My friend Rob Ellis is the voiceover of the narrator for this delightful commercial:
Professional Story Teller
Posted June 28, 2012 by Bob
My friend Rob Ellis is the voiceover of the narrator for this delightful commercial:
Posted June 18, 2012 by Bob
Posted June 9, 2012 by Bob
Nancy Wolfson provides a cogent, actionable list of steps for you.
Posted May 31, 2012 by Bob
My friend Doug Turkel has just released an eBook called Voices of Experience. Doug provided me with an advance copy and I have to tell you, I think this is a seriously first class book with wonderful insights from a number of very experienced voice actors. I think you will enjoy this eBook, Voices of Experience, a great deal. I sure am.
(Update: This was supposed to post a few days ago, but my blog software decided to hold it until now. Computers are wonderful, when they work. Otherwise, not so much.)
Posted May 26, 2012 by Bob
Posted May 21, 2012 by Bob
My friend Sam Mowry, shining his talent as the voiceover of this game trailer.
Posted May 12, 2012 by Bob
My studies with Marice Tobias started in October of 2007. Her insights and counsel are legendary for a reason. Her ability to help you focus on the things you’re doing to trip yourself up is simply amazing. How, having said that as an introduction, I hope you’ll take a few minutes to read Marice’s blog posts about celebrities and voiceover. It’s well worth a few minutes of your time.
Posted May 11, 2012 by Bob
The wonderful Nancy Wolfson provides this free voiceover lesson on relaxing your voice.
Posted May 10, 2012 by Bob
My friend Rowell Gormon is the old geezer in this Taco Johns commercial.
Wonderful work, Rowell! By the way, if you’d like more of the background, check out Rowell’s blog post about this commercial.
Posted May 9, 2012 by Bob
My friend Chuck Davis is the narrator of this lovely short film called Diana – A Short Film.
Mighty nice work, Chuck!
Posted April 13, 2012 by Bob
My friend DB Cooper is the narrator at the end of this fabulous video.
Wonderful work, Deirdre!
Posted April 10, 2012 by Bob
I know that voice! A documentary coming soon.
My thanks to my friend Dan Nachtrab for emailing me the link to this trailer.
Posted April 5, 2012 by Bob
Check out the interview Peter O’Connell has posted on his blog with Scott Pollak
Posted April 4, 2012 by Bob
My friend Scott Pollak does a very nice job voicing this spot.
Posted March 31, 2012 by Bob
My friend Dan Nachtrab does a great job with the voiceover of this spot.
Posted March 30, 2012 by Bob
Here’s another superb free voiceover lesson from Nancy Wolfson.
Posted March 29, 2012 by Bob
Nancy Wolfson, one of my most favorite people and a world class voiceover coach, offers this quick video tip.
Posted March 27, 2012 by Bob
My friend Philip Banks is the narrator of this evocative short film.
Posted March 23, 2012 by Bob
My friend Doug Medlock is featured as Mayhem in this delightful video.
Posted March 21, 2012 by Bob
Posted March 20, 2012 by Bob
For the last few years, I’ve had the joy and delight of working with my daughter Karen Souer on lots of voiceover projects. She’s a really superb content director. She’s also quite adept at basic audio editing. Not to mention, she’s a very good copy editor and a creative writer.
So, I’m thrilled to note that Karen is taking on more clients. She knows the ins-and-outs of the voiceover business pretty well, having not only worked with me, but grown up in my house. I’ve been doing voiceover work professionally since before her first birthday.
Posted March 19, 2012 by Bob
Posted March 15, 2012 by Bob
Posted March 13, 2012 by Bob
There are a number of names that shine from the pages of American History. Francis Scott Key. Amelia Earhart. Butch Cassidy and Sundance. Barnum. Twain. But, how well do you know the real story behind each of these names? A newly released audiobook narrated and produced by my friend Michael Holmes is now available that tells the true story about the people you think you know well. It’s called The Americans. It’s a marvelous collection of riviting stories that are not only well told, they also benefit from being true.
I encourage you to get your own copy of The Americans.
Posted March 8, 2012 by Bob
Posted March 7, 2012 by Bob
From the mind of my friend Dan Popp comes this tasty article on mixing audio for playback on the radio. Not all of us in voiceover also produce, but for those of us who do, Dan’s advice is solid gold.
Posted March 6, 2012 by Bob
My friend Blaine Parker writes a weekly screed he calls HOT POINTS! He’s given me permission to republish today’s edition, which I think is chock full of valuable insights for all of us voiceover types.
HOT POINTS for The Week of March 5, 2012
COULD HOT POINTS HELP SOME POOR SOUL YOU KNOW?
Subscription to this relentless weekly screed is now available to anyone you might deem worthy. Just send your victims to the newsletter signup page at Slow Burn Branding.
THE POWER OF OMISSION IN YOUR PERSONAL BRAND
In these relentless weekly screeds, we’re frequently ranting about the ingredients required for building a business’s brand.
We don’t typically spend so much time talking about personal brand.
Perhaps we’ve been giving personal brand short shrift. Maybe it’s time we looked a little more seriously at what personal brand can mean to your business.
Especially if you’re a sole proprietor or a consultant, your personal brand is significant. A powerful personal brand can change your life.
A powerful personal brand can help you leap tall buildings and change course of mighty rivers.
Metaphorically, of course.
But it can do all this only if you’re smart enough to leave stuff out.
BRANDING FOR LAUGHS AND PROFIT
We’ve talked previously about how successful comedians represent the power in personal branding.
For example, compare Andrew Dice Clay with Jeff Foxworthy.
Dice is not nice. You wouldn’t ask him to babysit your three-year old. You might call him and say, “Hey, I need a creative and vile way to talk about sex with animals. Any ideas?” You will not take your mother to see Andrew Dice Clay unless she wears a leather jacket and keeps a pack of Luckys rolled up in the sleeve of her T-shirt just above the “live to ride” tattoo.
But the kinder, gentler, “you might be a redneck if…” happy-go-lucky hick Jeff Foxworthy? Sure. You could ask him to babysit your three-year-old. You might even go to church with him. You can be fairly certain that he helps old ladies cross the street without pushing them in front of a bus.
Two very distinct, different and polarizing brands. Two very successful brands.
And if you’re a faithful reader to this relentless screed, you also know something else about Mr. Foxworthy.
You know about one of those important things that he knew to leave out of his brand.
HE’S A COMPUTER GENIUS
Foxworthy went to one of the nation’s finest institutions of higher learning, majored in computer engineering and used to work on IBM mainframes.
It’s definitely something to be proud of.
You also haven’t heard about it in his comedy.
In fact, you probably haven’t heard about it at all unless you’ve researched his life.
That’s because Mr. Foxworthy apparently understands the power of omission.
“You might be a redneck if…” does not jive with juggling the zeroes and ones inside some of the largest and most powerful computers in the world.
And Jeff Foxworthy is not alone in this kind of skilled omission.
Other personal brands have deceived you through their ability to omit irrelevant info in deference to honing the keenly honed blade of brand.
HOW’S YOUR BRAND IN FRONT OF THE CAMERA?
Just to show that this power-of-omission branding is nothing new, let’s venture back to the golden years of Hollywood.
There’s an actress whose brand was one of great beauty. She was always cast as glamorous and seductive.
If you’re a fan of film, you probably know who she is. Born to assimilated Jewish Austro-Hungarian parents in 1913, her given name was Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler.
We know her as MGM’s silver screen stunner, Hedy Lamarr.
She was gorgeous. She was always cast for her looks. The glamorous and seductive beauty was her brand.
She certainly wasn’t known for her brains.
Which is why it might come as a surprise to find out that Hedy Lamarr was co-holder of a US patent for spread-spectrum communications and frequency hopping.
COME ON UP TO MY PLACE FOR A LITTLE POWER FLUX DENSITY LIMITATION, BABY
In a pre-digital age of analog radio communications, Hedy Lamarr designed a way in which radio signals could be spread across a frequency domain with the express goal of guiding US Navy torpedoes to their targets in a way that couldn’t be jammed by the Nazis.
She presented it to the Navy. Know what they said?
In essence: “We appreciate your interest in the war effort. You’d be better suited to taking your glamorous brand on the road and raising money from an adoring public.”
They had no interest in her technology.
But they did understand her brand. That might even be why they had no interest in her technology.
Had she handed her spread-spectrum torpedo guidance plans to John Barrymore and sent him into that meeting in a white lab coat, things might have been different.
Hedy Lamarr’s personal brand was wildly successful, and that brand precluded her from being seen as a brainiac.
Being brainy is something to be proud of. But the studio knew genius didn’t have a whit to do with her brand and it was left out.
See also, Jeff Foxworthy: not a computer engineer as far as you know.
IS THAT AN INGOT OF AUSTENITIC NICKEL-CHROMIUM-BASED SUPERALLOY IN YOUR POCKET OR ARE YOU JUST GLAD TO SEE ME?
Another profession not known for bringing super geniuses to the runway is modeling.
Instead, the modeling business is known for creating that iconic creature known as the super model.
Periodically, there are certain women who become globally exulted as the most beautiful in the world, and they are endlessly paraded before us draped in all manner of overpriced designer wear that looks good on nobody but tall, skinny women who get paid big money to parade accordingly.
You would not think about sitting down with a super model and having a game of chess.
Which is why it’s all the more interesting to find out that the fabulous Cindy Crawford, she of the prominent mole, was (a) valedictorian of her high school class, and (b) was accepted to Northwestern University on a chemical engineering scholarship.
Yes, had she stuck with chemical engineering, Ms. Crawford could be toiling away somewhere in an obscure laboratory, figuring out a new process for separating impurities and various non-methane hydrocarbons and fluids from natural gas in order to make it pipeline quality.
Instead, through the magic of YouTube, she will forever be with us as the host on House of Style.
Proud to be a genius? Perhaps.
But not too proud to leave it out of the brand.
OMISSION IS ONE OF THE MOST POWERFUL TOOLS IN BUILDING ANY BRAND
Big brands thrive on intense focus.
Your personal brand is no different.
One of the frequent challenges I’ve faced in working with small business owners on their advertising is an unwillingness to Leave It Out.
Typically, it’s ego talking. “This makes me important and people will care!”
Well, it might make your mother care.
Often, it’s fear-based. “I’m afraid that if I don’t say this about me, people won’t like me!”
Well, if you’re trying to sell widgets, knowing that irrelevant thing about you isn’t going change their opinion about you re their intrinsic need for widgets.
As with any other exercise in branding, the Prime Is Imperative.
What is the ONE thing you want to be known for?
AND THAT IS INTENSELY DIFFICULT TO FIGURE OUT FOR YOURSELF
Because with an entire lifetime under your belt, there are uncountable things to be known for.
Figuring it out takes hard work.
It often requires assistance.
But knowing what to leave out is vital to figuring out The One Thing.
Hedy Lamarr’s glamour and beauty.
Cindy Crawford’s gorgeous, all-American mole.
Jeff Foxworthy’s redneck roots.
Geniuses, all three.
And part of the genius is that the genius always stayed behind the curtain.
Your Lean, Mean Creative Director in
Posted February 28, 2012 by Bob
I’m always happy when I find a blog about voiceover that I didn’t know about before. I’ve recently added John Lano’s blog Thoughts of the Voice Over Genie to my blogroll.
Posted February 26, 2012 by Bob
Today is the wake and tomorrow is the funeral for a lady you almost certainly don’t know personally. She wasn’t a big star. She wasn’t famous. She did have quite a few friends and I’m grateful to have been one of them.
Beverly Joy Brennan and I worked together at a radio station in the Chicago suburbs from 1980 to 1982. That’s when our friendship began. It continued in the next several years when she was working at a boutique advertising agency in Chicago. She hired me several times for commercial campaigns, giving me my first professional commercial sessions.
In the years that followed, after I’d moved away from Chicago, we corresponded, writing letters to one another until the Internet grew. Then emails. A phone call now and then. Sometimes when I was in Chicago or she was in whatever city I was living in at the time we would get together for an in-person visit. I didn’t know it at the time, but the final one of those was last summer.
Bev was 3 years younger than me. It’s quite startling when someone younger than you dies. More significant of course, it’s really startling when someone you’ve known for such a long time dies.
She did have quite a few friends. There were also those not so fond of her, because Bev was a bright, articulate woman who wasn’t afraid to say what she thought. Not everyone agreed with her. But, her faith, her politics, her home, her family and her friends were all deeply held values.
One of my fondest memories was when my wife Cinda and I sang at her wedding. It was a beautiful day and a wonderful ceremony. I’m glad we were able to be a part of it.
Bev also had one of the best marketing minds I’ve known. I’m going to miss being able to call or email to ask for her thoughts and insights.
Rest in peace, dear Beverly. I pray for the peace that passes understanding to cover your family in the days ahead.
Posted February 23, 2012 by Bob
My friend Karen Commins asked me the other day to offer some thoughts about being a mentor to other voiceover people. She also asked my permission to use those comments in a blog post she was preparing, permission I gladly gave. Karen’s blog post is Are you looking for a mentor in voiceover? Like all of Karen’s blog posts, it’s thoughtful and well-written and is well worth your time.