September 16, 2009
With plans officially announced for the upcoming Don LaFontaine Voice-Over Lab, the SAG Foundation aims to widen its scope of career assistance by providing a technical and creative facility geared specifically to the needs of voice-over actors, both established and aspiring.
The Lab will be built in Los Angeles, adjacent to the Foundation’s already thriving Actors Center. Continuing the Center’s effectiveness as both a hands-on and informational resource location for actors, the Lab will add an extensive voice-over component to the Foundation’s Museum Square mezzanine-level facility. A state-of-the-art sound studio including two recording booths will accommodate actors working on their craft, demos and auditions, while the Lab’s classroom space will host workshops, seminars and demonstrations led by many of the world’s most respected voice-over talents.
The Lab provides a fitting tribute to the late Don “The Voice” LaFontaine, who gave freely of his own time and expertise to mentor many of today’s leading voice-over talents. Known for his generosity of spirit as much as his booming, resonant voice, LaFontaine’s career spanned over four decades and included over five thousand movie trailers, countless announcer credits and his famous, humorous GEICO television commercial, the popularity of which earned him the distinction of being one of the few voice-artists identifiable not only in sound but in image as well. Endorsement of the Foundation’s project, which was initially suggested by a team of leading voice-over artists eager to carry forward LaFontaine’s legacy of support, comes wholeheartedly from LaFontaine’s wife, Nita Whitaker LaFontaine.
Among those instrumental in making the Don LaFontaine Voice-Over Lab a reality are Founders Committee membersPaul Pape, Joe Cipriano, George Whittam; Founders Steering Committee members Josh Daugherty, Vanessa Gilbert, Adam Jackson, David Marc; Advisory Board members Townsend Coleman, George DelHoyo, Kevin Gershan, Stew Herrera, Ben Patrick Johnson, Bill Ratner, Tony Rodgers, Rino Romano, Scott Rummell, Jim Tasker, Randy Thomas, Beau Weaver and Honorary Advisory Board members Steve Tisherman and Nita Whitaker LaFontaine.
The SAG Foundation Don LaFontaine Voice-Over Lab is expected to open in early 2010.