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Warning! I am a satirist! If you do not have a sense of humor or are easily-offended, these blogs may not be for you. May I interest you in an innocuous episode of Peppa Pig instead?
Whack It. Whack It Good.
“Wahoo!” “Let’s-a Go!” “It’s-a Mario time!”
That’s what approximately twenty seven-year-olds were yelling. Clarification: these are not twenty-seven-year-olds. No. TWENTY (screamed in caps for emphasis to stress the pure raw fear we parents experience at being outnumbered by frighteningly high juvenile numbers) SEVEN-year-olds ran around our property on Saturday February 11th, along with various younger and older kids, to celebrate my eldest son who is also not 27. This was all for his "Super Mario" 7th birthday party. All told, these thoroughly terrorizing younglings flitted to and fro across our yard and through our house, wreaking havoc, flicking boogers, licking things, making uncleanable messes, and conducting sundry frightening activities that 7-year-olds are accustomed to doing, along with the unthinkable: making me use the word "sundry."
Cleaning up afterwards, I couldn’t help but recall my colleague Amy Stafford’s recent post, “90% of parenting is pretending to be excited about things you don’t understand. The other 10% is wondering if this is pee or water.” Quite right. And her friend’s follow-up comment, “Also: is this poop, or chocolate?”
My favorite question? “BOYS! Why is this sticky???”
Ah, parenting. Not for the faint-hearted, it is an acquired skill, akin to becoming a ninja. Years of training, suffering, and actual physical abuse, pain and sudden attacks go into the recipe for every parent. When kids misbehave, to this day I wrestle with issuing a punishment of sending them to their room vs. hurling a throwing star at their face. (My parenting book was missing the chapter on discipline, so I improvise.)
Parenting is difficult. Each hard-to-find reward is cherished with the utmost appreciation. Kind of like shaving 1.7 seconds off of a 2-hour flight by standing up immediately when the plane lands. Parents 1, Airline 0. It’s true! We as parents have to endure a lot. Once I became a parent I finally understood the scene where Yoda gets so tired of answering Luke's questions he just dies.
For myself, I count my son’s birthday a raging success when:
- no children accidentally fall into the barbecue
- no child is found floating facedown out in the pool
- no child leaves our home with throwing stars sticking out of their scalp
- we do not actually hold a birthday party
Thank you, Mario and Luigi, for bringing the children out in droves to utterly wreak havoc on our home. The janitorial bill should arrive to you by courier within the week.
Well, for this birthday party, we did things a little differently for our son. I am not talking about Chippendales dancers, which of course brings us back to “BOYS! Why is this sticky???”
In a break from the decorum of previous years, we decided to purchase a piñata. For those who do not know what a piñata is, a piñata is a word that is fun to say. It is also an object on whom one projects one's entire life fury by attempting to pummel it with a baseball bat, much as one would on a home intruder or Marjorie Taylor Greene. Much like Marjorie Taylor Greene, a piñata is an object that is completely devoid of emotion and rationale. Unlike Marjorie Taylor Greene, it is filled with candy and all things sweet. When one whacks a piñata and spills it open, one goes to a happy place full of fulfillment and satisfaction. When one whacks Marjorie Taylor Greene and spills her open, one goes to a maximum security prison. In either case, there is lots of whacking, especially when you factor in tiny humans whose sole aim and purpose for living is in fact candy.
NOTE TO THE MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE SECURITY TEAM: I DO NOT AND WOULD NOT CONDONE VIOLENCE TOWARD MS. GREENE. HER SECURITY TEAM, EITHER, OR BOTH.
This year, since we had a Super Mario theme for Brennan’s birthday, I suspended a piñata shaped very much like a video game controller, or a ganxet common bean, whose Latin name is Phaseolus vulgaris L. Please note that Marjorie Taylor Greene’s Latin name also has “vulgaris” in it. Let me see, ah here it is: upon researching the origins, I find that her name in Latin is Vulgaris Annoyicus Ridiculorum Insanicus Maximus Copious Stupidus Rex. Follow me for more lineage discovery tips.
At any rate, since after a phone call it was determined that Ms. Greene was not interested in being whacked this year, or ever…
NOTE TO THE MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE SECURITY TEAM: YOU WILL FIND NO VIOLENCE HERE! I AM A LOVER, NOT A FIGHTER.
…our deprived children had to make do with a large Nintendo piñata, loaded with Super Mario-esque Pez dispensers rife with delicious candy, candy, other candy, and more candy. Our next-door-neighbors-slash-good-friends Roland & Rachel’s son Oliver was the strapping chap (interestingly, he was wearing a chapping strap, which brings us back to Chippendales) who was able to utterly destroy the piñata by pulverizing it to atomic-sized particles (see dictionary: juvenile rage) with a baseball bat, even after the rope it was tethered to had been severed. If you watch the replay you can hear the many high-pitched cries for help as Oliver flaps around like a spastic chicken and proceeds to decimate everything within a half-block’s radius as our futile cries for him to stop go unnoticed. “Oliver! Oliver! Those are blunt force wound sounds coming from your friends, Oliver, STOP!”
What a terrific romp! Every kids’ birthday party should have a piñata-bashing. We started with twenty seven-year-olds (note: not 27-year-olds) and only seventeen had to be rushed to the hospital! I call that a win. Follow me for more medical tips.
However, I could not help but think – as I am wont to do, having been equipped with half a functioning cranium – is voiceovers not the exact same thing as trying to successfully smash open a piñata? Trying desperately to get in a few bashes and be successful at reaping our reward?
To further illustrate my already belabored point - which by this time I am sure has seen you enter a state of insanity, exit your browser, enter your car, exit the highway, enter a ravine, and exit your life – my nephew Connor was eagerly awaiting his go at the piñata, but alas, never got the chance, as Oliver went right before him. I looked over to see my 5-year-old nephew crying into his mama’s arms. Turns out – just my luck – that this was the second such birthday party of 27-year-olds in two weeks’ time that Connor was in line to whack a piñata, and did not even get the chance. My heart broke for the little guy. So, in all fairness, I gave him the bat and setup a meeting between he and Marjorie Taylor Greene.
I mean, hey, what else are caring uncles for.
NOTE TO THE MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE SECURITY TEAM: I DO NOT IN ANY WAY ENDORSE VIOLENCE EVER IN ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM OK??? I AM TELLING YOU THE TRUTH!! HEY!!! GET THESE HANDCUFFS OFF OF ME BEFORE I SUMMON OLIVER, I MEAN IT!
Used by permission from kliempictures via Pixabay. All rights reserved.
I have spoken to many people in the voiceover community. We all hail from different backgrounds, demographics, cultures and histories. But one thing unites us all: the desire to perform and get paid for voiceovers.
However, many people sometimes completely miss the chance to audition because:
- casting notices are filled up already
- the job was pulled
- it was closed before the part-time voice actor got home from work in order to send in their takes
- they spent so much time in analysis paralysis, analyzing and overanalyzing their audition, or editing and over-editing their mp3, it was closed before they got a chance to submit it
- They were wearing their Halloween Marjorie Taylor Greene costume and unfortunately Oliver zeroed in on them first
We all want a few whacks at that piñata, right? It can be discouraging when you miss an opportunity. Here are my suggestions for getting those auditions in on time:
- Do a batch of auditions early in the morning
- Assemble and bring a mobile recording kit to take with you and perform auditions on your lunch break in your car – one of the best and closest-to-soundproof environments you can have on the go
- Do auditions the moment you get home
- If all else fails – and I realize I may run afoul of some established voice talents’ uncompromising belief system – as a last resort, send them your category-appropriate demo and tell them that you are currently unavailable but would love a chance to audition as soon as you are able. I have actually, truthfully booked a few jobs this way!
Remember, there are five T’s to triumph in voiceover casting. They are:
- Timing – how fast can you get it in?
- Technique – how well can you bring the spot to life?
- Technical – how good does your audio quality sound?
- Tier – for some P2P’s, did you know that which tier you are on determines how soon you get the casting notice?
- Trust – how well do you follow directions (i.e., they say authentic British but you submit it anyway even though you’re from Jamaica but do “one heck of a British accent”)?
I once posted a video on three T's to triumph. But there really are five mentioned above. Someday I will be upping that number to twenty-seven.
At any rate, carpe dium: may you seize the day and get to your piñatas with expediency...and smash them to bits like a spastic chicken.
There. Now you are ready to whack that piñata, and you will not even have to deal with Marjorie Taylor Greene's security forces…or my nephew’s sorrow. Also your house will be free of children with throwing stars in their heads, which I think is always a nice bonus.
Happy birthday, Brennan. Let’sa go!
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22 thoughts on “Voiceover Piñatas?”
Thank you Andria, glad you enjoyed it! Now go whack that piñata!
oooh, I would genuinelky love a copy of that book please josh – and thanks for another G-R-E-A-T job inspiring us. YAY TEAM OLIVER! And watch out MTG…heehee 🙂 🙂
Of course, Kris! On its way to you. And just as a note, since you touched on it,
ATTENTION MS. GREENE’S SECURITY TEAM, KRIS REERDON IN NO WAY CONDONES VIOLENCE TOWARD MS. GREENE OR HER SECURITY TEAM!
There. You should be safe now.
Pure gold, Mr. Alexander! As usual!!
Why thank you, Mrs. Stafford! I know you, having kids of similar ages, can completely understand every bit about birthday parties and piñatas…AND about scoring voiceovers! Thanks for contributing gold to my gold! Now my pile is bigger…which…I think was not my point. Uh-oh, here comes Oliver….RUN!
I really like the jobs that come through CastVoices, but because of the timezones, I just don’t even get a chance to submit something. By the time I get up to audition, it’s loooong gone, haha. I’m clearly also in the line for the piñata and don’t get a swing at it! hahaha. Thankfully there are many sources, so many piñatas out there to choose from #reliefyall haha. I do know his sorrow though – felt the exact same way whenever I had to leave the party first. Now, looking back, it doesn’t bother me, but back then, it was the biggest deal in the world. Shame… he has my sympathy.
Mario is just so cool and seems to stay that way too! As annoying as I find his voice, as a character – I find no issue. He’s a little over 27 if I’m not mistaken, LOL.
Glad the party was a success and I was looking forward to you writing about it – worth the wait!! hehe 😀
Oh, thank you my friend! I’m glad it resounded. It was such a good time and SO exhausting – haha! Wait until you have kids. You’ll see. But I’m really not joking about the piñata-bashing. Putting a bat in a kid’s hand, blindfolding them and then setting them loose is a terrifying thing. It’s epic. It’s Biblical. RUN. We had a blast though, and we’re proud of Oliver for knocking the heck out of it.
I do totally hear you about CastVoices however…that’s the one I was thinking of. It’s only a matter of time before they pick up traction however. The site is too good, the owner/operators too caring and involved…the momentum behind it too undeniable. It’s got a way to go but I hope that there just be a flood of so many more opportunities for all of us…and with plenty of time to get to them. I wish the same for you too.
So, with that, it’s a new week….LETS’A GO!!
Haha, you just had to, haha. When I read it I heard it in my head – I prefer the super (quiet) mario bros game for the NES. LOL.
I totally agree – not ditching them in anyway. I think they have some of the coolest projects (thus the quick fill)… Once it grows more we’ll get to them sooner; I wish that for you too, thank you!
Awesome week for you too! May you find double your expectation! 😀
You too, my friend. And may that double be accompanied by this soundtrack:
Sorry: but I read “spastic chicken” and just kind of lost it after that. Thanks for that awesome word picture. I’ll take that E-Book now, if you please!
I think when you put “spastic” in front of ANYTHING, it becomes instantaneously and exponentially funnier. It just makes it so much more colorful. Spastic colorful, in fact. Don’t you spastically agree? 🙂
E-Book on its way!
LOVE your writing, Josh! Very inspirational to me!
Thank you so much, my friend! I appreciate your reading and commenting, and may you have a wonderfully successful week, month and year of smashing that piñata!
Rest assured, one Miss Marjorie Taylor Greene is certainly breathing a lot easier now. Which is more than I can say for myself (literally, and it has nothing to do with Oliver, I swear!) – nasty cold and cough going into my 3rd week, which has wreaked havoc on my ability to do decent voice overs. So serious question here, sparked from your comment that you’ve submitted demos when you didn’t have time to audition. Have you ever done that successfully when you’re hacking your guts out (messy business there) with a lingering cough? I’m wondering if that’s something I should consider rather than sitting on the sidelines until my voice returns in full. Hmmm, what to do, what to do…. Thanks, Josh! For the idea and the funny parenting stories. ☺️
Thanks Laura! Man, I’m SO bad at sitting it out when I have a cold. I just take my Throat Coat Tea like a good little boy, do some warm-ups, drink some water, and I’m back in action the next morning, even if I’m a bit scratchy. The only time I actually sit it out is when I’m Mr. Squeaks-A-Lot. That doesn’t allow me to deliver good quality voiceovers, and I sound like either a raspy prepubescent or Jennifer Lawrence in basically every movie scene ever. Or unless I’m really nasal – but Nasacort can whip my sinuses into shape in a matter of minutes, so I truthfully just soldier on.
Sorry you’re sick! I truly am. I hope you heal up right quick and get back in the saddle! WHACK THAT PINATA!!! Hey wasn’t that a Devo song by the way?
Another enlightening post, which served to remind me just how much I have been missing *cough* since my kids grew up and left the house. Take heart, my friend. They leave eventually.
Looking forward to the evolution of all the words beginning with T being integrated into your triumph formula!
Things do continue to evolve with me, do they not? I can’t help it! I’m a work in progress. I learn, I share, I learn, I share, and round and round we go. Onward to triumph, my friend! I appreciate you, Mister Jon. If you’d like, I will come and stay with you and depend on you and have you make me my cereal and pack my lunch and clean my room for me daily. Let me know.
I love the analogy Josh. I connected with the kid in line missing the chance to get his crack at the pinata. I like that the 5 t’s plays a part to avoid that as best as possible. Do what you can to be closer in line to the opportunity to take your swing ( whatever that may be ie. bundling your auditions, getting up earlier than you normally would to get a jump on opportunities, etc.. its all in what we are willing to do and bad we want it), and then when you actually get the chance, make sure you strike true, or at the very least to the best of your ability because you’ve prepared, read and understood the specs, have had coaching, have the good audio quality, all of which in turn will help you put your best voice forward. Loved the blog as usual. Make it a great week dude!
No, YOU make it a great week. YOU!
Thanks my friend. I appreciate you, and can’t wait to see you whack that piñata, whack it GOOD!!!
What an AWESOME birthday party!! I would have gone nuts over a Mario themed birthday party at that age! And with a piñata like that to boot?! Those kids must have had a great time. You’re letting the kids be kids, and mystery brown substances aside, that’s pretty special.
Do you think there are such things as Russian Doll piñatas?? I bet Connor would get a kick out of one of those. Maybe for his birthday!
HAHA! Oh man you just gave me a great idea for their next birthday party. You’re helping me by “putin” it all together! Smash that face! Whack it! But his candy would be all rotten inside, anyway – and I’m sure there would be more mystery brown substances.
I know you would have loved this, my friend- with your fantastically Mario-esque business card and website…we should have really invited you. Sorry! But do come down for the next piñata bashing!!!