Wednesday, May 13, 2009
"Talent" is another term for an on-air professional in radio or TV, as well as for voice-over professionals. If you have the chance to listen in on the production end of a TV broadcast, for instance, you might hear the director say, "Cue Talent!", and that means, of course, that he wants the floor director (or someone else outside of the booth) to give the announcer a signal that he or she should begin talking. Likewise, when we schedule someone for a recording session, we always refer to that person as our talent; "What time is our Lithuanian talent coming in?"
One of the interesting things about Marketing Messages is that, in addition to the obvious populating of our actual talent roster with pros, we employ many current or former talents in our office positions. They do things such as production of recording sessions, editing of voice files, script writing, and other tasks that benefit from trained ears and real-world experiences.
My office/studio is surrounded by talents.
As I sit here at the computer, Dan Nelson is in the office to my left. His past experiences include some on-air work in radio, but one of his major strengths is as our "go-to guy" on technical issues. He probably knows more about the mechanical aspects of recording than the rest of the office personnel combined, and that's not a slight to the rest of us. He just truly enjoys that aspect of his work and takes great pride in being the best he can be at it.
In the office to my right sits John Hutchinson. John, or "Hutch", originally hails from England, but he hit these shores quite a while back and found great success as a disk jockey. He's had gigs in St. Louis, Tucson, Miami, Boston and New York (where he was David Lee Roth's studio producer and co-host), as well as his original hometown of Birmingham in the UK. He's also had a few parts in movies and TV commercials. Aside from his work in broadcasting, he has a BA in sociology, and has worked as a youth counselor and in educational exchanges. Wonderfully generous man, great sense of humor. I've only given you a bare-bones listing of his accomplishments. He's been in broadcasting far longer than some of the current crop of DJs have been alive, and would still be outworking 98% of them if he wasn't sick of battling some of the slimy folk on the business end of radio.
Sarah Colvin sits directly behind me. She spent quite a bit of time working in news down in the Cape Cod area, Ocean 104.7 and WQRC. She still has that same type of distinctive delivery when doing one of our scripts. In addition to many aspects of recording, editing, voicing, etc., her talents also extend to photography. She has had her work published in a number of places. For instance, if you go to her blog, you can see where some of her recent work has appeared in print.
I'm continually impressed with the skills I see displayed by the people with whom I work, and not just by those of us who call ourselves "talents". The folks who don't do voice-work are just as talented; maybe even more so. There's not a single person in this office who doesn't have some other amazing skill they could fall back on if worse came to worse.
Take our office manager, Kim Gorton. She's a nice person to work with - pleasant, intelligent, all that good stuff - but she also has a pilot's license. Isn't that cool? Nice to know you could just fly off into the sunset if need be.
Rich Snider is the main man here. Without his work, we'd all have blessed little to do. He's the company's leading salesman and he works damned hard at it, too. I respect his work greatly. My Dad was a fine salesman, so I know how hard that work can sometimes be. And I sure as hell know that I have little talent in that area myself. Anyway, aside from being a swell salesman, Rich is also - like Sarah, mentioned above - an avid photographer. His specialty is the landscape; nature shots and such. Want to see some superb outdoor photography? Check out Rich's site.
Aside from the myriad of radio voices, actors, singers, and other entertainment types who have been employed here, other folks I've worked with in this office have been, mostly in their spare time, trained paramedics, working musicians, professional nannies, schoolteachers, computer programmers, elected officials, instructors in religious education, and major league lacrosse players (I'm not kidding. One of our current roster talents once played lacrosse in a now-defunct professional league.)
It's all pretty humbling to have "softball bum" be your major claim to fame while in the midst of such people.
See you soon.