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

Voting Opens for 2009 Game Show Awards


The Game Show Network has opened the polls for public voting in their annual Game Show Awards, and golly bob howdy, they’ve included a category for game show announcers!

The nominees include:

Joe Cipriano, Deal or No Deal
Rich Fields, The Price is Right
Johnny Gilbert, Jeopardy!
Charlie O’Donnell, Wheel of Fortune
Burton Richardson, Family Feud
Mark Thompson, Don’t Forget the Lyrics!

And a few celebrities who have done some voice acting are nominated in the category for “Favorite Celebrity Player,” including Neil Patrick Harris, William Shatner, Dan Whitney (aka Larry The Cable Guy), and Craig Ferguson. And “Favorite Game Show Host” includes Howie Mandel (Bobby’s World, Gremlins), but I refuse to vote in this category because they snubbed the fantastically talented John O’Hurley (Duck Dodgers, SpongeBob SquarePants, Buzz Lightyear of Star Command) who hosts The Family Feud.

But if you’re not as nitpicky as I am, you can vote online via The Game Show Network. Winners will be announced on-air via GSN on June 6th.

Source: Voice Over Times

Voice-Over Documentaries In Production


In the interview I linked earlier on “movie trailer voices” there’s mention of a documentary on Don LaFontaine called The Voice Gods of Hollywood from Texas producer Jeff Keels.

After a little research, I found a tentative release date of June 20, 2011 listed on IMDb.com, along with a more detailed talent list that includes several noted names in the voice-over industry:

Hal Douglas
George DelHoyo
Andy Geller
Scott Rummell
Joe Cipriano
Ben Patrick Johnson
Bill Lloyd
Melissa Disney
Bill Ratner
Mark Elliot
Steve Stone

Keels was one of the producers for The World’s Heaviest Woman which aired on The Learning Channel. According to an August 2007 interview with Keels, Voice Gods was originally conceived as a series “following the top trailer voices in the past 40 years.”

I’ve contacted Keels to confirm the release date and possibly get more details on this project and will post an update upon his reply.

Elsewhere, Voice Over Xtra talks with UK voice talent Kris Henderson who is producing an audio documentary “The Voice That Rocks” which Henderson describes as a “documentary without picture [that] reveals the working life of the voice actor,” sharing “real-life stories about the voice-over industry in the United Kingdom, France, New Zealand and the U.S” and features such voice talents as Alan Bainbridge, Arthur Burton, Claire Dodin, Darren Altman, Finley Woods, Ian Pinnell and Sini Manner.

Henderson plans to release the audio project on May 20th. He explains, “Because of the nature of the voice-over industry, it was decided that we keep the long-running tradition of ‘actor who does not appear on camera,’ and produce the documentary without picture.”

A few days prior to Voice Over Xtra’s interview, Henderson posted details on his blog about the project, which at that time had a working title of “Confessions of a Voice Actor”:

I’ve always been interested to hear and read about the beginnings of a career in voiceover. For starters, of all the things one can possibly do, why voiceover?

I started by asking where the inspiration came from. Who, why, when and how, this has certainly helped build a better picture and even more so a better understanding of a voiceover actor and what it takes to be a successful one.

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.