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Information Organization

Taking notes and keeping them categorized has proven to be a valuable resource.

As someone who has been learning about voice acting for many years, I have come across and been presented with a lot of information. Some of it came when I was in the just-exactly-what-is-voice-acting? stage when I couldn't even process all that I was hearing. It just sort of came shooting at me and went right over my head.

I spent a lot of time listening to whatever demos I could find online, reading books about voice acting and watching pre-recorded presentations. All was fine at that point because I wouldn't have even known what questions to ask if I had even had an opportunity to speak to someone live. I did this for about two years.

An open notebook with a pen on top of the empty pages

Ready access to info!

Then I progressed to actually contacting one of the people in the recorded presentations that I had been watching, David Rosenthal, for one-on-one coaching. At the same time, I started sitting in on live presentations, where I could ask questions if I had wanted, but felt a little too new to actually draw attention to myself.

I took lots of notes, which I pretty much never even looked over for a long time. Too much information to take in. I still have all of my notes, which considering that I have been deep-diving into learning about voice acting for almost nine years now, I could probably write a book on being a 'newbie' in voice acting.

While I'm still in the newer-to-VO category (I consider anyone who has been involved in voice acting for less than ten years to still be in the newer category) I now know who to go to when looking for specific information, or can remember who might have mentioned something in a class or webinar and can go look for those notes. Plus I have now heard some of the same or similar info many times over and sometimes the answers just pop into my head. Kind of like having a magic whiteboard in my mind!

File folders are my friends.

I credit Christina Militzia who founded and was teaching at Global Voice Acting Academy at that time, for advising her students to take notes on any and every class they took to have for future reference. In this day and age of most everything being recorded, it is easy to sit back and assume that we will watch the replay of a class or webinar.

Problem with that is I forget about the event pretty much the next week, but if I do remember to go back and decide to re-watch something, I have to search for an email with a link, or the link expires in a few days so I download it but then forget where I put it on my computer. But even in the off chance that I do find the presentation, I still have to sift through the entire event, which in some cases could be hours of viewing.

My notes are right where I put them last, either in an in-box on my desk or in a file box on a shelf. The papers on my desk are organized with large paper clips. I LOVE large paper clips! On each page of notes is the presenter's name right at the top, in big letters with a hand-drawn box around it, so I can easily find the name of the presenter. My VO class/webinar/seminar information is totally organized!

Now if I could just figure out how to organize my kitchen junk drawer...

Debra Elaine is a California-based Voice Actor and Medical Narrator delivering professional voice over from her home studio via ipDTL & Source Connect. Learn more >>


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