Doing laps in the LA Fishbowl

Sunday Roundup

“Today, the minutes seem like hours,
 The hours go so slowly,
And still the sky is light…”

This lyric is not describing an impending lover’s tryst. It is describing what it’s like to have a child sick at home for FIVE DAYS with a cold. One that seemingly abates during the day, allowing him to squirrel around the house with the promise of recovery (and school) the following day, only to flare up in fever and hacking coughs at night, thereby rendering any sleep for him or his haggard parents virtually impossible. It’s been siege mentality around here.

Five days. That’s all I’m saying. And Monday doesn’t look too promising.

That aside, pretty busy week, work-wise. Aside from the Kung-Fu Panda work, had a looping session for an imported show called “Winks.” Anyone from Across the Pond heard of it? Apparently, it’s pretty popular out in Europe. From what I can tell, it’s what “Tinkerbell” would be like if it were made into a manga series. Fairies à la “Bakugan”— what’s not to like? Just throw in a few robotic dragons, and it hits every demographic!

Also did two days of shouting, screaming and dying for a MUCH-anticipated sequel to a video game franchise. In a reversal of my summer Chicago experience on “Chicago Code,” I voiced one of the Boys in Blue this time, a Chicago cop. Took me a little bit to find the accent, surprisingly. I won’t tell my Chi-town friends who I conjured up to get that accent in my head… (“Oh my Gaahd! He can’t be taahking about me!”)

This taping was pretty grueling. Imagine fours hours straight, two days, of yelling life-or-death dialogue along the lines of “Hold it right the-ah!” “Staahp or I’ll shoot!” and “He’s aahn the roof!” Pages and pages, three times each (at least), plus expletives, expletives and more expletives.

(My son is fascinating by this. “You said swear words?” “Yes, lots of them. All of them.” “Even the King of swears?” “Many times.” “Why?” “They want the game to sound very grown-up.” “I wanna hear it.” “You’re not gonna hear it.”)

The director, himself originally from Chicago, was great, and saved all the screaming and fighting and dying for the end. Aside from the usual falling off buildings (three-story and ten-story), gun shots, punches and axes to the head, legs and gut, plus the death groans long and short, I learned a new death sound: garroting with a wire! It involves taking a small sip of water and letting it gurgle after a brief struggle and choke. Excellent. You never know when you’re gonna need to let forth a good arterial spritzing…

I have to confess: I liked doing them. So cathartic. And I have to admit—I’m pretty good at dying.

Had a little trouble, though, with some juicy “f’s” the first day. Don’t you hate it when that happens? You can hear it during playback: some consonants just sound a little spitty. This is usually not a problem for me, but I think I was getting over a cold myself so my mouth was a little wetter than usual. Swigging water and swallowing helps, but the next day I remedied the situation with a sure-cure:

The VO world’s secret weapon….

Voice over tip: A bite of green apple (gotta be green, pink ladies aint gonna cut it) are good for taking all that extra junk in your mouth and sucking it away. Has to do with the acidity, I think. It works.

If a lingering cold can make itself heard in the recording booth, you can understand how terrified voice-over folk are of getting any kind of respiratory infection. You have to excuse the battery of teas, sprays, apples and ancient Chinses elixers that some of us tote around to sessions. Crap in your throat can kill you.

I guess I won’t be bringing Benjamin to tapings any time soon.

MOVIE WATCH. Doug and I got out of the House of Plague for an evening. Saw the very enjoyable, badly-titled, just-what-the-doctor-ordered movie “Source Code.” It’s a time-twisting, “Inception”-meets-“Groundhog’s Day” thriller starring Jake Gyllenhaal, who turns in a surprisingly affecting performance for such a popcorn flick. It’s not a movie you have to think hard about (nor should you— watch out for those plot holes!); you just enjoy the ride. ALSO set in Chicago, albeit mostly on a train. The music was a bit “Planet of the Apes” bombastic, but otherwise quite entertaining. Thought the filmmakers missed one moment, though: there’s a scene where Jake, in all his desperate loveliness, follows a suspect into the men’s room of a train station. The man washes his hand, looks up to see Jake staring at him. Hard. The suspect leaves, but not before glancing back to see that Jake is still ls still staring at him, hard, practically quivering with anticipation. The man stares back, and leaves, frightened. Come on. I don’t care if you’re straight or gay, if Jake Gyllenhaal is staring at you in the men’s bathroom with those heavy-lidded doe eyes, you are NOT going to run away.

If you wanna racial profile me, Jake, you go right ahead.

Sigh… but maybe that’s a different movie.

HOBBIT ALERT! Okay, time to fly my nerd flag once more: there’s a video diary entry from Peter Jackson on the set of “The Hobbit” in New Zealand. Talking about quivering with anticipation— I just finished reading it to Benj and I can’t wait for this movie to get made. It looks exciting, with veterans Ian McKellan and Andy Serkis making appearances. And I’ve never seen such hunky Middle Earth dwarves:

All right, back to the House of Plague. Please, say a novena for us.

April 17th, 2011 - Still Life Las Vegas


3 responses to “Sunday Roundup”

  1. The midwestern "cold state" parenting hits the west coast. The only thing missing was you being really sick yourself and then taking care of a sick child (or children…depending on how Doug was feeling). Looking forward to hearing you swear – although I'm hurt – if you needed lessons on how to swear with a Chicago accent, I would have been an extraordinary source of information from you. Juicy Fs and all. And Jake G? Anywhere, anytime. We would still be in that bathroom if that had happened to me.

  2. salgal99 says:

    Oh my Gaahd! Haaahbits!

  3. Upon further consideration, I feel comfortable deeming myself the Rosetta Stone of swearing Chicago style.

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