Tom Knight on Private Lessons, Acura, Akamai, Radio, and Reality TV 4


Well, it’s been a really long time since writing an actual blog post…mostly because I wasn’t exactly sure what to say. And wow, there are so many suggestions out there about “best practices”, or “what we should write about”, or “how to reach a perfectly-targeted audience” and all… Like, should my posts inspire? Inform? Educate? All of these? Or, should I simply curate others’ blogs and push them out to my readers as some sort of “value add”? Nah. Instead, I think I’m going to go back to the original blog idea: regularly writing about what happens in the life of the author. If you think you’ll be interested in this, please read on! (If not, I won’t be offended if you unsubscribe, I promise! :~)

So! Lot’s of things have been happening…not the least of which has been the near completion of my year-long dance with tough-love voice coach Nancy Wolfson. I’ve only two lessons left, followed by a demo recording session in early December. If there’s anything I look forward to, it’s having a demo that not only passes Nancy’s inspection, but was in fact produced by her. There are too many success stories in Nancy’s wake not to be eaten up with anticipation as to when (not if, but when) I get to join the growing crowd of her successful VO talent.

Let’s see…jobs I’ve gotten this year…well, back in February, I got the bummer news that Clear Channel was regrouping and dismissing many of its station’s imaging voices in favor of an in-house VO talent, and 94. 7 WDSD was no exception. With evident regret, the station manager called me with the news. While I was only with WDSD for a year, those guys are still very much in my corner, and they throw as many opportunities my way as they can. What a great bunch of people! And as luck would have it, right about that same time I got a call from a producer at a Texas station (KDCD) as they were in the middle of changing formats: they needed a new station voice and ran across my demo online somewhere (All Access, I think…although I don’t recall posting it there…the wonders of the world wide web.) A quick negotiation, a faxed contract, and a few voiced liners later, and I was on the air in Texas. Still there – and loving it!

Peppered throughout the year, I landed a handful of other VO jobs – some repeat business from happy clients (always good!) – and some new business. I finished out my last episode of reality show Top Outdoor Producer back in early spring, but have recently been hired by the same production company to voice 13 episodes and all associated promos for another reality show. I already voiced the initial promo for this new show, and the individual episode scripts should begin arriving shortly after the start of 2014.

I won a good number of jobs on the P2P sites, too: a handful of movie trailers and book trailers…lots of telephone voice prompts for a company called Akamai (one of the largest computing platforms servicing between 15-20% of the entire world wide web’s traffic), and they came back for more. Apparently, some of the other departments got wind of the new prompts and asked that they, too, get the same voice on their extensions as well. Works for me!

Somewhere in the middle of my coursework with Nancy Wolfson, she must’ve decided I was worth receiving some of the job opportunities that come across her desk. I auditioned for a bunch and landed one of them: Schlage Locks. I voiced 14 taglines for a bunch of short, funny videos they released soon thereafter. It was kind of a tough session, though: on the day we recorded the lines, Atlanta was suffering a pollen count over 8,000! I don’t really suffer from allergies anymore since switching to a mostly-vegetable diet, but just walking across the parking lot and into the studio that morning was enough to blanket the insides of my mouth, nose, throat, and lungs with the annoying yellow dust. We got through the session though–along with several bottles of water. (I swear, I probably took a sip between each and every line…)

Recently, I got a call from yet another client I’d worked with last year on a Honda campaign. This year, it was to be Acura. So, I got hired again to voice 7 videos for some sort of interactive video display for Acura advertising their new 2014 RLX. Just reading this stuff makes me want one! Can’t wait to see the finished product(s).

And in my spare time, I’ve been rebuilding my website entirely, and have purchased a bunch of domains with which I hope to catch more business. Building out these “satellite” sites will be time-consuming, but tons of fun! Plus, I should have much more demonstrative work to add to them once my demo session with Nancy goes down. On top of all that, I’ve been taking as many private lessons as my wallet and schedule will allow, from not only stellar local talent, but industry professionals from all over the country who worked closely with the very best VO talent out there today. Really hoping some of that magic rubs off on me!

Welp, I think that about does it for this post. Feels good to write again. Thanks for reading!

-Tom

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