Vocal coaches, recording engineers and listeners have described Michael's voice as distinctive, displaying both an actor's skill, and a vocal and emotional range that allows great versatility. They note that he brings a professional and instinctive approach to his recordings, takes direction easily, and has a personality that makes working with him a pleasure. He is a natural story teller, with a warm, expressive and richly textured voice.
Michael’s story begins in the mountains above California's beautiful Ojai Valley where he and his dog spent hours looking for lizards and snakes – and gaining an enduring love for the music of nature.
After college, he joined the Peace Corps and taught English in a Chinese high school in the jungles of Malaysian Borneo. The experiences he had there were extraordinary: coming face-to-face with elephants crossing his path; catching a cobra that crawled into his classroom! But it was as a language teacher that he learned the importance of hearing the spoken word. He taught his students to rely on their ear and not their eye. Their voices still ring in his mind’s ear, more than 50 years later.
The lessons he learned there have guided his career as an award-winning writer and journalist. Whether for publication or pleasure, nothing he writes is finished until he reads it aloud, until he hears it, until his ear tells him it is right. Following this principle, he recently completed and recorded his first novel, as well as a couple of his short stories. The pleasure – and feedback – he received from that experience is one of the main reasons he decided to become a voice over artist.
As an advocate for criminal justice reform, Michael appears often on radio and TV. Currently, he leads writing workshops in jails and juvenile halls where he relies on his voice to command and control, to coax and cajole, and often merely to calm. And from the voices of the incarcerated, he learns every day.