Tag Archives: Legends Encore

Airlift Mike’s Anatomy Of A Radio Spot. That works.

Micheal Ziants – New Orleans Voice Over Talent & Airlift Productions Studio Owner ~ 2012 promo pic

It’s kind of hard for me to get my mind around sometimes, but I recorded my very first radio commercial in late 1971 just outside Columbus, Ohio in a little town called Delaware. At WDLR radio. For, of all things – a funeral home.

Today, in 2015, just a few years later, and literally thousands of commercials later, I find myself still perfecting the craft. And at the same time marveling over the fact that while many things in the industry have changed, at the heart of the art will always be the need for attention, engagement, entertainment and imagination!

From reel-to-reel tape to mp3s, from broadcasts to podcasts, from mixing consoles to digital audio workstations – the tool kits have changed but the heart of the art remains the same.

And one of the things that I’ve relished about my now-thirty years of running Airlift Productions here in New Orleans is that many of my clients have entrusted me through the years to not only serve as the voice and producer of the commercials – but to WRITE them as well.

So, let’s play and have some fun, while at the same time, lace-up the Adidas for a jog down memory lane.

Airlift Productions Client Legends Encore

This week I got my imagination racin’ and had quite the time writing copy, assembling bites, voicing and recording yet another radio thirty to help pack the night club known as Legends Encore here in the bosom of suburbia outside New Orleans.

Opening with all the intensity of a movie trailer, “Wine, Women & Song-2015 style” opens with battle axes on shields, horse whinnies, and sword play … and closes with Billy Crystal from “The Princess Bride” shouting “Have fun storming the castle!” The last thought? The night club’s name.

*** Airlift Mike’s Legends Encore Radio :30 ** July 2015 ***

Attention + Engagement +  Entertainment + Imagination = Memorable Radio.

See, while everyone else is trying to cram way too much information, and laundry lists of prices, items, phone numbers, addresses, yada, yada, yada …. Airlift Productions captures attention, has some fun, entertains, and delivers.

For client after client. Year after year.

Now, as to the ‘jog down memory lane’ part of the blog, just a couple quickie faves from the ’90s that I still get comments about….

ArchieManningCloseUpAirliftProductionsNOLAI loved working with Archie Manning. Yes, Peyton & Eli’s pop was a client of mine for a couple years as he and his partner Steve Smith,  a body builder from Mississippi, were co-owners of Archie Manning’s Gold’s Gym on Veterans Boulevard, and I wrote, voiced and produced all their radio ads for them.

I’ll never forget Archie rolling his eyes when I came up with this one: I’d be Santa Claus and he’d be the perennial kid  sitting on my knee during December in the mall telling me what he wanted for Christmas! Really.

We produced this radio spot together – old school, on reel-to-reel tape, no digital edits, in real time – at the Airlift Productions on Iberville Street location in 1992.

*** Airlift Mike with Archie Manning, “Gold’s Gym”, 1992 ***

ArchiePeytonEliManningAirliftProductionsNOLAGee, and the Saints wouldn’t even smell a Super Bowl until a couple decades + later.

Although his boys sure have seen their fair share, huh?


Yes, radio spots, in order to be effective, must prove WORTHY of the imagination of the listener. And show RESPECT for the time that they’re investing to listen.

OK, just one more.

Cajun Comic & New Orleans Voice Talent LUNO BORDELON plies his trade at Airlift Productions ~ along with some help from his pal T-Claude

One of my favorite people on planet Earth is this wacky Cajun from Lafayette, LA named Luno Bordelon. In fact, just this past Tuesday night, while in NOLA on business, he spent the night with us here in Metairie.

Well,  Luno and I were tasked with building the crowds at a local Mexican restaurant named “Jalapenos”, and I came up with the idea that this was “the Mexican restaurant that even a Cajun could love”. 

So, I played intrepid man-on-the-scene reporter and Luno was, well, Luno!  Check out the Lu-nacy here….

*** Airlift Mike & Luno Bordelon for “Jalapenos”  ***

Wow! And after all these years, 1971-2015, this is still FUN!

As a guy who fell in love with theater and the human voice as a kid, then a mad love affair with the radio and tape recorders – it’s still today almost as if people are paying me to play with my train set.

Yes, when it comes to advertising,  audio – and well-constructed radio ads – will always drive the emotional train. Allow me to be your engineer. All aboard! 🙂

Airlift Productions, New Orleans


Millie with husband Rene’

“I have worked with Michael on a free lance basis for years. I continue to be amazed at his technical genius and amazing voice. His ability to make the average sound spectacular never ceases to amaze me! I have worked with Mike on a variety of      projects, and he gets it done right the first time, every time! It is ‘one stop shopping’ for first rate results!”

*** Millie Stouse Fuselier, New Orleans Queen of VoiceOver ***


Airlift Productions ~ Audio Alchemy from NOLA since 1984!

Airlift Mike Tosses An Audio Potpourri!


The life of a VoiceOver Recording Artist in 2015 is never boring. I mean, no sooner do you think you have all the answers, than they change all the questions!

In the early days of the craft we were all called ‘Announcers’, as we all tended to speak rather loudly, with perfectly pear-shaped, authoritative tones… think preachers, teachers, parents, carnival barkers and military sergeants.

In 2015 not so much.

Consumers today worldwide are more savvy. And the delivery method has become more personal. The big box styled TV set of the 1950s has given way to personal,  pocket-sized screens … and the tinny, brittle speakers have given way to earbuds and headphones.

All that being said, today’s blog is all about mixing it up – as Airlift Productions and I toss an audio potpourri that helps to capture the changes, and runs the gamut from newly-produced radio ads and audio books … to a soliloquy!

This week, tasked to amp-up the crowds at a local night club, like the old radio days – where shock jocks would walk a fine line between good taste on the radio … and the unemployment line – the very first word out of my mouth is (OMG) “S-E-X!”   (well, now that I have your attention….)

*** Airlift Mike talks (sort of) for “Legends Encore” ***


Like I said, never boring.

Back to the 1950s for a second. Not only were all TV sets huge pieces of furniture dominating your living room, all books were found doing a Dewey Decimal System search in a library, trees had to die to produce them, and they were read – page by flipped page.

Today, not so much.

In 2015, we google search and download to our personal digital device (mp3 player, I-Pod, I-Pad or phone) and LISTEN to the printed word – again read and cooed into our ears by a sympathetic, compassionate, yet dramatic voice.

My very first fully-Airlift-produced, narrated and read-by-yours-truly Audio Book is now on the market, and available for download on a digital device near you. But, fair warning, it is not for the faint of heart.


Murder in Coweta County, a true crime drama set in 1948 Georgia, well before Dr. King, Selma and the Civil Rights movement is indeed a shocker. It tackles racial prejudice, arrogant power and southern justice head-on.  Give a listen to just a bit of Chapter 7 through the Airlift Productions microphones here ….

** Micheal Ziants interprets Chapter 7 of Murder in Coweta County ~ courtesy Pelican Publishing, NOLA **

Download the entire “Murder in Coweta County” Audio Book from the krewe at Pelican Publishing across the Mississippi River in Gretna by clicking either of these links.  On sale for a mere $17.60, about the price of a good pizza. And this story will stay with you a lot longer. Truly.

But better strap yourself in for the ride first. And keep your hands and feet inside the car… and your 21st century sensitivities intact.

To wrap-up the  Audio Potpourri, the VoiceOver Recording Artist of today is always sowing seeds for future work.  We create demos to showcase our reach and talents wherein we cast ourselves in arenas within which we’d like to work.

Well, my favorite Rom-Com ever (and I’ve viewed many with the ladies through the years) would have to be ‘Love Actually’.  In the opening sequence, Hugh Grant does this reflective monologue VoiceOver shortly after the events of 9-11, while we watch loved ones embracing at the airport.

Poetic license affords a name change from Heathrow to Louis Armstrong, and for demo purposes, re-casts the V-O with none other than yours truly, and it sounds like this ….

** Love Actually Soliloquy from Airlift & Micheal Ziants **

NewOrleansVoiceOverTalentMichealZiantsAirliftProductions (2)


Airlift Productions & Airlift Mike ~ treating cold, metal microphones like warm human ears … from New Orleans … since 1984.

Sex Sells Via Airlift Productions



Perhaps it’s because SEX is the act that brought us all here, I mean you would not even be alive to be reading this blog post if mom & dad had not done the horizontal hokey-pokey, that it drives so much attention, and as a result – most advertising.

From all makeup products to clothing styles, colognes to beer – SEX and the drive to find it, hang on to it, make yourself more attractive to the other and/or same SEX, it’s allure & mystical powers have driven us all to part with more dollars than any other ad gimmick you can name.

Not to be left out, enter Airlift Mike and local N’awlins radio work for Chad, Nick and the krewe at Legends Encore, radio ads for “Jeff Parish’s Party Palace”.

In putting together the latest spot for the club, I threw ‘lost love’, the quest for ‘new love’, Steve Carell’s voice from ’40 year old virgin’ and the ’50 Shades of Grey’ phenomenon into the audio cuisinart and came up with this, beginning tomorrow on N’awlins radio …..

** LEGENDS ENCORE Radio :30 from Airlift Productions **

Since time immemorial men have dueled under oaks over a lady, fought to the death in arenas over a lady, waged great wars over the loss of a lady. Thankfully, and hopefully, there’ll be less bloodshed on North Hullen generated by this radio ad.

On a tamer note, after years of staid educational software audio work that gave me cause to walk away from the local media scene, it sure is fun and rewarding for yours truly to be back on the radio & TV in my own home base of New Orleans.

And in many cases, as is the case with this Legends Encore piece, writing the spots too! It gives me the opportunity to put my own words in my own mouth.

From TV campaigns for Sue’s Jewelry & Laser Tag of Metairie to some recent political ads … and, of course, this on-going work to help pack the club at Legends Encore, it sure is a riot to be flexing my commercial muscle again for the hometown crowd.

Airlift Productions Audio Spin Doctor Micheal, it’s 50 Shades of  Ziants

Yes, SEX sells – 24-7-365… even at Christmastime.

And what if, just what if, at the end of the game (the end of life) … the hokey-pokey really IS what it’s all about?

Airlift Productions ~ Audio Alchemy from NOLA since 1984

Sex In The Suburbs ~ Courtesy Airlift Productions

Ideally situated - just off Veterans and Causeway Boulevards, and near the suburbs main mall - Legends Encore is set to take-off... again
Ideally situated – just off Veterans and Causeway Boulevards, and near the suburbs main mall – Legends Encore is set to take-off… again

Imagine being tasked with re-branding and imaging one of metro New Orleans oldest and most established night spots! I mean, there have been more marriages created … and broken in this one little spot on the map than you can shake a wedding band at!

Legends Encore is now the name.  Under new owners and management – Dean St. Pierre, Nick St. Pierre & Chad Prestenbach, respectively – the NEW LEGENDS ENCORE is set to take off.

Long a favorite hangout for those single and ready to mingle, the divorced, separated, disenfranchised, fresh-off-the-backboards in the game of love … Legends has become, well, sort of a … legend.

Now, newly renovated, with so many suspended flat screens that it comes off like a Best Buy with alcohol and burgers, Legends Encore is poised to move to the top of the nightclub heap in Jefferson Parish.

And the improvements to the stage and sound system are epic!

Looking to image the club and make the most of what it has to offer, my first shot across the ‘radio bow’ came out like this.  Blow some dust off your digital device’s speakers with this one ….

 ~ Initial Legends Encore radio :30 written, voiced & produced by Micheal Ziants @ Airlift Productions for B-97 & Bayou 95.7 …. “Legends Never Die” ~

Fun, creative, with swag & attitude, “Legends Never Die” sure accomplishes a good deal in 29.5 seconds.  A call-back to the legacy of decades of parties,  teasing promises of love & sex ( ‘get the downlow on the hook-up’), even a cameo from Mike Myers as Austin Powers!

To say nothing of setting the stage – that’s Legends Encore’s stage – for this club to be perceived as ‘Metairie’s Premier LIVE Music Venue.’  And this is in an area (metro New Orleans, come on) that really knows music.

~ yet another party crowd on yet another Saturday night at Legends Encore, 2708 North Hullen, Metairie ~
~ yet another party crowd on yet another Saturday night at Legends Encore, 2708 North Hullen, Metairie ~

No, you won’t find this spot on Carrie Bradshaw’s ‘Sex in the City’ HBO reruns … but if she ever did time in Louisiana, you sure would.

Just think of me as the digital media matchmaker and toll taker on that ever elusive and always just out of reach ‘Highway of Love’! :-)

Airlift Productions ~ Audio Alchemy from New Orleans since 1984