April 2007 Issue
(Shamefully late this month! ...Spring fever.)

Client of the Month

It was sometime in the '80s when I first worked with Bob Keeton of Keenote Marketing. He and his wife Connie were in Pennsylvania at the time, and they eventually moved to the more hospitable climate of Florida... Gulf coast side.

Bob's business grew and flourished. Connie pitched in by working with some of the advertising jobs while Bob concentrated on the marketing and PR clients.

Now, a good quarter century later, Connie still sends me the scripts and I still produce the hard-edged radio and TV spots for theTom Hesser auto dealerships in Scranton, PA. It has become one of those rare business relationships that seems to produce a "win" for everyone involved, and has almost taken on a life of its own.

Here's to another quarter century of Keenote jobs!

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Litigation Nation

I know this is stating the obvious, but I just have to make a comment... Isn't anyone else worried about the state of our legal system?

Law suits used to be the action of last resort in unresolved conflict, not the knee-jerk first expression of a complaint! And why do so many stories arise with seemingly insane verdicts?

Here are a few cases in point, drawn from newspapers:

Kathleen Robertson of Austin, TX, was awarded $780,000 after breaking her ankle tripping over a toddler who was running amuck inside a furniture store. It was her own son

Carl Truman, 19, of Los Angeles won $74,000 and medical expenses when his neighbor ran over his hand with a Honda Accord while he was stealing the hubcaps.

Kara Walton of Claymont, DE, was awarded $12,000 and dental expenses from the owner of a nightclub when she fell from the bathroom window and knocked out her two front teeth trying to avoid the $3.50 cover charge.

And my favorite... An Argentine soccer fan was furious when he discovered that instead of his favorite team's logo, a tattoo artist had etched a penis on his back!

The teenage fan of Boca Juniors, a club for which a big Argentine soccer star once played, asked the artist to tattoo the Boca's logo on his back.

The tattooist, however, was a fan of a rival soccer club and decided to have some fun at the Boca fan's expense, according to the newspaper, Terra Argentina.

The victim said he did not realize what was done until he went home and proudly showed the tattoo to his parents. Of course he sued! Wouldn't you?

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"VO" Hijacked!

For as long as I've been in the business (since the Bronze Age) "voiceover" has always described what an announcer does for a living. But now there is VOIP.

VOIP means "Voiceover Internet Provider", offering cheap phone service using your computer instead of a telephone.

So now how do I describe what I do?

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Is Bigger Really Better?

In the voiceover business, we’re always looking for “the big one”… The high volume, high paying “spokesperson” gig that keeps coming back every month for multiple national radio and TV spots and an occasional non-broadcast video. Talent can realize six figure incomes from just one such account.

But there is a real danger to these windfalls.
With more and more work from “The Biggie”, and the subsequent increased income, there is a terrible temptation to rest on your laurels and let your old client base slip away. Besides, with all the time spent in the studio for “TB”, you start feeling like you’re doing nothing but working. That little voice in your head says, “Don’t sweat the small stuff… you’ve got it made with TB… you don’t need all those little jobs, too.”

WRONG!! We all get on-going gigs from time to time, and we should know that, in this industry, nothing is forever. Just like the small ones, “The Biggies” will eventually go away! If you’ve become dependent on that income and have let the client base you developed erode to nothing, you could find yourself in a real nightmare from which no alarm clock can save you!

This truly happens. I’ve heard tales from a couple of the big talent brokers about VO people who were grossing half a million a few years ago who are now begging for anything… voice mail, demos, bar mitzvahs… anything to pay the rent because their “biggies” went away and they had nothing to fall back on.

It even happened to an old friend of mine… a great guy with a lot of talent who had one monster client for twenty years, until the company went belly-up a couple of years ago. I really feel for him, and for anyone who has their livelihood disappear literally overnight, forcing them back to square one.

A word of advice to my fellow performers; If you land “The Biggie”, just bank it and do whatever you must to hang onto the regular work that’s kept you going in the past. At least until you’ve got enough socked away or invested to provide a safe retirement income.

And one more thing… if anyone reading this IS “The Biggie”, call me immediately! I’ve been looking for you.

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Batter Up!!

We've survived the Superbowl, agonized through March Madness and all the NBA action... It's time for good old American baseball!!

This year my voice is stepping up to the plate for a couple of excellent teams, helping sell tickets and generate interest. Along the North Carolina shore, you'll hear me urging fans to cheer the ECU Pirates on to home-game victories in spots like this. Last I heard, they were ranked #25 in the entire nation!

And on the left coast, I'm whipping up excitement for the Fresno Grizzlies at Chukchansi stadium in Fresno, California. This is their tenth season in minor league professional baseball, and have a tremendous fan base now. Here's a grizzly commercial...

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What about.....

Things I wonder about while waiting to fall asleep:

...If diesel fuel is the least refined form of gasoline, a barrel of oil should yield more gallons of diesel, with less processing expense than regular or premium gas. So why does it usually cost more?

...If you never fart, what happens to your insides?

...Why doesn’t food that’s bad for you TASTE bad?

...When did holding a public office become a career field instead of a service to one’s country? And why do so many lawyers become politicians? (Wait… I don’t really want to know. It’s rhetorical.)

...As a kid in the 50’s, I was led to believe that, by this century, we’d all be flying around in little helicopters instead of driving cars. What happened?

...Does yogurt go sour? And, if it does, how do you know?

...Remember when geography lessons were taught in school instead of on the 6:00 news?

...Why does my big old V-8 engine car get better gas mileage than my newer, smaller, 6-cylinder car? (Same manufacturer!)

...Why doesn’t someone try to put on an “America’s Greatest Announcer” reality show? Winner gets Don LaFontaine’s old used limo.

...How come as I get older I stupider? When I was a teen, I knew everything. Now I’m amazed at what I don’t know.

...Why do people spend good money to hire an expert and then try to tell them how to do it?

...If I go to heaven, will I be able to eat pizza again?

...What’s going to happen to Katie Couric?

Asleep yet?

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