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welcome oregon voiceover talent to the blog

Another example now of the value of Google Alerts (I don’t know how many times I am going to have to remind you people!) 😉 is the alert I saw featuring the blog for Oregon Voice Over Talent. This seems to be a group of voice talents (in Oregon…imagine that) who have conjoined their marketing strength into a supersonic, lalapoloooza web site and blog.

Because of social media, some of the names seem familiar to me, especially Vicki Amorose. I’m surprised they haven’t connected yet with their newest VO resident, my friend and the great voice talent Dan Nachtrab, who now enjoys a close personal relationship with actress Julia Roberts.

At any rate, now I am a subscriber to their blog and I hope you will be too.

somebody gots some splainin’ to do

The current Comedy Central logo versus the proposed Comedy Central logo as of January 1, 2011

The unfair thing about printed network logos, like the versions above showing how the Comedy Central logo is expected to change on January 1, 2011, is that motion graphics can give you lots of visually interesting choices that a flat logo can’t.

But in my opinion (and really, isn’t that the only one that matters 😉 a logo needs to hold its own when it is flat, on paper because that will be one of its uses.

This new logo for Comedy Central falls flat alright, it’s bad. It’s one of those logos that make you look at it and say “somebody got paid for that?!” and then ask “I wonder how much somebody got paid to design that?!” In either case, it is not a complimentary question.

Upside down C’s, an inverted word? Really?

Maybe this a joke…a really great joke. That’s GOT to be the reason because this can’t be a real logo for a national cable channel.

Go ahead, tell me how wrong I am in my assessment of this design. Where’s the mirth? Where’s the vibrancy? What about this logo is visually arresting or interesting? Help me here.

a quick public service announcement

A Salvation Army worker collecting donations at 5th Avenue and 50th Street in New York City, December 4, 2010

I heard on the radio today that the Salvation Army red kettle donations are down this holiday season. That’s sad.

Almost as sad as the news a year or so ago that some retailers will not the Salvation Army set up in or near their stores…that to me is inexcusable as the Salvation Army has done nothing but good for those in need.

Fortunately in NYC this past weekend on many street corners and this week when I was at a Shopko in Green Bay, the Salvation Army and their volunteers were out in force. Thank you New York and thank you Shopko!

I don’t have any affiliation with the Salvation Army other than to throw some money into a kettle once or twice a year.

It truly does NOT matter how much you can give (seriously, loose change is fine…dollars are better, etc) and no you don’t have to give every time you see a kettle but please donate to the Salvation Army if you haven’t already. Just once is fine.

If you have a blog or a facebook or twitter account, please promote this post…not for me or for SEO but for people who need our help.

Even better, if you want to write about this yourself, please do…and you can use my picture from this post as well. I took the picture not knowing about today’s news report but because watching people walk past this kind lady ringing a bell as if the bell was just more background noise broke my spirit a bit.

Maybe, I hoped silently as I left St. Patrick’s Cathedral – the edifice she was standing in front of, they had already given at another kettle.

A little internet and social media love for the Salvation Army might be just the little reminder some folks need. Thanks.

this is how much I did not understand

It was a Monday night. I remember that for a couple of reasons even after thirty years.

First, I remember because my high school internship in the news department of WFXZ-FM/Buffalo (then known as Foxy 93 FM, now WBUF, using the Jack-FM format) was on Tuesdays and Thursdays. My music department internship at the station was on Mondays and Wednesdays if memory serves.

I was in bed at 10:00 p.m., and I had possibly been in bed since 9:30 p.m. because 4:30 a.m. came pretty early when you are helping in news department during morning drive.

The news anchor of the station was a woman named Susan Hunt. She was a friend of my other brother Michael and he mentioned to her my burgeoning interest in broadcasting. A discussion ensued and an internship evolved. My work was subpar; I didn’t cause Susan any damage but I wasn’t much of a help either. It was a baptism by fire; I’m embarrassed by my meager accomplishments there but remain grateful for the opportunity.

How that internship happened still surprises me when I think about it. My high school hadn’t ever had a broadcasting internship…or possibly an internship of any kind. My high school produced doctors, lawyers and men of industry (occasionally a priest or two if they calling was heard). Not radio and TV people (Tim Russert, a graduate of this same high school, was not following a broadcast path at the time of his graduation).

Fortunately, the school did have a small TV department and my teacher, Terry Fisher (who went on to be my video production business partner for six years and a groomsman in my wedding) helped facilitate the opportunity.

On that Monday night, I also remember hearing my brother Chris come upstairs in our family house, he had been out. He came upstairs to ask our Mother if she had heard about John Lennon. Yes, she had seen a note on the TV screen.

I believe I came out of my room to ask what they were talking about and they told me. They were no cable news outlets at that time but there was news on TV about what happened.

What ever the brightest color of green there is, that would describe the sum of my knowledge of how to gather facts for and then write an actual news story. But I tried…I tried to be ready for the morning.

I knew this was a big deal. I did not understand how big.

So I arrived at about 5:45 a.m. or 6:00 a.m. when ever the bus dropped me off in front of the station. Susan appeared to appreciate my efforts in gathering news items about the event even though as a music station, the story would gather 2-3 sentences of a local intro or outro followed by a network news actuality or special report. Plus the local morning newspaper had all facts by that time.

But I was in the middle of it all….my first big news story as a news intern, writing copy, grabbing network feeds and then trying to stay out of the way.

Shooting, death, assassination – I understood all that. The Beatles, I got – I was born on the night they first appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show. John and Yoko I knew about. The new record, Double Fantasy, I knew about, especially through my music internship. Fame – I had a passing understanding of the concept.

Generational impact? What?! I had no idea.

I missed the story’s lead…I didn’t understand it. I didn’t comprehend it.

I had to watch, observe and listen in the days, weeks and months to come.

Today I could write the lead and the story, grab the network feed with audio, video and links.

But a high school junior needs to learn. Fortunately, even at the time, well that I understood.

a photo repository for nyc voice over mixer 2010

If you’ve ever been to Voice Talent Production’s NYC Voiceover Mixer, you know it’s either like being tailed by the paparazzi or being in a high school photography class. There are flash bulbs everywhere with people taking pictures with and of their new and old friends. It’s quite fun.

So here are links to the Facebook photo albums I have found so you can sift though them at your leisure. If you see I am missing one or two, please let me know and I will add them. Thanks.

> The NYC 2010 Voiceover Mixer Photo Album of voice talent Trish Basanyi

> The NYC 2010 Voiceover Mixer Photo Album of voice talent Michael Schoen

> The NYC 2010 Voiceover Mixer Photo Album of voice talent Connie Terwilliger

> The NYC 2010 Voiceover Mixer Photo Album of voice talent Joe Rodriguez

> The NYC 2010 Voiceover Mixer Photo Album of voice talent Linda Ristig

> The NYC 2010 Voiceover Mixer Photo Album of voice talent Peter K. O’Connell

new york city voice over mixer 2010

The VOBB in New York - From Left to right going around the table Tom Dheere, Caryn Clark, Peter K. O'Connell, Darren Altman, Trish Basanyi, Philip Banks, Elisa Canas, Liz deNesnera and Melissa Exelberth PHOTO COURTESY of Connie Terwilliger

My head is kinda spinning from the whirlwind activity of this past weekend in New York City where Erik Sheppard of Voice Talent Productions held his annual New York City Voice Talent Mixer at Tonic on Seventh Avenue.

I believe this is the third annual and its my second time attending and I liked it better than last year (and I had a really good time last year).

The question with these events always is: are you doing this to be social or are you doing this for business. As much as I like my voice over friends, I do it for business contacts.

I can NEVER say for certain where business opportunities may come from nor can I say for sure who I am going to meet at these kind of networking events…but I know I’ll have a guaranteed success rate of not meeting any new possible contacts if I don’t go.

But on the social side, it was great spending time with my old VO friends and making some new ones…certainly seeing from familiar faces from VOICE 2010 was an added benefit as well.

The smartest thing I did versus last year, though, was to go into the city on Friday night. Last year I went in on Saturday morning and left on Sunday morning…it was too much. Coming in on Friday, I got to grab dinner and then Saturday lunch with VO friends from the VO-BB and have some great voice over conversations.

One never knows where such conversations are going to go and I picked up some real business nuggets by talking a little and listening a lot. These meals were a bit like what I think Faffcon is like (and I will see you there in February).

At any rate, my thanks to LindZ Reiss and Erik who put it all together and everyone who allowed me to spend a little time with them over this weekend. It renewed my faith in this business and the people who make it special.

The Private Room at Ted's Montana Grill on 51st with Rachel Rauch, Elaine Singer, Marian Massaro, Elisa Canas, Philip Banks, Liz deNesnera, Melissa Exelberth, Trish Basanyi and Caryn Clark

A quick visit to Edge Studios to say hi

As you might tell from the picture, this was about as close as I could be bothered to get to the Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center

Another angle of the some of the lunch table at Mustang Harry's - more folks would soon joing us

At the mixer with Voiceover Thespian Joe Rodriguez

Voice Talents from Around the Globe - U.S. Voice Talent Peter K. O'Connell, Canadian Voice Talent Elaine Singer and UK Voice Talent Darren Altman

Male Voice Talents Tom Dheere and Peter K. O'Connell

Voice Talents Peter K. O'Connell, Randye Kaye and Paul Strikwerda

Three women and a baby - wait, that's not right - Liz deNesnera, Peter K. O'Connell, Linda Ristig and Amy Taylor

Ron Levine, Peter K. O'Connell

Ho, Ho VO! Ron -Santa- Levine and Peter K. O'Connell

Voice Talents Peter K. O'Connell and the great Bobbi Owens

Peter K. O'Connell, Chris Mezzolesta

Male Voice Over Talents Peter K. O'Connell and Chris Mezzolesta

Voice Over Talents Peter K. O'Connell and Trish Basanyi

Great Dinner Pals - Voice Talents Peter K. O'Connell, Connie Terwilliger, Diane Dimond and Michael Schoen PHOTO COURTESY of Lee Gordon