My Personal Experience With the Yoga of Intimacy

Are you single and you finding yourself attracting the wrong types?  Are you searching for the right partner to share a real connection with?  Do your relationships burn out fast or turn into friend zone?  Are you already in a relationship and you feel like it’s become dull and needs a boost?  Well, if any of these scenarios ring true for you, I have a recommendation for you to check out. (Bonus: If you live in the Los Angeles area, the workshops take place in sunny Santa Monica, CA.)

It’s the Yoga of Intimacy, and it’s led by the beautiful couple Londin Angel Winters and Justin Patrick Pierce.  After interviewing the couple on my podcast, Nothing Off Limits, I was honored to be invited to their Co-ed workshop on a beautiful Friday evening in a gorgeous, spiritually-charged loft space.  There, I experienced something completely unexpected and amazing.  An equal number of men and women, most complete strangers to one another, gathered to participate. In a completely G-rated practice over a 3 hour period, we were all blown wide open with vulnerability and successfully created real, intimate connections with each other within a safe space.  Don’t get the wrong idea.  It’s not sexual, and you don’t touch your partner.  It’s subtle energy exchange through the eyes and the body that teaches you to be authentic in your expression.  No “performing” is allowed.  Londin and Justin lead the practice, and they have you switch partners continuously throughout the practice and provide gentle reminders and corrections to stay connected to what you’re doing.  With each exercise, you reach new levels of openness, creativity and heart awareness.

I’ll admit that I almost jetted twice during the first hour, because I’m not personally used to being so vulnerable, especially with a stranger.  Yet because the men in this workshop were so willing to be there, and because each man put forth his best effort to “hold” the women in their space and not run away from her, no matter what they were experiencing (tears, laughter, anger, etc.), it allowed me to expand further.

Without giving too much away about what happens during the workshop, I will say that I left there feeling like I had released years of pain.  I was exhausted!  For those 3 hours, I tore down my personal walls, accessed my true core, and said hello again to my personal centered place of love and giving.  That might sound wild or weird to you, but if you’re frustrated with your relationships at any level and you’re ready and willing to go deeper within yourself to change that pattern (this is the key – you have to be ready!), then this is definitely something to check out.

For more information about Londin and Justin and the practice of sexual polarity, please listen to their episode on my podcast.  It’s a great way to prep for the Yoga of Intimacy workshop:  http://ladyfoxentertainment.com/2017/02/26/londin-angel-winters-and-justin-patrick-pierce-on-using-sexual-polarity-to-get-the-love-you-want/

For upcoming workshop dates for the Yoga of Intimacy, visit:  http://www.londinangelwinters.com/offerings/workshops/the-yoga-of-intimacy/

Voiceover is NOT the Same Skill Set Needed For Hosting a Podcast…and Vice Versa!

I often have people approach me saying, “People always tell me I have a great voice!  How can I break into VO?”  If you are told often you have a good voice, that’s awesome.  You are blessed with great genes in that regard!  However, I hate to break it to you, but having a great speaking voice doesn’t mean you’ll be a good voiceover talent, host/presenter or anything of the sort.  It’s a skill set that has to be studied, practiced and refined constantly.  Basically, it’s learning how to act, and if you’ve ever taken an acting class, then you know that it’s not an easy craft.  You must be able to interpret written material, connect to it authentically, and perform it in a way that tells a believable story.  You may not see it like this at first when it comes to those off-camera voices you hear on commercials, e.g., since commercial VO copy tends to be short and seems like it’s “announced”.  It’s really not.  You’d be surprised what goes into breaking down copy and learning how to deliver it well.  It requires training, ongoing coaching and practice!  If you are interested in dedicating yourself to learning a real craft that could take you years to develop well, then enroll in a class to get started.  FYI, it’s a long-term and highly competitive industry.  You probably won’t be getting paid for doing commercials on tv and radio in the next month, 6 months or possibly even years.  I’ve been studying VO since 2004 and every audition I do puts me up against like 300-400 other talents.  That’s the reality of the industry, so you gotta love it if you’re going to do it.

Now, another thing I would like to clear up is general ignorance surrounding interviewing people and hosting a podcast.  Hosting and/or interviewing is not synonymous with voiceover work.  Hosting a show and interviewing people requires a different set of skills that include: knowing how to ask questions, listening (!!!!), facilitating a natural conversation, reacting to and/or supporting a guest’s statements, and having good instincts on when to wrap it up or let someone continue to share their thoughts.  Many VO people I know would not be able to host a show well, or come off natural doing it.  Not every VO person is a good conversationalist.  Conversely, many talk show hosts I know would not be great at VO without training.  And so I have hit the point of this blog post, which is that VO and hosting/interviewing are two separate skill sets.

Side note:  I’m not claiming to be a total expert or know-it-all regarding either craft.  I’ll forever be a student of both.  And while I admit that I am lucky to have the gift of natural and lively gab (likely from my hearing my mother on sales calls as a child),  I’m also not claiming to be a proper news journalist, which is yet another skill set.  I am not trying to be one.  I am simply a podcast host who is a good conversationalist with the mission to connect listeners to great information from smart guests.  I am curious, engaging, I listen, and I react.  I do my best to make my guests comfortable to express who they are.  And I also mansplain when necessary. 🙂  It’s my responsibility to drive the flow of each show.  The upside is that I can use my VO skills to record my own intro bumper and pre-roll or mid-roll ads, so I get the advantage of combining skill sets, which is probably part of the reason why people tend to get confused about what’s what.

If you are interested in hearing more about the voiceover industry and how it works, let me know and I’ll host an episode about it.  I have plenty of VO coaches and agents who would love to share the realities of the VO business and then leave it up to you to decide if it’s a quest you’d like to go on.  Email me at michelle@ladyfoxentertainment.com to let me know!

Until next time I remember to post a blog on my personal website….xoxoxoxo

MAO

 

Want Nothing Off Limits – The Cool Sh*t Your Momma Never Taught You – To Get Even Better?

There’s a lot of cool sh*t my momma never taught me, but one thing she did teach me is that you won’t get anything unless you ask for it.  The worse someone can say is “no”!  So here goes.

Since I created the concept of Nothing Off Limits in December 2015, I’ve been working extremely hard creating content for it, sometimes 15-18 hours a day.  This is far from being a hobby!  After months of finding and interviewing guests, covering legal aspects such as guest releases, getting Ladyfox Entertainment, LLC off the ground, and sharpening my vision for the podcast, I finally launched on June 6th!  Downloads/listens have been amazing so far, and I even grabbed some press about it on Yahoo! Finance yesterday.  Cool, right?  Yes!!

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/ladyfox-entertainment-launches-nothing-off-123000082.html

Now, the next step is to support the expansion of the podcast by doing advertising campaigns and creating video content to cast a net out to a wider potential listener audience and increase the podcast’s discoverability.  By having a greater presence online, I can land even more well-known guests, create more awareness for the messages the guests are sharing, attract bigger brands to feature on the show, grab additional and better equipment and space to start doing in-person interviews (and perhaps on-camera too), and just generally take the production to the next level.

Before I do a Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign, I want to start with the people who are already excited about what I’m doing, right now, and that’s YOU.  Would you, my friends, consider making a donation to support the podcast production?  Every amount will help, and as a thank you, I’ll send you some NOL swag and personally thank you on an upcoming episode.

To donate, please go to:

www.ladyfoxentertainment.com/resourcespartners/ and click on the Paypal donate button!

I offer my heartfelt gratitude in advance, and please send your feedback on the shows so far to michelle@ladyfoxentertainment.com

Xoxoxox,

MAO

Nothing Off Limits Podcast is rockin’!

Hey everyone and Happy Monday!

Currently, there is a dude outside going through my recycling bin.  He’s making a total racket, so I figured I’d write a blog post since I can’t record sh*t until he’s done with his sifting job and pushes his shopping cart (full of me and my neighbors’ empty wine bottles) away.

Ok.  So!  I’m super excited that NOL is in full force!  We launched on June 6th and we are officially on Week Two of this fun and ongoing journey of knowledge and awesomeness!  Have you heard the first set of episodes yet?  If you haven’t, I’m confident you’ll dig ’em.

This week is going to be great as well, with 2 new episodes coming out.  We’ll be talkin’ wine & yoga!  Two things that are near & dear.

Please SUBSCRIBE and rate & review the show.  I’m starting a swag promotion next week for the 10 most awesome reviews, so get in on the fun early!

Thank you and back to it!

xoxo

MAO

Cool Stuff I Recommend!

Hey everybody!  I wanted to let you know about my new page, Cool Stuff I Recommend!  These are variety of products & services that I personally dig, and that I’m fortunate enough to be able to offer to you, my site visitors, at a discount!

One of my favorites is the Cize dance workout from Beachbody.  I bought it myself, and it’s a hoot!  Whether or not you consider yourself a dancer, you’ll have a blast shaking your groove thang.  You won’t even know you’re working out.

Speaking of dancing, if you are an actual dancer for reals and you want the latest casting calls (and this goes for actors and models as well…), check out the special link I’ve provided to you for a discount off Backstage.  You’re welcome!

There’s a lot more on the page to browse!  Oh, and if you decide you want to try one of the supplements I’ve recommended, or you decide to try Cize, do yourself a favor and check with your doctor first.  I’m not responsible if you throw your hip out, people. 🙂

Starting Projects You Never Finish? Don’t Go It Alone!

Don't Go It Alone

So you think you can just start a new venture tomorrow by yourself and become successful in no time?  Well, not so fast.

Here’s a realization I had this past week.  My story is that I have been successfully hosting podcast-type interviews from start to finish for over 2.5 years.  By “start-to-finish”, I mean contacting guests, doing pre-interviews, scheduling guests, carefully crafting interview questions, conducting an interview where I’m actually engaging with the guest casually (yet staying in the parameters of the interview questions I created), engineering the recording session itself, doing follow up with said guest to make sure they get paid and thanked for their time, editing the audio from the interview, recording the intro voiceover copy, and popping music bumpers in for a final mix…oh, and getting the final files to the powers that be.  I thought, “I’m good at this, and I can also do voiceover and music and audio editing, and I should be an entrepreneur and create my own podcast!  It’ll be fun and I’ll provide entertaining but educational content for millions!  Done!”

After 2 months, I told myself off.  I also thought twice about it all.  As you probably can imagine, there’s a LOT more to launching a podcast than the steps above.  I believe I was in a state of denial, thinking that if I just make great content, then I’m done!  Ya, can we say reality check?  I was faced by a scary, flaming asteroid of branding, marketing strategy, audience engagement, retention and growth…and ADMIN WORK GALORE that barreled at me at hyper speed as I frantically ran from it, action movie style (insert intense shrieking here).  I know that’s a super eye-roller of a description, but whatever, because you got the point.

Anyway, I’m sure that some of you reading this have been in the same boat and have started a passion project.  You find that it’s really hard.  You let it wither and crap out.  Then you make an excuse for it.  Well, I’m with ya’.  I’ve done this more times than I should admit with songs, bands, and day jobs.  So instead of giving up, getting in my ‘jammies, and choosing to binge on whatever is available on Netflix (which I’ve found isn’t much these days), I decided to apply some recent wisdom imparted on me by a savvy group of business people I know.  They said:

Entrepreneurial rule #1 :  Don’t Go It Alone.

Hrm.  “But I always do everything by mySELF!”, my Play-the-Martyr Self says.   Some time goes by.  I sulk.  I sleep.  I vent.  I distract myself with something else.  I go bowling.  (not really, but I could have).  I halfway convince myself that no one could ever possibly “get it” even if I do ask for help.

Then, my That’s Enough Bullsh*t Self jumps in and yells, “Not this time!  You can find the right person.  SEE THIS THROUGH.”

In a single phone call, my life coach both reminded me about my That’s Enough Bullsh*t Self AND referred me to someone who happened to be perfect.  And he helped me tremendously by solving my teetering-on-the-edge of dropping yet another baby problem.  A second call later, I hired the VA he referred to me. Of course, she ain’t cheap, but I’m now a happy girl focusing on the creative again, as this woman is officially going to prevent me from unraveling in total overwhelm and giving up completely.  And she’s a bad ass military kid, so I know she’ll hold me accountable.  And that I dig, my friends.

The message here is that I hope that all of you consider the power of teamwork, holding steadfast to your dreams and not thinking you are the only person who can do everything right.  And it’s ok to feel like you are overwhelmed or want to run away and drop the dream.  But don’t freak out.  You don’t have to go it alone.  Ask for help, actually allow the person to do the stuff you ask them to, maintain your own stamina for what you want to be focusing on, and produce something great!

Do it.  I’m rootin’ for ya.

🙂

Ladyfox Entertainment is underway!

Well, Happy 2016 Everyone!

I was a little lax on the blog entries in Q4, but I’m back.  I was kinda busy!  I launched my new company, Ladyfox Entertainment, LLC.  I can’t express my level of excitement about my new journey as a small business owner.  Check out my new logo (above), thanks to the ever-talented Vitor Bonates! http://vitorbonatesdesign.com (You may also notice that Vitor crafted my MAO and Lady Evil logos from earlier in 2015.  He’s also the artist behind the backdrop photo on my website landing page.  Needless to say, he’s an amazing talent to collaborate with!)

This year via Ladyfox Entertainment, I’ll be continuing to grow my voiceover business and music work, but I’m especially excited about launching my very own podcast this Spring.

As some of you may know, over the last 2 years, I’ve been interviewing guests (both professional and off-the-street) about dating, relationships, sex and health, all for an online marketing company called Altare.  I’ve been proud to handle all aspects of hosting and podcast audio production, and I gotta say, I love the job!  I’ve learned more than I ever imagined by interviewing people from all walks of life, and I’ve found my personal groove with this medium.  The content I produce for Altare is not available publicly, so I decided that I’m going to throw some content of my own out into the universe.  I want to share my passion for learning new things with as many people as I can. Specific details are to come on my new, edgy podcast series, which is slated for launch in March on iTunes.  I promise, you will be entertained and educated at the same time!  Stay tuned for more.

In the meantime, feel free to reach out and share your 2016 goals, hopes & dreams!

Much love, thanks for reading, and go get ’em!

xoxo,

MAO

How to get more ZZZZ’s

 

If I could, I’d sleep all day.  I absolutely loooove to sleep.  But I also have a lot of friends who struggle with falling asleep, not getting enough shut-eye, or waking up and not being able to fall back into dreamland.

Here are a few tips to bring the snooze back:

Keep a regular sleep/wake schedule

Don’t drink or eat caffeine four to six hours before bed and minimize daytime use

Don’t smoke, especially near bedtime or if you awake in the night

Avoid alcohol and heavy meals before sleep

Get regular exercise

Minimize noise, light and excessive hot and cold temperatures where you sleep

Develop a regular bed time and go to bed at the same time each night

Try and wake up without an alarm clock

Attempt to go to bed earlier every night for certain period.

Sweet dreams to all!  xoxo

Be What You Expect In Others

false accusation pointing finger  or getting fired accuse other picking person select volunteer guilty firing employee

Do your friends complain about the guys or girls they’re dating or about their other friends who are letting them down in some way? I have definitely heard it too, with comments like:

“He’s nice to me, but he’s a sloppy dresser and he doesn’t keep his house clean…”, or

“She’s hot as hell, but she really gets on my nerves because she’s immature and doesn’t know what she wants.”

So I have to ask, “Are the things that you want him/her to be or to have, the things that you are or possess as well?” If you’re not a put-together, successful, happy person who knows what you want, then don’t complain when you can’t be with a put-together, successful happy person who knows what they want, ya’ know?

I’m a mouthy broad from the Northeast, so complaining is in my DNA…I’m working on this too. 🙂

xo

8 Reasons Why I Love Voiceover

Do you ever ask yourself why you do certain things?  I do.

When I woke up and did a meditation focusing on gratefulness this morning, I immediately thought of voiceover and how grateful I am for the role it plays in my life.

Here are the reasons why I love voiceover:
1. It’s the kind of thing that makes me want to get out of bed in the morning.

2. The people are really great in this part of the industry.  More genuine and real.

3. It requires real acting talent, not just a naturally great voice. There are, of course, exceptions to this, but in general, it requires actual talent, which most laypeople don’t know.  So, it keeps me working to be my best, and it reminds me that I’m living the work I love.

4. It allows me to utilize my music/singing background.  I can quickly understand the flow or “melody” of copy.  Thanks to the Universe for all my years performing music!  This is not to say that any musician or singer can easily do VO, but it certainly adds some “punch” in my case.

5. I have a tendency to get bored in jobs, and with VO, that’s not the case.  I am constantly challenged.  Every audition, every session, every workshop keeps me engaged and passionate about the craft.  As a fellow VO actor said at this morning’s audition, “I LOVE MY JOB!”.  Agreed, new friend.  Agreed.

6. I’ve always dug advertising and brand strategy and have had the fortune of working with some great copywriters, creative directors and producers.  This is a big cog in that wheel, at least for commercial VO, which is really my thing.

7. A 10-minute audition could possibly lead to the most financially-rewarding project of my life. There’s nothing wrong with getting amply rewarded for your talent if you put in your best effort at every audition and keep learning every day, MFA or not!

8. And as an offshoot of that, this amazing craft will put me in a position to help my family, in big ways.  My roots play a big role in what I draw upon, so they should get a piece of the pie.  And you know what? The joy it’ll bring me to see my sister smile, my niece be done with her student loans, etc…that will be the greatest gift I will ever receive.

Yeah, voiceover.  I’m grateful for you.

I hope this inspires you to focus on what you are grateful for and to make a list of reasons why.

🙂