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!
Shocking, Raw, Visceral – Adults Only ** Micheal reads from Pelican Publishing’s True Crime Drama “Murder in Coweta County”
So, again, what if the voice over artist – the person delivering the message at the microphone – could combine innate, yet trained, acting chops plus vast commercial broadcast experience and decades of technical, hands-on production experience?
OK, here comes the horn tooting part – that would be … me!
Do you want to book a voice talent with experience? With theater in his blood? With years of broadcasting & audio production thrown in ala carte?
“I listened to a lot of voices to represent Detective Lt. Robert (Robbo) Davidson for our audiobook version of “The Evil I Have Seen” and none quite fit. At last, I did a search for a commanding, seasoned, slightly Southern voice — and pulled up Airlift Productions of NOLA. I clicked on Micheal’s sample narrations of “Murder in Coweta County” then James Patterson’s “The Chef,” and I was hooked. No one else would do.
I was surprisingly delighted after speaking with Micheal to learn, he would not agree to narrate and produce the audiobook until he read it. He wasn’t in it just for money — he would only partner on material he believed to be worthwhile. It has been a delightful, rewarding experience and Robbo and I could not be more proud of the way he brought this book to life.” — Author PJ Jones
A fave boyhood hero and model of mine was Robin Hood, who heroically stood up for the oppressed, rescued damsels in distress, and went about righting wrongs.
Jake told me his band was called The Right Lane Bandits and he wanted to make his mark, steal a few hearts, and change the world with his music.
For the record, ‘kismet’ is an old Arabic word that’s often used to describe something significant that was meant to be, that happens seemingly by chance, but is steered by fate or destiny. (Dude, that’s deep.)
For the record, yes, Jake and his band of Merry Men will together with yours truly, Airlift Mike (Robin Hood), make many!
As producer & recording engineer, my suggestion to Jake was pretty simple: Original tunes are one thing, but we need to give Linda & Larry Listener, Karl & Karla K-Mart, Arnold & Alice Average (who’ve never heard your work before) a yardstick by which to measure your talents – a totally excellent cover song.
So, this past week, that’s exactly what we did at Airlift Productions… record the ultimate, classic cover song.
Written by musical Christian mystic troubadour Van Morrison and with lyrics like “We were born before the wind, Also younger than the sun” …. rockin’ your gypsy soul, Linda & Larry Listener, here come the Right Lane Bandits —
“Great recording studios share something in common with great concert venues. They both have a…what is it? An aura, a vibe, a karma, an ambiance? Whatever you call it, it’s as real as any speaker on the wall or slider on a console. You can’t see it, but, you can absolutely FEEL it.
Airlift Productions has IT- thanks to the man behind the board ( and in your ear). Michael Ziants has a knack for gently pulling your best work out of you- and then improving upon it in the final mix. The finished product always leaves you thrilled, satisfied and amazed that you really had it in you! The best part- he gives you all the credit and you only realize later what great hands your material was in.
Do yourself a favor- give Airlift a try. You’ll love the results and every moment you spent producing them.”
— RICH LENZ, former WDSU-TV Sports Director and currently KING of Daytime Television at KOTV-Tulsa