Hello, hope you enjoy! Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

My Hometown News Feature Story

“Voice of Americana” Speaking from Spring Hill
When you first enter Spring Hill’s Rick Lance Studio, it resembles a fairly typical photography studio - a seamless white backdrop with studio lighting and a suspended black umbrella sets off to the side. Well-composed photographs featuring scenes from Lance's 2004 trip to Asia adorn the opposite wall, along with a plush loveseat.
Rick Lance reads a voice-over script in his Spring Hill studio.
Photo by Sara McManamy-Johnson
The first clue that this might not actually be a typical photography studio is a foam-encased microphone, roughly the size of a brick, that hangs over the large, flat-panel Mac monitor at a desk in the corner. A closer inspection reveals a small, back room boasting just a worktable with a sound board and lamp and a studio-quality microphone suspended over a music stand.

The photography-studio trappings are actually primarily remnants of Rick Lance’s previous incarnation as a professional photographer. Now, Rick Lance Studio is better known as a recording studio and home base to “The Voice of Americana.”

When Lance moved to Nashville from Pennsylvania 28 years ago, he dreamed of breaking-it big in the music business, like so many before him and after.

And for six years, he pursued that dream, working to establish himself as a singer, songwriter, and overall performer while he simultaneously built a successful photography studio in downtown Nashville.

“I primarily did a lot of commercial photography, mainly product photography,” said Lance. “I had a 1,500 square-foot studio in the warehouse district; it was almost like a loft studio in New York - it was pretty cool.”

But the incoming Digital Age began to take its toll on Lance’s photography businesses. Digital cameras with increasingly better resolution and powerful photo-editing software for home computers meant that more and more potential customers were opting for do-it-yourself projects or for less-expensive amateur photographers.

Throughout that time, Lance had continued pursuing his musical ambitions.

One day, while recording in a Nashville music studio, Lance was asked to narrate a commercial for an area prime-rib restaurant.

“‘You want me to just talk?’ I asked, ‘I’m not going to sing anything?’” recalled Lance. “It was just a little radio commercial; I got a meager fee for it, but I was happy, and they were happy - that was in 1993.”

He began doing occasional voice-over work after that, but with his music and his photography studio, Lance did not have time to devote much attention to the voice-over work.

“It took years for me to take it seriously,” said Lance.

But when Lance’s photography business began taking a downward turn, he needed to find a way to replace some of that lost income.

By about 2003, Lance had gotten serious about voice-over work and had set up a recording room in his photography studio; in 2007, he set up his studio in Spring Hill.

Now, voice-overs are his main source of income.

“I treat it as a business,” said Lance. “I treat it like I treated my photography business.”

For Lance, that means constantly educating himself and honing his craft. He has trained with voice coaches, acting coaches, and voice-acting coaches, and he has even studied method-acting techniques.

His rationale is simple.

“I have to interpret people’s words,” said Lance. “I’ve got to convince the audience.”

Lance has done some on-camera acting for commercials and music videos, but he admits that most of his clients approach him for voice-over work. And even his music has taken second-fiddle to his voice-over work.

“I realized that my speaking voice is actually more distinctive than my singing voice,” said Lance.

At 57 years old, Lance boasts a deep, slightly gravelly, voice. Although he is a native of Pennsylvania, Lance’s father is a native Texan, so Lance can easily slip into a Southwestern drawl.

“Now, that’s not like the twang you’ll find in places like Alabama or Georgia,” said Lance. “I’m more of a drawler than a twanger.”

Between the deep, gravelly voice and the deep, Texas drawl, Lance has found a strong market representing industries like construction, agriculture, and what he generally described as “man’s man” markets.

But Lance can drop the drawl as quickly as he can pick it up, so he has no difficulty offering what he calls “straight” delivery, which is essentially an accent-neutral delivery.

Despite a distinctive and marketable voice, Lance still faces intense competition for projects.

“Auditions are kind of a shot in the dark, but I do them every week,” said Lance. “I’ll do 40 to 50 auditions in a week, and I might get 3 jobs out of them.”

Thanks to the miracles of modern technology, Lance can record his audition files at his main work desk and just submit them over the Internet - the process can be completed quickly.

Lance actually records his final projects in the sound room tucked in the back of his studio.

Most of his projects are solo operations in that he just prints his script from an e-mail attachment, runs the sound board while he’s reading the script, and electronically sends the sound file to his client.

“There will be days where I’m just sitting here talking to myself all day,” said Lance. “But I’m having fun.”

To find out more about Rick Lance, visit www.ricklancestudio.com or call (615) 302-2812.

Very First Blog Post Newsletter #10

Rick Lance                                  
The Voice of Americana

Hello Visitor ,

Do you ever wish you could go back to a simpler time? Perhaps back to the day when you were just a kid growing up. Or maybe just imagine a time when life in America was less complicated, less high-tech, less worrisome. When the foundations of today's industries were just being laid. Small businesses flourished and became the backbone of American life as we know it.

Health Care is one of those industries that started out with the small town doctor (who made house calls) and grew into today's mega sized medical industry. In spite of that growth, or perhaps because of it, caring companies like Life Care Centers of America are reaching out to local communities across the nation to simplify people's lives by offering short term rehab services. Please click HERE to watch the second TV ad in our campaign fostering this service within some 225 communities across America. (Produced by LCCA) I'm proud to be their voice. Knowing I'm speaking directly to the people I can relate to the most... everyday, ordinary folk.

There is no industry more basic to America than Agriculture. Yes, we often take our nation's farmers for granted. Yet, we were all farmers in the beginning when we were building and settling our country. Today's farmers are fewer in number, no doubt. But their work is more critical and efficient than ever before thanks to great strides being made in Agricultural Science. You may not think about it often but a lot of technology and research goes into the food we consume and export. One of these companies utilizing technology while creating organic products is Kamut International, specifically their Khorasan wheat grain. This nutty, buttery, tasty grain has an unusual origin. Please click HERE for the short story. 
Produced by D S Simon Productions, Inc, NY.

I enjoy supporting the basic industries of America that keep us moving and keep us healthy as a nation. Do you have a client who needs to get their message out to America and the world? After painstakingly writing that copy/script and all its revisions, have you had trouble finding that "earthy, storytelling, convincing and believable" voice to match your copy?" This is the niche that I work in. And what puts the food on my table. Perhaps I can help you set your table!
If you'd like to discuss a project please let me know or visit my website at www.ricklancestudio.com.

Thanks for your interest and referrals!

Cheers... to your health!


Rick Lance 
Rick Lance Studio
615 302-2812

Working on camera too!

Voice Actor/Audio Producer
The Voice of Americana

                        "Serving the basic industries that keep America moving."