In a session of the brilliant cartoon, El Tigre, directed by Jorge Gutierrez, there happened a scarce gap of time between recorded lines for two voiceover actors to “riff”, as voice actors are wont and quite skilled to do. One of those actors was John DiMaggio and the other myself. Within seconds, an improvised argument ensued between two “Black Folks “ as to the merits of the fighting skills of two popular Universal Studios horror Creatures; Frankenstein and Dracula.
It went a little bit like this:
John: “Frankenstein would whoop Dracula’s ass!”
Carlos: “Oh hell no. Dracula would come up on Frankenstein while he was sleeping a bite a hole right through those bolts on his neck.”
It was on! For the next two minutes and twenty-five seconds the fate of Frankenstein VS Dracula would be decided in a voice over improv session. Dare I say that the playful banter between John and myself is what most voice over actors often look forward to. John and I looked at each other and we knew we had something special.Cut to: One year later….
….and I had not let this wonderful idea born out of our jam session die. Far from it! I had since acquired the talents of the wonderful folks mentioned above, assembled a cast to meet at the wonderful Salami Studios in NOHO, and also wrangled the magnificent talent of our engineer, Mark Mercado. We all worked for pizza that day and a new Monster Talk
The Magnificent Five was now in place!
- Fred Tatasciore - who plays “Fred,” the self appointed literary genius of the group.
- John DiMaggio - who plays “John,” the drunken and lovable blow hard who captains our arguments and who is never wrong.
- Gary Anthony Williams as “Willie” - the responsible one, who’s strongest opinions are reserved for the coffee table, and not at home with mom.
- Cedric Yarbrough – who plays “Cee,” a punch drunk former boxer who often launches into his fantasized abilities to make God’s little creatures do his bidding.
- And myself, Carlos Alazraqui – who plays Edilberto, the meek Filipino waiter who owns the bakery and DaRell, the wandering old man who often serves to disrupt the flow of the argument by blurting out the strange thoughts that pop into his head.
What ensued is an extraordinary session of pure voice over jazz, as again, only voice actors are wont and skilled enough to do.NO celebrities needed here!
These are the actors, whose voice over abilities and improv prowess are akin to all the great singers who hide away in small Honky Tonk Bars in Nashville, New Orleans or Memphis. They are talents who are beginning to be worshipped by the public like the A-listers on Katzenberg’s “Star Fucking, Short List”. These guys BLOW those guys away!Jump ahead a year later……..
….after my wife, Heather, and Eric Bauza donated their time and skill to put together our first three minute piece made from the “clay” of our two hour jazz session, I was meeting Aaron at the slice pizza restaurant. I opened up my lap top and played Monster Talk for him. It was love at first sight! Aaron became the champion for our purely improvised cartoon.
During the next year we changed the title from “Monster Talk” to “Off The Curb,” recorded three new episodes, and added the incredible voice talent of Eric Bauza (the voice of Alerta, Edilberto’s hot blonde, Filipina Wife) and the animators over at Odd Bott Studios. We also had a Standing Room Only Live Performance at the 2012 San Diego Comic Con Youtube Lounge (Thanks again to Mondo)!
Our latest episode of Off The Curb
, “Halloween Candy,” launches on October 27 and may I say it is one of our finest! Stay tuned and let us know what you think