I’ve written before about the great experience Darren Eliker and I had attending the 1997 International Radio Creative and Production Summit in Los Angeles with Dick Orkin and Dan O’Day.
But, Darren’s influence on my voice-over career is much greater than that shared experience. In 1996, Darren had talked with me a few times about helping him put together a demo tape. At that point, I’d been doing voice-overs with some modest amount of success for about 13 years. He was just getting started.
On a Wednesday afternoon in May of that year, he asked me if he could borrow my demo tape. I thought he just wanted to listen to it for ideas. But, no. That was not his plan. What he was actually doing was taking my pretty crummy old demo tape to the talent agency he had just signed with. The Talent Group.
About an hour later, Stephen Black, one of the co-owners of the agency called me. He said, “Bob, I’d like to meet with you as soon as possible. I think we could get you a lot of work.” Wow! I couldn’t believe my ears. A lot of work?
So, less than 48 hours later, I meet Stephen. He gives me a contract to read through over the weekend. I do. It looks good. I stop down there after work on Monday and sign the contract. Less than a week later, he’s calling me with my first voice-over job in Pittsburgh. And 2 weeks after that, he’s booked me as the new voice for the 84 Lumber company. A gig that lasted for many months.
Ever since then, the auditions and the work keep coming. Even though I don’t live in Pittsburgh anymore. One of the very smartest things I ever did was sign with The Talent Group. I’ve had a lot of help from friends over the years, but Darren’s decision to take my tape along to play for Stephen was one of the very nicest things anyone has ever done for me.
Thank you, Stephen, Richard, Becky, and the whole team at The Talent Group. Very much. And, thank you, Darren Eliker!