Meet The Voice-Over Guys is a series of blog posts that will allow readers to learn a little bit more about the male voice talents who are a part of MVO: The Voice-Over Guys.
Not only are the Kansas City Royals baseball’s 2014 American League Champions, but for many years their P.A. announcer was also one of Kansas City’s morning radio’s legends. Today, we think he’s a voice-over legend, the great Dan Hurst.
DAN, VOICE-OVER IS A PRETTY UNIQUE CAREER CHOICE – HOW DID YOU GET STARTED?
In the mid-eighties I was fired by a local radio station. They said I didn’t have what it took to be in radio. It was a desperate, scary time. I couldn’t find work anywhere.
One day while driving with my wife, she asked me, “Who does all those radio commercials?”
I had just presumed the DJs did them, but as I paid more attention, I realized not all those voices were DJs. I wondered if there might be someone in Kansas City that might pay for that sort of work.
One thing led to another and I discovered a local talent agency named Talent Plus. I went to talk to them and the manager, Dick Solowicz, was the kindest, most compassionate and helpful Godsend.
The next week I had my first paid voice job – St. Lukes Hospital.
A few months later I did land a job back in radio here in KC, and did the morning show for 25 years. A few years ago, as corporate radio is wont to do, a bunch of us got fired and I was out of radio. Again.
But this time I was ready. I knew several years before that such a day would come, so I started building my VO business, focusing on my ability to speak Spanish and trying to build up that inroad into the business. This time when I got fired, it was a smooth transition into fulltime VO work.
I’ve had a few offers to go back into radio, but those have been the easiest “No’s” ever! I absolutely LOVE what I’m doing now. And even though I’ve had to put myself on probation for sleeping on the job a few times, or for forgetting to wear pants, I’m still having a blast!
WHEN YOU WERE YOUNGER, WERE THERE ANY VOICE-OVER TALENTS WHO INFLUENCED YOU OR WHO YOU ADMIRED? WHY/HOW?
See, I’m not a good person to answer that. I grew up in Honduras (son of missionary parents). I didn’t know anything about the voiceover business until that first time I got fired. But there are a bunch of those folk now who are my heros!
I know it sounds hokey to say this, but I have the greatest admiration for anyone who is making a living at this! It’s demanding work. Sometimes a little intimidating. It takes a certain amount of business acumen to run your own little company. Discovering and learning how to be that voice that the client wants is challenging and exhilarating.
I’m in awe of people who do that! I don’t care if you are some national guy making a zillion dollars, or if you are a voice talent in a niche where few people will ever know your name, you amaze me!
WITH WHICH BRANDS WOULD PEOPLE MOST ASSOCIATE YOUR VOICE?
Hmmmm….Maybe Telemundo since I have been one of their national promo voices for about 4 years now.
I do a ton of infomercials. In the past year or so I’ve voiced nationals for The Old Brooklyn Lantern, Win Cleaner, National Mint, Perfect Polly (Stephen Colbert got ahold of that one and had fun on his show with it), Remarkabulb, and Trusty Cane.
And I had a short run with a national thing for Maserati.
WHERE WAS/IS THE MOST UNIQUE PLACE SOMEONE WOULD HEAR YOUR VOICE?
There is a company that builds industrial fire alarm systems and I voiced a few announcements for them in English and Spanish warning people to run for their lives. Well, not really, but I do tell them in a calm and stern manner to evacuate the building…NOW!
And if you work for a train company in the U.S, on an oil platform in the Gulf Coast, for an oil pipeline company, you may have heard me training you in an eLearning project how to be alert for terrorist activity and what to do if you suspect something.
IF YOU HAD TO PICK YOUR FAVORITE KIND OF VOICE-OVER PROJECT, WHAT WOULD THAT BE?
One that keeps using me over and over! God bless those clients!
Actually, my favorite voice projects are the ones I just finished, and the next one.
WHAT ONE BOOK HAVE YOU READ THAT REALLY HELP SHAPE YOUR LIFE, EITHER PERSONALLY OR PROFESSIONALLY? HOW?
Well, being a man of faith, I would have to say that discovering the practical and applicable principles for life in the Bible have been the most influential elements for me. Discovering those key aspects of integrity, honesty, passion, hard work, and accountability have been critical in my business. I hope people who know me know that there is that flaky, fun and goofy side of me (I blame my Dad), but when it comes to producing an excellent product and making my clients look good, I’m as serious and committed as it gets.