Big things are afoot on the acting front!
Besides last week's headshots (the number-one calling card for on-camera talent), I recently cut and mastered my new character / animation voice demo (the number-one calling card for voice talent)!
I'm very happy with this demo, and it showcases how my range and technique have grown since my original voice demos.
I've did a decent amount of pre-production on this, because there were specific things I wanted to accomplish.
Besides obviously showcasing my range and diversity, I wanted a demo that translated my recent film training intensity. The "Luke Cage" piece (from New Avengers #22, yo!) does this nicely (and that's the amazing Howard Shore / Lord of the Rings "Journey in the Dark" swell underneath my vocals).
I also wanted to do a bit of a tribute to inspirational voice actor Peter Cullen, who is the voice of the original (and Michael Bay movie) Optimus Prime.
Finally, as I've grown in my craft, I'm well past the point of creating voices -- I create characters. This adds a depth and authenticity to my performances that isn't commonly found in untrained voice talent. I think that's apparent in the demo, and I hope you think so, too.
So, head over to my Demos page to meet Luke, Eeyore, Optimus, True Brit, GhollimEsque, Panic Boy, and SHTICKFAS.com's Hedojo and Fae. Plus a nice little industry button (all in fun).
The Studio "wring-out" session:
I've mentioned Jason Young before, who handled the audio for the Pray with Thanksgiving film.
I'm not sure how to articulate that there's probably not a better example of a modern-day Renaissance man than Jason. Musician, sound designer, sound engineer, composer, conductor, singer, wood worker, and technical geek. And not just dabbling in each -- accomplished in each.
We were "wringing out" his new sound booth -- which he designed and built. It's an amazing, solid, sound-dampened (but not sound "dead" or "sterile"), incredibly well-engineered piece of work.
The wring out session itself revolved around the technical and the physical aspects.
On the former, this involved chasing down sound leaks, buzzes, and the like; adjusting levels, and making sure the studio is ready for professional work, without interruption.
The physical side of the wring out involved figuring out the range of the booth, angles for delivery (clean, muddy, echo-ey), allowable space for physicality (it's a cozy booth, but with plenty of room for work -- and even guitar performance, if it comes to that), sit / stand mechanics, and producer / engineer interaction (both for VO and ADR direction).
I really like Jason's new booth and studio (and not just because I get along so well with Jason). It's on par with studio booths in which I've recorded, and is one of the nicest home studios in which I've every had the pleasure to record. It's certainly got some of the best sound.
The pict below is snapshot after a pretty intense "Luke Cage" read (hence, "the shiny"). For this take, we were also checking the sound on my own MXL-990 mic (pictured) -- which turns out to be a pretty hot mic, compared to Jason's studio setup.
After the wring-out session, I went away, focused on headshots, pulled music and sound effects together, then Jason and I spent yesterday afternoon mixing / mastering / finalizing the demo.
Jason was adept at maximizing the sound (without losing the fidelity), and appropriately prioritized the vocals over the music and sound effects (without making the latter two sound like they were just "slapped underneath" the former).
Like I said, I feel great about this demo. Not just for the finished product, but because I ostensibly self-produced this project (with Jason's spot-on collaboration) -- I feel great about the product and the result -- and it's the demo I'm talking to Comic-Con this week.
And there's more to come, because we also recorded clips for my new commercial voice demo. But that'll have to wait until after I shake things up in San Diego.