Recent Posts



    What a RUSH!

    Sep/16/2010 | Posted by John Melley
    Tuesday night I had an opportunity to meet 2 musicians I admire a great deal. Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson of my all time favorite band RUSH.

    I'm not the type of person who is into the celebrity for the sake of the celebrity, but rather I admire a person's talents, gifts and efforts. These two guys have serious chops and they've stayed true to their music. The band rocks! As a musician I've always admired their playing ability.

    I grew up playing music in bands and on my own playing the piano, clarinet and saxophone. And while I enjoy simply listening to their music, I've also studied it and picked it apart. And now I've started studying the drums. Learning how to play the drums has given me an even greater appreciation of what these guys are doing.

    Meeting them gave me an opportunity to thank them in person for all the great music they've performed over the years. It's been a huge part of the "music part" of my life. It was nice to be able to do so and I think they appreciated it.

    Here's a picture of me with them backstage before the show.

    What I'm Reading/Listening To

    Jul/14/2010 | Posted by John Melley
    People ask me what I'm reading/Listening to.

    I just finished listening to Malcolm Gladwell's "Outliers" performed by the author himself. Interesting theory in that he believes successful people take advantage of opportunities presented to them, but that the opportunities are available to them as a result of a series of events that may not be available to everyone.

    One example he gives is that most Hockey players from Canada have birthdays in the first 3 months of the year. The cut off date to enter a league is December 31st. This results in the players born in the first part of the year having at least a 9 month head start over the players born in December and therefore better developed skills which allows them to advance to higher levels in various leagues. This in turn weeds out folks born in the latter part of the year. That's how you wind up with about 60% of the players in the NHL celebrating birthdays in Jan. Feb. and March.

    Who knew?

    His question is: If there was another cut-off date, say June 30th in addition to the December 31st date, would you double the talent pool available for selection and give more people a shot at higher levels of training. Are the man-made cutoff dates prohibiting other talents from developing? Perhaps hockey teams would be even more competitive and reache higher levels of proficiency if there was more talent to choose from instead of one so heavily weighted by birthday.

    He also explores the opportunities that Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and the founder of Sun Microsystems enjoyed that propelled them to Billionaire status.

    I'm not sure I agree with all his theories, but there are some interesting questions raised.

    Now I'm listening to Harry Dent, Jr.'s "The Great Depression Ahead."

    This is a fascinating look at demographics, history and economic cycles. It may sound like dry stuff, but if you're a history buff in any way, you want to check this out. He does a nice job of presenting the information in an interesting way.

    Based on his theories that the largest sector of the Baby Boom Generation has shifted from Consumers to Savers since their kids have grown and they need to save for retirement he contends this last recession is nothing compared to what's ahead and the stimulus package just delayed the inevitable.

    He says watch for a major stock market crash later this month or by August/September this year. Yikes!

    I'm also reading a book about Walt Disney's life. More later.


    Voice Over Integrity

    Jun/28/2010 | Posted by John Melley
    Voice over is a fun business, but keep in mind YOU are an important part of making your clients' dreams come true! Honor them by giving them your best every time.

    Some thoughts.

    How Did You Do That?

    Jun/08/2010 | Posted by John Melley
    Watch this short video, then click the link below the video for more information.

    Here's the link to get the the Video: How Did You Do That DVD and FREE Sound Effects CD! Thanks!

    Funny Reactions to Twitter

    Jun/01/2010 | Posted by John Melley
    Today after much trepidation, I opened a Twitter account. I must admit I didn't know what to expect and really did it because I felt I should in order to learn about what's going on in the world of communication.

    That's what I do... and I want to stay current, as best as I can.

    I had to figure out what all the Twitter Terms meant. Twitter has its own language. So after I set it up I sent out an email to some people in my address book and the results have been fascinating. Some of the comments have been downright laugh out loud funny!

    I'm not sure I "get this" social media stuff either, but here are the results:

    After 4 hours I have 8 "Followers" - which is kind of a creepy term if you ask me, but I didn't make it up.

    I've received 2 job offers for voice over services - very cool.

    And I received a number of messages politely declining my offer...

    And I got a bunch of emails with some very funny comments pretty much along the line of "I don't Twitter and here's why." I have removed the names to protect their identities but these are fun. You've gotta read these....
    Hi John –

    I'm not on it I'm still trying to master the hammer and chisel!
    Ok.... Here's the reply from one of my best clients:
    "Hi, John:
    Glad to see you're young enough to want to participate in the vapid void.
    I myself see no point in it.  <On coffee break at Starbucks.>  Knew you'd want to know that.
    But my daughter is a professional PR person specializing in social media for her clients.
    I'm surrounded, out-gunned, and may have to give up my grumpy ways.
    <BTW I like my grumpy ways>  Knew you'd want to know that too.

    As for business, I need...."
    Here's one from a former employer I've stayed in touch with over the years.
    "Not on it and I frankly don't 'get it' everytime it is explained. Unless I have someone counting cards for me at a nearby table, planning a military maneuver, or really care so much about someone else that I need to know in real time the short highlights of their lives like—just sneezed and almost hit a squirrel—I'm not sure why I want to hear the newest happenings in anyone else's activities as it is happening.  

    It is even worse when I think of someone like you---I'd get 15 different messages from the various personalities about the same event – it would be like a bad cartoon:  the anatomy of re-taping a script  as experienced real time from 15 different voices.  But hey—thanks for the invitation.
    Jeepers Mister! I only work on good cartoons ;-D but here's his follow-up, perhaps feeling a twinge of remorse over the previous message:
    Eric says you may be rusty at sarcastic humor and the dead squirrel will feel happier than you after my reply. So disregard everything in last email after “ I don’t do it and I don’t get it.“
    Beautiful... priceless.

    This one is from my Bride, The Lovely Ann. I'm comfortable sharing this because she's so openly "not into the Social Media thing."

    "Oh please, I can't even text."

    Thanks, Babe. Here's a polite "No"
    Thanks John, but if you don't mind I'll stick to your
    blog page.  I have friends that want me on Twitter, Facebook and
    Linked In and I don't participate on any of these sites.  Hope you
    understand.  Trust you had plenty of Lob-Sta while in Maine over
    Memorial Day.  Lucky you!
    Yeah, lucky me... did you watch this video yet? Click here to see how I spent Memorial Day Weekend.

    Here's another comment:
    Hi John, Never even been on it.   I'm really trying to curb all of this facebook/myspace/twitter stuff.   I'm on youtube and that alone eats up a huge chunk of my day as I make vids and watch vids.

    But, I'm open to anything that can bring me some income. I think it's just a matter of so many people doing vo and it just waters down your odds if you don't have an agent.
    Then I got this:
    Hi John,
    Glad to hear from you. We are working on a video for which I will need a voice talent. Are you interested in working with me again? It's almost a 3 minute long video... not ready yet.  If interested, I will share it with you when ready.
    ps: I didn’t know you are in Boston. I was just visiting my brother in Weymouth and worked at the Parker House Hotel back in 2000-2001. I love Boston!


    Answer to his question. Yes, I'm interested in working with you again on another project. Maybe this Twitter/Facebook stuff ain't that bad afterall.

    My New Twitter Thing-a-ma-jig

    Jun/01/2010 | Posted by John Melley

    Dirt Roads, National Parks and Rental Cars

    Feb/26/2010 | Posted by John Melley
    Here's a quick video of our journey to see the cliff dwelling ruins from the Hopi's in Sedona, Arizona. Always an adventure.

    Audio Tracks From Nancy Cartwright Animation Workshop

    Feb/15/2010 | Posted by John Melley
    Hi Folks-

    A lot of you have requested copies of the MP3's from the animation Voice Over Tracks I did with Nancy Cartwright. They're from the workshop I had with Pat Fraley last December. I wrote about it in the January issue of the printed newsletter.

    There were so many requests, I thought it would be best to post the audio here on my blog rather than clog up your inboxes with lengthy mp3's.

    Just click on the play button below to take a listen

    • The Land of Totally Different

    • The Whacknard School

    Thanks for taking the time to listen and for your continued interest!

    I'd love your feedback and comments, so feel free to post below!

    The Mighty Egg Timer

    Jan/28/2010 | Posted by John Melley
    I thought I'd share something that may seem rather simple, but I've found it to be highly effective in getting A LOT accomplished in one day.

    I have a little timer in my studio - a little egg timer. People laugh, but what I do is set that little sucker to 30 minutes and just crank out copy, scripts, spots and dubs for that period of time.

    No phone. No email. No internet. That's the rule that I have with it. Once that thing starts quietly ticking away, I'm fully engaged.

    When it rings I stop what I'm doing and go get a drink of water, etc. Then I come back in and crank it to another 30 minute cycle.

    When I use it, I get a BOATLOAD accomplished and I have 2 mantras going for the new year. One of them is G.S.D.F. which stands for Get Sh!t Done Fast. I was a little slow starting this year and I have some serious goals set for myself and it dawned on me to ask myself - What am I waiting for?

    I'll admit I'm not perfect with it, but I'm really starting to love this tool. Here's why.

    My studio becomes available at 10:00 AM (the morning show uses it until then)

    • I loaded 40 spots into our system
    • Produced 4 spots for client review approval (pending)
    • Reviewed and provided feedback to my artist on some graphics I'm having created
    • Revised 3 scripts
    • Met with our General Sales Manager
    • Processed 3 airchecks
    • Had a recording session with a client (half hour)
    • Arranged for revisions for another recording session
    • Made a car appointment
    • Touched base with my accountant... twice
    • Sent out about 20 emails and...
    It's now 5:30 PM and now I'm spending time writing this blog post to you and I have another half hour before I need to leave for my drum lesson tonight. The time will be spent working on my February Newsletter. (Let me know if you'd like to be on my mailing list - it's free.)

    I'm writing this, because I've been doing this on and off for a couple of months and I'm amazed at how much I get accomplished. It is now a fixture in my day. I'm also excited and wanted to share.

    It's so simple! Yet so effective. I recommend you try it. Let me know your thoughts and feel free to share any tips you use to increase your efficiency.

    Meet "Monty" the Praying Mantis

    Sep/22/2009 | Posted by John Melley
    This is totally random and has nothing to do with Voice Over. I just thought this was cool and thought I would share this with you.

    Ann and I were out to dinner and as we were coming home and opening the front door I looked up and saw this huge Praying Mantis above our screen door. I think it was attracted to all the bugs flying around the porch light we left on for when we got home.

    I think I read somewhere that these are pretty rare critters. I could be wrong, but I also think I remember they're protected.

    Anyway I ran in and got my camera and snapped a couple of pictures and this short video. It looks like it's searching for a footing. The amazing thing is that it's doing it with more than 1 leg at a time which I thought was fascinating.

    It's a pretty bug as far as bugs go and it's eating all the little "fleagles" we want to keep out of the house, so we just left it alone and let it do what it does. Of course I had to name it, so I came up with "Monty" since it was close to Mantis and I thought "Manty" was a little odd. 

    Probably no more odd than naming the bug in the first place, but hey, I'm a little "off" anyway, so Monty it is. Always use a little alliteration. (Get it?)

    Talk to you soon.