Archive for the ‘Voice acting’ category

Audio tour narration: The Art of Bulgari at San Francisco’s deYoung Museum

November 15, 2013

If you happen to be in or near The City By the Bay, check out the dazzling Art of Bulgari exhibition at the deYoung Museum. It’s on display through February 17, 2014.

When you go, be sure to take the audio tour…

I’m your narrator.

Because, sure — I’m the first person who comes to mind when you think of fine jewelry.

Narration project: Society 75th anniversary video

October 1, 2012

I was proud to narrate this video celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI. Follow the link below to check it out.

Celebrating 75 Years — The Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI

The creative client, MiniMatters LLC, was truly delightful to work with!

1954: Alcatraz

August 20, 2012

Check out this nifty promotional article about 1954: Alcatraz, the upcoming release from Daedalic Entertainment.

1954: Alcatraz Screenshot

Your favorite Mic Guy voices a couple of characters in 1954: Alcatraz, one of which is the priest seen in the screen shot above. He’s one cool cat — I think you’ll dig him the most.

Thanks to the talented Jim Edgar, whose voice acting skills are also on display in this game, for passing along the links.

1954: Alcatraz will be available later this year, for play on your PC. Enjoy it!

New character demo uploaded

May 29, 2012

Exactly what the headline promises…

My new character demo has been produced and uploaded! Check it out at the link below:

CHARACTER DEMO (:90)

It’s an entertaining sampling of my character stylings for animation and video games. Not an exhaustive catalog, by any means — just a few of the voices inside my head.

My sincere thanks to the team at Voicetrax San Francisco: the incomparable Samantha Paris, who directed and co-produced; and the inimitable Chuck Kourouklis, who co-produced and engineered.

Enjoy!

Law & Order: Legacies, Episode 5 — “Ear Witness”

March 27, 2012

A while back, I played a key role in Episode 5 of Law & Order: Legacies, produced by the fun-loving folks at Telltale Games. My character, an auto mechanic named Scott Leonard, makes his first appearance at about 10:50 into this video sample. (Bonus points to any reader who knows which real-life vocal group is led by a singer named Scott Leonard.)

As a longtime Law & Order fanatic, this was a dream project for me. If you’re intrigued by what you see here, you can purchase the complete seven-episode game for your iPhone or iPad at the App Store, or for your PC or Mac at the Telltale Games website.

Enjoy the preview!

A musical interlude while you wait

February 9, 2012

Yes, I know. It’s taking me forever to get the new site up. Mea culpa. It’s coming, I promise.

In the meantime, enjoy a little something I voiced recently. It’s a promotional video for a Bay Area men’s chorus that delivers Singing Valentines.

NIA Creative, an awesome marketing and production company, produced the project.

Fun stuff…

…and if you decide to purchase a Singing Valentine for your beloved, please tell ‘em The Mic Guy sent you.

The Mic Guy at the mic (where else?)

January 31, 2011

Yikes… it’s been quite a while since I’ve posted here. This occasion, however, warrants the resurrection.

On January 19, I recorded my new commercial demo at Voicetrax San Francisco. That’s Samantha Paris, my beloved mentor and coach, in the director’s chair; voice actor and technical wizard supreme Chuck Kourouklis manned the sound board and video equipment.

This video demonstrates two essential facts: (1) Samantha is an amazing director; and (2) I should stick to acting off-camera.

My new demo, however, will be awesome.

Thanks to Samantha and Chuck for a fantastic experience!

Unlearning

August 25, 2009

Take a look at something…

READ

What do you see in the box above? The word READ, yes?

Now here’s a fun exercise: Try NOT to see the word READ there. Try to see a series of four random symbols with no particular meaning. Go ahead… I’ll wait.

Can’t do it, can you? No matter how hard you stare at the writing in that box, it’s always going to say READ to you. Your brain can’t interpret those symbols any other way. The concept of reading is so thoroughly ingrained in your mental processes that when you see something that can be read, you can’t not read it. (Double negative intentional.)

There was a time in your life when this wasn’t the case. If you’re anything like me, that time is practically ancient history. But when you were an infant, you would have looked at that box and not seen a word there, but only unintelligible pictures. You hadn’t yet learned to look at these symbols and interpret them in a narrowly specific way. You hadn’t yet learned to read. But even though that was once true for you personally, you can’t compel your mind to return to that state, as our little exercise just demonstrated.

Once you’ve learned to read, you can’t unlearn.

The point of all of this is that it’s infinitely simpler to train the human mind than it is to overcome training that’s already there. Learning is easy. Unlearning can be nigh onto impossible.

I’ve taught and illustrated this principle in lectures and classes for at least 20 years. I’m just now beginning to understand its effect on my voice acting development.

For nearly a quarter of a century, I’ve been an active public speaker. I’m in front of an audience a minimum of four times each week. I’ve learned to project my voice so that it fills space, whether a classroom or an auditorium, frequently without amplification. Like a stage actor, I’ve become skilled at reaching a listener at the back of the hall with the same nuance heard by someone seated in the front row. After 20-odd years, my “speaker voice” is as much a part of me as my brown eyes or my curly hair.

It’s difficult now to unlearn it.

I’m trying to think more cinematically in my reads. That is, to speak at the conversational volume of actors in an intimate film scene. The actors don’t project. They don’t have to — expensive, technologically brilliant microphones hover inches away, just outside the camera’s focus. Not to mention the fact that much of the dialogue will be looped in a studio, with those same incredible microphones isolated a hand’s breadth from the actors’ lips.

Whenever I’m in the studio, I always have to remind myself not to project to the hall. The mic is right there. It hears me just fine. I have to trust that, and not do what Pat Fraley calls “creating emotion with volume.” In the moment, I have to unlearn my decades of stagecraft.

Listening to, and mimicking, the voiceovers in television commercials is helping. No one ever yells in a TV spot, unless they’re attempting to become the next Billy Mays. TV VO is always intimate, tucked under, and as smooth as glass. That’s the quality I’m working to capture. It’s not easy, but I’m showing signs of progress.

Every day, I learn something that helps me grow into a more proficient and marketable voice actor. Some days, I’m just unlearning the things that hold me back from that goal.

Fat, depressed, and 35… these are my people

August 18, 2009

I got a major chuckle out of this article on MSNBC today:

A new study says the average age of video-game players in the United States is 35, and oh, by the way: They’re overweight and tend to be depressed.

Investigators from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Emory University and Andrews University analyzed survey data from more than 500 adults in the Seattle-Tacoma area. The subjects ranged in age from 19 to 90, according to the study, published in the October issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

The hypothesis was that video-game players have a higher body mass index — the measure of a person’s weight in relation to their height — and “a greater number of poor mental health days” versus nonplayers, said Dr. James B. Weaver III of the CDC’s National Center for Health Marketing. The hypothesis was correct, he said.

As a voice actor who’s eager to work in the interactive industry, it’s good to know how I can relate to the core audience.

I’m at least one-third of the way there.

Internationally speaking…

August 14, 2009

After four weeks of toiling in my dialects and accents workshop, here’s what I’ve discovered:

  • My British accent isn’t too shabby. I did a credible Claude Rains riff for the final exercise. And in Prototypes class last evening, my Hugh Grant takeoff favorably impressed some of my fellow actors, who didn’t even realize that it was me.
  • Two years of high school German 30 years ago? I got nothing now.
  • Two years of living in Greece 35 years ago? Ditto.
  • Never attempt an Italian accent in front of a bona fide Italian.
  • I can do a pretty effective Southern dialect. But I’d rather not.

Accents are definitely not my strong suit, which is exactly the reason I enrolled in this course. But I now have some tools to work with, and some resources to utilize when the situation demands.

More than anything, I need to listen more.

That’s probably good advice for my life outside of voiceover, too.


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