Don’t Quit Your Day Job Oprah

I’ll be the first to admit that I was a bit skeptical when they hired Sigourney Weaver to narrate the multi-zillion dollar nature series Planet Earth.  Not because of the usual “They should hire real voice talent, not celebrities” reason that we all have whined about at some point or another, but because I thought she might be a bit distracting.  A good nature documentary narrator has to kind of blend into the background and almost become a disembodied voice in your head.  If they chew the scenery too much it detracts from the real star, the visuals.  I was afraid I would keep thinking, “Hey, that’s that chick from Alien!” or at least “Man, Ghostbusters 2 really paled to the original in so many ways.”

I was dead wrong.  As most anybody who has watched the series can attest to, she freaking rocked it.  Hard.  She put in the perfect amount of emotion without going over the top and gave an absolutely stellar performance which added a whole new level of awesome to the shows.  I have had fairly unhealthy feelings about my HDTV (not to mention Ms. Weaver) ever since.  It was just that beautiful.  I’m seeking help.

When they announced the followup series “Life” I was psyched to hear her do her thing again.  Then I saw the commercials telling us Oprah (praise be unto her) would be behind the mic for this one.  I tried to suppress my outrage and remind myself how I had originally felt about their first casting choice and tried to look forward to it.  Even after catching some of the extended preview commercials with O’s cringe worthy narration I still gave her the benefit of the doubt.  And then I saw/heard it.  Yikes.  She stunk up the place something fierce.1

I don’t really want to talk about it.

So why was she cast in the first place?  Because Discovery Communications is in bed with her and her new Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN).  The full (exhaustive, but interesting) story can be read HERE.

Now Discovery’s TLC has inked a deal with she-beast Sarah Palin to host her own Alaska themed reality television show for the network.  TLC went waaaay downhill a long time ago (anyone remember the last time you could actually learn something on The Learning Channel?) and now their shows feature almost exclusively boring but somewhat shorter people or boring people who breed like it’s going out of style with their boring litters of white kids.  Word on the street is that gargoyle queen Palin herself will be offering commentary/narration throughout this new travesty.  Why they think anyone would want to tune in and listen that harpy caterwaul about caribou2 is beyond me.

At least the History Channel still has some offerings worth tuning in to.  For now.  I say give em’ three years or so and they are going to pick up Tila Tequila to host their new WWII docs.

Hey guys, do us all a favor, poor Mike Rowe is overworked so stick with J.V. Martin and Robert Lee.  I know where to find them.  If you need me, I’ll be watching PBS.

1. My mother is never going to speak to me again for this.
2. Gotta love that alliteration.  Truly the mark of a gifted scribe.

The Erik and Ember Show Episode 6: James and Penny from VOICE 2010

Obviously hundreds of you are going to VOICE 2010 because you heard that I will be presenting there.  Completely understandable.  However, after talking with our friends and VOICE head-honchos James Alburger and Penny Abshire (looking adorable in that picture over there)1, it turns out there are other things planned for the conference as well!  Who knew?

Listen in as September and I grill them about the origins of VOICE, why you should go, why it’s worth the money and how much you will suck if you don’t go.  It was really quite an illuminating chat.  Actually, it’s mostly Penny and Ember saying intelligent things while James and I made fart noises with our armpits, but it’s still a must-listen for anyone attending or anyone still on the fence (hint: do it).

Clickety click on the player to the right to get the full scoop, check it out on our News page or download it to your portable computerized audio listening device through iTunes.2 Your choice, I cant keep making these decisions for you anymore.

1. Trivia fact, they killed a man in a botched robbery attempt hours after it was taken.
2. For those of you keeping score at home, I get extra points for all the links in this post.

Killer Voice Demos Makes, um, Killer Voice Demos

Seriously, I tortured poor owner, demo producer and incredible voice talent Dave DeAndrea mercilessly until he got this the way I wanted it.  Last I heard he was seen running and screaming through the woods shouting, “No Erik, not another revision!”  Poor guy.  It was worth stealing his sanity though, check out my new TV Narration demo:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Think you can do better?  You may be able to, with Dave’s help.  You know you need to update your sorry sounding demos anyway and his prices are unbeatable.  I’ll even make it easy for you with a link —> Killer Voice  Be sure to check out the other amazing samples of his work, the testimonials and his killer rates.  The logo is pretty cool too.  I had originally advised him to go with Batman fighting a shark with a lightsaber but he thought that was “silly”.  Whatever, man.