Voice Actor's Haiti Response:
'I Cried ... Now What Can I Do?'
Note: An earlier VoiceOverXtra article told how the author is raising money to help vicitims of the Jan. 12 Haiti earthquake. At our request, Jean-Marc now elaborates on his motivation and his efforts to date ...
By Jean-Marc Berne
Voice Actor & Singer/Musician
Feb. 26, 2010
It was hard waking up that Wednesday morning after the earthquake hit in Haiti.
It was all over the news, and yet I still hadn't heard from everybody in my family.
I couldn't help but sob at the images shown on TV of rubble and dead bodies, wondering if any of them might be an aunt or a cousin of mine.
After a good cry I said to myself: "I cried, now what can I do to help?"
Since that moment, I've made it my personal mission to raise funds for Haiti in any way I can.
From that moment, I have teamed up with other artists and organizations to raise funds for Haiti.
'RAISE FOR HAITI'
I called my friend Oscar Napa, one of the bar owners of Locksmith Wine & Bar in the Washington Heights/Inwood area of Manhattan (4463 Broadway), to ask if it would be OK for me to announce at my Tuesday music performances there that I would be donating 50% of my tips to the Haitian relief efforts.
He said, "Of course, let me see what else we can do to help."
Next thing I know, later that night he sent a message to all his contacts on Facebook making the following Tuesday a fundraiser for Haiti - calling it Raise for Haiti! - and that Locksmith would be donating 50% of that night's proceeds to the American Red Cross.
Oscar also teamed up with three other bars in the areas to collect canned goods, bottled water and clothing that a shipping company in the area would be carrying into Haiti.
FOR TWO TUESDAYS
The fundraiser was held for two Tuesdays in a row, where on the second Tuesday I donated 100% of my tips to the Haitian relief efforts.
For both Tuesdays, in combination with the money raised by Locksmith Wine & Bar, we were able to raise over $1,000 to help the relief efforts.
Through one of the casting notices on the HOLA pages, I learned that HITN-TV was hosting a telethon fundraiser for Haiti, Abracemos a Haiti (Let's Embrace Haiti), the same day of the George Clooney telethon on NBC, from 3 to 8:30 p.m.
I called the producers of HITN and told them that I am a Haitian Dominican, that I have family in Haiti, and that I would love to perform on their telethon Los Pétalos de la Rosa, a song I had written about Haiti over 10 years ago.
I was quickly welcomed into the program.
Little did I know that I would be on the same show as New York Governor David Patterson and renowned writer Isabel Allende, among other well-known figures, and that I would be closing the show with the performance of my song!
(See the performance video: www.hitn.tv/quake2010_tele.php?v=marc)
I was ecstatic to find out that through this telethon, we were able to raise over $3 million for the Haitian relief efforts.
AND IT CONTINUES ...
Thanks to an article published on VoiceoverXtra about VO talents raising funds for Haiti, I found out about Pablo Hernandez's PSA fundraiser for Haiti, and contributed my voice to the Spanish version of the PSA.
I am continuing my efforts to raise funds for Haiti, devoting every last Tuesday's performances at Locksmith Wine & Bar to raising funds and donating 100% of my tips to the Haitian relief efforts.
I also performed my song, Los Pétalos de la Rosa, last Friday at the Grand Hyatt, at the event Healing Arts for Haiti (see photo). Every dollar raised was donated to UNICEF, directly helping rescue and relief efforts. For more info on this event, please visit www.healingartsforhaiti.org.
And I am calling on all artists and organizations who are helping with the Haitian relief efforts to please contact me, as I would like to contribute in any way I can.
To contact Jean-Marc Berne:
Voice-Over Profile: http://voice123.com/jeanmarcberne