Voiceover Career Event in NYC on September 22nd


For Immediate Release

That's Voiceover (banner coutesy Push Creative Entertainment)


In New York, NY on September 22, 2010, an expert panel of top voice-over actors, talent agents and ad executives will provide a crash course for those seeking careers in the exciting world of voiceover acting. And one lucky audience member will win a chance to become the voice of an on-air TV promo for a network station and win Hollywood representation with TGMD Talent Agency. Proceeds from the event benefit the Alzheimer’s Association.

Author of Secrets of Voice-Over Success, Joan Baker and Late Night with David Letterman announcer, Alan Kalter host an entertaining evening of information, an American Idol-styled audition (complete with industry executives as judges) and a chance for job seekers to meet the industry buyers who provide the jobs.

Attendees will also meet and hear from the talented voices behind TV and radio ads for THE E-TRADE BABY, THE SIMPSONS, LAW & ORDER, THE OSCARS and EMMYS, DEAL or NO DEAL, AMERICAN IDOL, the NBC OLYMPIC GAMES, HBO, SHOWTIME, VERIZON WIRELESS and many others. These consummate pros will separate the facts from the fictions about breaking into the voiceover biz. Even seasoned voiceover actors will find incredible guidance as the conversation will include best practices for enhancing careers in an industry of changing trends.

AFTRA, BACK STAGE Magazine, Neumann USA, Voicebank.Net, Dale Pro Audio, and TGMD Talent Agency are major sponsors in what has been a growing effort by Push Creative Advertising to expand employment opportunities in the exciting and often lucrative field of voiceover acting. And, as is the case with Joan Baker’s breakthrough book, Secrets of Voice-Over Success, proceeds from this event will benefit the Alzheimer’s Association.

Voiceover acting has long been the most intriguing, anonymous and off-the-radar crafts in the entertainment industry. But the surprisingly large interest among people from all walks of life has been slowly encouraging industry insiders like Emmy Award-winning producer and CEO of Push Creative Advertising, Rudy Gaskins to respond to the need. Says GASKINS, “It pretty much began with Joan Baker’s Secrets of Voice-over Success (foreword by David Hyde Pierce). This book is the first to provide a practical, step by step guide through the eyes of numerous successful voiceover actors, including the late great DON LA FONTAINE, Tony Award-winner, JIM DALE, Emmy Award-winner RICHARD THOMAS, radio personality VALERIE SMALDONE and JOE CIPRIANO who took home the first annual 2010 DON LAFONTAINE LEGACY AWARD sponsored by PROMAX BDA.”

That's Voiceover (Banner coutesy Push Creative Entertainment)

Other panelists include Bill Ratner (voices on G.I. Joe, Family Guy, Robot Chicken, Mass Effect), Tor Myhren, CCO of Grey Advertising, Miranda Patterson, Creative Director for NBC Universal, and Jeffrey Weinstock, SVP Creative Services for Disney. “In a historically challenging economy where jobs are scarce and people are seeking to diversify their options, we’re bringing together the industry insiders who know what it takes to succeed.” says Gaskins. Joan Baker adds, “THAT’S VOICEOVER is first and foremost a career event. The award of an actual job in this context is an industry first. It bolsters our mission to elevate the conversation and point people in the right direction.”

And this year, thanks to Lee Minard, director of creative services for KLAS CBS Las Vegas, one lucky attendee will win a chance to book an actual job voicing an on-air TV spot. “With top industry executives helming the judges table, attendees will get an unprecedented glimpse into how voices are selected and how to be ready when the call comes their way.” says Gaskins.

Complete event details are available at THATSVOICEOVER.COM and TheTimesCenter.com.

Thanks to Push Creative Entertainment for the press release and images. We previously mentioned this event 8.19.2010 via Twitter.

~ Craig “Voiceroy” Crumpton
Publisher: Voice Actors in the News

New York Times Interviews Movie Trailer Voices


The New York Times has an feature article on movie trailer voices, interviewing Hal Douglas, Don Morrow, Bill Ratner, and Marice Tobias.

The article, which includes a recent photo of Hal recording in the studio, offers background on what led him to pursue a career in voice-overs:

“I chased pretty girls into the drama department [at the University of Miami].” Acting became a passion; but passions, he said, don’t always pay the rent, especially in New York City. And so he went into radio and trained as an announcer, which later led to voice-over work.

“I’m not outstanding in any way,” he said. “It’s a craft that you learn, like making a good pair of shoes. And I just consider myself a good shoemaker.”

For a shoemaker Mr. Douglas is paid quite handsomely. He won’t quote figures, but he stands at the apex of a group of 15 to 20 voice actors whom Hollywood has deemed trailer-worthy. According to Ron Moler, the chief executive of the movie marketing studio Ignition Creative, these top voice actors typically earn between $1,800 and $2,200 per trailer. And it only takes them from 15 minutes to an hour to record one, making this very lucrative work for the few who can get it.

Continue reading: In A World of Trailers, Unseen Stars.

VAs on DVD: Don LaFontaine Celebration of Life Tribute


From voice artist Paul Pape, via Voiceover Universe:

A man that many people feel was the greatest voiceover talent in history passed away on September 1, 2008. Just eight days after his death at the age of 68, a “Celebration of Life Tribute” was held in Don LaFontaine’s honor at the Writer’s Guild Theater in Beverly Hills, California. The evening was a smashing success. From a full gospel choir to filmed sequences paying honor to Don’s legacy to music performed by The Taiko Project, Arnold McCuller, Jenifer Lewis, Adam A’ejaye Jackson and the incomparable David Foster, a life well lived was celebrated in grand style. Nearly 800 people attended, filling the theater to capacity and spilling out into the lobby where it would be standing room only as audience members watched on a monitor that had been set up especially for them.

Voiceover greats Joe Cipriano, Keri Tombazian and Bill Ratner spoke about Don’s career and his impact on their own. Other powerhouse voiceover artists, including Peter Thomas, Ben Patrick Johnson, Tom Kane, Randy Thomas, Townsend Coleman, Bob Bergen and Beau Weaver were either in the audience and/or appeared in audio tributes to “the King”. Don’s agents from the TGMD Talent Agency, including Steve Tisherman (the only agent Don ever had), Vanessa Gilbert, Kevin Motley and Ilko Drozdoski, spoke of working with this legendary artist, who voiced the trailers for over 5000 films and recorded literally hundreds of thousands of spots. Musical director Charles Randolph-Wright, South African music producer Cedric Samson and producer Lorin Dreyfuss would recall what it was like to have a personal friendship with the generous and amiable “DLF”.

Finally, Don’s wife, Nita Whitaker LaFontaine, spoke with elegance and humor as she recalled their nearly 20 years of marriage. He was her prince and treated her like a goddess, she said, before introducing their three daughters, Christine, Skye and Lisi.

Don was my best friend and as the Master of Ceremonies that night, it was my great honor to help produce this tribute to my old pal, whom I miss greatly. My production company filmed the evening’s celebration as a way to memorialize the event, not only for those who attended, but also for those who were unable to be there or had to be turned away.

The Don LaFontaine Celebration of Life Tribute DVD is now available for purchase with a minimum contribution of $25 ($30 for international orders), with “100% of the proceeds [going] to worthy causes in the Voiceover community and beyond.” Please visit ZUREKVO.com for product orders.

You can watch a preview video of the DVD at VoiceoverUniverse.com, and an official website honoring Don will soon be launching at HonorDon.com.

In related news, the Promax/BDA Awards has added a new category in honor of Don. TVWeek.com reports: “The Don LaFontaine Award will recognize outstanding work done by voice talent in entertainment promotion.” Winners at the annual event are juried selections and will be announced June 16-18, 2009 in New York.

Previous news: 3.11.2009 — AFTRA Honors Don LaFontaine.