How did you get started at Parcast?
A: Well, Max reached out to Wenndy, who hosts Unsolved Murders, and asked if she would recommend some voice actors. Wenndy Mackenzie is someone I’ve worked with for over thirty years… I hadn’t talked to her in about three years—we go in and out of each other’s lives—but she gave me a call, and I was working a job I didn’t want to be in, I was like “Yeah! Of course I want to do it.” And she was all “Well we don’t know. It’s a start-up...” I was like “Count me in. I’m there.”
This is a creepy question, but do you have a favorite killer?
Depends how you define favorite. I think the Peter Kurten Case is definitely the creepiest of all; I could barely get through it. That one really does pack a lot of creepiness… He had so many things going on that were really fascinating. And every time something new got revealed, it was even creepier. Ted Bundy was way up there, with the necrophilia, and the heads, but Kurten was so creepy, it was really—this is the most disclaimers we’ve ever had in one episode, that’s how creepy he was. So I’m gonna go with him.
What gets you most excited about hosting the show?
There’s like a really cool feeling seeing it transform from script to final project. I do my part with the script, but when Ron Shapiro and his sound design team puts it together, it’s unbelievable. It just comes to life, with all the sound effects and the timing and the pacing and the editing. So to answer your question about my favorite part, it might be when I hear it back. Like what Dorothy Dandridge once wrote “I hate to write but I love having written.” There’s a certain stress in recording, because you want it to be good, but hearing it back, it’s like heaven. I tune into [Unsolved Murders: True Crime Stories and Remarkable Lives. Tragic Deaths.] every week.
What do you do when you aren’t hosting podcasts?
Really boring stuff. No, actually I’m back fully into improvisation again, and also exploring a wider range of voice-over work… Parcast has taken me to my original roots—as a child, I actually made recordings, that was my favorite things to do. So we made little plays and little newscasts and things. I used to call up the radio station at eight years old, and tell them my dog was playing the clarinet, and they put it on. Of course that’s fraud’ I don’t do that anymore. Just getting active again with improv, I do a lot of comedy, believe it or not, though I don’t do a lot in the show, hopefully.
Where are you doing improv?
We do shows at the Groundling Theatre in Los Angeles, on Melrose. I was an original member of the cast of the Groundlings in the 70’s. With PeeWee Herman, Phil Hartman, John Lovitz, oh though he came after me, actually. I met Wenndy in Gary Austin’s class there in the 80’s. And I actually did a show there late last night.
If you could switch jobs with anyone else at Parcast, whose job would you want and why?
Well I would like to run the place, but that might be into the ground and Max is doing a phenomenal job. I’m split. The stuff that Max and Ron [Cutler] know, I would love to know—the business, how they do the marketing, and come up with the concepts, and work with the writers, etc. Then there’s the Ron Shapiro [One of Parcast’s sound designer] side of it, which I find fascinating, because I’m not that literate with software editing. Can I split it?
Do you have any funny stories from working at Parcast?
When doing certain accents or characters, for me, a certain expression or sentence, if I say it, it will kick me into a character. So in one episode, my character had sort of a Southern sound, he was boisterous, and loud, so my phrase was “Absolutely.” But every time I said the line, I had to go back to my catch phrase “Absolutely”. So I was saying “Absolutely” every line, and these guys were just sitting there laughing.