2019: The Voiceover Artist Year in Review!

It’s your Yearly Recap for a wonderful year in VO!

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Plop plop fizz fizz oh what a year it is…

Disregarding all of the trauma (what?) and hysteria (no, it can’t be) and freakish politics (whatchoo talkin’ ‘bout, Willis) out there, I thought I’d recap the wonderful year in VO so that we can all kick back, relax, and remember the good – and bad – VO times that 2019 brought.

So kick back, relax, reflect, and let the chipmunks genuflect unto thee!

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January

January sees everyone set awesome resolutions for a wonderful year, full of hopes and dreams, and wild optimism to reach for the stars in their voiceover careers!  By January 2nd, we’re all smoking doobies, throwing back a fifth of whiskey and singing kumbaya around a campfire as our resolutions go up in smoke.  But January 3rd rolls right around, we all say “And this time, I’ll keep it off!” and we’re back on track after a little Woe Is Me Sabbatical.  Everyone should have one of those.  It’s capitalized for a reason.

January 6th sees the loss of W. Morgan Sheppard, voice actor from Biker Mice from MarsGargoylesPrep & Landing.  Gargoyle Biker Mice everywhere are despondent.

But all soon is well again.  People everywhere read scripts, and the number of home studios jumps to 3,296,102.

 

February

In February, everyone stands around and says “Hey, whaddaya know, it’s February.”  But then on February 16th, we lose Ken Nordine, Voice-over artist and poet (TV work includes Sesame Street).  Everything is truly not A-OK, the air isn’t clean, and no one wants to be told how to get…how to get to Sesame Street.

But then the fit passes, people everywhere read scripts, and the number of home studios jumps to 15,597,996.

 

March

The end of March sees VO Atlanta descend upon us: a massive gathering of voice talent from across the universe, or at least around the world.  And I truly mean around the world. Fine mammals such as Manish Dongardive (pronounced “Bob Smith”) are flown into Atlanta, because they received a memo that it was not called VO Butte.  A splendid time is guaranteed for all as we collectively commiserate, learn, sing karaoke together, and dress up in 80’s garb because of The Reason.

On March 21st, veteran broadcaster and radio personality Chris Corley dies, and there is collective mourning in the Voiceover world because people couldn’t take the loss of Chris Farley all over again.  Eventually however, voiceover artists come to the slow realization that Chris Farley and Chris Corley are in fact two different people, and there is sanity once again.

People everywhere read scripts, and the number of home studios jumps to 46,112,198.

 

April

We all get scripts that contain direction to sound like either Morgan Freeman, Matthew McConnaughey, Peter Coyote, David Attenborough, Sam Elliott, or Don LeFontaine, or all of them together.  Female voice talent are very confused.

On April 12th Georgia Engel, best known as the voice of the Snuggle laundry bear, dies.  Washers and dryers everywhere hold a moment of silence, all cleaning is paused, and clotheslines are flown at half-mast.

But then all is well again.  People everywhere read scripts, and the number of home studios jumps to 105,273,428.

 

May

In May, everyone says “Wow, Joshua Alexander is yet another year older, and yet he somehow manages to still sound like an early-twenties Explainer guy.  But just look at that gray!”  In a reflex, Joshua Alexander buys more ControlGX for men and washes that gray right out of his hair, and everyone breathes a collective follicular sigh.

People everywhere read scripts, and the number of home studios jumps to 236,816,771.

 

June

In June, panic ensues in the voiceover world as jobs drop off the map and people scavenge for food. There is war in the streets!  Studios are ravaged and people say things like “In a world with no voiceover jobs…”  Penniless voiceover artists populate street corners everywhere proclaiming impending disaster, their sandwich boards hailing the coming apocalypse and crying out for mercy from the heavens, shaking their fists and sobbing from within their unused iso-booths.

Shares of Voiceover stock tumble as the market spells doom and gloom for the collective voiceover industry.  People flee sanity and pitch themselves into the wind, landing in Fiverr-country and selling their souls.  The average job payout from Fiverr jumps to a whopping $23.76.

People everywhere read scripts, and the number of home studios jumps to 468,519,765.

 

July

Suddenly, the market turns on its head and there is work again.  We all get scripts with directions that say “more conversational, less announcery, really belt it out, and SELL it.  But with a personal touch, ya know?  Less salesy, and more guy-next-door, with an emphatic come-in-and-buy-now pressury vibe.  These people have to KNOW that you care, but we want you to know that they MUST buy or we’ll all die and wolves will eat us.  Oh, and sound just like Don Rickles when you do it!  And….go!”  All of the voice talent were very confused and listened to Stephen Fry audiobooks for comfort because accents are soothing.

July 3rd sees the passage of Arte Johnson, best known for his voice work in AnimaniacsThe SmurfsThe Flintstone KidsYo Yogi!The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-DooThe DukesBaggy Pants and the Nitwits, and The Houndcats.

Also in July, on the 26th the voiceover world loses Russi Taylor, voice actress best known for providing the voice of Minnie Mouse; also the voice of Huey, Dewey and Louie on DuckTales; various roles on The SimpsonsThe Biker Mice again are despondent as another of their kind passes, and the laundry bear community extends a loving embrace, while ducks tuck in their feathers and lower their bills in honor.

People everywhere read scripts, and the number of home studios jumps to 1,269,246,555.

 

August

But, thankfully, in August, the new savior of the voiceover P2P marketplace world alights upon earth and brings salvation in its wake.  Voiceovers.com formally launches, harps play, and light streams down from the heavens. We all admire the glory of Matt Dubois’ shiny halo reflecting brilliantly off of his shiny head in transparent videos wherein he blesses us with words like “metrics” and “statistics”: two words we hate to read, so our hearts are glad that he says them instead.  We all then take a day off from script-reading while our eyes recover from the dazzling light reflecting off his forehead.  It is during this time that Joshua Alexander strategically pounces upon all auditions everywhere and is awarded 5,327 voice jobs in a single day, which he farms out to Sam Elliott, David Attenborough and Morgan Freeman, instructing them to read the scripts in their best Joshua Alexander voice.

However on August 4th Fraggle Rock voice actor Stu Rosen dies, and everyone faces potential annihilation from The GorgsThe Doozers promise to help defend civilization, and we end up being ok.

People everywhere read scripts, and the number of home studios jumps to 3,015,644,719.

 

September

Robert Axelrod, voice of Lord Zedd on Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, dies on September 7th, and is quoted as saying “It’s morphin’ time!” just as his spirit leaves our world.  Voiceover artists everywhere weep and gnash their teeth, and are frankly tired of voiceover artists dying.  A revolt against natural death is planned and would see its fruition in Emperor Palpatine’s incredulous return to cinemas in December of that year.

People everywhere read scripts, and the number of home studios jumps to 6,649,174,327.

 

October

In October we see WOVO-Con hit the limelight again, and World Voices attracts plenty of wonderful talent to impress and amaze!  People who know words get up and say words to people who recognize and understand words.

On October 6th, Rip Taylor, best known for his voice work on The Emperor's New SchoolThe Addams Family, and Popeye and Son, defies the death revolt…and, well, dies.  This does not help the death revolt.

But people everywhere read scripts, and the number of home studios jumps to 7,531,211,916, a number capped only by present population figures.

 

November

In November there are the SOVAS (Society of Voice Arts) Awards.  This is a gala where people who say things get up on stage to say things about people who say things.  It truly is a wonderful phenomenon that you can say things about.  People come all decked up in their finest to say things, have things said about them for saying things by people who say things, and receive awards saying things about their saying things.  Now that’s saying something.

Peter Cullen receives the Lifetime Achievement award at the SOVAS, which is an optimum prime transforming moment for him as they roll out the red carpet.  (If you need that one explained then you do not deserve to be a voiceover artist.)

People everywhere read scripts, and the number of home studios jumps to 7,531,228,446, because new humans are created to inhabit said studios.

 

December

On December 6th, Ron Leibman dies at age 82.  He was best known for his voice work on Archer.

On December 8th, Carroll Spinney couldn’t take the loss of Ron Leibman, and he joined him in the afterlife.  Spinney was an American actor, cartoonist, author, and puppeteer who performed Big BirdOscar the Grouch and several other characters on Sesame Street and numerous Muppets-related shows and specials for nearly 50 years.  As with Ken Nordine’s passage, we all weep and count 1-2-3-4…5….6-7-8-9….10….11…..twel-el-el-el-el…el-el-elve!  TWELVE!  And then we’re fine again, and it's most sensational, inspirational, celebrational, muppetational.

Time marches on, and concurrently our bank accounts drain along with Sweetwater’s inventory as we all purchase new microphones, studios, software, plugins, conferences, networking events, throat lozenges, VocalEze throat spray, and of course Amazon TV Fire Sticks.

On December 27th, Don Imus, longtime shock jock, dies at 79, and people are, well, shocked for a long time.  Voiceover artists everywhere say “That does it!” (in their best Peter Cullen voice), and refuse to die. There are therefore no more voiceover artist deaths in 2019.

People everywhere read scripts, and the number of home studios jumps to 7,531,364,295, because more new humans were created to inhabit said studios.  Spillover into the Matrix begins, and people are grown in order to inhabit said studios.  Their combined BTU’s of body heat power all new home studios everywhere.  It’s creepy and convenient at the same time.

 

Predictions for 2020

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What a year!  Here are my predictions for 2020, in no particular order!

  • Voiceover artists will die
  • Home studios will increase
  • People will say things
  • People will say things about people who say things
  • People will have awards saying things about their saying things presented by people who say things saying things about their saying things
  • Everyone will subscribe to this blog in January of 2020, and there will be peace on earth, and goodwill to men. Either that or we’ll have another voiceover apocalypse as all of the extra home studios partner with AI voices to rise up and destroy us.  Then there will be lots more voiceover deaths, and the revolution will be televised.

Good luck and happy voicing!

 

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Joshua Alexander
Seattle Voice Actor & Voiceover Talent for hire
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