Thursday, April 1, 2010

April Fools'! ... No, Seriously.

Instead of playing a prank on all of you this April Fools' Day, let's celebrate this made-up holiday by remembering all the zany voice-over jobs you've experienced! Here are a few real stories from professional voice-over artists about odd requests, bizarre payment methods, or hilarious first gigs!

What would you do if you were handed a part for a
lobster? David Seys had to channel the character moments before the ISDN session with no direction from the client as to what they were looking for! He never heard back from the client, of course, but it was approved for a computer game and he was paid. Good clacking claws, David!

Oh, and he can also be contacted for all of your gnome voice-over needs.

Think you have what it takes to make it as a yodeler? Joe Thomas won this voice-over job by entering a competition with Archie McPhee. He can be heard on three products, the first of which was a remote-controlled, yodeling, Hopping Lederhosen. The next logical step was, of course, to market yodeling pickles, which were even featured on the Today Show with Cathy Lee. After that, the sky is the limit! Did I mention he was paid 100 Deluxe Rubber Chickens for the work?

Getting a call from Hallmark is a big deal -- especially if they want you for the next "laughing Santa" for their line of Christmas ornaments! Dan Hurst agonized over what a laughing Santa should sound like and sent in 3 very different takes of "Ho Ho Ho!"s and "Hee Hee Hee!"s. A whole three months later he was contacted to sign the release form. When he asked how they wanted the final project to go, they responded, "Uh, we already have what we need from you." If you have the 2002 Tickle Tickle Santa Christmas ornament, then you're listening to three very different versions of Dan!

Every voice-over actor has a right to get psyched for their first gig. On Shane Elsberry's first day at Birmingham, Alabama's Magic 96.5 radio station, his producer asked him to do his first commercial spot. Not wanting to act like a diva on his new job, did his best to hold it together in the recording booth while he talked about "prostate management" and "infrequent urination." An hour or so later, his producer played for him the final product, complete with background noises of flushing toilets and trickling water. Fortunately the final copy was a gag to welcome him to the gig, ... but the rest was really for a commercial.

Post your best April Fools' Day gag here and give us all a good laugh!

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