On the Train: All Blue

All blue. Woke up this morning. Put on my blue shirt, my blue pants, my blue fleece, my blue shoes. Green Hat. Surprise. Bet you thought I was going to have a blue hat on. Nope, Green. It’s easier this way, really. The hardest choice I have to make about my clothes is whether or not one of them is too faded to wear anymore. Frees my mind. Saves space. Space I need. And it doesn’t really matter, I guess, except today, when I have to make my way into the city to meet my agent.

I was recording the dialogue for some new space marine video game in my closet. In some ways, I’ve been type cast. My voice is gravelly and it’s perfectly suited to the angry drill sergeant types featured in video games. I’ve been making a living as a voice actor since the first Xbox right after I lost a few of my teeth on a paragliding trip in Ft. Lauderdale. It’s actually a second career of sorts. I used to be a small time actor, but I’ve aged out and possibly uglied out. Well, not completely. I’ve played a few dead guys recently in Law and Order. But I keep my mouth closed.

So now, I sit in my closet and record dialogue for video games. That’s why I need the space. It’s the quietest place in my suburban house, and the clothes made me feel claustrophobic. So I ditched them, ordered 5 of the same thing from Amazon and moved on to my new, fairly lucrative career.

And that’s where I got the call from my agent, in my dark closet. The dialogue I was recording was possibly going to another voice actor. Someone who will add a more dynamic (read European) flair to the dialogue. They want me to come into the recording studio so the director (is that what they’re called in video games) can hear me and my competitor at the same time. God, I hope it’s not Arnie O’Connel. He’s such an asshole. I think he changed his name from Arnie Shnect (or something like that) and put on a fake Irish accent just to get more work. I swear I’ve seen him with glasses on pretending to be French.

In my 15 years of doing this type of work (and a lot of Audio books), I’ve only had to do a side by side once, maybe twice. I came out on top the second time. I lost the first to Michael Ironside, so I guess that’s okay. Michael Ironside is a cool customer. But I’m getting older and I’m no Michael Ironside. This is the only game part I got this year, and it may be my last. My voice has changed some, grown deeper, smokier. I like to say, seasoned. But it seems millenials are less impressed by my seasoned voice.

Into the city, I go. To compete with someone who is 25 years younger for a video game I¬†will probably never play. But I so want the role. I actually like the character. McNulty, hardened, wise, soft on the inside, hard on the outside. Feels close to me personally. More than that, I want it because I feel relevant when I read for a medium I don’t really understand but inspires millions.

Don’t cry for me if I lose it though. I can always continue reading War and Peace into audio book form, just not as exciting as thwarting an interstellar¬†crime syndicate hell bent on destroying the universe.


On the Train – Where I envision the inner lives of my fellow commuters, completely unbeknownst to them. Every now and then, they might catch me staring a bit longer than makes them comfortable, but I’m just coming up with their backstory (Although I admit that’s about the same amount of creepy).

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.