As a child, Mike Goral knew exactly what he wanted to do. He loved the radio, and he would even record his own fake radio shows on the boom box in his bedroom. When many teenagers were questioning what their future would hold, Goral was working at a local radio station. As the years went by and his talent developed, so did his career. And now, years later, he is recognized internationally as an outstanding voice actor and narrator.
While working with some of America’s most well-known television networks, Goral’s voice has been heard by millions. He remembers watching an NFL game and hearing his voice in a commercial. Despite this vast success, there are still smaller projects that are close to his heart. This is exemplified by his love for his work with CHTM, two radio stations in the small town of Thompson, Manitoba, where Goral has voiced various shows for the last twenty years.
“I love the interaction with a smaller community thousands of miles away from me. In communities of this size, radio stations have a unique role in their communities. I feel that, in communities like this, radio stations are an integral role. I can see it a lot in the scripts I get from them. They are like the pulse of the community. They show care for the people in need around them, in the form of fundraisers and support for local businesses in the area. It’s like a pillar for the city. It’s a pretty incredible thing to be a part of, and the people I work with there are just great,” said Goral.
Around Thompson, Goral is something of a celebrity. Not only is he the voice of all of the stations promotions and imaging, he voices many of the commercials. He is “the voice of the community” according to Sue O’Brien, the station manager of 102.9 CHTM (FM) and 610 CHTM (AM).
“Mike makes the process very easy. He is the consummate professional, returning a bang-on read every time. His many years in the industry are well-evidenced in his intuitive reads and Mike somehow manages to get the nuance of each script without needing line by line instructions. It’s why we trust Mike with voice-overs of all kinds and plan to maintain this solid working relationship with him. Besides the accuracy of his voicing, Mike also returns the product quickly, usually with a same-day turn around,” said O’Brien.
“Mike’s voicing always hits the mark. He’s not just reading words. He understands what the script is about and delivers reads that are easy to work with, right down to the perfect inflection, emphasis and tone. His voice is memorable and the continuity of using him on air for our promotional messages and imaging has established a strong identity for both. Mike’s voice is very recognizable in those capacities and we consider that a positive thing,” she continued.
Goral was very new in the business when he started working with Arctic Radio. At the time, he was anxious to take on new clients. He tried to get involved by getting to know one of their staff members at the time. They met through some radio industry networking channels and stayed in touch. Eventually, their conversations led to the work he did, and he decided to have his radio stations give his services a try, and after speaking with them about what their needs were, it all seemed like a good fit. This all feels like ancient history now, as he has learned so much about the community he so routinely talks about.
“It’s fun. It’s a learning experience in many ways. I've never actually been to Thompson, but I may visit there some day. I’ve learned a lot of things about Thompson, it’s unique culture and its people. Just being involved with Arctic Radio has made me research the city more online, looking at pictures and some of the history. I think knowing a little bit more about the communities I work in helps me better serve them,” said Goral.
When you have worked with as many people as Goral has, you really know what projects you truly enjoy. It doesn’t matter if it reaches a thousand people or a million people, there is something special about truly touching people with your work, and Goral knows this to be true.
“It’s actually an honor to be considered the voice of the community. It’s one of my longest ongoing clients. It’s such a pleasure to be able to work with such great people for such a long time. I really enjoy it,” Goral concluded.