A few weeks ago Ted Williams -- a homeless man many of us know better as "golden voice" -- was begging for money on a street corner. Now he is an Internet star with a job doing voiceover work for the Cleveland Cavs and Quicken Loans. They have also offered to pay the mortgage on a home for him.
Not a bad week for a guy who fell on hard times but never lost his talent. It's a good lesson for all of us. In an urban area you can become jaded and sometimes it's easier to pass by the homeless and make assumptions without ever actually trying to learn something about who they are or how they got that way.
Williams knew he wanted to do voiceover work since he was 14 and met a DJ who looked nothing like what he expected. "Radio is defined theater of mind," Williams told the Columbus Dispatch, something the general public is also learning from his video. We seem amazed that a man with so much talent and education could be begging on the street corner.
Here is the video:
Why are we all so shocked? Do we typically walk past the homeless and assume they're nothing like us? How many of us would have taken the time to look beyond what we see and try to help a man who looks so down on his luck? It's pretty sad that we're all so shocked that the same homeless man asking for our change could actually have a better education or more talent than we do. It's easier to dismiss homeless people as nothing like us because if we acknowledged that it could happen to anyone, then we would have to acknowledge it could happen to us.
Columbus Dispatch photographer Doral Chenowerth saw something special in Williams' sign and offered the former drug addict a place to showcase his voice. It has paid off in numerous job offers and the above video, which has gone viral.
There but for fortune, indeed.
This man is talented, no doubt. And we all love a good surprise. But I bet he isn't the only one. Chenowerth gave Williams something more than a quarter or dime could ever buy. He took him seriously. He gave him a platform. And he gave him a shot at improving his life.
Williams has been clean and sober for two years and says he has been trying to get a job. And now he has many, many offers. The cynic in me wants to say, "Don't blow it," but the more positive part believes this is the chance he needed, and in five years, he will be doing well, living in a nice home, and following his talent and dream.
And honestly, I believe he will.
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Image via YouTube