OK. Yes, I used to be a broadcaster. In some circles in this crazy world of v/o, such experience is considered a handicap. Broadcasters are too radio-y and to hyped up to offer a good voice-acting delivery, some say.
OK. I used to be a broadcaster for many years, like about 20. But I was always an actor and creative type. I just used to play DJ for my mom and play and sing, act out Snow White, and play Pat Boone or Nat King Cole tunes from our old victrola. In college, I was a drama major. I lived for the stage, snagged several leads in plays in HS and college. Before that I used to write and produce plays as a girl growing up in Wisconsin. We lived on a lake. We had a fantastic barn on our property that had a stage, complete with procenium arch. I wrote, produced and directed a number pf plays with my friends. We were “The Beaver Lake Players”. I’ve always been an actor, (drama queen) and I have always loved music.
There was this very cool station, WZMF- Menomonee Falls, a little 3000 watt monster that played album cuts. Not a monster signal, but a monster in terms of big changes in radio. Small but mighty. I was one of radio’s first women to appear on the airwaves in Milwaukee. We played complete album sides. I was in love. After all, it was 1969, the summer of love. I loved the station’s attitude, because we loved our community of listeners. I wanted to be part of it all .
I was a senior in high school when I started at a progressive rock station. I had been working about 4 years since this pic was taken at a remote broadcast for my second station WQFM- Milwaukee, as the mid-day “Priestess of High Noon”. I later became program director.
This was at WLPX Milwaukee where I was Music Director and I did mid-days on the air from 1979-1982
In 1982, I left radio as a full-time personality and created a new ad agency, “On the Beam Productions”, where I wrote and produced radio, TV commercials, and purchased airtime for the clients. Many projects I would either voice myself or hire other talents for. I decided being a voice talent was so much fun that I wanted to do it all the time. So I signed up with some agents and was working immediately, even in Chicago.
I felt like everything I had done up to that point kept leading me as I evolved into the next aspect of my career.
Then in 1984 my husband and I made a bold move. We packed up the “tent” and left for California. No jobs. just some family out here and belief in ourselves that we’d make it. I figured, “why not be closer to the action” in voiceover. I didn’t want to be in LA, so we settled in north San Diego County, in Escondido, exacly 100 miles from Hollywood.
I worked part time at the legendary KGB-FM and freelanced as a voice talent right away, getting signed up with my San Diego, Orange County and Los Angeles talent agents. I was swamped with jobs, auditions and driving all around Southern California most of the time.
Circa 1984 – while at KGB-FM
The thing that prompted me to share this information was a letter I received yesterday out of the clear blue from a guy who used to be a “fan”. It touched me so deeply ! I swear I was so moved with emotion , tears started coming. Then I realized why….
(reprinted with permission)
“Happy High Noon to ya’!” I was doing a Google search on ZMF and QFM (nostalgic for some good radio with real DJs <smiles!> and came aross a link for your website. When I was growing up, I listened to ZMF and QFM constantly and YOU were always one of my absolute favorites! Such a lovely, soothing voice; such presence! <sighs!> What ever became of such good radio….?
Between you and Reitman (and Ron Cuzner, too), I was inspired to do some radio work for a short while. Radio’s fun but voicework (it sounds like) would really be the way to showcase one’s acting/vocal talents. I’m so glad you’re still showing off those golden pipes! Always thought about trying it for a vocation but the field seems so competitive….
Cool home studio, btw. I’m an amateur musician and do some multitrack recording in the family computer room, so I understand what you mean about waiting for the house to be vacated in order to lay down some tracks. <smiles> I like the foam rubber idea. My vocals always sound like they have what John Sebastian once called “Organic Echo.”
Anyway…..glad to see you’re still kickin’! Just wanted to send a fan letter and tell you that I always thought you were one of the best in Milwaukee.
Then I emailed him back and asked if I could use his letter in my blog and the he wrote this back:
WOW. I too was around when radio was truly magic. Now, many years later I work alone in a studio all day—as a voice talent, trying to touch someone though my delivery of someone else’s words, combining everything I’ve learned from radio, acting, from my voice coaches and my own unique experience …though the sounds I get out of my instrument (voice). I read an interview with Martin Landau , where he said a good actor just doesn’t act, he connects emotionally with someone else’s words.
Once upon a time, I touched someone , and years later, he touched me back. Yes, I was a broadcaster, and I am a voice actor.
Thank you JR.