Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Milestone Reached

All right, it's happened— I've done it. Mission accomplished. Goal achieved.

I've gotten three stars on every available level of the original Angry Birds game. Yay me.


Look what it's gotten me. Do we all see how the long, long hours of work, the dedication, the carpal tunnel syndrome was worth it? How the cramp in my flinging finger has paid off? Look at the AMAZING contribution my tireless, almost-robotic game-play has made to society, to the arts, to the WORLD. Not to mention all those golden eggs. Wow. What an achievement. What a great cause to focus all your energy on. Time Magazine, are you listening? Man of the Year, perhaps?

Really. I want my damned parade.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A New Panda in Town

For those of you who think that I spend my days playing Angry Birds and baking cobblers... well, you're mostly right. But wait! I have proof of legitimate and gainful employment: tomorrow, Monday 19th, Nickelodeon rolls out a sneak preview of a series that will start in November—KUNG FU PANDA: LEGENDS OF AWESOMENESS. 
It is, in my biased but usually-jaundiced view, pretty awesome. The animation looks great, the writing is whip-smart, and it's got the movie's combination of hi-larity and heart. I play Monkey, one of the Furious Five. (I need to have a little altar dedicated to Jackie Chan, the movie's Monkey, to thank him properly for being responsible for my livelihood. I got my start in voiceovers sounding like him in "The Jackie Chan Adventures," a show which gave me a crash course in voice acting, gave me cred and landed me the crackerjack agents I have today.) 

Tune in if you can. I think it's on at 8 PM, but check your local listings. The Nickelodeon website will give you all the info you need, plus some clipsThe episode is a good one for me; it's a nice spotlight to the relationship between Po the Panda and Monkey. 

I am not, of course, acting alongside Angelina Jolie, Jack Black, Seth Rogen, David Cross & Jack Black, but if you closed your eyes during a recording session, you might think otherwise. These actors are phenomenal, and not just at sounding like celebrities. Kari Wahlgren. Fred Tatasciore. Amir Talai. Mick Wingert. Max Koch. Their names might not be familiar, but in the voiceover world, they are titans, or on the way to becoming one.  We mostly record as a group, and though I'm occasionally awed and intimidated by their quick-morphing, borderline-schizophrenic verbal shape-shifting, I love hanging out with them. They're like family, a family in which Scatman Crothers sings duets with Christopher Walken, and Tony Soprano stops by for profanity and cannoli.

Of course, I could be setting myself up for a big, hubristical ostrich egg on my face... recasting voices is notoriously easy in the animation world. I was on a series where the main celebrity villain was recast during a season and recorded with different actors, but they ended up reverting back to the celebrity... and he never knew he'd been dumped and then rehired. You should never count your voices until they've aired. But, unless you tune in Monday and hear Daniel Dae-Kim's voice coming out of Monkey's body, you'll get to hear me at work.  It's a total joy.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Here We Are, at the End of Things

I Brought It. I was Ready to Rock and Roll. I Got Busy. I crossed the P90X finish line. One summer. 90 days. 12 DVD's. 75 protein bars. Countless quaffs of that oh-so-tasty Recovery Drink. While visiting my parents in Laguna. In a hotel basement in Brooklyn. Before Disneyland, for Chrissake. I feel like I was on my own personal Amazing Race. Where's the mat, Phil? Where?
What's really amazing, though, is that I got through it WITHOUT MAJOR DAMAGE. A man with two bum knees, a bulging lumbar vertebral disc and propensity for overdoing it— it's a pretty big accomplishment just to cross the finish line. One of the things I've learned most during this program was finding where my limits are and being comfortable with them, but not letting them slow me into inertia. There've been some twinges, some close calls (damn you, twisting side bend!) but I've not been totally derailed. SUCK IT, INJURIES!
Let's take a look at my progress, shall we? 

DAY 1: What a mess!
DAY 30: Getting  better...
DAY 60: Firming up...
And, finally:
(after the jump)