Peter O’Connell, in the VO business under the title, audio’connell, recently hit a nerve dead-on when he wrote about the demise of careers in what used to be known as radio broadcasting. I just had to join the list of those who had already commented with their experiences. And of course, since I seem unable to just knock off a short, pithy phrase and move on…it almost turned into a blog post of my own. In fact, after the fact – it did. Submitted below.
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To borrow from the title of another story, “Radio Doesn’t Live There Anymore.” At least, that’s what I tell people who want to know how to get into radio.
There is no “radio”. There are only “satellite relay groundstations”.
Though I was never a rocker, my youngest years were spent in the company of Radio Personalities. During college I learned about what I had missed when radio had been Radio, but even in the 50s through the 70s there was still that element of entertainment in just about all the formats.
Similarly, I was never a good “DJ”, but it didn’t bother me because I was having too much fun in the production room and as a copywriter. And later, with my award-winning spots and my on-air characters on the morning guy’s long-running shift, I wound up with more real air-time than the poor “jocks” who put in all those hours of time/temp/and/call letters.
After 20 years, the business dumped me before I could dump it, but it really did me a favor, because I made the lateral move from production guy/non-DJ into production guy/voice actor. Through good times and lean, I’ve been at it for more than 15 years now… still having more fun on my worst days than the guy, regardless the level of talent, who’s making minimum wage watching over the computer.
And the ones who aren’t just watching the computer are fighting for on-air relevance, since the day the money-men figured out it was also cheaper to just open the phone lines and let the audience run the program…or worse — BE the program!
No, when people ask how i got into the voice business, I usually say something like, “I’ll tell you, but you won’t be able to do it the same way…it doesn’t exist anymore.”
Who knew then we were working in anything even remotely resembling a “Golden Age”?
— over and out —