The Voice Down the Hallway

Happy short work-week! I think that should become more of a thing. Long weekend. Short work-week. I’ll get in touch with Hallmark and see if we can’t get some cards made up. But I digress. 

On Friday night, CTV London aired a report by Kelda Yuen on my hubby and his success transitioning from a radio guy to a voice-over guy. It seems like a logical career evolution, but it’s not as easy at is appears. Many of the skills are transferable but some are not. Most voice-over producers do not want the “radio guy” sound. Derek had to unlearn a lot of the abilities he came to rely on his his thirty-plus years on the air.

screen clip of Derek speaking into a windscreened mic

Loads of radio announcers have tried to make a go of voice-over. If they haven’t succeeded, there could be a number of reasons why. Most often, it’s about tenacity. Voice is a highly competitive field. When I worked at MIX 999 in Toronto, the city’s top voice-over performers were my colleagues; Dan Williamson, Bill Hayes, Lee Marshall. Back then, I recall Humble Howard saying that if he showed up to an audition and one of those guys was there, he turned around and left again. Now, of course, auditions are mainly done from home studios and the demand for voices has exploded. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been asked to sound like Allison Janney or Tina Fey. Or Morgan Freeman. Seriously.

Derek has cut his own path in the crowded voice-work field. In this two-minute video, he doesn’t get the chance to explain how much effort he has put into his career. He hired a voice coach who he worked with every week for months. He has pushed himself through colds and sore throats to meet deadlines. He’s gotten up in the middle of the night to talk to a client overseas. It’s not nearly as simple as flicking on a microphone and yapping away.

Please follow this link to watch the video: CTV – Derek Botten. 


1 thought on “The Voice Down the Hallway”

  1. I loved this piece and I really liked what you wrote here, Lisa. There was much for Derek to tell but thank you for filling in the rest of the story! You’ve both a lot of which to be proud! xo

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