A year or so ago, I decided that all of the radio ads for my performing arts center should be recorded by the same person, someone who only did our ads.
Usually the deejays would record them and I thought maybe they blended in too much with everything else on the radio, the same old voices. I wanted exclusivity, the voice of the PAC.
Come to find out, voice over artists are expensive. And they don’t want to be exclusive. Silly them, they want to work as much as possible.
So I decided to record them myself. After all, I’m cheap and wouldn’t be making any other commercials.
You can hear one by clicking on audio (under the picture) on this page: Lebanon Opera House
After the first ad, I made all my friends promise to tell me if they were awful. I didn’t want to be one of those car dealerships with the annoying owner screaming about low, low prices and financing options while wearing a sombrero.
I also didn’t want to be one of those monotone business owners… “This is Jane from Smith’s Jewelry. If your sweetheart deserves the very best, stop by Smith’s for diamonds that will make her special occasion even more special.” Zzzzz.
The response to my ads has been pretty good, though. I guess I have a low enough voice that I’m not squeaky or annoying.
And I have good diction. The production guy at the station was actually able to digitally cut an “s” off the end of one of my words once. I guess that’s usually hard to do.
Most people have told me they like the ads a lot, that I have a nice speaking voice. I think maybe they just like hearing someone they know on the radio.
The best compliment I received was from a volunteer usher.
She told me that she had heard the ad and how nice they sounded. Then she leaned in, as if to confide something in me, and said, “You’d make a good phone sex operator.”
I had to laugh because the first thing that comes to my mind when I hear “phone sex” is that old Aerosmith video for “Sweet Emotion”.
You know the one. A good looking guy and a beautiful woman are talking on the phone, all “what are you wearing” like, and when they hang up we see it’s really an overweight women in a crappy apartment, ironing and holding a baby and a teenage boy in his bedroom.
What I like about that video is how the people reinvent themselves. Being a phone sex operator might be kind of fun for that reason. For a while, anyway.
It’s a little like theater, stepping into a persona. I never enjoyed acting because I don’t really enjoy people looking at me. But in this case, they would only see what they wanted to see.
Or fiction writing. Each call is a different short story, a different character, a different set of circumstances.
For now I’m going to stick to radio commercials, but it’s nice to know I have a back up career if this arts thing falls through.