Shuswap voice actor heard on hundreds of audio books, commercials | iNFOnews

Frank Block at his home studio in Tappen.

Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Frank Block

February 13, 2022 – 6:04 PM

From canoe commercials to autobiographies, a Shuswap man’s voice can be heard around the world.

Tappen resident Frank Block only started recording his voice for audio books in 2015 and is most recognizable in the region as one of the announcers for the Salmon Arm Silverbacks.

The 57-year-old originally got into the field by playing the music for his son’s hockey games when he lived in Alberta. One of the parents suggested he started doing the announcement, spurring the opportunity to announce at all sorts of hockey games.

“If I was still in Alberta, I would still be doing public announcing on behalf of the Calgary Flames,” he said, adding he announced the Big League Experience, an opportunity for minor hockey league teams to replicate an NHL game, at the Saddledome .

When he moved to Saskatchewan, he began working in part-time radio, doing news, weather and sports as well as DJing in the evenings. He worked in finance full-time and did radio work on the side.

Block’s break into audiobooks was when he was announcing the Olympic Torch Run during the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. One of the dignitaries was the son of Metro Prystai, an NHL hockey player who played for the Detroit Red Wings and the Chicago Black Hawks in the 1940s and ’50s.

The conversation eventually led Block to writing Metro Prystai Story: A Legend from the Golden Age of Hockey and narrated the audiobook in 2015. Since then, he’s narrated more than 450 books, available on Audible, as well as performed voiceovers for commercials.

The toughest part of being a voice actor is discovering your limit, Block said.

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“There’s certain dialects that I know that I just can’t pull off and the interesting thing is you can audition for these things anyway and the person might still want to hire you.”

Block had a voice coach based out of the US He records out of his studio in his Tappen home and has worked with people around the world.

“Everything is recorded here and mastered from my little studio… we can produce television or radio broadcast audio out of this little studio,” he said.

The demand for voice actors is increasing as more people listen to audio books, he said. “We’ve seen a massive influx in people wanting to do this as a career… and I think we’re going to continue to see that.”

Block has no intention of stopping anytime soon, saying it’s become a full-time job.

“When you’re growing up, you’re always trying to figure out what am I supposed to be doing with my life, what is my calling? And when you come across it and you know what you should be doing, there’s no finish line,” he said.

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