Another Brick in the wall

For me, a highlight of this past weekend’s WonderCon in San Francisco was meeting one of my VO idols: Scott Brick, perhaps the world’s most honored and respected audiobook narrator.

Scott had a booth at the con — how did I miss seeing that in the program? — promoting his self-published series of audiobooks. For the WonderCon audience, the draw was Scott’s recordings of Stephen R. Donaldson’s epic fantasy series, The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. I enjoyed reading those books back when they were first published, so I’m looking forward to hearing what Scott does with them.

I’m always a bit nervous approaching people I admire — aw heck, let’s get real; I’m nervous approaching people in general — and my wandering by just as Scott was delving into his lunch didn’t help matters any. But I steeled my courage to walk up and introduce myself, telling Scott, “I want to be you when I grow up.”

Scott couldn’t have been more kind. When I told him that I’m a voice actor and that I’d love to get into audiobooks, he was interested to know where I was studying and with whom. I remembered to tell Scott that I’m taking a six-week intensive course in audiobook narration this spring… and promptly forgot the name of the instructor, even though I’ve taken a class from her before. (Please, everyone — let’s not tell Lisa Baney that I forgot her name. Or if we tell her, let’s be sure to mention that I forgot under the pressure of meeting Scott Brick. I think she’d be forgiving under the circumstances.)

Scott shared with me that he’s just begun a series of articles on his blog about getting started in audiobook narration. (Here’s a shock — I’ve already devoured Scott’s first installment, and am hungry for more!) He also handed me his card and offered to answer any specific questions I might have about the field via e-mail.

For my part, I smiled and nodded and tried not to sound like a blithering idiot.

It occurred to me as I was leaving Scott’s table — squeezing his card so tightly between my thumb and index finger that if it had been a lump of coal, I’d have created a diamond — that voice artists in the main are tremendously giving folk. Every working professional I’ve met or contacted has seemed genuinely eager to encourage and advise me in any way he or she can.

Given what one hears about the self-centered nature of actors and the highly competitive business we’ve chosen, this quality surprises me every time. And yet, the pattern continues to hold. Even the top players in the VO business — people at the level of Scott Brick or Pat Fraley — always take an interest in showing fledgling talent the ropes, and are astonishingly generous with their time and insights.

When I’m a big name in voiceover, I’ll promise to remember that.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Audiobooks, Celebrity voices, Narration, Voice acting, Voiceover

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