Jeff Savage | Running from Something to Running With Something

An Interview with Kat Mische Elle

Jeff, what was your transformation for plugging into your life?

I was born in Southern California, and when I was seven years old, my parents split up. My mom remarried and introduced a different parenting style into the family dynamic. My dad was very carefree and relaxed and didn’t really put a lot of restrictions on my brother and me. When my stepdad came to the picture, it became more of a militant parenting style. There were rules. There were chores. There were expectations that needed to be followed. It took a lot of adjusting. 

My stepfather also had a job that moved us around the country quite a bit. I was always starting a new school and making new friends or, trying to make new friends. I was constantly trying to fit in. Feeling awkward and being picked on was the norm. It affected my self-esteem, and it affected my popularity in school.

I was a little chunky-chubby kid, and I wasn’t very athletic or good at sports. I excelled in things that were more creative. I played the clarinet. And that also brought me to being teased, because it wasn’t cool like the saxophone or the drums. It was an instrument that didn’t have a lot of glamour to it. And I was also one of the few guys who played that instrument. It seemed to be something that most girls gravitated towards playing.

jeff savage

I really dove into music as a kid growing up and in school, and I was the first chair in my school marching band. I got a chance to play shows at NFL stadiums as I got older in high school, so I started to feel kind of cool. 

Soon after I felt more accepted in one area of my life, I began to get involved in doing things that were not very healthy. I was hanging out with the wrong crowd who smoked or drank after school and I was trying to prove myself to a whole new group of people again. 

When puberty hit and my voice dropped, I began to be noticed for my voice because of how deep it was, and a lot of people started suggesting that I should go into radio. 

By the time I was in college in Minnesota, my heart was longing to be back in Southern California because that’s where my dad still lived. So, I made the jump and moved to the ‘Sunshine State’. I was excited to have a new experience but I was still hooked on some bad habits that came with me.

In my late twenties, I pursued a career in music, and I was successful. I had a job at a recording studio that put me in front of people who had influence with record producers, audio engineers, and people in the industry. In this environment, everyone I met kept commenting to me about my voice and how the voiceover career might be a great opportunity for me. It was the first time I really considered it and the opportunities to do voice work began to open up for me.

After my time in California, I shifted to living in Dallas. That is when I started to really dig into my VO potential and get the proper coaching, soundproofing a studio in my house, and really become serious about making it a career. 

When I left California, I also left behind those things that were not good for me. I felt like I owned my life again.

While moving thru these new phases of life I always had a desire to be healthy and be fit. This desired goal reaches all the way back from when I was a kid going through all the relentless teasing of my heavy and out-of-shape body. I finally had the ability to really look at my life and say, “How bad you want it, Jeff? This is the time, or you are never going to do it.” It was then and there that the choice was made.

I made the decision to make health and fitness into lifestyle choices, not just a hobby or activity. With the simple choice of choosing me, everything in my life improved exponentially. 

Everything about my whole persona changed when I decided to make health and fitness a priority. My confidence, self-esteem, my poise, and the way I carried myself in my body language, and I was more vocally confident. It was obvious the choices for health and fitness were improving my career.

I became interested in physical challenges like running marathons because of the sport and how it really was an example of life for me. The whole symbolism of running a marathon, the beginning with the end in mind—the resilience, perseverance, dedication, grit, heart, and stamina—are all lessons that you learn from running a marathon. Those are all lessons that you learn from life. 

You can’t stop. You have to find a way to move past the obstacles. And once you do, you find your pace, and you find your footing again.

If you take care of yourself first and you put your own best foot forward in your own way, it helps you interact with the world around you in a positive, competent manner. 

Getting into marathons, I use that ethic to change my mindset and I use it in my voice gig marketing material. I call myself, “The voice that goes the extra mile.” I use the lessons from running a marathon in how I operate my own business. I also use it to market to companies and brands that are in the health and fitness industry. I want to use my voice to get out positive messages to the world. 

If you can control what you vocally broadcast out in the world around you, you’ll find that people respond in a way that matches what you put out. 

You can move beyond your past complexities and experiences in life—and your traumas—it’s possible. Just keep moving forward. 

What are you working on now for 2022? 

Well, I have made the most ambitious fitness goals that I’ve ever made. In marathons, I’m running my 25th and 26th marathons three weeks apart from each other in the next month here. In addition to that, I participate in the Spartan Races, which is called OCR racing—Obstacle Course Racing. It is becoming such a craze that they are trying to introduce it as an Olympic sport. It’s become very popular, and it incorporates running and fitness together, its military boot camp that meets trail running. And I like to travel around the country and the world to participate in those events. Those are the big fitness goals on my radar this year. 

I am writing a book this year about the mindset of the marathon runner. It’s about how you can incorporate that focus into your daily life and about taking that first step forward, even if you are not an athlete. The guidance in this book is applicable to all people in all situations. 

Who do you thank for teaching the steps towards your professional and/or emotional successes?

Actually, I give thanks to all the people that didn’t believe me. It was all the people who teased me growing up. It inspired how I decided to live and I like showing the world that they didn’t define me for my life.

How can people find you? 

On Instagram @jeff_savage_VO, (for voiceover) and on my fitness page @JeffSavageFit or on my website: 

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