As the voice behind the app, Jamie introduces our visitors to the fascinating history of telecommunications as he guides guests around the gallery.
Jamie has helped us in a variety of creative ways at the Telephone Museum. Whether we are referring to our introductory video, our mobile app, or our website, Jamie’s talents have helped us to build our brand.
For a fella with so many interests, we wanted to know how Jamie’s interests began.
[Graham] What was your first creative endeavor?
[Jamie] Besides the usual drawing and painting at 2, maybe 3 years old, I think I was 4 and we’d visit my grandparents’ house. My grandpa had an old radio cabinet…the guts were taken out and I would open up the little doors on the front while sitting in the cabinet and I would do a puppet show for all the relatives.
I grew up painfully shy. I didn’t talk much, but would express myself visually, usually through drawing. I continued drawing, sometimes painting, as I grew older and then in junior high I sold greeting cards door to door to raise enough money to buy a guitar. I taught myself how to play it and eventually got together with friends and we formed a basement band. I wound up playing and singing in rock bands for about 10 years, and it was while on the road, going to all different places, where I got interested in photography. I would photograph a lot of the fans that would come out to see us, and when I eventually left music, I pursued a photography career doing primarily glamour and fashion. I wound up working for agencies and publishers.
In college I was taking a broadcasting class. I was fascinated with working in television (but not radio), and we all had to learn different positions in the studio. I never enjoyed directing or running audio but I did love running camera, and then an opening popped up as an intern at a local TV station. So, I got a part time job as an intern there and after interning for 2 summers, they hired me full time as a film editor and occasional cameraman. Over the years, I did more production camerawork, but I was primarily an editor my entire career in television.
When I retired from television and moved to New Hampshire, I continued my photography hobby, but with a lot less people here than in the big city, I started shooting landscapes instead of photographing people. I enjoyed that for a while, but then as I got older and the knees and the back started to go, then it became more of a chore to go out and shoot, but I would still do part time video production with a partner. We shot a video for the New Hampshire Telephone Museum, and everything went well, but apparently the voiceover guy we hired didn't work out too well, so to save time and money, I volunteered to do the narration, and it turned out well!
I thought that would be the end of it, but then when the museum decided to do a tour app, they asked if I would do the voice over for that. I said ‘Sure!” And then the company that made the app liked what I did and they asked if I'd be interested in doing more. I said okay and they would send me a script about once every 4 or 5 weeks, which was a nice occasional, fun, part time job in my retirement, But then the apps took off, they started writing more and more, and they kept sending me more and more scripts. In the 4 years I’ve been working for them I’ve done probably 75 tours, and they have plans to do about one a week in the coming year!
And then just recently a local company was doing an instructional video for a corporation, and their voiceover guy didn’t work out. The production company heard that I did voice overs locally and they asked if I would try it. It turned out really well and so now, all of a sudden, I’ve got a voiceover career going and I’m supposed to be enjoying retirement!
But no matter what job I do, I’ve always had a sideline hobby to keep my creative interests flowing, whether it’s photography, or painting, illustration, or even voice over work, but my big passion since I was a little kid was building scale models, primarily model ships. I probably spend ¾ of my time researching the ship and then the rest of the time is in building it. And to be honest, I’ve never actually finished a model ship! I’ve got 3 or 4 models in different stages of being built because my enjoyment is in the research and the building. I mean, once it’s done it just sits there and collects dust, right, so why not enjoy the journey?
To see some of Jamie’s photos, please visit our photo gallery.