Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Friday, June 25, 2010

more voice work

I mentioned recently the pride and excitement I felt at being able to voice Captain James T. Kirk in a Star Trek audio drama. Or if I didn't, I meant to.

Recently, Big and I got to be aliens in a Sci-Fi podcast for Julie Hoverson. Maybe I can find the link. It was interesting to record the dialogue out of context and hear it all as a finished product.

Since then, I was able to voice the Egyptian god Set in a podcast serial, and I'm happy to announce/boast, that I'm lending my voice(s) to an upcoming "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" audio drama. Apparently, the production is being done by a pair of young women who have a blind friend who isn't able to enjoy the ongoing comic book adventures of Buffy and company. By that reasoning, I guess the friend wasn't able to enjoy that super-hot android chick Warren made in that fifth season TV episode either.

So, they're doing an audio adaptation of "Buffy: Season Eight, and I'm doing a couple of voices, the most significant of which is the great Rupert Giles. For some reason, this has been a big challenge for me, as Tony Head's voice is a bit higher than mine, and he tends to be very soft-spoken on the show, whereas this requires Giles to be significantly louder. Also, there's the pesky accent.

I'll do what I can.

I've complained a lot (to those who know me, that is) about how little I enjoy sending out my work for others to judge. Well, auditions are the same thing. I could count the number of auditions I've been on on . . . well, Spiral from the X-men's fingers. I hate putting myself out there to be judged, and detest rejection more than papercuts and onions and Katy Perry songs combined.

I sent in a couple of vocal auditions last year sometime, and ended up getting cast in nothing, so I didn't think to do it again. But the way things have gone in the last month really inspires me to keep auditioning and get my damn voice out there as many places as possible.

In fact, I'm going to check out the auditions board right now and see if I can't get something recorded tonight.

Rish "Voicebox" Outfield

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Vegas continued

So, we're still in Vegas (though it probably won't be when I finish this), and it is still nearly a hundred degrees out.

I haven't really got a point in typing this, but the TV is on and there's never anything on (other than the World Cup, of course), but this little computer is always here for one of us to use. Honestly, I haven't had much use for it since I bought it, because I've not really gone anywhere (and if I have, I don't take it with me), but Jeff didn't bring a laptop on this trip, so we've been taking turns getting on it and looking things up, answering emails, playing games, etc..

I've found that the only time I watch TV is when I'm in a motel room, and there's not much worse than flipping through the channels looking for something to watch, going around the horn again and again until settling on something you can stomach, even though you'd never watch it on a normal day.

Actually, an ingrown toenail is worse.

We found a Long John Silver's and a sit-down Pizza Hut here in the city. Neither of those back home.

Jeff is hungry all the time. And five minutes later, he's hungry then too.

But perhaps I'm the weird one, only needing to eat a couple of times a day. I'll have to get back to you on that.

On Friday night, we went to see Sting perform with the Royal Philharmonic at the MGM Grand. It attracted a much different crowd than any other Sting show I've gone to. That Jeff and I, white in our beards and all, were still younger than the vast majority (say, 90%) of the crowd sort of told us something. Also, we seemed to be one of the few to know the words to all his songs.

During the twenty minute intermission, the old man in the row in front of us asked, "Now, who was that I heard singing during those songs?" Jeff and pretty much everyone around pointed my way. The old man said, "Do you sing professionally?" which I thought sounded like the preamble to a nasty insult I've heard since Sophomore year of college. But I guess he was impressed with me, which is nice. Still, that people weren't singing along was strange, especially when Sting tried to get the audience to do so during two different songs.

That might not exactly be the crowd's fault. This was a more sedate show (he didn't even sing "Roxanne-o" as he has at every other show I've seen him), far more experimental, and he sang a couple of songs so obscure, one of them he wrote but never recorded, as far as I can tell.

What was the crowd's fault, however, was the lightshow that played from beginning to end in the seats around us, and everywhere in the concert arena. People were either using their cellphones to record songs or take pictures (which I suppose can be understood), or more likely, they were texting. The girl directly in front of Jeff (one of those who pointed at me when the "Who's singing?" question was raised), was text messaging for the full three hours we were there, though in her defense, she may actually have put away the phone during the intermission.

It was sad because the lights would go down, and you'd see a veritable Milky Way as people typed in their pads or keyboards, apparently involved in something much more interesting than what Mister Sumner and the musicians had prepared. *sighing sound*

The concert was, in my opinion, pretty frigging amazing. You know, watching Sting play the Theramin during Moon Over Bourbon Street isn't the highpoint of my adult life, but it may be the highlight of the time I have left. We'll see.

We walked along the Strip for a little while, thinking we might want to go to that roller coaster at the New York, New York (I went on it a couple of times as a kid). Jeff revealed to me that he likes riding roller coasters--something I didn't know and wouldn't have believed if someone else told me--so we braved the heat and decided to go on it. Unfortunately, it was so expensive I wouldn't have been able to live with myself had we gone on it. Anything that expensive ought to come with a kiss on the cheek afterward.

Which reminds me, while we were walking the strip, there would be hordes of young people who were paid to hand out postcard/flyer-things advertising Hot Girls To Your Room (though they might have been "babes," I can't really remember. Definitely "hot," though), and they, to the man, would flip their stacks of flyers together making a snapping sound when they approached you. It reminded me of those hissing beetles or perhaps rattlesnakes. I complained that these assholes were everywhere along the strip, that they'd congregate in groups of four or five or six, swarming every time a group of pedestrians crossed the street. I wondered why their employer would hire so many of them, when only one or two at each intersection could easily pass out their wares just as well.

Jeff thought that since they probably made fifty cents an hour, their company could hire as many as they wanted, and were doing a valuable service to Las Vegas's working class. I kept wondering what these Hot Girls To Your Room were all about. Obviously they can't be prostitutes, since that's not legal in Vegas proper, so what are they, strippers? "Paid escorts?" And would they really be hot?

Or girls, for that matter?

Jeff's married, so he wasn't interested, and I was afraid to show my ignorance around him, so I didn't ask. I suppose I could have asked one of those hundreds of people passing out the flyers, but but that snapping sound was too intimidating, like scores of mousetraps being sprung. Maybe I'll ask my uncle.

Later, we went into Fatburger, since that was a Los Angeles staple for me. I gasped when I saw a meal was over eight dollars, and Jeff gasped that they had no Dr. Pepper, so we went next door, to the new Hard Rock Cafe. Unfortunately, that meant that my meal ended up costing around twenty dollars.

But at least there was Dr. Pepper.

And Pepsi.

The waiter there went on and on about how much he loved Jeff's t-shirt, how funny my remarks were, how grateful he was we had deigned to come into his restaurant and choose his particular table, how jealous he was that we were going to see Sting, and how all women everywhere find us charming and attractive. He got a healthy tip, I imagine.

I once knew a girl who really liked James Spader. We were both working on a show with him in it, and I told her I thought Spader was pretty cool too. For some reason, she started calling me "Spaderlover." She's still on my cellphone as "Spadergirl." I have no idea what her real name was.

Another nice thing about Vegas is that there's no place (I know of, anyway) where you have to pay to park. All the businesses want you to come inside, and none of them want you to hurry off to feed the meter or move your car before the grace period expires. And literally every hotel and casino has a parking structure, since they don't want anybody not to find a place to leave their car while they come inside and gamble or eat or order one of those girls off the flyers. Maybe they're robots, I don't know.

My cousin got married in Vegas last year, and I went to the ceremony (I got chewed out for taking a picture, since the chapel had its own designated photographer and they wanted the family to depend on him), and if I recall, there were parking meters outside the city hall and those businesses. One thing I don't miss about L.A. is the constant struggle to find a parking space. I used to hitch my bicycle to the back of my car when I'd go to the beach or sightseeing so I could park my car somewhere available and not spend a half an hour Indiana Jonesing for a decent spot or an unoccupied garage.

Okay, I know I'm going on and on when I'm spending two paragraphs talking about parking spots. But Jeff has a very different sleep schedule than I do (he woke up Saturday morning at around the same ungodly hour as he did Friday when he set his alarm), and he wants to go to bed a while before I'm tired. And I'm sure as hell not going to watch TV.

I don't go on enough trips with other people. Usually, it's by myself. And I get a whole lot of thinking and music-listening done, but I'd be lying if I said it didn't get lonely on the twelve hour drives. I'd also be lying if I said I didn't sometimes pretend there was someone in the passenger seat and I pretended I had rescued her from a broken-down car in the desert or from government assassins who wanted to eliminate her before she regained her memory.

No, no, that was just a joke. I'd never imagine something like that. And I sure as heck wouldn't talk to the imaginary driving companion for hours on end. Never.

This has been a nice trip, even if I wasted the majority of today reading and sleeping. The hotel room is so nice it has a bathtub and a separate shower in the bathroom (but no bidet, if you were wondering. It's not THAT nice). I don't think I got any writing done while I was here (since I don't count blogging), but that's alright since I still don't know if I have the screenwriting gig and I'm not really in the middle of any stories right now.*

Jeff hates the heat, but I just want to roll the windows down and feel warm air blowing against me, reminding me (for the first time in ages) that this broken, disused heart still beats.

While we were driving, "California Gurls" by Katy Perry started up on the radio. I made the deadly faux pas of attributing the terrible song to Ke$ha, and Jeff corrected me as I changed the station so hard the knob broke off and I lost a fingernail. The station I stopped on was playing "This Is It" by Huey Lewis & the News, and Jeff proceeded to chide me about it. But after that Katy Perry song, mocking me for Huey Lewis is like complaining about sock odor after walking into dogshit.

Despite that little setback, we got along pretty splendidly for the most part on this whole trip. We ended up driving back the next morning (early for me, late for him), listening to music and stories, talking and singing along. Despite the lengthy disagreement we had about my own podcast, he and I continue to stay close and in contact, through twenty years of friendship and appallingly different lifestyles. And my penchant for taking advantage of his boundless generosity.

Oh, I just found out that because Jeff spends so much money at their motels (mostly on room service, I'd wager), they went ahead and comped our internet. Ahh, one less thing to feel guilty for.

During that drive home, we talked a tiny bit about our dreams for the future, and both vowed to do this again before too long. Jeff also intends to move to the Scottish Highlands in the great unknown someday, and when I talked about our oft-imagined trip to England, he said we'd definitely do it someday.

Famous last words, I know.

Rish "No Middle Name" Outfield

*After I got home, though, I did end up writing a story that night when I saw there was a contest that had the next day as its deadline. Story wasn't great, but at least I got something done, and that always feels good.

Friday, June 18, 2010

In Vegas

Mini road trip time, folks. Though I'm not really sure what differentiates a mini- from a genuine road trip. Mosquitos, maybe.

Anyway, Jeff and I drove to Las Vegas yesterday, enjoying a nice, leisurely, conversation-filled drive. We stopped and watched most of a soccer game, and Jeff put on his entire Journey playlist, which gave me more pleasure than I'll ever admit, even to you, dear friend.

Now, we're staying at the Renaissance Hotel right off the Strip, which is decked out like the Rat Pack just flew into town. I like Vegas. It's cool to be here as a bona fide grown-up, and with Jeff's Spock-like mind, I figured we could clean up at the Blackjack tables, but he seems hesitant to go gambling with me. Part of the reason was that he wanted to be up at the undogly hour of 6:30 to watch the U.S. play Slovenia at the World Cup (even though the bleeding game didn't start until seven).

Jeff's a big futbol fan, and despite my attempts to sleep through the game, I too had to perk up and watch what ultimately was ruled as a 2-2 tie game, despite the U.S. team making three valid goals in the second half.

It looks beautiful out our huge, golf course-viewing window. Jeff and I are friends somehow, despite the fact that he despises the heat as much as I loathe the cold, and Vegas is infamous for its heat. I'd love to be out walking around, trying to add some color to my pasty dead-fish-white skin, but now England is playing Algeria (0-0 right now), so it might be a while before the sun touches me.

Well, I shan't complain, since he's the one paying for the internet here. He tends to pay for most things in our friendship. It's sad, really. Hopefully he won't wise up anytime soon.

Rish "Freeloader" Outfield

Saturday, June 12, 2010


Just finished up reading Jaws by Peter Benchley.

I will never again say that all movies based on novels are inferior to the book.

I had meant to read it for many years, since JAWS is one of my favorite movies, but nearly every moment, and absolutely every line of dialogue, that I loved in the film is absent from the book. There was only one moment that I liked in the book well enough to wish it had been in the movie, and it wouldn't even have worked in the structure of the film.

Kind of amazing to think about.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Stupid Thing of the Week

I was driving home from Big's house Monday night/Tuesday morning, and a certain infamous song started to play on the radio, one that just doesn't get much airplay anymore. I paid it no mind, except tonight I heard it on the radio again. And the week's not even over yet. Weird.

Oh, the song?

Ice Ice Baby, by Vanilla Ice.


Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Isn't that special?

"Let's imitate reality,
Let's strive for mediocrity!"

Oingo Boingo invited us to do so in their final album (though I guess they weren't even calling themselves Oingo Boingo anymore by then), and that lyric has stayed with me in the--could it really be?--fifteen years since I first heard it.

I've always had a real beef with the idea of taking something that's not that great and proclaiming that it is. Songs, movies, TV shows, even people. But that's all relative, I realize, and conversations with people who I love and/or respect, intelligent, thoughtful people who just plain don't see things the way I do, has made me doubt my own senses from time to time. Why do I doubt my senses? Because the littlest thing disturbs them.

Just this week, I've had two opportunities to be mediocre. The first is that we had our yearly Broken Mirror Story contest, and I was just plain uninspired. I may have blogged about the half hour I wasted just free-form writing any way the premise might have gone, any interpretation of those words, hoping that I'd trip onto something that was truly great.

I didn't. It was a couple of days before the deadline, and I had to ask myself the question, "Am I just plain not going to enter the contest this year? And if I don't have a good idea, is it alright to enter something substandard just so I could say that I did it?" And the answer to that question is, I don't know. Last year, I was really excited about the story potential for this contest, and I'll be darned if my attempts to write something I was passionate about didn't soar like a Kong turd from the Empire State Building.

And it gets me thinking. For years, I have continued on my lazy, aimless way under the delusion that I Am Talented, and that there will be success out there for me someday if I just hang on long enough for it to find me. But again, what if my perceptions are skewed, and Merrill is right that "What's Love Got To Do With It" is just not a very good song? When I lived with my uncle and his Down Syndrome daughter proclaimed that black and red objects were blue, my friend Jeff totally raped my brain by saying, "What if you're the one who's wrong, and those things really were blue?"

Like I've said before, I've got a faulty brain. What if it's in worse shape than I thought?

Well, I decided to go ahead and enter the contest, even though I didn't think my writing was all that exemplary, because I figured that it's an exercise rather than a real competition, and one can always use more exercise. Plus, isn't it a bit hypocritical if the originator of the premise doesn't do anything with it? Wouldn't that be an insult to the people who followed my directions, participating in my activity rather than someone else's (or nobody's)?

Heck, I don't know. At the end of the day, it may actually be worse to submit something mediocre than to not submit at all.

The other chance to totally embrace less-than-excellence this week I've already talked about in this blog. I had to submit a treatment for a movie today, and I wanted to impress the producer by going above and beyond the call of duty. He asked for two or three pages, and I gave him nine. But in formatting it today, reading it over looking for inconsistencies (the main character, it seems, was named Jacob, Jack, and David), I discovered that a lot of it was decidedly uninspired. A lot of it was just wheels spinning. A lot of it was aimless space-filler. A lot of it was really weak.

That wasn't a pleasant discovery. In my head, some of that stuff was pretty damn awesome, and I was proud of the fact that, despite working under someone else's specifications and editorial mandate, I was writing the kind of movie I'd want to go see myself. Somewhere in the actual writing of my ideas, things had gotten lost. Or worse, they had never been there to begin with (which I fully admit may have been the case).

So, my options were: default on my contractual obligation and miss my deadline so that I could spruce it up and attempt to patch the holes, or send it in, considering it to be just a first draft, and something that doesn't have to be extraordinary.*

I really wanted to impress him, and this just wasn't gonna do it.

I haven't really complained all that much about my work with this particular producer because, well, when I say things out loud, they seem so darn petty, that I'd probably be tempted to hyperbolize, and then, well, my beefs would be unwarranted, wouldn't they? And hey, the guy is paying me real money to do this work, even if it ends up amounting to nothing. And it's not like that douchestain last year that worked me over, passed me over, screwed me over, and then paid me both jack and squat. That, I could probably complain about.

Besides, what if the producer actually checked this out, and my big mouth (or big typing fingers, anyway) get me in trouble again? I'd be no wiser than those high school kids who put "i wish Mrs Bigler wood get aids and dye" on their Facebook posts, then get suspended over it. For once, I ought to hold my tongue.

Uh oh, I feel a tangent coming on, the way you feel a sneeze a few seconds before it arrives.

I had a dream the other day, that I was walking through a mall that looked dreamily like the Beverly Center and ran into my old college professor, the one who inspired me with dreams of success and stardom, who told me not to wait until I had money saved up, but to quit my job and move out to Los Angeles and work for him and make movies and maybe get that Spears girl pregnant** and enjoy life. Well, unlike reality, when I saw him in my dream, there were no feelings of betrayal or resentment (founded or unfounded), but I was just so happy to see him, and let him point me toward my destiny, that it would probably be categorized as love. It was a strange dream, and one that left me wondering if I have the daddy issues of your average pole dancer.

Whoa, tangent over. Gesundheit.

So, the treatment I wrote turned out pretty mediocre. I hadn't strived for it, but it just sort of ended up that way. But I had taken a shot at greatness, and I'm reminded of back when I was in my brief self-improvement phase, and I was fond of the little inspirational saying that goes, "Reach for the stars. Even if you fail, you'll land on the moon." Now that I've abandoned all that Tony Robbins and Zig Ziglar stuff, I'm tempted to turn the saying into a Uranus joke. But I did try. I did make the attempt. And I sent it in, on time.

I don't think that's striving for mediocrity, even if the producer is less than impressed with the end result.

I guess there is a third opportunity to be mediocre (or glass-half-fully, to be extraordinary) in my podcast every week. I often think of songs or sketches or fun ways to ramp up production and make things memorable and special, and then toss them away because I lose the ambition, or simply realize it's easier not to. There have been a couple of episodes that were much weaker than they should have been, and sometimes that's totally out of my hands. But sometimes, that's my fault. And maybe that's something Big and I need to sit down and analyze, measure whether it needs to be addressed. God knows I don't want to give him more reason to quit the podcast, though.

I've been typing a lot, haven't I? And I don't know that I've said a lot. I have work that I need to get done, and this may be another way of not doing it, but it's also something that's inside my head that I'd like to get out onto paper (or pixels, you know?) because I may feel differently tomorrow morning. After all, there were a couple of real stinkers of stories I've written in the past (the kind I'd never share with anyone in a million years, or okay, maybe if someone twisted my arm a little), that when I picked them up again months or years later I realized weren't so dang bad.

So maybe it works both ways.

Rish "The Glass Is Half..." Outfield

*Look, I realize this directly contradicts my Jack Skellington-quoting blog post, but that goes back to the accuracy of perception. I thought it was good a couple of days ago, and today I thought it was bad. Can both be right? Perhaps the fact that I seem to have one of those sodding summer colds today has contributed to my opinion. This week has sort of been a good one for putting me into a foul mood.

**Uh, not that one. The other one. The one it's okay to make fun of.


Well, I just got to "The End" on my movie treatment. I'm a big fan of putting "the end" at the bottom a story's last page (even if certain unnamed partners of mine feel quite the opposite).

I still need to proofread it, check name consistencies, and format the darn thing, but I have finished it. And now I'm going to bed. It's only 2:55am, but I'm not feeling at all well, and I've taken two NyQuils to hopefully help me feel better in the morning.

I would like to blog a little bit about how weak I feel some of the story got when I no longer knew where I was going, and realized I needed to just soldier through or I wouldn't make my deadline (heck, I still might miss it), and despite my having said that I wanted to put my best foot forward to impress the film producer, I've started leaning toward the idea that this is just a first draft, and that there will be plenty of time for finessing.

Just as long as I can raise my head and send it in tomorrow.


Sunday, June 06, 2010

And I thought writing for pleasure was hard.

I've never been one to motivate myself.

If it weren't for an ill-fated love interest in Los Angeles, I would've never taken up jogging. If it weren't for an extremely enthusiastic teacher in college, I'd have never taken up screenwriting. If it weren't for my metabolism, I'd weigh four hundred pounds. If it weren't for Merrill, I'd never submit my stories to anyone. If it weren't for voodoo, I'd never have any luck with the ladies. If it weren't for Jeff's wife, I'd never eat a meal that required utensils. If it weren't for Nigel, I'd still be pooping on canvas and calling it art.*

So, I'm trying to get this professional writing gig finished. I technically had two weeks to get it done, but at our last meeting, I boastingly told the producer I'd have it done in one. Well, that deadline joined my once-flat stomach, my once-fluent foreign language, my once-sparkling white teeth, and my once-plausible prospect of not dying alone.

So now, the real deadline comes, and I've started working in earnest. The only problem is, I'd rather do anything but write right now. I slept, I tried to get caught up on "Lost," I mowed my mom's lawn, I watched half of SINGING IN THE RAIN, I took my niece out for ice cream, I recorded voicework for strangers' podcasts, I took something back to Walmart, I watched a bunch of old "Buffy the Vampire Slayers," I blogged and read others' blogs, I did paperwork, I cleaned the fishtank, I went to the post office, I played around with MS Paint, I watched the other half of SINGING IN THE RAIN, I edited half of next week's Dunesteef banter, and I read two-thirds of a novel this week. Hell, I even wrote the world's wretchedest Broken Mirror Story submission in the last twenty four hours. Anything to keep me from writing this movie treatment.

If you've ever read a real film treatment, you might be wondering, "What the deuce is this kid's problem? They're, like, three pages long. Or less." Well, there's the monster from Night On Bald Mountain-sized possibility that the producer is just going to hand my treatment over to a professional screenwriter when I'm done, and have him go to town on it. So I'm really doing all I can to create what some idiots in the biz call a "scriptment," which is basically a bloated synopsis of the film far more detailed than your typical summary.

I guess I'm hoping that the producer will read this and go, "Wow, this American punk really knows what he's doing; I'm going to hire him to write the full screenplay!" And barring that, I'm hoping that when the story is handed to another writer, he (or she) will read my work and go, "Wow, this American punk did most of the heavy lifting for me; I'll just flesh it out a little!"

Of course, these are silly thoughts. Either the work I do is good or it isn't. Either the producer is impressed or he isn't. Either I'm on time or I'm not.

A few years ago, I did some of my very best work (my opinion, of course) writing a reimagining** of a truly awful low-budget film from the Seventies. Granted, my writing probably wasn't perfect, and needed a draft or two, but it was so much better than the friggin' screenplay that inspired it (again, my opinion), that I was sure that film's producer would think, "Oy vey and-a-half, this kid has more passion for my property than I ever had; I'm going to see to it that this movie gets made!" Instead, the old bastard passed on it one hundred percent, had a couple insulting comments tossed in my direction, and promptly died.***

I guess that's my way of saying that things don't always work out the way they should (or the way I want them to, anyway). Those sorts of things are out of my control. What I need to do with this particular opportunity is buckle down and absolutely give it my all, so that, come what may, I can hold my head up high and say, "What the heck, I went and did my best, and by God, I really tasted something swell. And for a moment, why, I almost moved this French guy, and at least I left some stories they can tell, I did."

Silliness aside, I recognize that this current project is just one cog in the great watchworks of life, and whether it goes anywhere or not is pretty inconsequential. But I do hope to look back on this time and say, "That was pretty good stuff, come what may," (no song lyrics here, folks, I've bagged my limit) regardless of whether the film got made or not. Somebody somewhere told me that only one out of a hundred screenplays written are actually made into films, and the actually number may be much lower than that. But I have a contract and will fulfill it, regardless of what the end result may be.

Write on!

Rish Shakespeare Outfield

*Okay, maybe that one's a bit much.

**Do you remember when everybody used that word, instead of the dread word "reboot?"

***I imagine his 1972 original is on a constant loop in Hell right now.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Rue McClanahan is gone

She passed away today at the age of 76. I've only one thing to say:
(Okay, I think this one is a little better.)

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

To Boldly Go

Somebody once said to me that the "Star Trek" intro line was grammatically incorrect, and that it should be "to go boldly where no man has gone before."

While I don't know if that's true, I hope we can both agree that nobody gives a rat's ass.

Or a Tribble's ass, if they have them.

I've loved "Star Trek" since I was a wee lad, and as I've blogged here before, one of my dreams when I lived in Los Angeles was to work on "Star Trek," even for a day. My other dream involved Catherine Zeta Jones. Sadly, neither goal was realized.

But last week, Big and I were interviewed for Bryan Lincoln's Fullcast podcast, and they talked about all the opportunities for voice work there were in the podosphere (which is a weird word that I promise not to use again). I bemoaned that there had been a "Firefly" further adventures audio drama, and that I'd found out about it too late to audition for Jayne Cobb. That still saddens me . . . and I would've been pants-wettingly awesome in that role). But in our conversation it was brought to my attention that there are always people needing voice actors to work on their audioplays, and that there's a Casting Call website where you can find what people need voices for.

I checked it out the day after the interview. Turns out there was a "Star Trek" audio drama about to happen on there. However, the deadline for auditions had already passed.

I shot the guy a note, wondering if all the parts had been cast, and he said they hadn't and I was welcome to audition. Interestingly/Strangely, he said he had actually heard of me and my podcast. So, I auditioned for one part, then another, trying to alter my performance as much as possible.

While I certainly didn't do a Jayne Cobb-worthy job, I did the best I could.

Well, the director liked what I did, and it looks like I've got a part. But what's the part?

Well, if you know me at all, you know I'm a Kirk guy, not a Spock guy, and I practically worship the ground William Shatner walks on.

So it'll come as no surprise that I'm voicing Scotty on the programme.

Cool huh?


Okay, okay, it's a little bit cooler than that (unless you're a huge Scotty fan, in which case, I pity you)(and Scotty is still voiced by somebody decent, don't worry). Turns out that I get to be Captain . . . James T Kirk . . . of the Starship . . . Enterprise. That's practically the lead role, and it's been fun to try to find a balance between my own voice and a Bill Shatner impersonation. Time will tell if listeners enjoy my work, or find my performance believable.

Of course, if Kirk gets to bed some exotic alien babe or hottie ambassador, my acting skills will really be put to the test.

Rish Tiberius Outfield