Make us your home page
Instagram

Voiceover artists find their pitch

They are the unseen voices: the ones who greet you on behalf of Target, Costco or AutoNation when you're placed on hold. And they are busy this time of year. The Christmas season is a merry one for voice talents, as clients request more holiday greetings and winter updates to entertain their captive callers.

"It gets very busy because people want specifics. They want to change the music on their program to have holiday music," said Tom Kane, a voiceover artist and former radio personality.

Kane is among those voiceover artists who make a living narrating ads for local and national businesses — and they say companies seek out their services to avoid having idle callers and potential customers hear generic recordings or (gasp!) radio silence during their hold time. Some messages promote the business' history, while others inform listeners about new sales and products.

"They want us to make it a little personal," Kane said. "We try to get out a message, a personality of the business with their on-hold program. We want it to be innate to that company."

Kane writes and records up to 50 spots a month during the holiday season through his company, Rosebud Advertising Productions in Oakland Park in Broward County. He said that overall, he has a customer base of 5,000 clients nationally.

It can be a solitary job. These artists use a special phone line or email digital files from their homes. Kane sits in front of his microphone to record ads inside a 500-square-foot home studio. It's steady work, driven by word of mouth. Pay varies from studio to studio, ranging from $10 to $25 per script for a high volume of scripts to more specialized talent such as Spanish-language artists who charge $100 to $200 per script.

"It's one of those things you hear but you never really thought about it," said Jesse Lubar, president of OMG National in Plantation.

Lubar, who has been in the business since age 17, runs the company with help from creative director Russ Riba. The company has 60 employees, including four full-time voiceover artists who write scripts and record them in a studio booth at the Plantation offices.

Riba, who manages the voice talent staff, also records spots for auto repair shops, towing companies and Harley-Davidson. He describes his vocal personality as the "young professional guy next door."

To maintain his tone, he drinks about five bottles of water a day. But sometimes, he can't avoid allergies. That happened the week of Thanksgiving when he missed two days of recordings.

"When you get a cold, your voice gets all gravelly or nasally; it doesn't sound professional. I wait for my head to clear," said Riba of Coconut Creek

So he played catch-up on Black Friday, recording ads that began with "Happy holidays from the dealership. We wish you a safe and pleasant season."

"It's just a warm and friendly holiday message," he said.

Darlene Pistocchi, a full-time freelance voiceover artist, records remotely from her Hollywood, home office. She's the voice one might hear when calling beauty parlors, vet offices, chiropractors and real estate firms.

She said the work allows her flexibility with her two teen children.

"Having the opportunity to work from home is huge for a single parent," said Pistocchi, who alters the pitch of her voice to complement the client's business. "If you're on hold for a Harley-Davidson, they like the deep sports athletic voice. A chiropractor spot may want a more soothing pleasant voice. You change your voice around."

For the holidays, she's been recording messages that say: "Temperatures may be dropping, but no matter how cold it is outside, it's always warm and friendly at . . ."

Said Pistocchi, "You have to sit in front of the mike and go with it."

Voiceover artists find their pitch 12/16/12 [Last modified: Friday, December 14, 2012 7:01pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Tribune News Service.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Carrollwood fitness center employs scientific protocol to help clients

    Business

    In 2005, Al Roach and Virginia Phillips, husband and wife, opened 20 Minutes to Fitness in Lakewood Ranch, and last month they opened the doors to their new location in Carrollwood.

    Preston Fisher, a personal fitness coach at 20 Minutes To Fitness, stands with an iPad while general manager/owner Angela Begin conducts an equipment demonstration. The iPad is used to track each client's information and progress. I also included one shot of just the equipment. The center recently opened in Carrollwood. Photo by Danielle Hauser.
  2. Olive Tree branches out to Wesley Chapel

    Business

    WESLEY CHAPEL — When it came time to open a second location of The Olive Tree, owners John and Donna Woelfel, decided that Wesley Chapel was the perfect place.

    The Olive Tree expands its offerings of "ultra premium?€ extra virgin olive oils (EVOO) to a second location in Wesley Chapel. Photo by Danielle Hauser.
  3. Massachusetts firm buys Tampa's Element apartment tower

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — Downtown Tampa's Element apartment tower sold this week to a Massachusetts-based real estate investment company that plans to upgrade the skyscraper's amenities and operate it long-term as a rental community.

    The Element apartment high-rise at 808 N Franklin St. in downtown Tampa has been sold to a Northland Investment Corp., a Massachusetts-based real estate investment company. JIM DAMASKE  |  Times
  4. New York town approves Legoland proposal

    News

    GOSHEN, N.Y. — New York is one step closer to a Lego dreamland. Goshen, a small town about fifty miles northwest of the Big Apple, has approved the site plan for a $500 million Legoland amusement park.

    A small New York town, Goshen approved the site plan for a $500 million Legoland amusement park. Legoland Florida is in Winter Haven. [Times file  photo]
  5. Jordan Park to get $20 million makeover and new senior housing

    Real Estate

    By WAVENEY ANN MOORE

    Times Staff Writer

    ST. PETERSBURG —The St. Petersburg Housing Authority, which bought back the troubled Jordan Park public housing complex this year, plans to spend about $20 million to improve the 237-unit property and construct a new three-story building for …

    Jordan Park, the historic public housing complex, is back in the hands of the St. Petersburg Housing Authority. The agency is working to improve the 237-unit complex. But the latest plan to build a new three-story building for seniors will mean 31 families have to find new homes. [LARA CERRI   |   Tampa Bay Times]