Creating Fun Stuff
I was catching up with some old friends recently, and one of them asked me if I had any new exiting voice over projects in the works. While this is a pretty common question from my family and friends, it’s the sort of question that I struggle to answer. The thing is, I see everything I do as exciting. Every day brings opportunities to connect with new people and bring their ideas to life. I happen to have a pretty unique ability to impersonate other voices, but more importantly than any specific skills I bring to my work, is the desire to create fun stuff. And it doesn’t matter if you’re new to working with a voice actor. I bring what I’ve learned from countless creative directors to every project I produce.
Something else I bring to every project is the spirit of collaboration. Back in 2001, I started taking improv comedy classes because it looked like fun. I quickly learned that improv wasn’t about being funny, it was about being in the moment. Listening, acknowledging the ideas that others bring, and building on those ideas. It turns out to be a solid foundation for any creative collaboration. Three years later, I started my own professional improv company with my best friend. That company, Monkey Business Institute, is still going strong today. When I need to tune-up my collaboration muscles, I go back to the lessons of improv. I highly recommend improv for anyone who wants to increase their ability to collaborate.
I can’t speak for other voice artists, but I know taking time to create for me is how I recharge my batteries. One of my most ambitious adventures in voice was 100 Voices in 100 Days, in which I recorded a new celebrity impression piece each weekday for 100 days. Some of the vignettes are highly produced (like Alec Baldwin’s “Gotta Get Them Cats in the Car”) – and others aren’t. If you’re unfamiliar, you can start here.
Another fun project I started earlier this year is Dungeons & Dragons & Dorks – which allowed me to share my love for D&D, while exploring some of the tropes of the genre (with celebrity impressions). It’s one of my favorite fun projects, but unfortunately, it was short-lived. The time necessary to produce each episode became difficult to justify. I ended the series after six episodes, but would love to go back to it at some point.
I’ve also recently produced a fake “radio show” from fake medical expert Dr. Moley. While it’s a bit of an inside joke, it’s all in the spirit of exploring new ideas. Whether it continues or not, it achieves what I set out to do. Create fun stuff.