Friday, September 05, 2008

Voices Carry

You may recognize the men in the above two photos. They're the same person, actor James Hong. Now, the one on the bottom is of course what he looks like out of makeup and on top he's shown as the sinister Lo Pan from the cult film "Big Trouble In Little China". I got to meet the one on the right last weekend for Dragon*Con during a wonderful Q&A session with fans, which is more than what a certain 1960's TV star could have done at the conventione for at least another two days, then it's over. I promise.).

The session began with clips from some of the films and TV shows Hong has had a role in. Hong was "Hawaii 5-0" five or six times at least, had a regular role on "Kung Fu", and worked with everyone from John Wayne to Jack Black for fifty years and still running. Hong is also proficient in voice work as well, in such fare as "Mulan", "Kung Fu Panda" and others. At this part, this is where I come into the scene.

Mr. Hong talked about how much he loved doing voice work and asked if there was anyone in the packed audience was interested in doing such work. I raised my hand along with two others, but mine was sort of official. Mr. Hong brought me up first and he asked me what I liked about voice over work and I told him I actually do that type of work on radio and sometimes advertsising that comes though and production needs a certain voice, I do get called in from time to time. He then asked me what was my favorite voice and I told him that I'm working on a tough guy voice. He then asked if I wouldn't mind doing it for him and the crowd.

For the record, I've been working on the "tough guy" for a bit. I based it from Patrick Warbuton and his Puddy character from "Seinfeld" with that sort of clueless big guy feel. I went into it and talked about how I just blew into town ready to just slap around a few nerds at Dragon*Con and lo and behold I find out that the mighty Mister James Hong is in town, so I had to come see him face to face. When I was done, the look of the crowd was suprise and then a huge applause. Mr. Hong then raised my arm as if to say I was the winner. He then went into a diabolical character and said this...

You have come a long ways to find me. But it is too late. There are two girls with green eyes, and I will marry them both. And then I will sacrifice Gracie Law to appease my emperor and live out my earthly pleasures with Miao Yin.

[cackles] "
He then thanked me for coming up and I went to my seat. Now, I had Morgan with me and she's only eleven (twelve this week and happy birthday to her) and she was interested in seeing the guy when I told her about the actor. She thought I sounded pretty cool, but I was in a daze. Two other guys had gone up after me did their best, but why did I get the most props from everyone than those other guys? I had people coming up to me afterwards telling me that I was fantastic, yet I couldn't figure out why at all that day.
When I got back home later that day, I had a chance to sit back and remember the event when it hit me. After jogging my memory banks, it turned out that I wasn't rerally doing Patrick Warburton but Jack Burton via Kurt Russell in "Big Trouble In Little China" and Mr. Hong quoted back to me a line from the movie and it didn't hit me until that moment. Right then, I went from happy to amazed. If I could have an entire room of fanboys think I sounded like a cult hero and have his movie arch nemisis believe the same thing, then maybe I might have a new job in my future. Thanks, James Hong!

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