Thursday, June 27, 2019

Fame can be a fickle thing!

Mid 1980's. I'm hanging in the front reception area at country music station WIRK in West Palm Beach after my midday show. Rhonda was a fun, sassy, thirty something, African American receptionist who answered the phones and gave listeners their prizes when they came in. It's a blistering hot South Florida day when the door swings open and in come two dudes with tank tops on, flip flops, cut offs. One of them approaches Rhonda and says "I'm here to tape an interview with Terry Slane." Terry was our morning deejay and program director. I immediately notice it's country music superstar Roy Clark. And back then he was on TV... a lot. Hee Haw, commercials, TV concerts playing his electric guitar to perfection. So, Rhonda says, "Your name?" He says, "Roy Clark." She gets on her phone and calls Terry. "Hey Terry, there's a Roy... um... er... ahhh... I'm sorry sir, what's your last name again?" He pointedly says, "Clark." "Terry, a Roy Clark is here to see you." She then hangs up the phone and tells Roy that Terry is on his way up. Terry comes up and shakes Roy's hand and the other dude's hand and off they go. I chime in, "Rhonda, that's Roy Clark! How could you not recognize Roy Clark!?" She loudly says, '' I don't listen to this country music crap, John. I'm a Rhythm and Blues girl!" I fell down laughing. Later, I thought, no matter how famous you think you are, to some people you're not famous at all! The man with him was his brother in law and they were out fishing at Lake Okeechobee before coming in to do the interview.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

A question I never get asked

I've been doing voice overs for quite some time now. And like many, I tend to look at other voice over websites to hear demos, read information, and see how other talents are presenting themselves.

From time to time, I'll see a lengthy description about what gear they are using-microphone, pre-amp, etc. In all my years of doing voice over, I have never had a client/customer ask me what microphone I'm using. Or frankly, about ANY equipment I'm using. For the most part, they don't care! So when I see all the specifics about equipment on a voice over website, I consider it wasted space. Here's what clients/customers want and expect. A good, clean audio file with no background noise in the format of their choosing with no or very limited processing delivered on time. As a voice over talent, it is the client's decision as to how the audio will be processed in post production. Whether it be the amount of compression, volume, possible light reverb, de-essing or any other effect they desire. I have a Neumann TLM 103  and Sennheiser 416 in my studio. They are two of the most popular microphones for voice over work. They get the job done and satisfy my clients. But nobody ever asks about them. And I'm OK with that.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Who is that lady's voice you always hear in the airport?

If you travel domestically or abroad, you no doubt have heard her voice overhead making announcements to you and fellow travelers.  She records the countless messages from her home studio and her name is Carolyn Hopkins. She seems like a very nice person with a super cool job and infectious laugh. CBS news did a profile of her. What a gig!

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Make no apologies for being passionate

I believe, regardless of your profession, the one positive thing that will separate you from the pack is PASSION! Passion will elevate you from those down times you will have and get you back on your feet again. The voice over industry is very competitive. Make no mistake about it, you will have highs and lows. Sometimes, after a very busy period of work, you will have a slow period. That's just the nature of the business. But even through the slow goes, it's good ol' passion that will come to the rescue. Don't ever apologize for being passionate about your work . It's one of the most important ingredients if you want to succeed.

In my early radio career, I made very low wages. So much so that most people would have gone on to do something else. But I truly loved the radio biz and knew I could work my way up to the better paying radio jobs. Again, it was a passion for my work that kept me going.  Passionate people share common traits, including bounding out of bed early in the morning to get to work.
Some "negative nellies" may criticize your passion and enthusiasm. Ignore them. You're doing something you love while they are still lying in bed bemoaning the day ahead and dreading a 9 to 5 job they hate.

Passion. You either have it or you don't. It can't be bought. If you have passion for your work, you are truly blessed!