In case you’re not familiar with it, this is the sign-off tag of a podcast called “The Writer’s Almanac,” hosted by a man whom I consider to be nothing short of an American Treasure, Mr. Garrison Keillor. Perhaps best known as the host of the weekly radio variety program “A Prairie Home Companion,” Mr. Keillor has brought a formidable arsenal of talents to the stage nearly every week for the past four decades: writing, hosting, singing…his skills are so numerous, his performances so effortless seeming that he rarely gets credit for a particular talent that is near and dear to our hearts. He’s one heck of a talented voice actor!
If you ever want to study at the feet of a master narrator he’s your guy. I’d put him right up there with Peter Coyote, Morgan Freeman, James Earle Jones and very few others as the best of the best of male talent. His character work in segments like “The Lives of the Cowboys” and “Guy Noir, Private Eye,” is always a hoot. Since he recently announced his upcoming retirement, allow me to propose a virtual toast, “Here’s to you, Mr. Keillor!’
I’d also like to take a moment to savor that tag line. “Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.” There’s rich inspiration and guidance for voice actors hidden in these few, simple words.
“Be well.” – take care of your mind, body and voice. You need them all to be at the top of your game.
(Skipping ahead) “Keep in touch.” – stay in contact, but not in face. That’s easier said than done, but every day should feature some form of client contact.
“Do good work.” What could be easier than that, right? In fact, in today’s hyper-competitive, growth driven business culture finding satisfaction in the little daily efforts we make can be a challenge. So I propose that we take Mr. Keillor’s advice and try to honor the simple dignity that comes from giving our best. Whether your day is recording a paid job(s), auditioning, marketing, bookkeeping, studying to keep up with tech trends, or simply giving your studio a good spring cleaning, allow yourself to take a moment just before you turn out the studio lights to reflect on a work day well spent.
So, for many hours of entertainment and many nuggets of inspiration, thanks, Garrison. May all your days be above average!