If you’re here because you read my open letter to the NSA, thanks for visiting! This is probably not what you were looking for (serious topics are not discussed here), but if you’ve got any fun relevant topics you’d like a voice for, I’m glad to help fight the good fight.
I’m recording my first English villain tonight. What more can one want?
I took a class a couple of months ago on accents and dialects, with the particular intent of tightening up my English accent. Everyone does an English accent, but 98% of those are terrible. After (ahfter) the class, I think my consistency is solid – but I’ll see how recording goes tonight.
I can attribute most of the success I’ve had as a voice actor so far to Kickstarter. If you don’t know what Kickstarter is, it’s a website for crowdsourced fundraising for ambitious projects of all sorts, from video games to food trucks. Successful Kickstarters already have a great idea, solid planning, and dedicated teams attached to them (most of the time); they just need some money to “kickstart” their project into reality.
I support lots of Kickstarter projects, such that I can justifiably call myself a “patron of the arts,” and I’ll offer my voice to lots of them as well, that I can call myself an artist as well as a patron. I don’t actually call myself either thing, but the fact is, I could and so could you. And who wouldn’t want to be considered a “modern Medici?” If you see projects you think are ambitious and clever on Kickstarter, don’t hesitate to toss them a few bucks. If you think the project isn’t doing so well, it’s even less of a risk for you to invest in their possible success, as you’ll only be charged if they meet their funding goals.
I’m including my Kickstarter profile here so you can hopefully support the projects I support / might be a part of. Show that love and open your wallets!
I’m headed to PAX East next weekend to peddle my wares and see all the amazing stuff people are creating. I’ve created some special demos for some very special PAX guests, and I’m hoping they appreciate the love I put into them.
I have meetings set up with a few independent games developers, but if you’d like to have my voice in your project, feel free to contact me!
I forgot to mention – I wrote an article on Slate about my unique voice acting path, and how I found the spark of the success I’ve been looking for. I won’t spoil too much of it here, because I want you to actually read it, but it was fun to write, and I got to learn a little bit more about the developers I’ve been working for. That’s the best part about doing the independent games scene – it’s all real people – no huge marketing team, no focus groups : just people who want to make some awesome things. Anyway, read on!
And now, I have a leading role in a very slick independent adventure game: Dead Man Zand! I’ll be playing the titular Zand, a hapless hero on quest through the underworld. I don’t have much information to give out at this time, but the developers at Mountainwheel Games should be starting their media push in the near future.
I answered a call for voice actors from Mountainwheel’s writer and voice director, and was given a smaller part. They were very pleased with my performance and asked me to audition for Zand, and here we are! I’m looking forward to sharing more information as it becomes available. Until then, here’s a brief teaser.
I have waited long for this, and have done many projects since: my first released appearance in a commercial video game! Quest for Infamy is a Kickstarter project I got involved with a few months back. After hearing one of my demos, they cast me as Jerrod Smyrna, the apothecary in the medieval town in which Quest for Infamy takes place. I did several versions of the character, and they ended up picking the one I did mostly as a joke.
A demo of Quest for Infamy is available now – so go hear my silly voice!
Things have been very busy for me with lots of gigs, so I'll be short. Since I recorded my character demo, it's been getting me lots of work. Many agencies will not even ask for a character demo specifically, but since I've been doing video game work, it was a very important thing for me to have done. For this set, I spent some time stretching my voice to come up with a very diverse set of characters to display, each one starkly different from the one following or preceding.
It was my most fun demo to record, easily!
I probably won't display demos in these posts any longer, and just let you in on some of the work I've been doing. Enjoy!
Central Casting asked me for a more focused demo, with an emphasis on longer passages to show that I can sustain my voices. I think it resulted in a tighter demo, for sure, and I particularly like the "sexy" cut much better than the one in the previous cut.
I didn't veer terribly far from the "character" nature of the work I do, but it still works within a commercial venue.
This is the demo I created for Central Casting in DC. I tried to focus on two things for this demo: my variability and strength in character voice, and believe I succeeded. All music is open-licensed.
- TV Promo: This is a deeper, but friendly voice. It’s meant to be strong, yet soft, inviting the listener in, but also demanding a listen with the slight rasp.
- TV Promo: This is a more urgent, sinister voice, not necessarily deep, but very strong on the rasp. It’s almost whispering more than speech, to fit the more “suspenseful” script. This should be a familiar voice to most people.
- Animation Promo: Much higher voice, very friendly, almost in a crazed way. You can hear how I’ve tucked my neck into create that overly sincere sound. This is primarily a voice for promoting kids’ content, but if dropped, it could be rather villainous.
- Product Promo: This is closest to my actual voice, but slightly raised in pitch. Emphasis is on “transmitting a smile” via audio. Diction is not as focused, to suggest a more casual relationship with the listener.
- “Sexy” Product Promo: With a dropped pitch and a slower pace, this voice is meant to have the listener “ask for more” about the product. This voice is improved in a later demo.
- Character (Russian): Your standard “Moose and Squirrel” accent, but looser in the mouth to give a greater sense of character. I want the listener to hear an older, heavyset sort, world-weary and moist of mouth.
- Character (Bees): My wife hates this one. This is a product demo, but I wanted to give the bees their own personality, and not forget that they are, well bees. The “buzz” in the back of my throat for the main bee is meant to communicate that, and the indignant voice is the script pairing.
- Character (British – South/London, various classes/ages): You may recognize this script from Saturday Night Live in the 1990s. I chose to use several voices for this script. The first and last you’ll hear is a standard, but light and friendly posh voice. The middle voices get sillier and sillier, with the final voice evoking an image of someone with very bad breath who would probably get way too close.
Not bad for a first time, all in all!