The What I’m Pondering Weakly V

05.11.2010

Continuing the series of random thoughts on random Tuesdays…

– I received my review copy of 80s metal-pop fusion band Rock Sugar featuring frontman Jess Harnell (Animaniacs, Drawn Together) in the mail Monday. My wife — a non-fan who only vaguely knows Jess’ voice through the cartoons I watch — loved the CD from the first song and tried to claim the album for her own. My wife is a harsh music critic too, so I take that as a very good sign that Rock Sugar has a solid hit on their hands. (Album review forthcoming for the blog.)

– Buena Vista Home Video’s press release for Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue states that the movie includes “all-star cast of voice talents” and then doesn’t mention a single one of them.

Hey Disney! If you’re going to hire celebrity voices to help sell your movie, you might want to consider mentioning who they are in your press releases.

Videomaker Magazine requires a “14-day trial membership” in order for me to read their “Top 10 Best Voice Over Tips.”

No, thanks. I’ll just read Marc Cashman’s “12 Top Voice Over Skills” on voices.com for free. I’d rather know “skills” over “tips” anyway, and with Marc you get 2 bonus skills for free!

– Originally, my commentary on the Danish dub of SpongeBob SquarePants was supposed to be included in this edition until I realized it was worthy of its own article.

OnTheNetSuccess.com tells you how to succeed in voiceovers… without doing voiceovers. The author of this article explains the path to VO success in three easy but amusingly odd steps:

1. Get your eyes examined.
2. Try to get your ears flushed.
3. Breathe correctly.

If I knew it was just a simple matter of getting my ears flushed to succeed in voiceovers, I would’ve had it done YEARS ago.

Make sure you check out the comments on this from the VO pros where I posted this on the VO-BB.com.

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The What I’m Pondering Weakly IV

04.20.2010

Continuing the series of random thoughts on random Tuesdays…

– From TheDay.com Sports Blogger Mike DiMauro:

If Stanford forward Joslyn Tinkle marries former Celtic Hank Finkel, divorces him and marries comedian Rich Little and then divorces him and finally settles on lawyer Kenneth Starr, she could introduce herself at parties by breaking into song.

“Hi. I’m Joslyn Tinkle Finkel Little Starr. (How I wonder what you are).”


The What I’m Pondering Weakly III

02.16.2010

Continuing my series of random thoughts on random Tuesdays…

WhoseVoice.org blogs about the original voice of Darth Vader, as performed by David Prowse, presented via a video clip from the 2004 documentary Empire of Dreams: The Story of the Star Wars Trilogy.

In turn, HuffingtonPost.com covers WhoseVoice.org’s post with the headline: “Darth Vader’s Original Wimpy Voice Revealed.”

“Revealed”? Hellooooo, McHuffington! That’s from 2004! It’s only “news” if you haven’t seen it yet.


The What I’m Pondering Weakly II

02.09.2010

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

In short, it’s random thoughts on random Tuesdays. So let’s get to it.

– I find some interesting things through WordPress’ traffic stats as it provides the source of pingbacks/referrals/sites that link to my blog. I was pleased to discover that a middle school student linked to the blog as part of a “favorite blogs” class journal project:

I chose this blog because I usually like watching Spongebob a lot. This site not only informed about spongebob squarepants, it also informed about different movie characters. It was interesting to see the interview of the voice cast because spongebob’s voice is a very unique tone compared to other characters. I wondered how this voice cast was able to do it, and by the blog, I was able to be informed about the voice cast.

That makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. I never imagined a blog I’ve been doing for a decade solely for entertainment would assist in educating the SpongeBob-loving youth of America. I’m honored.

– A Toronto Sun interview with “Rush” drummer and lyricist Neil Peart mentions that Peart has “done cartoon voiceovers.” Apparently, the plural use of “voiceovers” there implies that a one-time voice cameo in an animated movie (Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon) qualifies as a side-career to the dude who wrote this article.

Collider.com article speculating on the planned theatrical sequel for The Dark Knight ends with the comment: “…either recast Batman or get Bale to stop sucking at his Batman-voice. I don’t care if he threatens to tear the lights down.”

Quoted for truth. Christian Bale’s voice as Batman sounds like he drank a glass of saltwater between takes.

Previous post: 2.02.2010 — TWIPW I


The What I’m Pondering Weakly

02.02.2010

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