Voice Actor Lands First Network TV Spot
For Medical Marijuana - Without An Audition
April 10, 2013
By Farn Dupre
VOXtra Staff Writer
Voice actor Jamee Thompson (pictured) is on her way to 15 minutes of fame as the first voice over talent in the first commercial for medical marijuana to be seen on a major television network.
The one-minute spot for MarijuanaDoctors.com began airing March 1 on Comcast systems in New Jersey, and features 30 seconds of Thompson’s voice urging viewers to log onto the website or call "the only service that connects patients with real doctors” for medical marijuana.
The first half of the commercial (below) shows a stereotypical "dealer” selling sushi of questionable quality in a back alley, which leads into Thompson’s question:
"You wouldn’t buy your sushi from this guy, so why would you buy your marijuana from him?”
As the first TV spot for a substance often viewed with suspicion, the commercial gained immediate traction from national media coverage, including CNN, Chelsea Lately, and many other local network affiliates.
"I had no idea it would get as much attention as it did," Jamee tells VoiceOverXtra. "I had friends and family contacting me from all over the country telling me they’d seen various news agencies reporting on the ad.
"I even got a good segment on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams. My voice was featured for a good 3 seconds!”
DIDN'T EVEN AUDITION
Now living in the Charlotte, NC area, Thompson began pursuing a voice over career in 2007, after graduating Magna Cum Laude with a BS degree in Communication/Electronic Media/Broadcasting from Appalachian State University in 2000.
She currently gets most of her VO gigs from private networking and from small production houses where she’s developed personal relationships.
This particular job basically fell into her lap because of those connections.
"There was no audition," she says. "The client simply chose my voice from the roster of talent offered by the production house . . . based on my demo."
Thompson recorded the commercial in her home studio on February 18 and it began airing two weeks later in New Jersey.
The medical marijuana campaign will expand this month to Massachusetts, and then soon to Chicago. Additional exposure will be announced at a later date.
And has the spot been a success?
"Many media outlets reported on the news of the first-ever television advertising campaign for medical marijuana, which attracted considerable attention to the website from patients, doctors and the viewing public, Thompson says.
"MarijuanaDoctors.com received many calls from patients, plus inquiries and registrations from doctors in New Jersey.
"The enormous media coverage also prompted calls from patients and doctors in states across the country where medical marijuana is a legal treatment.”
WARM, COMFORTING VOICE
On her website, Thompson describes herself as having a "warm, fresh, comforting” voice, which has landed her credits in regional and national commercials for Clean Wave Water Products, The Carolina Renaissance Festival & Artisan Market, Tampa Tire Pros and Wake Forest University.
Though the medical marijuana commercial has been steadily gaining viewers on YouTube, with more than 650,000 hits since March 1, Thompson hasn’t heard yet whether she’ll be tapped for additional work with the marijuana campaign - but she’s hopeful.
So far, there’s been no direct result in other new VO work, but she has definitely seen an increase in her LinkedIn connections since the commercial’s been on the air.
As for Thompson’s 15 minutes of fame, if she counts down from that three seconds of exposure on Brian Williams’ show, she happily reports: "I’ve got at least 14:57 left!”
Farn Dupre is a newcomer to voice acting, following a long career in publishing. She was a founder and the editor-in-chief of New Jersey Family magazine for 20 years. Her love of the written word now extends to the spoken word.
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