sometimes I was single. I always had
an alias. I was always re-locating and
needed a new car. Sometimes I would
get into a muddle, and the salesman
would ask personal questions, and I
would get to build a whole story about
`myself.' I left business cards, and I'd
get follow-up calls."
A week later the salespeople were
assembled for a sales training
workshop. Sets were specially con-
structed for the new arrival cars.
Reiss and her partner were seated
behind a podium, and slides were
shown of the pair "mystery shopping."
"You could hear gasps from the
audience as the salespeople realized
they'd been spoofed:" Reiss recalls.
"We did a scripted show, and then we
Wendy Reiss is
very vocal in the
I GOING PLACES
WEEK OF Feb. 5- 11
WQRS- FM (105)
Radio auction to benifit the
Detroit Symphony Orchestra,
Thursday and Feb. 12, 832-4330
during broadcast hours.
Rackham Auditorium, Ann
Arbor, AIDS Benefit Concert, 8
p.m. Saturday, admission,
DUFFY'S ON THE LAKE
3133 Union Lake Rd., Union
Lake, Bob Posch and John
Cionca, now through February,
9:30 and 11:30 p.m. Fridays and
Hamilton, Steve Iott, Craig Mc
Cart, now through Jan. 30,
Wendy Reiss spends much of her working life in front of a microphone doing voice overs
In The Voice
Special to The Jewish News
ost of us regard our tel-
ephone answering ma-
chines as necessary evils.
We create messages we
hope aren't too trite or too
outrageous, and then, trembling, we
try to sound natural when we record
To Wendy Reiss of West Bloom-
field, the answering machine is not
just a convenient tool of the '80s. It's
been "a way of selling myself:' and
Reiss credits hers with landing her
more than one job.
Reiss makes her living from her
voice. As an actress, many of her roles
take the form of voice-overs or narra-
tion for industrial or commercial
She is a non-traditionalist. She
says she's always been "kind of
wacky," a risk-taker, and she enjoys
attempting unusual acting
One of her most challenging re-
cent jobs, Reiss explains, was a "per-
formance" for a major automobile
company where she and a partner
posed as "mystery shoppers" and
visited dealerships in five East Coast
cities. "Sometimes I was married;
localized our stories to involve the
salespeople we'd encountered. It was
interesting and exciting for me, and
apparently it worked very well in
terms of sales training?'
Another recent stint for a com-
peting manufacturer gave Reiss the
chance to travel with a small crew in
a two-engine Cessna plane and serve
as a "hostess" for "soft-feature
In addition to assuming a host of
varied theatrical roles on the East
Coast since her college days, Reiss
played a small part in the movie, Col-
lision Course. Last year, she was seen
as a young mother in a film for Ford
and also did some narration in a com-
mercial for General Motors. Next on
tap: more auditions.
"When my agents call me about
an audition, they tell me what
character to be that day. They say,
`Wendy, we want you to dress up as a
nurse; or 'We want you to be a school
teacher.' Last week I was a sexy
Reiss says that one is "never ful-
ly prepared for an audition. You're
handed a script, but you never know
the whole scenario?' She says she was
lucky that her first local audition last
summer landed her a national com-
mercial for Chrysler.
A native Detroiter, Reiss was
always in the wings awaiting her cue.
"When I was a little kid and I used
to go to bar mitzvahs and weddings,
I would stare at the band leaders,
always sure that I would get my
chance to go up and steal the
2593 Woodward, Berkley, Rick
Overton, now through Saturday,
Jeff Altman, Tuesday through
Feb. 13 admission, 542-9900.
HENRY FORD MUSEUM &
Henry Ford Museum Theater,
Kiss and Tell Friday through
March 19, admission, 271-1620.
MUSIC HALL CENTER FOR
THE PERFORMING ARTS
350 Madison Ave., Detroit,
H.M.S. Pinafore Tuesday through
Feb. 13, admission, 963-7680.
Varner Studio Theater,
Rochester, Crimes of the Heart
Friday through Feb. 21,
WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY
Hilberry Theater, The Dresser
Saturday through March 12,
6600 W. Maple Rd., W.
Bloomfield, Starting Here
Starting Now Saturday, and
Sunday, admission, 354 0545.
Baldwin Theater, Royal Oak,
Brigadoon. Friday through Feb.
21, admission, 541-6430.
WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY
Bonstelle Theater, Wild Oats
now through Sunday, admission,
Continued on Page 59
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS