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Mike Lenz Voice - A Journey Into Voice Acting

Join professional voice actor, audiobook narrator, and podcast host Mike Lenz as he shares stories from some of the most amazing and inspiring people from all areas of the voice-over industry - as well as other incredible entrepreneurs - to help inspire you to achieve your dream of becoming a professional voice actor.
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Mike Lenz Voice - A Journey Into Voice Acting
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Now displaying: 2017
Dec 18, 2017

Mike Lenz recaps 2017 and offers some exciting discount codes for helpful voice-over courses!

Dec 4, 2017
Rodney Saulsberry is the voice of choice for behind-the scenes narration. This Detroit native and University of Michigan Graduate, is one of the premier voice-over talents in the country. He is also a published author with three bestselling books, You Can Bank on Your VoiceStep Up to the Mic and his latest release, Rodney Saulsberry's Tongue Twisters and Vocal Warm-Ups.

Saulsberry’s distinctive announcer voice is literally everywhere. He has announced promos for the ABC hit Dancing With The Stars and the ABC critically acclaimed Charlie Brown Christmas Special. He announced the 34th NAACP Image Awardsand the Essence Awards specials on FOX Television and voiced promos for the Grammy Awards and Country Music Awards for CBS. Rodney can be heard currently announcing promos for the CW Network in primetime.

As one of the top trailer voices in the business, Rodney’s voice has promoted many favorites: Red Tails, Tupac Resurrection, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Diary of a Mad Black Woman, Friday After Next, Drumline, Undercover Brother, The Best Man, Dumb & Dumberer, Finding Forrester, Soul Food, Crooklyn, and many more. Black Enterprise Magazine called Saulsberry “The voice of choice for behind-the-scenes-narration.”

What do Zatarain's, Instant Tax ServiceTwix, Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Verizon, White Castle, 7UP, Burger King, SBC, and Nestle Crunch all have in common? Saulsberry has been a voice-over commercial pitchman for all of these products and many others on television and radio. He can also be heard reading audio books, as well as narrating E! Entertainments, True Hollywood Story, about Motown R&B singer, Marvin Gaye. His imaging voice has represented NFL Films and several NBA Basketball teams that include the Los Angeles Clippers, Indiana Pacers and the New Orleans Pelicans. For the past eight years Rodney has been the voice of the stock trading website Interactive Brokers TWS Tours.


Animation is another strong suit for this versatile voice actor. Saulsberry is the voice of Joe Robbie Robertson on the hit cartoon series Spider-Man and James Rhodey Rhodes in the animated feature film, The Invincible Iron Man.

Rodney's acting credits include guest star appearances on Monk, Without a Trace, Law & Order: LA and Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman. He currently stars as Anthony a street musician and former homeless man on the Daytime Drama The Bold and the Beautiful.

In 2013 and 2011, Saulsberry received an NAACP Image Award nomination in the category of Outstanding Actor in a Daytime Drama Series for his role on The Bold and the Beautiful.

Saulsberry is also a gifted singer who has lent his melodious baritone singing voice to a jubilant ensemble of background singers on a spirited recording of “Hakuna Matata” on The Lion King movie soundtrack. He continued his animation musical journey by singing When You Believe and Playing With the Big Boys on The Prince of Egypt soundtrack. As a soloist, he has recorded two Rhythm and Blues albums that have resulted in two Billboard charting singles, I Wonder and Look Whatcha Done Now.

Recently, Saulsberry wrote and composed the song Miracles, which aired on The Bold and the Beautiful on January 13, 2011 and is available for purchase on iTunes.  He continues to get his musical compositions featured in television and movie soundtracks. To hear more and learn more about his song placements, visit his music placement website at: Tomdor Music.com

 
Nov 20, 2017

Jordan Reynold's voice is based in Los Angeles, California but has been heard all over the world. Voicing internationally known companies such as AT&T, BMW, Sprite, and Cisco - to voice dubbing celebrities - to screaming as various video game characters - to guiding thousands of customers on hold - to explaining hundreds of new startup businesses products online.

His voice encompasses a broad spectrum from cool and conversational to a diverse body of engaging characters.

Jordan produces voice over demos for some of the top voice actors today: demoswithchops.com

He also played a key role in designing the Roswell Pro Audio RA-VO microphone: A high quality microphone made specifically for voice over.

Nov 6, 2017

Nicole Britton - I'm a voice actor who manages to jam 23 years of acting experience into my tiny booth every day; my passion for performance filters into everything I do . I am skilled in voiceover for Narration, e Learning, Corporate Training, IVR and Commercials and have a bevy of Characters and Kid voices on the tip of my tongue. I am proud to be a chicken "clucking " aficionado ;) Represented by RSH Management and Voice Hunter, proud member of World-Voices.org and SAG-AFTRA.


After studying theater at CU/Boulder, I headed straight for the Big Apple to continue learning my craft at Playwright's Horizons Theater School. While working with award winning theatre companies such as Ensemble Studio Theatre and Blue Light Theater Company, I cultivated a diligent work ethic and an ability to interpret scripts and bring them to life.

In Los Angeles, I worked as an actor and a stilt walker (yes, you read that correctly.) These outlets presented opportunities to travel the world whilst being creative. Never a dull moment, I was the lead singer in a rock band and co-wrote for several music placement projects.

I currently reside in Atlanta, GA where I work full time from my professional studio. When I'm not in the booth, I enjoy spending time with my lovely little family and tending to our lovely little farm where I get so much inspiration from my chickens. Additionally, I play the ukulele/piano/mandolin/guitar/egg shaker and sing/dance/juggle - not all at the same time. 

Along the way, I have had the honor of working for Pandora, Walt Disney Imagineering/California Adventure Theme Park, Tropical Smoothie Cafe, Willy's Mexicana Grill, Dollar General and many more.

Oct 23, 2017

Mike Lenz interviews Edge Studio CEO, David Goldberg.

Information about Edge Studio:

We are VoiceSTA certified. We have 1000+ clients, 20+ years experience, and 0 complaints ever registered in the Better Business Bureau.

Currently I oversee all areas of our business. I interact with everyone in the office daily to ensure that every customer is receiving the best possible experience. I am directly involved with marketing, production, casting, sales, career building, and internal operations. I am always available to customers and make certain that each is treated as though they are the the most important one that Edge Studio has regardless of how much money they spend.

* Started a recording studio by myself and continued to grow the operation to a team of very impressive experts
* Partnered with related businesses to further expand the suite of services offered to customers
* Pride myself on only being an email or phone call away from any customer with any question or concern they have
* Currently have three locations in Washington DC, Fairfield Connecticut, and New York City
* Speak at numerous industry events and/or send a member of our team
* Edge Studio maintains a level of recognition and professionalism currently achieved by very few companies

Feel welcome to call us. We're all for speaking!

Specialties: Audiobooks, Documentaries, Corporate training, eLearning, Commercials, Telephone Systems, Cartoons, Animation, Medical, and all types of Voice Over Production, Casting, and Training.

Oct 9, 2017

For over 20 years Matt has specialized in concert promotion, promo, commercial, corporate, and Radio and TV imaging.

Most recently the promo voiceover for ABC's "The View". Matt has had the pleasure of working with most of the major networks. He voices local and regional campaigns for Shane Co Jewelers, Subway, Crew Car Wash, Grange Insurance, Boost Mobile, Microsoft and hundreds of corporate narration's and product promotional social network videos.

Matt's studio is equipped with broadcast-quality recording equipment. Connect via ISDN, Source Connect, or have your file of choice transferred directly to your computer.

Sep 25, 2017

Evan is a millennial (born in 1990) and he loves telling a story, especially yours.
In 2006, Evan narrated his first self-produced documentary, inspired by a chance meeting with ski filmmaking legend Warren Miller. Since then, he has lent his signature sound to hundreds of projects around the world. He also hosts a podcast where he explores the question, "What makes creative people creative?" It's called the Get Creative Podcastand it can be found wherever you get your podcasts.

Sep 11, 2017

Hi, I'm Mike Lenz.  

I'm a professional voice actor, the author of Paid To Talk - A Journey Into Voice Acting, and the host of a popular podcast, Mike Lenz Voice - A Journey Into Voice Acting.  I really appreciate you stopping by!

I love being a voice actor and helping clients give voice to their projects, but my life didn't always look this way.  In fact 10 years ago my life looked a lot different than it does today.

Back then I was running my small brick and mortar business and serving as Mayor of my hometown.  I'd been involved in politics for about 10 years and really thought that politics was my future.  I’ve always been a creative person and I enjoyed the communication part of serving as Mayor - speaking to groups, and doing radio and television interviews. 

But honestly, the pressure was draining every creative bone in my body. 

Fortunately for me, I lost my re-election bid, and although I was disappointed at the time, that event forever changed the course of my life and led me down the path to the world of professional voice acting where I am today - and I’m loving every minute of it!

After leaving politics, I had a lot of free time to explore other passions.  One of those passions - screenwriting - led me to a filmmakers group, and at one of our meetings, a marketing representative from a voice training company came and passed out flyers.  I decided to check out the company and as soon as I took my first lesson I was hooked.  

Getting trained was a lot of fun and it was an exciting day when my demo CD’s arrived in the mail.  But that excitement was quickly tempered by the fact that I was now faced with the prospect of trying to go out into the world and get a voice-over job…and I didn’t have a clue where to start.  

Well, I can tell you that having spent a good chunk of change on my training and wanting desperately to get my first paying voice-over gig, I spent countless hours scouring the internet and doing research on the industry, cold-calling radio stations and production studios, and handing my business cards and demo CD's to everyone.  Slowly but surely, the work started to come my way and I’m thrilled to now be able to record audio books, voice eLearning projects and explainer videos, voice commercials, and interview amazing and inspiring people on my podcast, all from the comfort of my home recording studio. 

As much as I love helping my clients, it's also very important to me to help others who might not be as far along on their journey.  That's why I wrote my book, created my online course and launched my VO podcast.  I meet so many incredible people and I'm thrilled to share what I've learned and learn from them as well.

Aug 28, 2017

Mike Lenz interviews voice actro and audiobook narrator Tom  Jordan.

I started voiceovers in 1994 – before the internet. I did some computer-based-training voiceovers that paid the rent for a few months, but was living and working in Long Beach, CA and these were the days before people had in-home studios, so whenever I had to audition, I had to drive to LA – in LA traffic! It just didn’t seem worth it at the time.

Fast-forward to 2002 and the internet now allows home studios and emailing MP3s – a huge breakthrough. I start soliciting my VO skills to local cable TV providers – ones that had in-house video production. Got several gigs around the nation – mom and pop stores, mostly – TV and radio gigs. This was fun, but three kids and a full time job took priority.

I had done corporate narration in addition to copywriting as my day gig for several years and, in May 2016 finally decided to turn my VO experience into something that could feed me in retirement – still many years off, but I needed to start somewhere. I hire a coach, Terry Daniel, and do a number of workshops, practice, practice, etc… Cut my demos in February. Apply to ACX in April and get hired within three days to do a six book romance series. Baptism by fire! I was approached by AB2 Talent in May and joined their roster. And now here I am. 😊  Networking and social media marketing daily and also meeting people in person. I’m the organizer of Orange County Voice Acting, which I started in January. We have 150 members now. It’s a lively group of newbies and VO pros. I’m having a total blast and love to share what I can with people who are actively pursuing a the VO adventure.

Aug 14, 2017

Elise Napier is a graduate from the University of Southern California, where she earned a BA in Psychology with a minor in Neuroscience and Theatre. She is looking to continue to learn and pursue all avenues in the entertainment industry, specifically voice over acting. She's a quick learner, dedicate worker, and thrive with organization and color coordination. For more information please contact her at elisenapier2@gmail.com or visit elisenapier.com. 

Jul 31, 2017

About me: Hey, I'm Tim. I'm a husband and a father, first and foremost. I've spent over 3 years in the podcasting space, learning everything I could about what makes a podcast great. Prior to getting into this arena, I spent my time touring the country with a band of my best friends (including Liam, one of our project managers here). We got the opportunity to play on MTV, at the Bamboozle, on Warped Tour, and various other opportunities for not-so-humble brags. My background is in sales and marketing -- both online and off, and that's allowed me to help podcasters get amazing results. I've also been the voice for many incredible companies like TOMY Toys, Disney, AT&T, The Travel Channel, The UFC, Expedia, Honda, and more. I'm a nerd, and wouldn't have it any other way... and I eat, sleep, and breathe Syracuse sports (GO ORANGE!)

For more information on this and other episodes, head over to mikelenzvoice.com

Jul 17, 2017

Audible Best Selling Narrator, Andrea Emmes was born in Hollywood, FL and grew up in both Tennessee and Rhode Island, started her career in musical theater. Cutting her teeth at The Trinity Arts Center in Rhode Island, Andrea eventually made her way to Orlando and began her eclectic career singing/dancing in various shows at Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, Pirates' Dinner Adventure, performing as a magician's assistant, headlining on the Las Vegas Strip and touring Los Angeles as an L.A. Award winning artist with her album, "I'm On My Way".  

Having worked in tv, film and video games, Andrea, a total Book Nerd, now enjoys narrating audiobooks at her home studio in San Jose, California.

Her wide range of character voices and dynamic/emotionally invested performances has reviewers and listeners alike commenting on how she effortlessly pulls listeners in, and has versatility and charisma.

Fun Facts: Andrea has a Bachelor of Science in Game Art and Design; was a game designer for Disney Interactive; once interviewed Ernie Cline for his amazing novel Ready Player One as a Gamer Review for ForbiddenPanel.com and gets her gamer-geek on playing games of all kinds with her husband and their cat, Lucy.

Jul 3, 2017

I’m a voice actor–which basically means that I love to talk–whether it be narration for commercials, documentaries, instructional films, industrial videos, trailers; or imaging voiceovers for promos and radio stations around the country; or IVR (phone prompts and messaging services) for phone directories; or any other kind of VO!

I’ve voiced campaigns for Acura, Honda, Primerica, Akamai, Schlage Locks, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Roche Molecular Diagnostics, YAMAHA drums, Vic Firth drumsticks, Atlanta Institute of Music, Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Browns, Georgia Lottery, Southeastern Conference, Sportstime Ohio, and many more! In radio, I’ve been the imaging voice for 94.7 WDSD, WWTX 1290 AM, The Ken Coleman Show on WDUN 550 AM, and Lonestar 92.9 KDCD FM.

Jun 19, 2017

Brent is the New Radio and TV Signature Voice of the NCAA and March Madness 2016! Also, he is the voice of the International Champions Cup Professional Soccer Tourament and is heard by millions of fans in Stadiums Worldwide. That voice that gets you pumped up for the game? Thats Brent! Clients like NCAA, Nutri-Shop, GoPro, HBO International Boxing, SeaLaunch, and Jiffy Lube, all count on Brent to get their message to the world. What are you waiting for? Send him a script and get your project Rockin!

Jun 5, 2017
 Hey there, I'm impressionist Brian Hull, and here is my channel 
where I do hundreds of impressions and have some comedy with them too!
You may know me for my Disney and Pixar singing videos that have
gone viral, but here is where the real magic happens!
Come subscribe to check out my latest content uploaded every Friday!
May 22, 2017

Dan (Daniel Eduardo) Hurst is an experienced bilingual (English and Spanish) voice talent operating out of the Kansas City area. His business extends internationally, with clients including Maserati, Boehringer Ingelheim, British Petroleum, Kimberly-Clark, McDonalds, Volkswagen, Telemundo International, Shell, Hallmark, TransCanada, and many more, along with his national work for numerous infomercials, ESPN, MLB, and the Golf Channel, among others. When he’s not working, he spends time cheering for losing sports teams, getting kicked off of golf courses, and cursing his boat motor.  For more information go to www.DanHurst.com

 

 

May 8, 2017
Joe Loesch is an award winning author, voice actor and spoken word producer. He trained for an acting career at the Pasadena Playhouse and now calls Nashville home. Joe has produced over a hundred audiobooks, voiced dozens of national commercials and several cartoons for the Disney channel. He produced the Baby Looney Tunes sound-books. Joe teaches voice acting locally for The Actor's School in Franklin, TN. He teaches nationally for Edge Studio in NYC. Joe is the voice of all characters for Dave Ramsey's "Junior's Adventures.  
For more info on this and other episodes head over to mikelenzvoice.com.
Apr 24, 2017

Though I love to travel, there’s no place like my home in Missouri. I was born and raised just north of Kansas City, and being a Midwest girl, I believe in hard work and authenticity. I’ve always been fascinated with people and I’m the kind of person who strikes up a friendly conversation with the cashier at the grocery store, or the guy standing next to me in a long line.

When I got to college and discovered that you can actually get a degree in communicating effectively with other human beings (who knew?), I couldn’t get signed up fast enough! Heading into my senior year, I had the crazy idea of becoming a TV advertising executive, so I landed an internship at a nearby cable station. One day, a producer asked me to read the script for a commercial and I suddenly discovered my passion for voice over! That was 10 years ago, and now here I am, recording in my home studio or with real people in their Kansas City area studios. When I’m not behind a microphone, I still hone my skills regularly by reading to my four young children or watching HGTV with my husband; when you’re in voiceover, the commercials become a lot more interesting! I love meeting new people through social media, so feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter.

I’m half right-brained/half left-brained so, from me, you get the best of both worlds. I love pretty things, but I’m happiest when they are neatly ordered. You could say my world points to ordered chaos. In fact, my five—yes you read that right, five—children are all budding artists. They take after me in creativity; the ordered part, well, we’re working on that.

Odds & Ends

  • I have my Masters in Arts Marketing and Development.
  • I love Pinterest; looking at pretty is a great way to spend an afternoon.
  • I still use paper to-do lists, especially in stylish notebooks.
  • My heart skips a beat when I check something off on my to-do list.
  • I LOVE WHAT I DO!
  • And, my goal is that you feel the same way about your work.

So . . .

Are you ready to expand your business with a greater digital presence? You can focus on what you love, and hand off the Newsletter, Pinterest board, revamped Website, or Social Media Management to someone who lives, eats and breathes Digital Marketing.

For more info on this and other episodes head over to mikelenzvoice.com.

 

 

Apr 10, 2017

Gabriel Kunda is a professional voice actor recently signed by Atlas Talent Agency. 

Mar 27, 2017

Dustin’s honest to goodness voice and professionalism have been bringing brands to life for over 20 years.

His clients rely on his keen understanding of how to connect with both the soul of the listener and the script – and the fact that he sounds as trustworthy as he is to work with.

Dustin’s clear, natural and believable reads are ideal for narration, commercials, promos and radio & television station imaging. He has been heard nationally on network television and radio, broadcast cable, MTV and VH-1. Dustin’s corporate narration clients include: The United Nations, General Electric, Pepsi, Intel, Delta Airlines, UBS, Kraft Foods, The Four Seasons Hotels, UPS, Cisco, The United States Air Force, Pizza Hut, American Express and many others.

Dustin has a fully equipped personal studio with ISDN, Neumann U87, Sennheiser 416, Fousrite Red 7, Focal monitors and all available connection and delivery methods.

Dustin is honored to be one of the founders of World-Voices Organization, an industry association for voice actors.

For more information about this and other episodes head over to mikelenzvoice.com.

Mar 13, 2017

My website gurus tell me this page needs to be “personal” and “not salesy,” but my personal life isn’t all that interesting. Well, since I’m paying them for their expertise, here we go… When people ask where I’m from, I hold up my left hand like anyone born and raised in the Great Lake State of Michigan. I kept the non-accent but left the cold to live in Georgia.

Since I have no coordination and therefore stunk at sports, I turned to singing and theater as a teen where I found it was much more fun to be other people than my bookish, nerdy self. Being on stage, I found my happy place and even made some money in high school entertaining at little girls’ birthday parties as Snow White complete with balloon animals and a Pin the Ears on Dopey game.

College kicked off with me earning a minor in Theater Performance at Auburn University, but then breaking my AU Tiger mother’s heart when I was accepted to the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism, where I earned a degree in Public Relations. Like any student working her way through school, I probably annoyed you with telemarketing calls and may have even served you drinks and dinner if you ever dined in my college town.

My best college job was as a DJ at WDDK in little ol’ Greensboro, Georgia. General Manager Chip Lyness not only gave me a job but a ticket to my future. His love of the broadcast industry was contagious, and I never looked back. Luck brought me cowboy boots and Wrangler jeans when I got a job as a VJ at a local television music video station in Athens, Georgia, which then led me to my first professional post-college job with a country station in Tucson, Arizona. Since I didn’t know squat about country music at the time, I drew a lot on that acting background. These work experiences introduced me to the magic of broadcast advertising.

Spent most of my after-college life working in public relations and media including stints as a newspaper reporter, copywriter, on-air talent and non-profit communications director.

After doing VO on the side for years, it was time to pull the trigger. Brilliant coach Paul Armbruster helped me channel my theater background and marry it to my broadcast experience by teaching me how to be a voice actor.

When I’m not hanging out with my family or voicing at the mic, I’m exploring the outdoors in my red kayak, via my own two feet running, or behind the wheel of my black Jeep Wrangler. When being outside is impossible, I’m reading, playing board games with my family or geeking out on the web searching for more vintage mics to add to my collection.

For more information about this and other episodes head over to mikelenzvoice.com.

Feb 27, 2017

Julie Williams brings almost four decades of voice-over excellence to the table.  From showing travelers how to change their tickets at Orbitz.com, to instructing employees how to make the perfect Pizza Hut Pizza, to feature stories on HGTV, to teaching virtual high school Biology and Geometry eLearning course, a Savvy Woman Homebuyers series for Women’s Entertainment Television and helping lawyers with a Bar Exam study course, I have voiced hundreds of eLearning projects.

I’ve also voiced hundreds of commercials over the past decades for such notable clients as Coca-Cola, Pampers, Imperial Sugar, Disney World, Foley*s, Dillards, and more. Most of her clients are repeat clients who return time after time. Why do I get hired so often? Because I communicate the story of the script by offering a transparency in which the focus is never on the me, but on the message. And that’s a skill I pass along to my students.

An audiobook narrator with many titles to my credit, I’m proud to say I earned the honor of being an Audie Finalist in 2010 for my performance of Lord of the Ringless, by Dee Aspin–my very first audiobook! I’ve taught at the top VO conferences in the world.

For more information on this and other episodes head over to mikelenzvoice.com.  

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Feb 13, 2017

Emmy-winning producer Rudy Gaskins is CEO and Executive Creative Director of Push Creative, Inc., a full-service branding agency providing strategic marketing, graphic design and video/film production. Clients include Lexus, FOX News Channel, BET, American Express, Spike TV, ABC Television, Actors Federal Credit Union, History Channel, MSNBC, and NBC Sports. Drawing on his former experience as a filmmaker and writer/producer/director for PBS, Gaskins has recently expanded Push Creative’s production scope to include program development and is actively developing TV and web series in several genres.

In an admirable gesture to elevate the quality and perception of the voiceover industry, Gaskins conceived and initiated the creation of two innovations that have had a very special impact on the TV marketing and promotions community: 1) In 2007, Gaskins created what has become Promax/BDA’s tri-annual event called “Speed Dating for Clients and Vendors.” The process, which is not unlike speed dating in the personal relationship world, has greased the rusted practices of how vendors and clients discern and create partnerships to achieve outsourcing objectives. 2) In 2009, Gaskins brought to Promax/BDA an idea to create and award category that, for the first time in TV history, would recognize the contribution of voiceover actors to the success of a multi-billion dollar advertising and marketing industries. With the passing of the legendary Don Lafontaine, Gaskins engaged Promax/BDA to inaugurate the annual Don LaFontaine Legacy Award which Gaskins presented to Don’s wife at the 2009 Promax/BDA conference. The Don LaFontaine Legacy Award is given annually to a voiceover actor who demonstrates humanitarianism in his or her life.

Gaskins began his professional career after graduating from NYU’s Film and Television program. He wrote, directed and produced several award-winning short films before signing on as an apprentice film editor on Francis Coppola’s The Cotton Club. From there Gaskins went on to work with some of the most influential filmmakers of our time, including Jonathan Demme, Brian DePalma, Milos Forman, Spike Lee, and Alan Pakula. Having never lost his original passion for creating and directing, Gaskins joined PBS where he produced over 12 hours of programming spanning dozens of countries and cultures around the world.

The PBS journalistic tradition was indeed fertile ground and a perfect complement to Gaskins’ next challenge as writer/producer/director with ABC News advertising and promotion. Here he oversaw the writing and production of on-air advertising for World News Tonight featuring the legendary Peter Jennings, 20/20 with Barbara Walters and Primetime Live with Diane Sawyer. Gaskins also produced and directed behind-the-scenes press package for ABC News and its national affiliates.

Seeking to broaden his challenges, Gaskins took advantage of an entirely new challenge when he was tapped by Court TV to develop an in-house department for creative services and on-air branding strategy. As vice president of Court TV’s creative services department Gaskins managed two successful re-launches of Court TV’s network identity as it moved from a news network to an entertainment venue — overseeing an award-winning re-branding campaign forged in partnership with Lee Hunt. Gaskins would go on to produce similar results as an executive producer for Food Network before launching Push Creative. Among many awards won before and since, Gaskins’ first Emmy Award was for Push Creative’s work on the Olympic Games.

Gaskins continues to look forward, focusing on the integration and proliferation of new media development across all platforms. Over the past 5 years he has guided Push Creative to the edge of the digital revolution, exploiting the social networking phenomenon, developing web sites, iPhone/Pad applications, widgets and web games for a variety of high profile companies like Spike TV, Lexus, JP Morgan and others. As a brand guru and creative director, Rudy has been able to grow Push Creative into a full service integrated creative agency with its greatest assets being new ideas and innovation.

Gaskins currently resides in Brooklyn, New York with his wife and business partner, Joan Baker.

For more info on this and other episodes head over to mikelenzvoice.com

Jan 30, 2017

Joan Baker, author of Secrets of Voice-Over Success, has performed hundreds of promos and commercials for TV, film and radio throughout her highly regarded career. ABC News, American Express, Other clients include: King World, ESPN, BLOOMBERG TV and radio, SHOWTIME, HBO, NBA Entertainment, COURT TV, Imus in the Morning, Olay, Lens Express, Sony Music, JP Morgan Chase, American Express, Costco, and The New York Times Classified represents just a few of the numerous clients who regularly call upon her unique sound. You could even say that Joan’s talents reach the highest levels of American royalty and deep into the political power structure: She voiced a TV ad campaign for The Muhammad Ali Center and narrated a documentary about the founding of the William Jefferson Clinton Library, now a part of the library’s permanent display. And Joan also has it going on live! She provided the live voice announcements for the “Museum of the Moving Image Salutes Will Smith” which aired on Bravo TV.

Prior to authoring Secrets Of Voice-Over Success Joan built a lucrative following among people (actors & corporate executives) seeking training in the art of voice-over acting. Nancy Grace and the late Johnnie Cochran are counted among her high profile students. Today she travels the country as a lecturer and seminar leader through a variety of arts institutions. She’s the creator of the powerful “Make Millions With Your Voice” seminars through the Learning Annex.

She has been featured in numerous publications and TV segments: Interview Magazine, Adweek, Backstage, The NY Post, Media Week, Broadcasting & Cable, Cable World, NY Daily News, Radio World and Black Enterprise. Also on television’s Weekend Vibe, SHOWBIZ Today on CNN, Fox 5 NY, ABC News Now and E! News. She is represented exclusively by Innovative Artists.

In honor of her late father, James P. Baker, who past away from complications of Alzheimer’s disease, Joan contributes all royalties from the sales of Secrets of Voice-Over Success to the Alzheimer’s Association of which she has become a steady patron and advocate for a cure.

For more information about this and other episodes head over to mikelenzvoice.com

Jan 16, 2017

What’s the deal with “Zippy,” anyway?

Long story short, the nickname “Zippy” comes from a character I played in a 2nd grade talent show. It was my first acting experience, and wouldn’t you know it- the name stuck!

With that being said, should I call you “Christopher?”  “Chris?”  “Zippy?”  I’m confused!

It doesn’t matter- I’ll answer to any of the three!

So acting’s been in your blood since you were a kid- pretty cool.  Did you do anything with that passion?

I was able to parlay my love of acting into a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the California Institute of the Arts, where I was privileged to get a mix of both classical and experimental theatre training from some of the top instructors in the country.  They also had great Halloween parties.

What happened after college?  

I got a job.

Then what?

I took standup comedy classes over at Mi’s Westside Comedy Theater in Santa Monica, California.  I enjoyed being a part of Westside’s community, and it led me to go through their improv training.  I was lucky enough to be a regular performer, both as part of a house team (Ghost Party Orchestra), and as a member of their flagship improv show, Mission IMPROVable (as Agent Hammertime).

Oh goodness, another nickname?

Yup.  I guess it’s kind of my thing.

So, improv you say?  Like what they do on ‘Whose Line Is It Anyway?’

Well, Mission IMPROVable is sort of like that, but since a TV audience watching an 8pm show at home is a lot different than a live audience coming to watch a 10pm show at a comedy theater, the energy at Mission IMPROVable is unmatched.  Plus, I think our games are better.  But I’m biased.

Ghost party Orchestra’s form of improv is known as longform.  Basically, you put a group of performers on stage, someone in the audience yells out a word, and you do a full show of interconnected scenes based off of that one word.  It can get pretty crazy.

 

Wow- this Westside Comedy Theater sounds like a pretty cool place.  What else did you do over there?

Sketch comedy!  There wasn’t a lot of it going on when I first got there, so some friends & I decided, “Why not us?”  I co-created, co-wrote, co-produced, and co-performed in two regularly-running sketch shows while I was there: Kaufman & Kaufman Presents, and The Get Buck Variety Riot.

First of all, that’s a lot of “co’s.”  Second, this Westside Comedy Theater sounds like a pretty cool place.  Where can I go to learn more about it, and what nights are you there?

http://www.WestsideComedy.com

If you’re ever in Los Angeles, I highly recommend you give them a visit.  Sadly, you won’t find me there these days, as I moved to the East Coast.

Wait, what?!  But…but…you love WCT!  I don’t get it!  If you loved being there so much, why did you leave, mmm?

Well you know the phrase “When opportunity knocks, you…”  Wait.  What is the rest of that phrase?  I mean, I know it’s got something to do with answering a door…or is the whole phrase just, “When opportunity knocks?”  And what if you have a doorbell?

…But I digress.

I had been an L.A. kid all my life, but at some point, I knew that I had to see what the East Coast was all about.  Thankfully, a short stint as a creative writer over at WWE allowed me to move east and experience new things like weather (it snows here!), public transportation that doesn’t stink, and East Coast food (Oh, the food!).

Hold on just one second.  Did you say WWE?  Like, the professional wrestling company?

That’s the one.

You know it’s all fake, right?

Next question.

Okay okay.  I see that you’re a voice actor.  How is that going for you?

Quite well!  After  WWE, I took a chance and explored an avenue I’ve always been interested in: Voice acting. To date, some of the clients I’ve worked with have been MTV, and the University of Louisville.

One last question: What do you like to do for fun?

I enjoy watching sports (especially the Lakers, Dodgers, UCLA, and Raiders), bowling, karaoke, and chocolate chip cookies (no nuts!).

For more information about this and other episodes head over to mikelenzvoice.com.

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