each sensation makes a note in my symphony

The alarm went off at 7 this morning. Though I was asleep around 11 last night, the jolt of misery that shot through my body as I reached over to turn it off confirmed — again — that I am not a Morning Person.

I slowly opened my eyes, and saw that Anne had already gotten out of bed. In her place, both of our dogs had curled up on the bed, waiting for me to wake up. Riley opened her eyes and thumped her tail when she saw that I was awake. Seamus made a snoring noise and rolled onto his back.

Though I am decidedly not a Morning Person, it's hard to feel cranky when I wake up to the unconditional love of both of my dogs, who are convinced that I am the greatest thing in the world (shut up. They do so think that, and it has nothing at all to do with the role I play in ensuring they get regular walks and meals.)

I had less than an hour to get ready to go to work on Generator Rex, so I made instant coffee and toaster waffles.

"I know," I said to the empty kitchen, "but this morning is more about efficiency than anything else."

As hot water splashed into my mug, turning dark brown powder that smelled sort of like coffee into dark black liquid that didn't quite taste like coffee, I said, "don't judge me."

"Who are you talking to?" Anne said from the living room.

"Uhh … myself," I said.

"Ooooh-kay then," she said.

I browsed Reddit while I ate my second bachelor breakfast in as many weeks. Twenty minutes later, I was showered and dressed. I kissed my wife good bye, and drove out to Cartoon Network.

I've never seen Generator Rex, but I understand that the damn kids today are crazy about it. The scripts I've read are great, and the cast is a real joy to work with. I can't say much about who I play or what I do, but it's a whole lot of fun. I'm lucky that I get to work on a bunch of different shows, but I'm especially lucky to consistently work with great people who love what they do, and are fun to work with. Seriously: there isn't a whole lot of drama involved in this acting thing. (HA HA SEE WHAT I DID THERE.)

Today, one of the other actors had a lot of dialog in a scene without my character. I planned for this by bringing my Kindle with me, so I ended up spending a fair amount of time "at work" actually reading Sandman Slim (it is such a great book, you guys). When it was time for me to go back into the booth with the rest of the cast, I was pleased to discover that it wasn't a challenge at all for me to trade the dark urban fantasy world I was reading for the action-packed cartoon world I was helping to create. I silently marked the moment on my mental character sheet, and awarded myself some Voice Actor XP.

I love voice acting, and I'm grateful that I have opportunities like this where I can work with truly talented people, learn from them, and then apply that knowledge and experience to work with even more talented people. Of all the self-perpetuating cycles I could be caught in, I'd say this one is pretty awesome … even if it makes me confront precisely how much I am Not A Morning Person on a semi-regular basis.

36 thoughts on “each sensation makes a note in my symphony”

  1. Sandman Slim is indeed considerably awesome, I agree. Hopefully you mentioning it will get more people to read it which will mean more people I can talk to about it. My plan is working perfectly…

  2. So not alone in that feeling Wil.
    My dog is the driving force that gets me out of my Sarlac Pit of a bed every morning.
    Yeah dogs kick ass at morning joy.

  3. Although i think your main intent here is to expound upon your incredibly blessed life (i reaaaally do NOT intend to sound snarky but honest in that statement), i feel as if i must use this space to state my firm belief that, as a teacher, starting school an hour later would make for many a happy collective (the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few). Juuuust puttin’ it out there.

  4. Yeah, Sandman Slim is awesome. One of the better opening paragraphs in recent memory. There’s a sequel, but also check out his earlier novel, Butcher Bird.
    Oh and you know…. it’s been almost a year since Wootstock Seattle… *cough*

  5. Anne: Who are you talking to?
    Wil: Uh… NOT the kitchen – because the kitchen ISN’T silently judging my breakfast decisions (the arrogant bastard!).

  6. Hey Wil, you should get a Keurig instead of drinking instant coffee. You can even get a use-your-own-coffee insert so you don’t have to buy the K-Cups. The Keurig makes a delicious cup of brewed coffee in about 3 minutes and it’s ready to drink as soon as it’s finished!

  7. Hmm…looks like ‘Sandman Slim’ is going on my Amazon Wish List. I checked out the sample chapter, and I have to admit it looks pretty good. Thanks for the recommendation!

  8. I probably shouldn’t tell you how many times I closed and reopened your blog because I thought my brain was making me see your picture in the left sidebar instead of the right…you know, instead of it actually *being* on the left now. Apparently my stupid is self centered today. :)

  9. Hey Wil,
    I know you were a member of Team Poker Stars four or five years ago.
    1) I remember a post you made about playing poker in Vegas
    2) I found a post recently about you playing poker with Jason Alexander
    3) You also posted about experiencing the World Series of Poker.
    Any thoughts about real money being banned at Full Tilt Poker and Poker Stars?
    Do you still play live at all?

  10. Sandman Slim is going on the list. (SWEET!) And I get to check out Generator Rex to see if the kids want to watch it. It’s like a free dose of cool!
    To follow up on Rickg’s comment, it may have been a year since Wootstock Seattle *cough* but I don’t think there’s been a Wootstock Hawaii >harrumph<. Any chances? (Imagine one of your dogs in the begging pose.)

  11. Just finished both the Sandman Slim novels within the last month. All kinds of awesome/we are brothers in this. Can’t wait for the next one, out in Oct. btw, I love these little slices of life posts you do. Your voice really comes through. [Your writing voice, not your, you know, audio voice.] Keep up the great, well, being you, I guess. Cheers!

  12. I love reading your blogs! I AM a morning person, but still hate getting out of bed. 😉
    Thanks for the mention of Sandman Slim, I’ve added it to this week’s reading list.

  13. Nice quote from “Tommy.” Should I feel old for recognizing it — and imagining the music from the London Symphony Orchestra welling behind it?
    (Yes, the LSO didn’t do the original version, just the first version I heard.)

  14. I never really got into Generator Rex, my fault for never actually watching an episode(I’m more of an Adult Swim, Adventure Time, and Regular Show kind of guy) but I’ll definitely check it out now.
    I’ll also add Sandman Slim to my personal required reading list.

  15. The second I saw the title all that was going through my head was “Sickness will surly take the mind where minds can’t usually go…” Thanks. That’s now going to be living in my head for the rest of the day.

  16. I wish I had dogs to wake up to. Someday when I’m not moving every year or so, and I have a yard…
    I have a question about how cartoons get made actually. I’m just wondering, because sometimes the cartoon people’s mouths just sort of open and close with no relation to the words, but often they move in such a way as to form the words, so I wonder what comes first, the picture or the dialogue, and in either case, how do you make the voice line up with the picture mouths? I’ve always wondered this.

  17. My kids love Generator Rex (and I occasionally watch it with them)! I will have to keep my ears open to try to catch which character you portray. I believe I have already caught Mr. Spiner!?!

  18. We record the dialog before the animators start working on the scenes. Usually, if you're seeing mouth movements that aren't crisp and an exact match, it's because the show you're watching was originally in a different language, and has been dubbed.
    In the case of dubbing, the picture comes first and we do our best to match the mouth movements. We can usually get pretty close, but it's not possible to get a perfect match.

  19. If you don’t want to get a Keurig might I suggest Starbucks’ Via ready brew? I don’t drink coffee but my husband swears by it. He keeps a few packets in his travel bag so he can have good coffee on the road, since you just need hot water.

  20. Not to belittle anyone else’s preferences, but I have yet to find a K-cup that tastes good. My wife’s work has a Keurig, and they have many flavors, but none of them taste right. We’ve thought about getting one of the reusable filters, but haven’t gone through with it, since we don’t drink that much coffee anyway.
    Glad to hear you’re doing Generator Rex. I’ve seen a few shows, and I think it’s pretty good. I’ve often thought about trying some voice work, but haven’t gone out and made something happen.

  21. Having read for the first time “Just a Geek” last week, and having read your blog regularly for about 3 years, it seems to me almost that when you stopped trying so hard at being an actor and started to focus on your prodigious (I love that word, sorry, any excuse to drop it into a sentence!) writing skills that the normal acting related jobs started to pick up, with increasing numbers of voice acting related jobs coming your way (and other TV roles).
    If you agree with that view, I’m curious if you’ve got any theories why? Do you think the death of “Prove to Everyone” frees up your art in subtle ways? Old fashioned time and distance from Trek? Or just one of probably thousands of random things (like producers wanting to capitalise on your geek cred, awesome friends in the trade etc.) I do sincerely love your writing and hope for more fiction from you, but part of me would love to see you be another example of infomercials not killing an actor. You already seem to be making good progress on that too.

  22. voice acting is awesome and fun, the only chance I had to do it was in theatre school, which was like very long time ago. but I had that sensation in my symphony

  23. I … really don't know.
    I know that's not a very satisfying answer, but I have deliberately not spent a lot of time thinking about it, because I don't want to consciously get in the way of whatever it working.
    It's a lot of different things, and I'm sure that I could identify all of them if I wanted to, but I'd rather just stay focused on the work, and be grateful for it.

  24. I don’t know about you, but I AM old (at least compared to Wil). But I felt the same, I immediately imagined Roger Daltrey’s voice over the LSO (it was also the first version I heard, and the only one I ever liked). I used to play “Tommy” over and over again on my tape recorder, I could sing along with every single line of every single song in there (come to think of it, I still can…). Nice reference indeed Wil. I love your blog btw!

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