Monday, July 27, 2009

Bring The Whole Bag! is important in voice acting. Even though we all work to establish our "brand" voice...there should be enough room for experimentation and discovery when considering any voice over career.

How many characters have you--or can you--voice? Only one? Not to worry! Experts like Pat Fraley have proven through technique and instruction that one character can become many when using 'The Critical Compound'...character voice+acting+accents.

Many of us have voices or characters that we can perform strongly and so are very comfortable with them. This can lead to two things--some branding and maybe a little stagnation! I've never met a serious musician who didn't PRACTICE! To get sound hit that riff that you coudn't hit last year. Maybe it's my Lon Chaney/Mel Blanc influenced early childhood, but I think the greatest compliment any voice actor can receive is..."Was that YOU?"

Lon Chaney, Sr. early in his career had to rely on his own self-taught makeup skills and even his athletic ability to create emotion and character without the benefit of dialogue.

Mel Blanc, on the other hand, gave life, voice and personality to rabbits, ducks, cats, dogs, birds, martians, malevolent mammals and other things that don't know dialogue from Dial soap!

Can you be a duck? Have you tried? Why a duck...why not a chicken?

Felix the Cat used to have a 'bag of tricks' that he would use to get him out of any tough scrape and he had everything--including the kitchen sink--in it and wasn't afraid to use it!

What's in YOUR bag of tricks? Here's how to expand the bag:

Improvisational skills are important. Joe Thomas, video game actor extraordinaire, suggests taking improv classes to stay fresh and flowing. Visit his site at http://joeactor .com for details and give a listen while you're there. Talk about versatile!!

Also, many of the original pioneers in animation lived well into their later years and I think this had a direct bearing and relationship to their sense of humor. The Bible calls laughter "Good medicine" and there is truth to that statement. To establish and (maybe) discover your sense of humor I have a brief exercise that anyone can try. Simply go to the nearest mirror and take a good look. See...? Isn't that the funniest thing you've ever seen? It ALWAYS works for me!!

God Bless...

Happy voicing!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Something's Brewing!

A few days ago I woke up with a tremendous spirit of expectation. While I did my morning wake up routine, I just couldn't shake the feeling of positive anticipation--that something BIG is just around the corner! Was this 'hope' gone mad? Was this the delusional thinking of yet another cock-eyed optimist?
Rubbing my hands together like a hungry man staring at dinner, I began to share this 'hope' with my wife. "Honey I don't know...but I've got a feeling that something's brewing. And not just brewing, but it's as if it is being prepared or established. This is a good thing!"
I could scarcely get the words out of my mouth when the TV evangelist we were watching began to say, "Something good is about to happen. I challenge you to say it to your neighbors...say it to your family members. I dare a husband to say to his wife 'Something good is about to happen.'"
Well, after we picked each other up off the floor, we just started smiling and kept saying 'Somethings brewing...something good.'
In this crazy, wonderful business of ours where we seem to achieve equal parts of success AND failure we need to remind ourselves that something good IS about to happen. Persistence and hardwork WILL pay off.
In ancient history during times of great fear and danger, people would encourage themselves by remembering past victories and historic milestones. Even King David of Israel was forced by a stressful situation to publicly and openly encourage himself by declaring his relationship with God.
Yeah, the headlines are bad and the economy sucks and global warming is getting...uh...warmer. But I'm going to take this opportunity to tell all of you that something's brewing...something good!
Let's do our best to encourage each other as we travel together.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Greetings and Salutations!

This is our second attempt at finding a blog home (a 'blome'?) and I think we can finally unpack and stay for a while.
Welcome to Megaphone Musings...where you will probably get a little TOO much information concerning the world of voice overs, voice acting and all things related,
Yes...I am the little golden guy with the megaphone that you've seen all over the internet, and yes...this will be a forum for discussion, enlightenment and empowerment for all throatsingers and voiceslingers ( I just made those words up!)
Mostly it'll be me venting about one thing or another, or sharing some type of experience...and everyone else (including YOU) commenting, critiqueing or correcting as is needed.
So, we are starting this puppy up with two previously written blogs that have a lot to say and we'd all love to hear what you think.
In the words of that great St. Louis philosopher, Nellie "Don't be scurred"!

How To Be Heard Over Hatred

My Visit To "Toon Town"