You Should Know Who You’re Dealing With (for those who need the long form).
I’m a full-time, non-union, freelance Voice Talent, working from my own professional studio for clients local and world-wide. I’ve worked as a radio station Production Manager and Copywriter (winning loyal clients, as well as several awards including a national ADDY).
I’ve been a cartoonist/puppeteer/co-host on a local TV kiddie show before the genre died out (WRAL’s “Time for Uncle Paul”), appeared onstage in local/regional productions, hosted award shows and other live events, worked with a comedy/murder-mystery troupe in semi-improv shows for 15 years, and even realized a dream of performing with Jim Henson’s Muppets in two movies (“Elmo in Grouchland” and “Muppets in Space”).
My “training” began before I knew it, with all things Looney Tunes and Disney in front of the family tv, and playing with tape recorders (with sound effects lifted off kiddie records) while other teens were living normal lives. College years were spent absorbing more lessons in character and timing from tapes shared by collectors of the Golden Age of Radio. My first real production job came from answering an ad that said, “…if you can think like (Stan) Freberg and can keep it clean…”. I won my first local ADDY awards that same year. More recently, I’ve had workshops with Dick Orkin, Richard Horvitz, and Marice Tobias, and one-on-one voice training with Nancy Wolfson and Mary Lynn Wissner.
In its various incarnations, my studio home base has been a museum-vault-playroom filled with cartoon/films/sci-fi memorabilia, books, comics, movie soundtracks, jazz, classical music, vintage toys, and a video library of imaginative storytelling dating back to the silent movie era.
This stuff from my on-going childhood has stuck between my ears, and can influence what comes out of my head when working with other Creative People.
I sure hope you’ll be one of them.
Working with Jim Henson’s Muppets
With Kevin Clash, trying to resist the urge to tickle Elmo. And getting a biiiiiig Grouchy hug from Oscar and his creator, Caroll Spinney, who also does Big Bird.
I was one of a dozen additional puppeteers recruited by Jim Henson Productions for”Muppets From Space” and “Elmo in Grouchland” While we didn’t get to do any voiceover work, (mostly Muppet crowd scenes), each of us has a few “freeze-frame” moments we can point to on the DVD. (Gee, wasn’t that a masterful singing garbage bag just to the right of Vanessa Williams during her big entrance!)
He Walks, He Talks... He Writes!
When needed, I’ve helped my clients with concept work, script and copywriting services,sound design, and recording/editing audio for their multi-media, e-learning and web-based projects. Of course, these talents come in handy for live events and broadcast spots as well.
Radio Days with Zoot and “fbi”
A lot of my performance and production skills were honed back in my Radio Days, as a copywriter/production manager. The National ADDY Award I snagged during my 9 years with WRAL 101FM was particularly satisfying. And for years, I continued the tradition of Edgar Bergen’s Charlie McCarthy, with my own puppet character on the radio. Zoot developed into a popular sidekick to then top-rated morning host “famous bob inskeep”.
Real Radio: Tapping into the Golden Age
Major influences in my voiceover style come from vintage cartoons, Stan Freberg records, and all those Old Radio Shows I started collecting in college. I still love to mix the Imagination of “those thrilling days of Yesteryear” with modern recording techniques.
Ham on Stage
I once met Red Skelton and introduced myself as a fellow “Ham”, but he corrected me, saying “No, hams can be cured!” I got bit by the Community Theatre Bug in the 70s as…what else…a character actor. What I learned there still helps when I host live shows for corporate events.