Friday, August 31, 2012

Services Rendered

Friday, February 24, 2012

I cannot thank my voice coach and dear friend Joanne Joella enough for all her guidance, support, and encouragement over the past eight years or so.  Joella Arts has gone through many changes over the years, but it has recently risen, phoenix-style, to its finest incarnation.  Joanne and some other wonderful professionals are offering voice classes at a wonderful new creative space in the Sherman Mills neighborhood of Philadelphia.  I'll let Joanne tell you about  it:

I have been able to open a mini-JoellaArts.  Instead of the three-story Shovel Shop, I have one delightful studio at Sherman Mills Arts Community in East Falls right off Ridge Avenue on Scotts Lane. Here is the web site if you'd like to get a general idea of what Sherman Mills is all about. Please click 

Joanne has enlisted the help of trained professionals Bill Deal, Victor Rodriguez and Krissy Johnson  to propel singers to the next level of performance excellence.  Please contact Joella Arts if you are a singer on the cusp of "killing it!"  Check out the news for yourself by checking out the link HERE.

In association with Adrienne Covington's Overbrook Casting, Joella Arts also offers acting workshops that focus on breathing technique and being "in the moment" during a read... I recommend Joanne's expertise to ANYONE who can make good use of positive ENERGY, honest FEEDBACK, and generous SUPPORT.  For a schedule and description of these classes available through Overbrook Casting,  click HERE.

Thanks for everything, Joanne!  Please check out the services offered by Joanne and her industry colleagues.  Trust them to share their real experiences with their students in a truly giving environment.  At Joella Arts, the passion for performance is matched only by the passion to share the secrets of success.  Trust me, I know first hand.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Traveler

Hello, Fellow Travelers,

I have wrapped up filming on my first short film, "The Traveler," by Nachshon Windsor.  I really couldn't have asked for a cooler bunch of people or a more fun introduction to film acting.  We did stunts, acted against some special effects, and died in violent ways. I actually got smashed in the face with a hockey stick.  Sweet.  Pretty much everyone dies in this film.  In fact, even the people who survive die at some point during the story.  Yes, it's a bleak tale, but the characters are pretty rich and I hope there will be a feature-length project in the works--I'd love to be a part of that production.  Hint, hint...

Here are some pics from the shoot:

I have some really cool news coming up soon, so stay tuned!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Holy Mackerel

I suppose you've been wondering what I've been up to... or maybe not.  Well, I'll tell you:

I've earned parts in two films over the past few months, one of which is being filmed in and around Rowan University.  That project is called "A Prince Among Pawns."  Rehearsals have been going well, and we're supposed to start shooting very soon.  We hope to have a trailer finished by April that will tease the project in anticipation of its completion and submission to the Philly Film Festival.  It may not be up and running for almost a year, but since it's a smaller budget (yet feature length) we have to do what we can when we can.  I'm excited for it, since we have actors with some chops who can light up the dialogue and give life to some of the fun conversations in the script.  Ellis Minatee has written the screenplay, and Laura del Guercio is the main director.  My man Henry appears to be a veritable gift to the project and will undoubtedly get this thing on the road to Donesville.

The second film is a short feature that is slated to be shown at film festivals across the country pretty darn soon.  The project is called "The Traveler."  A post-apocalyptic Earth has some serious issues with a devastating neuro-toxin.  Travelers can transport themselves via a super-duper astral projection process, and the bad guys (of which I am one) are trying to kill the good guys.  My part is pretty small, but I get to "travel" and even get killed in the end.  I was thinking that the short (about 30 minutes) may simply be a showcase for the director's skill in an attempt to attract bigger projects.  One of the other actors told me that it may instead be a showcase for the script--an extended sizzle trailer of sorts--with hopes of a feature length film being produced in the future.  I was thinking that if the producers could find another short sci-fi film in the works, they could share a dvd release and make a few bucks.  Either way, I'm excited to be a part of it!  Rehearsal this week and filming next week at Eastern State Penitentiary.  Cool.

Since I've scored parts in two films, I figured I'd update my resume.  I also figured I'd attempt to share it here on the blog.  Let's give it a shot:

Huh.  I wonder how that looks on a decent sized screen...

Actually, I might try linking to the resume HERE.  See how that goes.

Anyway, I have some other stuff going on, but I will have to wait until it works itself out before I run through the details.  Never thought I would be headed in this direction, but I'm gonna ride the wave.  Look, life is pretty darn short and if you can't take a little bit of an adventure, it's going to be a boring trip to the box.

Keep in touch with the voices in your own head.  Let me know what they say.

Oh yeah, and follow me on Twitter. @owenmccuenvoice

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Hey Friends,

The clockwork whirs and the springs go boing! and life moves along with a stubborn persistence.  So trying to maintain a bunch of web presences is a bit tricky, but I've updated some other stuff in order that I could update this.  Check out my other pages, "Other Recordings" and "Links" to see what I've been up to...

I finally got moving and figured out how to use some of the acting resources on the web, where my professional resume is available for people seeking actors and voice over artists.  These are now available to my more casual readers, who can pretty much see and hear what I've done right here on this site.

But what work have I done lately?  My amazing coach Joanne Joella had advised me to get involved in some film shoots, be they small/extra roles in a good-sized project or more substantial parts in smaller features (like student films and such)... So I have.


Craigslist provided me with an opportunity to audition for a feature-length film that is being produced out of Rowan University.  I read for one part, but the writer/producer called me back to read for another part, which I landed!  I'm really excited about the project, and it MAY just be submitted to the Philly Film Festival this year or the following year.  The role is pretty tasty, I must admit, and we should all keep our fingers crossed in hopes that the production goes off without a hitch.  Ya never know, I may appear on the big screen someday!

Aside from the Rowan project (I'll keep you updated as to the title and other details when filming actually begins.), I have also landed auditions in two other films that have been written but I'm not sure how much other backing they may have.  One is a firefighter hangout film, and the other is a mysterious short film with a post-apocalyptic flavor called, "The Traveler."  I haven't read for these projects yet, but I am looking forward to earning roles in them.  I can get some practice taking direction and delving deep into a character, which will inform any future acting gigs as well as really crank up my voice over skills!


Whenever I get frustrated because I'm not yet making money living my dream, I think, "Hey!  I'm living my dream!"  In fact, I've found a supplemental dream: acting.  I figured I could do voice over work, but never gave acting any thought at all, I just didn't think it was for me.  Besides, I didn't get involved in any kind of acting or theater or whatever when I was in school, so I couldn't start now, could I?  Sometimes you're handed something that you didn't ask for and make the best of it.  Isn't there a proverb about that?

I was originally shown this comic by Paul Kessler, fellow Zahm Hall resident back in the late 90s, but I found it online HERE.  It is clearly a Max Cannon work.  I've been waiting for about 15 years to share this comic with the rest of the world.  Thanks, Paul.

So stay tuned for new updates regarding the rehearsals and filming of my current project, as well as the fate of my pride as seen in the light of auditioning for new projects as well.  Thanks for listening.  May the voices in your head speak with clear diction.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Horse 'em!

"Every idiot who goes about with Merry Christmas on his lips should be boiled with his own pudding and buried with a stake of holly through his heart." (Scrooge)

Read more at Suite101: Dickens Quotes From A Christmas Carol: Ebenezer Scrooge, Bah Humbug and the Victorian Xmas Story |

Anyway, my brother just reminded me of a commercial that we used to get a huge kick out of back in the day.  I know, 1996 doesn't seem like "the day" but it was fifteen years ago...  I like to think that I have a pretty jolly Christmas spirit, but I sometimes think about how frustrated Santa must become when he has to interpret those nonsensical Christmas lists.  Turn back the clocks with me and check out this fun commercial for Polaroid:

OH, and by the way, you can check out my first commercial voice over gig... I am the first Elf who says, "Well, Santa, our research shows that retro is in!"

Thanks as always for checking out my rantings and ravings!  I never did get that Fighting Frankie action figure...But have a Merry Christmas, despite what Scrooge says.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Kermit Rocks!

In case our readers don't know, El Presidente (that's me, Owen McCuen) is a voice actor with an ear for cartoons and stuff.  Not so long ago, a friend commented on my rendition of Rainbow Connection, "Wow, you do a  really good Kermit the Frog."  My response was, "Thanks!  I've been practicing for about thirty years."  If you'd like to hear Kermit and a host of other characters, check out my website.  Click HERE.

Okay, enough shameless self-promotion--Let's talk Muppets.  I was born in 1974.  Sesame Street was in full swing and The Muppet Show was about to come to life, with a pilot in 1975 and the show proper appearing from 1976 until 1981.  The original Muppet Movie opened in 1979, followed by The Great Muppet Caper in 1981 and The Muppets Take Manhattan in 1984, so my childhood was completely informed by Jim Henson's dream.  Henson reached kids and grown ups alike with Frank Oz by his side.  Oz is a genius puppeteer who also brought us Yoda, in case you forgot...

Children's programming has used puppets forever, and programs like Captain Kangaroo, Captain Noah's Magical Ark, The Candy Apple News Company, Fraggle Rock, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, and others like them brought fabric to life and gave these puppets personalities.  They became friends that kids looked forward to interacting with, even if only by watching them and laughing at their antics.

But no single character has ever become so real to me as Kermit the Frog.  I have laughed and cried with Kermit, and he's pretty much my hero.

Why is Kermit the Frog more human than many of the people I've met?  Maybe it's his creator's energy that comes through.  Kermit and Henson are big dreamers.  I know that Jim Henson is no longer physically present, but his dreams are imprinted upon history.  The shows and films will live forever because the dream is not simply to entertain.  For me, Jim Henson's dream seems to be to teach people (kids in particular)... HOW to dream.  If you believe in yourself hard enough, others will begin to believe in you as well.  And when your self-confidence wanes and you begin to doubt yourself, your true friends will be there to pick you up.

Kermit does the truly human work of developing meaningful relationships with his friends.  Many crazy Muppet characters have wild personalities, but we frequently remember them by their relationship to Kermit.  Sesame Street's characters do this wonderfully (again, Henson and Oz), but Kermit's role as the chief dreamer and host of The Muppet Show puts him in the unique position of juggling these personalities and organizing them into the controlled chaos that makes The Muppet Show so gloriously corny and entertaining.

So Kermit becomes the unlikely leader of this rag-tag crew!  He's not a type A personality, but he is surrounded by lots of kooks trying to hog up the stage.  With Fozzie and his jokes, Lew Zealand's boomerang fish, Gonzo's cannon antics, and countless others trying to grab a bit of limelight, Kermit has to tame these loonies and produce a decent show.  Meanwhile, Statler and Waldorf are raining down insults, Crazy Harry is trying to blow everything up, and Sam the Olympic Eagle is squelching everyone's creativity.   Link Hogthrob's ego is no joke, by the way.  Oh, and who is more pushy and bossy than Miss Piggy?  With all of these alpha Muppets, Kermit should be overwhelmed, right?  But he is the reluctant leader.  When things go awry, who do they all run to?  Kermit.

Kermit loves.  He cares.  People trust him because they know that he just wants everything to be okay.  Kermit lives for his friends, who become his family.  And when the family succeeds, Kermit himself will share the joy.  This is why the other Muppets love him and trust him.  They know that the world is a big, scary place but Kermit's skinny green arms can provide a hug that gives people a safe place to dream those big dreams.

Kermit has been my friend since I was a kid.  The new Muppet film The Muppets made me laugh out loud because of the inside jokes that only Muppet fans would get.  I cried, too.  I think I will review the film after I watch it again.  You can check out the trailer for yourself:

But since I consider him a friend, how about having a beer with him?  That would be awesome!!  Gerard Walen from Road Trips for Beer wrote an article about the subject, and it is well worth checking out!  His assessments of the Muppets and their brews of choice are so dead on that Gerard must certainly be a rabid Muppet fan to know their personalities so well.  Read Road Trips for Beer's Muppet article HERE.

I would love to hang out with Kermit.  In fact, I've tried to live my life like he does.  WWKD? Kermit sees some of the circumstances in his life that could be bummers, but he makes the most of them.  His color, for example.  If you think that the song Green hasn't helped children all around the world realize that being different can be beautiful, you are dead wrong.  And if you feel like crying, just check out Big Bird's tribute to Kermit at Jim Henson's funeral:

Okay, that was mean.  I shouldn'ta oughta done that.  But it just goes to show how important Jim Henson's vision really was and is to everyone who shares it.  The emotion in Carroll Spinney's voice is just as moving as the words he sings.  And I hope it isn't lost on the readers of Ferment Nation.  If it is, then I'm afraid your cold, dead hearts are pumping ice water through your dirty veins.

I have very fond memories of watching The Muppet Show with my parents when I was a kid.  I couldn't ask for better parents (Love you, mom!!).   So, to tie this all together and make it really personal, I'll tell you a little about someone else I wish I could have a beer with: my dad.  He passed away on September 10, 2007.  There's not a day that goes by that I don't think about him and miss him.  My dad was a football coach for darn near his whole life, beginning when he was just a teenager, and many of the kids he coached have gone on to become coaches themselves... And their players will grow up to be coaches as well, and so his legacy survives.  Dad had a special place in his heart for those kids on the sidelines who couldn't play for one reason or another.  He affectionately called them his, "sick, lame, lazy, and crazy," but they NEVER felt like they were excluded from the team because everyone has something to contribute.  Similarly, yet on a larger scale, Jim Henson and Kermit the Frog have touched the lives of countless millions, including those people who needed to be taught that it was okay to dream, and necessary to believe in yourself.  Why? Because everyone has something to contribute.

When I die, I'm figuring I will find some kind of heavenly afterlife (hope they have beer).  And when I get there, I won't be on the sidelines.  I won't even be in the stands.  No, I'll be on the field, playing the game the best I know how-- the way my dad taught me and the way Kermit taught me.  Winning team?  You guessed it...The lovers, the dreamers, and me.