L.A.'s Top Voice-Over Talents Pay the Way for Ted Williams

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Arguably, no one has had a better start to 2011 than Ted Williams and on Monday his year got even better. The voice of Entertainment Tonight, Randy Thomas, along with other top voice-over talents such as Beau Weaver and Nita Whitaker, gathered their resources to pay Ted's union initiation fees for SAG (Screen Actors Guild) and AFTRA (American Federation of Television and Radio Artists). Ted was given the news of his free membership at the Don LaFontaine Voice-Over Lab in Los Angeles. With guild membership Ted is able to work high-profile voice-over jobs, be eligible for health benefits and has access to expert training from the best in the world. "There's no charge for a Screen Actors Guild or AFTRA actor to walk in these doors and learn about the craft of voice over," said Randy Thomas. Don LaFontaine's Voice-Over Lab was established in memory of the legendary vocal actor who voiced thousands of film trailers, setting the standard for the industry. Don died on September 1, 2008. "You've inspired the nation that second chances happen -- that good things happen to good people," said Don's widow, Nita Whitaker. Ted was formerly homeless, receiving media attention when a video showcasing his "golden voice" went viral on YouTube -- getting over 11 million hits in just a few days.

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  • That's is Awwwesome!
  • Good for him. In between the medical bills from my wife's skull fracture and my own oral surgery -- and unemployment -- I'm glad to see someone get ahead. If no one gets ahead, I can't, either. I'm not betting that I will, now or anytime soon, but it's nice to live vicariously through someone else for a little while.
  • I gotta say with all respect that I wish Ted nothing but good luck in his business and peronal life....but this is really getting kinda nuts.  Some of us will work for decades and never receive the publicity and gifts that Mr Williams is receiving.  Most of us choose to live our lives everyday without substance abuse and this individual completely screws up his life and is now given the world because he finally ended up where the rest of us have been the whole time.  It seems that huge credit is being given to someone for finally acting the way they're supposed to act in the first place.  Again, I wish him the best, I'm glad he's off the streets, and America loooooves a comeback but he has accomplished nothing more than behaving like a responsible adult. If that's all it takes than most everyone on this site deserves to have their unoin dues paid for and our live reads shown on Entertainment Tonight.  I am totally ready for this story to go away.        
  • The Vox That Rocks Excellent observation, Ted.
  • This story just keeps getting better.


    You know, something has struck me as really cool about Ted.  Instead of panhandling and just begging for money or food, and trying to get it without work, he was giving folks something.  For a dollar, he was entertaining his audience and using one of his strengths to generate an income.  He's obviously got some work ethic. 

    Go Ted.

  • The Vox That Rocks Wishing Ted Williams the strength to handle all the attention and that he makes good decisions for who's in his life. May he have much well deserved success.
  • Well there you go. Inspiration to all those who want to be in the business of Voice Overs. Now maybe he can take care of the family he left behind. Use that talent for good...I can say we have all worked our butts off to get an audition and this is a tough, rough business and I guess falling through the front door is one way.
  • It is so good and reassuring to know that Ted has a community he can count on. This is what colleagues do: we have each other's back and we offer a shoulder to lean on. Ted's warm welcome is a reflection of what can happen when people who care, come together.


    Sometimes we wonder why bad things have to happen to good people. You have shown the world that good things can happen to good people who were down on their luck.


    Ted has found a home. One down; millions of other homeless people to go.

  • I appreciate your candor Joe.  It is a huge leap and, even with immense support and astonishing talent, a daunting challenge.  Being in the global spotlight has also granted Ted Williams a heavy dose of responsibility.  He's become a symbol of "anything is possible" - an inspiration to all of us.  I am hoping that Ted will not only become the v/o actor he aspires to be, but that he can also beat his demons along the way.  What a triumph that will be!  It is something we can all hope for.

  • I agree with you, Joe. Mr. Williams has been swept up in a media maelstrom and I would imagine it's been frightening and overwhelming by turns. I can't even begin to imagine how this is affecting him emotionally -- but we need to let him know that we can help him - the SAG and AFTRA can help him find financial guidnace, mental & emotional assistance and advice, and we all must remember that there, but for the grace of God, go us all.

    Many of us have had an extended dry spell work-wise -- me included -- but I cannot feel anything but happiness and support for Mr. Williams and I only wish him the best for his life and career. We all know that Don would have picked him up from the airport in his limo, arms and smile a mile wide. We have to help each other... this life doesn't work if we don't.

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