have put that in notes, but that’s, that’s the challenge
Paul Stefano: all to carry on a theme then. Do, do either of you have multiple partners and narration that is, I mean, have you, I know Jeffrey, you’ve done it a lot more books than Heather, but have you worked with anyone else in the dual narration?
Jeffrey Kafer: yeah. I mean, I’ve narrated with a bunch of different women. You know, we have an, we have an open marriage and relationship
Paul Stefano: here. It’s okay. So not to get too personal here, but I’m in this situation myself where I do want to submit an ACX audition with a partner, and I’m going through the list of people that I’ve worked with.
How long do you wait before you get an answer from somebody before you worry about missing out on that audition? Because it gets, it gets cast in. Well,
Jeffrey Kafer: what do you mean? So once I submitted an audition,
Paul Stefano: no, like if you want to do something with Heather, let’s say, but you don’t know if she’s available and you’re launching that.
Let’s assume it’s ACX and you’re watching that title and worrying that it’s going to be taken up because frankly, there usually aren’t that many well-paying titles available for pay per finished hour. Do you wait a day? Do you wait two days to see if Heather is available [00:34:00] or do you move down the list quickly?
We’re usually in touch with each other right away. So if there is a book, we both jump on it. Yeah. Pretty instantly.
Jeffrey Kafer: Heather uses, um, audio book scout. Which she gets almost real time email alerts that there’s a book that fits the parameters of that she wants to narrate for, well, that was a really awkward way of saying that
Paul Stefano: wasn’t it?
We can cut out that pause. It’s
Jeffrey Kafer: totally fine. I don’t care. This is real raw. Um, anyway, so she gets real time notifications of when a book is right for her and or us to narrate together. And so I’ll get an email, Hey, this just showed up. Let’s do an audition. And within an hour of getting that
Jeffrey Kafer: can be submitted.
Paul Stefano: Yeah. Yeah. Okay. That makes sense. So let’s talk about your, how you’ve been received as a team for your dual or duet narrations. What have your fans had to say about your work?
Jeffrey Kafer: Oh, they hate us.
[00:35:00] Um, no, it’s been positive. Um. They like the romance stuff has been very well received. Um, and so has deicide in the urban fantasy crowd.
Yeah. They talk about the chemistry that they love, um, how we feed off of each other, how the voices match, how they feel connected to the characters that we may, they think we’re a great
Paul Stefano: team.
Well, I think it’s a Testament to the collaboration that you mentioned earlier. Like everything between like working in the same studio space to being communicative throughout the entire process.
Yeah. Oh, that definitely plays a big part. And you know, they liked the sound of the voices together and they just, you know, when you, when you know someone really well, you, you understand how they work and you are able to play off of each other in that way.
Jeffrey Kafer: Yeah. I can almost before I’ve even heard some of her narration, I can, I’ve done enough books that I can. Hear how she’s going to narrate her part in a way or how if I come across a character in my chapter, I can almost [00:36:00] hear how she’s going to sound when she narrates that character so I can emulate in a way without even having to hear her.
Paul Stefano: Awesome. It sounds like you both have excellent directors in their brains. Let me try and say that again. It’s
Jeffrey Kafer: multiple personalities.
Paul Stefano: It’s, it’s a, it’s a job benefit I guess, or cause, but, so we touched on it in a couple of our earlier questions, like some of the unique challenges and considerations of doing duet and dual narration.
But what about for the next generation, or like or say audio book narrators who are already doing a number of single titles but are interested in pursuing more duet and dual narration work?
Jeffrey Kafer: What do we recommend
Paul Stefano: for them or what are like any additional considerations,
Jeffrey Kafer: you know, for those who are starting out and getting into this, I would find another narrator whom you are comfortable working with and get started with them instead of just sort of putting yourself out there.
For whoever wants to take you.
[00:37:00] So, you know, team up with somebody else. I know. That’s what I did. Um, and you get a few titles under your belt with somebody that you know and you trust and you figure out your way. I think that’s better than just sort of putting yourself out there, not having any experience doing duel and then being overwhelmed by somebody else’s process.
Paul Stefano: Gotcha. So get screened your accountability buddies, guys.
Jeffrey Kafer: That’s really what it is. That’s, that’s a good way to put it. Yeah.
Paul Stefano: So don’t go to Facebook and just post on unavailable.
Jeffrey Kafer: Well, I do see that quite a bit. Yeah. Here’s my match.com
Paul Stefano: Yeah, it’s funny. Jeopardy.
Jeffrey Kafer: There’s an idea for a new website narrator, match.com
Paul Stefano: you heard it here for our scope.
Jeffrey Kafer: I got the entrepreneurial gears going in my
Paul Stefano: head. Go, go. Might not that domain right now.
Jeffrey Kafer: Yeah, I’m totally going to do it.
Paul Stefano: I was actually expecting Jeffery, the Seinfeld answer from you. Uh, when we asked what should people do if they want to get into it and say, sorry, there’s no titles available. [00:38:00] No, no, you guys,
Jeffrey Kafer: I don’t know if you saw this post, but I wrote to Michael Crighton like 25 years ago when I was a teenager and said, Hey, do you need any help working on Jurassic park and the movie dressing part because I wanted to be a filmmaker.
And I said, also, do you have any. Advice about the film business, and I got a reply back, a letter back from his secretary of course saying, mr Creighton is busy right now, but he wanted me to reply and he says, thanks, but he’s good for drastic park. And it was for advice about the movie business. Avoid it if you possibly can.
Paul Stefano: And that’s the advice I just made. You want it more, didn’t it? What’s that? That’s just made you want it more. It didn’t. It
Jeffrey Kafer: totally did.
Paul Stefano: Yes. Yeah. It’s funny how that works.
Jeffrey Kafer: Yeah. I’m not in the credits of Jurassic park. I don’t know why. Not.
Paul Stefano: Consulting for Michael Crighton. Jeffrey Kafer.
Jeffrey Kafer: Yes.
Paul Stefano: So added. One more question that’s a little bit off off script, but I think it’s prudent [00:39:00] for your opinions on this because of the recent news this week. So there was a press release from an arm of find a way. That they were partnering along with a company called deep Zen to have computer generated voice narrative books.
I’m wondering how you feel that might affect narrators in general and what you feel the future of the audiobook business in general looks like.
Jeffrey Kafer: Um, so I’m not, I’m not crying chicken little or I’m not chicken little, the sky’s not falling for the. The voice synthesized thing for audiobooks. Uh, first of all, the union is on it.
They’re already well aware of the issue. So they’re totally on that. And you know, my opinion is it’s going to come down to licensing. They’re going to license voices to create these synthesized works. And my attitude is if some deep Zen or whoever wants to create my TA create audio books using. My voice while I’m sitting on a beach [00:40:00] somewhere drinking my ties, sign me up.
As long as they license my voice and pay me totally fine. I know that sucks. That’s everybody. All the voice actors are like Tabor, but you know, at the end of the day, we can’t stop technology. We can only make sure we get paid for, for the use of it. I can’t
see it taking over completely. I mean, there’s a performance element obviously, that we love that we lose out on if we’re just recording.
Parts of our voice to be used in that way, but like Jeff said, if it’s happening anyway, might as well make it work.
Paul Stefano: Yeah. I
don’t know about hearing it.
Jeffrey Kafer: I don’t see this taking over our jobs in the near term because listeners really do believe that this is a relationship between them and the narrator. I can’t imagine going and getting a, you know, somebody who I really enjoy listening to, like Scott brick.
And knowing that that was a synthesized voice, there would be something. There would be such a disconnect [00:41:00] there. That it would not feel like I was having a relationship with
Paul Stefano: polyamory again actually. But you all, you also have a relationship with Scott, like in real life, as do I and Sean. So I want to get that affects your, your view of it, and maybe it, maybe it does or doesn’t, but I think you’re right. The relationship that a listener has with that narrator is going to be important for some time to come, I think.
think listeners, even when they don’t know the person right. Like actually know the person. They feel like they do. I mean, when you see them talking about them, you know, the, the narrator’s online, they act as if they, they, you know, really connect with this person. They love this person. They, you know, they have that relationship in their minds with them.
Paul Stefano: Yeah, and I actually agree with you, Jeffrey. I had the same opinion when I first saw that press release. In fact, one step further, I actually, that day I went to deep Zinn’s website and submitted my voice as a, as a narrator, because I think there’s no way you can avoid it and you’re just going to have to embrace it.
And I think that’s ultimately where the [00:42:00] technology is going to fall, at least. I hope we had a similar discussion at the vocation conference last year in New York city with. A brilliant panel of people actually involved in, in synthesized voice. And that’s sort of what their opinion was too. That even as a company producing these voices, they hope to use it as a benefit to the industry as opposed to a detriment.
Jeffrey Kafer: Well, so I don’t think I would actually go in and submit my voice, but I don’t want to help the technology per se. Um, not without having some sort of an assurance or licensing. Product, you know, contract in place.
Paul Stefano: Right. Well, that’s to be determined. I didn’t, I didn’t sign away any rights yet.
Jeffrey Kafer: Okay.
perpetuity, a usage of your voice?
Paul Stefano: No. I’m just more curious about what they were proposing and what a contract like that would look like, and then obviously I’d bring it to my representation and maybe even an attorney and have it looked over, but I think it’s interesting and I was willing to be the Guinea pig to see what that, what they’re thinking and what it looks like.
Jeffrey Kafer: Right. Yeah. I get that. And you’re not going to be able to [00:43:00] stop the technology by any means. We just need to learn how to get paid.
Paul Stefano: Right. Well, thank you guys so much for this awesome discussion. Uh, all I want to ask is how can we hear from you more? How can we reach out to you? How can they find out about your work?
Uh, what’s the best ways to contact you to do audio book work? So
my audio book website is Heather Costa, audio books.com and I’m on ACX as well.
Jeffrey Kafer: Um, I’m in this one rolls off the tongue. Audio book-voice-over.com also Jeffrey kafer.com also high gravity productions.com. Also audio book, boom.com also free Audi, but codes.com I need to stop buying domain audible.
Paul Stefano: Well, both of you. Thanks for being here, Heather. I don’t know if he knows, but you’re actually our first repeat guest. You were on way back on episode three or four, three years ago. You can believe that. So you’re our first repeat guests and we’re honored to have you and Jeffrey, thanks for joining us as well.
I’ve been chasing you for as. [00:44:00] Almost as long, probably three years. And I knew you’d say yes if Heather said yes. So thanks for being here.
Jeffrey Kafer: The only reason
Paul Stefano: we finally got good enough, guys, Jeffrey said, yes.
Jeffrey Kafer: Yay. They liked me. They really liked me. You can also find our duet and dual narration website at romance audio book, narrator.com.
Paul Stefano: Guys, stay safe. Uh, happy Easter. Those who celebrate and um, I’ll talk to you soon. All right. Thank you. Bye. Hi.
Jeffrey Kafer: Walgreens. Because it’s flu season,
Paul Stefano: you live in a place with
Jeffrey Kafer: torn up handrails and you know, people
Paul Stefano: tried booking a vacation rental
Paul Stefano: one of those other websites.
Paul Stefano: always tell you everything.
Jeffrey Kafer: The stars take it to the red carpet
from the red
Paul Stefano: carpet in California, leads the way for change in America and sodas. Carla Harris rated M
Jeffrey Kafer: for mature Claire and who
exactly are you?
[00:45:00] Paul Stefano: So yeah. What hashtag should I use to describe a grown man in a tuxedo wrestling a goat prior to
Jeffrey Kafer: 1933 any of them belong to a variety of political parties
Paul Stefano: that were now outlawed in Germany.
This is the story of
Jeffrey Kafer: how Q got curly
Paul Stefano: Crazy about
Jeffrey Kafer: curls.
Paul Stefano: Kelly.
Jeffrey Kafer: Hey, Jay. Michael here. Thanks for listening to the VO meter podcast. It’s one of my favorites. If you’re looking for a great demo, like the ones you just heard, check out JMC demos.com for more information.
Paul Stefano: Wow. That was awesome. So thank you very much, Jeffrey and Heather for being on the podcast.
Like I honestly didn’t understand the idiosyncrasies between dual and duet narration, and it really adds an interesting element to the process. I mean, yeah, the logistics are a little bit more complicated, but I mean, just that collaboration and having someone to work off of throughout the duration of the progress is really an exciting proposition.
Wouldn’t you agree, Paul? Yeah. And as long as you work with somebody, first of all, that knows what they’re [00:46:00] doing, which you should be doing anyway. Someone that has a good studio and knows how to add a master of files or has an editor that they trust that can do that for them, and you have the same, then it works out pretty well.
I’ve done two now with two different author, sorry, with two different narrators, and I had no problem managing the sound at all. And I think when you listen to the finished product, it proves that. Both of us knew what we were doing or all three of us in the case of the other, the other book, and it really came out great.
Nice. Was there a bit of a screening process? Are you ever concerned what it was going to be like to work with this person a bit? I mean, the first one, the first one I did was with ’em. Laurie, Katherine Winkle, and I just know her personally from hanging out and, and talking. It’d be Atlanta and then just virtually over the years.
And I know she’s super talented, so that wasn’t a worry. Um, and the logistics, like I said, I knew that her, she had a good sounding studio cause she had sent me files before and that was an easy and easy choice. And the second one, um, a bit more of a feeling out [00:47:00] process. Uh, but the, the narrator I work I’m working with now, even.
Was featured on an ACX blog post that I was also featured on that we talked about in the on the show a couple of months ago. So I knew she was better than and respected by the ACX community and audible. So I knew it would be an easy. And easy fit, but it is, it does take a little bit of learning each other.
Sort of like Jeffrey and Heather were saying, you have to know the voices that each person can do and where to sort of match them up as best you can. So it does take a little bit of a of a process, but once you’ve done a few, then you can really, you can really rolled it. Oh, that’s awesome. Well, hopefully you can work with or those people again in the future and that’s really, really cool.
So before we go, we want to thank our sponsor vocal booth to go vocal booth that goes patented. Acoustic blankets are an effective alternative to expensive soundproofing, often used by vocal and voiceover professionals, engineers and studios is an affordable soundproofing and absorption solution. We make your environment quieter for [00:48:00] less.
All right, thanks to vocal booth to go and thanks again to Jeffrey Kafer and Heather Costa for joining us. Uh, finally, Jeffrey, Heather, as we talked about was, are for those who don’t know, Jeffrey was one of the first people we had in mind is a guest on the podcast, and he turned us down numerous times, but.
Yeah, no offense. Yeah. I don’t think he turned us down any more than dunked. Kel did, and he finally came on. But, uh, as we mentioned, Heather’s our first repeat guest. So thanks again to Heather for coming back on the show. So that wraps up this episode of the VO meter, measuring your voiceover progress.
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