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Day 83 – Willem Dafoe on The Price is Right

Before we get to my Willem Dafoe impression, I want to share an observation about the 100 Voices in 100 Days project.

One of the things I’ve learned after 83 days (and 83 celebrity impersonations) is that there’s an interesting difference between having a stock collection of polished impressions and jumping into an unpracticed voice and doing your best.

It’s a similar comparison between stand-up and improv comedy.  One can be really great at both, but they require different skills and techniques.  The expectation of the audience is also different.  A good friend of mine (who is accomplished in both stand-up and improv) once said that with stand-up comedy, the audience expects you to be funny – but with improv, the audience wants you to be funny.  If that doesn’t make sense, just think about the difference between the following statements:

  1.  I expect a big birthday cake at my party.
  2.  I want a big birthday cake at my party.

One is a demand placed on other people, the other is a desire within oneself.  In that same vein, when I produce a piece with a voice that people have heard me do before, there’s an expectation the listener has for that piece.  But, when I do a voice with no prior practice?  A voice the audience has never heard me do before?  It’s a different vibe.

For over a year now, I’ve done an increasing amount of voice matching for film trailers and movie marketing.  Without getting into the long-winded explanation of what that is, I can tell you that it often requires that I do my best to match a voice I’ve never done before.  It’s hit and miss, but I’m getting better at it.  I’ve had a number of voices which were amazing right out of the chute.  I think Willem Dafoe is one of those voices.  With two or three takes per line, picking the best sounding takes for the finished piece, I’m really happy with it.

Here you go – Day 83:  Willem Dafoe on the Price is Right.