Small World Department: I’m really excited about this bit of news: Once again, the magic of Lewis Carroll makes itself felt in surprising ways. As many of you know, I’m a big fan of Lewis Carroll, and even recently served for four years as President of the Lewis Carroll Society of North America. Currently, I maintain the blog on the web site I built for them. Recently a composer named Carsten Braun from Germany contacted me with a link to a beautiful musical setting he made of a holiday poem that Carroll wrote, performed (in English) by talented actor/singer Bastian Korff. If you’d like to watch their musical holiday clip, click here.
I enjoyed the music and the performance very much, and struck up a correspondence with Carsten. He told me that Bastian has also performed the one-man show I Am My Own Wife, which I did a few years back at Vermont Stage. Last week, Carsten told me that he and Bastian were actually going to be performing some music gigs at various locations in Berlin–including at the Grunderzeit Museum, where I Am My Own Wife takes place! Carsten had been to the museum once before, and mentioned that they have a gallery of photos of U.S. productions of the play in the museum. I asked him if he wouldn’t mind finding out how I might submit a photo from the Vermont Stage production.
Carsten and Bastian just returned from their successful musical trip to Berlin, and it turns out a photo of me is already on display at the Grunderzeit Museum! They must have found my web site and chose one of the pictures from that production. Doing that particular play meant an enormous amount to me for both personal and professional reasons, and I am so honored to have that production recognized in Berlin where Charlotte von Mahlsdorf started it all. I have been talking with a couple of other theaters about doing another production, so I hope that I will have the opportunity to play Charlotte and all 34 other characters again sometime soon. And then the absence of “Vermont” after my name will mean I have played the role in multiple states. In addition to Vermont Stage, I also wish they could have given credit to the directors–mine was the remarkable Sara Lampert Hoover. But in the meantime, I am so thrilled to be on the wall at the Grunderzeit Museum. And I’m so grateful to Carsten for sending the photos and letting me know about it! As Charlotte might have said (though probably in better German): Ich bin Ihnen sehr dank bar!
I’m very excited to announce that the full pilot for the Terminal B sitcom I worked on earlier this year is now available online! This project was a lot of fun, and I hope it will raise enough interest and funding to allow us to make at least a full season with these great characters.
The new web site for the production is: http://www.terminalbshow.com
The site includes case photos and bios, as well as a history of how this project came about.
The producers are releasing the pilot in a couple of ways. You can watch the full pilot in one sitting on Vimeo, via the main web site. There is a $1 24 hour rental, or for just $2.99 you can download the whole pilot and watch as many times as you want. Why is it not free, you ask? Because any funds raised this way will go toward making future episodes. So I hope you can chip in $1 or $2.99 to support this indie, fully self-funded project.
You can also watch individual episodes for free on YouTube. However, as a fundraising incentive, the YouTube series does not include the last 8 minutes of the pilot. As you can imagine, those last 8 minutes are important, and yes, I’m involved. If you can support the project so we can make more episodes, the Vimeo approach will give you better quality and a smoother viewing experience. Otherwise, you can at least see most of the pilot for free on YouTube.
This was a great bunch of people and I have high hopes for the future of this project. Check it out, support us if you can, and either way, let me know what you think!
I was delighted to learn that Jenny Woolf, author of the fascinating new biography The Mystery of Lewis Carroll, greatly enjoyed the two free nonsense poem audio downloads I created for Storypods Audiobooks over in Oxford, England. On her Facebook page, Jenny wrote:
“I’ve been in email correspondence with Andrew Sellon, LCSNA president, but never heard his voice. I am enchanted by his wonderful readings of these nonsense poems, winners of an Alice contest run by Oxford Storypods.”
Thanks, Jenny! I had great fun doing the recordings for Liz and Francis of Storypods. Both poems are very clever, and it’s great to be able to share some free poetry with the online community. I hope to record a lot more poetry to share. If you haven’t already listened to or downloaded the two contest winners, click the image on this post to visit the Storypods site. While you’re there, check out their own recording of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and selected letters of Lewis Carroll; it’s delightful.
If you have or know kids grades 1-6, check out this great free e-Learning site! I contributed the voiceovers for the Guided Tour, and all the content is created by e-Learning professionals volunteering their time, which I think is fantastic. Kids don’t need to register to use the site, so parents don’t have to worry about any personal information being collected, etc. It’s a global initiative to give kids access to fun, free learning experiences from any pc with an internet connection. Congrats again to Michael Williams, Director of Courseware Development, and to everyone involved in this worthy web site.
To visit the site, click the image on the right. To see (and hear!) the Guided Tour, find the same Guided Tour image on the site’s home page and click on it there. Enjoy, and spread the word!
I became acquainted with Liz and Francis, the brains behind the Oxford-based Storypods Audiobooks when I reviewed their charming audio production of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland a couple of years ago. This year, Liz told me they were going to sponsor a nonsense writing competition, and asked me to be one of their judges. I thanked her but declined since I felt that as President of the Lewis Carroll Society of North America I should remain neutral. But I offered to record the two winning poems if my schedule allowed. Liz thought that was a great idea, and happily there was time, so you can now listen to and download the two charming poems that won the competition. Just click the image on the right to visit the Storypods site, and enjoy!
When I presented my eLearning voiceovers seminar at the eLearning Guild’s March 2010 conference in Orlando, I met a lot of bright, creative, super-friendly people. One of those folks was Michael Williams, who is Director of Courseware Development for a great non-profit called “e-Learning for Kids.” They run a web site of free interactive elearning for grades 1-6. The content is created by elearning professionals who generously donate their time and skills to this globally-available learning resource. The courses are colorful, fun, engaging, and 100% free. Kids don’t even have to register to take the modules. They just go to the site, choose a grade or a subject area, and dive in. I was impressed with the course samples I saw at the conference, and I’m also a big believer in educational outreach for kids. I give free readings at elementary schools twice a year for the Lewis Carroll Society of North America, and also visit schools to give talks. So, I gave Michael my card, and told him to drop me a line if he ever needed voiceovers for a project.
Last week, Michael contacted me to ask if I’d be willing to create the voiceovers for a new Guided Tour they’re creating for the e-Learning for Kids web site. I said sure! I sent him a couple of sample audio files to give him an idea of the vocal timbre I thought most appropriate, and he agreed those were right on the money. We finalized the script, I laid down the tracks, and I sent the finished Mp3 files along to Michael. I included an alternate “take” of the last audio clip, with an additional “tag” that he loved, so that’s the one they’ll use in the Tour. Once the Tour is posted on their site, I’ll do another update! If you have kids, or know kids, grades 1-6, I recommend you take a look at their site. What a great free resource! Click the image to visit their site.
Well, this is it. The end of the road. At least for my Disengaged Dozen series of video ads. Episode 6, the last of the series, has just been posted on YouTube. This time, my character (Benny the Boss) has to contend with an employee who just can’t seem to manage his time. Know anyone like that? Watch the clip to see if Benny comes up with a solution, or jets Captain Shirk into the intergalactic unemployment line. Matthew Wages does a great sendup of William Shatner. If you enjoy the clip, I hope you’ll click the “Like” button on YouTube, and maybe post a nice comment there. Who knows, if enough people share the Disengaged Dozen links, and generate enough feedback, maybe the producers will make the other six videos with me as Benny. My bow tie stands ready. Clap your hands if you believe!
My thanks again to the Bernard Hodes Group, my co-stars, the whole crew, and especially to writer/director Dewey Moss, for a great experience, and six very clever videos. I’m delighted to have been part of the campaign.
I’m back online in part four of the six-part series The Disengaged Dozen. This time, my character Benny the Boss is faced with employee Sandy Bagger, an unhappy and devious camper determined to pull the rug out from under Benny. David Perlman is a hoot as Sandy, and I had great fun playing straight man to his nefarious doings. Writer/director Dewey Moss of the Bernard Hodes Group clearly had a field day with this one.
Will Sandy succeed in sandbagging Benny?? Click the picture on the right to find out! (And remember to click “Like” on YouTube!)
This week, I return as Benny the Boss in the 6-part sitcom series The Disengaged Dozen. My co-star (or is that co-conspirator?) is the very funny Fleur Phillips, who, when not playing withholding killjoy Cher Nothing, is in fact both lovely and delightful. Once again, Benny must find a way to re-engage an eccentric and wayward employee. Thanks to writer/director Dewey Moss, Benny finds just the right thing to say. Click the image to view the clip on YouTube, and if you enjoy it, please click the “Like” button on YouTube to cast your vote. If you’ve missed the first two Episodes in the series, they’re still available as well.
Episode 2 of “The Disengaged Dozen” is now online! Just click the image on the right to launch the video on YouTube.
This time my character Benny the Boss helps out Nervous Neddie, an employee so terrified of something going wrong that he can’t get anything right. It turns out that Guy Olivieri, who makes a hilarious Neddie, also went to UNC-Chapel Hill. Small world! I love little discoveries like that.
If you enjoy it, please click the “Like” button on YouTube, and leave a comment there if so inclined. Feel free to leave a comment here as well! And by all means, share the link with your friends. Thanks! 🙂