The only problem with dogs is … that they don’t live forever!
And spelled either frontwards or backwards … Dog is still man’s best friend.
The Shadeaux, with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal dogs, came to the Airlift Productions Studios and became our official mascot and ‘talent herder’ over Christmas 2006.
Near as we can tell, he’s twelve years old today and, truth be known, he picked us out at the SPCA that day. Kind of like the Ziants boyz – a mutt; part German Shepherd, part Chow, part Border Collie … and all Love.
No, this is not his obituary (and even he’d appreciate the humor that the word ‘bitch’ is in that word), it’s more like a mid-life opus and testament to his otherworldly powers.
After all, the recording process can be somewhat intimidating to some, and capturing a stellar on-mic performance can feel a bit daunting at times – even to the pro!
And the Shadeaux has an uncanny way of throwing a ‘chill-out’ factor into the entire equation.
Little Quvenzhane Wallis (of ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’ fame) wanted to take him home with her (no chance), and James Carville’s ‘missus’ – Mary Matalin – could hardly tear herself away to get back to work on her audio book.
With a woof, a lick, and an appreciative tail wag – coupled with more fur than Liz Taylor at a pre-PETA-days holiday bash – the Shadeaux has an amazing talent for making anyone feel comfortable, relaxed and right at home.
And when trying to record a stunning on-mic, on-point performance … what more could you ask for?
Except maybe that he’d live forever.
Airlift Productions … where EVERY day is ‘Take Your Doggie to Work Day’… Airlift Mike with his fave, furry four-footed friend – and uncharacteristically shy, The Shadeaux
“If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.” ~ Will Rogers
“I care not for a man’s religion whose dog & cat are not the better for it.” ~ Abraham Lincoln
“The average dog is a nicer person than the average person.” ~ Andy Rooney
“Airlift Mike was a saint, and ridiculously patient and supportive (and helpful!!) for this audio book virgin. In another environment, without the support, and with pressure to perform “right”, I probably would have completely fallen apart. So the MVP for this getting done goes 100% to Mike and the chilled outenvironment he’s cultivated…personally and within his studio.
I can’t tell you how excited I am to be able to get this audio book out to you guys!! As challenging as it all was, the end result, I think, is amazing!
Once again, a big heartfelt thanks to Mike and the years of expertise he brought to this project to ensure I sounded my very best. If you’re ever in Nola and need the best audio dude, and the best dude dude, holler at my man Mike withwww.airliftproductions.com
Thanks for the great week my friend! :)”
— SEAN O’SHEA, Los Angeles-based Dog Trainer & AudioBook Producer
What began just after the Civil War as a day of remembrance for our country’s war dead sure has morphed and changed since the time of Lincoln.
Today, Memorial Day seems forever tied to backyard barbecues, swimming pools, and appliance sales. Ironically, here in metro New Orleans, at stores on Veterans Memorial Boulevard.
Yes, the last Monday of every May has now become the unofficial start to America’s summer. As the true meaning becomes lost along with the ashes of yesterday’s cookout.
What needs to be remembered – and indeed commemorated on this day – is the Strength & Honor that drove America’s war dead down the path to becoming America’s war dead.
Thumbing through the pages of history it becomes very apparent. People come and go. Causes come and go. What is perceived as Right & Wrong comes and goes.
Strength & Honor are universal constants that do not.
You know, when Abe Lincoln was a little boy, you or I could have gone down to the French Market in New Orleans… and purchased Shaquille O’Neal! And, no, not to play on our basketball team.
What is Right and what is Wrong, indeed all man’s laws are founded and based on man’s myopia, his nearsightedness … on the ever-shifting sands of human perspective.
Universal Law, some would call Divine Law, works from another level altogether. And this is the level where Strength & Honor LIVE!
Strength & Honor do not recognize skin color, nationality, culture, time or space … or even a uniform.
From ancient Greece through the Roman Empire … from Britain’s mastery of the world’s oceans to America (England, Junior) and her not-so-civil war … the dead have piled-up in the countless billions!
Causes, Empires, Cultures, Countries and what is perceived as Right & Wrong have shifted with the winds of change down through all the centuries.
Strength & Honor have not.
America’s heralded General Patton once remarked that “No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor bastard die for his country.”
On this Memorial Day weekend 2018 let’s you & I send up a prayer. A prayer to the Father, to what Napoleon Hill termed ‘Infinite Intelligence’, to remove ‘bastard’, ‘war’, ‘death’ and ‘country’ from this equation.
And let me raise a glass, possibly a leftover beer from your backyard barbecue, and propose a toast.
Verily, all the highest aspirations of all mankind have always been towards PEACE. And Brotherhood.
And the dream that lay closest to the heart of the Nazarene was the manifestation of the Kingdom of Heaven – not far-off in some dreamy otherworld but right here in the physical plane, in your neighborhood and mine, here on planet Earth.
Martin knew that. Jack knew that. Abraham really knew that.
So, on MLK Day, 2016, let’s go there.
My Airlift Productions here in NOLA has always been about more than just ‘selling stuff’ or ‘telling stuff’; I’ve seen my mission for now over thirty years as serving as a catalyst for positive change.
Henceforth, today’s entry…
As we celebrate and commemorate the life of this visionary peacemaker, and the stock markets, banks & post offices close, I’m flashing back on this MLK Day to a very special ‘homework assignment’ from days gone by.
My then-ten year old Katy was visiting dad for the Christmas holidays, and after the dinners, movies, and playtime, we went down into the Airlift Studios on Iberville to record.
Imagine, if you can, one of the most powerful speeches ever uttered on these American shores – The Gettysburg Address – dramatically interpreted by a ten year old!
Then, put these words wrapped around the speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr. and John F. Kennedy, and support all this with the inspirational and soaring music of (just recently departed) James Horner from the “Glory” motion picture soundtrack.
** “Is Anyone Home at the Gettysburg Address?” * Airlift, 1992 **
What, to me, is so extremely saddening is that the success of this dream, the manifestation of true PEACE on earth, will never ever (as in ‘not ever’) be settled on a battlefield.
For the answers, as Dr. King, Jack, and Abraham all knew too well, lie between the reader of these very words left ear and right ear.
“For ten years now I have worked with Micheal Ziants and Airlift Productions recording songs for Children’s Hospital & the Children’s Miracle Network. He’s unique and a constant… solid as the rock in rock ‘n roll. Mike’s attention to detail is legendary, but his commitment to the kids and the challenges they face goes far beyond that. He gets it. Professionally, he’s as good as it gets. Everyone SOUNDS better after a session with Mike. And no matter what the audio project, you FEEL better after a session with Airlift. That’s ‘Z’ truth!”