January 2008

OnLine w/IKEA

With the increased use of the internet for marketing has come increased opportunities for voiceover work and production.

The latest is part of a really neat promotion by IKEA. They've run a contest among entire cities with a downtown make-over as the big prize! Pretty ambitious, huh?

The contest is done, and the winner has been announced. Now the fun begins, with updates on their web site (voiced by me) to keep everyone informed of how IKEA is transforming downtown Lansing, MI.


"Punch-Ins" Online

Thanks to those who let me know that my links to old newsletters on my web site were not working. Try 'em now.


Update Your Records!

Hey, y'all... We're still getting a lot of forwarded mail, missing some mail, and having bad delays in mail delivery... Mostly because many of you have not updated your records in accounting.

We are not in PA any longer. We are back in NC again, and the USPS isn't going to keep forwarding our mail from PA forever. So please confirm the address to which you're sending correspondence (and checks.) Here's the right info:

Joe & Irene Van Riper
16023 Hollingbourne Rd.
Huntersville NC 28078

Brittle Roots

We've all had shots at some odd careers in our past. I've been a bartender, chauffeur, and more. But this one was a low point for me.

As a starving folk singer in Dallas, TX way back in the 60's, I took on a slightly shady (and probably not quite legal) sideline venture. It involved a bunch of little street urchins from Big-D's ghettos and boxes of Sophie Mae Peanut Brittle.

I would buy cases of the crunchy candy from a local warehouse (my cost was about a quarter per box) and then I'd load up my flashy emerald green Rambler convertable (white seats, of course) with the cutest slum kids I could find, and head for the better side of town. They didn't care that is was a Rambler, for goodness sake!

I taught the kids a little spiel about an "Urban Self-Help" project (essentially truthful, but not officially sanctioned), and ran 'em around some nice neighborhoods selling Sophie Mae door-to-door. Dollar a box. Each kid got a quarter per box, I got the rest... two bits profit on each. I took the kids out for a bucket of KFC every Friday. I was also able to feed my own family for another week.

I felt like I was exploiting these destitute children, and was pretty uncomfortable with the whole thing, but I needed the money. My conscience bothered me until the day one kid's mother came running out of her house to thank me! Turns out her whole family's entire income was what that little 6 year old boy was earning from selling peanut brittle! Dad was gone, mom crippled, siblings too young to work a regular job. Etc..

I felt a little better about it, but gave it up as soon as I could find a decent guy to take over the route. It was a little too close to the raw realities of life for me, but I learned something about varied perspectives.

Featured Studio

Sunspots Productions, with two locations (North Carolina and Florida) was the brainchild of an old friend and co-worker, Tom Cassidy... a traveling voice talent (pre-ISDN days) who was, and continues to be, in great demand.

While we both put together home studios, his was bigger, better, grander, and soon became larger than just his own voice jobs. Allergies drove Tom to leave the Carolina mountains and set up a satellite office in Florida, while retaining the Carolina studio with an engineer and office staff.

The rest is history. Sunspots is now a 300 pound gorilla in the American production zoo! Their client base is huge, their work is national in both scope and caliber, and their staff is personable, friendly, and professional... just like Tom. They keep me very busy, and I always look forward to the next Sunspots session!


Wishin' Wally Well

Many of you may be familiar with Wallabee Studios in Philadelphia, owned and operated by Wally Hayman and his wife Barbara. Wally landed in an emergency room last month, wound up going under the knife to correct a perforated and inflamed intestine. He had a pretty rough time of it.

I'm happy to say that Wally is back home and back at work again! He's on the road to recovery and is going to be just fine.

Barbara, on the other hand, needs a month in the islands and a steady regimen of facials, pedicures, aroma therapy, and swedish massage to help her recover from the shock of it all! Good luck with that, Barbara.



I'd love to get 'em and share them with everyone. But a word of caution: Don't send 'em as a reply to this newsletter!! They'll wind up in the "Opt-Out" basket for folks who don't want the newsletter.

If you've got interesting ideas, comments, or humor, please write to me at my regular e-mail.

It's an election year... you MUST have something to share!?! :-)

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