it was 20 years ago today…(by half)

24 Jun

Okay, so it was TEN years ago.  But I have long been a sucker for a Beatles’ lyric.

Recently someone on my favorite message board started a discussion about where he’d been and what he’d been doing ten years prior.  Almost everyone who took up the thread noted remarkable changes…most for the better.  I was no exception.

Ten years ago…

I was in the middle of seven weeks at Screen Gems Studios in Wilmington, NC as one of a dozen “hired hands” doing background puppeteering for Jim Henson’s Muppets on “Elmo in Grouchland”. It remains one of the most high-profile and best-paying gigs of my life (and one of the least useful in my VO resume since they didn’t use our voices). At the same time, I was awaiting word of the birth of my little boy back in Raleigh.

The day the call came in that my wife had gone to the hospital with her parents, the movie cast and crew fairly booted me off the set and on the road for a few days. I missed meeting Ruth Buzzi on her ‘cameo’ day, but was present for the debut of the little guy who’s become one of my best friends. On my return to “Grouchland”, I noticed the writer had named one of the villain’s little “hench-muppets” after my son. You can hear him referred to on the soundtrack as “Lil’ Ricky”.

This week:

…not nearly so much glamour, but I narrated some technical instruction on medical equipment for Labcorp, did a couple of regional radio spots for Harris Ranch Beef as an expert at his outdoor grill, played a comic newscaster for a car dealer in Arizona, went before the cameras as a counterman for a Carquest training video, and did a game show announcer parody for another video promoting electrical safety (all, i should add, subjects I know nothing about but am qualified as an actor to explain to others!).

And of course, I spent a lot of time making sure the right toys and videogames were hidden away for my not-so-little Ricky’s 10th birthday celebration.

Thanks to the folks at the VO-BB, and my friendly clients, for giving me a reason to pause and remember all the things I have to feel great about…at a time when I was literally almost too caught up in day-to-day stress to notice.


— over and out —


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