“You got your voiceover in my acting!” … Yum. Two great careers in one!
I started this blog for many reasons, though one of the primary ones was to introduce my voiceover clients to my acting career, and to introduce casting directors to my voiceover career. It’s a heartwarming treat when a client I’ve had for years discovers me on their television set. But it’s an even bigger treat when a voiceover client hires me for on-camera work.
Several months ago my voiceover client, Stepframe Interactive, inquired if I would be available to act in a series of commercials for a credit union in Washington state. When asked what kind of role it was, they said, “Oh, it’s right up your alley. He’s a total slimebag!” Alas, this voiceover client has watched my comedy reel!
Stepframe is located in the tri-cities area of Washington. The area has a fascinating history:
The United States government built a top-secret facility to produce and separate plutonium for nuclear weapons, and decided on an area just north of then-tiny Richland. The government built temporary quarters for the more than 45,000 workers and built permanent homes and infrastructure for other personnel in Richland. The city had an overnight population explosion, yet virtually no one knew what the purpose of Hanford was until the destruction of Nagasaki on August 9, 1945 by an atomic weapon containing Hanford-produced plutonium. After World War II Hanford continued work on creating material for nuclear weapons during the Cold War. After the fall of the USSR in 1991, Hanford, the site of severe nuclear contamination, changed its mission from plutonium production to environmental cleanup and restoration.
While I was there, I heard the story of a particular incident where a radioactive cloud drifted over an area of the tri-cities. The people exposed had higher incidents of cancer and other maladies and became known as “The Down-Winders.” This didn’t sour the residents, though. The Richland High School’s team is The Bombers and their unofficial motto is “Proud of the cloud!” … If I were a television writer, I would base an entire TV series on this area.
My time in Washington was short but very sweet. The spots were directed by Elijah Stanfield, whose dry wit kept sneaking up on me. Brandi Hickey, the coordinator, was a blast, as was the whole Stepframe team (Todd Billow, Chad Langford, et al). Apparently these five spots were their first foray into television commercial production, but watching how organized and prepared they were, you’d never know it. Their talent, combined with a very hip attitude on the part of Gesa Credit Union, created 5 very funny spots. Enjoy!
(Oh, one side note here; I really do purposely work a psuedo-double-chin into the character… Really!)
To learn more about the production team behind these commercials, check out www.Stepframe.com
I also recently worked with an awesome producer over at Blissium, Sabrina Mance-Weinstein, who produced several funny Butterfinger viral videos. I provide the voiceover on them. But, because of the Big Bank spots, I may get to audition for on-camera work in some of Blissium’s future projects. Yes, indeed, two great careers in one. Just don’t fool with my Oreo middle… Yeah, I don’t know what that means in this context either.
Warning: this technique may cause hemorrhoids.