Dog Days of Summer

Baxter and ballSo, what are the dog days of summer? Per Wikipedia…

The dog days or dog days of summer are the hot, sultry days of summer. They were historically the period following the heliacal rising of the star system Sirius, which Hellenistic astrology connected with heat, drought, sudden thunderstorms, lethargy, fever, mad dogs, and bad luck.

Heat for sure. Hopefully we’ll get some thunderstorms here in southern CA. Ideally, we can stay away from fever and bad luck. Lethargy? No time for lethargy.

For many of us who have been working remotely for years, this global quarantine has not really affected our business. I’m as busy as ever – with one significant difference. My status as a seasoned (read mature) voiceover professional with lots of repeat business, referrals, direct hits to my website (24 years young) means that my days of daily marketing are over.

I’m not retiring – why on […]

2020-10-12T23:28:24+00:00October 12th, 2020|Categories: Announcements, Life, Musings|

All good things …yada yada yada

My old Prima 120

Earlier this year before all hell broke loose, I was looking at my work flow and realized that my ISDN unit had been standing idle for several months. The preferred live connection was trending toward Source-Connect and only one lone client was using ISDN – and that client? Not very often.

The monthly cost here in Southern CA was still pretty reasonable – about $60 a month – a far cry from the $600 or more per month in some places. But, when the only client using the unit was also one of my lower paying clients, it just didn’t pencil out.

So, I did it. I pulled the plug and retired my Musicam Prima 120 workhorse. As one of the first voiceover talent in the country to have a personal studio with ISDN I paid for the unit many times […]

2020-10-09T17:36:00+00:00October 9th, 2020|Categories: Announcements, Business, Technology|

Learn to use your Jitterbug Smart!

One of my favorite kinds of projects is training videos. A bunch of short pieces that help someone learn to use a piece of equipment. The challenge is to made each module stand on its own, but also be consistent with all the other videos in a series.

I had a chance to voice 15 or so How-To Videos for the Great Call Jitterbug Smart 2 phone – here is a link to the page where you can listen to one (or all!).

https://www.greatcall.com/support/learningcenter

I am also the voice of the Great Call (now a Best Buy company) voice mail and IVR systems for all of their products and customer support, as well as the voice of their Lively Mobile and Lively Wearable devices.

2020-01-28T18:53:17+00:00January 28th, 2020|Categories: Announcements, Business, Recent Work|

Art and Humanity Wins with New Documentary

Documentary narration is a wonderful thing. I had the opportunity to voice this lovely new program on the amazing person and artist James Hubbell. Titled “James Hubbell: Between Heaven and Earth” – it was aired on KBPS in November of 2019. It is making the festival circuit right now. This is the first couple of minutes.

Here is a link to the entire show – https://www.pbs.org/video/james-hubbell-between-heaven-and-earth-rpgtfk/

2019-12-19T19:00:07+00:00December 19th, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|

Add H&M to the Places Where You Can Hear Me Call Someone to Help You!

 So I checked my email yesterday and found 102 new Call Box announcements for H&M. Again, I have to thank my nearly 20-year client I wrote about recently for this work.

The work isn’t hard, but it has to be done very differently than most VO work.

For example…the announcement you hear is “Customer Assistance to Register 1.” And then you have the same announcement for all 26 registers at the store. That means consistency in the way those words are delivered. The inflections need to be the same – only the register number changes. The intensity and energy need to be the same. And not only the same for that batch of announcements, but for the new ones that come along.

One time I was recording at a client’s facility (before the home studio really became defacto) and they wanted me to record the […]

2019-05-22T20:54:30+00:00May 22nd, 2019|Categories: Announcements, Recording|

Heard in a Store Near You Since the Year 2000.

Walk into any of these stores and you just may hear the sound of my voice calling someone to help you…Fleet Farm, Stop & Shop, Kohl’s, TJ Maxx, Lowe’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and many more.

The best thing about this is not that you get to hear me. No, the best thing is that I have been recording messages for the company that installs the overhead announcement hardware since the beginning of 2000. That’s coming up on 20 years providing voice files nearly every week!

I’ve recorded announcements around from my usual home studio to around the globe in a studio in Italy – my brother’s sound-proof practice room in Germany – make-shift pillow forts in hotels – and the basement of my mother’s house in New York […]

2019-05-13T18:31:42+00:00May 13th, 2019|Categories: Announcements, Business, Recent Work|

Human Error? Who Pays?

So, what were you doing during the great Facebook outage of March 2019? Did you have withdrawals? Think about the paying advertisers! They lost their access to their targets for more than 20 hours.

 

So, who should pay for the lost opportunities. Facebook says it was human error – a line of stray code perhaps. S*#t happens. But any web developer worth their salt does upgrades/fixes/changes on off hours. Hard to find an off hour when you have global reach. 
Here’s an opinion piece on the subject – that feels that Facebook must be accountable for the blackout.
 
2019-03-22T19:07:14+00:00March 22nd, 2019|Categories: Advertising, Announcements, Business, Musings|

Interactive Programming Is Here To Stay?

Did you get into the interactive film “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch?”

I didn’t, but I guess it is another technological wave that will wash over us and become part of our every day experience.

Today’s writers and producers have to stay ahead of things and see around the corner. A lot of them are creating the corners. They are just wired that way.

As an early adapter of technology (my first computer was a Kaypro), I can speak first hand about the importance of staying at least abreast of current trends. Using common sense to see what is going to stick and what is just a passing fad.

We are used to interactive gaming, so why not interactive programming. Here’s an article from MediaPost about Netflix’s latest venture – https://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/333406/netflix-leans-into-interactive-programming-with-y.html?

My personal video watching is pretty passive though, so for me, I don’t know that I’ll be pressing for […]

2019-03-20T16:03:37+00:00March 20th, 2019|Categories: Musings, Technology|

Branding…What is it Good For?

We talk a lot about branding. The IMPORTANCE of branding. We spend a lot of money on branding. But do we need to?

What if we know what we do well. Charge a fair price for it. And get it into the hands of the people who want to buy what we have to sell.

I know, easier said than done. But sometimes I think may people spend time and money trying to establish a brand, when they should be creating a relationship with their target market.

Yes, a recognizable logo is important to remind your customers that you are there when they need you, but do we spend thousands of dollars on consultants and panels and testing of our brand? Or do we just do the work…

MediaPost just posted an article – We Are All Frauds: The Way We Advertise Does Not Work – […]

2019-02-25T16:50:53+00:00February 25th, 2019|Categories: Advertising, Business, Marketing|

Ads on Apps – on a small screen near you!

So, I started (or rather restarted) playing a Facebook game a few weeks ago. And the biggest thing I have noticed (besides the much improved speed of computers and Internet connections these days) is the in-app advertising. Because this particular app is tied to your Facebook login, it seems to know what you are thinking and targets ads pretty specifically.

If you want more energy or some extra money – you can sit through an ad or two or three. Now, I play the game with the sound turned off, so I am only seeing the ad, but I get the point and find that I DO occasionally click for more information.

In-app video ad spending has increased dramatically in the past year. According to an article in MediaPost –  “the ad format saw more than 200% growth from the fourth quarter 2017 […]

2019-02-21T17:41:19+00:00February 21st, 2019|Categories: Advertising, Announcements, Business, Marketing|
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