Have you ever heard the Voice of God?

Does the name Don LaFontaine mean anything to you? If not, you are not alone. While many have heard his voice, most don’t recognize the person behind it. (Don was never really in the spotlight except for those Geico commercials – see below.)

Don LaFontaine was perhaps the most successful & famous American voiceover artist in the history of our civilization. In his career, he recorded more than 5,000 film trailers and hundreds of thousands of television advertisements. His nicknames included “Thunder Throat” and “The Voice of God.” Don was an absolute treasure to the voice-over industry. (Don LaFontaine died on September 1 2008.)

I recently came across an interesting story about Don in the book titled The Butterfly Hunter by Chris Ballard. (I highly recommend it.) In short, in the book Chris profiled 10 successful people who found their life’s work in relatively uncommon lines of work. Here is a little taste from the profile about Don LaFontaine:

He sold encyclopedias or dictionaries, he doesn’t remember which, but was so bad at it that by the end of of the first week, he actually owed the company  $17 because he’d “invested” in his materials but has yet to sell a single book. The nadir came, he said, when he was living in a $14-a-week room in a boardinghouse on Ninth Avenue. He got food poisoning and lay there for a week, doubled over in bed, unable to leave the room. And since both the bathroom and the phone were down the hall, by the time he could walk again he was both out of a job and in a particularly fragrant living situation. “I threw all my trash out in the hallway and started laughing,” he said, smiling at the memory. “I laughed because I realized I couldn’t go any lower. I had no job, no money, and knew nobody in the city. I had nothing.”

Parting suggestion: Keep calm & carry on. Once upon a time, Don LaFontaine, the most successful & famous American voiceover artist in the history of our civilization, the Voice of God, had nothing. What if that was the only story that Don LaFontaine ever told?