In a World Where…

2932(See video below)

A world where I get to do voice-over is more fun. 

My world just got funner.

69687_497263673663346_825928064_nBack in the 80’s my work with two comedy acts led to a series of comedy and children’s albums. By the mid-2000’s I’d done radio, audio books (“Get paid to read?!”), and the now-classic Zondervan Dramatized Audio Bible, for which I narrated most of the Psalms as King David.

I’ve always had huge respect for great voice-over artists. They are the people who invade our lives without us ever knowing their names.

Except for perhaps one: Don LaFontaine. Don’t know the name? You know his voice. And you know his signature line, “In a world where…”  He was the most successful voice-over artist of all time.

Shortly after we moved to Burbank, California, my daughter Beth enrolled in gymnastics. When I came to pick her up one day, she and her new flipping, leaping, cartwheeling buddy Skye insisted that she sleep over at Skye’s house–that night!

Two hours later we motored up the hill. And further up. And further up.  Until we reached a multi-million dollar mansion with a 180° panoramic view of Hollywood. Skye’s dad, a down-to-earth bald dude in loafers welcomed us, then introduced us to Skye’s mom, a wonderful pop/R&B singer named Nita, and their other “golden children” (racially mixed). I still love that term–and the attitude that goes with it.

Skye’s dad and I talked while she and Beth ran off to play. And then something clicked. First name: Don.  Last name: LaFontaine. Holy…!  This was the freakin’ Pope of voice-over, Don LaFontaine!

tumblr_mcvanv2ZIG1qjgy1mEvery time Beth and Skye hung out, Don and I hung out. We sat in his recording studio basement–directly wired to the studios and television networks–and talked showbiz. The only nuisance: about every 20 minutes Don would be interrupted by a buzzer. He’d say, “Excuse me,” and slip into his booth to record a one or two sentence line for, say, CBS (“Tonight on Touched by an Angel you’ll be touched!”), then pop back in. Once I asked, “How much did you just make?”  He shrugged and said, “I don’t know. $15 or 20 thousand–my agent handles that.”

There has never been another Don LaFontaine.

A few years after we relocated to Cincinnati, Ohio, Don passed away. I’m so grateful for the brief time I got to spend with “the golden voice.”

I recently started doing voice-over work for a video advertising company in Cincinnati called Epipheo.

So my world just got a little funner.

Here’s an animated promo I did for a New Zealand employment agency last month (I’m the voice of the jerky Ricky Gervais-lite boss).

This one’s for you, Don!

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in Humor, Memoir, Popular Culture & Entertainment, Videos and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to In a World Where…

  1. Rose says:

    That was awesome (lucky duck). 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kelly Anne Liberto says:

    Amazing how the right people/job come along at the right time isn’t it? Fun ad Mitch 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This killed me. I never doubted you that are one talented guy, Mitch, but I truly am jealous of the fact that you got to meet Mr. LaFontaine. I saw something some years back, where he was able to poke fun at himself for his voice over work (something else I am jealous of you for). He did so in such a way that I felt he truly did have a wonderful self-deprecating sense of humor. I think you were very lucky to know him. I am a little curious though, was your daughter able to stay in contact with Don’s daughter, Skye? Oh, and, another wonderful post by you Mitch. :O)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. radiostudy says:

    Way to go, Mitch! Loved the Skye/Don story, & the ad. Blessings! Anne

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Nancy Ruegg says:

    I’m thinking you need to write an autobiography, Mitch. Your life is a string of interesting experiences and encounters. ‘Loved this story about Don Fontaine and greatly enjoyed your New Zealander (Is that what you would call it?) accent!

    Liked by 1 person

    • mitchteemley says:

      Thanks, Nancy! Yes, I’m itching to do a memoir. Actually, although the company is based in New Zealand, I did a Ricky Gervais-ish London accent at the producer’s request.

      Like

  6. melhulm says:

    Wow – incredible story Mitch! I am just a little jealous right now! Love your character work too! Cheers, Mel

    Like

  7. Sammy says:

    Good for you Mitch. I enjoyed the advert…All the best and may all your dreams come true.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. sefiros2211 says:

    Thanks for liking my articles.

    Like

  9. kauaiartist says:

    Thank you so much for liking my poem Roger Repugnatant on my blog WordMusic. That tickles me.

    Brent Kincaid

    Liked by 1 person

  10. mitchteemley says:

    Reblogged this on Mitch Teemley and commented:

    On location shooting for my feature film. Meanwhile, here’s a fun post you might have missed previously. ~Mitch

    Like

  11. r_prab says:

    Wow! That was great! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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