As with all of my blogs...read and enjoy...there is a make-sense message at the end. Stay with me!
The Proof is in the Pudding
This section is about pudding, because it is pudding, and that is enough. I am confident that pudding was invented by Jesus Himself, and that there will be pudding in heaven. I have yet to record a voiceover script about pudding, but all good things come to those who eat their weight in pudding. I have now said pudding seven times.
But fear not: I almost always have a point. My point this time is this: I do not like disclaimers placed on my pudding, cereal, or anything.
“Some settling may have occurred.”
“Contents may have settled.”
“Package sold by weight, not volume.”
I recently opened my pudding cup, only to see less than the maximum. I am sorry, but I paid for the maximum product made by Jesus Himself. I did not want two-thirds of Jesus, nor did I pay for two-thirds of Jesus. False advertising! The pudding; not Jesus.
Packaging should not be visually misleading as to the quantity contained, and this “slack fill” problem is becoming an epidemic. There is truly nothing worse than opening a package – any package - only to find that it is only filled 66% full of whatever goodness I expected 100% of. Cereal boxes are another example. The inner plastic bag reaches to only 2/3 of the top of the box, and – even worse - the bag itself is filled only 2/3 full.
HOW ON EARTH DO PEOPLE GET AWAY WITH SUCH SHENANIGANS?!?!?
I am calm now.
Finally, to add insult to injury, I recently received my new container of Spark from Advocare. I am attaching the following picture for your 2/3 enjoyment to prove my 66% point. This is exactly the quantity received from a container that IMHO should be 100% full:
Because of all of this, I am therefore going to propose that that is no longer called settling, and instead called robbery. Examples:
- ”Some robbery may have occurred.”
- “Contents may have robbed you.”
- “Package sold by robbery, not integrity.”
To apply this in practical situations, I will be handing out 2/3 of any further $20 bills to the cashier who is taking 66% of my order before I walk 2/3 of the way out of the store and am 2/3 arrested by 66% of the store security.
It is the same with traffic. Just this past weekend we were heading north to pick up my mother from the airport, who had flown in from Tucson to see her grandchildren. My wife and I, who are known as The Taxi Drivers Who Exist To Simply Transport Her And Get Out Of The Way Of Her View Of Her Grandchildren, dutifully drove to pick her up from Seatac. From the moment we entered I-5 northbound, we were sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic for, if my memory is correct, four hundred and thirty-nine miles north. It is at this point that I would like to ebulliently thank the makers of VeggieTales for helping to keep the small creatures in the back of my van passive.
When we got to the end of the traffic jam, it just sort of…dissolved. No cataclysm; no fiery wreck, no travesty. What was the reason for the traffic jam then??? No smoking asteroid embedded into what was left of the highway, with cars snaking their way carefully around it on either side. I was honestly disappointed at this anticlimactic conclusion. I had half-expected to see the blackened fiery charred husk of an overturned car, and a grisly wreck spanning the width of the highway, because then that would make sense of our delay.
I am sure it is just me, but if you are going to delay me in stop-and-go traffic for a whole hour, then I feel I am entitled to see dismembered humans staggering clumsily through smoke and fiery misery, like the zombies in Thriller. As the zombies are now 2/3 alive, this jives perfectly with my new life approach.
Stupid pudding cups.
Life IS pain, Highness
I am now going to refer to the source of all goodness. It has been around for ages, and is filled with truth, light, music, and beauty. Here I am not referring to Jerry Springer. The source of all goodness is not even The Bible....mostly.
It is The Princess Bride, a movie that has been around since a long time ago before movies became about superheroes. A phrase was uttered in that movie that still resonates today. It is a powerful phrase. I am not referring to “Where's the Beef?”
I am talking about what Wesley said to Buttercup: “Life IS pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.”
Wesley was right. I have experienced pain through, particularly, deception, and I am not OK with it. Aside from pudding and traffic, here are some examples of when I have been deceived:
- Fad Diets. I was told that certain pills might be effective for me because the problem is that obesity runs in my family. They did not actually work, however, because the actual problem is that nobody runs in my family.
- Meat. Some people have expressed to me that eating meat is murder. Fine. It is murder. Delicious, flame-broiled murder. Stop ruining my dinner.
- Thin Mints. A Pennsylvania man is suing Smart Water for not making him smart, and so I too would like to formally announce my lawsuit against Thin Mints.
- Pac-Man. There has been a lot of talk lately about today’s video games causing young people to respond to stress negatively with aggression and acts of violence. Popular games from MY childhood taught kids to deal with stress a different way, by constantly running from their problems and binge eating. See "Thin Mints" above.
- Defensive Driving. I was told to practice defensive driving, and was led to believe others were taught the same. Highway behavior, however, appalls me; and I do not enjoy having to be nice to someone I would really like to just throw a brick at.
- The Return of the King Movie. I was told movies have a single ending.
- Cats. Also Kittens, which are Evil soaked in Cute.
- Exercise Instructors. They assign me pointless activity that is not nearly as enjoyable as simply laying down. I did do a push-up today, after all. OK fine. The truth is that I fell down, but I did have to use my arms to get back up, so…close enough. Now I need chocolate.
- Casinos. All of them, especially the ones that never paid me anything.
- All Doctors Everywhere. I cite a recent conversation with my doctor:
- Doctor: “You have this disease.”
- Me: “oh no”
- Doctor: “But you can cure it with a healthy diet and exercise.”
- Me: “OHHHHH NOOOOOOOOO”
- Revenge. I was told that revenge is a dish that is best served cold. However, people also say that revenge is sweet. So, basically, revenge is ice cream.
- Siri. I will never forget desperately trying to make the 1st generation Siri do my bidding. I desperately tried to painstakingly and slowly enunciate the phrase, “Find - the - nearest - bowling - alley.” I assumed speaking louder and slower would help. Siri replied with, “I’m sorry, I don’t understand ‘find the newest burrowing owl leave me.'" And, well, pretty much anything else Siri says.
- Weather Forecast Apps. Because, you know.
All I wanted was 100% of my pudding. Stupid pudding cups.
The truth is that life IS pain. You cannot solve everything with something, so do not resort to lying and deceiving. Unless you are a politician of course. Then they pay you to do it.
So how do Voiceover Artists UN-deceive?
Why the latest rant and rave by Joshua Alexander? I will tell you, because you deserve to know. Also because if I do not write a weekly blog, Google will start to forget me. But mostly the first thing.
In voiceovers, you have only one responsibility. Well, actually three responsibilities wrapped up in one. They are:
- Deliver an impeccable performance
- Deliver stellar audio quality
- Deliver utter commitment to customer service
All of these are part of your responsibility to truly deliver for your customers. That is, after all, what they are paying you to do. So I ask you now, are you committed to 2/3 of an impeccable performance? 66% stellar audio quality? An “almost” commitment to customer service?
I run voiceovers as my primary business. I treat it like a business, and I treat it professionally. I treat my customers professionally, and I do that 100%. Any less, and I risk losing a repeat client. I risk a bad review. I risk them not paying on time. I risk them telling a partner not to work with me. So it is in my best interest not to deceive them. To under-promise, and to over-deliver. Not the other way around.
Do you do any of the following:
- overpromise and underdeliver?
- say you can have it done in under an hour and you get it back to them tomorrow?
- try to steal other voice talent’s clients?
- lie about the quality of your hardware, software, or who your previous clientele have been?
- maintain an image of having it all together, when really you are falling apart inside? Essentially, are you an imposter?
- Or worse, are you a coach who is promising students repeat voiceover bookings once they pay $2400 and sign on your dotted line?
If you do any of the above, then you are a Voiceover Pinocchio, and Jesus would like to speak to you. This way, please.
Deception is not always so obvious, is it? For example, King Theoden, in The Two Towers, trusted an advisor named Wormtongue. Wormtongue. It was right there in his name. But our names do not have to be Wormtongue or Slick McSalesGuy in order to deceive our customers.
Lord help us see clearly, and neither deceive nor be deceived.
Lord help us to be truthful in advertising, and in all of our voiceover ways.
And Lord, above all else, thank you for pudding.
Please also let there be no more traffic.
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
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- This is a fourth bullet point.
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Seattle Voice Actor & Voiceover Artist for hire