General information about THAT’S VOICE OVER! CAREER EXPO 2015

Miranda Patterson

Miranda Patterson is now the creative director for NBC News Marketing.  When she began her career at NBC, scripts were written on typewriters.  That’s probably all you need to know, but here’s a little more anyway.

As a writer/producer for NBC’s Advertising &  Promotion department, Miranda began with a client roster of  Late Night with David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, and Saturday Night Live.  That list grew to include the stars of the World Wrestling Federation and several years worth of Miss America contestants.  All the stories you’ve heard about that time in TV history – the fun and free-wheeling days all the old timers talk about – it’s all true.   That’s probably all you need to know about that too.

From those crazy days, Miranda moved on to the Today show, where she spent a decade, by then a senior supervising writer/producer. Now, as creative director, her client list includes all the news properties of NBC.

Over the years, Miranda has worked with celebrities, with actors, with lunatics and with children.  She has worked with graphic designers, music composers, on-air talent and industry beginners.  And more lunatics.  She’s won awards for spots that were deserving and for spots that weren’t.  There was also an award she didn’t win but still thinks she should have…it’s about time to let that go.

She has also spent many hours working with people who want to do voice-overs.  And, even after all these years in the business, she thinks it’s fun.

Cedering Fox

Listen to Cedering’s Promo Reel

Cedering Fox, the live announcer for The Oscars 2013, is one of the most nationally recognized female voices in America. You’ll recognize her from hundreds of promotional spots for ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, CNN, HGTV, EPSN, LIFETIME, REELZ, etc.and a couple of movie trailers. She is proud of her role announcing The 2012 and 2013 Producers Guild Awards, The 31st and 32nd Annual People’s Choice Awards, the 2008 Democratic National Convention, the GLAAD Awards and the 2013 Mayoral Inauguration of Eric Garcetti. She donates her announcing skills to The United Way, Liberty Hill Foundation, PANCAN and ‘What a Pair’ for Breast Cancer Research. Cedering has voiced award winning documentaries, countless national advertising campaigns and enjoys longstanding gigs with numerous local affiliate stations including WBBM in Chicago, KTRK in Houston and TMJ4 in Milwaukee. Ms. Fox is the Founder and Artistic Director of the internationally renowned non-profit organization, WordTheatre®: Giving Voice to Great Writing.

Tor Myhren

Tor Myhren, 38, is Chief Creative Officer of Grey New York, which was just named one of the 50 Most Innovative Companies in the World by Fast Company Magazine.

The E*Trade Baby, the Oprah car giveaway, Obama’s astoundingly viral ‘Race Switch’ poster, making Ellen DeGeneres a CoverGirl at age 50, The Apprentice episode that sold out a year’s supply of the Pontiac Solstice in 41 minutes, and the ‘Cadillac Under 5’ Film Festival at Sundance are some examples of Tor’s culturally relevant work.

This year, Tor was named to the Crain’s Business Journal prestigious ‘40 Under 40’ list. He was also just placed along with James Cameron, Dave Eggers, Spike Jonze and Lady Gaga to the elite Creativity 50 list, honoring the 50 most influential creative minds of 2010. Tor recently finished his first feature-length documentary film, ‘City Lax: An Urban Lacrosse Story’ which aired on ESPN, and just won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary and the coveted Audience Award at this year’s Sonoma International Film Festival.

Before Grey, Tor was ECD of Leo Burnett Detroit, CD at TBWA/Chiat/Day in Los Angeles, and opened WONGDOODY/LA. He has won almost every major creative award in the industry.

Tor loves basketball, and played for Occidental College in Los Angeles (Barack Obama’s alma mater). A sports journalist by trade, Tor stumbled into advertising with a portfolio filled with only short stories and poetry. His favorite life experience was taking five months off work (twice) to travel around the world (twice). He married Tomoko Higuchi in Kyoto (once).

The following is a collection of PR stories about Tor and Grey:

Liz Lewis, C.S.A.

Liz Lewis earned her reputation in the industry by consistently finding new, untapped, and unusual talent. In 2009, her company, Liz Lewis Casting Partners (LLCP), was nominated for a CSA AWARD for OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN CASTING. She believes in casting as wide a net as possible in every area of the entertainment world.  Her in-depth, up-to-the-minute knowledge of film, commercials, theater and music is her greatest asset. Liz loves actors, encouraging their best performances. In addition, she has cultivated a collaborative team who work in concert on every project, each bringing their own talents to the table.
 
LLCP is currently casting three FEATURE FILMS; Longstreet, Lost in the Sun and A Special Relationship. Dame Eileen Atkins and Bill Nighy are attached. Her company recently added the comedy Dumping Lisa to her list of film credits, with Emmy Award winning director John Oliver and producer/writer Rich Docherty. Last year they cast four short films for HBO Sports directed by Paul Mecurio, that are getting rave reviews. In 2008 LLCP cast The Project, which won the audience award for Best Narrative Film at SLAMDANCE. It starred Michael Stahl David (Cloverfield), Matt Servitto (Sopranos) and rapper Juelz Santana. Replay, directed by Lee Bonner, with Fisher Stevens and Nestor Serrano, 5Up 2Down with Kirk Acevedo and Paz de la Huerta, plus Season of the Hunted with Muse Watson, round out more feature films on Liz’s resume.

Liz has worked with a diverse set of directors that include Bronwen Hughes, who directed Forces of Nature starring Sandra Bullock and Ben Affleck, Mike Figgis who directed Leaving Las Vegas, Tony Goldwyn, who directed A Walk on the Moon, starring Viggo Mortenson, Diane Lane and Anna Paquin, Zach Braff who wrote and directed Garden State and David Dobkin who directed Wedding Crashers

LLCP assembled the original line-up for THE DAILY SHOW and does all the promos for COMEDY CENTRAL. The DOCUMENTARY Sound and Fury, directed by Josh Aronson, VOICE CASTING by Liz Lewis, received an OSCAR NOMINATION for Best Documentary Feature. For War Against the Weak, a documentary about Eugenics, she cast historic re-enactments (Hitler, conjoined twins…) as well as a variety of very specific types of real people (ex-drug addicts, ex-prostitutes, people with downs syndrome, blind and deaf/hearing impaired people). She also cast Joan Rivers in an ANIMATED SHORT called Knitwits that opened the NY Film Festival.

Liz loves what she does and her enthusiasm spreads to her clients as well as actors, leaving everyone coming back for more.

Valerie Smaldone

Listen to Valerie’s Demo Reel

Valerie Smaldone is a 5-time Billboard Magazine Award winner and is well known for her unprecedented success holding the #1 on air position in the New York radio market. She has hosted, produced and created several nationally syndicated programs featuring in-depth interviews with top recording artists such as Paul McCartney, Celine Dion, Rod Stewart, Phil Collins, and Mariah Carey, among others. She has just launched a new talk show, “Valerie’s New York,” the first originally produced Internet radio show for WOR’s Internet station, www.wor710.com, and can be heard weekdays from 6-7 PM hosting and producing a lifestyle, theater, food, New York oriented radio program.

A well known voice-over artist, she has recorded commercials for clients like Victoria’s Secret, Publix Supermarkets, and Minute Maid and television promos for NBC Dateline, NBC Nightly News, The Today Show, The CBS Morning Show, Lifetime, Cinemax, Oxygen and many others. Valerie was the announcer for The Boomer Esiason Show on MSG for 4 seasons.

She has been the “Voice of God” for many prestigious live events including: The Kennedy Center, The Clinton Global Initiative, The New York Emmy Awards, The Tony Preview Concert on CBS, Broadway on Broadway in Times Square, Broadway Under the Stars in Central Park, The GLAAD Media Awards, The Point Foundation, and many more.

Most recently, she has been seen on television as a reporter on NBC for the Columbus Day Parade, and in the past as a host for PBS.

As an actress, Valerie is currently starring in “The Guido Monologues.” Other notable roles include Kara Angelo, a character she created in the play she co-wrote, entitled “Spit it Out!”  She has performed in several acclaimed Off-Broadway plays: “Spalding Gray: Stories Left to Tell” at the Minetta Lane Theatre,  “Naked in a Fishbowl” at the Soho Playhouse, “Broadway’s Next Hit Musical” at The Triad, and “Girl Talk:The Musical” at the Midtown Theatre, has participated in several readings featuring celebrities like Mario Cantone, Ralph Macchio and Ally Sheedy, and was an onstage celebrity guest in the Broadway hit, “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.”

Valerie is an adjunct instructor at the School of Visual Arts where she teaches courses in media and voice over acting, and is also a private talent coach. She is a sought after speaker, professional host and emcee.

She is currently developing several projects for multi media platforms and live events, and is writing a book about her transition from traditional to new media.

Rudy Gaskins

Emmy-winning producer Rudy Gaskins is CEO and Executive Creative Director of Push Creative, Inc., a full-service branding agency providing strategic marketing, graphic design and video/film production. Clients include Lexus, FOX News Channel, BET, American Express, Spike TV, ABC Television, Actors Federal Credit Union, History Channel, MSNBC, and NBC Sports. Drawing on his former experience as a filmmaker and writer/producer/director for PBS, Gaskins has recently expanded Push Creative’s production scope to include program development and is actively developing TV and web series in several genres.

In an admirable gesture to elevate the quality and perception of the voiceover industry, Gaskins conceived and initiated the creation of two innovations that have had a very special impact on the TV marketing and promotions community: 1) In 2007, Gaskins created what has become Promax/BDA’s tri-annual event called “Speed Dating for Clients and Vendors.” The process, which is not unlike speed dating in the personal relationship world, has greased the rusted practices of how vendors and clients discern and create partnerships to achieve outsourcing objectives. 2) In 2009, Gaskins brought to Promax/BDA an idea to create and award category that, for the first time in TV history, would recognize the contribution of voiceover actors to the success of a multi-billion dollar advertising and marketing industries. With the passing of the legendary Don Lafontaine, Gaskins engaged Promax/BDA to inaugurate the annual Don LaFontaine Legacy Award which Gaskins presented to Don’s wife at the 2009 Promax/BDA conference. The Don LaFontaine Legacy Award is given annually to a voiceover actor who demonstrates humanitarianism in his or her life.

Gaskins began his professional career after graduating from NYU’s Film and Television program. He wrote, directed and produced several award-winning short films before signing on as an apprentice film editor on Francis Coppola’s The Cotton Club. From there Gaskins went on to work with some of the most influential filmmakers of our time, including Jonathan Demme, Brian DePalma, Milos Forman, Spike Lee, and Alan Pakula. Having never lost his original passion for creating and directing, Gaskins joined PBS where he produced over 12 hours of programming spanning dozens of countries and cultures around the world.

The PBS journalistic tradition was indeed fertile ground and a perfect complement to Gaskins’ next challenge as writer/producer/director with ABC News advertising and promotion. Here he oversaw the writing and production of on-air advertising for World News Tonight featuring the legendary Peter Jennings, 20/20 with Barbara Walters and Primetime Live with Diane Sawyer. Gaskins also produced and directed behind-the-scenes press package for ABC News and its national affiliates.

Seeking to broaden his challenges, Gaskins took advantage of an entirely new challenge when he was tapped by Court TV to develop an in-house department for creative services and on-air branding strategy. As vice president of Court TV’s creative services department Gaskins managed two successful re-launches of Court TV’s network identity as it moved from a news network to an entertainment venue — overseeing an award-winning re-branding campaign forged in partnership with Lee Hunt. Gaskins would go on to produce similar results as an executive producer for Food Network before launching Push Creative. Among many awards won before and since, Gaskins’ first Emmy Award was for Push Creative’s work on the Olympic Games.

Gaskins continues to look forward, focusing on the integration and proliferation of new media development across all platforms. Over the past 5 years he has guided Push Creative to the edge of the digital revolution, exploiting the social networking phenomenon, developing web sites, iPhone/Pad applications, widgets and web games for a variety of high profile companies like Spike TV, Lexus, JP Morgan and others. As a brand guru and creative director, Rudy has been able to grow Push Creative into a full service integrated creative agency with its greatest assets being new ideas and innovation.

Gaskins currently resides in Brooklyn, New York with his wife and business partner, Joan Baker.

Alan Kalter

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Alan (Big Red) Kalter

Alan Kalter, for has for many years been Dave’s “announcer” on “Late Show with David Letterman”, known on-camera as “Big Red”. His comedic sketches include “The Kalter Twins”, “Alan Kalter’s Celebrity Interview”, “Where Are They Now?”, “For the Ladies”, “You’re Busted”, “Alan Makes Your Product Sound Sexy” and “Where’s Alan?”  He’s been seen wearing an Elvis-style sequined jumpsuit, Olympic Ice Skater tights, a faux-Mohawk, an alcoholic ankle bracelet, and a full-body blond wig; he’s impersonated, among others, Laura Bush, Elvis Presley and the Hulk. He’s taught LeMaze, given birth, won and lost brawls, and sung his heart out.

After a decade of radio at WTFM and WHN in NYC, through the 80’s and early 90’s Alan was the voice of four cable networks, including USA, was the announcer for a number of New York-based TV gameshows, “ABC’s College Football”, “Wide World of Sports” and “20/20” and continues to do voiceovers for radio and television commercials. He was the Principal on the TV show “Ed”, and you’ve seen him selling cars, grapefruit juice and lottery tickets as well as advocating colonoscopies.

Kalter hails from Brooklyn, was raised on Long Island, calls Connecticut home, and spends most of his off-hours playing golf or babysitting the grandkids with his love, wife and guardian, Peggy.

Joan Baker

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Joan Baker – Power Player, Author “Secrets of Voice-Over Success”, National Spokesperson for Neumann Microphones , voiceover artist, voiceover coach/teacher and SVP of Public Relations for Push Creative Advertising.

Joan is the co creator of THAT’S VOICEOVER!, and the author of SECRETS OF VOICEOVER SUCCESS: Top Voice-Over Actors Reveal How They Did It. The book chronicles the compelling career journeys of the top voice-over actors in the industry, including the one and only, late Don LaFontaine and more. All royalties from the sale of the book are donated to the Alzheimer’s Association. Joan is also featured in the following books, “Daughter’s Of Men” By Rachel Vassel (2006), “Career Clinic” by Maureen Anderson (2007), “Put Your Dreams First: Handle Your Entertainment Business” By Thembisa Mshaka (2008).”Signed, Your Student” by Holly Holbert (2010) “Dream Reachers II” By Betty Dravis (2011)

And Joan’s got it goin’ on as a voiceover actor: Among numerous commercials and promos on which she has performed, she is especially proud of winning a 2011 Telly Award for her narration of the documentary “The Power of Saying Yes” and narrating the best selling Audio Book, Those Boys Have all the fun: The Inside World of ESPN. Joan recently voiced the premiere season promos for ABC’s “The View”, the Royal Wedding promos on HLN and TBS campaign for HBO’s Sex And The City series leading into the premiere of Sex And The City 2, the movie. Other clients include Grand Theft Auto, HBO, ESPN, Showtime, Nickelodeon, Chase Bank, American Express, NICK at NITE, ABC News, CBS Sports, Lifetime, Lexus and SPIKE TV.

Kickin it live, Joan has been the announcer for numerous entertainment venues: The Muse Awards for Woman in Television & communication, Promax /BDA, The Vision Awards, The Moving Image salute to Will Smith, Woman and Communications’ Matrix Awards, The Vision Awards, NAMIC and many more.

Joan’s extraordinary talent has been coupled with her passion for philanthropic giving – spotlighted with feature articles in The New York Times, Black Enterprise, New York Post, Hollywood Reporter, New York Daily News, Multi-Channel News, Back Stage, Media Week, ADWEEK and Broadcasting & Cable, Jet, and Crain’s USA, just to point out a few.

In addition to being a voiceover actor, Joan has for more than 15 years taught the art and craft of voiceover acting. She works with both professional voiceover actors and newcomers. Before opening a private coaching study in midtown Manhattan, Joan plied her teaching skills at The Actors Institute (NYC), Acting Management (NYC), The Professional Performing Arts School (NYC) Western Kentucky University (KY) New York University (NYC) and in national lectures throughout the US.

Joan currently resides in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and business partner, Rudy
Gaskins.