Treading the boards

Many years ago, my uncle asked if I want to play the part of a peasant boy getting interrogated by some Parliamentarians as part of a historic tour of Colchester. Living history type scenes right? From there I ended up doing various plays, Shakespeare in the park, and going on to get some training in theatre at the local college. Two years and I got my BTEC diploma, and never set foot on the stage since.

I couldn’t tell you why I haven’t, even now. Maybe acting lost its appeal for me, maybe I got distracted, or maybe I was just a teenager unable to settle on anything (which isn’t a bad thing). What I can tell you that I’m getting that itch again, but the idea of being in front of dozens to thousands isn’t overly appealing, and after having done youtube for a spell, I’m more inclined to the aspect of doing a few hours work, then moving on, rather than repeating the same thing over and over and over. Plus, the acting scene around these parts leaves something to be desired of. It’s not L.A., it’s not the West End, and I’d be hard pressed to find anyone RADA trained in this town.

However on that note, something that has sparked a little flame of curiosity within me is voice acting.

This probably stems from having watched Critical Role so much over the past year, and becoming more aware of the industry in L.A. because of Nerdist and Geek & Sundry. But also just taking a moment to look at credits for cartoons and games, listening to All Work No Play by Liam O’Brien and Sam Riegel. But what I think really pushed my curiosity is listening to Rob Paulsen, famed for his work as Yakko in the Animaniacs. I wonder if he leaves out the bad stuff on purpose, probably because you should always focus on the good shit in your life, but he paints a picture of hard work and the reward of seeing a job well done come to completion. I definitely recommend listening to his podcast Talking Toons.

I remember many years ago with the advent of realistic CGI, articles about actors being entirely replaced by computers, and though that hasn’t come true, what has happened is a whole new field has rapidly expanded in the form of gaming. All those cut scenes, mini movies, and extras? They still need voicing, and some need motion capture.

At the moment this is just me looking at my options, but I do have fond memories of performing, of being on the stage, reading lines, expressing myself or the characters I played. Maybe it’s time to tread the boards again. Or at the very least the microphone.

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