Category Archives: Voiceover

Thoughts on the “A.I. is Inevitable” Bandwagon

What with starting the year off with a Public Domain post, I’ll continue in the intellectual property realm with a topic currently being discussed and debated mightily amongst indie artists and writers I know: how artificial intelligence (aka “A.I.”) is starting to do creative jobs.

Author Chuck Wendig has some choice NSFW words on this matter.

(Graphic via Chuck Wendig’s blog)

I especially appreciate him tackling the fact that the existence of technology neither means its inevitability nor that it will be implemented a specific way with no societal discussion. Naturally, those who stand to profit from a particular technology and specific implementation are going to push for whatever way benefits them. He touches on this and, sadly, that recurring theme of technology implementation has a high probability of impacting a lot of independent artists, writers, and voiceover artists — the last group being the main topic of the article above.

As someone who both works as a voice actor and casts voice actors for an audio theater troupe, I can’t imagine relying on artificial voices. Theater itself is about collaboration and connection, including with an audience. Its value isn’t derived from its efficiency. And, as Wendig points out, in this economic system, making a living is a reason for creative work too, so, hey, A.I., maybe don’t steal fizzy lifting drink?

Apollyon, Episode 4 “Unfamiliar”

I’ve mentioned previously I have a couple roles in Apollyon, a drama about dealing with a pandemic in a world 150 years from now. I can be heard in the first episode and, now, this one.

If you’re a fan of thoughtful sci-fi, you may well enjoy this. I’m very happy to have been a part of it.

This role was rewarding in a special way because, when I mention I’ve had to deal with estate lawyers, you can guess why. I tried to put some of that voice into Mr. Claver.

Video

Desolate Dreams

Those of you who know I grew up listening to vintage radio will understand that I jumped at the chance to provide a radio announcer voice for that era… and I’m very happy that it’s part of the short film Desolate Dreams, being developed now by filmmaker Kiyoka Rhodes and a fantastic team. Besides the video, be sure to check out their website to learn more about the people working to bring this film to life and how you can support it.

“Prince Prigio” Receives Multiple TIVA Awards

Jabberwocky Audio Theater has been one my main creative outlets in the past few years, which has been simultaneously challenging and fortuitous during the pandemic.

It’s challenging, because one of things we like to do is bring everyone together to record at the same time, an old school method that served many a vintage radio show well for decades. Now we needed to account for various different home recording set-ups, where even equally good home studios can have different sound qualities.

However, it was fortuitous because, unlike filmmaking, we could go ahead and make a whole show, which we did. And not only that, it was one of my absolute favorite fairy tales from childhood: Prince Prigio, a send-up of fairy tales that pre-saged works like The Princess Bride and Shrek.

While doing the adaptation and serving as narrator was rewarding in and of itself, I’d be lying if I didn’t appreciate recognition, as I think the whole cast and crew did a bang-up job — and as a judge from previous years of TIVA Peer Awards, it’s a tough process (they will happily not award anyone in a given category if they feel the submissions were not good enough).

Here are the awards and here’s the link if you want to listen.

  • Peer Bronze: Web Series (Through the Looking Glass)
  • Peer Silver: Acting Voice Over – Audio Narration, Male (Bjorn Munson)
  • Peer Gold: Sound Mixing (William R. Coughlan)

When Did Those American Colonists Stop Sounding Like Brits?

One of my favorite bits of acting training has been learning accents, not in the least because it dovetails nicely with some of the linguistic anthropology I studied back in the day. Really, it’s those times where deciding to study anthropology and theater really pay off.

“Get ’em lads, or they’ll remove the letter ‘u’ from no end of words.”

Despite such ardor, I couldn’t tell you when us treasonous colonials gave up our British accents, but Matt Soniak and the ever-intriguing site Mental Floss are here to fill that need (at least on a basic Internet level).

Online Podcast Storytelling Festival Starts Tomorrow

I’m a big fan of storytelling and working with people on telling stories (you probably gleaned that what with Jabberwocky Audio Theater), so I was very excited to hear about this online festival starting tomorrow.

In case you’re concerned about minding your ducats, the link provided above should give you a discount so it’s free. So enjoy and don’t stop creating.

The Hear Now Festival: Celebrating Audio Fiction

Our move to make more events virtual these days thanks to the pandemic, making them easier to attend, also means it’s easier to forget to attend them.

That was the case for me and the Hear Now Festival, an annual celebration of audio fiction put on by folks over at NATF (National Audio Theatre Festivals, Inc.).

I missed some of the events, but luckily for me –and possibly for you– there’s a few sessions that are available to re-listen to, including a great hour-long intro to Norman Corwin, a true master of audio fiction as well as a panel on making modern audio fiction with Fred Greenleigh and many others.

As I’ve mentioned many times in regards to Jabberwocky Audio Theater, I grew up listening to vintage radio fiction — one of the reasons there is a Jabberwocky Audio Theater. I’m glad events like this exist and hope to attend some in person in the future.

Apollyon, Episode 1 plus Fundraiser

Hey, I mentioned last month that I was in an upcoming audio drama… and it’s here:

The first episode is online, along with a link to a fundraiser which will allow the producers to pay for the rest of the season, including making sure we actors get paid. So, especially if you’re a fan of human-centric thoughtful science fiction, give episode one a listen and spread the word. And if you are able, any ducats would be appreciated.

Apollyon Launches April 21

I’ve voiced a few characters for audio fiction podcasts in the past few months (not including Jabberwocky Audio Theater) and one of those debuts in less than 30 days!

Apollyon is one of those thoughtful science fiction stories that I love. You can learn more about the story and check out the trailer at the website.

More soon.

Voices Behind the Scenes of Atlantis: The Lost Empire

The longer weekend has allowed for some leisurely watching of some films, and one, which is very much in the style of the adventure tales we like to tell at Jabberwocky Audio Theater, is Disney’s 2001 film, Atlantis: The Lost Empire. Here’s some behind the scenes bits of the voice actors.