A Heavy Topic
My Whale of a Tale
The truth? We have all struggled with weight at one time or another (or in my case, every day since conception), and most of us would not even consider trying to fit into one of those swimsuits that look like they are apparently made of dental floss. I once ruminated about becoming a swimsuit model, but for the good of humanity, I will not do so. Ever. I would find it dreadfully uncomfortable in my nether regions, my wife would never accept me, and my dog would look at me quizzically. The alternative is to remain portly, and go swimming in oversized clothes to properly conceal my girth and reduce the screaming. This is also why I work from inside a studio, concealed from public view.
Somewhere, way back in time - I am thinking during the Pliocene Epoch - I used to be fairly svelte. I could deftly flit to and fro with a reasonable amount of speed and agility, like maggots frying in hot grease. Fast forward to today, and I go from 0 to 60 in approximately four hours. I am not exactly sure what happened or when, but I will go ahead and blame Burger King. Cancel culture, do your thing.
In truth, I have always struggled with my weight. I have waffled (did someone say WAFFLES?!?!?) between overweight and borderline overweight for the duration of my life. There are pictures from life that I cannot look back on, simply because I do not subscribe to National Geographic. Please take your time figuring that one out.
Good to have you back.
Voiceover Artist, Audiophile and Demo Producer Extraordinaire "Uncle" Roy Yokelson maintains a daily post about what "national day” it is - last Tuesday was apparently “National Fried Chicken Day.” I myself was unaware of this, but thank you, Uncle, for the motivation to get off my duff and quickly sprint drive on over to KFC, good sir. I only really trust food wherein I can actually hear my arteries hardening. Otherwise, it is clearly not doing its job.
In previous Life-Changing Blogs Of Mine, I have discussed an alien activity known as exercise. In it I mention burpees, which is Latin for demon worship. That is why I do not do them. Not because I do not wish to become more fit; but because I do not wish to have anything to do with the Underworld. Therefore, burpees are out. And, unfortunately, so are sit-ups (Spanish for “insanity”), push-ups (Swahili for “why are you doing this to me?”) or jumping jacks (Klingon for “Watch me look like flappy noodles.”)
So what is to be done? How can I – or anyone for that matter – effectively lose weight? Moreover... should we?
And This Time, I’ll Keep It Off!
When I was a kid, I worked out to a morning exercise program hosted by Gilad Janklowicz called Bodies in Motion. I spent a good half hour each day stretching, getting my heart rate up, sweating, and practicing how to pronounce Gilad Janklowicz without passing out.
Now as a respected and overweight voice talent, I am fairly confident I went about everything the right way. I got into voiceovers, and anytime I see a script pop up for Nutrisystem, Jenny Craig, Atkins, Vegan, The Zone, Keto, South Beach, or Weight Watchers, boy do I jump all over that. I was even the voice of Nutrisystem for an entire season! I was elated to do it because I knew in my arteriosclerosis-laden heart that the pounds were going to fall off of me with each word spoken. I was so overjoyed to have been chosen to voice them that I even let them pay me in buttery pastries.
I know what it means to narrate good weight loss scripts, and to see immediate results.
To further prove my point - as well as to steal more time away from you that you will never receive back - every January 1st at 12am my Resolutions Clock resets, and I am determined to lose weight all year, maintaining strict adherence to daily caloric intake. I can safely say that this has been my best year ever, because I went all the way to 1:45am, and my reward - an entire sleeve of Oreo cookies with a glass of hot fat - never ever tasted so good. And because I was so good at enjoying my reward, I rewarded myself! For breakfast, I enjoyed a cube of margarine. Let me tell you, a butterstick is an exquisite meal.
I say ENOUGH with uninteresting nuts and berries and boring water, as these fad diets would have you believe.
I am joking. I do try to eat well. By "try" I mean not trying at all and also not caring at all. For I have come to learn that each one of my beloved family members and friends who have died have all suffered a 100% mortality rate and have not yet returned from the dead. This is because of food, and other things, like other food. So, by deduction, the only proven way to lose weight is to simply not eat at all. Essentially it is a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” dilemma. So pardon me if I choose to be damned, because damn, Crisco vegetable shortening hits the spot with a big damn mug of frothy cream soda.
My wife is actually a decent cook, and she prepares meals that she knows have my best interests at heart. Why, her steamed lemon rind and raisin skin delights are as filling and satisfying as a Meatloaf concert (did someone say MEATLOAF?!?!?), and she has utterly mastered the exquisite art of food deprivation.
So no, thankyouverymuch, I do not watch my weight very well, and I do not exercise as much as I should. I thought about losing weight once, but I am really not that fond of losing. Ergo, I have slowly seen my weight continue to climb over the past year, and in many ways feel powerless to stop it. It is currently placed under the "Oh Well" column of my life. Confession time: I am presently - gulp - about eighty pounds overweight, and I am pretty sure my cholesterol is seven thousand nine hundred and forty eight. One thing at a time though. *eats pastry and sets goals*
But what I have also come to learn is that, although I carry incredible weight, it is not all located in my midsection. In fact, a lot of it is exactly where it should be: in my heart, mind and larynx.
The Weight That We Carry
Putting aside for a moment diet fads, exercise, healthy eating, and the fact that you have now seen me in only my Costco socks, let us pause to consider the weight we carry as voiceover artists. Fact is, we carry tremendous weight that is neither a cause for concern nor shame. Or even stigma.
Our voices bring:
It is your absolute first prerogative in voiceovers to carry your weight. By carrying your weight, I mean:
- In how you deliver your voiceovers
- in how you run a successful business with professionalism
- in upholding market rates for all of us. (This is us playing the proverbial "Hanabi" - a game that is designed to see everyone win)
What we do as voice talent holds great weight, and voiceovers are an indispensable component to any video or production. Will we be replaced by AI someday? Maybe. But it is my goal to prolong that day indefinitely through carrying my own weight.
So, in the end, perhaps it is not that bad being a little heavy. In truth, that is what I am in the voiceover industry: a heavyweight. Are you?
Pass the cake please. I am trying to save lives here.
YOU HAVE MADE IT ALL THE WAY TO THE END, AND I SALUTE YOU.
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Seattle Voice Actor & Voiceover Artist for hire