Tag Archives: Loyola University

It’s An Audio Christmas Card From Airlift Mike

From Nat King Cole’s “Chestnuts roasting…” to Bing Crosby’s “I’m dreaming…” to Karen Carpenter’s “Greeting cards have all been sent…” the Christmas holidays every year have always been about all things audio to me.

And since I long ago left the snow-covered northeast for warmer climes in New Orleans, I’ve also replaced the crunch of snow and the sound of snow shovels scraping across concrete sidewalks with holiday sounds of my own making.

Conveniently enough, my Airlift Productions Studios have long provided me the platform and vehicle for making those holiday sounds.

Funny. Sarcastic. Profound. Inspirational.

So, on this Christmas 2018, let’s queue up a few for this audio Christmas greeting from NOLA…

Archie Manning records with Airlift Productions

While I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting Peyton or Eli Manning, I sure have met and worked with their pop Archie.

In the early days of the Airlift Studios down on the Crescent City’s Iberville Street, acting as writer and producer for Archie Manning’s Gold’s Gym, it was my job to work with Archie on his various different radio campaigns.

Among my fave creative efforts for Archie was this one, wherein I was Santa Claus and he was the kid on Santa’s knee at the mall telling me what he wanted for Christmas.

** Archie Manning’s Gold’s Gym ** from 1992 **

And with our Saints making a Super Bowl run here in late 2018, how much fun was that?

Another 1990s Christmas effort of mine has resurfaced here this Christmas season, as old pal Sue Bonano resurrected a couple spots of mine to air on Entercom radio stations here in 2018!

Yeah, it all sounds a bit crazy but, with a little editing, a radio ad that is now 23 years old, was brushed-off and aired all over NOLA this holiday season to lovers who weren’t even born when it first aired.

** Sue’s Jewelry “Because…” Radio Campaign, again in 2018 **

As the Christmas audio memories continue…

Hired by a Chicago-based ad agency called Right Hat in late 2015, I was tasked with lining-up the talent and recording a web-based “politically correct” Holiday greeting card for a Washington, D.C. law firm.

Wait a tick, a what?

That’s right.  A politically correct greeting card! So I tracked down a trio of very talented professors at our Loyola University to come to Airlift Productions to record a classic that would have old Ebeneezer himself doing a double take.

** Right Hat’s take on Christmas 2015, with Airlift Mike **

Whew! Let’s decompress after that one, OK?

And at the same time shift gears totally.

Shocked and deeply saddened by the horrific school shooting at Newtown, CT just before Christmas in 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary, I was inspired to hit the Airlift Studios.

Taking an anonymous internet writing and adding Danny Elfman’s mystical score to my voice, I came up with an answer from the “other side” as to what happened to those beautiful young souls that fatefully painful December morning…

** Christmas Eve in Newtown  by Micheal Ziants**

Without a doubt, Jesus of Nazareth is the Reason for the Season!

But given the fissures & cracks in our 21st century society, is it any wonder why the season can be so paradoxically wonderfully troubling and problematic for so many?

Meanwhile, the prayers and reflections continue to this day…

Like I said, for this Christmas audio greeting card – Funny, Sarcastic, Profound, Inspirational.

Which pretty much sums up my feelings, my take here on my 66th Christmas here on the 3rd rock.

From yours truly and the Airlift krewe here on Pomona, here’s to a Merry Christmas!

And for 2019 – a wish for everyone across the planet to Increase the Peace.



Airlift Productions ~ Audio Alchemy & Digital Magic from New Orleans…since 1984

It’s A Wonderful Life ~ At Airlift Productions NOLA

Its-A-Wonderful-LifeAs I pause to reflect on this Christmas Eve 2015, I am ever so thankful to have been blessed to live this most authentic life in this most authentic city… in the most interesting of times.

While way too many today commute to jobs they really don’t like, working at hours and tasks they really don’t care for, I’ve been fortunate to spend every single day of my life through the past thirty years living between the arts and the sciences. In New Orleans, Louisiana! 

Music, Theater, Radio, Television and high-end, state-of-the-art technology all collide at hyper speed in the land of my dreams at Airlift Productions in NOLA.

Airlift Productions, New Orleans

It’s where the warmth of analogue lives … and the lightning speed of digital delivers. Anywhere in the world!

And I get to create digital magic and give clarion focus to dreams and visions with the most fantastic collection of gifted people anywhere on earth.

Just a few cases in point from just the past month here at the Airlift studios

Jake Landry of Right Lane Bandits Records At Airlift Productions NOLA, December 2015
Jake Landry of Right Lane Bandits Records At Airlift Productions NOLA, December 2015

Let’s start with music. Jake Landry, front man for the Right Lane Bandits, is one gifted spirit, I’ll tell you. He’s a cross between Jason Mraz and John Mayer, with some crooner Michael Buble’ thrown into the mix.  

Together with his running partner Paul Piazza on backup vocals and harp/harmonica, Jake paid a visit to Airlift Productions just this past Saturday to lay-down tracks for one of his originals – “Playing You”.

Oh, these women.

*** Jake Landry & Paul Piazza “PLAYING YOU” December 2015 ***

They want to come back with the rest of the boys to beef it up a bit with bass, drums and keyboards, but even at this level, the musicianship, style, and talent are just off the hook, dontchathink?

Meanwhile, Christmastime trolls the internet.

Betsy, Taylor & Tyler cozy-up to the Airlift Studio mics for a Holiday Classic

Tasked by a Chicago-based advertising agency to coordinate sessions and record the audio for a web-based “politically correct Holiday greeting card”, I went to work.

Playing-off the original “Deck the Halls” tune, and inserting a few terrifically fun and funny interruptions accented by sleigh bells, I recorded this new holiday classic with a trio of very talented professors from our Loyola University here in New Orleans. Now playing at an internet near you.

** A “Politically Correct” Deck the Halls from Airlift NOLA **

And as if music weren’t enough, I get to warm-up the mics for myself as well. Gee, you can take the guy out of the radio… but you can’t take the radio out of the guy!

Mike Church putting in another day at the office on the VERITAS Network .... with some help from Airlift Mike
Mike Church putting in another day at the office on the VERITAS Network …. with some help from Airlift Mike

My relationship with the famous (or infamous, depending on how you choose to view him) Mike Church continues. Mike, of course, is known around the planet for having had the longest-running show in the history of Sirius/XM satellite radio, and has just recently launched his own network and channel.

Yours truly has been tagged to set the pace for the Crusade!

As Imaging Voice & Producer for Mike’s VERITAS Network and the Crusade Channel, I get to throw pop culture (?), movies, television and news makers into the audio Cuisinart – and hit the blend button!

** The King Dude’s ‘Blazing Saddles’ homage re-joiner **

Or imagine, if you can, mixing former Ambassador John Bolton with Homer Simpson — and adding Gregorian chants?

** Mike Church Imaging for the Crusade On Veritas **

My, my, my… this “Wonderful Life” of mine is certainly never boring.

And always a challenge.  But forever a gift!

Airlift Mike working the Children’s Hospital Telethon in NOLA on WDSU-TV

To have found this most unique way to take all the skills and talents that I was born with – and then blend them into my own business and have it all play out from this most fascinating city is, to my way of seeing it, the most authentic way to live a life. 

And it is my fervent Christmas & New Year’s  wish and prayer for the reader of these words that, if you haven’t yet, you somehow find yours!

Merry Christmas! And here’s to Living YOUR Dream in 2016.


LizzRantze“My experience with Airlift Productions was top notch from the start. My company is based in Los Angeles and I had a client that needed to do a last minute VO session in New Orleans. Micheal was incredibly knowledgeable and accommodating, not to mention a blast to work with! Our session turned out beautifully.”  ~ LIZZ RANTZE, Executive Producer, Rantze + Raves Productions, Los Angeles, CA 


 To Communicate is the Beginning of Understanding.

                              Airlift Productions Communicates