By day, Chris Zemba is a Senior Tech Support Specialist and by night, he’s a professional voice talent lending his talents and friendly voice to Spectrio and its many customers.
Let’s take a step back in time and find out how Chris Zemba got started in this competitive voicing industry. Zemba began his life in Springfield, Virginia, about 20 minutes outside of Washington D.C. It was while he was earning a B.S. in Mass Communication at Frostburg State University when he felt a pull towards the radio industry. He got his foot in the door by doing production work for the college public radio station. At age 19, he was literally cutting and splicing tapes of promos, public service announcements and station IDs well before digital editing.
After earning his degree, Zemba realized that entry into the radio business as a full-time employee would be a challenge. So he settled for a part-time radio gig and as fate would have it, while working a weekend on-air shift, he met someone who worked for an on hold company. He then bid his part-time radio job adieu and worked full-time in the on hold world for eight years. Zemba says, “When the on hold company I worked for hired me full time, I realized that hey, I can earn a living by talking!” In addition to his passion for doing voice over work, he also had a strong interest in information technology. So after Zemba started working full-time in the IT industry, he began doing on hold and voice prompt voice work in the evening. He had the best of both worlds and was able to share his talents with even more people.
During Zemba’s 20 years in the voicing industry, he’s voiced everything from training videos for the Navy to voice mail greetings for local businesses. He even earned 2nd place nationwide from the On Hold Messaging Association for a “fake” on hold message. “The message was made up, but the award was real,” Zemba clarifies.
When asked about the most gratifying part of doing voice over work, Zemba responds, “Whenever I hear the playback, I realize that the message is coming across the way I feel it should be read. I’m proud of my work.” Zemba also takes pride in voicing a client’s copy to suit their company image. “My styles include ‘soothing luxury car’ voice, ‘used car’ voice, ‘this pizza is awesome so buy it now’ voice, ‘1960’s announcer guy with black rimmed glasses’ voice and of course ‘friendly conversational Chris Zemba’ voice,” says Zemba. His voice can be described as baritone with a conversational style unless otherwise directed. Others describe his voice as natural, flexible and easy-going.
What else is there to know about the friendly man behind the mic? He’s a big music record collector. And when we say big, we’re talking 800 LPs and over 250 45s in genres ranging from oldies, country, R&B, jazz and classical to current pop and comedy. In addition to his love of music, he is a proud dad to three girls (an eight year old and twin four year olds). “Before I crack a mic for voice work, I enjoy being a daddy when I get home. I also read aloud to them, which helps me warm up for my scripts,” says Zemba.
Zemba graciously concludes, “Thanks for allowing me to be part of the Spectrio family for the last several years! I appreciate the work as much as I enjoy it.” Take a listen to his demo by clicking his name below, and if you think Chris Zemba is the perfect choice for your next production, let us know!