Throwing my voice for fun and (hopefully) profit.

I’ve been acting off and on since 1984. It wasn’t something I went to school for, though I did my very first play while a college student. The idea of acting always fascinated and terrified me at the same time. Still, when a notice went up for an audition for One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest,  I stared at that notice on the theatre entrance door for a while, until a friend who was passing by issued me a dare and a promise. The dare was to audition, the promise was a really good bottle of Scotch if I made it in.

I made it in. I still have that bottle of Scotch, with a little left in it. It still tastes good, the rare times that I have a little from it.

So, I took an introductory acting class to get a better handle on the skills needed to perform. Actually, the rehearsal period for the play was a bit of an acting class mixed into the rehearsal. Part of the reason was that half of the cast were theatre majors, and the other half were schmucks like me that had no clue of what we were doing. Fortunately, the director of the show knew how to works with schmucks like us, hence it being as much an acting class as well as a rehearsal. The actual acting class that I took showed me the basics of intention, action, and objective; the basic tools an actor uses to play a role.

Taking the limited skills I had, I got involved with a small theatre company back in the Bronx (where I’m from, btw), did a couple of shows with them, but didn’t really care for the way they ran things.

Life then starts getting in the way of my acting endeavors. Work, starting grad school, and later on, a very serious atuoimmune disease that would eventually cost me my liver. Fast forward to 2000. living in Rochester for a year, I audition for my first play since 1989, and I get the lead. Blackfriars Theatre. They helped to rekindle my acting fire, and I’ve been doing it ever since, not just on stage but on film in some indie projects and student films at the Rochester Institute of Technology’s School of Film and Animation.

Acting and writing are my arts. I can’t draw, paint or sculpt, so I use words, mine or others, to express what I’m felling inside. Now, as an extension of that, I’m venturing into the world of voice over work. I was encouraged to do so by a few local professional actor friends. I’ve got a reel put together, a kind of voice resume, and am working with a professional voice over artist to coach me through a few initial things and to also help me make some contacts.

Here’s to having you hear me on the radio…and other places if all goes well.

So, what’s it all about, Alfie?

I gave up blogging for a long time. Not because I had anything against it, mind you. I just lost the drive to write. Once that was rekindled, I began to realize that I needed a source to motivate me to write every day, or at least every other day in some form or another. So here I am again, taking the plunge into publicly chronicling aspects of my life. My other blog was anonymous. I say that of course, with a grain of salt, as nothing is really anonymous on the web these days. Let’s just say I didn’t want to be a public persona at the time.

So, hi, I’m Dave, and I’m a writer (No, I haven’t been through a 12-step program). I began writing while working as a paramedic in Brooklyn back in the mid-1980’s, a career that I cherish to this day. I had to leave it behind, in part because it all became too much. I grew disillusioned with the healthcare industry in general, and left it behind in 2000 after moving to Rochester, NY, where I currently live. I spent 1999-2000 working as an organ procurement coordinator with the local organ procurement organization here in Rochester. What’s that, you ask? it’s the organization that’s responsible for the recovery of donated organs within a certain geographical region. Basically, I was responsible for communicating with the donating and recovering surgical teams, running the donor information through the national organ donor database, and offering eligible organs to particular transplant centers, based on what the list showed. I also worked in the operating room, assisting the surgeon during the recovery process, and prepping the recovered organs for transplant. Ill get into more detail at some point, but that’s the crux of things.

As I said, I started writing while a paramedic. I was in graduate school at the time, at NY Medical College in Valhalla, NY. I was in a specialized program for an MPH in Emergency Medical Services. One of my instructors sat on the editorial board of a national EMS journal, and told us that if anyone wanted to try their hand at writing articles for the magazine, that he’d help us out.

So, I stupidly tried it. Incredibly, the magazine liked what I wrote, and they wanted more.

It was a “be careful what you wish for” moment, but one that would have significant consequences for my future. I found that I really enjoyed writing, and being appreciated for what I wrote. I learned the craft the old fashioned way, under the tutelage of an editor. I wrote for that magazine for 11 years, and became a member of its editorial board for 8 of those years.

I’m going to stop here for now. More to come later.