By now we've all seen the story of Ted Williams, the homeless toothless guy with the golden voice who was trying to get an announcing job while panhandling on a highway. A video was shot, it went viral, and he's now the darling of talk shows, doing commercials for Kraft Foods, MSNBC, NFL Films, and fielding other offers. It's certainly the feel good story of the year.
But there's another perspective. How do the professional voice over announcers feel about this? Dan Ingram has been a premiere voice talent for five decades. You've heard him on countless commercials. He also just happens to be one of the greatest Top 40 disc jockeys in the history of radio. Big Dan on powerhouse 77/WABC owned New York in the '60s and '70s...and Pittsburgh and Philadelphia and Boston and every other city on the eastern seaboard.
Dan wrote to me yesterday about the Ted Williams hysteria and I'd like to pass along his thoughts to you before you grab a sign and stake out an interstate off-ramp.
I feel used and conned by all the sob-sister P.R. crap about the poor scab VO guy who is selling his rather resonant voice because he's an ex junkie and an ex lush. I know at least fifty thoroughly qualified VO men and women who have never been hooked on drugs or anything else who are having difficulty making a living wage doing VO work as honorable Union members. They all know from their endeavors how fickle, thoughtless and downright cruel the VO business can be. I know that I do, especially lately.
I wish him success when he hits the bricks like the rest of us. And success under a Union contract.