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Saturday, October 1, 2011

John William Galt

On friday I attended the Professional Artist Series at Richland College.  The guest speaker was John William Galt.  Who?  You may ask.  Well, let me just tell you who.  You may not recognize the name, but you will definitely know the voice.  Mr. Galt has a long and distinguished career in professional theatre, film, and broadcasting.  From being an original cast member of the American production of No Sex Please, We're British to appearing in films such as Forrest Gump, Talk Radio, JFK, The Return of Josey Wales, Paper Moon, and Born on the 4th of July among others, John has had a fascinating career.  He has been in over 1000 commercials and his voice is instantly recognizable from Budweiser to Harley - Davidson to countless others.

I am on the left, Mr. Galt on the right.  He was fascinating, and I wanted to share his knowledge with you.  He began in theatre, and he talked about what he thought made a successful show.  "There are three things."  He said.  "Audience involvement -- character, Entertainment value, and take them somewhere they didn't expect to go."

He went on to talk about the entertainment industry, and what keeps most of us out.  "What keeps you out is that they don't know you."  Ok.  What he was really getting at is that you have got to use shameless self promotion, and get your name out there.  He gave us his trick for getting his name out there.  "Give them something shiny and useful with your name on it, and then they will remember you."  At the end of the series he gave us all pens with his name on them.  Good idea.

He talked of his many movies and the stars he has met, and then he said, "the insecure ones are the ones that are jerks.  Once they know you they are very nice, and genuine."

Being a voice over artist, he offered advice on recording.  "Protect you throat, open up the throat, and chest and let the chest resonate.  Enunciate beyond the mic, find the sweet spot of the mic, and pop on the other side."

As the series came to an end he talked about how to deal with producer types, and people in general, and gave some advice to the young actors in the room.  "People will treat you the way you allow them to."  "When you go to an audition what you're selling is you.  So, do something you are comfortable with.  The world belongs to those who show up, just keep showing up."