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The Rodney Saulsberry Interview

In this interview, Rodney discusses his new book, Step Up To The Mic.

Rodney Saulsberry (pictured to the left) is one of the top voice-over talents in the United States, and author of the new book, Step Up To The Mic. For more than a decade the Detroit native and University of Michigan graduate has given voice to many successful commercial campaigns, including Toyota Camry, Alpo, Verizon, and numerous movie trailers such as, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Finding Forrester, Tupac Resurrection, Friday and Dumb & Dumberer. Saulsberry, the voice of Joe Robbie Robertson on the cartoon series Spider-Man, resides in Agoura, California.

Geetesh: Tell us more about yourself, and your approach to voice-overs.

Rodney: When I penned my first book, You Can Bank on Your Voice, I was trying to show you how to do it. Essentially, that's what it was, a how to book. Step Up to the Mic, tells you how to do it and more in the right frame of mind. The positive frame of mind that will sustain you for a life time. I love my job! I think that in order to really be successful in your occupation, you have to love it. I can sincerely say that I would do it for free. That is my approach to auditioning, reading copy, marketing myself and working. I believe in creating a realistic state of positive energy around me at all times. Visualization is another concept I practice daily. If I can see it, I can achieve it. And, It’s not enough to just see it, I have to get myself into a mind set of experiencing it, by tasting it, touching it and owning it in my heart, body and soul.

Geetesh: I loved your earlier book, and this new book is awesome too. Tell us more about this new book.

Rodney: It’s an inspirational voice-over guide that will teach you how to take control of your mental, physical and emotional well-being with the power of positive thinking. I share my methods to turn fear and self-doubt into confidence and success. It also has contributions from some other consummate professionals in the voice-over community like Don LaFontaine, The King of Movie Trailers, Nancy Cartwright, The Voice of Bart Simpson and many more. I asked each one of them, ‘How has a positive attitude helped you in your voice-over career?’ Each person wrote a paragraph or two. It’s fascinating to read their opinions and advice about the power of positive thinking and the importance of a positive attitude. Basically it’s 136 pages of pure joy, affirmations, essays, Illustrations and empowerment exercises. This is a book that should always be with you, in good times and bad to remind you of the power you possess.

Geetesh: Technology sites like YouTube and SlideShare are widening the reach of videos and presentations. Will this create a demand for more voice-over artists?

Rodney: Not necessarily. The beauty of YouTube and SlideShare is that anybody can make a video and share it with the world. These creators are doing their own voice-overs. So I would have to say that I don’t see the advent of these video sharing sites as new opportunities for voice-over artists.

Geetesh: Let me now ask you a different type of question. What if one is not a voice-over artist—maybe, I am a presenter, or just someone who creates many PowerPoint presentations. Will your books help me get ahead? Will I be able to do simple voice-overs all by myself, for my presentations?

Rodney: Absolutely! My books are designed to suit the novice as well as the seasoned professional. My first book addresses the technical aspects of doing voice-overs while my new book stresses the motivational tools you’ll need to present your presentation with a sense of supreme confidence.

Geetesh: Can anyone speak well? Or are some voice-over artists born better than others?

Rodney: There are gifted people in every profession. These are the people who really do seem to have been born to do what they are doing. However, on every NFL Football team as well as any NBA Basketball team, there are superstars and than there are the other majority of players who have worked very hard to over achieve. Well, the same thing applies to the voice-over industry. There are many gifted talents in this business that warrant the statement, he or she is so good they were born to do it, but there are more who have worked hard to over achieve and make a decent living in the business. Generally, first you have to show a degree of talent, then with the proper training you can indeed speak well.

Geetesh: Can you share some trivia with Indezine readers, or just say something more about your new book.

Rodney: Step Up to the Mic transcends the voice-over industry. The positive thinking, affirmations and visualization concepts apply to all industries. Anyone can pick up this title and gain a world of knowledge that can bolster their confidence and self esteem. PowerPoint presentations are addressed in the form of twenty illustrations that will make any presentation on reaching your goals a sure winner. I recently used ten of the illustrations from the book in a webinar. When the attendees were questioned about what they enjoyed most about the overall presentation, eighty percent of them mentioned the illustrations. I’m proud of the finished product and I look forward to everyone enjoying it! I hope this book will give you the motivational tools you’ll need to STEP UP TO THE MIC!