Reblogged from Tumblr.
A “Crabby” Chance Meeting
I’ve been so lucky in my business life over the years. I was able to find an occupation where (despite getting up at 3am every morning )was filled with more fun than should be allowed by law. I was blessed enough to be able to turn doing a morning radio show in one city, into a career that lasted over 30 plus years. I stopped counting when one of my own kids said to me one day “Ya know Dad, you’re not Ryan Seacrest” a reference made about the young man, filled with talent, whom worked with us at Star 94 as a junior in high school here in Atlanta.
Along the route of radio,I was always doing voice work, and naturally as most radio people do when they tire of getting up early, I built a studio in my home and started doing voice work full time. Over the decades of daily voices I’ve had a blast creating magic with just my voice, designing characters for commercials, video games, documentaries or church bulletins. I’ve played the part of a stapler at Office Depot, a Furby, Apostles Peter and Paul, I’ve played Lincoln for a documentary on PBS, and yesterday I got to be a junk food bag with an Italian accent. How much fun is that?
But back in March of this year, on a day that I was supposed to be gone for my birthday celebration I auditioned for a children’s book about a fiddler crab named Sam, who fought against the odds to prevail in building a home on a magical island.
Now, I love doing children’s stories, especially when I can get to play characters as I narrate the story. In the past, I’ve narrated audio books for Alice in Wonderland, a book about a little boy who lived among Giants, and a few others. So instead of being 25 minutes early to a dinner celebration with friends, I decided for the first time in my life that I was going to be 30 minutes late for my dinner celebration with friends and audition for Samuel T. Moore from Corte Magore. Written by Tonia Allen Gould.
Little did I know while auditioning that this was a dream of a young Mom from Calif. who was reaching beyond her own stars to write and publish her first children’s story.
When I was contacted by the agency that Tonia had chosen me to be the voice of her book, and that she was requesting to be on Skype with me as I read the project I was thrilled to get the job.
Doing the voice work while being on Skype with a director, or producer or someone in charge is not unusual at all, and being married and having 3 children of my own, I certainly understood the demands of a Mother who was being protective of her new baby Samuel. What I didn’t realize at the time is that it wasn’t by chance that I was late for my birthday celebration to do the audition, I think it was one of those things that was kinda destine to happen…as if it we’re created by JJ Abrams for his very famous TV show LOST.
As we Skype’d, and made small talk, I learned that she had “googled” and had thoroughly researched me before making her careful choice for her narrator. And I quickly realized that this Mom who probably has run 1001 carpools, had 15 themed birthday parties for her two children, made countless sacrifices for her family members, had this energy that reached through my Mac pro screen and grabbed me. As we recorded the story written in prose that had to be just right, Tonia would kindly stopped me when I added a word (something I tend to do in sessions when I’m a little nervous)… and I was nervous because I wanted to make sure that I was doing the best job for this perhaps once in a lifetime project for Tonia.
See, Tonia had an excitement about this story that revitalized me once our Skype session ended and made me realize that no matter what your age ( not that Tonia is old-I’m actually more than 10 years her senior) that you should never settle into your daily routine in life as a Mother or Father. Yes, raising young human beings into good and life achieving adults is a career achievement in itself, and something (especially in this day and age) that we can all be proud of as a job well done. But also, that if you have a dream to do something else, and stretch those hidden talents beyond living just for parental duties that you should take the time to do something you never might do otherwise. My wife Linda also realized this a few years back and went back to college becoming a freshman at 50.
I love more than anything when I can learn something from someone younger than myself. In a strange way it makes me feel (sadly), that I may have missed something in my 30’s or 40’s…something that I should have experienced and perhaps missed out on).
As we finished the voice work on Samuel T. Moore on Corte Magore and I learned about Tonia’s family and I regaled her with stories of my 3 offspring and probably bragged too much about my three grandkids. But as the disconnect sound of the Skype session went “Bleep-Bloop” I felt like I had made a new friend, someone who I would keep in touch with and I realized that I wanted to do whatever I could to help Tonia to make this book a success.
I was high off her energy and revitalized. In the weeks from March to July 1st, the release date for Sammy the fiddler crab on iTunes I started creating some video’s on my mac to market the story for Tonia. I found some software that helped me to create a video of a wave from the ocean that would reveal the title of the book and its release date. I would create four or five videos and send them to Tonia. We’d both place them up on social media sites and she seemed to love them. We would correspond with each other on marketing ideas for Sam, even looking at real islands for sale to become the island of Corte Magore so that it no longer had to be a fictional island but could become a real place.
I guess if there’s a moral to this story, it may seem trite, but no matter what your age, you never know who you might meet or come across on a chance meeting. There is probably something to learn from each person you meet on your path of life, and even at 59 there’s something to pick up or borrow or steal from that person and use in your own life.
And just like Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore teaches his young readers ( or listeners to Lucy, Jack and Connor’s Papa) to never give up despite the odds being against you. That your never too old to enjoy new adventures and reach beyond that dream and make it a reality. Just make sure your back in that carpool line in time to pick up the kids from School.
If you’d like to download “Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore” a musical and interactive book, click on the link below:
I was honored to be included in this project along the talents of “Mr.Lawrence” one of the original illustrators of SpongeBob Squarepants and the voice of Plankton. Also,musical score by Robbie Armstrong,and of course author Tonia Allen Gould. Three people I hope to meet someday.