First of all a huge thanks to the 1000+ people who checked out my article last week, “Andy Boyns Goes Back to the 80′s in TV Role!”, and especially those who were able to watch the broadcast on Tuesday and sent their generous feedback.
For those who weren’t able to catch the broadcast on TRT1 (the episode will be reprised this Tuesday, 9 April at 7.50pm on TRT1), MinT Productions have made it available on YouTube, so here it is in its full glory!
Seksenler - Episode 57 (Full)
The visiting tourist (me! See below for approx entry times) appears to have lost both his bag and his way…
As he, and the locals, struggle with a language barrier see how helpful and friendly they are – even bringing out the best china for the first time in his honour…
For those of you reading this who have never visited Turkey, you may not appreciate the brilliance of the script. Oftentimes the best comedy is adjacent to reality, and in the 12 years I’ve lived in Istanbul I’ve experienced the generous hospitality shown to foreigners here, alongside the humorous misunderstandings!! Even yesterday when I was visiting a neighbourhood in the heart of the city and asked directions (at a balloon shop!) explaining that I couldn’t check from my phone because its charge had finished, I was invited to sit a while, put my phone on charge and enjoy a cup of tea and a chat. Fortunately I now know Turkish well enough to do that. I love it here!
To help those of you who are linguistically challenged, but would like to see my role in Episode 57 of Seksenler (from the video above) here are some approximate timing to help you… I would however encourage you to watch the whole video, imagining yourself as a visitor, and see how much you can understand from body language and tone of voice. Since when I came here I spoke no Turkish, these were skills I had to rapidly acquire… it’s not so hard, really.
Approx Entry times (Scenes with Tom the Tourist):
37:22-51:46 (very short gaps between scenes)
Catch new episode of Seksenler every Tuesday On TRT1 at 7.50pm
Book now to attend the latest TEDx Reset event in Istanbul, taking place on April 12 and 13, 2013 at the TIM Show Center, Maslak.
The theme of this year’s event is “Critical Crossroads”, and I am certain it will be a thought provoking experience. Having attended the previous two events, I’m looking forward to attending again this year to be both challenged and motivated. Don’t worry about language problems – with simultaneous translation everything will be available in both English and Turkish!!
It’s been more than three years since TEDXReset adventure has begun. In 2010 we started out by “resetting our minds”, where we questioned all that we know, all the we’ve assumed to be true, all the rules, all our beliefs and we asked ourselves “What if?” in the year 2011. In 2012 we decided to set foot on new directions, while we were listening to those who had the courage to start the journeys, to overcome obstacles and those who came back and restarted their journeys the puzzle in our minds was “Quo Vadis?”(Where Are You Going?)
For the past year and actually for years, centuries, for many lives on end we’ve been travelling. The journey didn’t start just yesterday and certainly it is not over yet. Every day we take new steps, sometimes forwards, and sometimes backwards, sometimes to the right and perhaps to the left. And every day we make new decisions, about which path to take. But this time it seems a little different…
This time the transformations/change is fast enough to make us dizzy, and it is happening in such close proximity, that perhaps we might even be at the very center of it.
All around the world, in the Middle East, in our own land there are sweeping winds of transformation. Ideas, forces, beliefs, societies, cultures, power structures, frontlines are changing. There is no way we can stop the time; change is imminent. Technology is no longer limited to smart phones, tablet computers, or the tools we use, there is much more it and it’s constantly transforming us in the process. Everyday we create new versions, and then even newer versions of ourselves and of our lives. New social lives, new ways of working, new spaces, new forms, new designs. This transformation is so rapid that sometimes we don’t even get a chance to “stop”, “to think”, “to understand the alternatives”, “to choose”, until we decide to create our own alternatives. Therefore, we believe that, this time we are at a much more “Critical Crossroads’!
I look forward to seeing you on April 12 and 13, 2013 at the TIM Show Center, Maslak.
Fresh from winning 3 television awards, and last week releasing its soundtrack album, it’s a great pleasure for me to have a guest role in the highly successful Turkish television comedy show “Seksenler” (The Eighties) this week. Broadcast on Tuesday, 2nd April on TRT1 at 7.50pm (Episode 57) a foreign tourist arrives on the scene…
A Lost Tourist in the Middle of Çınaraltı Neighbourhood!
A tourist who loses his way and finds himself in Çınaraltı neighbourhood becomes the local centre of attraction. Confectioner Sami, record store owner Ergun, and Ahmet first and foremost, and virtually everyone in the neighbourhood joins forces to help the lost tourist find his way. However, there is a major problem: nobody knows English…
While Ahmet and Ergun’s attempts to speak in English with the tourist provide a laugh, Fehmi’s reaction, after meeting the tourist back home, is an object of interest… Meanwhile, how will Rukiye hide the new dinner set that Boutique Ali coerced her into buying, from Fehmi?
With his love for Gülden growing with every passing day, Ahmet will finally declare his love for her at the first opportunity and thus put an end to this uncertainty. Days of great animation await a resolute Ahmet…
If you’ve had the impression that life on the set is one of a big happy family, then you’ve understood the passion that goes into creating this remarkable series. In the five weeks since the filming of this episode I’m been nervously waiting to see the final results, and look forward to watching with you – wherever you may be – on Tuesday evening.
A big thank you to all those in the cast and crew for making me so welcome… check out this and more photos on my new Facebook page at http://facebook.com/andyboynscom
ROMANTIC PERIOD COMEDY (A JOURNEY TO THE 80′S)
Starring in The Eighties (Seksenler) TV series is Rasim Öztekin, Özlem Türkad, Yasemin Çonka, Şoray Uzun, Ayşe Tolga, İlker Ayrık, Pelin Akil, Serhat Kılıç and Vural Çelik.
Covering the early 80′s to the present day, The Eighties series is the story of the last thirty-two years’ history and change in modern Turkey. Aimed at exploring the effects of such change on a typical Turkish family, this entertaining period sitcom brings to light the transformation experienced in social life and the influence upon us of the innovations entering our lives.
The Eighties is a charming journey aspiring to reintroduce new generations to the human values that we have lost. The Eighties TV series serves to intrigue children and young people, just as much as it does those who lived through those very years.
With a rapidly developing business profile, my new Facebook page is now launched to provide a more concise view of all the exciting things going on. Many were surprised that I hadn’t previously done this, but now the time is right, and if you haven’t done so already, please head straight over and add your definitive “Like” to show your support and interest.
In fact the biggest hurdle in getting started was to decide whether to create a page as a “Business” or, as I finally decided, to represent me as an “Actor”. Curious to learn how others had created their pages I asked what had been the main influence in others decision making… and was surprised not to discover a concrete reason for most.
However, thanks to recommendations to take the individual approach, I’m pleased with the result, and I hope you’ll find it an informative additional way to keep up to date and be motivated to use my voice for projects, or my acting / presentation skills for other work.
One of the questions frequently asked is “What’s the point of a business page?”, and that’s a good one. To my mind questioning the “ROI” or “Return on investment” is unnecessary, as it’s free… so the investment is simply one of a little time. Another good question (which was asked) is “Does anyone actually get work from their Facebook pages?”
It’s actually a great question, but in my marketing mindset the wrong one to ask. Just as the “Hitch-hikers Guide to the Galaxy” initially suggests the answer to the meaning of life is “42”, the answer to these Facebook page questions probably results in equally nonsensical results. The fact is that my business page is not the sum total of my marketing efforts. It is just one facet of the whole picture. I constantly remind myself that the big companies, while fully in control of their marketing efforts with huge budgets going through skilled marketing agencies, probably don’t ask whether displaying the product name on the window of my local store actually results in physical sales. As much as anything this is simply part of building the brand.
A few minutes ago I had a call back for a role in an advertisement. This will play on TV, in cinemas, on the internet, and public transport. No doubt if I’m confirmed in the role the company’s profits will immediately soar, but joking aside, who will see the advert for the first time and suddenly make a life changing decision? Brand exposure must surely be much more a case of reminding potential clients that the brand is available, and building confidence in those already using the brand that they made the right choice, and should continue to do so.
STOP PRESS! Just as I’m about to post this, I notice yet another great article from Paul Strikwerda, and it’s especially pertinent to what I’m trying to say here. Check out “Creating a Wave”. As he rightly says, “You and I, we walk a fine line when it comes to drumming up business.” The page is a place to do this in a recognisable dedicated space without constantly being seen as a viscious self-promoter. Indeed while the page is inevitably about “me”, I hope it will be a place where we can engage and make things happen on a wider scale. Thanks Paul for the timely caveat! You’ll be pleased to know I wholeheartedly agree!
First and foremost my page is to show you how much I love doing what I do, how important the people I work with, so come and enjoy… I hope it might also encourage you to want to work with me and join in the fun.
With so many great events for voice artists, I need a private jet more than ever!! Several folks have asked to be collected en route for these travels, so this could be the start of something big… if only…
Voices.com have put together a great event almost on their home turf, and here’s the info you need to read. A stellar collection of presenters – looks like it’ll be a great event!
VoiceWorld Toronto Conference
Are you looking to get started in voice acting or take your voice acting career to the next level? Then this is the event for you! VoiceWorld Toronto is the voice-over industry’s premier conference being held in Toronto, Ontario on Saturday May 4th, 2013!
Prepare to be educated, equipped and empowered at VoiceWorld Toronto:
Audition like a pro — understand the do’s and don’ts of auditioning in person and online.
Learn the ins and outs of the voice acting business, and what it takes to be a successful voice-over talent.
Get into business — explore ways to turn your voice acting talent into a business.
About VoiceWorld Toronto
VoiceWorld, the industry’s premier conference, being held in Toronto in 2013, is an immersive experience focused on engaging voice actors from across Canada and the United States. Connect with amazing, influential people who can change your life through courses in artistic development, business and technology preparing you for success in the exciting world of voice acting. A breath of fresh air, VoiceWorld sets out to invigorate and intensify your love for the art of voice acting as never before with an action plan for you to take your business to the next level.
The goal of the conference – to inspire those who are just getting started and renew the passion of seasoned professionals. A breath of fresh air, VoiceWorld sets out to invigorate and intensify your love for the art of voice acting as never before with an action plan for you to take your business to the next level. Prepare to be educated, equipped and empowered!
VoiceWorld Toronto Speakers
Pat Fraley – Man of Four Thousand Voices, CESD Talent Los Angeles
Elley-Ray Hennessy – Award-winning actress, Director and Producer
Deb Munro – International Voice-over Talent and Coach
David Ciccarelli – Co-Founder and CEO of Voices.com
“A World of Opportunities” — that’s the theme of VoiceWorld Toronto. There are few things in life that bring more satisfaction and joy than taking part in the creation of something. Creating opportunities to succeed in business is at the heart of the entrepreneurial spirit. The industry resources, cutting-edge tools and proven strategies presented will aid you in opening doors you may have only dreamed of.
Would love to be there, as I have the feeling some great things are going to happen thanks to the terrific organisation of Gerald Griffith and Voiceovercity.com
VO2013 ATLANTA is the largest event of its kind in the southern United States. It’s designed to connect with the industry’s most recognized talent, coaches, and producers as you gain the skills needed to take you career to the next level. Anyone interested in learning and growing their voiceover career are welcome.
Get off to a positive start with Penny Abshire in just a few minutes – hopefully the live streaming will be available!
Lisa Biggs hits the nail on the head after a morning coffee! “I mean, you have a gift. You have a dream… Anything you want to do, you can do! You got to make it happen.” While the sun temporarily let us down, Lisa lit up the room. It was great to finally meet her in person having previously produced a couple of videos together over the internet. I suspect there are many amazing things to come!!!
In conversation with Lisa Biggs
For subtitles, click the CC button (Closed Captions which uses the transcription below)
Andy: So here we are in sunny Santa Monica, and I’m meeting for breakfast with Lisa Biggs.
Andy: Morning Lisa. Great to see you.
Lisa: Good morning! And good to see you here in not so sunny California…
Andy: Well, it’ll be sunny later on, won’t it? Lisa, great that you could meet with us this morning.
Andy: … and it’s been fantastic…
Lisa: Thanks for paying for my breakfast!
Andy: Yeah! I’m very generous. What can I do? We’ve known each other online for a little while, and we’ve done some production together via the internet, and that’s been great. But it’s cool to meet you in person.
Lisa: It’s so good to meet you, too.
Andy: Maybe we ought to explain, we’re in a café, and we’ve just had breakfast, so apologies for any background noise… But unlike some voiceover podcasts, this is a real café…
Lisa: Trish, he didn’t mean that!
Andy: No, we love the other one! Anyway…! Lisa, you’ve got a very special voice.
Lisa: Really? Do you think I could do voiceover?
Andy: Yeah… we can work on it. I know a good agent in Atlanta… I could pass you on to. Well, going to be starting there. So, you’ve got some quite exciting things…
Andy: …coming up. But could you explain to us just a little bit about what type – because it may not be obvious – what type of voiceover work you do, because you do some very special stuff, and what did you do before you did voiceover? What’s your journey into all of this?
Lisa: Well, now let’s see… I’ve been doing this, I’ve been dooing voiceover, for thirteen years. I started when I was 19. I’d no idea growing up what a voiceover was, or that it even existed. It was probably, I guess, in my sophomore year college that someone approached me and said – you know, because I’ve had this voice ever since middle school… that was when it kind of started… when most people’s voices change, mine didn’t. It’s actually a birth defect.
Lisa: Yeah. So then… I was just teased all through high school, and middle school, and even into college, and I was kind of shy, you know, and never pursued acting which is what I really wanted to do. But I used to see my voice as a hindrance or as an opportunity to be embarrassed.
Andy: OK. So it was a bad thing for you?
Lisa: Yeah, it was. Growing up it was difficult…
Andy: Kids can be cruel…
Lisa: kids can be cruel. I was bulled a lot through high school, but I developed a good sense of humour. You know, you kind of have to! But… I was in college when I had a professor tell me that there were so many things that I wouldn’t be able to do because of my voice, and that I would probably have to seek some kind of speech therapy, or perhaps surgery even. It’s kind of extreme, and so I just thought, “Well that’s silly! This is who I am! You know! This is how I was made. And so a couple of weeks later a buddy of mine approached me and said, “Hey, I hear of this acting school in New York, and they have a voiceover class.” I’d never taken a voiceover class. And he gave me this brochure and I showed my parents, and a month later I was living in New York City, all by myself. I lived in New York for almost a year, and studied acting. And I kind of got that skill set under my belt. I still study acting all the time – improv, acting classes – because I think it’s really important, because first and foremost, especially if you pursue animation and character work, you’ve got to… you have to be an actor, a strong actor. And so… yeah… So I lived in New York, and then came back and finished college, and then for my college graduation present, my mum and dad paid for my very first voiceover demo. Produced at Jay Howard Studios, in Charlotte, North Carolina. My engineer for my first demo was Ross Wissbaum, and he’s now at the Ground Crew Studios in Charlotte, North Carolina, but Ross was my first engineer, and he helped me produce an animation and commercial demo. And I had them on the same track – I didn’t know any better – and I was tow or three weeks out of college, having graduated, and I sent my demo out to a bunch of agencies in LA. Had no idea what the heck I was doing.
Andy Boyns & Lisa Biggs
Lisa: And landed a huge agent – one of the biggest agents in the country – picked me up, as green as I could be, they picked me up and gave me a chance.
Andy: And of course after that the jobs just kept pouring in, and you were inundated with work…
Lisa: Yes! Yes, I became a millionaire over night… No.
Andy: What happened?
Lisa: I… You know I was at that agency for a long time, and I was in LA for a long time, and I was working, and booking pretty regularly, but not you know enough to make a living, especially in a town like Los Angeles. I ended up moving back to the east coast after several years in LA, in this market, and kind of gave up on voiceover, thinking “What’s the point? If you’re not in New York, not in LA… How could you possibly make a living?” And so I kind of gave it up, and decided maybe I’d go to grad school, and started pursuing some other things. I worked for an organisation for a while, called Young Life. Worked with high school kids. So for a while my only voiceover work was doing silly voices for like 15 and 16 year olds at summer camp! But one day I was working at a gym, at an upscale gym in Downtown Charlotte – to pay for the grad school – and this producer shows up, and he owns a studio in Charlotte. His name is John Cosby. He’s really wonderful. He owns the Ground Crew in Charlotte, North Carolina, and he goes “I’m a member of the gym”, and I’m sitting there folding towels – or whatever you do at the front desk, and it had been a couple of years since I’d really pursued a voiceover… it wasn’t even on the back burner. I just kind of gave it up, because I figured if you’re not in a major market, and having this voice, like there’s no work for me…
Lisa: And John walks up to me after his work out – he’s about to leave – and he goes, “I don’t know why you’re not doing voiceover”. He said, “Why are you wasting that?” you know, my talent, I guess… and I was like, “Well, I… I’ve got other stuff going on… You know… Life is bigger than just ‘voiceover’”. And he left, and I thought about that, and I said, “Why am I not doing voiceover? Like… That is me! I mean, you have a gft. You have a dream… Anything you want to do, you can do! You got to make t happen. And so shortly thereafter, I kind of started to get my decks back, and just teamed up with some amazing people thathelped me get my… round two… in ths industry. Yeah, kind of a kick in the butt, so I could get going, and that’s been several years. And I’m really fortunate that I’ve been able to… I’m back in LA… now… until Saturday, actually.
Andy: Because you’ve got another turn coming up.
Lisa: I’ve got another chapter to start in my voiceover adventure, but… as I’ve been offered the opportunity to be an agent.
Andy: We love her! Yes!
Lisa: So, we’ll see what happens with that. So obviously first and foremost I’m a voice actor. That’s my passion, and that’s what I feel I’m really good at. But, I’m fascinated that this industry, the business… I also love the people in this industry, and I love helping other people in their journey. Part of the reason I created VoxyLadies was just for that.
...a "selective collective of female voice talent"
Andy: I was going to ask you about that.
Andy: So VoxyLadies is part of the… you’ve created this brand…
Lisa: Yeah, this brand, and it’s a co-op of women. It’s a “selective collective of female voice talent” from – now we’re international, we have a girl in Brazil.
Lisa: But she live in the US. We’ve got girls in Los Angeles, in New York, and in kind of the south east, Altanta, Ashville, Charlotte area. And I created that just because I do love this business, and I love to see other people succeed in having, you know, certain… I don’t want to say… my voice is so specific that I really had to navigate my own way through this journey, and so I’ve been able to pick up some things along the way, and been able to help other people with their businesses too, and their approach to coming at this as a profession.
Andy: And so having close relationships with people like that helps…
Andy: …you to brainstorm…
Lisa: Yes, it does.
Andy: … and to develop ideas.
Lisa: Yeah. It really does. It’s inspiring, and it’s encouraging. And there is, for me, especially there’s a level of accountability that I have, because I know these girls are behind me, and I’m behind them, when we’re working together. So, you know, it’s kind of one of those “no man left behind” kind of things. And so everyone cares for one another, but especially having a group like that really keeps me accountable. It keeps me you know not… because it is… if you’re a voice actor you’re also an entrepreneur.
Lisa: So you have to be responsible for yourself in your business.
Andy: Pushing yourself forward.
Lisa: Yeah, pushing yourself. Nobody else is going to do it. You know. And so having that has been really a driving force for me. It has created a lot of great opportunities, like this one I’m about to, you know, I’m about to take.
Andy: Yeah. Well that’s fantastic. I look forward to seeing the unfolding story in the coming weeks, months, and years…
Lisa supporting the Brain at VOICE 2012
Lisa: Me too!
Andy: Yeah! Come on! Make it happen! What’s your – OK, we’ve got the grinder going – What’s your voice age? What’s the normal age of your character?
Lisa: You know, my signature sound is this, right here. This voice, my natural voice is about six or seven.
Andy: Six or seven. Well, you know what I’m really looking forward to seeing my six year old, so I was being…
Lisa: I know!!!! Hi William!!
Andy: It’s been great to have the… reminder of what I’ve been missing for the last couple of weeks.
Andy: And we look forward to hopefully you and William working together sometime.
Lisa: I know.
Andy: We’ll see where that goes. So thank you so much for your time this morning, Lisa.
Lisa: Thank you.
Andy: It’s been lovely to meet you.
Lisa: So good to meet you too.
About Lisa Biggs
Lisa Biggs’ voice has elicited teasing and nicknames like “squeaky” since grade school. Even as a sophomore in college, after giving an oral presentation in sociology class, her professor approached her privately to say, “Your presentation was great, but you know if anybody is going to take you seriously in the real world you’re going to have to do something about your voice”. And that’s exactly what Lisa did.
Lisa Biggs is a seasoned voice-actor who has been in the industry for the greater part of ten years–living and working in both New York City as well as Los Angeles. Clients have called Lisa “the one take wonder” and she has developed and mastered a wide range of signature sounds that kids relate to and parents respond to. She has a home studio and is available anywhere via ISDN.
When Lisa is not behind the mic, she enjoys making guacamole, learning to play the banjo and teaching acting to a very special group of students at the Frazee Dream Center.
From Tot to Tween to Sweet Sixteen… Lisa Biggs speaks Kid.
Ultimate story teller, Scott Brick gave me goosebumps relating an incident which was a turning point in his life. From his Hollywood home and studio, here’s his wonderful story or creativity and opportunity.
In conversation with Scott Brick
For subtitles, click the CC button (Closed Captions which uses the transcription below)
Andy: So here we are just north of Hollywood, California and we’re at the home and studio of Scott Brick. And joined with Scott and Cookie. It’s great to see you again, Scott.
Scott: You as well. Cookie can’t you say “Hi”? Are you going to be anti-social? You aren’t going to say anything? It’s good to have you here. It’s great to see you again… was it two years?
Andy: Two years.
Andy: Two years ago at VOICE 2010, and again this year at VOICE 2012.
Scott: Yeah. Exactly. Nice to have you here. Welcome to the house.
Andy: Thank you. It’s a beautiful house, and it’s kind of funny, it actually feels like a Hollywood house, which is cool. It’s funny that you’re right in the middle of the film industry, and yet you’re the audiobook guy.
Scott: I know. I’m almost across the street from Universal Studios. I actually live on the street where “Eight is Enough” was filmed. All the exteriors were filmed just down the street from me. All these movies and TV shows that have been in production around me, and yet I’m downstairs in my studio recording audiobooks. It’s kind of a nice change of pace.
Andy: That’s cool. Scott, just before we talk about some of your more current projects, and your current work, can I throw you back before you ever got behind the microphone, or before you ever got into a studio. What the heck got you started… got some sort of bug in you to do this?
Scott: At some point in my youth, in my childhood, people would notice – I think it was the fact that I told jokes so often. I actually think that’s a valuable skill to learn, and I always tell my students: learn to tell jokes, because it really helps with storytelling, because you’ve got a beginning, a middle, and an end. And I think if you can do it on the short, on the small micro level, you can do it on the macro level as well. And I did it constantly when I was a kid. And any time I had a chance at a captive audience, and I had a good story that I knew I could affect them with, I took it. I was always the kid would tell ghost stories around the fire at camp. I just… I’m passionate about storytelling, I always have been. That’s why I became an actor; I think to one extent or another, anybody who works in entertainment industry we do this because we want to tell stories. And whether you’re a cinematographer or a set designer, or a makeup technician, we’re all telling stories. With audiobooks it just turns out that this is kind of the most pure form of that. And I think it was that, the fact that I was a story teller as a kid, plus the fact that I just read voraciously… passionate about books. I think… I didn’t spend my youth thinking, “Boy, if only I could do audiobooks one day,” and yet by the time I got here I realised that all of those skills definitely helped me along the way.
Andy: OK. So were you involved in theatre at school?
Scott: Yeah. I got involved in theatre, I guess my freshman year of high school. I did it just for fun. But my intention was to be a comic book artist.
Scott: Yeah. I was going to be a graphic artist, and when I got to be a senior in high school I moved to Huntington Beach, a couple of hours from where I had been living, and we had terrific theatre teacher named Mike Frym, and he had a tour where he would take some of his students to Broadway. And we would… in a week, we’d see eight or ten Broadway shows. And he encouraged me to take this trip. Encouraged me to a great extent. He went out and met my parents, met my family, encouraged everybody – when I told him I couldn’t afford the trip – he convinced my family to give it to me for Christmas that year.
Scott: And I didn’t know why, until finally we got to New York, it was December 1982, and Cats had just opened, so we were literally in the theatre watching Cats in the Winter Garden Theater in New York, and at intermission they allowed you to come up on stage. And he, as everybody is running up to the stage, Mike just kind of nudged me with his elbow and says, “Come on”. So I follow him up there, and he takes me down stage centre, in this Broadway theatre, puts his arm around my shoulder, and with the other arm gestures dramatically out at the crowd, and he says, “This is what I wanted you to come to New York to see. I wanted you to see what life was like from this perspective”.
Scott Brick & Andy Boyns
Andy: You’ve just given me goose bumps!
Scott: Well, I… it was one of those moments. It was a goose bump moment. And I realised at that moment my life was different now. My life changes from now. Everything before now is prelude, is prologue. From this point on my life is different. Right at that moment, my entire life shifted. I said I’m not going to be an artist, I’ll be an actor. But I didn’t really see myself as having the talent, the abilty, anything really all that special. But I trusted that Mike saw what I didn’t. And I said I’ll just trust the third eye, that I can’t quite provide the situation myself. So it’s been… yeah… it’s been different ever since then.
Andy: So, it’s great that you had some milestones in your mind like that, and somebody like Mike, who showed you the way.
Scott: Yeah… it absolutely does.
Andy: That’s very cool. And… so you continued with theatre.
Scott: I continued with theatre. I toured with the Shakespeare company on and off for about ten years. It was called Will and Company, we would do hour long versions of maybe about a dozen of Shakespeare’s plays, or other classics, and…
Andy: I saw “Shakespeare for Dummies” on your bookshelf…
Scott: Yes! Yes! You did! Absolutely! And so yeah, I did stage work and whatever film or TV roles I could get. Even a couple of voiceover jobs, although I wasn’t really pursuing it. But then about ten years after I left college, I was playing baseball with an old friend of mine, Bob Westal – there was a bunch of us who had all gone to UCLA together, and we would get together every Saturday morning and play baseball. And Bob happened to work for Dove Audio, which sadly doesn’t exist anymore, but while he was there, you know, he’d seen me in a number of my stage productions, and told me I would be good. Got me an audition. I booked my first job… And while I was there doing my first two short stories, Dan Musselman was there – it was his last day, and my first day. Dan was leaving Books On Tape… he was leaving Dove Audio to go build a studio for Books On Tape, and become their Executive Producer. And so as I was coming in, he was on his way out. And gave me his card, he said, “I’m going to have my own place. I’m going to make my own narrations. In about a month, why don’t you give me a call?”. And you know, I think by the time – Dove went out of business about a year later, and I think I’d done maybe eight jobs for them – in the twelve years since that happened, I’ve done maybe 350 for Dan. I mean I wonder… I think I’ve done about 600 audiobooks altogether, but about 350, or round about there were just for Dan alone. Books On Tape, Random House Audio. I wonder what my life would be like everyday… And I found his card recently. I have it over here. I was cleaning out my garage, and there was all these old magazines…
Andy: It was in a special place in the garage.
Scott: Yeah! Exactly. I honestly have no idea how it wound up getting into that box, because it was just old magazines. A magazine that I used to write for. And somebody gave me these two boxes, and they said some of your issues might be in here. And I held on to it for years – I don’t know why I did that – I finally just said, “I need this space!” And so I started… I almost just chucked the two boxes, but instead I went through issue by issue. Pulling them out. Pulling them out. Throwing them in the recycling bin. Ink stains all over my hand, you know. Finally I get two issues from the bottom of the box, and there’s a business card. Upside down. And it’s the only thing in this box that wasn’t magazines, and I thought, “Whose business card ? What would this be?” And I flipped it over. It’s Dan Musselman’s card from when he worked at Dove Audio. And I just stared at it, and my girlfriend, and another friend of ours were there helping me get though my stuff, and they saw how still I was. They said “What is it? What is it?” And I said, “It’s my career!”
Scott Brick ready to read...
Scott: Yeah. So, I framed it and we’ve got it over here on the table behind us. I think when Dan retires I’m going to put it in a nice frame, maybe put it in acrylic, and give it to him.
Andy: That’s very cool. And so most of your work, I know, is audiobooks.
Andy: But you’re not just sitting n your booth all day and being a hermit…
Scott: There’s a lot of that!
Andy: OK… You need to spend time there, don’t you…
Andy: …to put the words down on the tape, so to speak. But you also doing many other things: writing, and teaching, and speaking at conferences, and so on. You’re very pro-active, I think.
Scott: Yeah, well… part of it is just… you know there’s such a cliché… in America they always talk about giving back to the industry… and it’s become such a cliché that people kind of roll their eyes when you hear it. I do when I say it. But things are clichéd for a reason. It’s because they’re true. And this industry has been very, very good to me. It’s embraced me. It’s given me a career. It’s given me a home. Literally all the best things that I have in my life are because of audiobooks. So, I’m passionate about speaking at conferences, and talking about the industry. You know, I think 36% or 37% of American people have listened to an audiobook. Which is great. But there’s at least, you know, 63% who haven’t, and we want to expand the conversation we want to get to know them. We want to expose the industry to them. So I go talk at conferences round the country. Talk with librarians, whomever… and…
Andy: It’s one of the fastest growing sectors of production, isn’t it?
Scott: Well, certainly of publishing, it’s the fastest growing. e-books and audiobooks are really the only growing part of publishing at all. Print publishing has been slowly dwindling for a number of years now. But audiobooks are going great guns. But also from a voiceover perspective. From the perspective of people who want to break into the industry as a voice talent. Audiobooks – well I think audiobooks and video games are the two fastest growing aspects of voiceover… categories of voiceover. So I want to help the new narrators coming in. I see it constantly. People come into the studio for classes – I teach with Pat Fraley – when they come in and they sit down for the first time, even if they’re experienced behind the microphone, they’re petrified. They give me that kind of deer in front of the headlights look, that kind of “You know… what am I supposed to do now? How does this work?”. And it’s really simple. It’s like a quote from Alice in Wonderland. “Begin at the beginning. Then go to the end. And stop.”
Scott: You just… you go from Chapter One to the end! But people are nervous because they’ve never done it. So that’s what I try to do.
Andy: They don’t know the rhythm…
Andy: I’m thinking with the audiobook – series of audio books – I’m about to produce, how the heck am I going to juggle all the technical side with the performance side, but that’s something you get in to a rhythm of, of course.
Scott: You do. And it happens through experience. If only there was a way to short cut experience! If I could fake authenticity, I’d be made!
Andy: You’ve quoted one Lloyd Webber, it’s another musical…. Starlight Express…
Andy: Has the line – well, had the line in the original production which I saw in London: “The sad thing about experience is that by the time you’ve got it, it’s just about all you’ve got…”
Scott: That’s true!
Andy: That was the rail cars. OK… Let’s just draw everything together with two questions. First of all, what makes you, Scott Brick, good at audiobooks, and why is that your preferred genre? And do you have anything great coming up that you can share with us?
Scott: As for what makes me good, I kind of blush at that…
Andy: I know, it’s a horrible question! I shouldn’t ask it.
Scott: But, you know, I think the reason that I’ve been really blessed to work so much is every time I work on a book, all I can think about is the context, because you can go about this – and you know from doing voiceovers – you can read things very slavishly as they’re written on the page, or you can try to understand the author’s intent. And we don’t change… we don’t change the words on the page, and yet you have to understand the context in which they are written in order to really bring it to life. And that’s what I try to do in my readings. You can be slavish to punctuation. But if you did an entire book that way you would… you could very conceivably read everything wrong. For instance, the line could be read, “Who do you think you are, anyway?”
Andy: Yes. Which doesn’t make sense.
Scott: Exactly. It’s technically correct, but in context makes no sense whatsoever.
Andy: That was the thing that struck me downstairs, when you were showing me one of the scripts you are working on right now. That you hadn’t marked anything up on it, that you must be living the story.
Scott: I try to. Every narrator really needs to know the story. And I always tell people, you know for new narrators you definitely have to read the book ahead of time. There’s… I will do it to an extent. I want to know what’s happening in the story, and yet I want to be surprised in the way they are. So, I will make sure that I’ve… that, you know… that if it’s a whodunit, I know who done it, but I want to make sure that every action takes place in the book is something I can imagine myself doing as it’s happening, and I’m going to be surprised by it. I try to live through the experience.
Andy and Scott at VOICE 2010
Andy: So, You’re creating films in Hollywood in your mind.
Andy: Just not outside.
Scott: Yeah. Exactly.
Andy: And the other part of my question was: what’s coming up?
Scott: What’s coming up? Well, actually there’s a lot of books I’m working on right now. I’m actually juggling three or four at the moment. What really excites me the most is when I get done narrating, and I come up at the end of the day, and I start working on something that I’ve been writing for about a year now. I don’t get to teach as often as I want to, so in order to make myself feel a little less guilty I started writing a book called “Narrating Audiobooks, Brick by Brick”, and it’s basically about how I do it. There’s no right or wrong way to do it. You know from doing voiceover, there’s only the way that we do it. But I want to share the way that I do it in case it is in any way illustrative for students, and hopefully get rid of that deer on the headlights look. They wonder… they’re scared because they don’t know how it’s done. I want to give them this to show them how it’s done. So when they go in they can be a little bit more relaxed, and just let the process flow. And again, maybe they take something that I do… I’m interviewing other narrators to ask how they do it as well… so maybe a new narrator gets something from me, and he gets something from Barbara Rosenblat, and something else from John Lee, but then they go off and they find out what works best for them, and they do it their way.
Andy: And maybe it’s a conglomerate of some or all, or something totally new.
Scott: That would be nice.
Andy: Well, thanks so much for inviting us into your home, Scott. It’s an honour.
Scott: It’s my pleasure. Thanks for being here.
Andy: Pleasure to be here.
Scott: Thanks so much.
Andy: Thank you.
About Scott Brick
Actor, screenwriter and audiobook narrator, Scott Brick definitely gives new meaning to a hyphenate career with credits in film, television, stage and radio.
Born on January 30, 1966 in Santa Barbara, California, Brick studied both acting and writing at UCLA, and joined the ranks of working professionals upon leaving school in 1989. He then spent ten years with the LA-based Will and Company, a traveling Shakespearean company which performed for schools throughout California, in addition to acting in such roles as Cyrano, Hamlet and Macbeth at various playhouses around the country.
Brick went on to become a freelance writer and published articles in magazines such as WIZARD, CREATIVE SCREENWRITING and TOYFARE.
In 2000, he was hired by Morgan Freeman and Revelations Entertainment to adapt Arthur C. Clarke’s classic science-fiction RENDEZVOUS WITH RAMA for the big screen.
Also in 2000, Brick ventured into narrating audiobooks and quickly found himself embraced by the audio world. To date he’s won over 50 Earphones Awards for his narrating skills, as well as two Audie Awards for his work on the DUNE saga. After recording 250 titles in his first five years, AUDIOFILE MAGAZINE named Brick “one of the fastest-rising stars in the audiobook galaxy,” and proclaimed him a Golden Voice, but it was the WALL STREET JOURNAL that sealed the moniker with a front-page article in November, 2004. Having now recorded over 600 titles, including such classics as MYSTIC RIVER, FAHRENHEIT 451, IN COLD BLOOD and HELTER SKELTER, Brick has no intention of slowing down. He obviously won’t be happy until he’s recorded every book ever published.
Most recently, he collaborated with famed sci-fi writer Orson Scott Card to adapt a collection of Card’s short stories for the stage, which resulted in the play POSING AS PEOPLE. Brick also completed the production draft of RAMA, set to be directed by David Fincher (SEVEN, ZODIAC).
Brick recently completed his first novel, a modern-day supernatural thriller based on an 18th-century murder in New England. No word on which celebrities will be asked to record the audiobook (but I’m checking my in-box daily – Andy).
If you missed it, fear not here is a message unashamedly plagiarised from Pat Fraley’s website:
Click link to go to Pat Fraley's appeal page
The voice acting community is well known for its caring and support of colleagues and their families in need. Prime example: Patrick Fraley, Voice Over Teacher and Performer is raising money for voice over performer and student, Nicole Nielson of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Last year, Nicole was diagnosed with a very rare and horrible incurable disease, Parry Romberg Syndrome.
“Nicole’s needs are staggering,” explains Fraley. “Those of us blessed to be part of the North American voice over community need to do what we can to ease her journey. Nicole shared with me that her indescribable pain is only balanced by the indescribable love she is receiving from her voice over family.”
It’s a personal challenge, a bit of fun, some learning opportunities, a different way to engage, and an encouragement to look around for a different purpose. Yes, it’s all those things and also, just possibly a change to experiment with marketing through a different medium (watch out for those subliminal voiceover or production related pictures!!).
Not sure who to blame for this, whether it’s Mehmet Onur for persuading me to use Instagram, my son William for always being so photogenic, or LA based voice artist Rebecca Davis for having her own 365 day photo challenge last year (and again this) and obviously having so much fun. Whichever, I decided to pick up the gauntlet and see if I could do my own daily photo in 2013.
Pictured are thumbnails of the photos from January 2013, with two exceptions taken on the day they were posted – this for me a self imposed rule. As for the subject matter, well a quick Google search led me to a daily list on the interestingly named Australian website Fat Mum Slim, hence the #FMSphotoaday hashtag on my posts which are sent from Instagram to Twitter and Facebook direct (I’m too lazy, or busy to repost!)
Sometimes it’s easy to find something interesting, other days more difficult, but I hope you’ll join me on Instagram, or take a regular look at the pictures via Facebook, and please feel free to leave your comments.