In Search of The Next Billy Mays

Tangentially related to voice over, the call has gone out to find a replacement for hyper-pitchman Billy Mays who unexpectedly passed away in 2009.  The joke around our house was that when one of  Mr. Mays’ TV spots came on, you could hit “mute” on the remote and still hear him.

Trade publication Advertising Age was invited to cover one of the auditions and columnist Larry Dobrow took a crack at the gig as you’ll see in the video.

Faux Audition Finalists Fronted

Voice over actor and fun guy Peter O’Connell has announced the finalists for the “just for fun” auditions for the voice of the ABC Evening News with Dianne Sawyer. Visit Peter’s blog and vote for your favorite finalists.

Remember, it’s all just for grins and aside from a little notoriety and maybe some link love, both you and the winner will receive bupkes.

Goodbye Mr. “Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!”

It was (is) a read stitched into the fabric of America’s culture by Jan C. Gabriel of Chicago. Few of us knew his name, but most of us know the sound, the quintessential hard sell, in this case for drag strip racing that happened when? On “Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!”

You’ll find a video story of his life here told by Chicago’s Bob Sirott.  At the end of the video Jan has a bit of useful advice. No matter what job you have on the stage of  life, always do it like “you’re on.”

Don’t miss the irony that Mr. Gabriel died last… Sunday.

Info Session for North Texas Actors

If you are an aspiring voice, stage or on-camera actor in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area there is an informational meeting coming up next Monday that you should consider taking. SAG’s Sheila Cooper emails with the details:


Have  you ever asked what is SAG, AEA, AFTRA or IATSE?  Have you ever thought what does the union do for me?  Have you ever wondered if you should join a union?  Do you have questions that can’t seem to be answered?  If you said yes to any of these questions then you need to attend the UNION PANEL ROUND TABLE event!



5601 Sears  Street
Dallas, Texas 75206

WHO CAN ATTEND:  Open to the public.

$5 off to any S.T.A.G.E. Member or current union member.
Equity Membership Candidates get in free. (Please be prepared to provide proof of your EMC status.)

There  will also be snack food, door prizes, and a cash bar and discounted S.T.A.G.E. memberships at $30 (regularly $80/year)!

RSVP to or call 214-630-7722.

Que the Announcer

A point of direction we see a lot in the voice over audition process is “no announcer” or “stay away from announcer sound” or “need real, genuine, no announcer” and 67 variations thereof. Why?

My voice-over coach has a theory: The classic announcer sound from the 50’s-70’s is representative of the generation of admen who lied to us. Can’t imagine what she means.

Photo of happy hardworking housewife

Voice Actors Set Goals for Twenty-Ten

Prolific blogger and nice guy Bob Sour has a link on his blog that sends you to Voice Over Xtra where a gaggle of voice actors have listed their resolutions for next year.

The goals expressed are a good reminder of what we all should be doing to further our careers, and for me a list of my many deficiencies.  I consider it a good V/O day when I don’t walk in front of an on-coming bus.

JC Penney Doghouse Part Deux

JC Penney is a locally based company that at one time ran a first class production facility where I had the pleasure of voicing non-broadcast projects for them. In fact it was one training piece I worked on for them where I learned just how long I could read before my voice started giving out.

Anyway, they are back with another installment of the Doghouse.  Guys, pay attention.
(Edited to change video servers)

New Music Director for Musicam?

Musicam Prima LT ISDN codec

Musicam Prima LT ISDN codec

I’ve got a Musicam Prima LT for my ISDN sessions. Sure, it’s entry level but it talks to most of the other boxes out there. (“hardware codecs” for the inner geek.)

A cool feature is that you can compel the purple box to connect with the mother ship in New Jersey to make sure your long distance service is working and test various dial-up protocols the remote studio may need for a session. Quick and painless hook-up equals happy clients.

It use to be that once the ISDN connection with Musicam was complete, some sort of “smooth jazz” would spill out of my studio monitors. To me, that genre made sense, what with a greater dynamic range and low passages in the music that would tell of quiet lines.

But lately I’ve been getting Country, Hip Hop, Hispanic, you name it. It’s loud, compressed, energetic but not useful.

Dear Musicam. When I dial up the test lines I want to hear and judge the quality of the audio coming through the ISDN network, not listen to Kiss-FM. Thank you.

Rest Well, Jerry Houston

The Dallas area lost one of our great voice actors Saturday. Jerry Houston (Litteral) passed away. For me, Jerry was a teacher, mentor, gracious human being, a hoot to be around and a giant talent.

He achieved great success, voicing national spots for big time companies yet never stopped being a student of voice acting until health dictated otherwise. Jerry was encouraging and generous with advice, helping my career and many others.

Beau Weaver remembers Jerry at Radio Daily News.

And here is one of Jerry’s last demos.

[audio: Houston.mp3]

Rest well, Uncle Jer, we’ll miss you