February 2007
Sorry it's a little late... This usually comes out by the 15th.

Zoned out

One of the newest clients on the MrVO active list is Bruce Upchurch with a production company in Scottsdale, AZ, called Zone Radio Imaging. They specialize in station jingles. My heartfelt thanks to John Cosby (see the column to the right) for sending them my way.

I had the pleasure of working with Zone on their demo for a new package they designed for KYKY, St. Louis. It's called "HIP-Mo-tized". The demo is very creative and a little wacky! I've shortened it a bit here.

Within days, Bruce was back with another cute demo package, in a completely different style. This one was for KSFI, Salt Lake City. Again, I've telescoped the jingle demo down to just the open and close with Bruce and me, but if you're in the market for any kind of jingle work I'd suggest you check Zone out. It's good stuff!!

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Spam Scam Jam

Here's a little horror story for those of you with internet domains. Somehow, someone has managed to use my domain name (mrvo.com) and the smtp (outgoing) e-mail server that I pay for, to launch a spam campaign promoting an on-line software merchant promising super-cheap prices on the most popular applications.

Problem #1: All of the spam that gets rejected by server filters, incorrect address, etc., comes flooding back to my incoming e-mail server as returned, or undeliverable mail. At one point I got over a thousand of them in less than a day! I'm just waiting for another ISP to ban my domain address from all of their clients like ComCast did in December. Still no word on how the do it or how to stop them.

Problem #2: The web site being promoted is a fraud! There are actually more than one, and they all look exactly the same... just with different URLs. Two of them, that are using my domain for their spam, are "kabanoem.net" and "popugaio.com". I looked them up and both are exactly the same, both have their domain ownership address listed as the same PO box in Arvada, CO, and both list the same phone number in Little Rock.

<sniff sniff> Hmmmm... what's that I smell?

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Client of the Month!

It's funny how sometimes one place seems to produce more than it's share of good talent. WBT radio in Charlotte was one of those places, dating back to the days of Arthur Godfrey, Charles Kurault, and many more. Look around Charlotte today and the majority of superb writers, producers, voiceover talent, editors, and other media professionals all have roots in those old hallways.

Among those WBT alumai is John Cosby, who I remember as a kid with the energy of a new puppy bouncing around the FM-side production rooms in the 70's. I know him now as a mature businessman with the energy of a new puppy, bouncing around the production rooms of his own company; Groundcrew Studios, in Charlotte, NC.

John surrounds himself with incredibly talented people who share his instincts for when the sound is just right, the timing is perfect, and the energy is still fresh. I've known them all for years, and I love them all. The Groundcrew is one of the big reasons my job isn't "work" at all.

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Superbowl Reprise

For the second year in a row, NFL Films asked me to voice some of the produced opening of the Superbowl's world broadcast feed. This time I went to their facility in Mount Laurel, NJ... about 90 minutes from home. Every time I work there, I am stunned by the remarkable facility they've built for this "modest", family-owned business.

It's becoming more familiar to me, though. This time I didn't try to walk through the floor-to-ceiling glass wall between the control room and the voice booth! The script was a bit different... no real script at all. Instead, it was a series of ad-libbed sports announcer shouts, like "Wow, what a run!", "Unbelievable!", "Holy Crap!" and stuff like that. I might have blown it when I hollered, "It's a home run!"

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Mini Me

I don't get to do a lot of spots in "character" voices, but Christian McIwane at WRAL in Raleigh, NC let me have some fun with a TV spot for the Durham Bulls baseball team this month. It's a "wmv" file... hope it works for you.

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Glory be to Hallmark!! It's another Valentine's Day, perfectly placed far enough away from Christmas, Hannukah, and New Year's but not too close to St. Patrick's Day or Easter. Excuse me if I'm a bit of a cynic, but more and more holidays seem to be turning into marketing excuses rather than true celebrations.

And retailers are becoming less and less subtle about it. Bad enough that we started seeing Easter displays a week or two after the new year began, but now I've even seen a couple of "Graduation Day" promos!

Hey! It's &$^%#' February!

On the other hand, I make much of my living announcing the sales and promotions that are attendant to annual events such as Valentine's Day. So maybe I should just quit complaining! After all, what's wrong with devoting some time each year to showing our appreciation to those with whom we have special relationships.

I took my sweetie out for a nice dinner (before the snow hit town)...And I even super-sized it!

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Seller Dweller

Valentine's Day was supposed to mark my debut in an on-going VO gig... on QVC! Yep... looks like I'm going to be on the front lines of one of the hottest retail venues in marketing, helping people glued to their TV screens decide which quilt or chintz curtain with look best in their boudoir... what recipe book or mandolin slicer will work best for their kitchen... etc.

But I'm not as good looking as those ladies you always see on the shows, so I'll be a disembodied, pre-recorded, off-camera voice. As usual. My debut was postoned because of the massive winter storm that hit Philly on Valentine's Day, but I guess it's still going to happen... They had me fill out the forms for an employee ID and parking pass!

It is a rare type of gig for a VO guy... steady work at the same time and place every month. Predictable income! Unheard of!

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Thought for the day:

You can't take it with you... But, according to Shirley McLaine, you might be able to come back and get it

 

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