A person who follows me on Tumblr expressed some lovely and positive things about my performance in Act III of Audible’s The Sandman.
I don’t know if I’ve talked about that here, so here’s what I said to them.
The work I got to do in Sandman Volume 3 for Audible was a dream (ha Dream) come true for me.
I have been a Sandman fan since day one. I got it the day it dropped (still have that issue) and never looked back. When I was in my teens, I hoped so hard that I would somehow get to be part of the Sandman universe someday, but I honestly didn’t see how it would ever be possible. I’m the wrong age, I’m American, and when I looked at the map of my potential future, I just couldn’t find a place on the road that even got me close to Neil’s world.
And then, literal decades after I made the wish, it came true. Neil emailed me and asked me if I would voice Brant in The World’s End.
You know that moment in the movies when someone wins a thing, and they have to look back at the telegram or the bingo card or whatever, many times, because they can’t believe it actually happened? It was like that.
So I said yes, did my best to play it cool and not slime Neil with my excitement, and about a month later, I was in the booth.
The World’s End is one of my favorite parts of The Sandman. I love a good retelling of The Canterbury Tales. I haven’t listened to it, yet (I’m still in Act 1 as a listener) but it was some of the most satisfying acting I’ve done in a long, long time. I just remember how completely and thoroughly I enjoyed it. The words coming out of me, the feeling of them resonating in my chest before they came out of my mouth … knowing that my body was an instrument I was playing to bring music Neil wrote to life … wow. It was so much more than I expected, and it was something I’d been dreaming about (there’s that joke again) for over 30 years.
I can’t say more without spoiling the story. What I will obliquely refer to is a moment when a lot of important characters take a walk, and Brant tells you about it. That is in my top three moments of my entire career to this point.
7 thoughts on “a Dream comes true at the world’s end”
Congratulations on this, Wil.
I’ve listened to Act III in its entirety and I thought it was great, and you were great in it.
My one quibble here is, isn’t it much more like Bocaccio’s Decameron than like the Canterbury Tales? The Decameron has a bunch of people in Italy holing up in the countryside while their city is being ravaged by plague: like the people in the reality storm, they are waiting out a disaster; whereas the people in the Tales are passing the time on a chosen journey.
(My headcanon is that Neil knows this, but used the Canterbury Tales comparison because that would be much more familiar to his listeners.)
Since this is the first time I’ve ever heard of The Decameron, which absolutely sounds more comparable, I think Neil made the right call.
There doesn’t appear to be a ‘like’ button on the new (RETRO!) theme so I’ll just have to comment to say how much I enjoyed this post! Amazing to have a 30-something year dream come true, and to get the ask from Neil himself was just a bonus! (See what I did there?)
I haven’t read, watched or listened to any version of The Sandman despite being a huge fan of Neil Gaiman’s novels. Because you voiced Brant, I am diving in. You brought me to The Sandman (not Neil). Thank you for continuing to put yourself out there.
Hey Wil, loved your performance in The World’s End. It is one of the most fascinating parts of the Sandman stories. It inspired me to get Just a Geek and Still Just a Geek. Having started reading Still Just a Geek, I wanted you to know that you and Wesley helped me accept who I am,a bit nerdy and gay.
Thank you for your talent, and for your (at times painful) honesty.
I love the old theme. Makes me feel nostalgic.