Tags: dr. sir reginald kingsley ii

Cocktopus

The Curse of the Phantom Voice Actor

So, some ten months or so ago, work on The Curse of the Rhino King ground to a halt, much to my dismay and that of a certain number of my readers. I hadn’t wanted to get into the reasons behind it at the time, since there was a certain amount of dirty laundry there, and I had honestly hoped that I might simply resolve it in private before there should ever be a need to get into it publicly.

I still basically don’t want to get into it in any detail, but the long and the short of it is that the voice actor behind Reginald Kingsley Sr vanished on me. This was one of my best and closest friends of some ten years or so, and had up until that point seemed to have been a permanent and ongoing presence in my life, and so when he disappeared for three months and change, it really was a bizarre anomaly which I could not foresee becoming a persistent state. Unfortunately, though he reappeared, briefly, during the spring, with all appearances of regret and an eagerness to pick up our friendship where it had left off, it seems absence and flakiness has become the new normal for him; at present, I haven’t seen him in over two months, nor indeed has he returned any of my phone calls or answered any of his e-mails since he and a mutual friend of ours spent my birthday enjoyably hanging out on June 28th. It’s at the point now where I feel that I must regretfully accept that this is just where he is in his life now, and that continuing to pretend he’ll eventually return to being that steadfast and reliable buddy at any point in the near future is not a particularly reasonable expectation for me to hold on to, in light of the evidence of the past ten months.

It sucks, I continue to miss him, I bear him no ill will and I wish him all luck and happiness in whatever mysterious pursuits he is so engaged with in this enigmatic isolation, but it seems like it’s time for me to give up that fight.

The practical upshot of which, so far as you all are concerned, is that in order for me to resume work – which I have been impatiently waiting to do for some ten months – a replacement voice actor is required.

Those of you who had been following the story – and who even knows, ten months on, how many people who are now reading this thing are still around from back then? Some, certainly, but just as certainly not all – will recall Reginald Sr. as a crotchety, deranged, gleefully self-absorbed, abusive, histrionic hypocrite and hypochondriac with a penchant for delivering physical beatings upon people who are within reach of his cane and who doesn’t understand that pity isn’t the same thing as concern.

In short, virtually all of my favourite traits to write in a single character.

I would obviously prefer someone capable of pulling off a performance similar to that of the original, but strong characterization is always more important than mere imitation, and so while I present here a sample of some of the defining ramblings of the character for reference and inspiration, the question of whether or not you can sound precisely like him should be of lesser importance than whether or not you can give an entertaining performance in that same vein.





http://www.dave-littler.com/audio/curse/senior.mp3

There are a couple of other parts which need replacement. The voice actor behind Helmut Eisenbarth, Reginald’s fretful german bartender, has also vanished on me, though this is hardly out of character for the voice actor in question, who routinely vanishes for a year or more before resurfacing as though nothing at all has happened. In his case, I have nobody but myself to blame, and so I won’t belabour it. His part is a relatively small one, and he’s only appeared a few times, and so if I can find someone who can play the part, I may just replace the existing parts with the performace of the new fellow.

Finally, there’s a very small part in an upcoming chapter for an English woman of very low breeding, and if anyone can come up with a saucy, sort of cockney-ish voice for her, and the more over the top the better, then I would be well-pleased by it.

So, there’s that, fellows.
Cocktopus

The Curse of the Rhino King - Chapter 14 (in astonishing Audio-Rama Format!)

Sorry about the lateness of this posting; the virus which I spoke of last week ended up being rather more vigorous than I had thought, and I wasn't able to have it entirely expurgated until late on Saturday, and I knew there was no way I would be able to have it up in any reasonable time.

But we return, now, with chapter 14, in which, I fear, Reginald and his crew come off as a trifle unsympathetic in places. But I suppose that's for you, the audience, to decide for yourselves.



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The Curse of the Rhino King - Chapter 13 (in astonishing Audio-Rama Format!)


Sorry for posting this so late in the day. It ended up being a bit more technically challenging than I expected to get some of the audio effects working the way I wanted them to. I hope you all enjoy what I've accomplished here (or at least, aren't annoyed by it); it's bugged me just a little bit that the dialogue and sound effects seldom reflect the acoustics of the environment in which the scene takes place (which I began to address last chapter), so with this one - which takes place entirely in a cramped metal room - I've taken significant pains to rectify this.

Thanks to all of the (many!) voice actors who participated in this chapter, one of whom we're hearing for the first time here.

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The Curse of the Rhino King - Chapter 12 (in astonishing Audio-Rama Format!)

And lo! Chapter 12 cometh!

I wish to extend my sincere thanks to Paula West, who responded admirably to my request for a female voice actor some days ago, the first fruits of whose labours can be heard here.

People sometimes ask me how I can get through some of my lines without laughing, and I'm usually rather blase about this; I laugh out loud when I think of the lines in the first place, but usually by the time it comes to actually recording them, I'm familiar enough with them that I'm no longer that effected by them.

This is the first chapter I really had difficulty getting through some of the lines; they were funny enough that I kept on laughing as I was delivering them. Take that for what it's worth.

A bit of historical esoterica here: The Charles Kingsley referenced in this chapter was a real person, though he did not have a seditious brother named Frederick. I learned of this man as I was researching the life and times of King Edward, and knew immediately how I wanted to incorporate him into the story.





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The Curse of the Rhino King - Chapter 11 (in astonishing Audio-Rama Format!)


Tremble, ye mortals! For chapter 11 is upon you!

I spoke about this a bit in the comments section of chapter 10, but it bears pointing out here, as well, that I put a good deal of work into the audio positioning in each of these chapters, which is something I'm pretty proud of; placing different characters' voices in different speakers, in the hopes of creating a certain illusion of three dimensionality. The hope is that it gives the impression of two people speaking to each other from across a certain amount of space. I think that it works rather well, especially if one listens via a pair of headphones.

Anyways! Enjoy!
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The Curse of the Rhino King - Chapter 10 (in astonishing Audio-Rama Format!)

This one has one odd little moment which I feel is worth commenting on. There's a minor and nameless character who appears around 3/4 of the way through the chapter, and I was working on this at the time that my friend Heather and her friend Jesse were briefly visiting. I asked Jesse if he'd do the voice of this character for me, and he agreed. There was one line, though, which begins "I suppose there's sense in that, sir...", which, even after twenty or so takes, he just COULD NOT NAIL. Each and every time, he inserted the word "a" between "there's" and "sense", eve though I corrected him after each and every take. Finally, I realized that there was simply something mis-wired in his head, and he would never get the line right, even if we did a thousand takes, and left it alone.

True story.

Anyways! I put a ton of work into this one, for reasons which will become clear at around the half-way mark. So, while I always appreciate those two or three people who regularly comment on new chapters, I would LOVE to hear from a couple of the others out there who are listening to and enjoying this work.
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The Curse of the Rhino King - Chapter 9 (in astonishing Audio-Rama Format!)

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The Curse of the Rhino King - Chapter 8 (in astonishing Audio-Rama Format!)

Oh, I have been eagerly awaiting this chapter's release.

It's a longer one than usual - both longer than previous chapters and longer than future ones - because I needed to introduce most of the remaining main cast in this chapter, and I didn't want to give any of them short shrift. There's also, as a consequence, a considerably larger voice cast than usual for this one, including a memorable if brief performance by Reginald's soft-headed trollop of a maid, Pansie, by izuma_yaki , who responded to a post here some time ago in which I cryptically asked for a female voice actor with a british accent.

Anyways, without further ado...

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The Curse of the Rhino King - Chapter 7 (in astonishing Audio-Rama Format!)

Today's Chapter sees (or perhaps more accurately, hears) the return of lenimonkey as Miss Rita Elliot.

This is something of a defining moment for the story in a couple of ways. First, I just had a tremendous amount of fun writing it, because the bulk of the chapter grew out of a single joke which was just so funny and so bizarre that it not only ended up dominating virtually the entire chapter, it ended up being a character-defining moment for Miss Elliot and Reginald both.

Also, the end of this chapter - specifically around the 8:20 mark - contains perhaps the most outlandish conceit in the entire story so far, which, I feel, more than anything else, makes it plain just what sort of a world we're looking at in this story.

And so, without further ado...



Comments, as always. are appreciated and welcome.