Chad Erickson: Living the Dream
What VO work have you done in the past? Let’s just say we’ve been around the radio and tv “block” a few times… Including some VO’s on ELLEN DeGeneres, Fox, Tyra Banks, CNN and some of my favorite TV and radio stations in the US and abroad.
What are you up to presently? Currently I am the national voice of Steve Harvey’s Daytime Talk show, CBS’s New Monday Night Comedy MOM, ESPN College Basketball along with several radio and tv affiliates all over the world.
What do you love about working as a freelance VO talent? 1st , Spending more time with my new baby girl, Vivian. She’ll be voicing scripts very soon, I promise. 2nd, having the opportunity to work with some of the biggest clients in the world all from my house while in boxers and slippers! And, no one would ever know. It’s crazy!
How did you get started as a VO actor? After working my way through the ranks at every possible radio job out there…I really grabbed on to the “Radio Image” side of things as a producer at WGIR in Manchester, NH. Commercials were fun but it was the station image voice and sound that really just inspired and directed me to great things. I just couldn’t get enough of station imaging from anywhere and everywhere. Thank you FMQB for your music CD’s featuring station imaging over the years. Thing’s finally stuck for me in the VO world when I made it to Hartford, CT. I was a William Morris “Voices the CD” talent and served as the Creative Services Director for Clear Channel.
What was your first gig? 1st radio gig that started it all was an internship at the world famous WXKS/Kiss 108 in Boston. Made a tape and was given my 1st chance on air and production at WJYY in Concord NH. Small market radio is the BEST place to get your chops wet and that is exactly what I did.
Have you ever had a voice coach? Yes. I have worked with a few including a former agent of mine from Atlas Talent in NYC David Lyerly who is the KING! David knows how to “KICK THE RADIO READ” out of you and master your inner voice. It’s amazing how far I’ve come thanks to a little guidance and practice.
What is your dream job? I’d like to say I’m doing it now but since this is a “dream” I would say, professional movie watcher with a podcast!
Where did you work before radio? I’ve been in radio since I was in diapers so I can’t recall anything before that! Actually I worked for a music record store called Strawberries Records. It was pretty cool.
What would be your 3 main tips for a youngster trying to start a VO career? 1: Don’t quit your day job. You’ll need a “real” solid income to continue to pay your bills for a while. 2: Be patient and ask for as much help and advice as you can 3: Cold Call and audition like crazy. If you think you’ve auditioned too much…you haven’t! Keep doing it.
About Your Work:
How do you schedule your work (priorities…..)? I start with whatever pre-booked session I have and in between those I work from a 1st come 1st serve basis. I pride myself of great friendly service and fast turnaround so there is never a dull moment.
How much time do you spend auditioning for new work? A LOT! When you work 100% on freelance you need to keep a pay-check coming in. Sure, you’ll book stuff from a great demo. But you’ll book more with a killer audition. I spend a lot of time auditioning…it’s the nature of the beast!
How do you market your services to potential clients? I am a marketing mad-man when it comes to www.ChadErickson.com I will cold-call and harass PD’s and new business clients like crazy. If I don’t do it someone else is right behind me who will. Remember, this is your business and it needs to be treated like a business and not a hobby.
How has new technology changed the way you work? It has opened up many more opportunities with the ability to work from virtually anywhere. I can be on vacation and work can still be delivered from wherever I am at.
Which production system do you use and why? Because I’m solely using it to record and quick edit VO.. it’s AU Adobe Audition.
What are your favorite plugins (including screenshots)? I like to keep things a’la natural. For radio I add a little filter but my settings can easily be made with a few small adjustments.
What gear do you use (microphone, pre-amp, booth, …)? I’m rocking a Sennheiser 416 mic, Avalon 737sp, Focusrite Liquid Channel, Telos Zephyr Xstream and Mackie 1402-VLZ3.
What is the best voice processing trick or voice-over technique anybody should know? Keep it as clean as possible.
When it comes to VO work, studio & gear, what are your most ingenious methods/discoveries for saving time and cash? Hummm…I have just started using HighTail.com through webmail to distribute my VO’s via a link to a cloud. SAVES a ton of time and email space.