Saturday, November 29, 2008

V-U Member, Craig Travasso safe in Mumbai.

hey Zurek

Thanks fr inquiring... really means alot.

The situation has improved and normalcy is being restored.

Thx be To Jesus, me and my family have been safe

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Splinter Cell Voice Actor Among Injured In Mumbai

Source: CBC

Canadian actor Michael Rudder "took three bullets" during the Mumbai attacks, but is now stable and recovering in hospital, according to an organizer of the spiritual retreat the Montreal performer had enrolled in.

Rudder had been in the restaurant of the Oberoi Hotel when militants stormed in, Bobbie Garvey, vice-president of the U.S.-based Synchronicity Foundation, told CBC News on Thursday afternoon.

After being hit by three bullets, Rudder "was taken to the hospital. He did have surgery [that was] very successful. He was in intensive care for a little while, but he is very stable and he is healing at the moment," she added.

Rudder was one of two Canadians from the Synchronicity delegation wounded in the attacks.

Yoga teacher Helen Connolly of Markham, Ont., was grazed by a bullet during the Wednesday attacks.

"She's absolutely fine. She's staying with one of our Indian host families right now, getting ready to come back to Canada," Garvey said.

Rudder is a voice actor who has played roles in cartoons, commercials and video games, including top sellers Assassin's Creed and Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3. He has also performed in the animated PBS series Postcards From Buster.

Throughout his career, he has also worked in theatre, television and film, receiving a 1989 Genie Award nomination for best-supporting actor for the film Buying Time — a movie about young thieves ordered to perform community service in a seniors residence.

Altogether, there were about two dozen people in the Synchronicity meditation group, Garvey said, including Rudder, Connolly and two individuals from British Columbia who remain in Mumbai.

Larry and Bernie Koftinoff, of Kelowna, B.C., were reportedly stuck on the 16th floor of the 333-room Oberoi Hotel, waiting for authorities to rescue them.

"Some of the people in their group had gone to dinner down in the lobby of the hotel when the terrorists came in," said their daughter, Maya Koftinoff, in a telephone interview from Kelowna. "I think two of them were shot."

Koftinoff said she was worried after hours went by without hearing from her parents, but that the couple has since left the hotel and sought refuge at a nearby temple.

Voice Actor Scammed!?!?!

From: Debbie Munro

Here is a story I thought you might be interested in posting….this is a heart breaking story catered more to film but ALL actors need to read this…he will be doing an interview with 20/20 next week. Had been involved in a homicide investigation for the past three weeks…and has been contacted from a media frenzy in the US so this is turning into a big deal….I’ll be helping him through this as this is overwhelming what’s transpired as a result…movie and book deals etc…but I want you to share this because of the message it has for the acting community to protect themselves…thanks guys

Read more here~~>

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Voiceover was a land unexplored for the new Dora

By BRUCE SHIPKOWSKI • Associated Press • November 29, 2008

All Caitlin Sanchez needs to say is "Swiper, no swiping!" Or to summon the powers of her magical backpack.

Sanchez is the new voice of "Dora the Explorer," one of the world's most popular cartoons for preschoolers. She has always enjoyed music and acting, but never expected to be talking to Boots the Monkey, Swiper the Fox, The Map and other characters who appear regularly on Dora's cartoon adventures.

"When my mother called me on the phone and told me I got [the part], I really didn't believe it at first," Sanchez said. It's the first cast change in Dora's voice since the Nickelodeon cable show debuted in 2000 (the original voice of Dora, Kathleen Herles, is now 17 and in college).

The show is broadcast worldwide and translated in 24 languages, entertaining millions of preschoolers. On the show, the 7-year-old Latina heroine and her band of animal friends take their audience along on their quests in an imaginative, tropical world filled with jungles, beaches and rain forests. During their travels, they ask their audience to help them solve the various problems they encounter.

Sanchez, who has been acting professionally for nearly five years, does the English- and Spanish-speaking parts for Dora on the new season of shows being broadcast in the United States. She has long been a fan of "Dora," and feels honored to be a part of the show. "Dora really is an international icon to preschoolers and a really good role model, so it's neat to see how she has spread across the globe and become so popular," said Sanchez.

Sanchez, who lives in Fairview, soon learned that doing voiceover work isn't a simple task.
"With each script, you're saying the lines and doing the songs a lot of times -- they want me to use different inflections, to do things in different ways so they can decide what they like best," she said.

In this season's shows, Dora meets friends from different cultural backgrounds (French, Mayan, Guatemalan, German and more) who teach her special skills. Dora also uses more math to help solve problems.

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Friday, November 28, 2008

"But wait!" this may be the answer to your studio

"On the loooove boat" were the four words that caught my attention from 80's network voice, Ernie Anderson. Ernie would sit with his shotgun mic right next to the sound guy... by the console voicing promos.

Since then, we've come a long ways, and have graduated to the quite recording booths, but some of us are still what's called, "ballers on a budget, or the simple acronym B.O.B. just may suit us. "But wait," this is sure to get your attention...

I was watching CNN news (Mumbai's sad news) and a commercial came on, "Twin Draft Guard can save your electricity bill," that alone had me all ears. As I continued to watch I thought about my huge FPL bill (Florida Power & Light), and studio (closet), and the Twin Draft Guard's promise to keep air out the room.

I thought, "well, the quiet recording booth is out of my budget, soooo maybe, just maybe for $19.99 the Twin Draft Guard can at least control a little noise." Then I heard, "But wait... You can have the TDG Door hooks as an added bonus," I had to laugh at that point about the "but wait" hook... It never fails.

Though this will NOT be an answer to a quiet recording booth, it most certainly will be better than the untimely sound of nature in the background. For $19.99 I will try it an let you know if it works, but you can check it out for yourselves at

"But wait," if that doesn't work, Voiceover Universe member, S. Michael Leier uses some cool pipe foam thingy from home depot.

Good luck, B.O.B's!


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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Gator shoes or purse, anyone?

On our way to Naples, FL for the Thanksgiving holidays, we saw "real" Florida gators in the infamous alligator alley (I-75 N) and route 29! Luckily for us the gators were full;)


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Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Ever since Joe Cipriano shared he and Beau Weaver's use of Akalol, I have been seeking it. I bumped into it at a hospital pharmacy. No more worries about clearing my throat now:)

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Ladie Mo$t & Tahir "Make it rain" in the VO biz.

When I first heard Ladie Mo$t on the radio voicing a night club spot I said, "Who in the world is that," and I say this in a good way. Now-a-days some people just don't hit home runs when selling a product, but Ladie Most was knockin em' out the park, and driving them into the night clubs. Today as a full fledged voice actor... her moves have been strategically on point.

In almost 2 years, Ladie Mo$t has landed Narration, Animation, Radio Imaging, Promos, Commercial and Audio book gigs, this is not always easy to accomplish. One would never know because she remains quiet about her quick accomplishments. When asked if she even see's her rapid growth, she simply explains, "I've started with a Pinto, upgraded to KIA, then a Toyota and the Ford will soon be replaced with a GINA... BMW's concept drop top... soon!" Though this is her analogy about her growth... it holds truth.

Something else you may not know, Ladie Mo$t's son, Tahir has been following in his mom's foot steps. Normally we see him making cameos with his mom on her V-U TV page, well a few months ago Tahir landed a huge Sesame street animation gig, and was so excited to receive his first paycheck, he asked mom to cash it right away so that he could "make it rain." And rain it did! So much so, Six year old Tahir took his mom out to a fine Miami Beach restaurant... and desert.

Tahir makes the dollars rain on him

As Ladie Mo$t and Tahir continue to "make it rain" in the VO biz, she says that it's really what they naturally love to do... make people smile.


Friday, November 21, 2008

"Hello, ZUREK"

It's been said, "If a man at 20 yrs old see's life the same as he did 20 years ago, he has wasted 20 years of his life." Things change, people change, and time changes by the second. 20 years ago I received a pay check to rock the mic in radio, 20 years later, I have no desire to even visit a radio station.

On the weekend of November 14, 2008, I spent my weekend training with Marice Tobias for promo/trailer, and it was nothing like I expected... in fact... it was a life changing experience. During that weekend I discovered, to tell a story.... you must first become part of it. There have been times when ZUREK has been dead on, and other times when
"Rick Party" just didn't get it. When you live your life in character, sometimes you lose who you really are.

I almost lost someone...

My car radio stopped working a year ago, and I never bothered to fix it. The sound of nature pressing against my windshield has been music to my ears, and it has never sounded as good as it does today. For the past year, I've noticed many things when I drive... things that have always been there, but you just don't notice when the true sound of music is not playing. While listening to this beautiful music I have also slowly re-discovered
ZUREK, and as the spotlight has dimmed on "Rick Party," it was now time for the rightful owner to rock his own mic (crowd silent), and to make it official, a dear friend agreed and Marice Tobias said, "I love it! So much more distinctive and mysterious, which is sooo you. And, it's an iconic name for the future."

So without further ado, I introduce you to me.... ZUREK (my real name), and Rick Party has officially left the building (crowd cheers and follows him OUT the door.)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Good times, and great VO friends in NYC

November 15-16, 2008 (NYC)- I had the pleasure of studying with the great, Marice Tobias in NYC. Though Marice is a New Yorker who lives in LA, she is known world wide, and her presence... for me... was that of a modern day goddess. After the weekend w/Marice, it leaves you with a whole new outlook on the art. My class mates included; Bob Souer, Melissa X, Anthony Mendez, Mary McKitrick, Big Michael Kaufman, Mike Goral, Marian Massaro, Dan Taylor, John Beach, John Rivers and Barry Zate.

The Weekend closed with us hangin' out for eats on 21st w/ Bob Souer, Melissa X, Erik Sheppard, and Diane Havens & her husband, John.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Cool Kids

When I'm not busy water skiing over sharks in my leather jacket or starting jukeboxes with my fists, sometimes I hang out with the other cool kids just to see what kind of trouble we can get into.1 "The Man" is always trying to take away our microphones but they just better watch out who they're messin with.

The gang, smoking behind the school after the Marice Tobias workshop on Sunday:

pictured: Bob "The Knife" Souer,2 Melissa "Ex-con" Exelberth, Trish "Stiletto" Basanyi, Diane "Spike" Havens, John "Brass Knuckles" Havens, Rick "Killer" Party.
1. Take that society!
2. Bob appears courtesy of The Bob Souer World Tour™


Six-and-a-half weeks till the end of the year.


Being a procrastinator of a high order of the Melchizedek priesthood, those words STING.

But have you ever heard the admonition that if you publicly declare your intentions, the fear of the embarrassment, then, of not achieving said ballyhoo'd goals is motivation for actually DOING them?

Herewith, then, my list Voice-Acting goals before January 1st, 2009.

1) Notify all clients who have outstanding invoices for work done before Dec 5th that I'd like to collect before the end of the year.

2) Write and send at least two more newsletters.

3) Send out at least 30 new auditions in answer to leads from online sites, agents, referrals, or cold-calls.

4) Approach at least 10 audiobook publishers for the possibility of sending them a demo.

5) Check on all my buds at the VO-BB daily.

6) Write at least one or two blogs daily (duh!).

7) Take at least one more class or phone session with a voice coach.

8) Begin my bookkeeping for next year's tax deadline (that's BEGIN...'cause nah, I haven't done anything with that yet).

9) Write at least one more article for RainRecording.

10) Do a retrospective of my 2008 voice-acting New Year's resolutions.


Now, keep in mind, that's just my voice-acting personal agenda is off the charts, 'cause for the first year in many, the Courvo's are having all the families come HERE for a Vegas Christmas, instead of us all traveling to see pressure for preparations HERE.

So....what're you up to?


(re-posted from Voice-Acting in Vegas)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Can video chat be the wave of the "recording session" future?

We've come a long ways since the days of speaker phone sessions, Now we're in the age of ISDN and Source Connect (IP-to-IP). So many others have tried to crack through, but it seems like with the introduction to some great, quality video chats... the tide may be turning.

Some of us gear heads have enjoyed pretty decent Skype sessions, now Google, made famous for it's search engine, incredible mergers and it's huge success with adsense, has now become a chief competitor in the video chat arena. On November 11, 2008 the downloads for the video chat have been "Off the richter scale!" If you're a "Gmail" user, who knows, maybe the idea of video chat will really catch on, Unless George Whittam beats em' to it with the re-introduction of the "The Don."

Check out Google's video chat for yourself

Why aren't enough women heard on Trailers?

Source: Variety

Don LaFontaine, "The King of Voiceovers" held a virtual monopoly over the narration of bigtime movie trailers until his death Sept. 1, had a clear idea of who his successor should be -- God's voice, he said, should belong to a woman.

"I think women are vastly underrepresented in this area," LaFontaine told me in 2006. "You'd think that for films directly aimed at women, chick flicks, the logical choice would be for a woman to narrate the trailer. But studios hold focus groups and the people in them, women included, seem to prefer the male voice."

Two years later, little has changed. Movie trailers remain largely unaffected by feminism's march, with growly baritones like those of Andy Geller and Ashton Smith seeming the likely replacements for LaFontaine's wizened authority. Women, who make up a small fraction of the trailer voice talent pool (William Morris reps three female trailer voices compared with 33 males, according to its website), remain almost exclusively confined to TV, radio and DVD trailer spots. The reason isn't so much gender equality, apparently, as it is resistance to change among the moviegoing public -- male and female.

"Audiences, including females, are so used to hearing a male voice that when they hear a female voice they think something is wrong," says Michael Camp, creative advertising executive at 20th Century Fox. He, like many interviewed for this article, is in favor of hearing more female voices in movie theaters. But he says it's "always a fight" trying to get a female voice approved for a trailer, even for more female-friendly TV spots.

"The public is finicky, and it takes them a while to trust voices they aren't used to hearing," says Camp. "And the voice they were used to for many years was Don's."

On the rare occasion that trailer houses suggest using a female voice, studios often nix the idea. "A female voice might take away from the content of the trailer," says producer Christine Peters ("How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days"). "If the industry does transition to more frequently using female voiceovers, I imagine it will take the audience awhile to get used to it."

A notable exception to the rule was the trailer for Jerry Bruckheimer's high-octane "Gone in Sixty Seconds" (2000). Voiced by the sultry-toned Melissa Disney (widely regarded as the most successful female voice artist working today), the trailer is cited as the one example of where a feminine intonation actually worked.

"The few movies that women have worked on tend to be the high-testosterone movies," notes Jason Marks of Jason Marks Talent Management, who specializes in representing trailer and promo voiceover artists. Marks thinks action movies, not chick flicks or romantic comedies, present more fertile ground for his female talent.

Even though the odds seem against them, voice actresses are optimistically chipping away at the glass ceiling. Debi Mae West, whose voice has been heard on NBC, Starz and AMC, recalls that after Disney's "Sixty Seconds" work, she found herself being invited to "scratch" more trailers. Scratching is industry lingo for when trailer houses invite voiceover artists to voice a spec trailer, which is then submitted to the studio. The winning submission is then "finished" by the trailer house.

The competitive nature of pitching means trailer houses are often pressured to present safe, salable options, which means female voices are risky. "There might be three other trailer houses trying to get the same job, so often it's a matter of staying within the comfort zone," says West. "But people are starting to realize that women can really sell the sexiness of a film. Women are a lot softer and less showy, and trailers seem to be moving in that more conversational, less in-your-face read anyway."

And even if women still aren't actually getting the bigtime jobs (LaFontaine was said to earn $10 million per year), "scratching, at the very least, means you're on the radar," says voice actress Sylvia Villagran, whose voice is regularly heard on MTV, NBC and Mundos. "Of course, the ideal would be to go from scratching to finishing -- but I guess it's one step at a time."

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Voiceover Universe reaches 2000 members in 6 1/2 months.

Voiceover Universe's first Milestone was the 1,000 member mark ushered in by Alexx Dupri in July 2008. This week V U celebrates it's quick success with the talented Linda Bard as member 2000. National clients like Microsoft, Revlon and McDonald's, appreciate her enthusiasm, directability and cold-reading skills. Voice jobs are turned around with surprising speed and broadcast quality in her state of the art digital studio, complete with ISDN. With over 20 years of experience doing voiceover work, Linda saves you time in the studio and conveys your message with style!

Read More

Hounsou to lend voice to Black Panther

NEW YORK, Nov. 11 (UPI) -- Actor Djimon Hounsou has signed on to lend his voice to the superhero the Black Panther in an animated series, BET Networks and Marvel Animation said.

The show is slated to premiere in 2009 and will be adapted directly from the first six issues of the Marvel Comic written by Reginald Hudlin.

"BET is thrilled to have Djimon Hounsou join us as the voice of the Black Panther," Denys Cowan, senior vice president of animation for BET Networks, said in a statement. "He is a talented, compelling actor who will be the perfect voice for such an important superhero in the Marvel universe and such a moment in this historic environment."

"Having Djimon Hounsou voice the lead character in this new series speaks to the power of the character and the partnership between BET and Marvel Animation," added Eric Rollman, president of Marvel Animation. "The Black Panther animated series is Marvel's entree into prime-time animation and Djimon raises the bar for all involved as we bring the best in the animation business together to execute on that vision."

"It's a blessing for African-Americans and minorities to have a superhero they can identify with," said Hounsou, who was born in the African nation of Benin. "While the Black Panther is a powerful force for good, he is also a respected world leader who takes pride in his African heritage. He embodies the past and future of his culture, demonstrating the endless possibilities of an Africa that is truly free."

Hounsou is best known for his work in "Amistad," Gladiator," "In America" and "Blood Diamond."

Source: news

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


A picture is worth a thousand words...being a part of history made me speachless...being in the same space and time with The Great and Legendary "Don Morrow"...Priceless!!! After hearing soooo many Great things about Don Morrow, my expectations were met far beyond what I experienced.

Ok just gotta tell you that excitement was an understatement! I couldn't care less about the jet-lag or difference in time zones because I woke up every hour on the hour checking the time and finally at 6:20am-PT I just had to call I called my Ma-Dukes []

I arrived early at Nakamoto Studios in Sacramento, CA with Luis Garcia [workshop organizer, engineer and voice-actor] before anyone else and it felt like being early for the first day of school [as this workshop would be my very first formal voiceover class ever! Which happened to be Don Morrow's first workshop ever too!!!]. Soon after, in walks the Legendary VO Pioneer himself, Don Morrow, [of course I didn't know it was him because people don't always look like their pictures ;-) ] he comes over to me and asks my name and I say "Ladie Mo$t" and he says "Ladie who?" I'm like "Ladie Mo$t" and he goes "OH! LADIE M-O-$-T!" and then he says "I'M DON" and shakes my hand...then the magic of "HISTORY" in the making began!
Please let me say that Don Morrow is as sharp as a tack and as fresh set of miracle blades!!! From his demanor to his attire and all of his Life's experiences in between!!!! [you're the Man Don!!! lol]


Holiday Magic 2008 CD Needs Submissions

Hey guys, I know this is kind of last minute but please try to make some time to help this guy out. It really is a worthy cause:
Wanted: The finest and most generous voice actors and singers! GelderHead Productions is now accepting submissions for the sixth edition CD of Holiday Magic 2008, A Gift for Children of all Ages, a holiday recording to brighten the holidays of the children and their siblings at Children's Hospitals. CD's will be distributed in December. Please submit a song, story, riddle or rhyme, anything that welcomes Holiday time! Please make it less than four minutes. Character voices are encouraged. All entries must be complete and fully recorded for use. The top 15-20 will be selected based on creativity, generosity and theme and will receive artist exposure, be included on the CD with acknowledgments, receive a copy of the CD and receive the GelderHead Award of Excellence for Creativity and Generosity.

Holiday Magic 2007 was a huge success with great talent and 1500 copies going to five Children's Hospitals in San Diego, Orange County, Milwaukee, Miami, and Albuquerque for the children spending their holidays in the hospital, and their siblings.

Deadline for submissions is Friday November 7th, 2008
Send e-mail to: or call 619-795-1740.

Jeff is kind enough to put together and print up thousands of these CDs and distribute them free of charge to sick children who have the misfortune of being in the hospital during the Holidays. I was on last years CD and was given a copy and he really puts together a top notch product for them. The deadline is looming so, if you have the time, please consider producing something nice and sending it off to him to help brighten the season for those who could use it.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Time to pack it in?

So, you’ve been trying for a while now to make some money doing voiceovers, right? You’d read on a website about all the money people make doing voiceovers. All your life people have told you that you have a nice voice and you really should be “on the radio” or a “voiceover person.” You know how to talk, so how hard can it be?


After hundreds of dollars spent getting a demo made. Hundreds more having a website designed and hosted. And joining Internet casting sites. And doing dozens, even hundreds of auditions through those sites. You’ve tried low-balling the price. You’ve tried raising the price. And what do you have to show for it? Zip? Maybe a few hundred dollars?


What now? You’ve heard that “winners never quit and quitters never win,” but you’re wondering how much more money you have to sink into your voiceover “career” before you start making those big bucks?

Well, where ever you are on the road I’ve just described, please believe me; the vast majority of people trying to make money doing voiceovers never do. Yes, the vast majority. And there are lots of folks who will happily take your money to “train you for a professional voiceover career” or “create that killer demo” or whatever. Maybe you’ve already met some of them?

Being successful in voiceover requires a host of skills, only some of which have anything to do with talking into a microphone. If you don’t succeed it’s both because and not because of the competition. There’s always someone more experienced, more talented and more driven than you are. Always. Someone with a better voice. A better demo. A better agent. Or something.

You can make excuses all day long. None of them amount to a hill of beans, except for the way they block you from actually getting where you want to go.

So, here are some concrete suggestions from a guy who’s learned more than a few things the hard way…

Don’t sign up for the first training opportunity you find. At least, don’t sign up until you’ve checked to see if the person doing the training actually knows his or her stuff. And until you’ve checked to see if the prices being charged are reasonable. In many cases, you’d be far better off taking an acting or improv class at the local community college. And then some singing lessons. If you have talent for voiceover work, you’ll learn everything you really need (except microphone technique) in theatre and singing classes.

Don’t make a demo until you’ve spent at least a few months listening to the demos of top notch working professionals. Here, I’ll save you the trouble of finding them. Click this link. That’s the Union/International house reels for voiceover talent agents. As you can see and hear, there are hundreds of people in line ahead of you. Actually, it’s not hundreds. It’s thousands.

Don’t build a website until you have a demo worth promoting. And when you build the site, again, don’t go with the first person you meet who can code a little html. Has this designer ever worked on a site for a voiceover person, or even an actor, before? Look at the sites. Look at lots of sites from other voiceover people. Take note of what you like and what you don’t like. Discuss these with your designer. Or, do what I did. Find a template you like, study some html, and build your own.

Are you depressed yet? Look, I’m deliberately trying to splash some cold water on your face because at some point you have to examine the question: is it time for me to quit this and get back to doing something else with my life?

Bonnie Gillespie is a brilliant Hollywood casting director, mainly for independent films. She writes a weekly column for Showfax called The Actor’s Voice. This blog post was prompted by reading Bonnie’s column from October 16, 2006. While as usual with her column, the focus is on Hollywood actors, the lessons apply to all of us who earn our trade acting with our voices in places other than Hollywood. As Bonnie writes…
What I’m hoping to provide here is a nice little kick in the butt for those of you who hem and haw about leaving the biz. To paraphrase Yoda: Leave or leave not. There is no whine.
And this is, I think, the money quote…
Remember that what you do as an actor most of the time is pursue work. So I’m not talking about finding yourself jealous of those who are succeeding in ways you were not. That doesn’t count. That’s like being an astronomer and finding yourself jealous that you didn’t discover a new planet. Very, very, very few people have the level of success that draws people to the pursuit of acting in a major market. If you cannot be happy pursuing the work, improving your craft, and building relationships in this industry, you absolutely should consider packing it in…
Take a long hard look at reality. Are you putting your family in jeopardy? Are you spending too much time and money on this dream of voiceover success? Do you truly understand in your bones that voiceover work, like any other kind of acting work, is mainly finding work? This is a marketing and sales job far more than it’s a “talk into the microphone” job.

So, how are you doing? I’d love to read your thoughts and experiences. All it takes is for you to leave a comment.


   More than half-way there.  I doubt if I'll live to I'm more than half-way there.

We Americans love to get caught up in our "busyness".  When I'm in the zone of work -- both in my TV job and my voice acting...I can ALWAYS find something to do.  Always.  My list is a mile long.

But what's really important?  Will I leave any kind of legacy?  Do I want to leave a legacy?  Does it matter?

I never met my paternal grandfather.  He was a Swiss poster artist in Geneva circa 1910-1935.  He died of heart failure at 52.  What he left us grandchildren, though, was a rich cache of his artwork.  Sketches, oils, posters, and stained-glass.  I'm grateful he chose to leave a legacy.  It's all I have of him.

So, again, what's my legacy?  My writing?  My voice-files?  Maybe it's worth it to someone.  Will it last? A couple of generations, but...doubtful for much longer.  How many billions of human beings have lived and died and left a lasting legacy?  Maybe .01%.  Newton, da Vinci, Geghis Kahn, Lincoln.

Thanks for reading this far.  I'm rambling a bit. 

My point:  Since it's doubtful I will leave a lasting legacy, I prefer to exist in a living legacy of service.  This is good for me, good for my family and friends, and good for my clients.  My constant stance is/should be:  "What can I do for you?".

There are other words for this:  mentoring, volunteering, ministering, mission... being "of service" takes the focus off YOU and your worries, and puts energy into putting something or someone else first.... and it's its own reward.  Fulfilling.

Try it.


Time to Cowell yourself

by: Philip Banks

I've never watched an entire edition of TV Idol, Idle Idol, America's got Talent? X Factor, SPF factor 50 or any other programme involving Simon Cowell but if you read or hear the opinions of people who have been subjected to his "feedback", he is rude, arrogant, mean, nasty, too honest!

"Hi Simon I'm the singing star of the future" Ignore the publicity hype and the trying to make good TV then listen, listen carefully.

"Well Philip, you're NOT and here's the reason why ........."

OH NO! Simon was rude, arrogant, mean and nasty wasn't he? You heard him didn't you? The git! No he wasn't. I presented myself to him as a money making proposition and he told me clearly why that was not the case. If there was a chance I could make it he'd throw his money and the power of his media empire behind launching my career.

Today, find a quiet corner and close your eyes. You're sat in front of Simon Cowell or someone in the voice over world who will tell you clearly and honestly where you are likely to be headed. Tell him you're plans and listen to what he says about them. Your expert knows the Voice Over world inside out, he's going to be signing you to his management company to get 20% of your income, are you worth it? Tell him about the seminars, coaching programmes you've attended and see if he cares. Tell him about the books you've read and the genuine 1973 compressor with the 1964 tubes and see if he just blinks, shakes his head and says "so what?"

Last chance. You're stood in front of him in a rehearsal room. There's you, 10 feet of space between you and Simon. No music bed, compression, demo producer, opportunity to edit, accoustic treatment and Simon smiles at you, looks you straight in the eyes and says, softly and kindly.

"Ok. Let me hear you"


"OUT" with announcers & "IN" with the guy/gal-next-door.

by: Michelle Summers

It is no longer necessary to have that deep, booming, announcery voice of God in order to have a successful career in the voice over world. In fact - we are finding that talent who book the most of our jobs these days tend to have that guy/gal-next-door sound... More and more we are hearing words like: quirky, friendly, conversational, hip, confident, believable, youthful, unique, real-person, trustworthy and approachable when clients are describing the voice they want for their projects.

Another trend we seem to be seeing a lot these days is the voice of the celebrity. Many clients don't have the budget to use "real" celebrity voices so they tend to ask us for sound-alikes. We keep hearing we want a George Clooney type or other actor or actress type when they are describing that perfect voice for their project.

The art of voice over no longer lies in how great of a voice you have... How deep, booming and articulate your voice is... Or even how long you have been in the industry... The "golden rule" - that "secret" to the perfect voice - that "magical key" to getting booked is simple! It lies within the following skills: acting, improvisation, confidence, knowing who your character is and what they are feeling then conveying it all within the script.

Before you audition for a project, look at your script closely... Who is your character? Who are you talking to? If you don't know, make it up! Improvise! What feelings are you trying to instill? Is there action within the script? If so, move your body to reflect the actions of the character you are reading - it provides that umph! Really put yourself into what you are doing and feel confident about what you are doing!

If you aren't sure what to do even after reading the specs of a script - call your agent & ask for guidance. Go over the script with the agent and see what their thoughts are. More times then not, they know the client well and what they are looking for or have booked in the past. It's your agents job to be there for you, guide you, help you, work with you!

So these are just some of my thoughts as to what experiences I have had in the last 10 years... Does this mean that if you have a deep booming voice that you are not going to get booked? No, it just means that you have to work a little harder... You have to get more creative with your marketing... You have to research more... Figure out where your niche is and market to the clients who are using those types of voices. Audition for projects that are right for your voice instead of spinning your wheels on projects where the client isn't looking for your kind of voice.

Just because the industry trend is that younger, guy/gal-next-door voice doesn't mean that the deep booming voice isn't getting booked any longer - it just means that more and more clients tend to lean in that direction. And, as you all know - the industry is constantly changing and many time clients don't even really know what they want until they hear it. We have to learn to mold, grow and change our voices and techniques with the winds of change. The more voices you have in your repertoire... The more versatility you have... The more confident you are in your voice... The more acting, improvisation and coaching classes you attend... The more you stay on top of industry trends... The more you are going to work.

Losing weight and your voice.

by: Frederick Anthony

I narrate a national car show called Steel Dreams. Although I have recently wrapped this project, I did notice something great about it towards the end of it; The effect of weight loss on my voice.

When I started the project a year ago, I weighed 252 lbs. Not that bad for someone who is 6'6", but not great either. Technically, I was overweight by nearly 30 lbs. About 10 weeks ago, I decided to get into shape. Since then I have lost 25 lbs. The affect on my voice has been very positive.

I thought about it for a while and I think the main reason might be stamina. In the course of getting in shape, I've developed better "wind". (don't be crude, you know what I mean) Basically, my lungs are stronger and I can take deeper breaths. Additionally, my circulation and blood pressure are waaaaay better, giving me more staying power at the mic. I would also like to add that my stress level has dropped tremendously over the course of these 10 weeks and perhaps this is the greatest contribution getting in shape has on your voice. Lower stress always sounds better in the final product.

So, if you are looking for a way to make your performances "up a level", I suggest you start with your body. Hope this inspires someone to get healthy.

Take care,

Delta Airlines - Knight Mediacom. Ron Knight's Voice helps 8 million people "get comfy" in the skies, every month.

by: Ron Knight

Well, this press release was a nice new thing to wake up to this Saturday Morning...
just finishing my coffee....



Delta Airlines - Knight Mediacom - Ron Knight, voice and host


Press Release Delta Airlines - Knight Mediacom

Ron Knight's background with satellite radio, world music record labels, rhythm camps and more are in his bio below. Our favorite Delta bio is listed first.


Delta Air Lines operates service to more worldwide destinations than any airline. We offer flights to 500 destinations in 105 countries on Delta, the Delta Connection® carriers, and our SkyTeam and worldwide codeshare partners.

Delta's Force for Global Good

Our Mission: We—Delta's employees, customers, and community partners—together form a force for positive local and global change, dedicated to bettering standards of living and the environment where we and our customers live and work. We are Delta's Force for Global Good.

Delta's programs support charities including;
The Conservation Fund
Breast Cancer Research Foundation
Habitat for Humanity

"We came to see Ghana; we saw Ghana;
we served, together, in Ghana.
We not only "helped build it" in Ghana,
Ghana helped build us."

- Yohance L Mitchell, Team Leader on Delta's Force Ghana project


As a voice talent, host and music publisher that spent years acquiring various artists music for distribution on his own world music label and others, Ron Knight was well prepared for the dawn of the satellite radio boom. His marketing and music experience make for a nice resume, but his voice as host of world music shows, national marketing campaigns, and now "Destination: The World" will ring familiar with many of the 8.5 million passengers exposed to each show.

Regarded as one of the first "pioneers" in broadcast history during the first advent of satellite radio broadcasting, Mr. Knight was the first in North America to program and host a commercially viable 24/7 format in traditional and contemporary World Music, heard as the channel "Horizons" on Sirius Radio.

As the on air host of Horizons, A&E, Inside Sirius and other talk formats, Ron led the way for many World Music artists to have their say and commentary in a most interesting talk and performance broadcast format. Aside from his World Music credentials, Ron has been heard as the national voice of the Travel Channel, in addition to Nickelodeon, ABC Wide World of Sports and other national broadcast brands.

With an educational and intrapersonal goal to help a domestic culture have their own experience with World culture and rhythm, Ron became trained as a Remo Certified Drum Circles Facilitator; so that groups, communities and corporate teams could experience team building and empowerment through their own interiorized sense of "global cultural rhythms" in discovery of their own musicology and communication skills.

As a musician, composer, band leader and educator, Mr. Knight has led the 12 piece horn band VMB, a showcase revue of 70's vintage horn based jazz, rock and soul, and boasts studies in music scoring and arrangement for motion picture and multimedia with the late Mr. Buddy Baker of Walt Disney Studios.

Top 3 Reasons Why Your Voice Isn't Strong

Eric Arceneaux is a singer/vocalist and really knows his stuff! The same vocal exercises that apply to singers applies to voice actors.