Yes. I said Dinkleboo.
That Personal Touch
I was about six or seven years old, I think.
My uncle was very generous, and he gave us three boys a gift that I remember to this day. Where it is now, I cannot tell you, because I am sure, like many things in life, it was misplaced somehow. Kind of like my wife’s keys and iPhone, which is why she is always either taking the bus or walking. I do not currently know where she is, but we have a search team looking, and are told that the APB should soon bring some results.
Anyway, one Christmas our uncle gave us boys each a storybook that was completely personalized. It was professionally printed, had cover art, inset art and the whole works. But every instance where the protagonists were mentioned, “Joshua” was one of the main characters. If memory serves, this book was something about a UFO which came to earth, and “Jason, Jarod and Joshua” got to ride in their spaceship. Which is fairly exciting but for the fact that alien abduction is still somewhat of a frightening notion for a prepubescent. I am also not entirely sure the chapter about the alien probe was necessary, but whatever.
In retrospect, looking back (which means “in retrospect”), I loved that book. I loved reading it and knowing that I myself was the star! This is because at age six I was deeply narcissistic and wholly self-absorbed. I wished myself to be the center of attention. Thank goodness I grew out of that state of mind and only live to serve humanity these days. Pardon me for a moment, the annoying stagehand just burst in and told me that I’m on in five. I must throw back my feather boa while I roll my eyes noisily and complain that my rider agreement specifically states that the temperature was to be 71 degrees exactly and where the heck is my caviar and Dom Perignon.
Back to six...
I was the star! In a book! A book all about me, personalized to my life and story. It was a beautiful idea, and I loved it. When a child is the center of attention, it is deeply and intrinsically satisfying, as well as affirming of identity and value. I do not believe my uncle was aware that in creating a book all about me, he was throwing gasoline onto a flame, but ultimately I think the sheer generosity in nurturing my budding creativity outweighed any concerns of his. Either that or he was acutely aware, and created a book about aliens with probes abducting his narcissistic nephew in order to savor some little nefarious fantasy. He is dead now, so I will never know.
There was a growing performer in me. Doctors once told me that if they remove it, I will die. So I let it grow. One day it will burst out, and then I am confident Ripley will hunt me down and flamethrow me.
The Dinkleboo is coming for you
So here is the skinny. I recently became aware of Dinkleboo, which is a modern-day company that:
- specializes in books similar to that which blessed my youth, except they do not make them about UFO abductions anymore due to lawsuits, and
- has a funny name that I like to say over and over again until it has lost all meaning
Dinkleboo sells their books directly and on Amazon, and so far we have purchased eight books, but because my sons apparently have the same gasoline-to-a-flame performer DNA that I do, I believe we’re on our way to 564 books in due course. We have enjoyed some incredible reads so far! Aside from having a name that is incredibly delightful to say to a baby while tickling them, their works, website, customer service, print quality, and storylines are, frankly, second to none.
Also there are no alien probes, and I call that a bonus.
My eldest son seriously enjoys me reading them to him, and I seriously enjoy telling people I just ordered a new Dinkleboo, which I suspect makes them wonder if I’m seeing a urologist for a medical condition.
But let me assure you: these books are nothing short of creative genius. Aside from being marketed, sold, and packaged well, they are wonderfully personalized to my kiddos, bringing the story home, and making my boys a part of something memorable.
I think Dinkleboo is wonderful. I think they are just what some kids need, besides Pixar, fruit snacks and boarding school. They truly make the story all about their target audience.
And that, I believe, is what we as voiceover artists are supposed to do. Which leads to me to my final section, which makes you relieved, because you were not entirely sure why you clicked on this link and were about to hire a hit-man.
Dunk Your Clients
I deliriously love these books. My son Brennan likes them too. If you remember, this is the same son who once said, and I quote, “Dada, can you tell me a bedtime Brennan story about Brennan?” I think I have proved my point. People like to receive the personalized treatment. Also it is fun to use your own name twice in the same sentence if you are five.
In the same way, a bunch of hopeful script writers, producers, legal departments, and someone named Siegfried in accounting have pinned their hopes to you. They are hoping you can deliver, and they are earnestly trusting you to do so.
We need to personalize each voiceover. We need to envision the recipient listening to it in real time. Are they pleased? Will they be? Is this what they perceived and hoped it would sound like?
We need to put the client in it – we need to fully immerse them in their own story. We are storytellers! It is our job to take an audience on a journey of peaks and valleys, crescendos and decrescendos... one of adventure. We do that through passionate delivery, feeling the script, and a genuine desire to be genuine.
Immersion. The only thing better would be to have our clients sit on one of those amusement park dunk tanks where only if you hit the target do they plunge into the water below. That should be our goal. To hit the target. To dunk the client. Getting beaten up by them afterwards is optional, depending on their mood, and if you actually hit the target or just threw a baseball repeatedly at their face.
I’ll take getting beaten up as long as I immersed them fully into their own script.
Now go and be a Dinkleboo!
Final Bullet Points:
- Like this blog? My children are counting on you to put bread on our table through the purchase of one of my books. By the way, low-guilt-trip sales pushes are my specialty
- NOTE: This blog is purely for commentary / educational / entertainment purposes. I make no money from these blogs; though I do not refuse large cash gifts if it means I can pretend I'm a church
- Check out my whole UNIVERSE of blogs right HERE!
- This is a fourth bullet point.
AND HEY! WAIT JUST A S.E.C.!
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Seattle Voice Actor & Voiceover Artist for hire