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 | Suite101.com http://lito-apostolakou.suite101.com/dickens-quotes-from-christmas-carol-a169177#ixzz1gWxoiyor


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!"

http://www.owenmccuen.com/audio/NJ_Lotto_Commercial.mp3

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.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Ferment Nation Review

Yes, that is a vest made entirely of beer bottle caps.  And yes, I am fully decked out in Ferment Nation attire.  And yes, there is a point to selecting that particular picture.

My voice exploits cross over into my beer exploits with the release this past summer of the Victory Summer Love video review.  My brother Pat (check out his art blog called InkPuddle, by the way) had been doing the voice overs for awhile, but this one was mostly me;  Pat still lays claim to the dramatic "Ferment...Nation" intro and outro, and is also responsible for the video slide show.  Anyway, I figured I would put the review up for all the world to see and hear. Enjoy it!

As a side note, Victory Summer Love was one of my go-to beers this summer, along with Ithaca Flower Power, Flying Fish Extra Pale Ale, and Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald porter.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Final Tremor Video Spot

I can only hope to be half as interesting as that guy------>


If you find my video clips interesting in the slightest, please check out the third and final installment of my Tremor Video collection.  Again, props to Joanne and Kevin Joella at Joella Arts for recording the spot.  Have fun!
video

Monday, October 24, 2011

Latest and Greatest

Lookin' sexy over there, huh?  That picture is from our honeymoon in Napa, California.  Rachel and I got to canoe the Russian River.  Beautiful scenery and easy canoeing!

I guess I really wanted to share the next video with everyone, so it will be available at the end of this post.  The work was for Tremor Video by way of Get-Kinetic.  I recorded the spot at the home studio of Joanne and Kevin Joella, who have been amazingly supportive and helpful in moving my career forward and coaching me through some of my recordings.  Much love to them!  By the way, they both play with another friend of mine named Krissy Johnson in a band called Bosslady.  Go see them whenever you get a chance!

So here's the video.  Enjoy!
video

Friday, October 21, 2011


Hey Y'all,
If you got my tweet the other day, you'll remember that I did an audition yesterday.  It was for an intro spot for a segment on HGTV.  I should find out soon, so I'll keep you posted.

In the meantime, here's some of my work from a few months ago.  The end user of the audio is a company called Tremor Video.  Here's one of the segments that I did for them:

video

That's kinda fun, huh?  I'll be putting up the other two sometime in the next few days, so be on the lookout!  Thanks for checking out the site.  Remember that you can find a bunch of my recordings at www.owenmccuen.com.  And remember also that I am a starving artist of sorts.  So if you know anyone who works in audio or video production, animation, television, Hollywood, or intergalactic travel, please spread the word!  Link them up to my site; Give them my Facebook and Twitter info; contact me so I can send them a cd... HOOK A BROTHER UP!!

These voices are still in my head, by the way, and I'll be doing some fun stuff coming up.  When it comes to fruition I will be sure to make it available.  Thanks for listening!

Saturday, August 27, 2011


Hey Everybody,

I've been really busy with a lot of crazy crap lately.  I went to Portland, OR for the second American Beer Bloggers Conference (#BBC11 for those of you who dig hashtags) and had a blast!  Right before I left, I recorded a voice gig.  The end user was Tremor Video.  I'm not sure where exactly the recordings will end up, but I'm pretty certain they aren't for the general public, but rather companies who are involved in the process of contracting Tremor Video.  Either way, it was a worthwhile venture.  I'll take this opportunity to shout out Kevin Joella as a great sound engineer!

I'm not particularly fond of photographs of myself.  I really don't like posing for pictures.  But so far, everyone I've spoken to in the voice acting community has told me to get a head shot for possible on-camera gigs as well.  So here it is.  Without resorting to downright sorcery, Jack Elberson has made me look like a respectable citizen.  Thanks, Jack!

What I really wanted to share with everyone is a link to Giant Food Stores "Passport to Nutrition."  I recorded this gig about a year ago and I'm just now getting it out there.  If I can gather up all the links in one spot one of these days, I'll update you.  But for now, it's worth a look-see.  It will take you to the beginning of the "Learn" segments.  Just click on the different lessons and go to the animated stuff.  I appear as all of the kids and most of the sound effects (all the chomping, zooming, running, writing, measuring, etc.).  Actually, if you have kids of your own, spend some time with the lessons and watch the live-action segments as well.  I only appear in the animated ones, but there's a lot of info for parents and kids to keep everybody healthy.  Enjoy it!  Here's the link:
Passport to Nutrition

Thanks again, friends, for spending a moment with the Voices in My Head.  Hopefully you'll be hearing more and more of them.  I have been.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

New Gig

Hey All,

I know you've been holding your collective breath waiting for me to get famous... Well don't breathe yet.  I have done a few gigs since I first began my quest began around the 4th of July, but I'm just getting started.  So, while I'm not exactly famous, my friends and family can hear my voice on the radio.  I am  appearing in a commercial for a new restaurant in Philly called Lacroix.  I haven't been there yet but you can give me your reviews.  When you hear the commercial, you won't be able to stay away!  Trust me, it's very convincing.

The spot is playing a few times a day on B101.  If you're not much for radio listening, you can hear the finished commercial here:

http://owenmccuen.com/audio/Lacroix_'Double%20Talk'_60_mix%203.mp3

Thanks for keeping up with me and listening to the Voices in My Head.  Now my voice can be in your head for awhile.  Let me know what you think.  Feel free to comment on the blog, message me on Facebook, or shoot me an email.  Also, keep listening for some fun "celebrity" readings of literature, poetry, recipes, or whatever strikes my fancy.  I promise never to take myself too seriously.  Thanks,

Owen


btw, I "liberated" the above image from newscopy.org, found on a Google image search.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Charlie and Ian Strike Again

After quite a bit of fiddling with my gear, I finally have a recording setup that I can deal with.  Lots of stupid imaginary conversations will undoubtedly be popping up in the next few months.  Maybe it will only be one silly comment, but at least there will be some voices that you can recognize saying some ridiculous things.  This little tidbit is something I've been thinking about, and someday I'll write an actual script for Charlie Sheen and Ian McKellan to use instead of just randomly dropped sound bites.


I just can't stop saying, "I'm on a drug... it's called Charlie Sheen!"
Of course, after saying it like the Vatican Assassin himself I began experimenting with Ian McKellan
and I can't decide who is more convincing.  Sir Ian can be pretty authoritative, so you'd believe him in a heartbeat... but Charlie swears that one's face would melt off after doing the drug.  And does Mr. McKellan's face look melted to you?   Well, maybe he's holding it onto his skull in the photo but he appears to be in good health otherwise.

Wanna hear what they might say to each other:

Thursday, July 7, 2011

And here we...GO!!

Owen McCuen is now available full time for voice over work!  Thassright... After a crazy couple of weeks (including an awesome Show Week at The Little Gym, wedding preparation, the wedding itself, and a fantastic honeymoon) I am ready for action.  This has been brewing for probably about 30 years, so I guess it's about time.

What do voice actors do?  Well, we act with our voices.  Just turn on the radio and listen for a commercial.  When a construction worker waxes poetic about his morning coffee or a child finds a mythical beast in her mom's laptop computer, those people are most likely actors  (I know, you didn't really want to see under that veil, but reality hurts).  Whenever a message wriggles its way through the thick crust of media and leaves a lasting impression on the listener, the creative forces behind that message are at the top of their game.  I offer my voice(s) to the creative process!

Who could use a person like me?  Sound studios need a bank of competent voice actors to breathe life into scripts.  Marketing folks may be searching for something specific, an "Oh yeah, that's the guy!" moment.
Film and editing, online productions, television, animation, radio stations, voice mail... Feel free to share my information with anyone who might want to hear my commercial demo, character demo, or the other recordings I've done.  You can share my Facebook info, Twitter handle (@owenmccuenvoice) or a link to my blog (you're reading it right now, so that's a no-brainer!), but definitely direct interested parties to my website:
www.owenmccuen.com

Thanks so much for listening to the Voices in My Head.  There will be more posts coming soon with audio or video in the content.  Drop me a line!

Thanks,

Owen

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Thursday, June 16, 2011

I'm on a drug...

I just can't stop saying, "I'm on a drug... it's called Charlie Sheen!"
Of course, after saying it like the Vatican Assassin himself I began experimenting with Ian McKellan
and I can't decide who is more convincing.  Sir Ian can be pretty authoritative, so you'd believe him in a heartbeat... but Charlie swears that one's face would melt off after doing the drug.  And does Mr. McKellan's face look melted to you?   Well, maybe he's holding it onto his skull in the photo but he appears to be in good health otherwise.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Welcome to My Head

Hello All,
The winds of change are whistling through the cavern between my ears!  Leaving my job, getting married  (Love you, Rachel!), honeymoon in Napa, and July 4th weekend are coming up in short order.  Upon my return I will be available for full-time work on voice over projects and other related sonic frivolity.  I'll try to keep y'all posted on crazy voices I pull from betwixt my pant cushions as well as random thoughts on entertainment, beer, and perhaps some Notre Dame Football.  Look for some audio and video links coming up as well.  Don't hesitate to share my posts with your friends and follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

Listen to my demos: owenmccuen.com

Thanks for all your support!  Hopefully you'll be hearing from me soon.  I hear from me all the time.

Owen