National Bird Directed by Sonia Kennebeck

National Bird - Sonia Kennebeck

I had the privilege to do voice over for “National Bird,” a new documentary directed by Sonia Kennebeck. The film is getting its world premiere at the prestigious Berlinale 2016, International Film Festival.  It took 3 years to go from the idea and research to funding and finding answers, and finally to its world premiere.

National Bird Still - Sonia Kennebeck

National Bird follows three former US drone veterans:

Tortured by guilt over participating in the killing of faceless people in foreign countries, they decide to speak out publicly, despite the possible consequences. Their stories take dramatic turns, leading one of the protagonists to Afghanistan where she learns about a horrendous incident. But her journey also gives hope for peace and redemption.

Sonia Kennebeck - National Bird Berlinale 2016 Premiere

For more details CLICK to watch a Berlinale panel discussion about the film. 

Images from Berlinale 2016

What’s in a Name?

Jonathan Murphy Name Change

2016 is already shaping up to be an exciting year! I am proud to announce that I am a member of SAG-AFTRA and couldn’t be happier about being part of the combined Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists:

We are actors, announcers, broadcast journalists, dancers, dj’s, news writers, news directors, program hosts, puppeteers, recording artists, singers, stunt performers, voiceover artists and other media professionals. Our work is seen and heard in theaters, on television and radio, sound recordings, the internet, games, mobile devices, home video: you see us and hear us on all media distribution platforms. We are the faces and the voices that entertain and inform America and the world.

I looking forward to adding my voice!

When you have two common names…Jonathan…Murphy, it stands to reason that there is someone already using that name professionally. Yes, there’s already a Jonathan Murphy, and he’s representing the name well and doing great work. So though I will always be Jonathan Murphy to friends and family, my new professional name is Jonathan Cormur. The last name is a mashup of part of my middle and last name so it has meaning and connection for me.

So like the rose, I hope that whatever you call me, I’ll be just as sweet. 😉

 

 

Experiencing Shakespeare by the Festival Theatre Ensemble

JonathanMurphyBruceDeLesDernier

I’ve had a long term relationship with the Festival Theatre Ensemble, the company that performs Shakespeare under the stars each summer in two venues…Full Circle Farm and in Los Gatos. For five years, I had the privilege and great experience to act in two Shakespeare titled shows plus an additional classic title with this group. And now after a couple years absence, I returned to experience the season as an audience member.

Their repertoire normally consists of a comedy, a tragedy and one classic, non-Shakespeare titled play. Here’s what they are preforming this season:

Much-Ado-FTE

Much Ado About Nothing

Easily one of Shakepeare’s more recognizable comedies, this was my favorite of the season and definitely the most accessible for newcomers to Shakespeare…All thanks to a very lively cast with great chemistry and some great comedic direction by Rachel Bakker. The show is set in a Napoleonic era, an interesting creative direction.

 

 

caesar-1

Julius Caesar

Tragedies are harder to do because they just aren’t as fun as the comedies and most people don’t like to go to shows to get depressed. However, Caesar is one to see due to its historical interest and political intrigue. Again the cast does an excellent job bringing out the ‘grey’ aspects of the characters who are neither good or evil, just trying to do what is best for the Roman Empire, their country. But what makes the show stand out the most was director, Bruce W. De Les Dernier’s visual and audio style. The music is well chosen, and he visually set the play in a Mad Men post WWII era, trading in the togas and wreaths for suits and ties.

pirates-1

Pirates of Port Royal

The Pirates of Port Royal is based on the Restoration comedy, “The Beaux Strategem” written by George Farquhar. The play is normally set in a small rural village and is about two con men, a dysfunctional wealthy family, a crooked innkeeper and his saucy daughter, and a bunch of rogue highway men. Director Bruce W. De Les Dernier adapted the script and changed it to pirates on an island off the coast of Jamaica. The first act is slow with lots of exposition and very little action. This has more to do with the restoration comedy style and not the direction. Act II picks up and delivers the fun pirate action, funny musical bits and an absolutely fantastic ending.

There are only a few weeks left to enjoy the outdoor Shakespeare experience…Festival Theatre Ensemble shows are always a great experience!

Images by Amy Goldsmith

Eh Buh Beh Eh Bob Bergen

I’ve learned so much about voice acting from Bob Bergen. His training and guidance have made a huge difference in my career. Here he’s talking about his job security!

Source: “I Know That Voice” documentary

A Game of Throne’s Father’s Day

Tywin Lannister

Remember, whenever your Dad bugs you, just tell yourself;

Well at least he’s not Tywin Lannister.

Watch the clip

May the Mouse Be With You

Jedi Master Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) continues to learn the ways of the force under the guidance of…Mickey Mouse?

In Just 15 Minutes…”America’s Got Talent” Performers at Great America

aerial-ice-extreme_Great-America

 

What do aerial acrobatics, ice dancing, trampolines, a giant hamster wheel, and a giant hula hoop have in common?  They’re all in Great America’s latest ice show called Aerial Ice Extreme.  I recorded their in-park show announcement so I was invited to check them out at a preview party and I was very impressed. So when you plan a visit to Great America this summer, be sure to see their show. You’ll have a blast at all the high flying acrobatics and extreme ice dancing.

They were also performers on the reality show Americas Got Talent. Watch their standing ovation performance:

And learn more about them and their craft:

Now go see them live from May 31 through August 17 (no shows on Mondays or Tuesdays).

Jon Goes On…
The Legend of Korra Book One: Air

korra

The spiritual successor to one of my favorite shows of all time.

PROS 🙂

  • While it would’ve been easy to do the same thing over again, Korra is very different from Avatar; in plot, setting, characters, and overall tone.
  • This show is darker and deals with some surprisingly mature themes, especially for a show primarily aimed at children.
  • I ended up really liking the characters by the end, even the ones I didn’t care for at first eventually grew on me by the end.
  • The action sequences are amazing; they are exciting, well choreographed, and beautifully animated.
  • The artwork and animation is breathtaking.

CONS 🙁

  • It may not be fair to say this but I don’t think this show will ever be able to recapture the magic the first series had.
  • The story feels a tad rushed especially at the very end.  That’s because there are fewer episodes to tell the story.
  • The “Love Triangle” subplot grew to be grating.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

While it doesn’t quite live up to its predecessor ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender,’ ‘The Legend of Korra’ is still an excellent series with lots of potential to become really great.

Secret of the Songshell Audio Book

Secret of the Songshell on Amazon and Audible

I recorded my first audio book, Secret of the Songshellfor author Brian TashimaIt’s been released and is available on Amazon and Audible. This was quite a departure for me as most of my client work typically requires about an hour or two in the studio, but narrating a 300 + page book with many characters took about 20 sessions over three month period to record. I teamed up with Michael Meyer who did all of the editing and special effects for the Spectraland characters. It was a great challenge and I’m so happy that Brian loves the final outcome.

Jonathan did an amazing job narrating the audiobook version of Secret of the Songshell. He really brought the characters to life, and his interpretation of the descriptions and dialogue was spot-on. There were many instances where I couldn’t stop smiling as I listened back to the recordings! I would love to work with him again on future installments of the Spectraland Saga.

AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

AVAILABLE ON AUDIBLE

The Boiling Cauldron

Cauldron_jonathan_murphy

MEET: The Boiling Cauldron

The witch’s kooky incantation…

Eye of blue
Tail of fish
Wing of bat
Mmmmm….tasty dish
Rubble, rubble by the double
Light it up
And watch it bubble!