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Actor / EntertainerIamA Voice Over Artist and I'll Read Any Script You Like AMA!

Aug 17th 2017 by mike_russell • 9 Questions • 707 Points

The Associated Press is launching Future of Work, a series of stories exploring how technology and global pressures are transforming workplaces across the U.S. and around the world. The first installments went out this week and focus on workers’ relationships with robots, and how automation is changing the availability and nature of employment in manufacturing.

There’s a paradox in how we think of modern American manufacturing jobs.

While it’s true that many of these jobs have gone overseas, U.S. manufacturers have actually added nearly a million jobs in the past seven years, and federal statistics show nearly 390,000 such jobs are unfilled.

But this isn’t the kind of assembly-line work your parents and grandparents did. More and more factory jobs now demand education, technical know-how or specialized skills to run robots. Many of the workers laid off from low-tech factories lack such qualifications, and training opportunities are limited, particularly for older workers. Japan is way ahead of the U.S. in introducing robots to the workplace, but it hasn’t resulted in some of the job reductions observed in other nations. It has also not created the surge in higher-skilled employment. So, it turns out, there are plenty of manufacturing jobs. There just aren’t enough of the right kind of workers to fill them.

Here’s your chance to talk about this with some of the Associated Press journalists who reported these stories in text, photos, video and graphics across three continents. We are writer Dan Sewell and photographer John Minchillo in Cincinnati: business writer Yuri Kageyama in Tokyo: economics editor Fred Monyak in Washington: and enterprise editor Jeff McMillan in Philadelphia. Ask us anything!

Proof:

This AMA is now closed. Thanks to everyone who offered questions!

Q:

How about doing this silly item description off Amazon?

The claw is an enigma: many animals have claws as natural weapons yet it is something humanity lacks. Perhaps this is why humans seek to wield them, and in a morbid twist, the Skeletal Hand Claw is a combination of humanity and the weapon it lacks. This wicked item combines a metal skeletal hand, set with resin skulls on the knuckles with a trio of wickedly long claws extending from between the knuckles. Each of the blades is subtly curved forward, with a single edge on the inside of the curve. The skeletal fingers extend out under the claws, bent slightly, to form a sort of claw on its own, as the fingers end in unsharpened points. A rubber handle provides grip and, more importantly, leverage for striking, while an arm strap keeps the claw level and secure. Resting atop the mount for the arm strap is another skull, wickedly grinning with a large chip taken from the forehead. Humanity's greatest nature weapon has always been ingenuity, and now, human ingenuity have given us the Skeletal Hand Claw, an unnatural weapon we've always lacked.

https://www.amazon.com/Skull-Bones-Gauntlet-Style-Limited/dp/B00S3CL9IE

A:

Do you think robots should be taxed?


Q:

Did your request at about 17 mins in! :)

A:

Some people do. The idea of a tax on companies that automate human jobs out of existence isn’t being considered at the federal level. But the notion has begun to emerge in a few politically progressive pockets of the country. Officials in San Francisco, for example, are calling for a tax on companies that automate jobs and put people out of work. It’s too soon to say if the idea will go anywhere, even in San Fran. Some Silicon Valley tech entrepreneurs say they’re being unfairly targeted. So prospects for the idea remain hazy. (Monyak)


Q:

this sentence is a memory you are having in the past. count how many seconds it takes you to stop thinking about it.

A:

Is there anything else about Japanese culture or policies they're developing that makes them more accepting of robots at work? Thanks!


Q:

This one is down at the 20 min mark :D

A:

Traditional Japanese culture sees life in inanimate objects. Also the Japanese government supports the development and use of robots. (Kageyama)


Q:

Mike....can you read this......."As night falls and the day slowly fades to gray,,,,,your listening to Quiet Storm on Groove City FX dot com"

A:

Are you worried about reddit and other internet sources eliminating your jobs? I see more MSM content that originated here, every day.


Q:

28 mins in done for you!

A:

I worry about everything that could eliminate my job, from Reddit to robots. That's why we try to keep evolving forward as journalists. And we believe that in the flood of information today, there's a great need for journalists who can dig out information and verify it with the help of editors. (Sewell)


Q:

Maybe, just once, someone will call me 'Sir' without adding, 'You're making a scene.' hows this?

A:

I live in Reno Nevada and I've met a few people now that work at Tesla and Panasonic...these are part of the new economy that your topic today is centered around. Do you think companies like these moving to Western Nevada will create a tech hub for us here?


Q:

Done at 41 min :D

A:

Companies decide to move operations to a region based on many factors, including state and local government policies, existing infrastructure, workforce numbers, and many other competing interests. This very specific question demands more investigation on a local level. This is an interesting topic to explore! (Minchillo)


Q:

Well, this is the internet, so we can't let you go without having you read the famous roof scene from "The Room", can we? ;)

Script:

I did not hit her.  It's not true.  It's bullshit.  I did not hit her.  I did not.  ...  Oh, hi Mark 

Feel free to either try to come as close to the famous original or put a completely different spin on it!

Also a question: Do you have any experience working for audio books or video games? If not, are those things you'd be interested in trying?

A:

Right now most of the automated jobs are things that don't require a massive amount of reflexes and instant response times. Eg maybe a robotic nurse preventing an elderly man from falling down.

Any idea about where that level of robotics is at the moment, and how soon we can expect them to actually significant affect a larger proportion of the work force ?


Q:

Done at 1h 13mins! :)

A:

In Japan, robots are starting to be used to take care of the elderly, such as helping in picking up things and shampooing their hair and other tasks. In auto plants, some robotics parts are getting designed to be soft and gentle to the human touch so they can be present in the same space. (Kageyama)


Q:

Can you do this legendary intro for me please?

In 1972, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn't commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire... The A-Team.

A:

Right now most of the automated jobs are things that don't require a massive amount of reflexes and instant response times. Eg maybe a robotic nurse preventing an elderly man from falling down.

Any idea about where that level of robotics is at the moment, and how soon we can expect them to actually significant affect a larger proportion of the work force ?


Q:

Done at 1h 3mins in :)

A:

We did see robotic systems in plants that self-adjust (with humans monitoring) and to your question, a lot of growth is expected in the next decade with use of robots in the kind of service roles you mention becoming a major area, as the needs increase for aging Baby Boomers (like me) (Sewell)


Q:

The voice does sound familiar. Anyway, my questions:

  • Do you have a home studio?
  • What was your favourite work?
  • Which type of voice do you enjoy doing most?
A:

Did anyone say they liked working more with robots than humans?


Q:
  • Yes, on the Isle of Wight, it's 2mx2m and perfectly sound treated.
  • I enjoy creative radio imaging work the most. Anything that involves radio sound effects, music beds and crazy flangers!
  • A deep, dark, scary voice over. Mwuah ha ha ha!
A:

Some people said they liked that robots did their jobs without much trouble, never call off sick, etc. At least one person said he's still a little afraid of them, though, because there is always the possibility of a malfunction. (Sewell)


Q:

VICTOR 5, 10-55 on a yellow cabbie, market and main, code 4 for now.

Deputy Arturo Meraz, San Andreas Sheriffs Department.

May I view your license and registration please?

Sit tight.

You were going a little fast back there pal.

Youll be recieving a citation for failure to abide to a traffic controlled device, you have 72 hours to pay this fine and you may do so at city hall.

You can go, have a good one.

VICTOR 5 is now 10-8

A:

How do you see automation in 50 or 100 years?


Q:

Done at 1h 41mins :)

A:

A very rapid acceleration in automation is expected over the next decade, and jobs to monitor, operate and maintain will grow with that. Further in the future, the impact on the human role remains to be seen. Most economists expect that there will continue to be a human role; how much 50- to 100 years from now is hard to predict. (Sewell)


Q:

A long long time ago, I was watching the TV show "COPS" and they were arresting a drug addict. They were searching him and searched his pockets. And then they searched inside his waistband, and it turns out he was wearing a second pair of pants. And I heard this line, which I've never heard anyone use since.

"I can't believe I got this many pants on!"

Could you say that for me?

A:

What is the very best cheese?


Q:

Done at 1h 31mins!

A:

My favorite is Camembert but there are many great kinds of cheese in the world (Kageyama)


Q:

I recently got into audio books and they'll have different voices for different characters. I was wondering is it one person doing all those voices or is voiced by many people and mashed up?

A:

Done 1h 32mins :D

Many times you get a talented voice actor who will do all of the different voices. Sometimes multiple voice overs are used on bigger productions.


Q:

What are some common misconceptions in voice over work that most people have about this industry?

A:

That voiceovers play and sleep 23 hours of the day. Then spend 1 hour recording and walk away with enough cash to buy another yacht.


Q:

Hey Mike! Any advice for someone with very little experience trying to break into the voiceover biz? Thanks!

A:

Never give up. Keep on creating great demo material. Try a variety of voice over genres from radio imaging to medical scripts or audiobooks. Find out where you fit in best.


Q:

How did you get into doing this? It's a dream of mine. I do many many voices and really want to put my mimicking skills to the test. Any advice would be greatly appreciated Thank you!

A:

I started out in the production studios of radio stations voicing station IDs, promos and commercials. Go learn as much as you can and start cutting your own demos.


Q:

Hi Mike! I'm very interested in breaking into voiceover. I have a wide range, I can do multiple accents and impressions, and from working in theater, I know how to handle a mic.

What should I be looking for/doing to start in the industry? Is it better to be good or know someone?

A:

If you're good at what you do that is the best start. Knowing people also helps so make sure to get networking and be sure to market yourself online.