I had not spoken to Jack Rang since I graduated from the University of Dayton in 1986 and possibly before that. So when I read today in the school’s quarterly magazine that Jack had died on February 7th at the age of 87, I felt a bit idiotic.
My world was all about radio when I was at UD, specifically WVUD. I got on the air there in my freshman year with a regular, professional weekday gig at this FM station serving three states and I never looked back. I didn’t know how professional voice over would take over my radio passion at the time, although the seeds of joyous commercial production were being sewn then.
While I was at school, Jack Rang, who at one time was the GM at WVUD, was one of my broadcast teachers. He was a nice man and a wonderful voice talent. Jack had a rich, low voice that spoke of another era in broadcasting (maybe a better one). He taught a broadcast performance class to communication majors that in most instances had to be (for Jack) like listening to nails on a chalk board every school day.
Thinking back though, it wasn’t just about broadcast performance, it was about script interpretation, proper breathing, acting, all the things I do today and speak with my fellow voice over talents about when they sign up for my Voice Over Workshop.
Thus Jack was really my first voice over teacher. And I never kept in touch. I didn’t reach out to him, say hi, ask how things were going, etc. I didn’t so much as reflect or give a moment’s thought to him and how he impacted my career.
Until I read his obituary.
True, I doubt he gave me a second thought among the thousands of people he taught, which is fine. But the shame is on me for not once in those 25+ years offering even a voice mail or an email with a quick thank you. It was the least I could have done and I didn’t do it.
My point here today is not merely to let you enjoy my self-flaggration and internal conflict. I hope it will more importantly give you pause in your day to consider a few of those folks to whom you owe a long delayed thank you. And then just do it.
You may be busy at the moment but along with this public apology I would like to offer my sincere thanks for your efforts as my teacher. You made a positive difference in my career. Thank you.