I was sad to learn today that Michael Mayer, probably South Africa’s most prolific voice artist passed away over the weekend.
Voice artists, especially those who work in advertising, give texture and feeling to the television and radio commercials that fill our lives. Their ability to modulate, squeeze in words, interpret copy and give life to a copywriter’s words is priceless. The best ones work all the time and they have become a part of the nation’s cultural landscape.
Most South Africans would know Michael Mayer’s voice well. But almost every South African copywriter working in the business today would have had the opportunity to work with him. To hear him make something of your copy. To sometimes, dryly advise on better placement of a pause, or a simpler structure to make the lines more punchy.
He put the artist in voice artist. For him it was more than a craft, it was a life.
UPDATE 1: Memorial service to be held at Milestone Studios in Bloem Street, Cape Town on Wednesday 1 February – at 5pm.
UPDATE 2: Johannesburg memorial to be held at St. Columbus Church, Parkview at 11am on Monday 30 January. (Thanks, Irene)