Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Potato, Po-tah-toe

Sometimes, I talk for a living. Into a microphone.

I did my first radio commercial when I was 3 years old for Heidi's Bakery in Tallahassee. My Dad was the general manager of WBGM, one of the first FM stations to play music for popular consumption. I grew up there amongst the DJs and the sales people and the engineers. We usually came in on Saturday mornings to do our commercials when it was quiet, and when I was done with mine, I would go find Bobby Dennis or Vic Swann or whoever was on the board that day and chat or fix 8-track tapes so they could be played or recorded again. An early version of "take your daughter to work".

When I graduated from highschool, I started working at an AM station, WTAL, which played "The Music of Your Life" format. Lots of swing, big-band, Perry Como, Bing Crosby - you know, the 50's to 70's easy listening-type music. A far cry from the music that was popular with people my age but fun anyway. I had my fans in the 40-70 age group...

Over the years, I've done the odd commercial here and there, some local, some national - all fun. I have an ear for accents, and as long as I am in the midst of or talking on the phone to accented people, I pick it up without realizing it and sound just like them. People have a hard time placing me. I've been asked if I come from England, the South, Korea, Wisconsin, Texas, and Washington State. In truth, if it's just me and a microphone, my voice sounds mostly accentless like national newscasters.

Except for this one thing.

I lived in Oklahoma for 7 years. During that time, I sounded a lot like I came from Oklahoma.

Then I moved back home, and when I did, I no longer said "eggs".

I now say "aiggs".


Janet said...

Accents are funny. I grew up in Central Jersey which interestingly enough does not sound ANYTHING like the North Jersey or South Jersey accent. I went to school in South Jersey though and many people are under the misconception that the state is divided into 2 sections, not three like it really is.

What I'm trying to say is Central Jersey is the best.:)

ablondeblogger said...

I would LOVE to do radio! That is so cool!

Sayre said...

Radio IS fun! And lonely. Sometimes you feel like you're just sitting in a little padded room talking to yourself....

I don't do a radio show anymore, but I'm the "official voice" of our public television station and until recently was also the voice on our NPR station (chronic bronchitis did me in there). And I do the radio pledge drives whenever the opportunity presents itself. They're fun and it's a good cause - I LOVE public radio!