QLOOG Times Vol. 6 Anniversary Issue – Interview with Allison Smith
QLOOG Times 1st Anniversary Issue – QLOOG News Letter Vol. 6
Announcing the release of QLOOG Times Vol. 6! Voice talent Allison Smith is a legend not only to all of us at QLOOG, but also for Asterisk users around the world. We had always hoped that one day we would have the opportunity to feature her in an issue of QLOOG Times, and our wish has come true for our special first anniversary issue. Enjoy!
Voice Talent – Allison Smith
“My background is in theatre, and I had always wanted to be an actress. Voice-overs actually began for me as a way of paying the bills in between acting work, but things took off from there. I set up my own home studio and website, and Digium just happened to find me by a web search – that’s how I got involved in Asterisk.” It’s no overstatement to claim that Allison*1 is a near-celebrity among Asterisk users. In this first anniversary edition of QLOOG Times, we’re honored to bring you an interview with Allison where we enjoyed “behind the scenes” stories about Astricon and the IVR*2 business.
“Acting was my dream, and my beginnings were in theatre.”
“I began voicing for Digium in 2003 when I was involved in the first Asterisk beta prompts. Although, perhaps that’s a misstatement – the very first prompts were actually performed by Mark Spencer himself. I’m sure they still exist in a hidden corner of the internet somewhere!”
“I’m fortunate to have as much interaction as much as I do with my clients – it’s something that most voice talents rarely get to enjoy. When I present at events like Astricon, I really do sense a kinship where many people in this community are like older brothers watching out for me. Asterisk really has been a blessing for me.”
“During my work as a voice talent, there are always occasions where I receive some ‘interesting’ requests. A couple of weeks ago, I did IVR prompts for a big shipping line, and one of
the messages was “If you’re calling for reefer shipments, press 5.” I called the client immediately to say ‘I’m not trying to get involved with anything illegal!’ and we had a good laugh when he told me that ‘reefer’ was actually industry lingo for refrigeration. (laughs) Maybe I should ask about these things before I do them!”
A Message for QLOOG and the Japan Asterisk Users Group!
“I had no idea that Japan had its own Allison!*3 If there’s anything I can do to help the Japanese Asterisk community, let me know. I hope to meet you all at the next AstriCon in Las Vegas!”
World-famous voice talent born in Alberta, Canada; featured since 2003 as the voice of Digium’s IVR telephony system. Allison is available for additional work at the URLs below:
*1 Allison Smith: Voice talent of the original Asterisk announcement files used around the world.
*2 IVR (Interactive Voice Response): An automatic voice guidance system. Recorded announcements are automatically played depending on the caller’s input.
*3 “Japan’s Allison” = refer to QLOOG Times Vol. 5 featuring Ryoko Sonoda.
– Jan: ITEXPO Miami
Feb: TEAM Polycom 2014
At ITEXPO, held from Jan. 29-31 in Miami, Florida, QLOOG had the privilege of meeting with Asterisk creator Mark Spencer (Digium) and interviewing Allison Smith, known worldwide as the Voice of Asterisk. Afterward, our team headed to Vancouver, Canada from Feb. 11-13 to join our partners for the 6th annual TEAM Polycom.
– Mar 1: QLOOG Announces Schmooze Partnership, Release of Japanese FreePBX Code
QLOOG has officially partnered with IP-PBX solution developer Schmooze Com, Inc. as the company’s first and only authorized reseller in Japan. QLOOG also proudly announced the official release of the first ever Japanese localization of FreePBX, the code for which was developed by QLOOG and available in the latest updates from Schmooze’s code repositories from Mar. 1.
Article & Photo: Chise MISHIMA, Translation: Kevin McCoy