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How to Do Celebrity Voice Impersonations

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How do I perform celebrity voice impersonations?

The last major league baseball player to hit four-hundred, was Ted Williams. People would often come up to Mr. Williams, and ask him, “Ted, what is the secret to your great hitting?” Though nowadays, Ted actually has his own website dedicated to the subject, back in the day, the answer was usually something a little closer to “I just can.”

The truth is, Ted had little secrets he would do such as counting the stitches on the ball as it rotated towards him, and making sure the ball was in his “happy zone.” But the fact of the matter is, there are two types of people, those that can just “do” and those that can “teach how they do.”

As a professional voice talent who specializes in celebrity voice impersonations, often times people will ask me the same type of question. The answer, is pretty much the same. “I just can.” But I will at least attempt to break down the thought process that I utilize when I attempt to impersonate voices that do not come immediately natural to me.

But before we run, we must at least learn to walk. I believe there are four impersonations that nearly everyone on the planet can do. The first three are Macho Man Randy Savage, Sylvester Stallone and Jimmy Stewart. Though they all stem from different areas of it, each of these voices begins and ends in the throat (as opposed to other more difficult areas which I will delve into momentarily), and they all fall into a range of pitch that is very user friendly to nearly everyone who has completed puberty. All without having to stretch the vocal muscles very far.

Which leads me to the fourth person, William Shatner. Even a three year old can impersonate the unique, “Stop and Start” and “quick” manner in which Mr. Shatner speaks. Almost everyone can grasp that timbre and manner of speaking enough to at least do a passable impersonation, good enough for being a hit at parties. However, truth be told, a very good William Shatner impression is almost impossible to come by.

For a great William Shatner impersonation, check out the Frank Caliendo video linked at the bottom of this page. Notice that he’s just not speaking in quirky sentences about Spock and Spaceships. He lowers his voice at the right times and applies the right emotions to it, and if we can think of the “impression” as an imaginary, physical, “ball-of-voice” for a second, then you can understand that the key to what makes this a great impression as opposed to a party trick, is that Frank moves that ball around through all the physical areas of his body that all humans use when speaking. More specifically, he gets Shatner’s pitch, and moves it through the same areas that Shatner does. Any of us can get the timbre and the vocal mannerisms down to pull off a Shatner, but what separates the men from the boys is actually getting the right pitch and movement first, and then applying the unique vocal mannerisms.

So, now you see why I separated the four into two specific groups. By understanding Shatner, now we can go back and understand a little more clearly why the first three are so easy to duplicate. Though Savage might be a gravel type voice, Stallone might be a deeper one, and Stewart might be a little higher pitched, again, none of them provide much of a stretch for us. On a scale of octaves, they’re pretty much right up everyone’s alley and their timbre and mannerisms are so unique, that anyone can throw them into a conversation and the listener will know exactly who you are impersonating. Not a big deal. Uniqueness is what makes them easy.

This is why I’m rarely impressed with Arnold Schwarzenegger impersonations as well. Aside of perhaps, Darrell Hammond who does a spot on version for all of the same reasons mentioned above on Caliendo’s version of Shatner.

Again, unique voices are a piece of cake. It’s the normal voices that are difficult. It’s why we’ve yet to see anyone truly do a great President Obama impersonation yet. Clinton, Reagan and The Bush’s made it easy. If you want to be really impressed, watch the following video. This is not really Harrison Ford.

So what other areas, besides the throat, are important?

Every voice obviously comes from the throat. Obvious, because that’s where the vocal chords are. But to some extent, every person also combines the nasal area, in addition to the chest and diaphragm areas of their bodies in their everyday vocal communications as well. The first key to doing a good impersonation is to identify which of those areas the voice you are attempting comes from. This is what makes doing a Morgan Freeman impersonation for example, exceedingly difficult if the voice doesn’t already come natural to you. I’d venture to guess that a good lot of the male population can find the right deep tone of voice, necessary for the impersonation. But can they apply the correct “rasp” to the voice, and then skillfully bring the voice from the diaphragm and sell it to the world through the nasal passages, all the while finding the right mixture of Freeman’s unique inflections? Not as easy for sure. But that’s the key. If you want to hear a good example, there’s one on my website.

In addition, and equally as obvious, is the mouth. One of my greatest challenges as a voice talent is concentration on proper enunciation. I have a tendency to speak very colloquially and fall prey to my Ohio accent at times. But, where I find difficulty in doing my commercial and promotional voice overs, I find treasure for doing impersonations, as these deficiencies in “proper” speaking means I can more easily pick up on the “flaws” that otherwise make a person or celebrity unique, and therefore make the impersonation more achievable. Gerad Butler and Sean Connery roll their S’s for example. Richard Burton requires a tightening of the mouth and a rolling of the R’s in a very Shakespearian manner. These are just examples, to show how important enunciation and mouth movement is to the process. For more, check out how strongly I enunciate my P’s and B’s on my Jesse Ventura impersonation linked below.

At any rate, no, this isn’t the end all de facto lesson on doing Celebrity Voice Impersonations, but it will get you started.

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How to Help Your Disorganized Child – Seven Tips For Better Organization

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It’s not just ADHD kids who are disorganized? Kids who don’t have ADHD sometimes can’t remember to bring homework home either. Can’t remember to take the homework back to school when they did bring it home. It’s not intentional. He really means to get his homework done. He just forgets. Maybe her school materials are poorly organized. Maybe he has poor time-management skills. With all the distractions bombarding kids today, it’s not surprising that they forget so much and are so unorganized.

Without some basic organizational strategies, kids do poorly in school and their grades plummet. Some kids end up cheating or lying–whatever it takes to survive school with a minimum of criticism and punishment. Disorganization and forgetfulness get in the way of success at school.

You can teach your child how to be more organized. Maybe you’ll even find some of these tips useful around your home.

Seven Tips to Help Your Disorganized Kid

1. Color code: Help your child organize his school books and notebooks by color-coding them. Use colored book covers, stickers, labels, stars, or markers with one color for each subject. You can also color code the books by adding colored stickers.

2. Clear book covers: Consider using clear book covers to cover books so that your child can always see the covers.

3. Locker organization: Help your child organize his locker. Brainstorm with him to come up with the best solution. Often locker organizers or locker shelves help a lot. Put morning  books on one shelf  and afternoon books on another, or math and science on one shelf, language arts and social studies on another, for example. Label the shelves.

4. Extra set of books: Keep an extra set of textbooks at home. Before you buy them, ask if the school can provide them. Check the web too for companies who rent textbooks.

5. Organizer: Help your child develop daily schedules. Some schools provide daily planners. If your child’s school doesn’t give out planners, you’ll need to buy one or a PDA (personal digital assistant) from an office-supply store. While you’re there, you and your child can look around at other products that help with organizing.

6. Structure: Offer to help your child organize her homework time. As soon as she gets home, go over the list of assignments due the next day as well as any long-term assignments. If you wait until later, it may be too late to get an assignment from a friend or a book from school. Help her decide which assignment she’s going to do first. Then help her figure enough time for each assignment.

7. Home organization: You and your disorganized kid need to decide on one place to put finished homework. One place to put everything that needs to go back to school including his lunch. One hook for his jacket. And keeping his room uncluttered helps also. Have him set a weekly schedule for cleaning and organizing his room. For some kids, they’ll need to do this every day for awhile until organization becomes a habit. Just as you did for his locker, find shelves and cubes to put things in. Color coding helps here also. You may need to help them at first.

Kids will do best at this new organization routine if it’s simple, and they’ve had a say in deciding what will work and what won’t. Disorganized kids can go overboard with color coding, labels, and stickers which only leads to more disorganization because it’s too complicated. They may need help in making it easy.

Being organized gives kids a sense of power and control over school and their lives. As they begin to feel good about themselves, they’ll start doing better in school.

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Is Colleen Slater’s Blog Inferno Worth the Money?

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Colleen Slater, the self proclaimed 60 Minute Affiliate, is about to release her Blog Inferno system which claims to be the best niche marketing guide on the internet.

Ms Slater has put together a collection of articles, mind maps, templates and videos which she claims will help the average affiliate marketer increase their online income.

I was lucky enough to receive a preview of the Blog Inferno system to review exactly what has been put together and get the chance to see if it is worth its salt or if it is just another scam.

Now first up, I want to tell you that I like Colleen’s work as the 60 Minute Affiliate. She offers a large array of guidance and tips which will help niche marketers get ahead of the competition. She even offers free one on one coaching to those struggling to make the sales that they had initially hoped for.

Blog Inferno is a collection of these guides turned into one ebook, with some of the ideas expanded upon slightly. As with many affiliate marketing guides, a lot of the information contained within the book is already readily available at no cost elsewhere.

What Ms Slater does do is offer video tutorials for the struggling masses. If you have time and patience to watch step by step guide, and you are a visually oriented person, this may be a great thing for you to do.

Blog Inferno won’t get you website rankings in minutes, and it won’t make you sales within days. But it does offer some insights for those who are just starting out in the world of affiliate marketing.

If you really want to make some impact on the internet world – your money is best spent on Andrew Hansen’s Firepow. Firepow is a tool which will have your website getting top rankings on Google within hours, as well as some neat tricks that aren’t available anywhere else – not to mention support from the a community of successful online money makers – including Hansen himself, who is quick to respond and a pleasure to deal with.

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What Is CDT?

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In software testing and mobile testing fields, there are a wide range of various methodologies, techniques and principles. All of them have common goal – to make the checking procedure faster, better and more effective.

Context-driven testing or simply CDT is one of checking approaches which is widely applied in software testing company. This method was suggested by Cem Kaner, Brian Marick and other members of the context-driven school which was founded in 1999.

This particular approach presupposes to keep several ‘creeds’ which are fundamentals of the context-driven school.

What Are CDT Beliefs?

  • Every working procedure brings some value which is reliant on context.
  • The context may consist of several constituent parts. The main such element is a team of specialists who perform CDT.
  • The direction of project development and its specific features cannot be exactly predicted.
  • To find any solution, it is necessary to analyze the actual system under test (SUT).
  • The best universal practices that are suitable for every case do not exist.
  • Only challenges make the checking procedure effective.

The product success depends not only on the quality of testing services but also on the collaboration between all specialists engaged in the project realization. A smooth communication, long-term thinking and working, various aspects and peculiarities of specialists’ duties taken into account define the future of the product. This is the core idea of context-driven testing.

In general, this checking type can be defined as agile testing. This assumption may be valid because its core ideas resemble a lot the principles of Agile Manifesto. In other words, the recommendations of both are like analogous to each other.

A specialist will successfully conduct the CDT procedure if he keeps some recommendations. These tips will simplify the understanding of CDT concept and general idea as well as the checking procedure itself.

Context-Driven Testing Tips:

  • The essential role is played by metrics. The invalid data brings no use and it is a real threat to the product success. The metrics should always be updated.
  • Automated testing principles are not applicable for CDT. On one hand, this checking type simplifies the procedure and helps to save much time. But on the other hand, a human cannot be replaced by auto tests. Only a human being can make suggestions and presuppositions. Only manual testing is suitable in such a case.
  • It is important to apply various testing methods. Each of them will help to detect certain defects which may be connected with the business aspects or with end-user experience.
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