Steve Kamer, Announcing Is His Calling
Not many kids in elementary school know what they want to do for the rest of their lives.
But Steve Kamer did.
“From the time I was in elementary school, I wanted to be on the radio. I loved radio, all I wanted to do was be a disc jockey.”
Unfortunately, dreams of working in front of a microphone don’t come true unless you are born with the right equipment.
You can’t be a voice on the radio if you don’t have the voice, the pipes, the sound, the physical tools to make the right vibrations, and the gift of gab.
“At my Bar Mitzvah, when I gave my speech, I got compliments from the congregants,” said Kamer. “I was 13, and I had the voice. I thought there was something there. Now, I had the desire and I had the instrument.”
While Kamer’s instrument today can be heard on television and radio all over the country, it had modest beginnings in and around radio stations in his New Jersey neighborhood near where George Washington crossed the Delaware to surprise the British on Christmas.
“I must have been 14 or 15 years old, I got a summer job, doing a couple hour shift, on the weekends filling in.”
Throughout high school, Kamer worked at lots of radio stations covering every format from Top-40 to middle-of-the-road.
“You build up confidence, the ability to talk to the listener, to have a rapport, because you’re sitting in a room by yourself, there’s nobody there interacting with you. I did radio for 20 years before I got into television.”
Kamer got the bug to do announcing on television in his freshman year at the University of Southern California, where he attended the Annenberg School of Communications.
“I went out to L.A. with hopes and dreams of being in entertainment. I sensed early on that I wanted to be on TV. It was more interesting to watch television and hear an announcer with video behind it.”
After college, Kamer got lucky.
“In the early ’90s, they put me on the air as the promotional voice of the Today show. And every day I did, 'Tomorrow on Today, the OJ Simpson verdict, guilty or innocent? Find out tomorrow on Today.' ”
Today, Kamer’s work includes movie trailers, narrations for documentaries on the Smithsonian Channel, and TV commercials. He’s been the voice of the New York Yankees on the YES network for 15 years and is the voice of the Olympics on NBC.
And he’s in his 20th year as the voice of Inside Edition.
Kamer’s also turned his voice over to the needs of TV stations, where turnover is rampant unless you follow one basic rule, be ready and available whenever they need you, whether it’s election results or breaking news, day or night, scheduled or not.
Click here to hear Kamer’s local TV affiliate demo reel.
“I’m basically an extension of your staff. If you need to wake me because you need a promo that needs to hit air, I’m all in, no problem whatsoever. It’s rare that it happens but when you do it, it’s remembered for a long time.”