Wild Weather

Who put the burr under Summer's saddle? First it brought us record-breaking rain and wind storms, plunging many major metro areas into power outages that lasted several days or more. Then it followed up with record heat that sent thermometers as far north as New England into triple digts, once again plunging many major metro areas into power outages as demand exceeded supply.

We were among the powerless for a while, which was a challenge to my voiceover business. Fortunately, I keep a hefty series of uninterruptable power supplies between my studio gear and the electric company. I've also put together a "Porta-Studio" that, if I have to, can be used to do everything my home studio will do, with no a/c power needed! And do it anywhere I choose. As soon as I had the VO files recorded, We'd just drive around until we found a coffee shop with power and a wifi system so I could upload the VOs to my clients.

And, with all that caffeine, long copy seemed to fit 30 & 60 seconds much easier!

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Look Out, Starbucks!

About those coffee shop wifi's... The first one we tried, when I had to upload some audio for a client during the blackout, was Starbucks. They offer the "HotSpot" wifi, which required logging on and coughing up a fee to T-Mobile, the service provider, before anything else happened. $10 for the day! Yike!

As work rolled in, we started looking around for other (cheaper) places with wifi, and found a brand new coffee shop a bit farther down the road; Saxby's.

The wifi connection is absolutely free of charge, the atmosphere is delightful (over stuffed sofa, fireplace, easy chairs, tables, etc.) and the coffee makes Starbuck's taste like burnt beans! They're based out of Colorado, and just beginning to be seen along the East Coast. So if you find a Saxby's, and are as big a coffee snob as we are, check it out. It's good stuff! (And the internet hookup is free.)

Aug. 2006 issue

This Month's
Featured Studio

More and more voice work is being done via long distance now, thanks to the internet and ISDN audio. Geography no longer plays a role in who gets cast for a job. But, because of this, sometimes I never get to actually meet the people I work with, and can only imagine what they look like. Many of them are disembodied voices, as am I to them. But the personalities still come through, and very pleasant relationships develop.

This is how it has been with Greg Phillips and John Franklin. The company is Frame By Frame, located in College Station, Texas. My first job with Greg, a few years ago, was for the Bush Presidential Library and Museum (Dad's... not W's.) Since then there have been many more scripts for a variety of projects... and it'salways been a pleasure. Now, after visiting their web site, it's also a pleasure to be able to put a face with Greg's voice.

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Show And Tell...

Does the advertising work seem a little lop-sided lately? In one 24 hour period recently I did automotive spots for dealers in Florida, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Texas, Tennessee, and Hawaii! All from different agencies and production companies!

Thank God for car dealers! They keep the mortgage current. But there's a lot more than that going on. I've been doing a lot of industrial voiceovers in recent weeks, a couple of politicals, business services, and even "the voice of God", literally! But I seldom get to see and hear any of the finished productions.

How 'bout sending me samples of stuff I've voiced for you that made you particularily happy? I'd love to feature one in each newsletter, to show off the skills of the folks who hire my pipes to promote their product. MP3s and Quicktime movies are best for my purposes. If you've got one or two you could share, please send 'em on to: Mr VO's Ego Trip. I'd appreciate it.

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Old newsletters are always available on line at MrVO.com.

Chick Phill-A
(Concert)

My wife, Irene, is the 4th Dixie Chick! They just don't know it. When they announced a Philadelphia concert on the night of her birthday, there was no question where we were going that evening. It was quite an experience for both of us.

The music was great. It was one of those concerts that's actually worth the price of admission! But I was less than excited about the chicklettes in the audience. Irene was deep into the music and wasn't bothered by the stoned young girl directly in front of us who barfed all over the aisle. Or the pair of women who sat behind us, telling jokes and laughing loudly in the middle of the performance.

The kicker was, in the crunch of traffic leaving Philly's Wachovia center, having a sweet young thing in a Honda cut me off, scraping a gouge down the driver's side of her car (doing no damage to our car.) She then cut another person off, hitting their car, too, and caving in the other side of her Honda! Pedal to the metal, she tore off down the street with her other victim in hot pursuit. Must've been daddy's car. Whew!

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You Must Be This Tall...

The old MrVO "pipes" will be reaching out to a whole new generation of ears after a session recently through ProComm Studio Services. My voice will greet riders on a new carnival ride called "Pole Position", that will be appearing around the country. The first installation was in California, where Governor Ahhhhnold took the maiden voyage.

It's a spinning, up and down, swerving experience similar to being tapped by Tony Stewart in turn four! You must be 51" or taller to ride, and should probably do it on an empty stomach.

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