Niagara Gazette

June 6, 2014

CHIPP: I like what I hear from John Gallogly

By Timothy Chipp
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — Either John Gallogly is a genius or I'm one of the most gullible journalists in the history of my profession.

The voice coach, class instructor, voice actor and producer told me I could make a living at voice acting. In the same breath, he said those who can't hear the negatives come out his mouth along with a recommendation to stay away. If it's a sales pitch, he hooked me almost instantly.

Gallogly, of Albany's Voice Coaches Creative Voice Development Group LLC, was in town this past week offering a tutorial in all things voice acting, from business insider information to a chance to hear your own voice in action. From the desk he stood behind at Niagara University's Dunleavy Hall, he dropped some key knowledge and set more than one of the class's 12 participants – including myself – straight.

Then he actually recorded our voices with a microphone worth more than double my entire bank account. That's when things got interesting.

Apparently, when I read I tend to speed up as I finish sentences. And I most definitely don't have a voice that's immediately recognizable. They call those "Announcer Voices," with the booming bass you hear leading into movie trailers or coming through the radios in our vehicles.

But that type of voice isn't in demand as much in 2014 as it was in 1994 and the speed issue is something I can fix with a bit of practice. Instead, I was praised by Gallogly and the company's president, David Bourgeois, who said I have a voice that doesn't sound "put on." And my diction and pronunciation are both strong, possibly an offshoot from my improv acting history and my work in the communications field.

Those results are still unreal to me, even though I've been told by real professionals. You see, I've done some radio interviews over the phone in my life, from local Lockport news broadcasts to Canadian spots in Ottawa, Ont. I know what my voice sounds like. It's not what you'd expect from someone who'd be on the radio.

In the media, there's a saying out there. "I have a face for radio." I always took it one step beyond, adding, "and a voice for newspapers." I may have to rethink that, especially since I've officially bought in to what Gallogly is selling. After the class, I signed up to be a student of the company, intent on seeing just how in-demand a soft, compelling, compassionate, natural voice like mine is these days.

So pay attention in the next few years. You may be hearing me in the next few years reading audiobooks or doing commercial work instead of writing for this newspaper. You'll never know it's me, though. You'll just have to listen for my voice. Apparently, it's my own hidden gem.

Contact reporter Timothy Chipp at 282-2311, ext. 2251 or follow on Twitter @timchipp.