Pack It Up. Move It Out!

14 Jun

Whew.  I’ve been posting on this blog, after help in creating same from Bob Souer and webguy Lou Dalmaso, plus everyone who’s either looked in or linked in to help out, since 2008.

It took another friend at the first Faffcon to point out that since I created the blog on a wordpress site, it doesn’t show (or count) as new content for my website,  …which is the main reason I started the blog in the first place!!!!!!

And after only the better part of a year, it again falls to friend Bob Souer to help me navigate the twisted path to getting all this stuff ported over to a newly-created version of the Clogged Blog…this time on my own website!  Google Spiders and their Reader Masters please, please, please take note!

The adventure continues…along with even better reasons to post more often…at this new location:

You can head over there now to see what’s new.  And if you’ve been kind enough to link your own blog page to mine, would you be so kind as to update your blogroll link to this new location?

Question:  “Where would we be without friends?”   

Answer:  ” …on the wrong page!!!”

— over and out —


I Don’t Want Your Money.

24 May

Yeah.  I thought that might get your attention. 

But it’s exactly the attitude of my voiceover persona in this spot for NC Governor’s Highway Safety Program:  a non-announcerish announcer who is out to keep you from getting out your wallet!

Of course, it’s harder to get to your wallet when you have your seatbelt fastened!  My thanks to NC Agency for Public Telecommunications for bringing me along on the project (and congrats to my eternally-youthful longtime friend Serena Ebhardt, who appears as the grocery shopper on camera).

— over and out —

I’m “Psych”-ed Again.

26 Apr

     I LOVE writers and producers who make me look and sound so much smarter than I really am!

     That’s why I don’t mind being the last in line of these claymation-style characters explaining the Social Sciences in a recently released video.  (That is my character in the screen grab above, tho.)

     Being the last character to chime in is also compensated for by the fact that they let me have the voice that’s the most fun!  …at least, I think so.

     So instead of the usual psychologist’s “Lie back und tell me all about it”, why not sit back…and let us tell you all about it.

— over and out —

It Ain’t About Me…(Well, Maybe a Little…)

10 Apr

     No, I don’t think anyone’s ever accused me of having Adonis DNA, and I can’t even handle Dr. Pepper, let alone TigerBlood.  But I knew early on that the relative anonymity of being a Voice Talent and Actor could still have its rewards.

Cast, It's A Mystery

Fighting Crime and Craziness with "It's A Mystery"

     Sometimes there’s a tangible, immediate benefit:  like the talent fee and the wonderful dinner our It’s A Mystery group received from the Fayetteville Shriners after a recent performance.  But the good feeling that has lasted even longer was the news that we had a small part in helping them raise around $8,000  for a kids’ burn center.

RG with son Ricky (when he was a LITTLE boy)

Reading with my young son, Ricky, back when he was a LITTLE boy.

 More of my time has been devoted to volunteer reading lately for an outfit called Gatewave, which provides free audio content for the blind and visually impaired.  I’ve always loved to read, and used to get scolded by my kids when I didn’t “do the voices” as we went through the stories.  I agreed to do regular reads for Gatewave  at the behest of friend Melissa Exelberth, and the group’s director asked if I’d like to read old Science Fiction short stories from the pulps instead of news stories from current publications.

     I jumped at the chance for the more creative outlet, and of course immediately found out I’d been away from long-form reading longer than I’d realized.  Also, of course, I picked a story with lots of characters and a long runtime.  Still, thanks to my editing skills it all worked out fine.  And each successive story block I’ve read for them has become a little easier.

     The payoff…other than feeling good about doing something good for someone I’ll probably never meet?  I’ve noticed in the last few e-learning narrations I’ve been paid to do, that I’m doing them better.  I can handle the long-form without getting tired so soon.  And, I’m a better “teller of the corporate story”.  My friend Bob Souer is even encouraging me to add audiobooks to my demo list, based on what he’s enjoyed of my Sci-Fi tales.

     In some ways, things like these are instances where it appears you really CAN have it both ways.  So don’t diminish things you’re tempted to try just because of the pricetag or the amount of work for the fee.

     While I know a guy’s gotta make a living, and I fully subscribe to my radio friend Bob Inskeep’s motto “Ya can’t eat ‘Famous’…”, there sometimes CAN be something in it for you.   …even if it isn’t all about you.

— over and out —

My First YouTube Video…Is a Viral Audio.

25 Mar

     With all the buzz about Aflac throwing open auditions for anyone to become rich and famous replacing Gilbert Gottfried as the annoying voice of the TV Commercial Duck, I’m probably the only voice talent in America that isn’t submitting an audition.

     Why not?

     Because if I did, it would probably go something like this.

    (Don’t expect any flashy pictures…except whatever pops into your mind as you listen in.)

— over and out —

“That’s MISTER President, Axe Cop!”

3 Mar

     Even though I’ve known about the character of “Axe Cop” for awhile, I didn’t really know how to describe it.  I’m still not sure I do.  All I knew was that one of my internet friends, Dave DeAndrea, has done a few audio versions of these comic book adventures dreamed up by a six-year-old and turned into graphic art by his thiry-year-old brother.

     Now, at the invitation of Dave, I have become part of the Axe Cop Universe…albeit in a small way…playing the curmudgeonly President Towzerd.

     Dave’s audio production of the “trailer” for the upcoming Dark Horse comic features other talented friends (like Sam Mowry) with narration by the stellar Bob Souer.  You can view it here.

     And if you are curious about the background of this crazy project, the folks at the sci-fi website do it far better than I can.

     Oh, and Axe Cop?  Get off my lawn!!!!!

— 0ver and out —

“Phoning” In A Performance

12 Feb

     As I’ve gotten more training in voiceovers, I’ve been conflicted by those like Marice Tobias who profer…yea, insist…that wearing headphones during performance limits what the voice actor can do. 

     To someone who entered this field via Radio (back when it was Radio, not just a satellite relay service), this has always been hard to grasp.  I mean, aside from the fact that in Radio we usually had to have the headphones to hear the other elements we were mixing together…how can you tell if you’re giving the performance you intended to if you aren’t able to properly listen to yourself?  Well, the idea is:  listening is both a blessing and a curse.

     Having tried it both ways (and now work with only one side of the ‘phones on), i have to admit I can sometimes hear a positive difference when I’m brave enough to go without the headphones in the booth, but have never really come close to understanding the reasoning behind the concept…until now.

     In a recent story online at about a singer who had suffered the loss of her voice from overuse and her slow recovery, there was this quote from a noted vocal trainer.  Even though it’s aimed at singers, it makes a certain amount of sense to this voice actor as well:    

…John Deaver, voice coach to Grammy nominee Sara Bareilles since 2005, who has also worked with Cher and other celebrities.  Deaver’s advice is: You can’t be a singer and a listener at the same time. Some people critique everything that comes out of their mouth, but listening to your voice too much is a form of hesitation, he said.

“Singing is aggressive,” he said. “It’s gotta be: ‘This is me, take it or leave it.’ “

     I suppose it’s akin to the feeling of not giving a full on-stage performance when part of your mind is concentrating on your blocking.

     Knowing how inept I can be at muti-tasking, it’s not much of a stretch to admit I could possibly be putting myself more into a performance…if part of my mind wasn’t split off and distracted somewhere, “running the mixing board” at the same time.

     ‘make any more sense to you?

— over and out —

What a Concept: Somebody Cares What You Think!

23 Jan

     I know, I know.  Seems like, more often than not, the bulk of your day is filled with people who are TELLING you what to think. 

     Here’s a brief, but refreshing change.  (And it’s not just some survey company, out to make money off your information.)

     Head over to Peter O’Connell’s blog and voice for your top 3 picks for this year’s Fauxditions.  (See post below.)  The person who garners the most votes will get a free registration to Faffcon2 in Atlanta.

     After that, you can blip to another site or turn on your radio, tv, or open a newspaper and get back to having everyone else tell you what your opinion is.

— over and out —

Come On Down!

12 Jan

     Great news!  Someone wants you to sound like an announcer!  (I know, when was the last time you heard THAT direction!?!!)

     Better news:  you won’t have to stand outside at a cold intersection with a cardboard sign to get the invitation.

     Better news yet:  while you won’t get tons of fabulous job offers and a place to live, you might get your admission paid to a great gathering of professional…and very sharing…voice talent in Atlanta next month:  the fabled Faffcon 2.

     Friend Peter O’Connell [] has come up with another in his series of Fauxditions.   Go to his website, read the directions, and send in what you think you’d sound like if you were the new announcer on The Price Is Right.  Male and female talent are equally welcomed.  Peter has sample script, directions, and even a music bed for you to use.  It’s all in fun, and you won’t find yourself on TV because of the audition…not even on Dr. Phil.  But the declared winner will receive free admission to the two-day Faffcon event.  Having attended the original gathering last fall in Portland, I can tell you this Un-Conference for voice talent is going to be a surprise-package of practical information no one can put a price on.  Part of the reason for that is:  no one really knows what’s going to be shared until we all get there! 

     You’ll also have a chance to automatically “give back” as well.  Part of every Faffcon registration is put into a group donation to a charity in the host city which somehow promotes what we do in our profession.  You can check the Faffcon 2 website to learn about this year’s recipient.

    Start with the audio’connell website, follow the links, and set your “pipes” on “Announce”.  It promises to be fun…and this year there’s even a prize!  And even though I’ve indicated Faffcon itself is priceless, ya gotta admit:  if you’re winning free admission, The Price Is (DEFINITELY) Right!

— over and out —

The Art of the Pause

11 Jan

     Sometimes ya just gotta know when to use a pause to its best effect.

     Radio/TV/Comedy legend Jack Benny knew that better than anyone.  He even let his writers poke fun at it in what turned out to be a classic exchange on his radio program, when confronted by a holdup man played by Mel Blanc.

Jack Benny and Mel Blanc on the Christmas Show. Different Script. Different Pauses.

Mel:     Okay, buddy, this is a stick up.  Now come on:  yer money or yer life!


Mel:     (Yelling)  LOOK, BUD!  I SAID ‘YER MONEY OR YER LIFE!’

Jack:    (Yelling Back)  I’M THINKING IT OVER!!!!


     Most pauses aren’t that funny.  Like the one I finally gave into today.  After an insane workload leading up to the end of last calendar year, January has been calm to say the least.  And what I have done, I notice doesn’t have the level of sharpness and energy I’d like it to have.  Today, with the community iced-in, and even the phones silent, I should have used the pause to finally work on my studio clean-up…or begin tax prep…or get on the phone and start trying to make new contacts.

     Instead, I gave in, and spent the most productive hours of my day on the recliner, under a blanket, with sinus medicine, the ever-present diet coke, and one cat sleeping on my legs and another cat sleeping next to my head.

     Sometimes a voice talent just needs to know when to be quiet, and use the pause.

     …a status which I’m going to return to right now.

— over and out —