I’m a big believer in listening to the voice inside your head. I have one and I am not ashamed to admit it. That voice is the voice that has steered me right more often than not, and usually to tremendous success.
The quote above is actually from The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. I remember watching the documentary film of the book in 2010 for the first time and that line stayed with me. In fact, I put that advice to use almost right away as I got an email from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville seeking student keynote speakers for the upcoming Commencement and I just knew I wanted to do it. I submitted my pitch, and got it.
In the Summer of 2017, I wrote down on a piece of paper (that is framed above my desk now) that I wanted to become an announcer/voiceover actor. By January 2018, it was reality as I started announcing in professional wrestling.
In November of 2021, I was in Target as they were starting to put out some of their early Christmas decorations and saw a lonely, flat, felt Banana ornament. I had a flash of a vision to send it to Jesse Cole along with a video of myself making a pitch to join the Savannah Bananas on their upcoming 7 city world tour, which would have been a dream come true. I got it, and am still there today.
That voice recently told me to write a book. I’m finishing up my rough draft for Scribe Media this month.
That voice…. that inspired thought… that sign from God… whatever you want to call it: listen to it. It’s speaking to you for a reason.
I know when it comes to the voice in my head… I’m pretty darn glad I listen to that guy.
"The Young Professor" Matt Graifer is a Florida-based, award winning professional host who has performed in front of over 400,000 fans over the course of his entertainment career. He is best known for his work as "The Bananannouncer" for The Savannah Bananas and as a Driver Introductions Announcer for the NASCAR Cup Series. He is a passionate public speaker and educator and LOVES keeping the energy high wherever he goes.
The Professor's name comes from one of his earliest jobs: he became a college professor in the field of exercise science when he was just 25 years old and spent over seven years as a college educator.
In 2015 he started moonlighting as a host of bar trivia games, which was where he began referring to himself as "The Young Professor". In 2018, he began working as a sports announcer: first as a professional wrestling ring announcer and as an On-Field MC for the Jacksonville Sharks where he spent the 2018 and 2019 seasons. He then began working as a ring announcer in MMA and boxing and also sat behind the desk as a professional wrestling play-by-play commentator. In 2021, he joined the Daytona Tortugas Minor League Baseball team (affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds) as their On-Field Host and also became the On-Court Host for the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Men's and Women's Basketball teams.
In 2022, The Young Professor was picked up by The Savannah Bananas to be a part of their record breaking Bananaball World Tour, which is documented in the acclaimed ESPN+ docuseries Bananaland. Later that year, he was recruited by the Daytona International Speedway, The World Center of Racing, to be the first ever on-stage Driver Introductions Announcer for the Coke Zero Sugar 400 in August.
The Professor is still an educator at Matanzas High School in the social studies department and has been married to his wife Shanna since 2015. They have 4 children together.
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