Tag Archives: Youngstown Ohio

You May Say I’m A Dreamer …

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John Lennon at the piano creating a vision with “Imagine”

Imagine there’s no heaven

It’s easy if you try

No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people living for today

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people living life in peace

You may say
I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one
I hope some day you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people sharing all the world

You may say
I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one
I hope some day you’ll join us
And the world will live as one

~ John Lennon, “Imagine”

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As my fave old metaphysical space cowboy running partner Henry David (Thoreau) used to say, “Do not worry if you have built your castles in the air.  They are where they should be.  Now… put the foundations under them”.   And …

“What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us … are tiny matters compared to what lives within us.”

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Airlift Productions’ Micheal Ziants – at age 20 –  on the first real radio job, Youngstown-Niles, Ohio, 1972.

Airlift Mike – channeling and realizing the dreams of John Lennon & Henry David Thoreau… since 1972.

So, what do you do with YOUR spare time?

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Norman Robinson & Airlift Mike, tracking VoiceOver session, October 2019 at Airlift Productions New Orleans

“Michael is without a doubt one of the most versatile audio and production experts in the industry. ” — NORMAN ROBINSON, Harvard Nieman fellow; Honorary Doctorate of Human Letters-Our Lady of Holy Cross College; former CBS-TV White House correspondent;  senior news anchor WDSU-TV, NOLA

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Airlift Productions – we’ll leave the mics hot… and the light on for you.

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

Airlift Mike: “Seriously Serious ‘Bout Bein’ Serious”

Truth be known, one of the biggest negative raps I encounter while marketing my VoiceOver talents is this: “Oh, but you’re a RADIO dude, and they always sound so ‘announce-ery’!”

Oh, really?

What few realize today is that my skills at the microphone began over a decade before I ever went “on-air” as a disc jockey – ON THE STAGE!

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Airlift’s Micheal Ziants  taking a dive, while playing Tom Edison’s best childhood friend Arvine Stevenson in “Young Tom Edison” , Youngstown, Ohio 1962

From Civic Children’s Theater performances in 1960s Youngstown, Ohio to the starring leads in high school plays, I honed my acting chops while “pounding the boards” on-stage.

I went on to become the President of my high school Thespian Club (even performed as Jack Kennedy, with mimic skills, at PTA meetings), and found the role of ‘Stage Manager’ in Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town” as my most challenging performance ever. Perhaps it’s that Life/Death thing.

No doubt, at the heart of any outstanding VoiceOver gig is the art of acting & theater, not radio DJ patter & chatter.

** Airlift Mike gets seriously serious for The New Orleans Mission & “Desperate Reality” radio show, airing Saturday nights on WWL **

But, alas, as the Danish theologian & philosopher Soren Kierkegaard once opined, “Once you label me… you negate me.”

I guess it’s only human nature to label others, but make no mistake – this particular radio dude has acting chops honed through a half-century of study, practice & experience.

** With over 7,300 views on You Tube, it’s Airlift Mike gettin’ serious for the Oil & Gas Production Hub of America – Port Fourchon, LA **

So, what I learned from the stage, I then took to the radio … and what I learned from both of them, I then took to create what is now the longest continuously operating recording studio in New Orleans – Airlift Productions.

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Airlift Productions, New Orleans

What an equation: Seriously serious acting chops + finely-tuned major market radio skills + decades of audio production & mixing experience = Airlift Productions.

** Airlift Mike AudioBook Demo, featuring excerpts from “Murder In Coweta County”, courtesy Pelican Publishing … a true-crime drama, dripping with murder, treachery & mystical powers in 1948 Georgia – oh, my! **

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Airlift Productions Audio Spin Doctor Micheal Ziants off the job

And you’ll find me … from anywhere, anytime, anyhow – as close as the cell in your pocket at 1-800-210-WORD; On-Line at www.AirliftProductions.com; or in your outgoing email box by simply clicking here – mike@airliftproductions.com

 

Airlift Mike: Seriously serious ’bout bein’ serious – from New Orleans since 1984.

 

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“Working with Airlift Mike in NOLA was an utter pleasure. I was in town for business for a month and needed to maintain my audiobook recording schedule. Mike was accommodating and a pure professional. He mastered the punch and roll technique in 24 hours to be ready for our first session, and over the course of the month we laid down 5 books and a number of auditions. His studio sounds great. The vibe & atmosphere can’t be beat. You’d be hard pressed to find a better recording studio in the southeast – no matter what your needs. I wish I could have stayed!” ~ AMY LANDON, Los Angeles-based actress & Audio Book Narrator

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What Makes a Voice Over Talent … Talented?

 

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Yes, the little bespectacled goober front row left is 13 year old Micheal Ziants of Airlift Productions – part of the “Young Tom Edison” cast, Youngstown, Ohio Civic Children’s Theater, 1965

It has been said that the best VoiceOverTalents come from the stage –  not the radio – because the theater and acting is at the heart of the craft, not broadcasting.

But what if a talent could combine both?

 Yes, this blog could perhaps be seen as self-serving, tooting one’s own horn … and sort of like ‘breaking the 4th wall’ in a Woody Allen movie where he addresses the camera directly, but here  goes …
 
While I began my broadcasting career in the 1970s and worked on-air in some of America’s greatest cities (and was subsequently hired & fired from some of America’s greatest radio stations),  for me… it all began on the stage!
 
The acting bug bit me early – and hard! In the 1960s it was civic Children’s Theater in Youngstown, Ohio that was my launch pad. Saturdays could find me on-stage re-creating the stories of Peter Pan, Tom Edison or Robin Hood.
I then went on, through high school, to become the President of the Thespian Club and had the leads in the Junior and Senior Class plays as well.
 
Using the human voice to arrest someone’s attention …  and then motivate them to relate to a cause or sympathize with an issue seemed the stuff of magic.  I was hooked.
 
Later on, as a broadcaster – and then as a voice over talent – I learned to call on these same skills, intuitive yet honed on a stage … and bring them to the microphone!
 
So, again, what if the voice over artist – the person delivering the message at the microphone – could combine innate, yet trained acting chops, vast commercial broadcast experience, and decades of technical, hands-on production experience?
 
OK, here comes the horn tooting part – that would be … me!
 
You want to book a voice talent with experience?  With theater in his blood? With years of broadcasting experience thrown in ala carte? 
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Broadcast Veteran – and Actor – Micheal Ziants, plying his trade at the Airlift Studios
 
You want to book, hire, call on Airlift Productions, New Orleans Premier Voice Over Recording Studio … We now return you to your regularly scheduled internet browsing, already in progress…