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I can do the butch voice, too!

OK, a couple of things. About this week’s goofy news story about the homeless fellow with a deep voice, who is (according to the story) being lifted out of poverty because the video of his voice went viral.

First, it’s nice and all. I mean, it’s not like I think the world would be a better place if he were still obscure and impoverished. OK? More power to you, Mr. Williams.

But B, there are thousands and thousands of homeless people who don’t happen to have unusual voices, and there aren’t jobs for them, are there? Is this really our country? We are lifting one guy—one guy—out of poverty because he does a good imitation of old-time radio announcers? The hell?

And also, can I just say? There are thousands of voice actors in this country. Thousands of them. Good ones. I know some of them. Their voices are every bit as good as Mr. Williams’ voice, and they have experience in the field, they know what they are doing. I don’t really blame the Cav’s PR guy for latching on to a fortuitous combination of famous and cheap, but seriously—if I were a voice actor, I would be so angry I would stamp my foot into the ground until it stuck and then tear myself in two.

OK, probably not quite that angry. But pretty angry. I mean, the reason I never tried professional voice work myself (having had some encouragement from people who clearly thought I had the face for it) was that there is a substantial initial investment. Not just the demo reel, which even in this digital age has to be professionally put together for anybody to bother listening to it, but (as I have been told and believe) the classes that provide the necessary networking coupons are not cheap, in money or time. And if you do go through all of that, you have to compete with everybody else who goes through all of that. And, evidently, with a homeless guy in a viral video.

Again: there is no sense in which making these opportunities available to Mr. Williams is bad. He should have the opportunity to exploit his gift. Voice actors aren’t somehow entitled to jobs narrating videos for the Cavs at the expense of impoverished amateurs. But I’m astonished, anyway, that people don’t hear this story and think what the hell kind of fucked-up world are we living in, anyway?

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,