Alice Long

Character specialist, offbeat, accents, anything

Voice Description

I can voice just about any characterization or specialty: warm and deep for narrations, sexy and fun for commercials, smooth and professional for business presentations, and regional accents for characters.

Most of my life, I've been a professional singer. My range is such that I can sound like a baby cooing, a young adult, a child, a teenager (male or female), or an elderly woman or man. I am ideal for cartoon voice-overs.

Before I was 21, I was signed to Tommy Cogbill's TRUMP record label in Memphis, Tennessee. Trump was a subsidiary of Capitol Records; I had to go to court to have my minority staus waived in order for the contract to be binding.

From years of traveling for professional performance, I have developed an ear for accents. I even mimic a Parisian accent if I find myself in The City of Light (for example, Parisians tend to pronounce "de" the way most of us are taught to say "des," only not quite as cleanly. They also pronounce "rien" differently than do other speakers of French).

I am constantly tormented by so many failed attempts to voice American Southern accents. I was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, and my "native" accent is pure Mid-South. Acccept no substitutes! Please! But I lived in Los Angeles for five years, during which I perfected a "non-regional dialect" so that people could understand me. I have also lived in the Orlando, Florida, area for five years. Every accent imaginable can be heard regularly in Central Florida. Of course, I can mimic an LA "Valley" acccent. I once lived in North Hollywood.

I am also able to mimic animals. As an avid pet owner, I have always given "voices" to my cats, dogs, birds, and even mice. If you want a space alien, I can come up with that, too.

Presently, I am about to record a narrative remedial reading text I wrote for under-prepared college students, especially those whose native English is Ebonics (I'm pretty darned fluent in Ebonics; I teach at an historically black college). I intend to perform this narrative in a non-regional, non-gender-specific voice. The text contains quite a bit of humor, which is easy for me to voice.

Just for a bit more information to guide you: I recently embarassed my 21-year-old daughter when I "re-enacted" the voice-overs from the credit footage in TROPIC THUNDER. You can guess which one bothered her the most: "I'm a lead farmer, etc." That, and "Hell, no! WHAAAAT?" Remember that I am a white female, born in 1950. Still, voicing Lincoln Osiris and Alpa Chino is VERY easy for me to do.

I can deliver clean, clear voice, but I tend to be a bit on the husky side. As I said, I CAN do clean and clear.

I can also bark so realistically that I've scared away prowlers who figured I was a Great Dane. I can do little "Roo Loo" dogs, too: When they bark, they sound like they're saying, "ROO! ROO LOO LOO LOO!" I was once known for my "French pooch," who always said, "Arrrrr-BOIS!" and for my "shivering Chihuahua." I should've auditioned for Grandpa on "Rug Rats" while I was in Orlando, but I was simply too busy at that time. I could imitate the original perfectly.

I've been able to do elderly voices since I was a kid. Now I'm old, but I can still talk, curse, and sing like a teenager. Or a pirate. Or must about anything you can imagine.

If you need a voice, I can probably do it. Have voice, will travel. Will use voice for money. What else is there, anyway?

Voice Genders and "Ages" I Can Perform

• Baby
• Child
• Teenage Girl
• Teenage Boy
• Young Adult Female
• Young Adult Male
• Middle Age Female
• Middle Age Male
• Senior Female
• Senior Male

Language(s) of Which I Am a Native Speaker:

• English - USA and Canada

I Offer my Services for these Recording Purposes

• Commercials
• Promos
• IVR, voicemail, phone systems, and on-hold messages
• Training, business presentations, sales, and web sites
• Audiobooks
• Videogames
• Documentaries
• TV shows and movies
• Movie and game trailers
• Podcasts
• Adult content
• Songs
• Others (on-camera, infomercials, live announcers, spokespersons)

Jobs I Am Willing to Take (Union-wise)

• Non-Union Jobs

My Union Affiliations and Memberships

None

My Recording and Delivery Capabilities

• I will go to any designated studio in my area
• I can record and then deliver the audio files via Email
• I can record and then deliver the files by regular mail

Pre-, Post- and Production Services I Offer

• I offer translation services
• I can deliver edited and finished voice tracks
• I have a music library and can add music to any project

My Home Base

, Mississippi, United States

Accents, Impersonations, Characters and Dialects

American Mid-Southern, "fake" Shelby Foote Southern (NOBODY really talks that way!), Cajun, N'Orleans (NOT the same as Cajun), American Yankee, Cali Valley, non-regional, British (usually higher class), some English low class (I can work it up pretty quickly)--I've "performed" most of Charles Dickens' A TALE OF TWO CITIES as a college professor, and that book runs the gamut of English accents, French accents, and combinations of both.

You wanna coon-ass accentdh, you? You betta member dadt de coon ass, he don' nev' say no "THU," him. Ain't no Frawnsay say no "THU." Budt he do say de "anythin'."

Please don't say "anythin'" if you're from Memphis! We just don't DO that down here! Just don't nobody say dat! I KNOW which words we say multi-syllabically. I was born here.

My folks met in Nashville, so that one's easy for me, too. It's different from a Memphis accent. Middle Tennessee speaks differently than West Tennessee, and East Tennessee (my mother's home area) speaks completely differently than the state's other two sections. That's why the Tennesse State Flag has three stars.

Standard redneck? Southern country? No problem. I live among them summabiches. Hell, when I go down to the VEE Ef Dubya, I'm jes plain ONE ov'em. Same goes for Ebonics (I've taught English at an historically black college for nearly seven years). I ain't been start on no Ebonic on yesterday!

If you want Miss Scaahlett, I can voice her, too. I do every April while wearing a hoop skirt during our annual Holly Springs Pilgrimmage. I usually become Mrs. Micajah Autry, whose husband died defending the Alamo. She's buried across the street from my house, anyway.

Now for animals:
I can do a BAAAAAAD sheep or goat. Chicken is one of my specialties. I don't eat them. I can sound like them. Cow, horse, cat, dog, parrot, and I can develop any cartoon characterization imaginable.

I have already described my various dog imitations. Just tell me what you need.

My Voice Experience

My voice-over career began by joking around at Memphis, Tennessee's American Studios, where Elvis recorded "In the Ghetto," Dusty Springfield did "Son of a Preacher Man" from her DUSTY IN MEMPHIS album, and The Box Tops recorded "The Letter."

I was just a skinny kid, signed to a recording contract and being fought over by Tommy Cogbill and Chips Moman. I'd never been in a vocal booth before, and when I heard my first playback . . . "Good God! Who the hell is THAT redneck?" "That's you," was Tommy's reply.

So I decided to have fun with it. All those recorded communications "betweeen takes" began to come out in New York accents, English accents, Spanish accents, Ebonics, Cajun, you name it. Sometimes I'd talk like an old man. Or maybe Queen Elizabeth. The "shivering Chihuahua" was a good one. Anything to keep that redneck from saying another word!

We put out a single on Tommy's TRUMP label: "Old Joe Clark," and started touring. Then we traveled as a back up band with Bobby Vee. I hadn't heard a Wisconsin accent till we spent two weeks up there. I could already do Chicago, but the night we played a mafia bar in Cicero, we were entertaining a mob leader, whose daughter had just taken her firt communion. When it came time to get paid, he threatened to shoot us. Bobby told us, "Pack up fast." We did. No pay. But I earned a first-hand Cicero mob accent out of the deal.

All of the American Studios out-takes are long gone. Those buildings were razed years ago. I think there's a parts place there now.

My dedicated voice over work took place when we opened a studio called The Music Factory (not Al Green's; ours was first)in Memphis. I did all the commercials for that studio, from writing jingles and singing them to speaking the advertisement information. We also did commercials for Memphis' now-defunct Libertyland. Danny Jones, our band's drummer and fellow-studio owner, left Memphis to become Allen Toussaint's engineer at his Sea-Saint Studios in the N'Orleans area. He might still have my work. We've recently been in touch through Facebook, but I've never thought to ask about those commercials.

After that time, I lived in Los Angeles for five years. Developing my non-regional accent was a necessity; nobody could understand us. Blake Clark was right--they all thought we had goats in our back seats when we drove down Hollywood Freeway in a car with a Tennessee tag.

In California, I learned to do hispanic accents, along with what I call "Cali Valley." Throughout this time, while day-jobbing at Warner Brothers Records, I played full-time in bands, once with Scott Henderson for a 9-month stint. I had to front that band, Twilight. This was a new experience for me; I just sang, played bass and keyboards, and made puns, fake voices, and animal sounds. What, ME? Talk to the crowd?!

I began by imitating Elvira, Mistress of the Dark. Then I moved on to imitating Paco, a terminally ill Mexican fan and friend, who loved our band and got a hoot out of my imitating him. Of course, I used every voice that came to mind: When under pressure, get funny! It works.

I have a keen ear for accents. I can usually pick a real Southerner out of a movie cast, such as Matthey McConaughey. Don't think I miss many errors in "True Blood," either. I can mimic just about any accent, and I've never lost touch with my own. When I'm at home, I "default" into a combination of Mid-Southern white, Ebonics, and Cajun. You might not be able to understand me, but the dog does.

Sometimes I frustrate telemarketers by acting like I don't speak English. They usually don't bother me again.

I have worked as a tele-marketer in Memphis and in Los Angeles, though I never stayed more than a day or two. I hated it, and I kept calling the same number if there was a funny voice mail message to listen to.

In the late 1980s, I worked for National Safety Associates out of Memphis, Tennessee. I traveled and taught water testing classes (NSA had hit a bonanza in the "take out the chlorine" business in those days. I addressed enormous crowds at conventions in Las Vegas, Ft. Lauderdale, and Washington, D.C., as well as countless classes in Memphis. This required the smooth, professional voice and business clothes I hated wearing.

Teaching college also requires a non-regional dialect in Central Florida, as students from every country imaginable fill your classrooms. I've learned from them, too: English flavored with Chinese, Russian, German, and Portuguese accents (the Portuguese is via Brazil). If you're lonely for Bela Lugosi, I can "raise the stakes" for you.

Voicing is second nature to me. I've been recording my voices since 1971, and I have logged in countless studio hours. I have also had considerable live radio experience on two channels here in Holly Springs, Mississippi, along with television appearances, taped live, during which I sang A Cappella. All involved my reading with my "Miss Scaahlet" accent, which was expected.

I believe I can locate tapes of most, if not all, of these recordings.

Again, I am a patient and productive studio voice. I can voice anything or anyone you need.



My Training

I hold three degrees from The University of Memphis. My terminal degree is a Master of Fine Arts.

My recording, playing, singing, voicing, and voice over work have never had any sort of formal training. I'm quite liteally self-made. Voicing has been a part of my life and my personality for as long as I can remember. By the time I was 14, I'd gotten the nickname "Dusty" because I could imitate Dusty Springfield's singing voice. Copping the Beatles' Liverpool accent was easy.

By the time I was 20, I was a full-time musician and vocalist, spending days on end in the studio. We made quite a few fake commercials, some of them not exactly polite, and I learned mic technique and voice over expertise during that time.

As a college professor, I have often been handed a "lav" during conferences and conventions. I won't use one. My voice carries (I know how to project when I need to) and has such natural resonance that I don't need any lav in a small auditorium. My husband is an audio engineer, but I've done most of my recent work without his help.

I have presented scholarly papers at a number of conferences; my voice never fails to put across my meanings. I am a published and award winning writer of fiction and nonfiction, and I have played thousands of live performances.

Even in Paris, I found a karaoke bar beneath a restaurant on the Bouleard Saint-Germain, and I sang a Whitesnake song to college kids, who took me for a local with an exciting speaking voice (as I've stated, I can mimic a Parisian accent). When I began singing, they were floored. They'd never heard a professional either speak or sing within 6 meters. The experience was fun and rewarding.

My Studio Equipment

Which time? We've had so many different set-ups, I can't remember them all! At present, I have only limited access to a studio near my home in Holly Springs. It is owned and operated by VERY serious Pentacostal people, who think anything secular is the devil. I can probably get a fellow keyboardist in Memphis to let me lay down some stuff--I can't remember what all Hal has, but he plays with Jimi Jamison a lot, and he's always recording. Hall will have pretty good stuff. Rust College, from which I'm on sabbatical, has a studio, and it is controlled by our new divisional chair. We don't get along. That's why I'm on sabbatical. The last time he was at Rust, he was fired, and stole half the studio gear. The board's an antique, anyway. From the 1970s. The last time anybody really used it, tall Afros were in style.

The one item I've always remained with is my choice of mic: a Shure SM-57. That's 57. No, I do NOT care for the SM-58. Of course, I know the specs are pretty much the same on both mics, and that the 58 is supposed to be for vocals, but I don't get the kind of consistantly dependable dynamic response from "working" the 58 as I do from the 57. I've pulled many 57's apart (accidentally at first), cleaned the "club cheese" out of them, done away with ragged foam filters, etc. Therefore, I like a clean mic that only I use. My last 57 was stolen. As we own a music store (Marshall County Music in Holly Springs, MS), we're ordering another one, but I want to try the Beta 57 and 58 first. FYI: Steve Walsh of Kansas recorded with a classic SM-57.

I haven't yet used the Shure Beta 57 or 58. They were at the NAMM show in Anaheim last month (January, 2010), but I did not see them at the Shure booths. I did check out Shure's "earbud monitor" system, as I call it. I've got the specs somewhere. But they had no means of letting me try their earbud system so that I could hear myself sing through it. What good does it to for me to listen to another vocalist's use of that monitor? No two people work a mic the same way; consequently, my listening to someone else's singing in response to the earbud monitor doesn't do much for me. Maybe next year.

As for mixing consoles: Most recently, we have used Midas consoles: XL8, XL42, Heritage 1000, Heritage 3000, Venice, Verona, & Legend 3000, all of which my husband loves (He says, "You have to smack 'em HARD to make those LED meters even MOVE!)--great headroom, awsome features like 16-aux sends, parametric EQ on each channel, a matrix (we call it "the wildcard"), etc. He does quite a lot of FOH work in our area. He taught on two Midas consoles at Full Sail University in Orlando. They had two Matrix boards at that time--probably more now. My husband also engineered at Orlando's Orange County Convention Center, which had a Midas. He assisted the communications during a medical conference when a doctor in the OCCC told a person aboard the Space Station how to relieve a compressed rib on another astronaut. He's got lots of recognition certificates, etc. Ergo, I let him engineer. He knows what I want to sound like. And he doesn't want to convert me into a Pentacostal. Still, I can communicate with just about any engineer, so long as nothing's overdriven in the gains structure. I hate that.

I have used but never much cared for the Neumann U87 or even the Sennheiser MP421. I'm wierd. I still prefer the SM 57. Maybe these new Betas will change my mind.

I really like the flexibility of DDL. Remember the old echo chambers? I'd forgotten about them! We build one at The Music Factory. Again, I know what I want or what a buyer wants, and I can pretty much communicate it to any engineer.

Additional Skills

I like to have fun. Hell, I'm too old NOT to have fun. I've never met a stranger, even in my classrooms or in any audience. I am a serious and dedicated vocalist; I work well with others, unless they are overly religious or don't like laughing. I've got a low tolerance for the self-righteous.

Two summers ago, I adapted "Down by the Riverside" from Richard Wright's "Uncle Tom's Children" at the request of John Arthur House, theater director at Rust College. We cast the play, and I co-directed. At one point, I thought I would have to perform, as few white actors were available, but one of my advisees came in to play the role. My husband ran sound from a godawful booth--glassed in--at the Morehouse Theater in Rust's Doxey Performing Arts Building. I coordinated sound effects for three plays that day, including mine.

I was invited to take part in The Drey Summer Shakespeare Institute at Rollins College in the Orlando area a few years ago. I was able to gain live stage experience in one ace of "Twelfth Night" as Feste. We decided to put the scene in a bar setting; Feste was bartender. I started out with a Chicago Mafia voice, but quickly changed to an Irish accent. We also performed Act V, Scene 5 from "The Scottish Play." We split Lady Mac into 3 characters, and put it in a corporate context: Dunsinane, INC. At the end of the scene three wives--one a ghost(me), one a divorcee, and one a trophy wife--all chased Mac up into the seats. This was black box; "Twelfth Night" was in a Smart Classroom, but we made it into a nightclub because we were creative . . . and because we had no choice! It worked, believe me.

The different voices I've had to use in these stage productions don't really tax me. Neither does acting, as teaching college is, in itself, perfomance. It better be if you want somebody to learn something. And doing voices is simply part of my daily life. Being a professional musician teaches you more about mic technique and recording the vox humana than any class can train you to know. I've spent my life using my voice. Now it's time to put it to use for others.

At this point, I am willing to experiment with what I do in voicing. I will not always be so generous.



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