Monday, November 30, 2009

Concert King in Action!

Wow. Way Cool. That's what I thought after watching the following video lifed from Voiceover Universe. It's of concert promotions voice Bob Oakman in action. He plans to use these clips as part of a new demo reel he's putting together. Hmmmm, maybe growing my hair out and adding a beard will help ;)

Find more videos like this on VU

Friday, November 6, 2009

NY?, LA?, How about SouthWest Florida!

Some big names in Voice Over call SW Florida home as detailed in this newspaper article! Maybe I ought to plan a quick day-trip to get some coaching and/or other advice!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Picking A PreAmp

Voice talents often spend a ton of time looking for the perfect microphone/preamp combination that makes their voice shine.
Below is a chart I found during my research over the years listing common tube and solid-state preamps by the amount of "coloration" a premamp adds.
(*NOTE - Click on the image to enlarge and read or save)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Monday, August 31, 2009

A Promo With Some Sting

Hmmm...another reason to keep anchors in the studio?!

Friday, August 28, 2009

New Meaning of "Boob Tube"

The photo below is causing a stir in the journo world. It's of two Denver News Anchors "letting it all hang out" if you will on the cover of Denver Magazine.

Where do your opinions fall?
Is it just another example of the bimbo-ization of news and a symbol of all that is ruining the credibility of local news?
Or do TV folk have a right, perhaps even a duty, to show the viewers they have a personal life, can have fun and not take themselves too seriously?

My opinion? I think it's a great picture. Such a move might not play well in St. Louis, Dallas or Tampa, but Denver is a pretty progressive market and these are two long-time anchors/personalities so I doubt it will hurt the ladies personally or professionally. A younger anchor/reporter is another story. As for their stations, well as is oft said, bad publicity is better than no publicity!

Hoe No You Didn't!

Ahhhh yessssss. The dangers of the TV News "roll-as-you-go" door knock!
Take a watch and listen.....

IF you're going to do these kinds of things, avoid even the hint of trespassing by parking the photog on the sidewalk, the street or other "public" place, not on a person's porch, driveway, or front lawn. If I remember correctly, there's a thing on the camera lens called a "zoom". Use it!
I bet they might have gotten the crazy ol' coot to talk if she hadn't opened her door and seen the photog on her own stoop!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Har-dee's Har Har!

Now THIS is a funny commercial and IMO, an example of all that is RIGHT with the advertising world! Take some chances people!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Revenge of the Spurned Voice Actor

This is an instant classic!
The 20-year "voice of Lexus" gets dumped, so becomes the "voice of Mitsubishi" and has a bit of fun!

In case you care, James Sloyan is the voice talent. By the by, he was replaced by James Remar (Samantha's rich boyfriend in "Sex and the City"} by Lexus because they wanted a voice with wider appeal to fend off recent attacks by Audi.

Ooops! Did I Say That Out Loud?

From the "Things people THINK but don't actually SAY" file...comes this gem from a Seattle News Producer accepting a regional Emmy award.

Having won Emmys and judged Emmys, I can tell you she's basically telling the truth. Now we wait for the consequences!

Friday, May 29, 2009

The Price Is The Price

One of the most frustrating things about growing my voice over business has been all the potential clients who try to lowball the price. Do they do that in other aspects of their life? This video imagines what it would be like if they did!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

A Memorial Day Thank You

Take a few moments to remember the cost of insuring our way of life.
As has been oft said, "Freedom is not free". My heartfelt thanks to all the men and women warriors who are willing to stand up to those who threaten the American way of life.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Big Investment for Bigger Voice?

Well, I finally did it.
I finally decided to quit being cheap and upgrade to a better microphone.
While my trusty Rode NT1a is perfect for so many things including Commercials, Narration, Elearning and more, I really wanted/needed something to help my voice cut through the clutter.

So, a Sennheiser MKH 416 short shotgun mic is now on its way to BV World HQ in beautiful downtown IRB!
The 416 is called "The LA mic" because of it's used so much there for anything audio, ESPECIALLY Movie Trailers and Promos.

My Rode, along with many classic voice over mics (Neumann, Telefunken, AKG, etc) are Large Diaphragm Condensors with a cardiod pick up pattern...about the size of my generously-sized head. (Think basketball size) They are very versatile and provide excellent audio.

But the 416 is HYPER-cardiod, which means it's pickup pattern is more the size of a softball..(or so). When aimed/addressed properly, it will pick up more voice and less side sound which is what helps it cut through the clutter that is music, sound effects, etc.
Look at the pic and you can see how it could funnel/focus the sound

If I can ever figure out how to add mp3 audio to this site, I'll do some comparison tracks.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Stop the Texting/Twittering Madness!

Driving lesson #1 - When driving, FOCUS on driving.
I'm sure this bus driver wishes he had....

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Suuuu--eeeee! What a stinkin' Media Mess!

Can we can just slaughter this Swine Flu pig-of-a-story and settle down to a big plate of ribs, sausage and a double-side of COMMON SENSE?

Media, media, media.....especially LOCAL.....where is the context?
Many more people die each month from many more diseases/disasters/mishaps/accidents than from swine flu! Educate me and show me you're above the fray by a little compare-and-contrast reporting!
Reuters columnist Eric Auchard reports The World Health Organization says REGULAR flu knocks people on their asses by the millions each year and kills tens-of-thousands.
So why no pandemic panic there?

These are the stupid battles I fought for years in newsrooms across the country, small and big!
So many times I was trumped with the "But it's the BIG STORY and if we don't lead with it/make it a big deal, we'll look like idiots...besides it COULD snowball"
To which my response was usually..."So you'd rather be in front of the giant snowball instead of behind it?" Siiiiggghhhhh.

The true numbers tell the true story...More than 1,300 Mexicans have been infected with this swine flu out of a population of 109 million. Do the math. The percentage of the population is something like .00001%. In the US, the number is clearly smaller, considering that we have apopulation of over 306 million and there have been 50-plus (as of this writing) reported cases.

I get that the national/global press needs to keep on top of this. That's their job.
But when the locals try to replicate that effort, it's moronic.

Yes, you MUST cover it and TEASE THE HELL out of it.
No, you MUST NOT overblow it and lead all your newscasts with it.

In closing, I will say this... one GREAT thing about this outbreak is that today we have much better, much FASTER communications and diagnostic capabilities than in decades past so it is sooooo much easier to isolate ground zero and get the word out to contain the outbreak and keep it from becoming something bigger. We also have more vaccines and greater ability to get them to the people than in the past.

Now if there was just an anti-hype vaccine for the media!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Love his chicken, hate his voice over! OWN the company, you're an EXPERT in your field, heck you're even a CELEBRITY! Well guess what, you still need to hire a Professional Voice Talent!

Take a listen, courtesy of the YouTube "wayback machine":

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Another Legend Lost

After Don LaFontaine, there were perhaps no more recognizable voices than those of the men who narrated NFL Films. Harry Kalas, who followed the legendary John Facenda, has passed.
Here is article from his hometown newspaper:
Kalas' wide range recalled at NFL Films
By Bob Brookover
(Philidelphia) Inquirer Staff Writer

The sadness wasn't confined to the offices of Citizens Bank Park or the world of baseball yesterday.
News of Harry Kalas' (left) death also hit home and hit hard across the river at the NFL Films home office in Mount Laurel.

Steve Sabol, the president of the company founded by his father, Ed, in 1962, left work in the early afternoon only to return when he learned that Kalas had collapsed and died a few hours before the start of the Phillies' game against the Washington Nationals.

"I remember when we first hired him, everybody was concerned that he was a baseball guy," Sabol said. "But he was only a baseball voice to everyone in Philadelphia. For us, he was going to be the voice to everyone in the world. I think in years to come he might be associated as much with football as he is with baseball."

Kalas would often be recognized more by his voice than his face when he was on a road trip with the Phillies, and his dulcet tones became an integral part of football highlight films and television commercials during the last 32 years.

If you want to know how revered Kalas was at NFL Films, all you have to do is look at the photo tributes on the wall outside the audio room. You'll find Kalas alongside John Facenda and Jeff Kaye, two other legendary voices that narrated NFL Films highlights. Facenda and Kalas both had Philadelphia ties.

"You don't know how privileged I've been to work with two of the greatest narrators and voices in history," Sabol said. "As I was driving in my car coming back to the office, I was thinking about the two of them. Facenda was the voice of God. Harry Kalas was the voice of the people. Harry wasn't a class act because there was no act with Harry. He could sell anything with that voice, and he did. But the one thing he never sold was himself."

Facenda and Kalas worked at NFL Films together for about six years before Facenda died in 1983.

"Harry was the voice of the games that happened that week, and John was the voice of what happened during the year," Sabol said. "Harry could do whatever you wanted. He could be dramatic, poignant or funny. Whatever we asked him to do, he could do it on the spot."

Kalas had a long list of commercial credits, too. He used to joke about the Campbell's Soup commercials with the baseball beat writers. "Ca-ching, ca-ching," he'd say with a wry smile, comically explaining how each commercial meant more money in the Kalas bank account.

He also did commercials for Coors Light, General Motors, and countless other products over his career. He had done recent work for the Animal Planet Network on something called the Puppy Bowl. He also did narrative voice-overs at the Philadelphia mint and the Gateway Arch in St. Louis.

In addition to doing NFL games for Westwood One, he was the voice of Notre Dame football and Big Five basketball for a while in the 1970s and '80s.

Former Eagles quarterback Ron Jaworski said he looked forward to Wednesdays during the NFL season because that meant Kalas would be coming in to do his voice-overs for the weekly highlights.

"I'd see him once a week," Jaworski said. "He'd come in on Wednesday, and we'd see him in the hallways, and we'd immediately start talking about Phillies baseball. There's no question he was the voice of NFL Films. He was just an incredible person. Everybody loved Harry."

Sabol said that in the 1980s, the unofficial NFL Films holiday party was hosted and paid for by Kalas.

"It was the highlight of our social calendar," Sabol said. "Harry was the one that created it, and he'd throw that party at the end of every football season. It was an open bar, and Harry picked up the tab."

Wednesdays at NFL Films won't be quite the same when football season begins again in September.

"I can't even imagine that," Sabol said. "He was so reliable. Every Wednesday he was in there to do the HBO show. He'd start at 10 a.m. with his cup of coffee and his Parliament cigarettes. The one thing that is great about Harry's profession is that he's gone now but in a sense he still lives on. You have this incredible voice, and you put it in the bank at NFL Films and you can withdraw that any time you want to hear it."

Friday, April 10, 2009

Who says TV News is "full of it"?

In its' weekly On The Web report, Bay News 9 (Tampa Bay) profiled an AMAZING website that shows the disturbing (not gross, just odd and extremely fattening) things people shove into their mouths!
The site does not mock or insult the overweight, it just has pics/descriptions of the crazy food people actually eat!

Here's the link:

Bon Appetite!

Sham Wow becomes Sham Ow!

The Sham Wow fella is still able to do his job even after getting bitten by a hooker!

KaBoom Mr. President!

An unexpected surprise during President Obama's recent press conference:

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Anchors at Play

While this video has been around awhile, it's "NEVER BEFORE SEEN!" (on this site)....and... "EXCLUSIVE" (at least among all BishopVoice blogs).

The explanation from the YouTube...
"WGN News anchors Robert Jordan and Jackie Bange have been together for many years. This whole thing started out really small and simple. And then along came the internet, and a video camera, and you tube, and here we are with the funniest dance routine since that scene in Big."

Thursday, April 2, 2009

School 1959 vs 2009

Scenario 1:
Jack goes quail hunting before school and then pulls into the school parking lot with his shotgun in his truck's gun rack.

1959 - Vice Principal comes over, looks at Jack's shotgun, goes to his car and gets his shotgun to show Jack.
2009 - School goes into lock down, FBI called, Jack hauled off to jail and never sees his truck or gun again. Counselors called in for traumatized students and teachers.

Scenario 2:
Johnny and Mark get into a fist fight after school.

1959 - Crowd gathers. Mark wins. Johnny and Mark shake hands and end up buddies.
2009 - Police called and SWAT team arrives – they arrest both Johnny and Mark. They are both charged them with assault and both expelled even though Johnny started it.

Scenario 3:
Jeffrey will not be still in class, he disrupts other students.

1959 - Jeffrey sent to the Principal's office and given a good paddling by the Principal. He then returns to class, sits still and does not disrupt class again.
2009 - Jeffrey is given huge doses of Ritalin. He becomes a zombie. He is then tested for ADD. The school gets extra money from the state because Jeffrey has a disability.

Scenario 4:
Billy breaks a window in his neighbor's car and his Dad gives him a whipping with his belt.

1959 - Billy is more careful next time, grows up normal, goes to college and becomes a successful businessman.
2009 - Billy's dad is arrested for child abuse. Billy is removed to foster care and joins a gang. The state psychologist is told by Billy's sister that she remembers being abused herself and their dad goes to prison. Billy's mom has an affair with the psychologist.

Scenario 5:
Mark gets a headache and takes some aspirin to school.

1959 - Mark shares his aspirin with the Principal out on the smoking dock.
2009 - The police are called and Mark is expelled from school for drug violations. His car is then searched for drugs and weapons.

Scenario 6:
Pedro fails high school English.

1959 - Pedro goes to summer school, passes English and goes to college.
2009 - Pedro's cause is taken up by state. Newspaper articles appear nationally explaining that teaching English as a requirement for graduation is racist. ACLU files class action lawsuit against the state school system and Pedro's English teacher. English is then banned from core curriculum. Pedro is given his diploma anyway but ends up mowing lawns for a living because he cannot speak English.

Scenario 7:
Johnny takes apart leftover firecrackers from the Fourth of July, puts them in a model airplane paint bottle and blows up a red ant bed.

1959 - Ants die.
2009 - ATF, Homeland Security and the FBI are all called. Johnny is charged with domestic terrorism. The FBI investigates his parents – and all siblings are removed from their home and all computers are confiscated. Johnny's dad is placed on a terror watch list and is never allowed to fly again.

Scenario 8:
Johnny falls while running during recess and scrapes his knee. He is found crying by his teacher, Mary. Mary hugs him to comfort him.

1959 - In a short time, Johnny feels better and goes on playing.
2009 - Mary is accused of being a sexual predator and loses her job. She faces 3 years in State Prison. Johnny undergoes 5 years of therapy.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The BV Health Plan

In an effort to mitigate rising health costs, I've adopted some new perspectives, the details of which are best described with some simple Q & A:

A: As a heart patient, I've done my homework and learned your heart is only good for so many beats. So I say don’t waste them on exercise. Everything wears out eventually. Speeding up your heart will not make you live longer; that’s like saying you can extend the life of your car by driving it faster. Want to live longer? Take a nap.

A: This is best answered by looking at logistical efficiencies. What does a cow eat? Hay and corn. And what are these? Vegetables. So a steak is nothing more than an efficient mechanism of delivering vegetables (and pre-formed milk ala DAIRY) to your system. Need grain? Eat chicken. Beef is also a good source of field grass (green leafy vegetable). And a pork chop can give you 100% of your recommended daily allowance of vegetable products.

A: No, not at all. Beer is made from grain (vegetables). Vodka is made from grain or potatoes (vegetables). Wine is made from fruit. Brandy is distilled wine. That means they take the water out of the fruity bit so you get even more of the goodness that way. So, bottoms up!

A: Well, if you have a body and you have fat, your ratio is one to one. If you have two bodies, your ratio is two to one, etc.

A: Oh, that's easy...ummmm...Well, there's always.....errrrrr. Hmph, can’t think of a single one, sorry. Anyway, my philosophy is: No Pain… good!

A: YOU’RE NOT LISTENING!!! …. Foods are fried these days in vegetable oil. In fact, they’re permeated in it. How could getting MORE vegetables be bad for you?

A: Definitely not! Think about it, when you exercise a muscle, it gets bigger. You should only be doing sit-ups if you want a bigger stomach.

A: ARE YOU CRAZY? Cocoa Beans are another VEGETABLE!! Besides, it's the best feel-good food around!

A: If swimming is good for your figure, explain manatees to me. Or whales.

A: Hey! ‘Round’ is a shape! As is "Pear" and "Apple".

Thursday, March 19, 2009

They come in 3's

Another well known voice talent passes.
Radio&Records and other web sites report that TJ Roberts died last night of unknown causes.
TJ's death is the 3rd voice over talent death in 2 weeks.
Here is his website if you want to take a listen:

I wrote about the heart attack death of Radio Imaging giant Brian James in a prior blog entry.
Female voice talent Connie Zimet also died in the last 2 weeks, succumbing to ALS.
Here is very nice write up on her:

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Shut-tle the Hell up!

Nothing spoils a live television news event more than blabbermouth anchors.
Let me remind you" "It's all about the pictures people, not about you!!!!!"

Tuned into CNN to watch the Shuttle launch like millions of other people and let me tell you, "Dandy" Don Lemon (left) kept stepping all over John Zarella (who's forgotten more about Shuttle launches than Dapper Don knows!), interupting him at almost every turn as he tried to interview an astronaut about her trip on the Shuttle.

Finally, with less than 30-seconds before launch, John finally says "Don, it's happening" to get the goof to shut up!

So everyone pipes down, the big beautiful bird soars to the skies, then Don starts in again.
Dude, shut your pie hole and let the reporter on the scene tell us what we need to know!

When there's no reporter on scene , THEN you get to tell us all what we're seeing and put it all in perspective!

When there's a reporter, then you channel your inner traffic cop or air traffic controller and speak ONLY when you need to move the story along, and then keep it brief!

Now, Don isnt' entirely at fault here, because I'm sure there was some crazed producer (I know, I used to be one!..AND at CNN to boot!) in his ear guiding him down the wrong path.
It had to be something along the lines of" "OMG, John hasn't talked about what's going through their minds during the countdown, ask him about that, ask him about that!"
Um, hello young producer? How about LISTENING to the coverage you're providing and you would have known JZ was waiting for the GUEST to wrap up her thoughts on that very question!
Don proceeds to still go down that line of questioning, to which JZ responds, "Yes Don, as so-and-so was saying...."
Making me even more batty over this sloppy coverage was that unlike most Live News Events, there is a TIMELINE of how a Shuttle Launch all goes down!
That means if the producer or EP did a short conference call with all the players prior to going to air, everyone could have sorted out what they would talk about and when!....filling the gaps between Mission Control babble, the launch and main engine cutoff.
Where's the "Main Anchor Cutoff" when you need it!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

E-learning E-xcitement!

Just returned from the E-Learning Guild "Annual Gathering" in Orlando and let me tell you... I have seen the future and it is E-Learning. Especially for the "video-game & tech generation" of students about to come out of the high schools and colleges.

Done right, with more than just glorified Power Point slides and boring narration, E-Learning is a powerful tool. Making it better, it does away with all the heavy textbooks and boring professors. Being a digital format, it can and will also be able to travel with students or professionals.

Imagine an oil-rig worker out in the Gulf or the Atlantic who is confronted with a drilling scenario that was covered in training months ago, but he has forgotten because he hasn't faced it yet. He has just minutes perhaps to push the proper proper buttons in the proper sequence...and doesn't have time to flip through no stinking manual as the winds howl and rains pound! He can pull out his Ipod, or Iphone, or go to laptop controlling the machines, call up the lesson, listen to good ol' me drill it down for him...and save the day!

Anyway, met lots of nice, interesting people who of course thought I was also nice and interesting. Time will tell (sorry for the trite cliche) if the trip pays off with work!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Another VO silenced

Radio industry website AllAccess ( and Voiceover Universe ( are reporting the death of one of Radio Imagings' biggest talents....Brian James.

AA says James was only 48-years old and apparently died of a heart attack. Yikes!
He is survived by his wife and 2 children.

James is credited with the "Power Pig" and other high-profile branding campaigns used in markets across the country and I read that he was first heard on the air here in Tampa Bay (my stomping grounds)

I haven't figured out how to upload audio to the blog, so here is a link to his Imaging Demo on the Atlas Talent Agency website:

Great stuff.
He will be missed.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Sad & Happy

What a roller-coaster couple of weeks!
First, join me in mourning the loss of what I feel is the greatest dog that ever lived...Reed Ulysses Bishop.

This little fella, a white miniature poodle with the quirkiest personality, brought so much happiness to my life after his rescue via Florida Poodle Rescue. As FPR volunteers, Shelly (my wife) and I fostered little Reedy for nearly 6 months and tried to adopt him out several times but in the end, he was meant to be ours (mine). Seeing his happy little face and watching him bound over to me when I got home from work during the Bay News 9 days was always something that helped melt away any troubles. He taught me to relax, to take joy in the little things (like snacks and naps) and our nightly, pre-going-to-bed walks helped me as much if not more than him. Little Reed lost a short and fierce fight with IMHA (an auto-immune disease) brought about by prostate cancer on Tuesday, February 24th. I've been in a funk ever since and will be for awhile. 'Nuff about that for the time being, still makes me very sad.

But on the brighter side, I now have my very first AGENTS!
Getting representation in any form is tough at best (unless you're lightning in a bottle) and when you add in the economy, many agents are worried about finding work for their current talents let alone adding new ones so I see this as a very positive development in my professional growth.
Troy Horne at Eden Talent & Productions of Denver liked my sound and we struck the deal this week! Thanks to Eden Talent for seeing (hearing) the genius that is me (lots of droll sarcasm there folks) and thanks also to Jessica Hamel at Tampa-based Sound Asylum which also added me to the talent roster! Let's hope it's the first of several growth spurts for Bishop Voice!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Losing my Blog-ginity

"Hellllooo Everrrryyboddy"
(he says in his best Will Farrell as Harry Carey voice)

At this point, I'm still learning how to use all the features of this here Blogspot, so bear with me....(or better yet, quit yer criticizin' and offer ups some help!)

Anyway, as a highly opinionated ol' cuss (45 going on 95 most days) but with sporadic episodes of Beavis & Butthead or Spicoli-inspired arrested development, this blog is going to run the gamut from insightful, thoughtful reasoning to stream-of-consciousness Dennis-esque (Miller & Leary) rants on topics ranging from voice over (or voiceover), entertainment, pop-culture, politics and society in general.

It is not my plan to pander but to call it like it is...unless of course it could cost me a client!

Thanks to all who visit, read and respond.

'til next time netizens,....