Out of Control
I got to know her when she asked how to pronounce my last name (a challenge worldwide) and I thought what she does for a living was so interesting I asked her to come and do a day on Seekerville.
If you can, before you read her blog, go HERE and listen to the interview with her. You will be amazed to hear where these really familiar commercials get their 'voice'. I dare you not to be grinning when you finish watching it. It's fun to see her creating with her voice.
Go there, then come back here and have all your questions answered.
Then read through the blog to find a way to get your name in the drawing for an audio book of Out of Control.
Q: Do you do all the voices…even the men?
A: Yes, that’s the challenge and the fun part of the job. As a person who loves doing character voices and has the ability to change my voice, audiobooks has afforded me the opportunity to use this ability and challenges me to offer both slight vocal brush strokes or bold characterizations for each character depending on what’s called for in the book.
And yes, I do all the voices, even the men. It’s amazing how just adding a bit of huskiness and/or working in a lower register creates the believability and reality that a man is talking. The listener just accepts it.
Q: How long does it take you to record a book?
A: It takes about 2 hours to record 1 finished hour. Out of Control took about 16 hours to record over 2.5 days.
Q: Do you make mistakes then back up and re-record it?
A: Do I ever!…yes I make mistakes. I just pick it up and redo the line or whatever is needed and continue on. That’s where a good editor comes in. Thank goodness for editing!
Q: Do you work in a cool high tech studio with sound engineers? Or do you do this at home with your computer?
A: All the above. Out of Control was recorded at Oasis Audio studios in Wheaton, Illinois. It’s about an hour from my home in Chicago. It’s a very nice studio with a very capable engineer. I also have my own studio…which really isn’t more than a computer, mic and a few other pieces of equipment…it’s very simple. I do record books and voice overs from my own studio as well. More and more publishers are requesting narrators to record books from their own studios which is great news for people who live in a variety of cities outside New York or LA and want to narrate books.
Q: Do you make a living doing this?
A: I do make a living from this but at this point, it’s only part of my income. I divide my time between commercial voice overs and running a voice over training program called Voice Over U where I have had the good fortune to host several top producers and narrators to teach audiobook workshops. http://www.sherriberger.com/ and http://www.voiceoveru.com/
Mary again--Here's the clue to get your name in the drawing!!! When we're writing, we try to give our characters a 'voice'. Leave a comment for Sherri and tell about a unique voice in your work or a unique voice you love from TV or movies.Q: Are you trained specifically in audiobooks?
A: Yes, I did have training but many top narrators are theatre or film actors and easily move into this genre with little or no training. While I had a natural ability to do different voices, my challenge was to give voice and character to the third person narrator. The person who helped me perfect my craft is Paul Ruben, an award winning producer in New York who is not only a sought after producer but a brilliant teacher. He really helped me navigate through the thought process of narrating for audiobooks.
I must say, this is the best acting job in my book. (pun intended). It’s a very satisfying and gratifying opportunity and another aspect of a very full career in voice overs.
Mary again!!!--Listen to the first four pages of:
Out of Control
as read by
A Chicago resident for 30 years, Sherri Berger is originally from Kansas City where she first began her career in commercials, radio, and TV.
While learning the ropes of the voice over business in Chicago, Sherri supported herself with jobs in radio, advertising, and film. At the end of 1985, she took the plunge and became a full-time voice over talent.
Known as one of the most highly respected voice over performers and one of the top names in Chicago, Sherri’s credits include a vast list of high profile accounts. Among her national campaigns are: Culligan, Coast Soap, Mr. Clean, McDonalds, Bounty, Mrs. Dash, Rubbermaid, Kelloggs, Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, Bisquick, Sears, Wrigley Gum, and many more local and regional spots.
Known as A Berger With Everything, Sherri's wide vocal range, versatility and ability to do a variety of character voices has afforded her a career involving almost every aspect of the voiceover business ... from commercials with humor to hard hitting political ads and serious PSA's; from corporate narrations, to character voices for animation and children's videos.
Other interesting voice over jobs include an episodic role on the short-lived ABC series, Sable, a radio soap opera, and looping voices for commercials and episodic television. A unique and exciting challenge was creating two diverse voices for a Soviet animated feature ... that of a nine year old girl and a 60 year old society matron. She was also chosen to be the voice for a talking alarm clock and talking doll.
Promos include segments for the History Channel and WTTW, CBS, HGTV, and movie promos for Lifetime Television. Most recently, her new focus and passion is narrating audiobooks.
Her advice to beginners? "Discover your own uniqueness and create a niche for yourself. First and foremost, learn the business of advertising. Become savvy and realize that while the art of doing voice overs is a craft, it is a business first. Realize, too, that as a talent, you are an entrepreneur and the product you're selling is you."
In addition to her successful voice over career, Sherri has parlayed her many creative talents in two other related businesses. As founder of Voice Over U, she teaches the ins and outs of the voice over business through the Lecture/Lab Series.
Sherri also saw an opportunity to help voice over performers with the need for creative marketing pieces. With her experience in advertising, she formed The Talent Package, a service unique in the industry, specializing in creative marketing concepts and promotional ideas specifically targeted to commercial talent.
Over the years, Sherri has served the film and advertising community of Chicago in a number of ways. She has served on the SAG Council and the boards of AFTRA, The Women's Ad Club, Women in Film, and was chairman of the AFTRA/SAG Conservatory for many years.
Nominated by her peers, Sherri Berger has been named one of the most outstanding women in America and is listed in Who's Who in American Women.