pleased to welcome big mouth talent to my voiceover representation team

Some nice news to share with you.

I am pleased to announce that I have added Big Mouth Talent in Chicago to my team of stellar voiceover representatives. Kelly Wilkening and her team will handle voiceover opportunities for me across Chicagoland, Illinois..and elsewhere as they have contacts around the country.

It’s kinda of a fun story about how this particular arrangement came together.

NBC Chicago Jan 30, 2019

This is what -23 degrees F (with crazy wind chills) looked like from outside my hotel on January 30, 2019.

You might remember a few weeks ago when I was in Chicago during their record cold spell of -23°F with wind chills that made it WTF Cold (#chiberia as it became known).

Well just before the BIG freeze (oh it was still plenty cold), I needed to do a recording for a client. I looked up studios in the area around my hotel and one voiceover studio, Chicago Recording Company, was three blocks from my hotel. I booked the session and over I went.

Yes I walked to the session, I’m from Buffalo, NY for goodness sake! My lips unfroze….eventually! 🙂

The people at CRC were great – amazing set up there, the session went very well and they were very complimentary and gracious. They noted that they often work with Big Mouth Talent in Chicago and, based on what they heard, maybe I introduce myself to them.

So I did, we communicated for a bit, saw it would be a good fit for both of us and I am now part of the Big Mouth Talent VO roster.

But next time I head to Chicago, I’d like to try and do it during baseball season.

MEDIA RELEASE – O’Connell Voices Concert Spot for Grand Illusion Album Tour

The Grand Illusion 40th Anniversary audioconnellDETROIT, MI, February 12, 2019 – – Founding member, songwriter, keyboardist and former lead singer of Styx, Dennis DeYoung, presented Dennis DeYoung: The Grand Illusion 40th Anniversary Album Tour at the MGM Grand Detroit in early February. Radio promotion of the Detroit concert featured national male voice over talent Peter K. O’Connell.

The concert and radio commercial highlighted DeYoung’s performances of all the songs from Styx’s The Grand Illusion album as well as other Styx songs performed and/or written by DeYoung including “Lady”, “Babe”, “Too Much Time on My Hands” and “Mr. Roboto”.

About the MGM Grand Detroit

The only Forbes Four-Star hotel in Detroit with the only Forbes Four-Star restaurant in Michigan, the AAA Four Diamond Award-winning MGM Grand Detroit is the city’s first and only downtown hotel, gaming and entertainment destination built from the ground up. The hotel features 400 chic and stylish guest rooms, including nine rooftop VIP suites and 56 opulent corner suites. MGM Grand Detroit is a wholly owned subsidiary of MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM).

About Peter K. O’Connell

From Fortune 500 companies to companies that think $500 is a fortune, multi-award winning male voiceover talent Peter K. O’Connell has shared his voiceover and audio production skills with a wide variety of companies, world-wide. In addition to his most recent voiceover work for the MGM Grand Detroit, some of Peter’s commercial and narration clients also include L.L.Bean, IBM, Duracell Batteries, General Electric, Massachusetts State Lottery and Kraft Foods.

O’Connell owns audio’connell Voiceover Talent, a division of O’Connell Communications, LLC. He can be reached via audioconnell.com or peterkoconnell.com.

– 30 –

NOTES FOR EDITORS

CONTACT

Peter K. O’Connell

Your Friendly, Neighborhood Voiceover Talent

audio’connell Voiceover Talent

P.O. Box 5493 | Raleigh, NC 27512-5493

PH. +01 716-572-1800

EM. peter@audioconnell.com W. audioconnell.com

COMPANY MEDIA CENTER

http://www.audioconnell.com/media

PETER K. O’CONNELL VO CREDITS

VO Credits Link

COMPANY NAME SPELLING

Use lower case letters- audio’connell or audio’connell Voiceover Talent

COMPANY NAME PRONUNCIATION

au·di-o’·con·nell (awe-de-oh-kah-nel)

karen commins creates narrator’s roadmap

Karen Commins Voiceover Talent Narrator AudiobookMy talented voiceover friend Karen Commins was nice enough send a very detailed email response to a marketing query I had posted to a social media voiceover page. As usual, she answered the questions I had perfectly and I was/am very appreciative.

She also told me of a new website she has started, in addition to her audiobook narration work. New voiceover talent and audiobook narrators (of any experience level) take note.

Narrators Roadmap Karen Commins

The informative site for new voiceover narrators is called Narrators Roadmap. Karen’s web site is devoted to the needs of audiobook narrators at all levels. It includes tips, resources and many stress relieving insights for voiceover narrators.

Karen has been helping new and experienced voiceover talent in their journeys for many years. This is just one more example of both her kindness and the generosity of so many folks in the voiceover industry.

a taste of radio makes you hungry for it again

audioconnell radio production studioIn the past when I traveled, I used to bring my portable rig, build a pillow fort, hook everything up and try and make a good recording in a crap environment. For the most part, it worked out OK.

The best result was that it would sound OK. That’s pretty much it.

Folks who don’t travel alot, like I do, think it’s kinda fun to put all that stuff together. After years of doing all that, you find out it’s monotonous. From the actual fort building and jerry-rigging to getting a shot-gun microphone through airport security without TSA pooping their collective pants (reasonably so as a Sennheiser 416 mic looks very suspicious under the x-ray machine) it gets to be a pain.

Bottom line, if I don’t HAVE to bring a travel rig, I won’t.

Instead, I use recording studios in the cities I visit. You meet new people, make new contacts and generally enjoy much better recording conditions. Except for that recording session outside of Dayton, OH that got postponed because there was a drug-related murder that took place across the street just before I was set to arrive.

And by postponed I mean I cancelled it. Just to avoid the possibility of me getting eternally cancelled.

So recent on one of my trips, I was in need of a studio for a rush audition. It was inside a large radio station and being in the station’s production room was like a joyful time warp for me.

From the board to the desk to the Electro-voice RE-20 microphone (the same type I used in the 80’s when I worked in radio) it was a wonderful place to be.

People who used to work in radio (and there are tens of thousands of us) will rightly complain that we were poorly paid, over worked and undervalued. People of work in radio now may say the same thing.

But pay and some lousy bosses (and/or owners) aside, it brings most of us real broadcasters to our happy place. Playing the music, mixing the stop sets, the radio station jingles, banter, callers, on-location events – it was all so fun and yet professional. There were and are many very good people in radio. We were serious about doing a good job, being creative, working to make sponsors happy….it could be a good business to be in.

This isn’t a gauzy, romanticized remembrance for me…radio had many good parts to it.

But by the time I finished with it, the bad parts outweighed the good parts. That’s just how life goes.

I completely understand why people stay in the radio business (even for less than stellar wages) and why even a few of my VO friends have gone back into it.

Being in that radio studio for my recent recording, it was my brief happy place. And all we all want is to be happy.

national hat day or an obsession

Looking at social media, I found out that January 15 is National Hat Day. (Yes I agree, there is a ‘national day’ for waaay too many things.)

Peter K. O'Connell Voiceover Hats

Nonetheless, clearly it was my civic duty to participate and share my hat collection with the internet. If there is a National T-Shirt Day, I may have to participate in that as well.

So clearly I have an over abundance of baseball hats. Why, you ask?

PeterKOConnell Movember15 Week1There are a couple of reasons beyond that I just like wearing them.

As a golfer, I have been a member of the USGA for a long time. And every time you pay for your renewal, they send you a golf hat (really a baseball cap) with the logo of that year’s U.S. Open Championship. So there’s all those.

Next, when my boys starting playing little league, their teams would mimic the names of MLB teams, so I would get a couple of hats of each of their teams and their team would change each year.

Being from Buffalo, I just couldn’t have one hat from the Buffalo Bills football team, Buffalo Sabres hockey team, Buffalo Bisons Triple-A baseball team and Buffalo Bandits lacrosse team. I hat [sic] to have many.

Peter K. Peter K. O'Connell Bills Hat 2017

So there’s that.

Then, because the Bills weren’t making it in the playoffs, I would get a hat for the NFL team I was supporting in the playoffs to wear to football parties. The Bills weren’t in the playoffs for a loooong time.

Then the rest of the hats just sort of accumulated. If I went to a MLB game, I would buy a home team cap if I didn’t already have it. And it grew from there.

#cans4cans 2018 Peter K. O'Connell Voiceover Talent

Radio Imaging Voice Talent Peter K. O’Connell participating in the 2018 #Cans4Cans Food Donation event, sponsored by Benztown

I’m kind of partial to a particular style of baseball cap. ’47 Brand has a style called The Cleanup. I do NOT wear the standard, boxy baseball style cap seen on MLB players and nothing with half cloth, half mesh (guess I’m a bit of a baseball cap diva).

Being from Buffalo, I do have various styles of baseball caps from New Era Cap company. Although I don’t know how many more I will buy from them because New Era Cap is closing their Derby, NY plant, displacing hundreds of workers who helped build the company to what it is today. A majority of their manufacturing is going overseas with only the actually MLB team caps still being made in New Era’s Miami plant . I understand that other manufacturers (like ’47 Brand) make hats in other countries, but I always held New Era Cap to a higher standard, because of local pride.

There you have it, the somewhat brief history of my hundreds of baseball caps. More to come!

proof that following your voiceover instincts can work

Trust Your Instinct audioconnellOne of the biggest challenges to ANY small business owner (in voiceover or elsewhere) is knowing when to make an important decision.

Sometimes circumstances are clear and the business decision seems easy. Most times it’s not. That’s when business owners need to look at as many facts as possible and make the call, decision time.

Often, when circumstances and facts don’t seem as clear cut, a decision comes down to the business owner’s instincts. Their gut feeling.

So it was some years ago when I was reviewing the voiceover agents I work with.

I had many of them but more than a few were agents in name only. I never saw a lead for a new voiceover job from these few, never got a phone call from these few nor had I had my phone calls to these few returned. Most of my agents did all these things. Not these few.

Looking back it on my emails from these few, it had been multiple years since I received any communication from them. Any. That should have been reason enough.

Yet, I was hesitant…could this hurt my career if I decided to cut ties with these unproductive voiceover agents? Even though it seemed like they were not doing anything on my behalf, that they weren’t responsive to my communication, maybe (I briefly thought) they had a big job in the offing…maybe I should keep them on for just a little while longer.

My gut said no. My instincts told me I had reached out to them enough (and got little to no response) and also that if I met them in person they would not be able to pick me out of an audio or video lineup.

So I sent them a professional letter and advised them their “services” were no longer required.

I hadn’t thought about that time for a while until I received this advisement email from the Lori Lins Ltd. Talent Agency in Milwaukee, one of the few.

It read:

To: Kalah Spaude
Subject: New political commercial demo for Peter O’Connell
Sent: Monday, June 4, 2007 10:21:42 PM (UTC-06:00) Central Time (US & Canada)

was deleted without being read on Tuesday, January 8, 2019 12:13:55 PM (UTC-06:00) Central Time (US & Canada).

I had sent the agency a political voiceover demo in 2007. TWELVE years later, the agency deleted the demo email WITHOUT IT BEING READ.

Now maybe there is a technical reason for this…maybe a legitimate email went into a spam folder or maybe it got rerouted to a computer that went unused and they just cleared the system. Maybe somebody read it and forwarded it on to a technical person to post on a web site who ignored the email – with the person who emailed it not following up.

Or maybe no agent at my agency read the email. Maybe they just ignored it. Based on the service I experienced there (and with the other few), I tend to believe it was the latter.

In my opinion, my gut was right to part ways with this agent (and I cut the cord with them after 2007). This recent email notice was one of those “signs” we get in life. I have little doubt they even noticed my departure.

I’ve been successful without those few, and hopefully they have been successful without me. It’s not personal, it’s strictly business. I bear them no ill will.

But I am reminded by this email notice: go with your gut. Trust your instinct.