Voice Over Work

Anime fans know how important voice over work is. You get the wrong voice actor to do a part and a classic can turn into a joke. Many people cannot even stomach watching dubbed stuff, so purist always go for the subbed content using the original language. I was used to watching things dubbed and was almost condition to recognize voices and Mexican or Spaniard accents on most of the American shows I watched down in Colombia. Then 3D cartoons came up and recognizing voices has been kind of a thing Bea try to do when we watch a cartoon to later look at the credits and see if we were right. She is way better at it.

So voice over work has always fascinated me. I am not in love with the sound of my own voice, lol, but I have ventured into the podcasting world before and people have not totally hated my accented voice. I have been told that I sound a lot different when I speak Spanish, but for me it is hard to notice. So when the opportunity presented itself to do some voice over work in Spanish I was very excited.

I don’t want to talk about the actual project too much now because I want to review the book soon. I just received my advance review copy this weekend. Joe Washington, a very talented author and entrepreneur is been a pleasure to work with. He is super supportive and I was one of the people that had no previous experience beyond the acting I did back in High School. There were actual actors and amazing voices doing the work.

My first observation is that everyone hates how their voice sounds recorded. Even the very talented actors that were there still hated how they sounded. They sounded wonderful to me, and they were also very kind toward the voices I did. You sound a lot different recorded by professional equipment. It is amazing to see how much the producer can do to make your voice sound better. Also, the good microphones pick up EVERYTHING. You move, you breath, you touch a piece of paper, your headphones shift, the most innocent movement can be heard loud and clear back on your headphones. Thankfully you have time to get used to hearing every movement before you start recording.

Recording studios seem to be the driest places in the world. It becomes almost compulsive to clear your throat before you start recording, since you know during the actual recording a simple cough can ruin a take. Plenty of water was necessary to get through the sessions.

I played three big parts and two small parts. The funnest was a military trainer, the hardest the Mexican Arms Dealer Abejundio. I don’t have any military training beyond video games like Counter Strike and America’s Army so rattling off a weapon list like it was second nature was challenging.

It was an awesome experience and hopefully one that I will get to do again in the future. We all had great laughs during the experience specially when people would stumble on the same word or sentence over and over. Its funny how the brain sometimes works.

Consequences

“Every person has free choice. Free to obey or disobey the Natural Laws. Your choice determines the consequences. Nobody ever did, or ever will, escape the consequences of his choices.”
- Alfred A. Montapert

In a conversation with a friend we talked about respecting reality. People sometimes don’t take into account actions and consequences and prefer to act without thinking. I fall into that category many times and like that fact that I am honest about my feelings. When it comes to actions I am a lot more careful because I think of the consequences.

Burglaries happen all over the world. Listening to the radio the other day I heard of a guy in New York that has had over 30 bikes stolen, and how commit ed he is to still riding. It reminded me of when I was a child and someone tried to steal a kids bike in our neighborhood. The guy was quickly stopped after the screams of “ladron” (thief) alerted some guys a block away. It seems like the whole neighborhood took turns beating the crap out of this dude, I vividly remember an old lady bringing a wooden chair and going WWE on the guy. I am sure the guy never tried to steal any bikes in our neighborhood after that.

The monkey story is a piece of writing that even if purely fiction made me think about consequences. The main character in the story wants to fight a monkey, and if just that does not make you want to read the story, lets just summarize that the guy thinks that “fighting was the purest form of physical expression.” As an adult I have only been in an actual fight (outside of martial arts tournaments) once.

Biggie (aka Aaron) is a good friend from back in Chicago. We have lived many good times and they have often involved the consumption of alcohol. We met while we both were going to college and worked together as ushers at a movie theater. We have been friends since and I became close to both his family and his childhood friends. LOL, I could write a blog just about our friendship, but before I get off topic his family are the ones that taught me how to play monopoly and could not beat me even cheating… good times.

Tony, one of our mutual friends’ house was close to where there was going to be a firework show for the 4th. So we decided to do a little drinking with our regular group of friends and Tony invited a couple of people from the new dealership where he had just gotten a job as a mechanic. One of the guys showed up on an 80′s style Mustang GT that sounded like it had been worked on heavily because of the way it sounded. He surprised me because when he saw that the driveway was already full of cars he decided the best option was the lawn almost perpendicular to my car. Because of the proximity to the fireworks other people were doing the lawn thing and people were migrating towards the near by park.

The guy seemed to have been drinking most of the day and was there with his girlfriend and a younger cousin who was a teenager. Most of us were in our early twenties at the time and the dude was probably in his late twenties or early thirties. We had fun drinking and watching fireworks until an argument started between the dude and his girlfriend. They left right before the end of the fireworks and the rest of us started to migrate back towards Tony’s house.

We could hear the argument had gotten a lot more heated and the poor girl pleading with the dude to please not drive so drunk. The girl was at the window of the vehicle parked very close to mine. The engine roared and the dude started to back the car but miscalculated the turn and caught his girlfriend’s leg between my car and his. Thankfully both of the car’s body gave in and her leg was not crushed but she was definitely trapped between the vehicles. Everyone started banging on the car for him to stop and he finally moved forward but there was damage to both of the cars. He knew he had damaged my car, but I was more worried about the girl and her safety. Drunken dude was more worried about what I was going to tell the police so he ran towards me because I was dumb enough to see if his girlfriend was ok.

Even though he probably could have pummeled me pretty good if sober, he was debilitated by the unreal amount of alcohol he had consumed. Using my Karate Kid knowledge I stopped his punches and was able to hold both of his arms long enough for a Aaron to wrestle him off me. It seemed his anger was now directed at me because I somehow took his girlfriend side on the fight or because my car was not damaged by his but rather by his girlfriend’s leg. His logic had some holes probably when sober, but alcohol made his decision so much more clear.

I never pressed charges because his girlfriend pleaded with me over the dudes previous record and how me calling the cops was going to send him to jail. Alcohol takes away inhibitions, it does not make people angry, it just removes the filter. I don’t know if a beat down would have made him change his ways, but obviously violence was his way to cope with frustration.

Physical violence is a serious thing when it comes to domestic abuse, but is it something that makes communities safer? man feel more masculine? Are you ok with any kind of physical violence, or is it something that just should not exist in a modern society?

Interview – Mike Piatek-Jimenez

One of the coolest things about friendship is being able to admire the people that surround you. Mike and I became fast friends while I was living in Michigan. We bonded by our mutual love of movies and computer programming. He is now living the “dream” by being the owner of the software firm Gaucho Software developing apps for Macs and iPhones. Mike and his wife Katrina have become one of my closest friends as an adult, and our love for good restaurants and interesting conversation have made their visits to Kansas City as much of a vacation for me as it has been for them. When I heard that through the Mount Pleasant Rotary Club Mike was going to spend a month in Thailand I could not wait to hear about the experience and see the pictures. The more I heard and read about the trip, the more I wanted to interview him to share some of what he learned while being in such a different culture. Some of what he found out while in this trip might truly surprise you.

Logtar:Had Thailand been in your radar at all before the opportunity to do a cultural exchange there?
Mike: Not really. Of course I had heard of the country, but I didn’t know much about its people or their culture.
L: Had you ever thought about visiting places for the cultural experience rather than just a relaxing vacation? if so what was your top pick?
M: Whenever my wife and I go on vacations, we always try to learn about the culture of the place we are visiting. We’ve traveled to different countries in the Caribbean, for example, and instead of hanging out on the beach all day, we will usually try to do things the locals would do. Things like go to plays, or attend fairs or festivals in a park, etc. If I had to visit a country just to learn more about the culture, Ireland and Poland would probably be my top picks, as those are the countries where my family is from.
L: How many different cities did you get to visit while in Thailand?
Read more…

An Award Just Hit Me

Best personal blog in Kansas city? Just as I was about to post one of the things I have been writting and expanding on I get a very weird e-mail. At first I thought it was simple spam, but then I saw that the url was actual and not some link that promised to make me rich via Nigeria. I guess I am the “Best Blog in KC 2009.” or at least just the first and best personal blog. I read the post and I saw that the writing is good but I did not recognize it. The only thing I can tell from the e-mail address is that they are Sienfield fans.

My favorite part about the award post is

The blog also sports clean design and organization (favored indulgences of The Editors), as well as a gratifying lack of blinking gewgaws, polls and other useless crap (dark beasts, one and all).

lol I had never heard of gewgaws before! lol I think I have a favorite word of the week. If someone can help me with how to pronounce it without offending Meesha, give me a call.

Some of my favorite blogs got honorable mentions :) Frighteningly Uncommon Sense and Hip Suburban White Guy, and even one I had not bumped into before Curb Girl. If anything I am excited that we have a place to find new KC blogs :)

Thanks for the award!

Arrogant

The first time I heard the phrase “you must think a lot of yourself” it was very puzzling. I have excelled in many areas of knowledge gathering but failed miserably in others. I never took those failures are permanent things but as a means to a new beginning. I was bullied at school when I was younger, I also have some pretty disastrous relationships in the past. I owned my mistakes in those failures and moved on. I try to improve myself as a person every day, and I am nowhere near where I would love to be, but I am content with who I am. Some lessons need to be learned twice before the settle in, some I might never learn.

From what I was very young my parents realized that I was a very independent person. It help me a lot dealing with the bulling and started me down the path of being a leader in many ways. I pick on people now to make them feel included, and while that does not work all the time, I have made many friends that way. For most of my teen years I did not know how to depend on others and did not understand the concept of team work. I also gave advice freely but without the disclaimer that it was simply advice, not that what I said was law and friendships depended on it. Since, I started to realize those shortcomings my mistake came to light, most people don’t like to be empathized with because they think that their state of mind does not show. I now try to be very proactive in asking people if everything is ok when I see something going on, and most of the time they will be open about wanting help or just someone to listen to them. Some people are truly beyond help because they don’t see their problems or have chosen to ignore it, the worse are the people that actually see what burns their soul as a good thing.

Being self critical can be a double edge sword, because sometimes damaged people might confirm suspicions on personality flaws that are not correct. That took me down many wrong paths in one of the worse relationships I have ever had. From it I learned a couple of very important things. Don’t let other doubts become or reinforce your own unless they come in a loving ways, and never get your positive reinforcement from a single source. I am not a good friend to porcupines because I take off my tough skin as soon as I call someone a friend. People that have a hard time expressing emotions verbally tend to bottle things up and let it burst in a flurry of strong words. The person in that doomed relationship was so absorbed by her coping mechanism that she had turned off her capability to receive love. The wall built around her soul was so thick that I actually believe it killed all the life inside. I know it sounds harsh, but my opinion on this one cannot be backed up with examples. Trust me when I say that a sarcasm only way of communication was enough to send me tumbling to rock bottom.

So what does this have to do with arrogance?

As I get older I become more self assured. I understood that happiness was a choice, just like faith for those of us who believe in God is what comes out of the gift of free will. In this space I call my blog I am very open and direct with my opinions and it at times comes over as arrogant as a friend recently pointed out. I am always willing to consider and dialogue about another point of view, but have a hard time with dismissive debate. I play devil’s advocate often enough that I should be more open to dismissive “you are wrong” attitudes; but time has made me almost callous of people that don’t see where my point of view is coming or are even willing to dig a little deeper. Some of my positions, thoughts and opinions are rooted in very personal things that I don’t feel I should always be revealed or demand more respect from. I think I am more open in a blog than most people are with their friends and family.

My wife hating motorcycles is a big deal for the both of us because motorcycle riding it has been a big part of my life. I grew up with a motorcycle being the only means of transportation for my Dad to go to work. I also learn to ride them while very young and rode one almost my whole adult life. That coupled with a huge percentage of my friends back in Chicago being motorcycle rider makes me miss riding out to eat hot dogs and Italian beef on Thursdays a lot.

Most people would assume originally that she should just let me be happy, but the minute they learn that one of her brothers died in a motorcycle accident their position often changes. I go back and forth on that issue in my head, but the argument sometimes goes to the death sentence chosen by me if I eat greasy tasty food for the rest of my life… nobody knows how I am going to exit this world right?

Personal experience seems to make opinions more valid, and I don’t think it should in every discussion. When I talk about violence, my opinion should not be more important because I have been the victim of gunman coming into my Grandma’s home and shooting at us (nobody was actually killed) while we celebrated her birthday. When talking about prostitution, knowing an sex worker as a friend should not make my point immediately more valid. Is this blogging thing a place where we share opinions about subjects or a place for everyone to become an amateur journalist?

I am self confident person, but I do check with those close to me when I have a doubt or question on my decisions or thought process. I also welcome challenges to my stances, and will in the future try not to dismiss other’s view even if mine are cemented in personal experience or carry feelings. I don’t think that standing behind one’s opinion is a form of arrogance unless you let it be. I can be quite cocky but I don’t see myself as arrogant. I know people in my past would probably disagree. It does give me a lot of food for thought, and that is a great thing.

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