WhyWeWork BrianVee
WhyWeWork BrianVee

Episode 8 · 2 years ago

#20 Trenton Bennett Professional voiceover & audio production

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Trenton Bennett is a professionally-trained Voice Actor and Producer with the ability to perform in a wide variety of genres.

A resident of the Tampa Bay area with his own studio, Trenton is also a Podcaster and co-host of the show "Classic Rock Battles: the Limey & the Yank"

 

To learn more about Trenton, visit: https://www.trentonbennett.com/ https://www.thelimeyandtheyank.com/

Twitter: @VoiceOfTrenton

Instagram: @voiceoftrenton

 

Reference made to: https://www.acx.com/ https://www.audible.com/about

 

Experience: Two years of voiceover training and work, including Interactive Voice-Response (IVR) menuing, audiobooks, training video narration, podcasting, and professional audio production. Goals: regular and feature voiceover work in narration, commercials, animation and videogaming. Products: quality voiceover and narration services and audio production. Audiobook Narrator and Producer in Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, Mysteries & Thrillers, Religion & Spirituality genres

Welcome to why we work, with your host, Brian V, as he speaks to people like you from all over the world, as we together dive deeper into our motivations, struggles, joys, seemingly missteps, hopes, warnings and advice which will be an encouragement to us all to get up, get going and keep on working. Working is tough, but working is good. Now here's your host to why we work, Brian V. I'm Brian V and this is why we work, and I have the great pleasure today a speedy with Mr Trenton Bennett. Good Day, sir, good day to you. Hi, Brian, sir, thank you for coming and again I keep saying this, we met virtually on Linkedin and I've found a few people on Linkedin and I'm finding that a great I think it's under utilized, it's under appreciated and people that I know, and probably some people you know that are not using it need to maybe log on and find out that it's a good resource to make connections. It's a huge platform form and if anything, I struggle to tread water because there are a lot of people around the glow reaching out to me, and it's fascinating because we can make so many connections. We have so much in common and it's not as the signal to noise ratio is cleaner as an audio guy because you're less likely to his see linkedin have tons of political posts or opinions or what I had for breakfast. Yeah, and that's what I I appreciate that is because it's not like a facebook, like those other medias have their own purpose, but this is business oriented, seemingly. I mean maybe there's some things that pop in there from time to time, but if you have something you're looking for in terms of work, and that's why, for this podcast, I find it very interesting, because all fields of every industry are on their people trying to make connections, whether it's wanting a job, advertising, promoting some new products they have, and it's just really good. Sir, I thank you for coming on here and I do appreciate US meeting. Could you bring us down memory lane and talk about because you you snuck it in there that you're an audio but when did you receive, when did you get your first job? My very first ever, you're very first ever job. If that's that's a lot of fun because your you'll find out how old I am. You had to be at least sixteen years of age in the United States to hold a full time job, except if you worked in fast food you could be fifteen. So when I was fifteen, my dad said, you're going to get a job, we need to bring you somewhere and get you a job, and he took me to Taco Bell, had me fill out the application head coached me on how to do the interview. I'm sure that when it comes to Taco Bell Interviewees, at the age of fifteen I probably knocked it out of the park, because my father's a businessman and he's really big on teaching me all these things, and I had this part time job even up through learning to drive and being able to drive myself out there at the age of sixteen. I wanted that driver's license a sap and I'd be able to just go out there like a little mini adult, playing at adulting, do my job and then come home, come home smelling like grease because I was the Taco Bell Friar. I was wearing a brown polyester suit pants and shirt and a paper hat every day and I was hovering over the friar frying all of the shells. You recalled the with your dad doing the mock interviews. Yeah, I do actually, because I remember him sitting across from me and telling me every last little detail, which, at the age of fifteen, I'm like, okay, that that matters. That's good. I need to dress up, I need to put on a tie, I need to be well spoken, well groomed, have my nails trimmed, and it got a little old when I got up into my s and Dad, I know that's that's hilarious. And and when you've mentioned Taco Bell and smelling story, it reminded me I worked in a pizza shop and you just there's, there's that smell. It's not the smell of when you're going to buy a TACO, it's not the smell when you're going to buy a nice, fresh and pizza slice of pizza, but there's the smell of being the cook behind the Friar and you bring that home...

...and no matter how many times you wash those clothes, it stays. Yeah, all the all the cleaners, the distant infectants, the mop water and all of the food products and the walk in freezer. You smell like all of those things, but you don't mind it so much. I recall it. It's just part of the job. It was part of the world. Exactly. What did you do after that? Did you buy a car? Did you say actually, I was really lucky. I kept thinking boys as a part time Taco bell worker because they could pay you less as a fifteen year old. Then they had to pay anybody else. But still, I think the pay was something like two dollars and twenty cents an hour. Yeah, so I wasn't going to be able to buy a car anytime soon, given it with school, I had to work bus pass. You could buy a bus pass, exactly. Unfortunately, I lived in a small Kentucky town with no real public transit, but I could, I could dream, did you? You held on to that job for a couple of years. Yeah, a couple of years, even though I was I was vaguely good at it. And there were other bits where, as an adult now I can look back and say, okay, well, the training just didn't stick. I wasn't really good at running the register or memorizing the portions for making the food, because I was a handson person and if you taught me while I'm sitting there making it, versus giving me a series of charts and graphs that I need to memorize the data on better that way. But at the time they're like we really don't need we don't need friars continuously and we certainly can't give you more hours. So it's there's no point because we've got people that want to do more. So you can quit or we can fire you, whichever. Why did you? Who was going, Huh, why did you? After you, sir, I was just I was at that point. I was like, I don't mind quitting, I'll do something else. It's not a bad second option. Why did you get the job in the first place? Was Your Dad behind the push? Yes, he wanted me to. Obviously I don't think he I had so many interests as a kid. I don't think he thought I was lazy, but yeah, I did spend a lot of time indoors and he's like, you need to get out with people, you need to have this. More importantly, you need to learn what it's like, and in that sense he was right. Yeah, there was this great feeling of going out and doing a thing and getting money for it, more money than my fifteen year old, sixteen year old self was used to and being able to have that money in my pocket. I was pumping regular gas into my sixty five Mustang and it was probably, I know it was less than a dollar a gallon, but it was probably more like eighty seventy cents a gallon. What about into high school? Did you continue to work? What did you do there? Yeah, that was I was fifteen, the second year of high school, the sophomore year, and so my birthdays in the summer it would roll over so junior and senior year. Yeah, I continue to work. I got a I would get summer jobs that were full time and then they'd roll over to part time when school started. So I worked at a Burger King for a while and then I worked at a hearties before I graduated and went to college. You picked all the the hardy meals as routed in the healthy foods and did and did you go on to college? Yes, so I lived in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and I worked at a Taco Bell, I worked at a Burger King and I worked at a hearty's, which is kind of like carls Jr as same chain. And then when I went to college, it was about three hours away in Lexington and as a result, I the college itself was a private college. It was not cheap and I was not getting any scholarships because I was not a straight a student by any means. So I knocked off the work for a while. I would get summer jobs and some of them were pretty interesting, but I would not actually work during the school year because I needed to focus on my studies and not flunk out. What were you taking? What were you taking in college? I went to a Liberal Arts College, which I really enjoyed because the degree, whatever you choose as your major, you have to learn things all across the board. So I got an art degree, but in the course of that art degree I also got a business administration minor and I had to learn accounting and economics. But as the Liberal Arts degree, I also had to take biology and math and science. I had to take English and history of just various topics to make me a better well rounded person. Why? Why did you go into college? You said you were really good student and you need to get out more. And why? Well, I really I actually loved learning, but we moved around a lot as a kid and I think something broke with me with the constant change and I just I lost the ability to adapt, and so I went...

...from being an a student to a sea student and just kind of I don't know. We moved from the north to the south, which is a big cultural shift, hmm. And so I'm in the south and the public education system and it's a whole different animal for me and I did rather poorly grade wise by being a sea student. But once I got into college, I loved all of these topics, I loved absorbing all of this information. The reason I went though to answer your question, yeah, is that I have an artistic talent, like physical artwork, and I really wanted to develop it and my father had made it very clear. We had we had conversations my father and I that were completely unnecessary. For example, one of them was you got four years and you better come out with a degree. My answer was, well, yeah, I certainly better because I don't want to be there any longer. I know it's money. I go back to the pizza I'm like, yeah, you put the dough in the oven and it better come out at pizza exactly. I have the same expectation you do, and he's like, and you're not coming back here. I don't want you working for my business and I was like, I don't want to. I lived in a place where most of the jobs were fast food. Were a couple of factories, there were a couple of corporate jobs and the rest was mostly restaurants. I've tapped all the other restaurants out, Dad, I'm not coming back. He's exactly I don't know. I might raise my game and look for a white castle. Wise, what are you able to do in arn't? You said physical aren't. What was your time? I best at the wine. I've done drawing, painting, D modeling, sculpture and by Three D me not computer and stuff like that, but I was always best at drawing and I excelled at cartooning and I wanted to be an animator. When did you start drying? About the age of five I took an interest in actively spending time drawing and just going through drawing pads and crayons and pencils and things, and my mother enrolled me in an art class that someone was teaching in their home and that someone was really impressed with me. My teachers reached out to my parents and said this kid has a lot of artistic talent. He needs to have that developed. So there was that and then I was just continuously drawing from there forward. I just couldn't stop. So did before going to college, did you do anything major with it? Were you furthering it? You didn't stop, but did you continue taking classes all the way up and to that point? Did you put any do any displays and galleries? Did you show other people? Did you allow yourself to be exposed like that? Yeah, actually, all of those things. It was kind of it's funny. I got kicked out of the art department in high school and so I guess what's kind of funny about that. I was always trying different things and then when I was in high school I loved advanced ungeons and dragons, so I loved getting led miniatures and painting them in Dotale. But I also was drawing and I tried my hand at painting. But the art department we had a little bit of a dust up in that. I was trying to learn different stuff, and this is my viewpoint, my sixteen year old brain, so I can be quite wrong, but the art instructor wasn't really engaging with the students, wasn't really teaching us anything, but had some sort of like a personal dislike of me, and I didn't I didn't like that. I didn't like another adult picking on me or not liking me or, you know, singling me out when all I'm doing is sitting there drawing, because we're not really getting much guidance from someone. She was not actually artistic. She was moved into there as something to do. So another department, yeah, exactly, just a department shift. So she didn't actually have artistic talent. But once they made it clear that I was not to try to attend any further art classes at this school, this is where it gets just delightful. I had my I had a picture I had done hung on the gallery in the lobby of the high school and someone wanted it. Someone came forward and approached me and bought it and I became the first student at that school to sell an artwork hanging in the school's gallery. That's because I'm I was no longer I was persona non gray. There could be a movie about that. Eh, Hey, you're making money off your art, but your high school, our teacher says you're out of here. Yeah, and the guy was like, he called me and he's like I want to buy that piece. How much do you want for it? Him like, I don't know how much you want to give me, and he's like, oh no, you I need you to name the price. I'm going fifteen dollars. Well, I'm I'm working over there a burger king now and I'm making three dollars. And now that's exactly pretty good, though. Did that know. How did you feel about that? I felt really good. I loved the...

...idea that someone else was going to take my art because, with my love being car tuning, I liked the idea of being COMEDIIC, of coming up with witty things and doing the writing. I really admired Charles Schultz. I really admire Jim Davis and Garfield, because there's that moment when you're an adult and you grow up and you realize that Garfield's kind of a jerk, but until then, when you're a kid, it's cute and funny. And so to think that, the the car tuning part, I wanted to entertain people. So to realize that I just made someone happy with my work and that they're going to enjoy hanging that somewhere, that felt really good. Did that encourage you to go home and draw some more or keep going at it. It didn't really stop me, it didn't really encourage me because I one of the reasons. I told my father, look, when I'm going to college, I'm getting an art degree, because I felt like art is what I am. I already knew that if I got to the end of a four year college degree and I deliberately chose something that wasn't art, I would be miserable as a human for the rest of my adult life, because I really wanted to build my art skills. So what was your exact goal by taking the art degree? Did you want to just continue drying? You wanted to be a teacher. You weren't sure. You just want to have that under your belt. I wanted to be an animator and at the time this was the s. There weren't a lot of animation schools. There were some and you definitely had to be really, really good. I wasn't really aware of them until I got through. But the mistake I made was I got an art degree from a college that was giving me your generic studio art degree. There's nothing wrong with that, but there's a big difference between Charles Schultz Drawing Peanuts and Pablo Picasso. So what I was doing was I was hanging out with the pacasso crowd, I was learning painting and I was learning principles and studying renaissance art, and I don't regret that one bit. But I got out of those four years of college and my options were there were maybe three or four schools in the country if I wanted to do a two year degree. But, like my father say, you get four years. I'm on my own and I thought to myself I had just married right out of college and I thought I don't want to drag us through that. Okay, I don't want to go through two more years of school, because art school was really difficult and a cartoonist really didn't get along very well with the Picasso of the world. So I felt like I didn't want two more years of beating just to hang my hopes on a job. Because at the time the other side of that was I learned, through calling lots of people, submitting lots of portfolios and asking questions, that if you wanted to get into animation back then you pretty much needed it either find some half rate Hannah Barbara. If you were lucky, there weren't many of them. or You just wait for someone at Warner Brothers or Disney to die and you'll be able to step into their shoes, because all of the people doing the wonderful animations we've seen, they don't stop, they just go, they just keep doing it forever and ever like children. Jones, so what did you do after Collins Inn? So I got out of college and I had been very poorly trained to try to shop my skills in the market, because I mean, and again I'm not trying to be mean. Yeah, no, yeah, that's clear. Ye, fessor's. So they're kind of like, well, why would? Why would you want to do commercial art? Don't you want to be a don't you want to be a professor and Nyard and just kind of hang out in your own little student? Do you want to be like us? Exactly? I was like no, no, after this, I don't, and I'm not going back home. Exactly. I'm gonna, I gotta go back. I'm going to work for my dad. It's so mad. Well, these guys are helping you know your dad. These guys are helping you carve about your path right, like a ping pong table. Yeah, exactly, and I got out of that back and forth and I had just married. I adore my wife. We're still married today, but at the time we needed to make ends meet. So I said, okay, doing the job search is apparently a job. I'm going to give myself three months and I'm going to try everything I can. I can over the summer to find us a job for me and we'll move to where the job is. And there was this kind of catch twenty two on the story before you get before you get it in animation. Yes, okay, you very for a blate, though I was also looking for other art I was looking for any artistic job that would pay the bills and give me the time to continue to hone those skills if I couldn't get into animation. And your wife said three months now. I said that. You said that she use on board, supportive, she was willing to wonderful, and I said I'm going to give myself three months. Yeah, I'm going to do this and if I can't after three months, because we're a married couple, I'm going to need to do something to pay the bills. So I spent those three months building portfolios, calling people, trying to arrange phone interviews or at least discuss the portfolio that I...

...mailed. I would create. In College I learned photography and I photographed all of my work and I made slides. I learned how to use I think it was Kodak Four Hundred Tungsten slide film and get slides developed and such, and I would send slide portfolios and nobody in the industry did that. Can you be keep going on this? But for people who listen, do you know the grind that was for those you may have get done it longer than the three months that you're saying that you were going to do it, but the grind they you had to go through to to find the job, whether you found it or not. Right. What was that grind like? Because you just graduate it, you're just married. I don't know if you had a million dollars in the bank or not, but you you are determined to do something in the work that you dedicated yourself and you determine that this is what I'm going to do. How difficult was that struggle? Just the and probably some rejections. Yeah, it's some discouragement. You know your wife. Maybe between the two of you, that is this the right thing and how was that? That was really there was a lot that I felt like creative people struggled with. I don't know if they still struggle with this today. Probably so. But you have to know how to work it as a business, and my father and my business administration degree, both of those were my sources for making decisions about how to market it. So you asked me what that was like. A two room apartment with my wife off to work and me sitting on the floor with a manual typewriter, typing in stickers to label all of these slides, typing in introduction cover letters to put with the portfolios, packing up mailer's and making sure that every day I would set a folio up and send it to someone. But with no Internet, it was me figuring out, okay, what are the kinds of companies that could do this? So I would look for for example, I looked at hallmark and American greetings to be drawing funny cards and cartooning there I learned about I found books on how to syndicate yourself as a cartoon artist for a comic Strip and started talking to those companies like United Features Syndicate, who carry Calvin and Hobbs and and peanuts and such, and at the same time I did submit a portfolio review to Disney. I actually went down to Orlando to try to meet with them and I submitted to Warner Brothers, which they were just straight up we're not doing any hiring and if we did, we'd reach out to you. But there was the catch twenty two I mentioned, is that I kept saying I'm doing this to move to the area and they kept saying you need to move to the area to do this, so you can come here and start looking. But if you're looking and you're not here, no, so yeah, that's that was kind of what it was like. And for a creative person. The reason I mentioned this is there's this thing that I've taught my daughter, who's also artistic. I've said whenever you come up with ideas in your brain and you put them out there in the real world, no matter what medium you're working in, your brain stores everything. Using the emotional centers of your brain. There are feelings attached to every memory, every thought, even math formulas our process through an emotional filter. So when you put something out there, the common thing for the artist is it just it never looks as good as I imagined it. It'll never be perfect. I'm I don't like it because it's not the same as the thing in my head, and you have to let that go. MMM, because otherwise you end up beating yourself up and selling yourself short and devaluing yourself when other people are looking at what you do and saying, I could never do that, that's amazing. What do you see ift you have? You say, you say this to your daughter. How long or when did you figure this out for yourself? Well, the first part of it was I I got pretty well beaten up in college and when I was doing what I was telling you of shopping around the portfolio, when the three months went by and it, it didn't work, and I could tell that I was not I was not prepped for the market, I was not living in the right place and I was not skilled and how to market myself. And I wouldn't be able to do this because I was responsible for our marriage. HMM. I needed to be to be doing my part to take care of us and I needed to get a regular job. That was when I realized I have this talent and people love this talent, but I may not be able to get it out there in a way that will keep me going and I still ultimately food on the table as the priority. That was the first piece. But the emotional center part where I really finally realize this was only when I started teaching art to kids as...

...a volunteer at my daughter's Montessori School. So that was probably around two thousand to two thousand and five, so I was already in my s when I finally realized, Hey, you know what, I've just read this article about how the brain processes information and I've just read the book drawing on the right side of the brain, which is a fantastic book by a PhD professor with a neuroscience background and a creative bent, about how the brain processes creative things, and I just it hit me. I'm like that's why, that's why I never feel like it's right. So I've been trying to share that with other people and I shared that with the kids I was teaching. I'm like, look, everything in here. There's a lot of feelings tied up in that. So you can't put feelings out in the real world in a way that other people can see on a piece of paper. You have to accept that what you're doing is the best you can physically do in the real world and all the rest is just the emotional baggage. That's a good way to put it too. That's a very good way to put it. So after your three three months, what was your what did you well, you know, I got to say huge props to my wife. She didn't pressure me as long as and and the weird part is she'd come home and I'd say hi, here's everything I've done today. I've been doing all these things that talk to these people. She didn't mind that I'm running up a longdistance bill because I'm talking to people in different companies and she also, I guess, trusted me to do the right thing because she part of it is she said, well, maybe we need to move to Los Angeles, and I had this vision in my head, because I know that old story of I'm going to go to Hollywood and be a nucker, but first all be a waiter, and I'm like, I can see that happening and I can see both of us being miserable because neither of US seize each other MMM because we're always gone and we're always working, trying to survive living in an expensive place like La and I said, okay, let's just let me just pay the bills now, we've got an apartment, we're close to family, and I went out and I got a job and I specifically said, okay, I've got an art degree, but I'm really good with computers and computers pay better. So I got a job at a store that sold computers in a corporate way, so they would sell the corporate clients, and I was working in the stock room and I was packing boxes and I was shipping things and I was making deliveries in that kind of thing. But it paid the bills and that was a good place for you at that time. Yeah, I mean I didn't mind going to work. I never felt like, oh great, I'm giving up on my dream, but I kind of was and I was kind of letting all of the other difficult things defeat me, whereas I could have taken at the other direction, tackled those limiting beliefs and said, you know, I'm going to go out to Los Angeles, I'm going to give this a try. Who knows what would have happened, but in the meantime I'm working a job where I'm like I know this is not my forever job. I'm not going to be doing boxes, but I'm using this to learn more because I don't have a computer science degree. So I was I was talking to the text and they were teaching me things. I was learning how to format a hard drive or how to how to install ram and a laptop, and back then laptops were a big chunk, they were a slab. But point being as I was learning technology stuff and at a certain point I had a friend who did retail for a computer place that was in a mall, so it's more like regular customers coming and going, and I not only really enjoyed that idea and got on there, but I also used my artistic skills there to decorate the store and really enjoyed doing it and I got a lot of support from management because I would do these windows displays that would draw people in and they loved it. So kids would see these drawings I'd done of sonic the Hedgehog or some of the other video game characters, Mario, and they'd come running into the store to buy games. It wasn't for that. Funny. Yeah, you're working for a company and you're you're actually promoting the products. I mean like those characters of the animation places that you originally wanted to wed and what I was tempted to sweep over this, but what you're saying is a really good lesson for anyone that you put your priorities first. In for you, your prior priority was your your relationship and your wife, right, and you were wise enough to know that this is first, because not all people do that, right, okay, or you know, they leave someone behind. Right, I'm going to go do my dream and if you want to stay here, you can stay, or if come, and then they fall into that trap. But without me passing over it. That is a really good lesson for people to realize that. And there's another thing...

...that people say, like, Oh, I why do you work? It's well, for money. It's good, because not all people realize money's not free. You know, it cut its seemingly is set times from different parts of the world and different levels of government and stuff, but it's not. And those to set your priorities and to realize that you do need to make money, those are those are really good lessons for people to really grasp and it, you know, even for me in s it's something that just it's good to be reminded that there's people out there that are putting their priority first and in some way, at least temporarily, their dream in the back, on the back burner, because they're putting the right foot first. I got to commend you for doing that well. Thank you. I appreciate that and I guess I don't want to discourage anybody, but one of the reasons you need to also believe in yourself and believe in your ability. He's is that that artists temperament we talked about is something that sometimes in the business world can be exploited. My father, at the same time, he just happened to move into an area in his corporate job where he was he was in charge of artists, he was in charge of an art department and he did not respect what they did. And part of the reason he didn't respect what they did was he saw people who didn't necessarily believe in themselves and who just kind of they produced a good that he didn't understand the value of. MMM, he can't do the art himself, but yet at the same time he's looking more at what's going to sell and who can execute my design that the the client, has asked us to do. And these these people don't understand how to move in a corporate environment because that's not what makes them happy. Sea there you will run across people in the industry who made devalue you or wanted evalue you, or who secretly really do value you, but they kind of resent the fact they can't do what you do and as a result, they want to try to undercut and and pay you less. And in any industry you have to stand up for yourself, believe in your talents and be willing to say no if it's not enough. Yeah, again, that's like, that's great advice, because it's for you. What you did is you held back and that made you stronger, putting your priorities first, knowing who you were, knowing who was most important in your life and and not being the person who runs off to California on a whim and then gets pushed around and thrown in the gutter. Exactly, and so I mean my wife. It was a maturity moment for me. I I'm married, and to me that meant I'm now responsible for another adult. We're both responsible for each other. She's showing me the support and giving me the the leeway, but I need to not abuse that. I need to not overused it. And it was it was always, it surprised me. It was always my decision. She never said anything. I granted if, a year later I was still sending slides and I was still sitting on the floor in the apartment. She say, and look what I did today, honey, this is what I did get up. The other part of it was she knew, because I said it out loud. She knew the clock was ticking and so did I, and that was something that also made me more determined. I poured more energy into it and I spend a lot more time at it because I'm like, okay, I'm getting closer to go time, I'm about to quit, I'm about to stop trying. Gotta get it done. And this is multilayer to because you're you were not only being responsible as an individual, which some people have difficulty doing, but you were wise enough to say I'm also responsible for her, and that is not always towed it like we're like, okay, you got to be a, you know, amateure citizen of the world, but not like you're going to have to look after other people like that's not always. You know, it's hard enough to say you've got to be a responsible, good citizen. You know, Nedicent now now they're just Nedson's right, but to be responsible and to take care of these people for the new even said. You're married still, so for the rest of your life? Yeah, you're in it for the long term. It's not, you know, a bucking ride on at a dollar. I know one of those rides at the Amusement Park. So, after being in customer service with this computer company, what was your next step? I really enjoyed retail and I actually moved very fast in it. I very quickly became what they would call an administrative manager, which is a store manager who is waiting for his own store to open up, and I did not want that. I knew that next tier would be pretty awful. But the funny thing about it is that so my wife was working, she was working a night job as a cashier. So you met her in college, then, is that? Yes, in our medical college. But what did she take? She took similar too.

She took accounting, did she? She got an accounting degree, but she loved anthropology and she minored in anthropology. Okay, so she had a job as a cashier during this time, yeah, which meant that afternoons and evenings she was gone and I was working a nine hundred and twenty five, at first doing the stockroom thing, and then when I shifted to retail, I was doing nights and weekends. So neither of us was bear with me a little noise here. It's okay. Neither of US was really at home very much. We didn't see a lot of each other and when we had our downtime, you know, half of it was spent being kind of tired and sleeping in. But this is why it was funny. As I was working retail nights and weekends, she really was getting tired of that and she got an office job nine and twenty five, and so now we were absolutely ships in the night and we laughed about it. We actually ended up moving in with some friends and living with them, which kind of helped because everybody was able to socialize. MMM. And then at a certain point I said, you know, with this retail thing where they're saying that they want me to just pull up ten stakes, move somewhere and manage a retail store selling video games to kids, I just don't want to do that. So I found myself an office job in computer related stuff so that she and I were on the same schedule and we were in the same general area. That's great again, right. I mean like you're you know that for some people maybe in that position where you were, it would have been their dream to have their own store, but you held back. You took something. So you're on par with your wife. How long? I'm not. I'm not trying to disretail, by the way. I think, oh no, not, value will experience. So anybody who does want to go into that, more power to you. Yeah, I just knew I would not be good at it. Yeah, and you wanted to see your wife awake. Yeah, right, and when did what happened after that? How long did you guys keep here dual jobs? How long did you guys keep your duel schedules? That worked out really well actually. So she had gotten on with state government in the capital city of Frankfort, which was just a little ways away, and we both ended up moving to Frankfort because we both had jobs there and the state government system was a really good ladder to climb. It did not pay well, but it was stable and with technology. They really had a high value for people who could deliver and we're willing to continue to be state employees and not be expensive contract help. So I climbed very quickly. I had places that encouraged me. I had an ability to learn, and I will mention this. My very first state job was very simple. It was easy to do. There were three of us doing the job and I got to where I was. So, I guess young, driven whatever, I was knocking out the grunt work very quickly, to the point where I was hovering over the basket waiting for someone to bring in a new job so that I could grab it. And the other two people were like, we're not doing anything, we we don't have much. And I'm not saying they didn't do I'm just saying that a lot of times I kept snatching work out from under everybody and I'm sure that annoyed the crap out of them. But at a certain point they people notice the recognize then let me ask them questions, learn more about what they were doing in my boss put me in a position where I could just run around learning the whole of the business and who did what and make suggestions on how to make it better. In the meantime, did you have a notepad and a pencil around to keep up your drawing? Oh Yeah, yeah, I was. I was doing a combination of drawing and reading, because I love reading as well, which of course goes into audiobook narration. So I was drawing or reading all of the time, doing goofy stuff, hanging posters in my cubicle like a teenager, and it was it was really fun. It was really enjoyable and at the same time technology at the started to move into the realm of the Internet. So if you were a little eccentric, you were kind of given a pass, if you were a little weird, but you delivered and everybody liked you and you got along. That was okays, okay, you were doing good work. Everyone needed one in the office. You're okay, exactly. So how long did you stay with within the government position? I moved through multiple government entities. HMM, as a as a state employee for nine years, and then as a contractor, I jump ship and started doing the contract work. Let me think, for another seven actually, so sixteen years. So that brings you into as you mentioned, audio work. When did when did is that correctors or something in between. So, absolutely so. I'm working various jobs and I moved through developer, business analyst, project manager. But during that time, because I'm delivering products, I'm also trying to make training materials and as a...

...result, I'm recording, I'm doing audio, I'm doing video and I need to learn more and I suddenly notice, Hey, this voiceover thing today. It's not like moving to Los Angeles. A lot of people are doing this from their home and they're doing little one offs like I'm doing with these training videos. I could make a thing out of this. I need to pursue this. Was this the first dabble in audio work did you? Did you ever experience in high school or anything? Well, it's funny. There are other things I did in the meantime, like I had a buddy who worked for a TV station and I did voiceover for for commercials where we were just goofing around. We were coming up with skits and doing really awful stuff. One of the examples was I had never seen Austin powers, but he wanted me to do an Austin powers based on having watched the commercials. So he had me do a spot where I was like yeah, baby, yeah, I've no idea what I'm doing or even if I'm close to any Michael lies stuff, but it's totally my bag. Will take credit. He's Canadian. That works, so that was good. Hey, thanks for that, by the way, and thanks for Michael J Fox. So thanks for the Michael's. Yeah, we're doing good of their. So how did this start to take off from being part of a requirement, doing manuals and such, into making it a part of life? There was this neat little transition point where I suddenly realized that everything I needed to do needed to take the long view. At this point I was in my s and I had like just turned forty and I realized that we had a couple of life goals. First was I needed it. My parents had moved out of Kentucky and I needed a move closer to them. I'm an only child. I need to be there for them, and I needed to be closer with my wife and my daughter now as a father. So we made plans to build my career and then shift over to Florida somewhere and lived there. And during that time, while I'm still in Kentucky and I'm learning more about voiceover and doing good quality audio and trying to find a good microphone. I met a man named David h lawrence, the seventeen online. Most people know him and have seen him and stuff and they may not necessarily know him by name, like Brand Pitt, but he has been in the TV show heroes. He was a recurring Ville and there. He's worked in TV and film. He was in the people versus OJ Simpson. He is the announcer who replaced Don Pardo, I guess on the prices right. So he does a lot of neat work behind the scenes in Hollywood, but he's also very well versed in voiceover and he had started teaching people and right about that time I found him online because he was reviewing a microphone. So I called him up and I was surprised I was able the call this guy just are chruarily, out of the blue, and we had a conversation where I said I'd like to make this a real thing, I'd like to do this for real and I understand you're teaching. What should I do? And I was expecting the conversation to end with well, all you have to do is sign up for my fantastic program and like me, a big fat check and you'll be famous. But he was honest with me. He absolutely assessed my skills, what I was doing, where I was going and his first thing was go get acting lessons and then we'll talk. And acting lessons pretty practical and not some theater. In College I'd done a couple of little things and I'd hung around theater people after college, so I was familiar with with kind of the craft, but I went ahead and did that. So now what would be a regular day in in the life of Trenton Bennett now either a day or a week. We've moved down to Florida. I've we've built a house, I've built my own studio that I can step in at any time, but I also have a new house that I just built and I have a child in college. So I still work an it job to pay the bills and it's a very good job. It's rewarding. I actually get to use my acting and voice skills in it as well. But that's Monday through Friday and that actually works out because this neighborhood has a lot of houses being built. So during the day there's a lot of construction noise and if I were full time voiceover I'd be tearing my hair out at all the cement trucks in the forklifts and the other stuff going on. So during the day I'm I'm working there and then at night I switched and I hoped at the studio and I'll do anything from auditioning to looking for new clients to building the business side of this. You have to run this like a business and I work on my podcast. I do. I've trained in every area of voiceover, but audio books is the one that keeps coming back to me, so that's the one I'm focusing on. In what is it is at a particular website that you're focusing on or you're doing just finding your own books and then doing your voice over them that have been written.

How do you go? That's a great question for anybody who wants to get into audio books, because the biggest market, as you can imagine, is audible, which is owned by Amazthon and Amazon. Audible, those same audio books get pushed out to itunes and they all get pushed out through a company called a C X, which is short for audiobook creators exchange, and so you go through them. That's the easiest way. There's a lot of ways to shop out audio books. There's a lot of people to work with, but the biggest and simplest is acx. So most of the time I'll go in audition at acx. I'll go look for titles. I'll say, Hey, I think that looks like a good one. That pays about right and I'll go ahead and submit auditions. And then sometimes I have regulars who just want me to do the work. We don't audition at all. What does that storry and offer me a book. What does an audition look like or how does that process go? If someone's listening and think yeah, I'd like to they have a passion, they have desired that inkling. How would that go for someone who does not have that connection that you do with some of the authors? That is a really that is a really good question, because you can easily waste a lot of time just auditioning for everything under the Sun. You need to be selective. So I'll go in and I'll look and I'll say, okay, I only want these particular per finished our rates. I'm willing to do a royalty share project. I won't get into the details of that, but the roughness of it is royalty share means me and the author. We split the money half and half and then the per finished hour is sir, I deliver you with the product, you pay me and we go our ways. So I look for those projects on Acx and then there's more research to that. I say, okay, does this script they've given me look good? Does this author have any kind of a following or, if they're starting out, are they making attempts to build one? Are they really responsive to their fans on the Internet? So they have a track record? Is there anything out there that I'm seeing that's well ranked? And you have to understand how to read the Amazon rankings, which again is a course in and of itself. But the bottom line is I do homework not not just to find a role that looks good for me, that I can do and I can enjoy, but also a client that is really serious about the business and has a good track record or is building one. So your audition will be a script that you can download. There's a blurb there and what they put in the blurb is extremely helpful, you hope. So if they don't put anything in there, or if they give you the entire book and just say pick one that can be a bit of a red flag because you're like, okay, maybe they don't quite care or they don't understand how to do this. What you really look for in an audition is someone to say, okay, this is Bob and Sally. Now Bob. Bob's a construction worker, but he's really he's really irritated about that because he wanted to be an animator. And Sally over here. Sally is an accountant, but boy, she's really good at science and she's thinking about something experimental and this story is about Bob and Sally doing this in this it's okay if it's not a huge novel, but if they've got a couple notes, you know, hmm, or even if it's just as simple as Bob as midwestern. Sally is from the South. She's got a savanna accent and it's a little more southern, then that's great. It gives me something to work with and then I'll record an audition. You typically won't go more than about five minutes, but you'll read the copy. Do a nice it needs to sound exactly like the finished product would sound. You need to make it the perfect produced thing, not just raw voice and hand. That to them so they can visualize what your audio book would sound like, and then you move on to the next audition. You don't sit there and wait for them to write you back. You just keep auditioning until you land a job. And if you land more jobs than you can handle, that's great to say hey, look my schedules patch. Can you push this one off a week or two or or you say no thanks. That's the lowhanging you know, this is the low hanging fruit I've got right here. That's the more complicated one. I think I'll just let that go. So, from the first audition that you did, whether you got the part or not, how many takes did you do with that particular versus now, where you're getting a little bit more, or maybe a lot more work? How many takes does it take you to get it to probably what you're as you were saying before, that your ear likes, you know. Okay, I'm satisfied. Okay, I'll let this go out. From the first time you did it, how many takes to how many takes now to get it to the pristine level that you want it to be? Well, that's actually a very important thing. I want the audition to sound like a professional finished product. But part of it is you build your skill as you go. Even if you don't get the Gig doing the audition, that activity builds your skill. So you really need to when it comes to auditions, you need to put your put some effort into it, the same consistent amount, but then knock it out and don't look back. So when you ask me about takes, pretty much what I'll do is I will...

...skim through the thing see if I really kind of get a feel for it, and then I'll go into it and I will be recording and there's a method you can use. There's a couple of methods you can use for handling goofs, but the gist of it is you do your recording and when you're done and you've cleaned up the mistakes, then you go ahead and produce it. But you don't say to Yourself, Oh that sentence where he said it's what I do, it's what I do, it's what I do, it's what I do that you don't do that. You don't obsess over it. You just say, okay, I'M gonna knock this out, I'm going to be these people, I'm going to fly right through this and then move on. was there a stress level at the beginning in your audition to the point where you're at now, and has that different as a different I got really lucky because David h lawrence, the seventeen, was doing a class called the acx masterclass. So before I signed on to his full voiceover curriculum, I said, I don't know this guy, I'm going to test this by taking this class that he did with Dan O day. And the reason I mentioned that is the acx master class teaches you everything from end to end and they walk you through it in a good order and it's it's a regular thing that while you're still learning, you start auditioning and landing audio books before you're done with the class. Everybody has that happened. So there was a lot of anxiety, but at the same time there was a lot of thankfulness because I was in the middle of this teaching where if anything went wrong in this process, I could immediately post to the group and say, Hey, this thing happened, what do I do? So it reduces your stress level? Yeah, because he had the support of people who can jump in and give me an answer. So what kind of advice would you give generally of people who, like your path of life, seems one of going back, doubling back, being more solid, going forward, like not until you're ready, and then being sure, you know as sure as one can be, that tomorrow is going to be okay, because you've doubled back to make sure you've you know, like in a camping trip, you make sure all the people, some people might be lagging behind in you're going back. Okay, everyone, okay, we got everyone. Bring everyone back to the same thing, that's rest here, get everyone back in order and move forward together. What kind of advice would you have for people in work that haven't done that? They've never done that, they've never had the thought of being responsible for themselves other people, or they do have the thought about being responsible, but they don't know how to get that gear going, or they made some mistakes and they wish they would have done it. So they now they're like, okay, now I got to turn back and see if everyone's with me and see, you know, reassess. What sort of advice would you give to people in those sorts of situations? Well, one of the best pieces of advice I got when I was young and I was at that job that I mentioned, at the state where I was doing things quickly. I was reading books in a lot of my spare time and I got through the entire Frank Herbert doone series in about ten days because I just had that much time. While I was just waiting. Can you work? I'm here. I got a book in my hand, but I'm here. And someone leaned in and said someone who's a friend of mine now. He said don't get complacent. MMM, and I was like wait, wait, what do you hold on? What do you mean by that? I'm still a young idiot. I don't know what I'm doing. What do you mean don't get complacent? And so, regardless of what fields you're in, the lesson that he taught to me is always be looking for that next step where you can take it to another level, not just because you're not working hard enough. You need to work harder. That's not it. The point is you should have a path that's engaging. You should look for something that you want to do more of and go for that. You should look for something that you really feel strongly that you're good to do or that you'd like to learn and go to that. The one thing I said to one of my college professors after graduating. As I said, you know what's so weird? My Mom and dad talked about how you go to college and you get out and you get a job, but college isn't the end of your school. MMM, it's the beginning. College just taught me how to learn. MMM. And she just looked at me and went yes, exactly. So you kind of your student of life and your student you of your own career. So you are the only one piloting your ship. No one else is going to steer it for you. They may give you a hand from time to time, but it's still all on you to look for opportunities and take them and be willing to move up, be willing to take risks. It was scary when I went from a nice, cozy state government job that was paying terribly but in one of the highest paying fields, to being a contractor where they could fire me at any moment. But the motivation there, as I had to. I mean, I've just I was kind of in a corner. I knew that I needed to have enough money for my family to move. I knew I had a child...

...and my wife had health problems and she couldn't work now and I needed to be able to take care of her and at the same time I kind of wanted her to be since she was willing, I wanted her to be home for our child. So I was willing to take that on, but it meant I had to take risks and it meant I had to keep looking at the long game and the opportunities. So, coming back to voiceover, it was my second attempt at a creative field and I was kicking myself for giving up in my S. I mean, I can't have my cake and eat it too, but still, if you have a creative gift, you should still pursue it. Don't sell yourself short, because once I got to that age, I'm like, Jeez, I I know I can do this now. I probably could have done it then. I just didn't know it. I didn't believe in myself. And when I told my wife, Hey, I met this guy that's doing this training and I think I can actually make this something, I think this is something I could actually do, she said, I'm just surprised you didn't try at twenty years sooner. She's been perfectly supportive, but she's like, of course I'm not surprised. Of course you can do this. Well, she's an accountant. She when she met you, she calculated it, she knew you know, she knew what you had. And also, I want to ask got good Roi. You mentioned something and I want to say for anyone listening to but not only can you, you do learn to learn in college, but if you haven't gone to college, you know there's this. There's a whole bunch of resources for people to learn and to find out. But it the point is, if you didn't go to college, just learned about some things that you want to learn about in about a job or your next step. And it's not about because some people think, oh, I didn't go to college like that person. Know that that's not what it is. It's some people need it just to start learning right. Some people need they didn't have discipline in high school, Middle School or elementary and this is what kicked them into the path that they're on. But University, College and, like you saying, not retail. You're not knocking and I'm not knocking university or college or education. It's just don't feel left behind because you didn't attend. Yeah, absolutely, and the other part is, as much as I valued my college degree. In particularly, I loved Liberal Arts for getting a little of everything from my book. There was a time during thecom boom of the late s to the early S, until the bubble burst, where there were a lot of kids who were saying, I don't need college, I just need to go get a certification in Java or a dot neet certification and I need to just go straight into being a developer. And they immediately went into these high paying jobs where they don't have a college degree but they do have the equivalent of a college degree that's more focused in their discipline. It's not just for example, vocational school can make you a really good mechanic and you can work on cars and that can be something you do. I had an ex door neighbor who is a professional pit crew. He gets flown into various locations around the world to run races. But also with a certification, you spend a you spend a year to two years, you can still work a full time job while you study and when you take that exam, by that time you know what you need to know to be successful and now it's just a matter of finding that job and leveraging those skills. Well, it's in like Linkedin, as we mentioned. If you are asking children in an elementary school and you said you were teaching, aren't like, what do you want to be when you grow up? Most of us can only name a few jobs. Right, Dr Lawyer, something right. But you look and but with some thought and but looking at thing like Linkedin, there's so many jobs out there that didn't come from a University of college degree that we're they're just part of something that someone took a certificate, they did they were in the right place at the right time, they grinded it out and they were able to get these jobs. So, with or without university degrees. And it sounds a little clear. The shayish lifelong learning and that's and that's what it is about. And especially if you find you're in a Rut and you're grinding it out Trenton, what is difficult to build what you do, because it sounds pretty lovely, it sounds pretty great. Everything you do is, it's all working clockwork, but there has to be some difficulty in your work. There's two pieces to it. The first is continuously reminding myself that, as David has said, it's a marathon and not a sprint. So so every week where I take action is a step across months in a journey of years. Everybody have talked to they've there have been some really good people who are very successful who've been willing to have private chats with me and say things like, yeah, it took me six to ten years. One of the top names in Audiobook, narration, last year coached me and it was fantastic. And then online he made this statement where he was telling people look, one of the first things I did before...

I started working on audio books as I spent a year and a half acting because I knew I needed that skill. So that's that's part of it. The first part of it is is just that you need to you need to run this thing. You need to run it like a business that takes a long time to build. You are your own business man. You're managing all of those things. And then the second part is, as you're managing all of those things, including a business, a big part of that is, as Cliche as it sounds, your brand. It's a deep analysis of yourself, your specific skills and what you feel would separate you from other people and make you unique. And then playing that into all of the ways that you mark it yourself, whether it's social media or a cold call to a client or a warm email where you've learned more about them and you have a connection and you're just trying to help make them aware that you're there. All of those things where you represent yourself need to be unique to you and understand that. And I say that because a lot of people get into voice over and they're either a they say well, I can do everything, I want to do all of it. Okay. Well, if you go across five disciplines, every one of those disciplines has people who only do that one discipline and they will be better than you because that's all they do. So pick one or two or even three things and focus on those and build your skills there. And then the other part is, and a lot of people fall for this, is there are a lot of customers out there that say we want Morgan Freeman or we'd really like James Earl Jones, and you have to say, well, I'm not either of those people and they charge a lot of money. So if you want them, you need to go there. But I need to not try to pattern myself and say I'll be the next James Earl Jones. If I have a voice that sounds like is, then sure, maybe I'll learn lessons from him. But don't try to be something you're not, because the one thing that the entertainment industry really values, and it really it's, it your genuineness. A lot of people have a hard time believing that, but who you specifically are is more real and relatable and believable than who you think someone needs you to be. MMM, absolutely would it. And opposite of that. What do you like about your job? Boot your voice over work. I would say I get paid a hide in a small room and talk to myself for hours on end and people can't wait to hear what I have to say. Now. Really, what I love about this job is that it gives it lets you put in as many hours as you like any particular week, which makes it very easy to slowly build and grow at a different pace. Some people may get there into years, some people may get there in twelve. I'm probably thinking six, six to seven, I'll be really well established because I'm at a point now where I've I've had a lot of success. I'm not a household name. Obviously, I'm not mel blank. There aren't many of those, but there's so much out there for me and there's so much out there for anybody else to so the example is if you start thinking about where voices is being used and you look around yourself in the course of a day, you'll be blown away at voice messages on the phone, voice assistants, websites, explainer videos, youtube, entertainment, TV commercials, Film. It's all over the place. There's a lot of opportunities and training videos and medical narration. People need a lot of videos right now that need to be updated for new information for coronavirus. It's pretty amazing. Trent. And how does your work get you through life? So you thinking back of making some Tacos in front of the Friar, slopping together a hamburger, putting some computers in a box. How and now, you know, isolating yourself in a room and talking to yourself. How has work helped bring you through life? You know, it's funny because I feel like in some ways I'm a goldfish because I grow to the size of my tank. So, you know, frying those Taco shells I just I was amazed that I had money in my hands. I didn't have a bank account back then. I mean not, not below the age of eighteen you couldn't. So this was a small town thing. You know, the the manager at Taco Bell would hand me my paycheck. I'd drive down to the local grocery store and I knew I knew Mr Houchin ran the place, and the manager would cash my check for me because my dad went ahead and said, Hey, I'm going to back his check, so let him cash his checks here. And then I had just had cash in hand and that felt really...

...good. Now I'm at this point where I'm like, okay, I love the technology I do. I bring a lot of value to these people and I make them happy, but I'm in my s and I'm not going to kid myself. At a certain point they're going to say, you know, we like those people that don't have kids and they work twelve hours and they can work weekends and it's not a big deal, so we're going to kind of let you out exercise your other options. This is my retirement job to go into. So right now I have a workwork life balance and what I try to do is because my daughter is only going to be with us a little bit longer before she's on her own. I deliberately carved time out in the week to spend with my family, because that's an important part of it too, and that means that the voiceover thing, or sometimes it means I take a single vacation day from the regular job. Those things all need to work in balance so that I don't go crazy, so that I'm happy, so that I have some time for myself. But I really enjoy the voiceover stuff. There have been times where I'd spend an entire day like my Saturday. I'm just doing an audiobook and at the end of that my voice is pretty worn out, but I'm happy. I feel like I just did something great and I feel really good about all of that work. It's fun. Trenton, how can people reach you? You can reach me at Trenton, at Trenton Bennettcom, which has two ends and two Tis. I am at www dot trenton bennettcom. I have some pretty cool demos there across the field and I'm always willing to talk to people. I'm on facebook. I have a facebook page called Voice of Trenton. I'm on Linkedin, of course, and I am also on twitter at Voice of Trenton. So you're always welcome to reach out to me with follow up questions and I'm certainly happy to help connect you to the many really good and supportive people in the VO business. You've been really great here, Trenton. Is there anything else you'd like to add in terms of work, whether suggestion or just things that pop into your mind? It is really amazing. You've taken me on on quite a journey through my life and I'm fascinated by it and I guess I really feel like I want to reiterate that if you have, if you have a creative talent, why would you keep that back from the world if you have the chance to work on it? Just understand it is work. It's really fun work, but you have to tackle it is something that you have to work at and build. Don't give up on yourself. Don't feel like well, it doesn't look like it did in my head. You just learn to keep those things in balance and, at the same time, your work. You don't live to work, you work to live. Absolutely, trentent. Finally, why do you work? I work because, coming back to the original thing of the cartooning, I really like entertaining other people, making them happy. I also work because I really feel a sense of accomplishment knowing that whatever goes into my pocket, I've earned it. It's something that I actually I no one had to hand it to me. I didn't get to sit on the couch and play xbox. That might sound nice, but after a few months of that I would go stir crazy because I I really feel I need to be engaged in creating and acknowledged for it through Baith. Sir, Mr Bennett, I appreciate your time. It's been very insightful and I'm sure someone listening will take your advice, maybe even contact you and go to that website you mentioned. WAS ACX. Yes' ACX DOTCOM. Very good. Thank you, kind sir, and I'll speak to you again. Brian, thanks so much. I really enjoyed being on the show and best of luck to you with the podcast. Thank you for listening to this episode of why we work with Brian v be sure to subscribe, follow and share with others so they too can be encouraged in their work. I hope that you have yourself a productive, be a joyful day in your work.

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