An award winning panel reviews the debut audiobook narrated by William Boyns. Aged just 4 years he already captivates his audience, whose chants of “more”, “more” can be heard once the story comes to an end.
Having already recorded telephone ring tones, a promo (well, a “fauxdition” for ABC News), and more recently been heard singing, William decided to turn the tables on the bedtime story genre, and started telling the story back at me. It seemed a natural progression to develop this, and here’s the result of our fun in the studio…
William loves recording, and if the fun of story telling was not reward enough, then the look on his face when he first listened to our finished production was priceless.
Evidently I am biased, so it occurred to me to elicit the opinions of a select collection of audiobook aficionados, all of whom have won awards in this genre of voiceover. They joined in the fun, and their generosity is much appreciated… here are the official, unofficial reviews:
“I just encountered a new talent on the audiobook horizon! His name is William Boyns, and his reading of PO’S MAGIC WATERING CAN was terrific. In his reading, you can hear a great deal of natural storytelling flair, and William’s instincts are such that he seems assured of a terrific future as an audiobook narrator. A terrific performance by a wonderful new talent.”
“I have recently listened to a delightful children’s audiobook…Po’s Magic Watering Can, read by William Boyns, age 4. This young man is a born entertainer. His rendition of this story will make you smile, giggle, and purr. He brings the story to life so well. I predict many Audie awards in his future”
“Puts the best narators to shame. Born to live behind the mike.”
“William captures the attention of his audience immediately… with a clear and animated voice, William recounts the story with passion and interest. Already at 4, he’s quite the storyteller………children will love his narrations”
“I liked the birds and the baby in the story. I like William. When I am a growed up big boy, I want to talk good like William. And I like his BING!!! too.”
Pat Fraley Age 61
“An audiobook narrator in the making! Keep reading out loud every day, William, and you’ll have the potential to be one of the best. ;-)”
“William clearly has an understanding of the nuances of audiobook recording. His enthusiasm as each of the major plot points unfurls (‘Ping!’) can’t help but joyously carry the listener along to the inevitable, and slightly sad, denouement. I can’t wait to hear what he’ll do with the likes of Dickens and Trollope.”
In answer to Simon’s thought it is perhaps fortuitous that for New Year, by total coincidence, I was given a copy of Dicken’s “Great Expectations”… watch this space! First it has to get onto the bedtime story list, though! What is exciting is that William is both interested in books and recording, where he takes this remains to be seen, but we would love your thoughts (especially from any publishers who might be listening…) on a suggestion that William could package up a selection of his recordings and sell them online for other kids…
The start of a new year is the great chance to look forward to new opportunities, and I’m sure we will have lots of great surprises. It’s also a chance to look back and be thankful for the paths which brought us to where we are. Since this article is celebrating a new reader, I’d like to quickly pay tribute to my mother who for almost 40 years has visited her local primary school as a volunteer to help with remedial reading. I wish her good health in 2011 that she may continue to play this wonderful role.
About William Boyns
William Boyns – www.williamboyns.com
William Boyns is an enthusiastic and lively boy with an exciting future. Growing up in Istanbul, Turkey, he is bilingual in both English and Turkish. At the time of writing he has just turned 4 years 9 months. Loving all types of technology, he is already an expert with PlayStation, iPhone applications, and the internet – especially enjoying the interactivity of Playhouse Disney and its characters. Above all, wherever his talents may lead, he loves to have fun. Go William!
About The Reviewers
Scott Brick – www.scottbrickpresents.com
Scott Brick is an actor, screenwriter and audiobook narrator who has recorded over 400 titles. To date he’s won over 40 Earphones Awards for his narrating skills, as well as the 2003 Audie Award for DUNE: THE BUTLERIAN JIHAD. After recording some 250 titles in five years, AUDIOFILE MAGAZINE named Brick “one of the fastest-rising stars in the audiobook galaxy,” and proclaimed him a Golden Voice.
Alan Sklar – www.alansklar.com
Alan Sklar has been a freelance voice actor for over twenty years, voicing radio/TV commercials and VNRs, narrating everything from audiobooks and documentaries to thousands of corporate and medical video projects. Alan has been recruited to narrate over 150 audiobooks, including “The Kennedys: America’s Emerald Kings” by Thomas Maier and the first Hannibal Lechter novel “Red Dragon” by Thomas Harris, both of which earned Alan the prestigious Earphone Awards from AudioFile Magazine.
Marc Cashman – www.cashmancommercials.com
Marc was voted ‘Best Voice of the Year in Non-Fiction and Culture’ by AudioFile Magazine, and has also won the ‘Listen Up!’ Award from Publishers Weekly, plus three ‘Earphones’ awards from AudioFile. A veteran voice actor with over 25 years of studio experience and over 70 audiobooks to his credit, he has been heard locally, regionally, nationally and internationally on Radio, TV, film, documentaries, radio plays, video games and audio books. He has voiced thousands of Radio and TV commercials, dubbed foreign films, narrated dozens of audio books, and created the voices of many CD-Rom, online and videogame characters.
George Guidall – www.georgeguidall.com
George Guidall has recorded over 900 unabridged novels and is the recipient of two Audie Awards for excellence in audiobook narration. His 40 year acting career includes starring roles on Broadway, an Obie award for best performance Off-Broadway, and frequent television apprearances.
James Clamp – www.jamesclamp.com
James Clamp is a young British voice talent with a carriage-full of accents based in New York. He works from his fully equipped professional ISDN capable studio specializing in Commercials, Promo’s, Corporate Videos, eLearning Modules, Phone Systems, Training Narrations, and Audiobooks. James has received nominations for Voicey Awards, and won his first Earphone Award in 2010.
Pat Fraley – www.patfraley.com
Pat Fraley has been teaching vocal performance for 37 years. Pat has produced hundreds of audiobook demos, and cherishes the fact that they have assisted many a talent in getting their “reading foot” in the door. He has been producing and performing audiobooks for about 20 years, and is a multiple Audie Award nominee and winner.
Simon Vance – www.simonvance.com
Simon Vance is a stage, TV and film actor who has narrated more than 500 audiobooks for which he has won 33 AudioFile Earphone awards and 3 Audie Awards. He has also been selected as an AudioFile Golden Voice, and was Booklist magazine’s first ever ‘Voice of Choice’ in 2008. He began his recording career at the age of 6 when he read Winnie-the-Pooh aloud into a microphone, and after a “short break” now has more than 25 years of professional recording experience.
The Audiobook Awards
Audies Awards – www. audiopub.org
The Audies, sponsored by the Audio Publishers Association (APA), is the premier awards program in the United States recognizing distinction in audiobooks and spoken word entertainment. Through The Audies award competition, publishers are able to enter titles in various categories for recognition of achievement.
Earphones Awards – www.audiofilemagazine.com
AudioFile awards Earphones to truly exceptional presentations that excel in all the following criteria:
• Narrative voice and style
• Vocal characterizations
• Appropriateness for the audio format
• Enhancement of the text