D.c. Gigs: 'the Voice Of God' (Transcript) | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

Transcripts

D.C. Gigs: The 'Voice Of God'

MS. REBECCA SHEIR

00:00:03
Study hard, stay in school and who knows, maybe one day you'll become a doctor a lawyer, a teacher or the Voice of God. That's right, the Voice of God. This rather unusual title is given to professional announcers who act quite literally as the man behind the curtain at big events, here in D.C. and in other major cities, too.

MS. REBECCA SHEIR

00:00:23
Andrew Criss is one such Voice of God and if you've been to fancy gala or a big conference in this town, chances are pretty good you've heard his voice. In this month's edition of "D.C. Gigs" Marc Adams finds out how Criss got his start and what he's noticed behind that curtain in official Washington.

MR. ANDREW CRISS

00:00:43
I'm Andrew Criss and I am a professional live events announcer, which is also known as a VOG, which stands for Voice of God.

MR. ANDREW CRISS

00:00:51
Ladies and gentlemen, please, enjoy your dinner.

MR. ANDREW CRISS

00:00:54
I'm the guy who says, ladies and gentlemen, a lot. Most of the jobs that I do in D.C. are live events, a black tie dinner, a political function like an inaugural ball, a company's annual party that they have and I'm the voice that you hear coming over the event. You never see me. I'm not an MC host. I don't stand on the stage in a tuxedo, but you hear me say things like, ladies and gentlemen, please take your seats.

MR. ANDREW CRISS

00:01:28
I'm doing the announcing tonight and it's a dinner that's the yearly event for the Service Members Legal Defense Network.

MR. ANDREW CRISS

00:01:34
Ladies and gentlemen, the cocktail reception is now over and tonight's program is about to begin. Please make your way to your seats.

MR. ANDREW CRISS

00:01:42
My goal is always to sound like a recording and if people say, I thought you were a recording. then I know I've done a good job. So it's a matter of sounding, you know, not conversational, but sounding very, very, you know, polished and professional while you're speaking.

MR. ANDREW CRISS

00:01:55
Ladies and gentlemen, we ask that you please take your seats so that our program can begin on time. Please, we ask that you take your seats at this time.

MR. ANDREW CRISS

00:02:05
This is the part where you herd everybody into the -- get them to sit down, which whenever there are bars that are open that have free alcohol, that's a hard job.

MR. ANDREW CRISS

00:02:14
When I was a kid, I used to imitate people that I would hear on the radio and, you know, imitate the announcer from movies. I think as I got older and my voice matured I realized that it was a tool that I could use to sound a certain authoritative way. You know, you just kind of get it down to the lower register and let it rumble down there. I mean, it's not my normal speaking voice. My normal speaking voice is higher and up here but if it's what the client wants you, you know, you get into that, in a world where two men, you know, whatever. You speak in that kind of movie theater announcer voice and it sounds like what people want to hear so it's kind of fun to do.

MR. ANDREW CRISS

00:02:50
Now, please stand for our national anthem sung this evening by Tech Sergeant Chad Doff of the United States Air Force.

MR. ANDREW CRISS

00:03:00
Because a lot of these events are focused around policy or the elections or legislation that's being pushed I have had the good fortune of being in the room when pretty important announcements have been made. I was in the room when George Bush said that countries that love freedom do not build weapons of mass destruction. I was in the room when President Barack Obama said that he would repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell. I was in the room when we celebrated the repeal of it, which was amazing. It's kind of amazing to be in Washington and see those moments that will become history happen right in front of you.

SHEIR

00:04:06
That was Andrew Criss AKA the Voice of God speaking with Marc Adams.

SHEIR

00:04:13
If you have distinctively "D.C. Gig" you think we should feature on the show, let us know. Send an email to metro@wamu.org or check us out on Facebook. That's facebook.com/metroconnection.org.

SHEIR

00:05:00
And that's "Metro's Connection" for this week. We heard from WAMU's Emily Friedman, Sabri Ben-Achour, Martin DiCaro and Kavitha Cardoza along with reporter Marc Adams. Our acting news director is Meymo Lyons. Tara Boyle is our managing producer. Lauren Landau is our editorial assistant. Our intern is Alex Platis. Jonna McKone, Lauren Landau, Heather Taylor and Alex Platis produce "Door To Door." Thanks, as always, to the WAMU engineering and digital media teams for their help with production and the "Metro Connection" website.

SHEIR

00:05:29
Our theme song, ''Every Little Bit Hurts,'' and our ''Door To Door'' theme "No Girl" and "Turn Your Face" our theme for "The Location" are from the album "Title Tracks" by John Davis and used with permission of the Ernest Jennings Record Company. You can see all the music we use on our website, metroconnection.org. Just click on an individual story and you'll find information about its accompanying song.

SHEIR

00:05:48
Also on metroconnection.org you can find our Twitter and Facebook links. You can read free transcripts of stories and if you missed part of today's show or you just want to listen to any of our recent shows, just click the podcast link up at the top of the page. You also can sign up for our podcasts on iTunes. We hope you'll join us next week when we'll be talking transformations. We'll lace up our hiking boots and visit a quarry that turned simple stone into one of D.C.'s most famous buildings. We'll learn how a new highway has transformed the lives of residents in Montgomery County and we'll check out a U.S. Senate program designed to mold kids into the next generation of leaders.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE ONE

00:06:23
We find out that these great people really did not have a plan when they were young. We never usually think the president or the Secretary of Defense stumbles into that position and seems like a lot of these great people.

SHEIR

00:06:36
I'm Rebecca Sheir and thanks for listening to "Metro Connection," a production of WAMU 88.5 news.
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