My Journey from
Radio Guy to
Freelance Voice
Talent

The radio bug bit me during a middle school field trip to WGTR, a 1000-watt daytime AM radio station in my hometown of Natick, Mass. I remember thinking, “What a great way to live your life. You get to play music and talk.”

Fast forward to high school. I’d been hanging around WGTR as a kind of groupie. I even started working for the station. We’re talking glamorous tasks like painting the lobby and moving stuff out of the garage.

But then, I got my big “break”—a weekend air shift at WJMQ in Norfolk, Mass. I’d work Saturday afternoons from four to sunset, just to be on the radio. I knew it was the thing for me.

Right after high school, I started working at WAAF, a Worcester rock station. I felt like I was on top of the world. I worked there for a couple of years before moving to WBCN, a legendary rock station in Boston. That’s where I began to hone my production skills by cutting tape and voicing commercials. Eventually, I left WBCN to be on TV, a music video channel called V66. That was in the 80s when music videos were so huge.

After V66, I joined Boston’s KISS 108 as a weekend air talent. The station was (and still is) so successful, that just being on the weekends gave me incredible visibility. I also did voice work and fine-tuned my production skills even further.

In 1990, I left KISS to host the afternoon drive show across town on WBOS and then onto morning drive. In 2004, I moved to Boston’s Magic 106.7 as Production Director. I became the host of Morning Magic in 2014.

Somewhere in between all that (the mid-90s or so), I started working as a freelance voice talent. You might think being on the radio and doing VO work is the same thing, but they’re not. The skill set is entirely different. When you’re on the radio, you’re yourself (presumably) and holding up one side of a conversation with the listener, who’s listening.

With freelance voice-over work, you’re fulfilling a specific persona for the director or the producer on the project. You receive direction and do multiple takes. So it’s quite different from radio, although my experience in radio has definitely helped my freelance work, especially my tenure as a Production Director. I’m a more effective VO talent overall because I can think like a producer or engineer. I get it.

I committed myself fully to voice over work in 2004 by building a state-of-the-art studio in my home, one that easily compares with larger recording studios when it comes to quality. I continue to study my craft, investing in coaching, seminars, and training.

Today, I’ve found the perfect balance between my two loves: radio and freelance VO work. I get to be “on the radio” every morning at Magic 106.7, and I get to work from home on clients’ VO projects the rest of the time.

When I’m not behind the mic, I focus on my passions, which include chairing the board of the Boston chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). My cousin Paul died by suicide in 1995, so it’s a cause that’s close to my heart. I work with a wonderful group of people who’ve been impacted by depression or suicide. Over the years, we’ve made a lot of progress in the area of mental illness, but we still have a long way to go. It’s important work, and I enjoy it.

I’m also a lucky guy personally: I’ve been married for over 25 years to Kathy, a wonderful woman who is truly my partner in life. Together, we have three fabulous kids: Sean, Fiona, and Maeve.

In my free time, I love to fly. I’m a licensed pilot and have my own Piper Cherokee. One of my daughters goes to Villanova University, outside of Philadelphia. Instead of a seven-plus hour car drive, we can make it in a little over two in my plane—while enjoying spectacular views to boot.

Kathy and I know how extraordinarily fortunate I’ve been to work in the Boston area for my entire radio career. While my home studio allows me to work with clients all over the world, Boston is—and always will be—home.

That’s me. Now, let’s talk about you. I’d love to hear more about your VO project.

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