It’s SoCal And I Still Walked!

I did something tonight I would guess is a first for California. I walked to attend an event. It was a v/o workout.

I didn’t know what it was either!

I do know I’d like to dip my toe into the v/o pool. This seemed a way of learning more about a side of the business I know little.

Can I get cast? Who knows? It’s exceptionally competitive. So, probably not. But it’s still worth a shot.

Helaine thinks my voice is distinctive. She just can’t explain what makes it distinctive. And to me… well, it’s the only voice I have.

I do know in Connecticut I was more often recognized by sound than face!

There were four men and three women, plus our host, Ann. Everyone took a turn reading. We all listened and discussed. Then advice was passed out.

It was interesting to hear other reads and to hear about mine.

People came from as far as San Diego and Los Angeles for tonight’s session. It was two blocks from here!

Wow–They Sit Through Credits Here

in a world posterThursday afternoon and the Foxes took in a movie. Helaine and I went to see “In A World,” Lake Bell’s ‘dramedy’ about voiceover artists, but really about family. We liked it.

The title refers to the iconic movie trailer line spoken by the late Don La Fontaine and later Hal Douglas.

Bell, who wrote and directed the film, plays Carol. She’s a voice coach and daughter of Sam (Fred Melamed), king of the voices. She’s also a frustrated voiceover artist, partially due to her father’s discouragement. He feels voice work is man’s work!

As much as voiceovers run through the movie, it’s really about family and relationships.

There were some familiar faces in cameos (Geena Davis, Eva Longoria, Jeff Garland) and big roles including two Jon Stewart alums, Dimitri Martin and Rob Corddry. Both were very good, but I’d never seen Corddry play anything but ‘the fool.’ In a part that demanded depth and emotion, he delivered. I’m impressed.

The movie ended, the credits began to roll and an interesting thing happened. Everyone stayed seated! It’s SoCal. You never know who knows whom around here. People were looking for familiar names.

It’s a Man Cave–It’s A Studio

She’s never been because… well, you know… it’s a man cave.

Though I didn’t know who he was when I was growing up I still wanted to be Hal Douglas (the voice guy in the trailer for Jerry Seinfeld’s “Comedian”). As it turned out I was not blessed with “the voice.” I didn’t get to be Hal.


I went into radio after college and was fine on the air, just not as useful when it came time to record commercials. I was the un-Hal. No pipes!

Flash forward to the present.

I saw a commercial agent yesterday. She said an audio ‘reel’¹ might get me some work so I asked my friend Rick if he could help.

Rick is a professional v/o artist. He voices commercials. No, he voices commercials beautifully. He does much of that work from a studio in his basement.

“He’s got a man cave,” Helaine said after seeing photos of his studio.

She’s never been because… well, you know… it’s a man cave.

I went into an announce booth and threw on a pair of headphones while Rick sat in the main studio wrangling Pro Tools–the standard in audio recording software.

With his help I read a half dozen real commercials. Tonight he’ll add some music and other sweetening.

I am neither Hal Douglas nor Rick. My voice is lighter. I tried for a read that is best described as friendly, crisp and precise.

I’m curious to see if my voice technique is better received today than it was when I was in radio. No matter the result it was cool to be back in the studio standing in front of a mic. It was a trip back to my roots.

¹ – Reel? Sorry. Tape is gone. All audio is kept digitally. Old habits die hard. We still ‘dial’ the phone too!