Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Stories We Wish We Wrote Dept.: NBJ on Political Voiceover Actors

Posted By on Wed, Aug 1, 2012 at 12:56 PM

I'm still kicking myself for not thinking of this one.

Nashville Business Journal reporter Nevin Batiwalla came out with a fascinating story yesterday about Nashville's political voiceover actors — the professionals who provide the ominous narration for campaign ads, familiar to anyone who's ever turned on a television during an election cycle.

The story is full of interesting tidbits, including the fact that some actors do draw a line when it comes to what they'll lend their voice to. (Nevertheless, the ubiquity of political attack ads suggests there's always someone who will say yes.)

An excerpt, after the jump:

As the amount of money spent on election campaigns skyrockets, having a golden voice that voters trust has become more lucrative. Just ask Byron Warner, a Nashville voice actor who can be heard in political ads across the country. (Check out some of his work here.)

Warner said he shies away from mudslinging.

"Generally they hire a girl to nail the (opponent). Then I'll come in and extol the virtues of the candidate in a gentler tone," Warner said.

Warner, who charges between $350 and $1,000 per hour, expects to pull in six figures in political work this campaign cycle. He's already done a handful of spots, but August is when things really crank up. "In September it should be just about tolerable, and October will be insane. Just nuts," he said.

Allegiances are common among voice actors. Warner only works with Democrats. "It has nothing to do with how I vote. It has a lot to do with client loyalty," said Warner, adding that voice actors fear being blacklisted by one party if they work with the opposition.

Make sure to read the whole story, and then completely forget about it, so you won't notice when I recycle the idea two years from now.

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