The older I get, the harder it is to give me something for the holidays.
For one, I have pretty much everything my heart desires and I don’t need to accumulate more stuff. Instead, I’d like to invest in memories, in people, and in experiences that enrich my life and the lives of others.
Those are the things that cannot be bought on Amazon or sold on eBay.
Yet, I don’t blame you if you keep a secret wish list under your pillow as you dream of new microphones, preamplifiers, and the latest and greatest headphones. At the same time, your friends and family members may be looking for some smaller ticket items to put under the Christmas tree or Hanukkah bush.
That’s where I come in!
For the past couple of weeks I’ve been collecting some voice-over gift ideas for people like me, who aren’t so easy to shop for.
Before I show you my list, you should know that by clicking on the images you will be transported to the virtual warehouse that is Amazon. This means a small portion of your purchase will go towards supporting this blog, since I am an Amazon affiliate.
I also encourage you to shop locally as much as you can, but you won’t find many of the items below on the shelves of your downtown retailers.
Let’s start by finding something for our noses!
I have mixed feelings about fragrances. On one hand, I’m no fan of natural body odor. On the other, an increasing number of people are allergic to perfumes and after-shaves. At my doctor’s office, there’s a sign asking patients not to wear any perfume when they come in for a visit.
I clearly remember a nauseating recording session in a booth that appeared to be sprayed with Old Spice from the previous VO. Please do your colleagues a favor and use an odorless deodorant before you come in to record.
If, in your private life, you’d like to be a bit more fragrant, here are two options to consider. I haven’t tested them, but I think the bottles look pretty cool!
The next package is more impressive and expensive. There’s even an unboxing video if you’re really interested.
The following fragrance is not for your body. This microphone-shaped contraption is meant to freshen up your car.
Coming back to personal hygiene, how about some soap on a rope? You can warm up your pipes as you take a long, hot shower.
Here’s one thing I’ve never understood. When you buy a nice microphone, it usually comes in a fancy box or case you’ll rarely use. However, there’s nothing to protect your mic once it’s in your studio. Dust and humidity are major enemies, so my $1750 microphone is hanging in an old sunglasses bag filled with Silica gel packets. There’s a more high-end solution, though.
My next item is a universal microphone protector and dust cover. It’s made from double-sided quilted nylon.
Another company offers a two-pack with custom embroidery included.
My recording studio is in the basement, and my wife’s office is on the first floor. She always knows when I’m in session because of my Harlan Hogan remote controlled recording sign.
Here’s another light for you. An “On The Air” night light. The plug can be rotated to accommodate outlets in any direction.
Most VO’s are avid readers, and some of us -me included- also take up the pen. If you’d like to add to your collection of voice over books, I recommend you send your friends and family to my Concise (and Incomplete) Voice Over Book List on this blog.
If you’re a Manga fan, you’ll be delighted to know that Maki Minami has written a whole series about young voice-over artists. Here’s the cover of volume 1.
If your vocal folds are in need of some TLC, these Voice Lessons To Go by Ariella Vaccarino might be the thing you need.
GIFTS TO YOURSELF
Then there are gifts that aren’t really physical. They tend to be a bit more expensive, but they will definitely help you move your business forward.
For $120 per year you can upgrade your WeTransfer account to a Pro version. This gets you your own WeTransfer URL and artwork, email transfers to up to 50 people, and you’ll receive 1TB of storage. This allows you to keep your transfers available for as long as you want. In the free version they get deleted after 7 days.
Why not make this the year year you finally become a member of the World Voices Organization? The new member application fee is $99 USD. You’ll get access to educational materials, WoVO mentors, and VoiceOver.biz, a site where you can post your profile and voice seekers can hire you. Those seekers are serious clients looking for vetted professionals. When you land a job, there’s no commission or agent fee.
Besides, you’ll be a member of an organization that develops and promotes best practices, as well as standards for ethical conduct and professional expertise as it relates to the voiceover industry, run by voice over talent for voice over talent.
Have you thought of giving yourself a ticket to VO Atlanta (March 26 – 29, 2020)? Join colleagues from over 44 states and 20 countries, and enjoy a selection of 200 scheduled session hours by the best in the business. Plus, you get to meet me!
For those who are wondering if VO Atlanta is worth attending, here’s a quick recap of this year’s conference.
Well, there you have it! My list of voice over inspired holiday gifts. There’s one thing you should know, though.
Nothing on this list comes even close to the gift you have given me throughout the years: your continued support for this blog and for me.
I am beyond grateful for your kindness and your willingness to spend some time with me, week after week.
It is truly something I am immensely thankful for.
Paul Strikwerda ©nethervoice
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