Thursday, December 22, 2022
Wednesday, November 30, 2022
For many years now, choosing a color in Lebanon has meant choosing a political side. You see it in branding, protests, on billboards, marking their territories and creating more divisions among the Lebanese population. The day after the last Parliamentary Elections in 2022, the Lebanese people woke up to an even darker political context and a country losing by the day its colorful spirit.
A tad close to home, but when I hear or read stuff like this, my mind flashes back to the Star Trek episode "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield" with Frank Gorshin, the impressionist. His character Commissioner Bele, questioned if Kirk and Spock weren't
blind not to see the obvious distinction between right & left sided
faces. One Black...one White. Ah, but on which side of the face are they white & black? Don't despair. There was a lot of pause-acting from Capt. Kirk for xenophobe Bele and the rest of us to get the message.
The Lebanese people continue to struggle with 'obvious distinctions' while having to deal with extended power cuts, a growing bread crisis, water and fuel shortages, increases in poverty along with increased hunger rates and limited access to proper medications. All the Lebanese are living in the dark. The colorful spirit of Lebanon is sadly disappearing…leading the country to a total economic meltdown.
To revolt against this gloomy reality, Tinol a leading paint brand in Lebanon, stepped forward to
contribute “symbolically”. Aimed at disarming the political parties, by
depriving them of their color appropriation, and giving back this right to the Lebanese citizens. Tinol launched a unique, initiative…A colorful revolution with a twist; in which RED claims to be BLUE, ORANGE to be GREEN and so on...You Name It!
Tinol wanted a distinctive roll-out for their outdoor media "You Name It" campaign all over Lebanon. The effort was ON to break the strong association that was being made between colors and the political parties - making a bold, disruptive, and colorful statement. Revealing your own color, became a sort of game to express differences in a peaceful manner and a reminder that colors can speak in a thousand ways.
Our job was to make the voice as emotive as the spirited music track. At least that's the direction from the advertising camp. The music is pretty intense with flourishes and serene moments and the wrap-up of course. And there was a template for additional guidance as to tone, approach-ability and a leave-no-question as to our trustworthiness. The voice, after all said & done, had developed into an assertive character. It was a cross between a newscaster and meaningful commentator...but, in a good way we hoped. We were feelin' the magic! Click below for an abbreviated pre-quel to the final.
The New School on the 20th. A good friend of ours has been singing her heart out in this choral society she's belonged to for quite a few years now. Our seats were reserved, brand spanking new and built for a clarinet. Masks weren't optional. Small price to pay (free) to be a part of this gala event of the season. We were about to hear a few hours of a rare staging of the New York Choral Society stylings against Duke Ellington’s Sacred Concerts. Check it out. It was in partnership with the College of Performing Arts. What a nice surprise of theater peeling back the rich layers of Ellington rap plus some rat-a-tat-tippy-top-tap to top it off!
Combining elements of jazz, classical music, choral music, spirituals, gospel, blues and (Tap) dance, Ellington’s three Sacred Concerts were first performed in 1965, 1968, and 1973. Ellington said it was the most important music he’d ever written. Because of the scale of the music and the number of artists needed to perform each work, Ellington’s Sacred Concerts have rarely been performed in their entirety since his death in 1974 and have not been performed in a concert hall setting in New York City in over 35 years.
The Sacred Concerts would not be possible without YOUR support. Your donation, in any amount, makes this historic production possible. DONATE HERE. Thank you!
- New York Choral Society
The New York Choral Society and The New School Studio Orchestra will be joined by vocalists Brianna Thomas and Milton Suggs, dancer Daniel J. Watts, artist James Little. David Hayes and Keller Coker conduct.
Click above pic for Utube link to watch replay of Nov. 20 Concert
Saturday, October 29, 2022
That being said; the scary aspect and perhaps another plus for ai, is that one can never tell where one's voice is gonna wind up...or w-h-e-n! The voice I used was far from my own. It was a nice homey storyteller type voice - codger with a hint of southern drawl.
The spot was nice by any time or party standards. No pokin fun at anyone or any one demographic. The spot featured a young guy just starting out, not a career politician. The VO moseys on over to where he's been a small businessman and found out how to create jobs and grow the economy. Plus, I got to learn how to say Mont-gum-ree. And it's State House as opposed to congressman or representative.
The Creepy-Guy voice wraps up the Halloween Season. This makes three posts in-a-row with the Haunt Industry as the topic or sub-topic, but being it's right at the crest of the season, why not make the best of mentioning it. The Mortuary, the Haunted House venue in NOLA, is running this very cool TV spot of these two goofy characters On-The-Street being interviewed. They're pretty funny as they give their accounts at the event. Spoiler Alert - pop-out voice.
Mortuary Sprite co-op spot (left) that lets viewers get discount tickets by scanning the secret QR code where Sprite is sold...time is running out. Click the Sprite 'House that Fear Built' pic to play spot in typical high-energy Creepy-Guy voice style.
150th anniversary. In 1872 this Grand Victorian Mansion and former funeral parlor opened its doors. Between 1930 and 2003 more than twenty thousand funerals took place in this house. The Mortuary first opened its doors in 2007 as a haunted attraction and we've been partnering-it-up now for 15 years. Take a listen to the Celeb Voices mp3 from the August 31st Blog post above. It contains a few oldie-but-goodie horror voices joining unworldly forces to perform an audio translation of the text.
Friday, September 30, 2022
The Creep Show started in 2007, quite by accident...as our 15 year anniversary begins. The outfit responsible for it was called - Elswarro Films. Elswarro specialized in haunt industry short films and advertisements. Jason Swarr, head ghoul filmmaker extraordinaire reached-out to me and asked if I could create a Creepy-Guy voice based on the 2004 movie 'Saw'. They wanted that same eerie sound to that of the movie's protagonist JigSaw, characterized by Tobin Bell. Jason had a compendium of clients throughout the country that needed representation. He supplied them with custom videos from various templates, custom voiceovers & music.
Fast forward fifteen years into the future and I've had some very good luck. Been able to maintain a presence throughout the country providing all sorts of voice characterizations as far west as Arizona & Texas and south to New Orleans, LA. and up to New Hampshire.Year after year working regularly as the Creepy-Guy Voice, we were able to pitch all sorts of voices for other areas of client holdings; Escapes Rooms, In Line presentations, TV & Radio even developing animatronic voices to cater to clients One-Stop shop for all their attraction goals. Here's how it all started with Arizona's Original Scream Park for their: ASP - Applegate Asylum
have a regular theme park going throughout the year and do it up B-I-G
for the Halloween Season, particularly this year since it's their 120th year Anniversary. They feature live bands, side shows and Critter's live shows for the little guys... and for Mom's & Dad's.
Play TV spot VO (wait for it)
Wednesday, August 31, 2022
This season, The Mortuary's ticket-buying arm co-opted with Sprite for 'Wherever they're Sold' QR code tie ins in hopes of scaring up some shocking results.
Sunday, July 31, 2022
Well, it seems we all deserve a VaCa every now and then and with the help of a friend who knew the lay-of-the-land so-to-speak, we had the pleasure of being steered in the direction of Lake George for a few Original Vacation days. Ain't the closest lake around from Nassau County, Long Island. Four hours of scenic driving through the Connecticut hills and back up amongst the Adirondack mountain ranges. Nice family oriented setting with generations of happy campers enjoying all that nature and the fine folks of Lake George had to offer.
Cutting to the chase and all, there was an off day where it rained for a few hours, whereby our travel itinerary director thought it useful to find something for us to do for those few hours. That something was something none of us had figured on... at least not in these parts.
Since we're so close to Glens Falls, it was put forward that we take in a rather unexpected art show...of the Hyde Collection. History has it that the fortune made from a paper mill magnate and their daughter and son-in-law's taste for high art of Original Masters manifested into this landmark museum. Which until that very moment for us, was a tightly kept secret. When we went to Lake George, we in no way expected to see an original Rembrandt, van Gogh, El Greco, Ruebens, Whistler, Kandinsky, Picasso, Renoir, Degas and last time we saw a Botticelli was at the Gallerie degli Uffizi Museum Gallery in Florence, Italy. The list goes on to include works by; Sir Anthony Van Dyke, Dorothy Dehner, Winslow Homer, Edward Hopper, Thomas Eakins, Andy Warhol, French post impressionist Georges Pierre Seurat, sculpture by Andrea della Robbia among others for what amounted to a well rounded tour of world renowned artists.
The museum was designed by Boston architect, Henry Forbes Bigelow in the style of an Italian renaissance palazzo. The Hyde's passion for collecting art was shaped by world travel.
But NYC was where they acquired the majority of the art works that entered their collection. To the left is a Rembrandt van Rijn of Christ with Arms Folded cica, 1659. These works are viewed up close and personal aside from it appearing a bit out-of-place with the congruity of the Adirondacks. There are just a few visible security guards standing about here and there and couldn't help but think what might happen to a priceless piece if any attempts were made to abscond with or vandalize them.
A few days after our visit to the Hyde Collection, a story unfolded about just that scenario in Italy. On July 22nd, one of the most famous paintings in the Gallerie degli Uffizi in Florence, Sandro Botticelli's Primavera (around 1480), was left undamaged after climate activists glued themselves to the masterpiece's glass covering the work.
The protestors also rolled out a banner which read: “Last Generation: No Gas, No Coal.”
A new gallery devoted to Modern and Contemporary art, aptly named the Feibes & Schmitt Gallery, opened in June 2017, positioning the Hyde Museum as a regional hub for post-war art. For more than four decades, Werner Feibes and the late James Schmitt amassed a world-class art collection that aligned with their personal tastes and interest in non-objective art, Pop art, abstract art, and Minimalism. On display now is modern exhibition with sculptures in - The Art of John Van Alstine’s Transformations: slated to be at the Hyde till September 18th, 2022.
World Trade Center in May of 1977.
Funabulist, was the sculptures title. Abstract as this miniaturized
version (left) of the actual sculpture was, you can't help but be struck by
its balance centricity. The year was 1974, August 7th and the twin World Trade Towers were brand spanking new. (And according to legend and eyewitnesses, had the calmest wind turbulence between the Towers ever).
On that day a 24 year old French tight-rope aerialist name Phillipe Petit had a calling to cast a suspended high-wire 200 feet between both the World Trade towers and walked, knelt, laid across and danced on it for nearly an hour...1350 feet (a 1/4 of a mile) in the sky above from what is now known as ground Zero.
Funabulist was John Van Alstine’s tribute to Phillipe and that (Life or Death) feat of balance. There's even been a documentary made of it starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt called Man-on-a-Wire. This film incorporates Petit's footage to show the numerous extraordinary challenges he faced in completing the artistic crime of the century. We took a shot of the placard on the right and sent it over to George with the tag "we gotta get you one of these" to see if he too might have a depiction of his WTC climb in pigmented and sealed steel someday.
Thursday, June 30, 2022
As it is described in TIME the word metaverse is often traced to Neal Stephenson's 1992 dystopic cyberpunk novel Snow Crash. However the MetaVerse is far from far flung sci-fi stuff...it's not even new.
Whether in a virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) or simply on a screen, the promise of the MetaVerse is to allow a greater overlap of our physical and virtual lives in wealth, socialization, productivity shopping and entertainment.LiDAR scanner on newer iPhones that can take a 3D scan of your surroundings. At its core, the MetaVerse (also know as "web3") is an evolution of our current Internet.
In an age where perpetual change is the name of the game, changing our lives, and in this case, the pharma industry, like the rest of the world, stood on the brink of a new digital transformation. Which was poised for yet another disruption. Or in more theatrical terms ~ Bio-Pharma meets the Minority Report. Enter our new research-driven client, Boehringer Ingelheim; a bio-pharmaceutical company held in high esteem that hired us to voice the launch of their digital tools app. It helps consume and communicate in this new augmented/virtual-reality-digital-human-metaverse. Don't forget that restaurant you just walked by and now flashes a menu your way because you were a customer last week. Perhaps, even reminds you of what you had or contemplated having.
Forget-Me-Nots are a thing of the past in the MetaVerse. Makes you wonder...or maybe just the opposite with trivial bits of info on the tip-of-your-tongue that aren't coming into focus as easily as before. But in the Meta-Verse we're all hooked into instant facts retrieval, as if directly toggled into our own private (Big Bang) Sheldon's. We don't even try anymore. Could the Verse be responsible for flabby-memory-syndrome or (FMS) ? You know, those fuzzy moments of memory loss we seem to have more often than not, regardless of getting so called - Older. It use to be blamed on Multi-Tasking! But, there are just as many millennials walking around these days asking important questions like: What was Ted Knight's wife's name in the movie - Caddyshack!
Also teaming up for a cause close to her heart is Queen
Latifah (Dana Elaine Owens) for Boehringer Ingelheim's Scleroderma Research
Foundation. Dana lost her mom Rita in 2018 to the decease and has dedicated herself
to the fight against scleroderma-associated ILD. Today, she and her sister are working
hard to raise awareness about scleroderma-associated ILD to help others avoid
the challenges Rita faced. Watch their experience below.