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Archive for May, 2011


A special weekend – very special

This weekend, it’s Memorial Day across America.  It’s a very special weekend to many.  In this time of war, and in times of wars past, you don’t have to look far to find someone who has lost someone who gave it all for freedom.  Some people just have to look in the mirror.  Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, Airmen, Law Enforcement Officers, Firefighters, and many others have fallen.

I remember once I was working as a producer for a radio station in Dallas.  Part of my job was to write copy for promos and imaging.  Each time a holiday came around, I would try to create unique audio elements that would connect with the listener in a special way.  One year, I was working at a station and was blessed to partner with radio voiceover pro Pete Bunch of Spoken Word Images in North Carolina.  Pete is one of the best in the business at interpreting copy down to its “deeper” level.  Memorial Day was approaching, and I had put together some nice liners and promos designed to connect the listener with the true meaning of the holiday.  Not cookouts, beaches, and a long weekend…but the deeper, more somber message that lies within the name of the Day itself – to remember.  Because of this, my copy did not contain the words “Happy Memorial Day!”  It’s not a happy day.  It’s a serious day of reflection to honor those who, as Billy Ray Cyrus puts it in the video above, “gave all.”  Real people with real families and real friends.  And as I expected, Pete nailed every read I wrote for him.
Pete Bunch told me that I would be stunned at how much Memorial Day copy he received from stations around the country replete with “happys,” and that he feared that we as a nation had really just forgotten; dumbed-down and distilled Memorial Day into just another reason to sleep in.
This is not to say that we don’t have much to celebrate, and I believe that if those whom we remember this weekend could speak, they would want us to enjoy the freedom for which they died.  But as we light the barbecue, take a dip in the pool, or crack open that cold one, let’s not forget why we’re doing it.  It’s the least we can do.

New York is full of books!

Here I am in NYC, the sun came back out, and I’ve met a lot of amazing people at the Audio Publishers Association Conference and Book Expo America this week!  One word that seems to be a central theme is “content.”  Everyone is looking for the best way to deliver content of all kinds to consumers.  Printed books are alive and well, of course.  The other major categories are eBooks and audiobooks.  Guess which one is my favorite?

But seriously, I was quite surprised by some of innovative ways that content will be delivered in the future.  It seems like every other person on the convention floor has an iPad!  
One thing that will never change, however, is that all of this “content” is really just all about the ancient art of storytelling.  Any narrator that can skillfully lift an author’s vision off the page and tell a good story will always be in demand.

Another new friend!

Thanks to my new friend Tony and all the folks at the North American Mission Board for letting me join their project team recently!  Exciting things are happening with NAMB’s work in Canada, and I was delighted to narrate the inspiring story in a new video.  Thanks NAMB!


Today’s quote

Behold the turtle. He makes progress only when he sticks his neck out.

James Conant

She didn’t expect a thing…

Looking for a unique and uber-romantic way to propose to your sweetie?  This guy takes the cake.  But one thing that made his Cupid-like caper work was great copywriting for voiceover.
In this scenario, the movie trailer VO performer takes the target audience (in this case, the unsuspecting bride to be) on a path AWAY from the ultimate destination – thus perfectly completing the disguise of what was to become the moment she would never forget and gush about for years.
Sometimes voiceover performance scores big with a direct message approach.  But often, it hits a home run by the going the opposite way!

Perseverance and more perseverance

Bob Souer is a man to be admired, and not just for his boundless skill behind a microphone.  Bob is a man of integrity, and here he shares honestly about what it takes to truly become a full-time voiceover actor.  His thoughts inspire me!

PS – President Coolidge agrees!

Visit my website!


A terrific home studio project is completed

I’ve built a couple of home studios in the past, and to say the least they are always interesting and challenging projects.  I get a lot of questions about them.  Unfortunately, what I haven’t done well is carefully capture the planning and building processes for others to check out online.

Enter voiceover talent Paul Strikwerda – the “Nethervoice.”  Paul just completed his excellent studio project, and he did a wonderful job blogging it up.  Congratulations, Paul!

Working with Wayne!

I had the privilege to do some voiceovers for Wayne Shepherd recently.  Wayne is one of the most prolific and oft-heard personalities in Christian media.  He also hosts a recently-launched radio program called First Person with Wayne Shepherd!  Thanks, Wayne!


Don’t read…act!

Actors of all kinds would do well to remember this important reminder from the great Paul Alan Ruben.  Whether performing commercial copy, corporate narration, or narrating an audiobook, this lesson is dead-on.  It’s one of the major differences between a reader and an actor.  Thanks, Paul!