Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Academy Awards Recap

My thoughts about The Oscars.

Don LaFontaine did a great job as one of the Live Announcers. Kudos to Don!

Ellen Degeneres as the host - I love Ellen. I don't care what anybody says, I love Ellen. Is she the funniest person on earth? Maybe not, but I love Ellen.

Best Motion Picture: "The Departed" - Not my favorite picture but still a really great film. The end of the movie was a bit of a letdown for most of the people who I've spoken with but the consensus, a great film! I was rooting for Babel.

Lead Actor: Forest Whitaker, "The Last King of Scotland" - Forrest Whitaker is one of my heroes. Here is a guy who is not classically handsome, not thin, not this, that or the other, yet here he is, one of our most respected and talented actors. I love this dude! One of my goals is to work with Forest someday. In a way though, I was really rooting for Peter O'Toole since I don't know if he'll ever get another nomination and I'm pretty sure Forest will.

Lead Actress: Helen Mirren, "The Queen" - I didn't see this film but I love Helen Mirren. Early in the show there was a song done by Jack Black, John C. Reilly and Will Ferrell where they made reference to Helen Mirren being "hot"! I must agree. For a more "mature" actress, Helen is a real hottie and I mean that in the best possible way. I really loved Meryl Streep in "The Devil Wears Prada" and Judi Dench in "Notes on a Scandal".

Supporting Actor: Alan Arkin, "Little Miss Sunshine" - I have been a fan of Alan Arkin's since "The Russians are Coming, the Russians are Coming" in 1967 (for which he also won an Oscar!) and one of my all time favorites, "Popi" in 1969 (I was 7 when I saw that movie and I still remember loving it!). What an amazing actor and another of my heroes!

Supporting Actress: Jennifer Hudson, "Dreamgirls" - Jennifer is the embodiment of what can happen when we move courageously in the direction of our dreams. I am so happy for her though I think that Cate Blanchett was amazing in "Notes on a Scandal", Jennifer did an amazing job for a rookie actress in this role. I wish her much success in the future.

Directing: Martin Scorsese, "The Departed" - What can anyone say about Martin Scorsese? The man is a bona fide genius and I really can't wait to work with him someday.

Adapted Screenplay: William Monahan, "The Departed" - Best Picture should have the best screenplay, no?

Original Screenplay: Michael Arndt, "Little Miss Sunshine" - I heard an interview with the screenwriters of this film on the Creative Screenwriting Podcast. My wife and I really loved this movie and I'm glad they won.

Animated Feature Film: "Happy Feet" - Loved it, but I also loved Cars and Monster House. I love animated features. I can't wait to work to do voice-work on some of them!

Art Direction: "Pan's Labyrinth"
Cinematography: "Pan's Labyrinth"- I really liked this movie a lot. It was rather dark, but an amazing film.

The rest of the categories went to well-deserved winners as well. Overall I thought it was a great show.

I'm glad I got it on Tivo and I'm glad that we had the forsight to record the two programs scheduled after the Awards so I was able to see it all, commercial free! Don't you just love technology!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Guilty Pleasures

Someone asked a question on another forum and I thought I'd like to share my response here.

Question: I just don’t get it! WHAT is the big fascination with American Idol?? Has TV gotten so bad that THIS is what passes for entertainment? Can someone please explain why this show is such a phenomenon??

American Idol is the number one show in the U.S. because it is a show about dreams. Young people working as clerks, laborers, bank tellers, waitresses or burger flippers, can step up and make a grab for the brass ring. We watch this process and we root for those people because we secretly wish that we had the balls to do it ourselves. And when someone wins, we are thrilled because it reinforces in us the conviction that dreams really can come true.

Ultimately, the people who have won American Idol (and many who didn't win) have had their lives changed forever! Kelly Clarkson was a cocktail waitress and now she is a multi-platinum recording, grammy winning superstar! Reuben Studdard was a college student in Alabama and now has had a number one album and a number one single. Fantasia Barrino went from an illiterate single mother to the star of "The Color Purple" on Broadway. Carrie Underwood's first album went 5 times platinum and she won the Best Female Vocalist award at the 2006 CMAs and Best Breakthrough Artist at the 2006 American Music awards. Taylor Hicks was a second rate performer in small venues in the South and now he's had a number one single and his star continues to rise. Clay Aiken (who didn't even win!) was nerdy special-ed teacher, now he's a star.

Why are we fascinated with American Idol? Because if it can happen for these people, these nobodies from nowhere, then it can still happen for us. It shows us that dreams can and do, still come true. And that's what we all want, isn't it? Isn't that why we are all here chasing our own dreams?

Thursday, February 22, 2007

More Turkish

The people at EBRU TV have been keeping me busy. My friend and director Tom Wayland has booked me for another 10 hours of work next week! Keep the VO work coming guys! I love it!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Soap Star

So I booked a soap opera gig with EBRU TV, a Turkish TV company where I've been doing ADR work for over a year now. They hired a new director for this new prison drama soap opera. He auditioned me during a session for another show and hired me as one of the series regulars. HOO HAAA!!

While they don't pay what American TV companies pay, it's still pretty sweet to be a working professional voiceover actor, which is extremely cool and great experience.

Now if I can get some of that American work, things would really start swinging!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

THE Event for voiceover people

Just wanted to let you guys know, in case you haven't already heard, that there is going to be a conference in Las Vegas during the last week of March and if you are involved in voiceovers in any way, you will want to be at this event. It's the Voiceover International Creative Experience (V.O.I.C.E.) . This will be the first of what promises to be an important annual event for us all. For more information, visit their site at

Thursday, February 01, 2007

How do I Become a Voiceover Actor?

I was listening to Episode 3 of Avi Melman's Voice-Over podcast. By the way, if you don't already subscribe to this podcast, you should. Great stuff. Anyway, the guest, Rikki Simons mentioned that his friend Crispin Freeman has a great article on how to become a voiceover actor on his site so I thought I'd share the article with you so here it is.

How do I Become a Voiceover Actor?