Getting Signed 2


My agent: Sally Neal at Houghton Talent

Voice Actor Tom Leigh Knight's agent Sally Neal from Houghton TalentWhen I first signed with my agent Sally Neal at Houghton Talent (photo on left), she gave me a hefty dose of reality…the same dose that all the books I own on the subject of voice acting say: do not quit your day job. If I’m not mistaken, it was the first thing she said after introducing herself. I thought to myself, “But wait a minute…you haven’t even heard my demo yet”. That’s when it occurred to me: hearing a demo was not a prerequisite for her. This game is tough for everybody, and she knew that fact well enough to come right out and say so.

As we sat in her corner office listening to my demo, she didn’t pull any punches, saying things like, “…boring”,  or “…this clip should come muchDemo Reel later in the demo”, or “what is THAT supposed to be?!?” The demo was soon over and I was sure I had no place at all in her roster of talent. After all, my prized demo (which we voice folk always think is just right…until tomorrow, of course, when we think we can make it even better…) had been torn to shreds only moments ago. But, she signed me up anyway, and I’ve learned that you don’t ask questions at times like this…you just take the deal.

In reality, I was a bit surprised that she took me in. First, I had no real experience in the game other than narrating a bunch of my own videos, and I only voiced those projects because budgets never allowed hiring a real voice actor. Second, I had never taken any acting classes–and acting classes were always an “absolute must” according to all the books I read. Basically, I had just jumped into the deep end of the water, hoping that what little I might have gleaned over the years would help keep me afloat.

StudentPretty soon Sally began sending invitations to audition for various jobs, and of course, like an idiot I expected to get each and every one. I didn’t. And it didn’t hurt so bad…if anything, it was a real-world wake up call that reinforced all that I had heard or read about how difficult this business can be. But little glimmers of hope would sparkle every once in a while, like one time when Sally listened to an audition I did for an old Georgia Lottery script. Her comment was, “You really do have an inate sense of VO work. Thanks…Maybe you don’t need any classes!” What a nice thing to say, and an even better thing to hear, but I’m not taking any chances. There is always something to learn.

But enough about me! Please, tell me about yourself and how you got in this game!

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-Tom


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