I have always enjoyed doing voices. I don’t know what it is about it that is so thoroughly satisfying. Perhaps it’s the repressed actor inside of me sneaking out in doses.
I remember, as a kid, being in my older sister’s room and having her count all the voices I could do. I must have been around 9 or 10. I recall she got up to about 60, but I also remember knowing full well that 53 of those were basically slight variations of the same voice. In high school, my buddies and I would record our prank calls with variety of voices. What I wouldn’t give to find those old tapes. I remember prank calling a girl from our high school and going through five or six voices (her “grandma”, her “Uncle Eddy”, etc). She railed off about 15 guy’s names, but never guessed it was me. A feather in my voice impressions cap.
I gave up the prank call game until I moved to Texas. I think it was the commute in Houston traffic that finally did it. Instead of sitting there and being all road ragey, I decided to start working on my voice impressions. In 2011 my brother suggested that I call into Sports Radio 610 and leave a few messages. Every day at 6:00pm they play the best messages on what’s known as the “Shiner Whiner Line.” So for about a week I would pull into work, call the radio station, leave a few messages and then listen to the Whiner Line on my way home. I got on the radio six times in seven days. Luckily, they still have the audio files archived.
The first time I called in, I got on twice with different voices. They had no clue they were both from the same guy. In fact, my brother didn’t even know they were both mine. I’m on at 4:30 and 6:25.
This next one was the first appearance of my recurring character, the german who reveals that his country has genetically engineered Dirk Nowitzki (a german basketball player who led the Dallas Mavericks to win the NBA Finals) so that they could begin their take over of the United States. They ended up playing it twice. Go to 7:19
I’m at 2:40. This is the return of the German.
The German yet again. 6:37. They started editing my clips and combining parts from different calls. They always played my final fake German rant at the end.
This one is probably my worst one. Nothing special. 2:10.
I’m at 4:00 on this one. This was kind of a throw away. I basically just make fun of the radio guy for something he said the other day. Still got on:
As I said, I love doing voices. I would love to do voice work for a cartoon or video game one day. Until then, I’ll settle for imitating the characters from my kids’ TV shows (my kids are both amazed and annoyed by my talent) and posting videos on YouTube. Are these the best impressions on the internet? No. There are guys that absolutely put me to shame, but I think I make a solid effort. I hope you find them somewhat entertaining. If you don’t, then it doesn’t matter, because I am still my own best audience for this kind of stuff. Sometimes when I unexpectedly nail a voice I just sit there and laugh at myself.
If you have any suggestions for voices, let me know. I usually just stumble upon new voices, but there are plenty that I need to practice and work at. I’ll be doing a bunch more videos in the future. And maybe some prank calls…