Dave Barnes

Rich/Warm/Directable Voice Actor/Pitchman/Narrator

Voice Description

I am the quintessential Voiceover straightman; a full, rich baritone voice which I tune and play like a musical instrument...and what a commanding, authoritative instrument it is! Banks, insurance companies and medical providers love me. Vocally, I am very bendy (thanks, Phoebe). I take direction gracefully and easily. Ecstatic producers have called me everything from "The Voice of God" to "One-Take Dave" to "The Voice That Can Peel Paint" (my sarcasm and irony have made thrilled political producers wet their pants). I've been freelancing since 1973.
As a Narrator, I bring a lot more to the booth than just a malleable voice. A discerning intellect helps me first understand and interpret the information, not just read the script. So at delivery, the words (from vernacular to legalese to techno-speak) roll out like comfortable old friends. F'rinstance, from first incision to final suture, I narrated the implantation of the world’s first non-invasively reprogrammable pacemaker for a convention of cardiac surgeons.
As a Voice Actor, I can be just about anyone your imagination can conjure, from an avuncular family physician to a salty Cajun fisherman to a cigar chomping suhthun politician. I can develop original characters on the spot, but am not an impressionist.
I do the Newsman thing quite well, having anchored thousands of r/tv newscasts and conducted hundreds of live interviews. In '69-'70, I was the 6pm and 10pm news anchor for the American Forces Philippines Television Network.
Hopefully, my abilities as a wordsmith became self-evident as you read this. If not, you weren't paying attention...dangerous when you're the one reading!

Voice Genders and "Ages" I Can Perform

• Middle Age Male
• Senior Male

Language(s) of Which I Am a Native Speaker:

• English - USA and Canada

I Offer my Services for these Recording Purposes

• Commercials
• Promos
• IVR, voicemail, phone systems, and on-hold messages
• Training, business presentations, sales, and web sites
• Audiobooks
• Videogames
• Documentaries
• TV shows and movies
• Movie and game trailers
• Podcasts
• Songs
• Others (on-camera, infomercials, live announcers, spokespersons)

Jobs I Am Willing to Take (Union-wise)

• Non-Union Jobs

Jobs for ACTRA (Canada) signatories Jobs for ACTRA (Canada) signatories

Jobs for British Equity signatories Jobs for British Equity signatories

Jobs for Union des Artistes (Canada) signatories Jobs for Union des Artistes (Canada) signatories

• Jobs for SAG-AFTRA (US) signatories

My Union Affiliations and Memberships


My Recording and Delivery Capabilities

• I will go to any designated studio in my area
• I can record and then deliver the audio files via Email
• I can record and then deliver the files by regular mail

Pre-, Post- and Production Services I Offer

• I can deliver edited and finished voice tracks

My Home Base

South Louisiana, Baton Rouge/New Orleans/Cajunland, Louisiana, United States

Accents, Impersonations, Characters and Dialects

I spent several years in the Western Pacific region and can speak and correctly pronounce several languages including French, Spanish and Tagalog, although am no longer fluent in any except English.

My Voice Experience

By age 14, I was singing bass in the adult choir; by 16, singing lead in a garage band. At 15, I was reading the daily paper aloud to the mirror, hoping to quickly train my fledgling voice so it could support me in the lifestyle to which I'd like to become accustomed. Now in my 60s, I still sing every chance I get, usually at karaoke bars and the occasional wedding.
My first big break came when Wes Wise, then KRLD, Dallas, evening anchorman (and soon to be Dallas mayor), paid a social visit to the family. I begged him to listen to me read and give me an honest critique; meanwhile, behind my back, my step-father was begging him to discourage me, even if I sounded like Cronkite.
So I read a few parqagraphs for him. Wes gave my step-dad a look that said, "Sorry, old friend," and then proceeded to tell me that I had a natural talent that should definitely be developed.
Later that day, Wes decided to see if anyone in the local area happened to be on the same two-way radio frequency as his news cruiser. "This is Wes Wise, KRLD, Dallas. Does anybody copy?"
You'll never guess who answered, so I'll just tell you: the program director of the very radio station (6 blocks from my house) for whom I longed to work! Unable to resist, Wes said he was IN DALLAS, trying out a fancy new radio, and wondering if he had made a good purchase.
After a good bit of silence, an effusive Bob Tucker replied that he's in West Monroe, LA. He then inquired as to the brand name of that new radio because he intended to buy as many as he could find. Being a kind-hearted man, Wes didn't string him along too much longer before unmasking the charade. Good natured laughter all around.
Then Br'er Wise delivered what was, for me, THE soft-sell line of his career: "There's a green kid who lives near your studio named Dave Barnes. You'd have to train him from scratch, but I believe he has enormous talent. Would you be willing to listen to him read as a favor to me?"
Wes was well-known and highly respected in media circles nationwide, and I could almost see the hook gliding in. He set it hard. Within the month, KUZN hired me at minimum wage ($1.25/hr) and flew me to N.O. to take the FCC test.
Soon I was rolling stack after stack of red-hot shellac, and ripping 'n' reading with the best of 'em. The principal let me drop 6th period study hall so I could be on the air by 2:15 every afternoon.
Second big break. High school. Senior year. I enter a VFW patriotism essay contest with a difference...the finished entry is read by the author on tape, and judged 60/40, content/delivery. One of the judges? Station manager at KNOE-TV, Channel 8 in Monroe. He seeks me out and offers a position of booth announcer/audio engineer for 40% more money. But it meant signing on the station a 5:30 every morning, running live studio audio for Good Morning ArkLaMiss, and then racing across the river to beat the 8:05 homeroom tardy bell.
Soon, the radio side came begging, asking if I could come out and play...their records...on the air...same time every evening. Tv said okay, and Bam, I was right back rockin' and rollin'. And booth announcing.
Then came age 18, graduation, and my least favorite uncle. Acknowledging a lifelong lack of luck with any form of gambling, I joined the Navy's delayed entry program rather than run around the boonies with a rifle. I was way too ADHDed out to pursue my original plan of chemical engineering. Sure enough, before I could even make it to boot camp, my draft number was up. Like I said, not just bad luck, but no luck at all.
In the Navy, I made my own luck. They discovered my ease with math and science in a battery of IQ tests and sent me straight to a squadron on Guam to work on aircraft weapons guidance systems. Instead I studied Journalism, of which broadcasting is a sub-specialty. I worked 40 hours a week for the Navy and 50 hours a week for the local am/fm/tv monolith, KUAM. By the end of that tour, I had made E3, E4 and E5, with under 2 years' service. I had also managed an assignment to the Defense Department's Broadcast Specialist school, a 3-month course for all 4 branches, at an Army base in Indianapolis. I finished as an honor graduate and a record holder...the only person in the school's history to garner all 15 honor points in the radio half; and 14 of 15 in the TV half (a 103 fever screwed that up).

My Training

Unknown - Click here to ask Dave Barnes

My Studio Equipment

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Additional Skills

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Payment Methods Accepted


Contact Information

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