“As I started pre-production on our HUGE Season 3, I found that I needed some extra voice work to fill background roles: The pre-recorded cylinders that give warnings from inside the cockpit of an Imperial MACS battle suit, the shouts and orders from drill sergeants, cadence of marching soldiers, radio announcers, scientists in a lab, Newsies, and even the chit-chat of people in a diner or acting out road rage from their passing Aerocar! As the Steam Rollers Adventure Podcast (SRAP) grows, I want to expand the show, make it come alive, turn it into a magnificent force of entertainment! (Insert trumpet fanfare, and cheers from a crowd <= See, there you go!). You are receiving this because A) I thought you might be interested. B) You thought you might be interested. C) We thought there might be mutual interest between us both.”
~ Mike, The Storycrafter
INTRODUCTIONS and PFAQ
This will pretty much give you the straight bull, clear facts, plain and simple stuff, regarding your role as a member of the SRAPVAG in what I like to call a PFAQ (Phoney FAQ...because I just created the SRAPVAG, so there aren’t any questions yet)! Here goes...Oh, and if you think of anything not covered here, please ask and I’ll add it!
WILL I GET PAID FOR BEING A VOICE ACTOR?
Nope. The SRAP is run by me, alone, bereft, with contributions from our patrons which are earmarked for equipment, hosting, and software. However...
WILL I GET ANYTHING FOR DOING VOICE WORK?
Yes. The short list is this: 1) My gratitude, 2) Free promotion/shout-out for you or your show, book, art, work, etc. (if you also have one), 3) Show-related goodies (such as documents and scripts), but only related to parts you may be playing. 4) Potentially other goodies that won’t infringe upon the goodies promised to patrons; so, evidently, you should become a patron if you’re not already.
WILL I HAVE TO SIGN SOME SORT OF CONTRACT?
Yes and no. I wouldn’t call it a contract, but since this is a broadcasted podcast, I’ll need certain assurances from you. I’ll need to know you won’t blab about anything that might be a “spoiler” since a lot of your work will be recorded well in advance of when it airs (as much as a year, in fact). And I’ll need to know that I can keep your work should you ever decide to terminate your relationship with us, mainly because it would be an impossible bear to try to remove spoken background from hours of work simply because you “changed your mind,” or decided you “hate the show.” If such a thing DOES happen, I’ll stop using your work from that point on, and pull any promotions or bumpers I’ve given you. Again, that’s what the aforementioned “contract” will cover. Just fill out the simple form below (don't forget the all-important radio buttons), and that's it!
WHEN DO I START?
I'm sure I'll have something for you already. Season 3 will definitely have a lot of opportunity, and I won't mind collecting variety if you're going to bring something new to the table (an accent, a 'character' voice). If you're interested, fill out the form below, and I'll let you know what I need.
HOW OFTEN WILL I BE CALLED UPON TO LEND MY VOICE TO THE SRAP?
That will vary. If you're interested in being part of the SRAP Voice Actor's Guild, you'll essentially be "on call" along with other members of the group. I'll be sending out "call sheets" (see below) that you can respond to, or ignore, at your leisure. There may be some gigs that don't interest you, and others may have you thrilled enough to send multiple submissions. Both of those are ok.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I MISS A DEADLINE?
Nothing. The opportunity will be extended to someone else. TIP: Submit your files anyway. If the "PROJECTED USE" section of the call sheet says it's "repeated," I could still use it.
ARE YOU PROVIDING ME WITH ANY EQUIPMENT?
Ha! ...No. And we cannot use your voice if your audio is weak, cloudy, noisy, or otherwise "messy." We recommend using a quality microphone in a quiet place. We'll let you know if we need you to adjust anything or give us a re-take. If you're interested in this, but don't have any software to record with, we recommend Audacity (Download here).
DO I GET TO IMPROVISE?
I'll make a deal with you. Do it the way I ask, then-by all means-show me what you got. If you listen to the show, if you've read Steampunk, if you know Steampunk, I trust you'll have some ideas I hadn't thought of. Please do! There may also be call sheets with sections specifically inviting you to improv.
HOW WILL THESE "VOICE GIGS" COME TO ME?
Every time I need some VO work, I'll send an email to a blind carbon email group of VAG members. The email will include some basic introduction from me, but the main thing will be this attachment:
You'll receive a call sheet that has the name and number of the job, how your work will be used, if effects will be applied to your voice, a detailed description of the character(s) you'll be voicing, and some stage direction from me. Under the "TODAY'S SCRIPT" section on the right, you'll get your lines (In the example above, "Voice of Max," I asked VO artists to simply give me a list of words read in monotone. Otherwise, this section will look just like a TV or movie script.
PLEASE BE SURE TO USE THE FILE NAMING FORMAT DESCRIBED ON THE CALL SHEET (It asks for your last name. That's just for filing purposes. You'll only be "publicly known" by whatever name/nickname/callsign you submit in the form below under "How do you want to be acknowledged?").
HI, MIKE THE STORYCRAFTER, I'M ALREADY A CAST MEMBER IN THE SHOW (OR HOPE TO BE). DOES THAT MEAN I'M AUTOMATICALLY A MEMBER OF THE SRAPVAG?
Not really. No. I don't want listeners to be confused by your background NPC voice and your foreground PC voice should you be/become a member of the cast. This will be a case-by-case scenario, but for the most part, it'll be a one-or-the-other scenario.
WHAT ABOUT CONTRIBUTING SOUND EFFECTS I RECORD, OR MUSIC I MAKE?
TELL ME ABOUT IT in the comments field below. At some point, the SRAPVAG is going to expand to include freelance foley artistry (and it is a lost art) as well as music!
THE FORM SAYS I HAVE TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT I'M 18. WHAT IF I'M NOT?
Simple. Wait until you are. Sorry, but the SRAP is an adult-themed podcast. Now, if you're an "independent kid" (I can say "kid" because I'm 52 as I write this), or if your parent(s) are cool with it, have a parent apply and pass the information on to you.
CAN I GET A GUARANTEE THAT MY SUBMITTED FILES WILL BE USED?
Nope. Sorry, but I will use what I can. Once I have all I need, I move on. You will receive word when your files are being used, and where, but I can't guarantee that I'll use every file submitted. If you want to increase your chances: 1) Send a variety of reads, 2) Respond to as many call sheets as possible, 3) Tell me why you believe a particular read is special, 4) Become a patron (those guys get all the perks ;) ).
I'M SURE THERE'S SOME KIND OF DISCLAIMER OR MUMBO-JUMBO I HAVE TO READ?
Yeah, pretty much:
NDA/Info/EULA/etc. ...Your voice work, if used on-air, may be modulated or filtered depending on how it's used. Please do NOT run any kind of filter (other than cleaning up audio) prior to submitting, unless otherwise requested. All files should be in either MP3 or WAV format, and should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please also note that this is strictly voluntary, and we cannot pay you. The Steam Rollers Adventure Heart of Bronze RPG, The Steam Rollers Adventure Podcast, and the novels and stories based within the "Heart of Bronze" universe, are the intellectual property of Michael J. Rigg and SkyTrain Publishing, and any recordings used will become the property of SkyTrain Publishing strictly for use in the Steam Rollers Adventure Podcast. Unauthorized duplication or distribution of any part of documents sent to you is prohibited without written consent. Please, no character voices, particularly impressions of established characters protected by copyright. While we'll do our best to notify you before hand if your work is used, we may not always be able to keep you updated. Finally, by completing the form below, you acknowledge that you are at least 18 years of age, or older, and that you're of sound mind and voice.