R.A.P. Interview: Krash Bassett

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Krash Bassett, The Audio Farm, Krash Productions, Englewood, Colorado

by Jerry Vigil

Having an imaging producer AND station voice in-house is a luxury most stations can’t afford these days. Just having a top-notch in-house imaging producer alone is getting to be more than the corporate budgets will allow for. But this has proven to be a blessing for those who have started their own production companies to service radio stations. Two years ago, Krash Bassett said goodbye to his last radio gig and put his full-time efforts into his company, The Audio Farm. He does no voice work, but there’s plenty of production to keep him busy. And in his spare time, Krash has managed to produce his first imaging production library called Revolt.

JV: Tell us about your background in radio.
KB: I got into radio, and even got into production, in high school. I may be one of the only guys out there with a high school radio station on his resume. This was in Sacramento at El Camino High School in 1987. Everybody on the staff kind of had their own shows. My brother was on the air and had the Death Metal Show. I thought that was pretty cool, so I got my own air shift, knowing nothing about radio.

JV: Was this a station that was broadcast just throughout the high school?
KB: No. It was actually on a very small FM signal. It would go in the community, maybe a thousand watts or something like that. It was 91.5, KYDS, licensed by the FCC and all that. So we got to learn a lot about the FCC and all these things that don’t seem to matter much anymore. But our sole goal was to play whatever music we wanted.

This eventually led to me getting officially into radio. One of our projects was to interview an air talent or somebody working at a radio station. My favorite station at that time was 93 Rock in Sacramento. I called up Judy McNutt, the first person in radio I ever talked to. She was at KGB for a long time. I have no idea where she is now. But her and Pat Martin, who was a KGB jock as well at one point, came down and went on the radio with us. They did about a two-hour show with us doing interviews and just goofing around talking about radio. And from that they offered me the big internship. So, I answered the phones and did the telemarketing crap and all the garbage you do just to be in a radio station. Pat Martin was the imaging guy at the time, and slowly he let me start working with the voice guy. He’d give me a tape of some voice tracks and tell me to just go have fun and make stuff, and they started liking it, which was even scarier. But I learned a lot there. I finished college and had spent a total of six years at 93 Rock mostly doing imaging part-time for six bucks an hour. Around the time I graduated, the station was taken over by City-casters, a company that doesn’t exist anymore. I went to the GM and said, “You know, I’ve been here 6 years, I’m out of college, and I need a job,” and he said, “Well, go find one. There’s not one here.”

At that time, Judy McNutt had been fired, and she helped me get my first job in radio, which was in Denver at Radio Oz, the competitor to Radio Disney. I did that for about a year, and then the owners of that station purchased a brand new signal, the Peak in Denver. I got hired as the Production Director at that station and did Radio Oz at the same time.

Then I got the call to go to San Francisco to watch some radio stations die. It was a tough place. I went to KSAN. At one time, it was a legendary rock station, but at this time was a faltering country station, which two years later wouldn’t exist. I was Production Director over 4 stations there. But, it was the big city, it was back near home, and it was a good job. It was one of the first places for me that actually had money for facilities, for imaging libraries and things like that. Anyway, the station turned into KISQ, which was Jammin’ Oldies or something like that. I don’t think they called it that at the time. It was a lot of Aretha Franklin and a lot of black R&B, stuff that didn’t exactly interest me at the time, and so I started job hunting.

The old morning show that was blown out of one of the stations in San Francisco went to New York and was kind enough to pass my name on to the people there. I ended getting the job at Q104, which was sort of following in the footsteps of Brian Kelsey who started there and had gone over to K-Rock. When they hired me, it was to be part of an active rock station. They hired several people on this premise. The first meeting, we all sat down with the research people and they said, “Are you crazy?” So, we turned it into a rock AC, which was a big slap in the face from what we were all planning. All the big attitude projects were thrown out the door. It was all Elton John all the time.

JV: You were hired as Production Director there?
KB: Actually just imaging. I didn’t have to do commercials. That lasted two and a half years and ended in April of 1999. This was my last radio gig. Here’s a funny story: when I got there, the production room was wired in mono. You couldn’t do a stereo promo. This is an FM rock station in New York City! When I mentioned this they said, “Well, that’s just the way it is….” I said the hell it is. That’s crazy. So I spent my first night in New York rebuilding the production room. I spent my second day in New York getting yelled at for it. The chief engineer wasn’t too happy. But half of the equipment didn’t work, and half of it was in mono. The console was completely in mono. So I bypassed what was in mono and just made it all work in a bare bones kind of way.

The chief engineer came in the next morning and went straight to the GM. “Did you see what your new guy did?” So they called me and asked, “Did you do that?” And I said, “Well yeah, why?” “You can’t touch equipment in New York like that!” I said, “Well it’s been this way, from what I understand, for years. So, it obviously wasn’t going to change tonight. And I’ve got work to do. And this isn’t how I work.” I was just trying to help, you know. But I got my scolding.

Eventually, we got Pro Tools in there, some new monitors, and a whole new room was built. The situation got a whole lot better from day one, but day one was pretty scary. You think, “What am I doing here? Is this New York, or is this Boise?”

JV: When did you start doing production on a free-lance basis?
KB: I started doing freelance work when I was in San Francisco back in ‘94. I picked up one station to help make the car payment, and the freelance slowly built that way. And that’s a big advantage to being in a major market. When I was in Denver, nobody cared. I could have done the greatest imaging in the world; it didn’t matter. Not that it wouldn’t have mattered forever; I think it just would have taken longer. Then business doubled or tripled when I went to New York. Just saying you’re in New York meant something. Some people didn’t even want a demo. They just equate being in New York with being good at what you do. It opens doors. I don’t think it gets you clients. I don’t think it keeps your clients for you, but the doors are open and the phone rings.

After about four years, my name had started to filter out through clients and such, and business was doing okay. On the other hand, Q104 was not doing okay. It was one of those stations that had been through its ownership changes, its General Manager changes, its Program Director changes, and it was a tough place to work. All along, I had been building up my freelance clientele, thinking that my days in radio at the station were beginning to be numbered. I had no idea when or how, but it just seemed like a good safety net, especially with all the consolidation and the firings.

JV: Were you doing free-lance voice work as well, or just producing other voices?
KB: Just producing; I don’t do any voice work, other than strange character voices and stuff like that. I’m strictly assembly.

JV: How did you, as a producer only, go out and get freelance clients? Did you search out voice talents looking for producers or stations with voice guys but no producer?
KB: Well, the weird thing is that the free-lance clients came to me, mostly from word of mouth. That’s entirely how my business has been built. Joe Blow PD in Charleston tells Roger Blow PD in Saginaw that this guy’s doing some good work and you should use him. I’ve been fortunate enough to get clients in that way. The stations came to me and said, “Look, I’ve got Sandy Thomas as a voice. I’ve got KillerHertz. All I need is somebody to put it together. Can you do that?” And that’s what I did.

I got plenty of calls along the way from guys that said, “I’ve heard such great things about you, can you send me your voice demo?” Wait a minute, you heard good things but they were the wrong things!  I just never did the voice thing. But I know enough voice people and have been able to refer people to the right place when they’re needed. And it’s one of those things where I think a professional, for the most part, is better off doing the voice work than a production guy. I think it’s a tough thing be a voice guy and a hands guy. I think it adds a lot of time to a project and a lot of headaches when you’re voicing your own stuff. I know when I did commercial work, it seemed like it took me twice as long to do a commercial with my voice than somebody else’s because I thought my voice sucked, and I spent all day trying to make it sound halfway decent. I realized that I shouldn’t do that, that there’s better qualified people for that. My specialty is mixing really, so I became good at that. Not to say that people can’t do both, it’s just I can’t do both.

JV: You always hear about how there’s lots of money in the voice-over side of the business. It’s refreshing to hear that somebody is able to make some money doing just the production side of it. When you started getting clients a few years ago, what kind of rate were you charging to produce for a station? Was it a retainer type deal or more like a per piece type deal?
KB: Every client is a little bit different. My first client was KUBL in Salt Lake City, and they came on at $500 a month. I think it included 20 or 25 pieces a month. I don’t remember the details exactly, other than the $500 because I really needed it at the time.

Clients can pay by the piece, or they can do a retainer deal. A lot of clients will come to me and say, “Look, I’ve got $1000. I don’t know what I need. I don’t know if I need 10 promos or 20 sweepers or some combination thereof.” So, we’ll just play it by ear. I’ll invoice them $1000, and we’ll just figure it out as we go. I don’t like locking people into a box—“You bought 5 and dammit, you’re going to use 5, and no I can’t do a sweeper instead of a promo!”

Most everything I ended up doing was a retainer deal, only because I like the relationship factor with the client. I wasn’t so keen on getting into doing a one-time imaging thing and never talking to the guy again. My preference is to go on a retainer with the stations and work with them, help them make themselves sound better, rather than here’s the script, put it together, send it back, nice to know you. I’ve done those, but they never turn into anything. They just sort of come and go, and I’d much rather end up with relationships with people. I think it’s a better long-term strategy.

JV: When a voice talent ends a deal with a station, it’s important to get his voice off that station so he can be available to other stations in that market. Not so with production only deals such as yours. What happens when an agreement with a station is terminated? How do you prevent them from using something you’ve produced if they cancel the retainer, or do you bother with this?
KB: I have an “out clause” in my agreements. There’s a penalty for leaving, which covers what I would consider to be the on-air life of everything that I would produce. I set up 90-day outs in all of my agreements. So, if a station calls up and says they can’t do it anymore for whatever reason, it’s fine. There’s no feelings hurt. But they keep paying for 90 days while the material runs out. And if anything keeps running after that, I don’t really have a problem with that. Most everything I do is so timely anyway. If you have the same sweepers running 90 days after I’m out of the picture, there’s probably bigger problems than that, you know? On the other hand, I do a lot of stuff that’s totally generic in nature, and I know guys who have run it for years. But it doesn’t bother me that much.

JV: How would you describe your production style? What is it that people are coming to you for? What makes your work different than John Doe producer?
KB: That’s a good question. I don’t know. I don’t know what’s so different about it, other than it’s produced with care. It’s mixed correctly. It’s pleasing to them to listen to I guess; they get satisfaction out of it. I don’t know what makes it special. And to be honest, I’m not sure that it’s any better than half the guys out there. There are a lot of guys that I look up to, that when I hear some of their work I say, “How in the hell do they do that?” And maybe people do that with me, I don’t know. I wouldn’t say that I’m better than any freelance guy out there. Maybe I’m better at the relationship side, the business side. We have a relationship, and I think that’s what brings my clients to me and keeps them. I don’t tell them on Friday at 8:00 when they’ve spaced a promo that it can’t be done. It can be done. It may cost you, but we can do it. Rarely do we tell anybody that we can’t do something. It’s all a function of price really. But then again, there are times when you’re just too swamped and can’t do it. I remember I was doing a launch of a station in Albuquerque and got another call. “We’ve got one more launch going in another market; can you do it?” That’s about the only time where I said, “I’ve already got my weekend sold to this other project. Sorry, I can’t do it.”

JV: What were the circumstances that made you finally break away from the station and go out on your own?
KB: I had been building up to it I guess, thinking in the back of my mind how I was going to do this. I didn’t want to be in a position with a wife and two kids where they’d say, “Sorry, your production services are no longer required.” And that has happened to better producers than me, quite frankly. It was so much of a social game, more than the quality of what you produced, that I didn’t want to leave my family’s future and where food was going to come from up to somebody else. And with my own client list, you don’t end up unable to go to the grocery store because there’s no check. Of course, if a client goes away it hurts, but it doesn’t kill you.

I thought the best way of building up the business was to do it while at the radio station, while I had a name and a steady income to support it. I really admire these guys that all of a sudden up and say, “I want to be independent” and leave and go start a business. That’s scary. I did it with a safety net.

But the final straw for me was when Brown Bag was launching the Rocket Science production service about two years ago. They asked me to come on board to produce that, and that was something I could do with my own equipment from my own house. That was the magic pill to get out of the station. And the scary thing is, that client just went away. They decided that as much as the Clear Channel and Premiere properties were going through, they couldn’t afford to pay me what I was making. It was around the time that the AM/FM merger went through, and they were cutting back, and I was one of the casualties of the war. They hired another freelance guy, so it’s not like it moved in-house. And I’m happy as long as jobs stay outside because then they’re always available. What scares me is when companies start trying to pull stuff back in-house, you know, sort of taking potential clients off the list. That scares me more than losing a client. But it was scary anyway. My safety net was gone at that point. But luckily I had spent another two years building up my business to a point where it didn’t really matter that they were going away. There’s not as much money coming in, but I still have my house. I still have food on the table. That was the security that I wanted from freelancing, and I got it.

Every once in a while one of my clients in one of the major markets will say, “Hey we’re looking for a Production Director; why don’t you just come work for us?” You find out what they’re paying and it’s startling. I don’t think I could go back. I’m sure there are good jobs and big jobs out there. You hear about some of these $100,000 salaries and stuff; I had one when I was in New York, but they’re going away. If all this fell apart tomorrow, I don’t know that I could go back and be a Production Director in Kansas City, at least not with the same lifestyle I have now. It would be a major change, and that’s the scary part now.

JV: Are you imaging radio stations exclusively, or are there other projects that you are doing outside of imaging?
KB: Right now it’s radio imaging exclusively. For a while when I was in New York, I was able to pick up some movie commercials and stuff like that, which paid really nice. But that’s all gone away, and right now it’s all station imaging—all sweepers and all promos all the time.

JV: How many stations are you imaging right now?
KB: On retainer, it’s about 30, and those numbers sort of go up and down monthly. And there’s quite a few that sort of come in at book time, during the fall and spring books in particular. So it varies. We’ve had almost 40 stations going at one time, which you can imagine is quite a ball to juggle. So, I’ve hired some guys to help me in the really crazy times. I just hate turnin’ away business. I oversee it all, and we get it out the door on time.

JV: Are these local guys?
KB: No, and that’s the neat thing about the Internet, ISDN, and overnight services. The guys I hire are all using the same exact system that I’m using, Pro Tools. So I can send them the voice tracks via either e-mail or overnight or ISDN, and then they produce it. Then I have them send me the Pro Tools sessions back here where I’ll do the final mixing and then send the project out. And the nice thing is, every once in a while there will be a problem—maybe a drop doesn’t work, maybe a date has changed on an event. Rather than having to go back to these guys and say, “Hey, remember that promo you did three weeks ago? Do you still have it? Can you change a date?” I can quickly do it here and e-mail it back to the client or ISDN it the same day and get the problem solved immediately rather than going three people down the chain.

JV: Do you image small market stations?
KB: Yes, I do.

JV: It’s easy for a voice-over talent to cut rates for smaller markets since, comparatively speaking, there’s not a lot of time involved in laying voice tracks. But in your case, it takes just as much time to produce for a small market as it does a large market. How can you afford to cut rates enough to be affordable to small markets?
KB: There’s basically a floor on our rates that these guys can either meet or they can’t. We’re not doing the smallest station in the smallest market. We’re doing the stations with the 20 shares, stations that have revenue and can pay us. Our second client was KATM in Modesto, market #123. You think, “How can they afford us?” But they’ve got a 20 share. They take in a lot of money. And they’re still our client. They’ve been a client for almost 7 years now, and it’s no big market. But they value what we provide them. They almost want it more than New York or Chicago because in New York they can hire somebody. But who’s going to move to Modesto and be the imaging guy? So they need it more than anybody.

JV: How much can these guys afford for outside imaging? You’re doing the production, but they have to pay a voice guy too, right?
KB: Well for them it’s a choice between hiring a Production Director at $24,000 or $18,000 or whatever. What do I cost? $5000? So what a lot of these guys do is they hire somebody new that they can get for $16,000 or $18,000 to do their commercials and whatnot, and pay me 5 or 6 thousand or whatever it turns out to be to get their overall sound. I end up doing all their big promotions and sweeper stuff that runs forever. It gives them a professional sound for very little money. The bottom line is they want to sound good. They’re number one in the market. They’ve been number one forever, and imaging does that for them. They really value it, so they put money there. It’s like anything. Do you really value the way your lawn looks? Well guess what; you pay the guy to come put chemicals on it. You buy the nicest lawnmower. It’s all in what you value. People that want to sound good come to us. It’s not that you can’t sound good any other way, but it’s a lot harder to find a young guy anymore that wants to work for no money and do imaging all day. And the other thing is that I’ve got $20,000 or more in equipment here. What is a small station running? Cool Edit? SAW? Those can do some nice things but it’s not the same.

JV: You mentioned you have a Pro Tools system at home. How do you like it?
KB: Yeah, I just bought the new Pro Tools, 5.1 or whatever. It’s on a Mac, and it’s been great. I just bought a new plug-in that I’m really excited about. It’s the Virus plug-in. It’s basically a synthesizer, and it runs from within Pro Tools, so you don’t need an outboard analog synth. You can do vocoding, music, sound manipulation…it’s all right there, so it’s fast. That’s the one thing I’ve really come to appreciate, versus trying to plug in some outboard gear. At all my radio stations, we had the Eventide boxes and stuff, and they’re great. But when you’re doing so much work, sometimes it’s tough to justify the time to go find a setting somewhere else when I can just pull it up in Pro Tools. It’s a huge timesaver, and the only way to make money and stay alive in this business is to be fast, fast and good. I don’t have time to spend 8 hours doing a promo. It’s a totally different thing than imaging for one station where you have all day to write the weekend promo and find the perfect sound effects. We still strive for that here, but we just have to be faster.

Another nice thing is that we don’t do any of the writing anymore, which seemed to be such a huge part of my radio job—conceptualization and getting the okay to run some of the more tawdry events. Speaking of tawdry promotions, I may be the only Production Director that’s been responsible for the station getting sued. We had a pretty crazy GM when I was in San Francisco, and he ended up getting fired in the AM/FM merger, I think it was. I’m not sure, but he got blown out in one of them. So, we had a “we just blew out the boss weekend” because people were pretty happy that he was leaving. We gave away what we called “everything that was in his desk and his office,” from concert tickets to whatever. And we took a pretty good shot at him for being completely incompetent. And the best part of the promo was that we had the whole staff come in and do a “you’re fired,” then the whole office erupts in cheering and stuff. And it really was the whole office. We didn’t want to use a sound effect; we wanted the actual people. Well, he heard it on the air that weekend and sued. He sued them for a million bucks. He said he couldn’t get a job because of that promo. I felt pretty good about that. By the time it went to trial, I was in New York; so I didn’t even get called as a witness, but my production assistant had to testify.

JV: Did he win the suit?
KB: No, he lost, but he had some other issues with the company that he was suing about. So I think it was just one more thing that pissed him off. We knew he was going to be fired, so we’d been running sweepers for the last month or so making fun of him, calling him the balding little tyrant in the corner office. It was more of a “work force” kind of thing, just empathizing with the people who really do hate their boss. He was pretty upset. He’s still upset to this day and hasn’t gotten another GM job. And that’s my worst fear, that one of these guys is going to come back and haunt me someway, someday.

revoltJV: Well you have a library coming out. Tell us about it.
KB: It’s called Revolt, and the idea was born when I was in New York and was struggling to produce my own stuff. Most good ideas come from personal need, don’t they? Why did somebody invent the car? They wanted to get across town faster. Well I really wanted a library. My initial idea was just to make sounds that I could use for my own clients. A lot of small market stations don’t have a production library. So I figured I could either sell them my library cheap or just use it and get the work done and count it as money in the bank since I wouldn’t have to worry about licensing a Brown Bag library or whatever. So when I went over to Brown Bag and worked there, I learned a lot from those guys and started working on it, thinking someday this will be of value. And lo and behold they said, “We don’t need you anymore.” So, it was just the right time to do it. I didn’t have a radio station to worry about, and I was never going to launch it while I was doing Rocket Science—you just can’t launch something to compete with the library you’re producing. But they got rid of me and paid me my severance and said have a nice day. And I said, “I think I will; I’ve got a good idea.” So the concept for Revolt was started there on that day.

I think the name Revolt is appropriate. This is the state of radio today. A lot of clients I deal with are non-Clear Channel stations. Where do you go when you want a library? If you want to license Brown Bag, where do you go? You go to Clear Channel. If you want to buy KillerHertz, where do you go? You go to Clear Channel. And my guys say to me, “Why do I want to give them money to fund my demise?” So I think there’s a need for it. I think people are interested in something different, from a new place. And our library isn’t based on people that don’t want to give money to Clear Channel. I don’t think we’d survive doing that. It’s just about a new voice, some new sounds from a brand new company. Is it the greatest production library ever? I don’t know, you tell me. All I know is, when I’m producing, I want to use it, and that’s the bottom line.

It’s really hard for me now, knowing what’s in the library and knowing how easy it would be to use it. Getting back to my initial premise, which was just to use it for my clients, obviously my partners and I have decided not to do that. Stations have to pony up and buy the license. But it’s super tough to be working on the launch of a station, and I know I’ve got this great launch sound with some NASA countdowns and the engine running, and I can’t use them.

JV: Has the library been released yet?
KB: It’s going to be finished next week. The demo is done and it’s up on a website at krashproductions.com. We sold our first package today, and we’re getting tons of feedback.

JV: Are you doing the library by yourself?
KB: It’s me and some other people, but I’m the radio guy involved. There are some musicians and others that are working behind the scenes.

JV: Is it a single disk?
KB: It’s a 2-CD set. Actually it’s three CDs, two audio CD’s and one CD-ROM. The CD-ROM is a duplication of the audio CDs, but it’s in a format for guys working on workstations. Again, it’s all about speed. And with it on CD-ROM you can audition fast, and you can import fast. You can get it into your session and work, versus trying to scan a CD, fumble through indexes and so on. I don’t have a CD player that reads indexes. The whole library was designed as a tool for me, things that I would want to use as a producer. That’s why I think it’s really going to do well.

JV: I assume the library is all imaging elements, with stuff you’ve done yourself plus stuff done by these musicians that you’ve hired.
KB: Yeah. Essentially I produced very little of it. I do some of the voice manipulation stuff and other things that a radio guy would do I guess. I’m not a musician. For the same reasons I don’t voice, I don’t produce music. It’s not what I do, and I’m not good at it.

JV: Is this a market/format exclusive thing?
KB: No, it’s a total buyout. At some point I think we’re going to head that way, but just simply to get the product off the ground floor and get a name, it’s a buyout.

JV: What formats are you imaging through the Audio Farm?
KB: We do work in all formats, but our number one format right now is actually country music. I can’t explain why, other than that was our first client, and maybe it just all built off that. I come from a rock background. We image WSSX in Charleston, and we did stuff for KZZP in Phoenix, huge CHR stations, but country is number one. And I think it’s because imaging guys hate country music. What’s the last format you’d want to do? You want to do a Clint Black promo? Well it’s been great for me. I didn’t grow up as a country fan, but I’ve crossed over now.

I guess the bottom line for people to remember is that a promo is a promo, whether it’s Madonna or Destiny’s Child or Garth Brooks or the Dixie Chicks. There’s nothing too different about it from our end. Who cares whether you like the music? Does the promo sound good? That’s what matters. We could do a promo for anything and make it sound good I think, whether we like it or not. It doesn’t matter. I’ve done a ton of commercials for products I’d never use. But one of the most fun things we get to do are station launches. Those are the ones where you know people have put a lot of time into them, into the script and the concepts, and they want them to sound really cool.

JV: Do you think there is a lot of work out there for people like yourself, a lot of “assembly” work?
KB: Yes and no. I think it’s super hard to come out and say, “I’m Joe. I’m an imaging guy,” and mail out demos and get clients. I can’t imagine doing it. I’ve never actually gotten a client by cold calling or from a mailing. I’ve gotten some good response, but, it never seems to lead to a deal. Maybe it’s my own personal sales skills, I don’t know. I think it’s so much more about relationships and your reputation rather than how killer your demo is. There are a lot of guys that can produce great, but man they’re crazy. They’re unreliable. And maybe that’s what makes them so creative and so good. But my client in Chicago doesn’t care if it’s a really killer weekend promo if it doesn’t get there. That’s what matters, and that’s where I think reputation and treating people right and bending over backwards comes in. That’s what my business was founded on. We’ve gotten so many new clients from guys calling and saying, “Oh my guy can’t do it. He skipped out. He doesn’t want to do it. He’s tired. He’s sick,” whatever. “Can you do it?” The answer, if the money is there, is always yes. We’ll be up until 2:00 a.m., but we’re going to get it done. And guess what? You’re going to come back. I had a client give me over $3,000 worth of work because his guy just baled out and didn’t want to do it. They called me up on a Friday at 6:00. It took all weekend, but it got done, and now they’re on retainer. That’s what builds your business. That’s what builds longevity. I wouldn’t run the business any other way. I wouldn’t be in business if I did.

JV: That’s great advice for anybody that’s thinking about doing what you’re doing. Is there anything else you’d offer in the way of advice?
KB: Just hang in there. I’ve been rejected by some of the best people in the business. People don’t call you back sometimes, and you start feeling depressed. You think, am I any good at this? And all of a sudden some guy from out of nowhere will call you up and think you’re the greatest thing. It’s about not getting too cocky when you get a new client or somebody tells you how great you are. It’s about not getting too down when nobody will return your phone call. It’s about walking in the middle. It’s about being self confident, knowing that you’re good at what you do and that’s why you’re here. But don’t look for the ego stroke because a lot of times the ego stroke is not there. Be self confident and use what got you to where you are. In the long run, it all works out if you treat people fairly. How many voice guys and productions guys do we know that treat people like shit? And what’s the first thing you do when somebody says, “Oh I’m using so and so…” The first thing you do is tell them the story about when the guy got all pissed off for this or that and screwed you over.

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