What’s a retired military man, now working for a private contractor in a war-torn country, to do with his down time? If he’s Pensacola resident Don Madison, currently residing in Baghdad, Iraq, he trains to become a professional Voice Actor.
Would it be easier to wait until he’s done with his work overseas to take on a new challenge like this?
After all many people put their dreams on the back burner for reasons far less substantial than being half a world away.
Madison says, “I’m a big believer in not putting things off until later. I tell my kids ‘there’s no time like the present.’ What kind of father would I be if I didn’t set the example?”
Madison works as a professional trainer and is currently based in Iraq. The company he represents encourages all their employees to occupy their personal time with new challenges that keep them out of harm’s way while living in the unstable region. So the former military member decided to begin training with Schenectady, New York-based Voice Coaches, an industry leader in one-on-one voice over training and demo development. Madison began his voice over training last month.
Voice Coaches utilizes their phone link system to connect producers one-on-one to clients anywhere in the world. “This is the same equipment we use during our studio’s professional production work for entities like Discovery Networks and HGTV,” commented David Bourgeois, Voice Coaches president and creative director. “The equipment has not only extended our reach as a professional training company, it has made the educational process much more convenient for our students,” added Bourgeois.
After a successful initial voice evaluation, required by Voice Coaches, Madison will spend the next three months studying both the creative and business aspects of the professional voice over field. His training will combine both one-on-one instruction via phone link, and extensive web training resources. Once complete, Voice Coaches will work with Don to develop both commercial and narrative voice over demos, showcasing his specific voice strengths.
“We have the capability to work with studios all over the world through a high speed ISDN connection and thus we were excited to record Don in Iraq, but he has optioned to travel to our main studios to meet our team and complete his demos in person. I am pretty sure this will be the longest anyone has ever traveled to finish their demo with us!” commented Voice Coaches’ Bourgeois.
“I was already doing some video training work for my company and I thought it might be something I would like to pursue further when I got back to the States,” said Madison. “The great thing about the Voice Coaches course is that I can take it from right here in Iraq. But I am really looking forward to meeting my instructors in-person,” he says.
Voice Coaches will train more than 600 individuals in Professional Voice Over in 2008. Since its founding more than a decade ago, more than 5,000 students have trained with the organization.
New York-based Voice Coaches, a national leader in developing voice over talent, specializes in individualized voice over training and demo development for clients across the United States, Canada, and now, around the world. Learn more at www.voicecoaches.com.