Casey Kasem was one of the kindest and most generous people I've ever encountered. He never let his celebrity separate him from giving back and helping someone else achieve their goals. When I sent him a note in the mail with my voice demo asking for a critique, he called me within a week, left a message on my machine, and when I called him back, we spent 20 minutes on the phone together as I took notes from him. When we finished, he told me to call him whenever I was out in L.A. When I did finally make it out there, he invited me over to his house to visit and follow up on the changes I had made to the voice demo! He truly lived out his catch phrase, "Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars". He was simply one of a kind. Rest in peace Casey.
p.s. If you ever want to hear the longer, unabridged story sometime, I can tell you that in person. : )
We hear a lot about Celebrities lending their voices to animated films and television commercials. In fact, it's become so popular to use celebrities for major advertisers, I usually play a game when I'm watching TV at night, trying to guess which star voicing what product.
A few years back, Robert De Niro did a recording for a television promo centered around the Tribeca Film Festival, an event that he co-founded a dozen years ago, which starts later this month in New York. De Niro is known for his shyness and sometimes awkward interviews. It's apparent from this recording that he didn't enjoy the suggestions the director was making, or he was just in a bad mood. Either way, I could listen to outtakes like this all day. (Upon listening to this more closely, it may have been an on-camera shoot, but you get the idea!)
And here's your bonus Celebrity outtake...the late Mr. Jack Palance!
He was one of the best, and definitely one of the busiest voice actors of his time. Hal Douglas, who probably voiced as many movie trailers and tv promos as the late great Don Lafontaine, died at his home in Virginia earlier this week. He was 90. His was one of those voices you heard all the time, and when you did, there was no mistaking it for anyone else's. One of my favorite Hal Douglas voiceovers was when he was featured in the trailer for the Jerry Seinfeld documentary, "Comedian". Take a look:
Over the past several months, I've been working on getting my voiceover recording studio set up the "right" way. It is the first truly legitimate home recording space I've had since I began my career as a voice actor. This setup has included, but is not limited to: achieving proper microphone placement, acoustic treatment of the room, installing other studio gear, and the overall layout. When I see what some other voice actors were doing with their home studios (and believe me, I've done my research), there was a lot of comparing and contrasting and self-doubting and wondering on my part. It led to some analysis paralysis, and the only thing that does is prevent you from making confident decisions and moving forward. So I'm glad I got past that phase of my adventure. In fact, when I really took a good look out there, it gave me a little perspective too...
Quit comparing. Be grateful. And do your best, regardless if you are working with, the "best."