October 2007 issue

Hangin' In There...

Yeah, I know... Where the heck was the Sept. MrVO newsletter?!!?

My appologies to those who actually look forward to these ramblings each month. After the move from the Phlly area back to the Charlotte, NC, area in August, the "settling-in" process wound up consuming virtually all the spare time we had. And it still wasn't enough!

We've been updating the house we bought with new carpet, and paint. We ripped out the old kitchen and installed brand new cabinets, appliances, etc. All this while Irene started a new job at a school that is a 90 minute round-trip from our home. At the same time I was blessed with a surge in the voiceover business that kept me hopping!

So the Sept. newsletter was lost in a pile of empty cardboard boxes, sawdust, and old crumpled scripts.

Sorry. I'll try not to let it happen again.


Kudos To Irene!!

My modest better half is not one to toot her own horn, but I am more than happy to! Irene began working as an "EC" teacher after our move back to NC... that's "Special Ed."... the kids that fall through the cracks. Not necessarily dumb... just not learning.

To be "Highly Qualified" under the No Child Left Behind criteria, she had to take a pair of Praxis tests to become officially "Certified". She had never worked in EC before, had no experience at it, had taken no classes in it, and was given only her spare time for a couple of weeks to prepare for the exams.

In spite of these drawbacks she managed to score well above average on one of the tests. The other test came back with the extremely rare score of 200 out of 200! A perfect score... something that seldom happens at this level of testing.

Am I proud of my wife? You bet!!

Happy Halloween!

The air is getting crisper, football is claiming the weekends, leaves are falling, and pumpkins are getting carved for one of the year's greatest holidays for kids of all ages: Halloween. And while the kids soap windows and destroy dental work, the adults often celebrate with a variety of parties... costume and otherwise.

A word of advice... The cooler air can make you think you're much less affected by alcohol than you really are. So if you're going to party, try these tips:

...Stay on your feet! If you sit and sip, you may not notice the beginning signs of inebriation until you stand up, by which time it may be too late.

... Stay away from sweet mixed drinks! Sweetness masks the taste of alcohol, leading you to think, "Oh, I haven't had so much to drink..." And it can then hit you suddenly, all at once, leaving you in trouble.

... If your throwing the party, keep a designated driver handy and make sure your guests let you hold their keys until they're ready to leave. If they appear to be impared, don't let them have the keys... just give them a ride home and let them pick their keys up in the morning.



Client of the Month

Sometimes one client leads me to another. Such is the case with Texas A&M University! I did a job for John Franklin at Frame By Frame in College Station, TX, several months ago... a documentary for Texas A&M. When it came time for an update or revision, he simply referred them to me, directly.

In the following months, I have done several long format narrations for the university and have managed to learn a lot in the process. Like, the TEEX area of TA&M which does a lot of the training of private and government personnel in disaster management and emergency response techniques. Very impressive! It pleases me to think that I may have a small part in that tremendous national enterprise to ensure public safety and security.

By The Book!

Wallabee studios in Philadelphia is one of those places that I knew of long before I moved up there in '05. It is my pleasure to now be working with Wally Hayman on a regular basis via ISDN transfer.

Oddly enough, I although I had been aware of Wallabee through fellow voice talent Walt McKree, years ago at Jay Howard Studios in Charlotte, I didn't get a chance to work with Wally Hayman during the two years I was in the Philly area.

But just weeks after moving back to the Charlotte area, Wally gave me a call and we began working together. The first job I did was a sort of book review in audio form for Mark Penn's new work, "Microtrends". Mark J. Penn is the worldwide CEO of Burson-Marsteller.

This is pretty interesting stuff! I get to present some very thought-provoking material instead of the usual high-energy car sales commercial.

Mr. Penn, a former member of Bill Clinton's campaign staff, is now Mrs. Clinton's chief campaign strategist, and a veteran trend spotter. His book examines the impact of the change from an industrial based society to an information based society. He notes that, instead of the ten or so major trends at work in the US back in the 80's (according to John Naisbitt's best seller of the time, "Megatrends") there are now at least 75 important trends changing the way we live!

It isn't as critical as finding enough change in the sofa to pay the pizza delivery boy, but it's still pretty darned interesting stuff!


Pineapple Burgers?

So I now have another brand name to add to my list of spokesperson jobs: Burger King, Hawaii!

Yes, once again my voice gets to go where the rest of me has never been. <sigh>

Can I get some cheese with that whine?

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