The Making of Shark Tank

When I first got this job in August of 2009, one of the first events that happened with the Voyage-Air Guitar family was the viewing of an ABC reality TV show called “Shark Tank.” This is a show where contestants go to pitch their products or their ideas, and then six self-made billionaires offer them money for a percentage of the company. That, or they get laughed off the show. One of the contestants, for example, wanted to pursue his idea of permanently implanting a blue tooth wireless device in someone’s head so that they wouldn’t have to wear a headphone. What a bad idea!

In early February, I flew out to Los Angeles for the filming of the Shark Tank follow up show. Jeff Cohen, Josh Cohen and I met at McCabe’s Guitar Shop, in Santa Monica, CA. McCabe’s was instrumental in getting us on the original show, so we decided to film the follow-up show there. This is a great guitar shop: McCabe’s has a regular clientele of musician giants, and you never know who you might run into at that store. The staff is knowledgeable, talented, and just really cool cats! One of their sales people is Pete Steinberg. Pete was recently the Southwest Finger-style Champion, and he loves our Voyage-Air guitar!

We all showed up there at 9am to meet the make-up artist, a lovely young lady by the name of Britnee Bagley. Highly recommended by a model and Voyage-Air Guitar player, Lorelei Shellist, Britnee proved to be the pro that Lorelei said that she was. So as ABC TV’s production crew was setting up the equipment for this filming, she was applying make-up, and fussing with hair and wardrobe. Rumor has it that Josh even got guy-liner! But I’ll never tell!

As filming began, the producer, Becky Blitz, got up next to the camera, standing on up a box. Hm. I suppose so that she was eye-level with the guys, so that they weren’t looking down while speaking on camera. I never asked that question but it makes sense to me now.

It was a fascinating process, and I was mesmerized. Cameras everywhere, camera guys, audio guys, and I’m not even sure what all of them do, but everyone seemed very busy. Realize that McCabe’s is a busy and popular store, so we had to cease filming every time a customer came in to look at guitars. Now this is the Los Angeles area, so these customers didn’t blink an eye at the massive equipment involved with the filming: they just went about their business like we weren’t even there. Senior sales associate, and long time employee Nancy Felixson guided them through the showroom and even sold a Voyage-Air Guitar during the filming! Thanks, Nancy!

We then moved out to the street, where they filmed the outside of the store. They filmed Jeff and Josh going in and coming out. Over and over. It’s an interesting process, how they capture different elements that go into telling the story. Then we all went to the ABC studio, where they filmed some trailers and did some other stuff.

For example, the director wanted Jeff and Josh to stand right in front of the camera with the guitar, vertically between them. They put the headstock right in front of the camera and as tape rolled, they were to pull the guitar back. Well, apparently they were both pulling it back and it knocked Josh hard, right on the forehead!

It was hysterical! We were all laughing so hard, I was afraid that Jeff wouldn’t be able to stop long enough to finish the piece. None of us could look at each other without bursting into laughter again. It was one of those special moments. After a long day and over eight hours of filming, we were all a little punch drunk, I guess.

All in all, it was a very cool day and an experience that I won’t soon forget. Don’t forget to tune in! Friday night, May 13th, 8pm, 7pm Central time!


Stories From The Road

Owner Testimonials

  • 5star-100
    I received my VAOM-1C and boy does it sing!  I am the proud and happy owner of several top-notch Martins: a D35 Johnny Cash, a HD28e, a solid DCPA4R as well as a 1973 00-18. I also had a 2003 D18 which I sold because it wasn't so good. I was expecting the VAOM-1C to sound ok but not more. "Can't have the best of both worlds" I thought. Well, now I do. It is just exquisite, so melodic and yet with a surprising sustain and expressivity. It is a true jewel at a more than decent price! All the Best and THANK YOU!
    Jean-Dominique Michel, Switzerland - VAOM-1C
  • 5star-100
    My wife and I travel a lot and in the past have had issues with taking a guitar with me......they're either too bulky for the overhead compartment, or I have to let the luggage handlers toss around my guitars like they're a bag of beans. I recently purchased one of your VAOM-04 guitars, and I'm totally impressed with the sound and the playability of this instrument. My first choice is my Martins, but since I received the VAOM-O4 I haven't put it down. I would recommend this guitar to any player, even if you don't travel that much. I'm looking forward to my next trip. I may just spend most of the trip playing this guitar.
    Great Job Voyage-Air.
    - Tony H. - VAOM-04
  • 5star-100
    It’s considered a “travel guitar,” and it truly is a remarkably portable instrument; however, that label does it a disservice, because honestly, it’s a damn nice guitar. It just happens to have a nifty set of hinges that allow the neck to fold over on the top, making it far more compact and transport friendly. I love my Telair!
    - Anthony K. Sandy, UT - VET-2SBB
  • 5star-100
    I am pleasantly surprised at the quality and genius behind this amazingly compact, but great sounding guitar!! I work in the movie industry and travel quite a bit, and being able to bring my guitar as a carry-on wherever I go is just what I've been looking for! The overall sound is amazingly rich for its size, and the folding mechanics work like a dream! If you’re wondering if it's worth getting, the answer is a big YES!!
    - Nancy F. Santa Monica, CA - VAMD-04
  • 5star-100
    I bought a VAD-04 strictly for travel and light use. The day I bought it I paid a visit to United Airlines. As I was walking up to the counter the clerk said that he had seen these before and that there was no problem taking it on as carry-on. .I think that this is a great value and a nice sounding piece All in all it is a winner in my book. I’ve heard less sound from much more expensive instruments. I may mike it because I think it compares to my Taylor 814ce and Breedlove it surprised me!
    -  Michael, Columbus, NE - VAD-04
  • 5star-100 
    I travel a lot, and for years, I schlepped my heavy Goodall Jumbo, always worried about it getting damaged and stolen.  I recently purchased a Voyage Air guitar and love it.  Its light, gets on planes, and sounds terrific. It has made travelling with a guitar a no-brainer.  Even after closing and opening, it stays very close to being in tune. I recommend this guitar to anyone who likes to play wherever they go.
    - Stewart, Santa Fe, NM - VAOM-02