The What I’m Pondering Weakly

I’m introducing yet another periodic blog feature with random voice acting-related thoughts and things that come up in searches that aren’t newsworthy but I find amusing or interesting enough to share with you.

I wanted to call this “Random Thoughts Thursday” but Google tells me it’s already being used by some 172,000 other sites and blogs.

So, with a nod to one of my all-time favorite cartoons — Pinky & The Brain — I give you “The What I’m Pondering Weakly” for random thoughts which (appropriately) will be randomly posted on random Tuesdays.

On a randomly related note, I also wanted to introduce a weekly “YouTube Tuesday” here (as I attempted to do for The Voice Actor Appreciation Society). But 107k other sites and blogs beat me to that as well.

And ditto for “Trivia Tuesday” with 81.5k Google search results.

So you’ll get random thoughts on random Tuesdays, and you’ll like it because I said so.

That said, let the random thoughts begin…

– Low-pay voiceover auditions are the bane of “pay-to-play” (or “P2P”) sites like Voice123 and Voices.com. And Craigslist is notorious for auditions/casting notices for VO work that doesn’t pay at all.

So it shouldn’t have surprised me to see this question asked on Yahoo Answers: Where can I find voice artists who work for free?

– Comedian Rich Little is a difficult name to research online because Google doesn’t distinguish between the famous impressionist and the hackneyed expression “rich, little.”

But the most difficult voice actor name to research (in my experience) is E.G. Daily (Powerpuff Girls, Rugrats) as online searches confuse her name with “e.g.” — the Latin abbreviation for exempli gratia which FYI (by the way) also means “for example.” There are over 51 MILLION Google search results for “e.g. daily.”

Lesson learned: always enclose your searches with “quotation marks.”

– I sometimes get requests via my YouTube channel to record free voiceovers for various productions/projects, and I don’t work for free unless it’s for a good charitable cause. I got one recently to record one word only: “staples.” The message included no direction for how to perform this or what it was for, and naturally it didn’t offer any pay. As I was deleting it I thought, “If you just need one word recorded, why can’t you do it yourself?”

Entertainment Weekly blogger dreams about voice actors and calls it a “bad dream”:

Last night I had a dream that I missed the nominations announcement. For some reason I was at a bowling alley with a bunch of friends (and I haven’t gone bowling in ages) and I realized it was 11:30 am on Oscar day, three hours after the press conference. I frantically tried to search for the nominees on my Blackberry and discovered to my shock that three of the Best Supporting Actor nominees were actors voicing cartoon roles.

I posted the following in reply:

Are you saying this was a “bad dream because you missed the Oscar noms, or because you dreamed cartoon voice roles were nominated for Oscars?

If it’s the latter, shame on you. The Oscars need a category for voice-only roles in animation — even Variety pushed for one in a recent article.

– I’ve had a lifetime fascination with the human voice and with voice actors in particular (which should be obvious with the blog and all). So from a rather young age I’ve developed a knack for identifying voices — particularly in cartoons, but I’m pretty good with “celebrity” voices too.

Recently, my wife and I were watching TV when an ad came on for something (don’t recall what it was, sorry — so much for effective an effective ad, eh?) and I commented that the voice in the ad belonged to some celebrity.

Because I do this so often (it’s kind of a habit) my wife said to me, “How can you do that with like every show and commercial?”

“Just a good ear, I guess.”

She took the remote and made me close my eyes, and then scanned through random channels and had me guess who the voices were.

I got 10 out of 10 correct.

You can believe me or not. It’s no big to me. But I think I might try catching this exercise on video sometime to provide proof since my wife has done this to me a few time since and so far I’ve missed only a couple that were like random TV commercials voiced by relative unknowns. But it would be interesting to see how I fare in the moment while on camera.

So what are some random voice actor-related things that you ponder? Feel free to post a comment below.

Related post: 7.13.2009 — Random Thought on R. Lee Ermey

7 Responses to The What I’m Pondering Weakly

  1. Enclosing search phrases in quotation marks instructs the search engine to return only those documents containing that exact phrase; nothing else. Without quotation marks, some search engines will give you all pages that contain each of the words in your search phrase (but not necessarily in that order). For example, if you’re searching for multicolored art board, entering the phrase without quote marks will get you every page that contains ‘multicolored,’ every page that contains ‘art’ and every page that contains ‘board,’ whether or not those pages have anything to do with what you’re really looking for.

    If there’s a link on the search engine for ‘Advanced Search’ (or similar), click it to learn other great ways to narrow your search and reduce a lot of searching frustration.

    • Thanks for the sage advice, Mike.

      I’ve tried using Bing more recently since I’m told it’s “better” than Google. I think that’s debatable, but I’ll admit Bing does pull up some interesting related things sometimes that would normally be buried on Google, or not come up at all.

      But I usually find what I’m looking for within the first 10 Google search results, and I’m a big fan of “Advanced Search” too.

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  3. […] heck is “The What I’m Pondering Weakly”, you ask? Well, you must have missed the premiere issue […]

  4. TC says:

    … the Latin expression for exempli gratia which also means, FYI, “for example” or “that is”.

    Really? While “e.g.” does indeed stand for “for example”, “i.e”, FYI, stands for “that is”….

    I took me years to get this straight….

    Whaaah,

    Tim

    • Sorry, it seems that was a bit of a series of errors on my part: misplaced modifier, wrong acronym and wrong definition. I used “FYI” in that sentence to mean exactly that: “for your information” when I actually meant to say “BTW” (by the way).

      Corrected, I should have said this:

      …the Latin abbreviation for exempli gratia which (by the way) also means “for example.”

      Thanks for the correction. I’m rather picky about grammar — have been called a “Grammar Nazi” on many occasions, but sometimes even the most particular of “Grammar Cops” like me can allow one to slip through…especially when blogging in the wee hours of the morning.

      But after all, this feature is called “The What I’m Pondering Weakly,” which in light of your correction is ironically appropriate.

  5. TC says:

    Great, i can put my OCD to rest and get back to shoveling snow!

    T

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