Some level of talent is necessary

I’ve had voice actors on the brain and in my ears with all the fiction podcasts I listen to, and I noticed the other day that some of these voice actors SUCK at laughing.  On Wolf 359, which I love, only ONE of the actors is any good at making his character’s laughter sound real.  Thankfully, he plays two characters.  When the others laugh, it’s painfully obvious that it’s fake, and one of them is so bad I almost can’t listen.  It’s just as well that that guy plays a minor character AND he’s an uber-bad guy, so I only feel a little bad for not liking him.

I’m judging them for their bad fake laughter, but it’s not like I could do any better.  I don’t think I could be a voice actor.  I feel strange just reading things out loud.  I don’t do voices or accents, although I’d like to, not that either of those are requirements for voice actors.  I suppose I’d get better if I practiced.

I could never be an actor at all, I think.  I mean, the biggest obstacle is that I can’t act.  I can’t say I’ve tried much, but I pretty much suck at it.  And I get weird when someone points a video camera at me.  (Weird in still photos, sure, but WEIRDER on video.)  Not on purpose – I just can’t help it.  Again, though, I imagine practice would help.

What I learned over Thanksgiving break

New things I like (and one thing I didn’t like):

  • New fun podcast!  Check out The Orbiting Human Circus.  It’s odd (it’s about a radio variety show performed in the ballroom at the top of the Eiffel Tower with a janitor who has a narrator in his head and just wants to be on the stage!), but not supernatural or science fiction-y in any way.  Mandy Patinkin is involved.  Try it.
  • I read the first book in Mary Robinette Kowal’s Glamourist series and it made me very happy.  It’s unashamedly Jane Austen-esque but with magic!  Ladylike magic.  Magic is just one of the arts ladies become accomplished in, like singing or drawing or playing the piano.  (I really liked it.)
  • I also read The Apartment, and I definitely do NOT recommend it.  It wasn’t awful, and it was a bit creepy (you already know I scare easy), but it was paced badly, nothing was explained, and the ending wasn’t satisfying.  If you were thinking about it, don’t bother.  At least it was a library book so I didn’t spend any money on it.
  • Pie is good.  Apple pie with ice cream is better.  (I’m including this because I like re-learning it every Thanksgiving.  Continuing education is important.)

Podcasts are a wonderful thing

Lately (and by lately, I mean all summer long), my workouts have been much more enjoyable because I’ve been listening to podcasts.  I caught up on Welcome to Night Vale in mid-July, right before the live show, and then they went on hiatus, so I had to find something else.  I like the Thrilling Adventure Hour very much (that’s their website, but I download them from here), but I’m not always in the mood for it, and John and I listen to Hello from the Magic Tavern together in the car, so I couldn’t use that.  Someone I follow on Twitter was raving about The Bright Sessions, and it looked interesting, so I gave it a try.  SO GOOD.  The Bright Sessions is about a psychiatrist who only treats “unusual” patients.  Her definition of “unusual” is right up my alley.  I raced through both seasons, and I’m eagerly awaiting the beginning of the next season.  Once I finished The Bright Sessions, to avoid withdrawal before the next season starts, I started another podcast called Ars Paradoxica, about a scientist who accidentally time travels to 1943 while she’s conducting an experiment to do something else.  That one is ALSO great, and the only reason I’m not caught up is that I’m having trouble downloading episodes 12 through 16.  Not everyone streams all the time, podcasters.  So while I figure THAT out, I started a new one called The Black Tapes.  It’s also a fictional podcast (all of my favorite podcasts are fiction ones), but it sounds the most like a real radio show.  A journalist from a fictional NPR-type station starts a series about people with interesting jobs and gets pulled into investigating supernatural events.  The person she works with debunks those events.  It’s a little eerie, but it was the fourth one that really creeped me out (just yesterday), so I might limit myself to listening to those outside on sunny days only.  I’ve heard those will be in short supply in another month.

There’s good stuff out there!