Live From Radio City Music Hall It’s Randy Thomas!!
What radio VO work have you done in the past (stations/markets)? Some of the calls are Lite106.7 New York,WARM 98 Cincinnatti. WNIC Detroit, The RIVER Memphis, WASH-FM in DC, KLTH Portland,Denver, Toronto, and many other stations.
What are you up to presently (freelance/on-staff at a station)? I am presently voicing TV afilliates and radio stations and expanding my formats and reads.
What do you love about working as a freelance VO talent? The freedom to play with copy and find my different reads in my studio all day. Then, I get to get on a plane, another day to go announce a global awards show. I believe our future is only limited by our dreams. So remember to “live your dreams and use your voice”.
How did you get started as a VO actor? What was your first gig? Interestingly when I was 18 living in Detroit where my radio career began, I went for a visit to WPLJ, in NYC, and somehow a sales staffer asked me to read a hair salon commercial…I think they paid me $150. A few months later I was asked to come to New York to be on WPLJ from 6 to 10PM based on how much they loved the commercial I had recorded for them. The job only lasted four months before I was sent back to Detroit..It was all part of the perfect plan that set me on my radio journey for the next 20 years.
Have you ever had a voice coach? Yes I have and do currently work with voice coaches that know me and help me find the best read for a particular client. My top 3 are David Lyerly, Marice Tobais, and my co-author Peter Rofe. Each has a different strength, but they all know me well. Coaches bring a sense of knowing what the buyers want at this minute because the downside of being an at home studio talent, is that we live and work in a vacuum.
Who are your VO idols/mentors? Don LaFontaine and Peter Thomas.
Who influenced your work as a voice-over artist? Probably every voice artist I have ever heard has had an impact on my read and style. Because I was usually the first woman hired at a station back in the day, many of my mentors were men. Like Larry Berger at WPLJ, Rick Shaw at WAXY in Miami. Years later in LA, Keri Tombazian inspired my on air style when I left rock radio to smooth jazz at KTWV, The Wave. Which in fact, became the last radio station I worked for as morning host until 1993. That’s when I first announced the Academy Awards and left radio as an on air personality to become a full time voice over artist branding great radio stations.
What is your dream job? Continuing to live-announce the biggest events on the Planet and to voice trailers and projects that contribute to the upliting of the human spirit. So perhaps my dream job is to work with Oprah announcing anything for her. It is on my bucket list, I know that one day I will announce something for/with Oprah.
Where did you work before radio? I was only 18 and just in junior college when I was offered to begin my radio career. So before that I was a waitress in Manhattan, and then in between radio gigs I drove a limousine.
What would be your 3 main tips for a youngster trying to start a VO career? DO what you love every day. Learn what drives you and fills your soul with purpose. Work toward your dreams every day then leave room for the Universe to step in and deliver an even bigger dream you didn’t even know you had.
What is your most memorable moment at the Tonys? Just being in the room with all of the Broadway legends and Hollywood actors that are embraced by the theatre community. It is where I started so it will always be special to me.
Can you describe the first time you live-announced the Tony Awards? It was 1999 and my daughter was two and I left her home in LA with my husband. I remember being so worried about how she would do without me. But the moment I stepped into the Rocketts dressing room that is converted every year as my Live-Announce booth, I knew I could relax and focus on the task at hand.
You’ve been such an influence and opened doors specifically for other females trying to get into (or are in) voiceover. Was it tough being one of the first females in the industry? And to take it further, one of the first females to announce huge live events? I had no idea what an impact it would have on the announcing world. That I have opened the door for so many women is a blessing and it has helped me create and solidify my brand: As the woman who announces The biggest shows on the planet!
How do you schedule your work (priorities…..)? I do what comes in the order in which it arrives and go all day until everyone is caught is up. We live in a world where uber-serving the client should be standard business practice.
How much time do you spend auditioning for new work? So much time it’s crazy. A voice actor, actually auditions for a living. It’s what we do every day.
How do you market your services to potential clients? Benztown, allaccess.com, and Realtime Casting…I also reach out to certain buyers via my agents.
Which production system do you use and why? I use ProTools in my main studio Mac. My MacBook had Twisted Wave, and I am an ambassador for a new delivery system called SoundStreak. It’s a digital connection that allows me to read to picture for afilliates, or to a special commercial a station may be doing for sweeps. It is a LOW-COST way to connect online and deliver even better audio than ISDN or Source Connect.
What gear do you use (microphone, pre-amp, booth, …)? Sennheiser Shotgun 416,coupled with my Avalon. I can switch out to a Neumann U87 for narration projects. I also have a Manley Mic and Manley Vox-Box, because Don used one. My booth is 6×10 with a dropped ceiling, floating walls and an Acoustic System Door with a window.