Now! Voice! This!

Hello fabulous friends! Did you notice the website is all newly bright and shiny and rejuvenated? Go have a look around, I’ll wait…

Do ya like the colours? I like the colours! Yay colours!

And yay for my darling partner, the IT superman, who has made the website pretty, fast and fabulous for me and my fabulous voiceover.

So, I wanted to share some fun character and creative stuff I’ve been up to. In March, I joined in a creative voiceover competition called Now! Voice! This! run by Chuck Huber over on Twitter. It’s the 5th year of the competition and my first time participating. Chuck throws out a prompt and voice actors create a 30-60 second piece of audio.

The prompt for the first round was “Audition” and there were a few thousand entries. I was immediately reminded of a humiliating moment in high school when I was prank-called by a girl from school who convinced me I was being selected for a prestigious choir…

Yes, I really did fall for it, and yes, my singing probably was that bad. But hey, it eventually came in useful, didn’t it? (the prank, I mean… not the singing…)

I was very excited to make it to the 2nd round with about 1400 other voice actors including some of my Aussie and international voiceover friends. The prompt was “Opposite Day”. I tried to think outside the square just a little:

I hadn’t expected to make it to this round, so of course at this point I was very excited and also started thinking I was brilliant and was probably going to win. (Seriously, all those Oscar-winning actors who say “I never dreamed I’d win an Oscar”…. Nope. Just nope, we don’t believe you.)
So, I don’t know what I would’ve thought if I hadn’t made it to Round 3, but I did! At which point I remembered I’m not at all brilliant and tried to remember how to even speak coherently let alone come up with a 30-60 second piece of creative voiceover…

The prompt for the 400-ish Round 3 voice actors was “Socially Distant”, and this is what I came up with. (At the eleventh hour!)

There was what seemed like a loooong pause at this point. I felt like I was waiting for weeks for the next round announcement. Chuck Huber finally posted that he was going to livestream announce the next round, which would be the semi-final. Chuck was chatting away live and made a big “moment” of clicking something on his computer, saying he was sending the emails out to semi-finalists. Everyone watching the livestream checked their emails and for the next 10 minutes the comments were mostly confusion while NOBODY got an email. Eventually, realizing that that was a little weird, Chuck checked his mailchimp account and admitted “oops, the mail campaign was paused”. Sigh of relief from everyone as emails started arriving!

Anyway, yes, long story short, I made it to the semi-final round! I am tremendously proud of myself getting to the top 180 contestants in my first year of participating. The prompt was “Free Space”. Definitely the hardest prompt so far! I was inspired by Australian politics…. (in case you don’t know, at this time the Australian government was releasing CovidSafe, a “contact tracing app” that it hoped would be downloaded by at least 40% of the population. Statements along the lines of “we hope we won’t have to make it mandatory” were thrown around…)

After another nail-biting wait, the 25 finalists were announced. I wasn’t one of them, but I’m super proud that there are 3 Aussies in there – Aimee Smith, Brendan Barry-Cotter and Candice Faith. And the prompt sounds like great fun – “A Scottish Dwarf, a proper British Vampire and a Monster”!

The entries I’ve heard so far are amazing, with people learning new accents and making up some crazy stories. Do yourself a favour and go to this twitter thread to see the finalist entries.

The two winners will be announced on Thursday evening, US Central Time. Exciting!

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2 comments… add one
  • Joshua Alexander May 6, 2020 @ 2:20

    Ha! Pure exquisite audio wizardry! Nice work, Sumara. Keep up the great work and just know that in some parallel universe somewhere, Sumara Meers 2, 5, and 18 won first place in Chuck Huber 9, 37 and 465’s Now Voice This contest! So take heart.

    • Sumara Meers May 6, 2020 @ 11:34

      Haha, parallel universes hey? Sounds fun! Thank you Josh, I’m glad you enjoyed my audio wizardry. 🙂

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