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  • Writer's pictureTom Dheere

The Moth, Storytelling, and Voiceovers – GKN Weekly Update 10/22/13

Hello and Happy United Nations Day! Would anyone mind telling me exactly how I’m supposed to celebrate this one? My favorite thing about the UN is how they give the office of the Secretary General to the coolest-named people on the planet. Dag Hammarskjold, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Kofi Annan, Ban Ki-Moon? Love it! BTW one of my favorite David Letterman Top Ten Lists is “Top Ten Boutros Boutros-Ghali Pick-up Lines” and here it is!

10. Can I can I buy you a drink a drink? 9. The nations are united — why not you and me? 8. I’m the man so nice they named me twice! 7. I’m so depressed about the unstable world situation that I really don’t think I should spend tonight alone 6. You were fabulous in ‘Basic Instinct,’ Ms. Stone 5. It must be fate — you don’t have any boutroses, and I’ve got one to spare! 4. I have the complete line of general foods international coffees back at my place 3. In your honor, I’m declaring 1994 the international year of the babe 2. Want to have sex, Madonna? 1. I’ve got a peacekeeping force in my pants

You may have noticed me plugging my friend Carly Johnstone’s performances as a Moth storyteller lately.

I went to another one of her performances last week and Sweet Baby Gertrude it was amazing!

This is the Celeste Bartos Forum at the New York Public Library:

The show opened with violinist Mazz Swift blowing our minds with a hauntingly beautiful performance. Then “Live from the NYPL” founder Paul Holdengraber welcomed us, followed by Moth StorySlam champion Peter Aguero telling a great story about how he tried to entertain his mother-in-law in New York City.

Next came Pulitzer Prize-nominated author Andrew Solomon who regaled us with a tale of his reinvention of himself after high school and journey into the world of glamour.

Then came Carly! Her story of growing up in foster care and meeting the person that helped her rise above was both moving and inspiring. It was truly a delight to see someone so near & dear to me engage an audience in such a profound way. Bravo!

Then came the panel. Paul sat down with Carly, Andrew, Moth Director Catherine Burns, and Moth founder George Dawes Green for a rousing conversation about the art of storytelling.

I don’t remember the name of the last storyteller, but his story of taking his out-of-town friends to Chinatown to watch them lose a game of tic-tac-toe to a chicken (yes, a chicken) is one of the funniest things I’ve ever heard!

It was a wonderful evening and I’m very proud of my friend Carly for her bravery, her generosity, and her new life as a Moth storyteller!

TIP OF THE WEEK: As much as I enjoyed the evening as an audience member and a supportive friend, I couldn’t help but also look at it from a voice talent’s perspective. The storytellers were wonderful & engaging, but does that mean they would make good voice talents? Does a successful voice talent need to be a good storyteller?

I gave this even more thought when I read a thread on the “Audiobook Crowd” Facebook Group. Someone asked how important is it to be skilled at acting in order to be a good audiobook narrator. What I thought was interesting was just about everyone that had acting training said it was very important and it can make a huge difference. I happen to agree. Do I agree because I think it’s true or do I agree so I can justify all the acting training I got? Yes and yes!

Being tall doesn’t make you a basketball player. Having a nice voice doesn’t make you a professional voice talent. You need training. You need coaching. You need to develop your technique. You need business acumen. Try being a doctor without a medical degree and see how that goes!


STUFF!: I want to thank Joe Cipriano for being our guest on the Voiceover Cafe podcast last week. He’s the voice of many CBS and FOX shows (The Simpsons, 2 1/2 Men, etc.). Joe was a lot of fun and happily tolerated reading aloud what I wrote. He’s a champ, he is!

From Tom Dheere’s apartment, this is Tom Dheere: GKN News…


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