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. 😉



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.



The Buzz…Who’s Who in Redwood City Patch

Click the image and link to the article

The Buzz…Geek makes Gentry A-List

Gentry Magazine is a high end publication that features the influential leaders on the San Francisco Bay Area Peninsula and Silicon Valley. I mean…look who’s on the July cover! Well, they chose to write a story and feature me (blush) in their A-List of “people to know” in the same issue!

A Night of Staged Readings

Cardboard Box Theatre Project is dedicated to the creation of new works. I participated in their recent, “A Night of Staged Readings.”

Partial Cast for Nature’s Mistakes: Molly Murphy, Amelia Bethel, Jonathan Murphy

I played Max in Nature’s Mistakes, a black comedy about the freak show of real lives. Julie Jigour is an upcoming playwright and this was the first staged reading of this delightfully demented play.

Here’s the synopsis:

Tight on cash, Jack and Mary Rowley sell their younger daughter to Maximillian’s Museum of Nature’s Mistakes, the freak show visiting town. As their older daughter questions her sister’s disappearance, a conniving doctor reenters the Rowleys‘ lives, a prostitute seeks revenge, and a church zealot attempts to bring down the show. Yet the showman keeps telling stories to draw people into the tent, where the reality may be less grotesque than what exists outside.

Favorite Lines:

How dare you! No sinner can claim to follow in the footsteps of the Lord! Your words are evil as the abominations you’ve brought to our town.

Well you might be surprised, Geraldine. Sometimes a town’s got abominations all its own. And besides, didn’t Jesus teach to love all God’s creatures?

Those are not God’s creatures.

Well they may look different on the outside, but inside they have hearts just like you and me. I mean, you do have a heart, too, don’t you?

The second play performed that night was All That Grows: A Contemporary Folk Musical by Molly Murphy (yep, that’s my sister), and Dani Lencioni. The play is a post apocalyptic tale about a brother who dreams and sister who’s trying to. The music helped to drive the story and the harmonies were haunting and beautiful.

Here’s the synopsis:

The Acalanes. A desolate mountain range void of water and color where the community has no ambition but survival. Avian and his sister Emmalyn struggle to find meaning to their dreams, and perhaps escape.

Favorite Line:

“Everyone is afraid of finding pain in other people when they feel they already have enough of of their own.”

Ladies and Gentleman! The Great Zindini’s Official Announcer

Check out the The Great Zindini’s Official Announcer voiceover clip Jonathan recently recorded for California Great America’s new live show, “The Magic Hat.”

For more of Jonathan Murphy’s voices, go to

The Buzz…The Dawgs

Palo Alto Children’s Theatre production of Go Dog Go continues to receive rave reviews from the audiences…even after the run. Here’s an email from a retired elementary school teacher who brought her granddaughter to the show…

“I have to say it was a wonderful production…very true to the story in spirit and in words. I was enchanted by the serenade in the boat…lovely voices and arrangement. The bed scene was creatively done with the lights, shadow ferris wheel, and dog antics, and “around and around and around” was terrific! I have been to many of these productions (MANY as our first graders always went, year after year). This was one of the best! Of course it was delightful to have my 21 month old granddaughter dancing in front of her seat to the great music! She clapped on her own after each scene and each solo. And what great hats!!!! BRAVO to all in front and behind the scenes!”

Performing for children is so rewarding! Nice to introduce a new litter to live theater : ).

Jonathan Murphy and Ernestine Balisi wag their tails over chocolate!

The Director and the Dawgs!

Meet the Cast:
top row
Judge Lucky (Director)
Adrienne Walters (Blue Dog)
Jennifer Malman (Hattie)
Rebecca Maiten (Red Dog)
Ernestine Balisi (Green Dog)
bottom row
Jonathan Roth (M.C. Dog)
Jonathan Murphy (Yellow Dog)

Images courtesy of Ernestine Balisi

A Wilde night under the stars

The Los Gatos Shakespeare Festival is underway!  The Importance of Being Earnest got a great review from John Angell Grant from the San Jose Mercury News…

Festival Theatre Ensemble is one of the best outdoor summer repertory theater groups in the Bay Area. We are lucky to have them currently performing in Menlo Park, under the stars on the lawn of Mid-Peninsula High School, as they have done for nine years. This past weekend the troupe opened an entertaining production of Oscar Wilde’s great comedy of manners, “The Importance of Being Earnest.”

Here in Belle Époque London, an idle young man of independent means invents an imaginary brother, named Ernest, in order to have an excuse to visit the city from the country. When two attractive young women soon fall in love with different men that they each erroneously believe to be the imaginary brother Ernest, the story suddenly becomes very complicated.

In Wilde’s satire on the foibles of romance, men and women fall in love quickly. Their imaginations construct for them whatever missing gaps they need filled in to make the romance work. That speed and self-absorption, says Wilde, are the keys to romantic love.

“Earnest” contains many story reversals. The socially proper man with the invented brother, for example, turns out to have begun life as an orphan in a handbag found in the cloakroom at Victoria Station. This interferes with his ability to marry into good society. Pedigree is important to this affluent class of society where lazy people don’t work and spend time hanging out, and in which smoking is considered an occupation.

“The Importance of Being Earnest” is a witty parable on how we build our social lives on a fabric of not just illusion, but of little white lies. Out of the lies’ ensuing conflicts comes comedy. In director Rachel Bakker’s enjoyable production all the actors offer thoughtful performances, including plenty of double takes, silly walks and screwed- up faces.

James Tate is amusing as Jack Worthing (or “Earnest” Worthing, depending on whether he’s in town or country), chafing under the grilling over his pedigree by supercilious potential mother-in-law Lady Bracknell (an entertaining Leslie Newport).

Jonathan Murphy offers a strong foil as Jack’s buddy Algernon, as the two guys debate love, romance, paradoxical social propriety, relatives, idleness and fun. As a pair of young woman on the make, Cindy Powell (as Cecily) and Sara Trupski (as Gwendolen) also acquit themselves well.

Here is the moral of this story: that we are all in a light-footed emotional dance with reality. The lucky ones are those spirits fortunate enough to have a good time doing it.

Thanks John!  Come and see the show…and Taming of the Shrew…and Treasure Island too!

Image by Amy Goldsmith

The Bright Side of Life

Today I joined my fellow thespians in the Arts Walk Santa Clara 5K fun walk held in Central Park.  My team raised money for the Festival Theatre Ensemble, the troupe that produces the Los Gatos Shakespeare Festival.  Founder and Artistic Director, Bruce De Les Dernier and I led our quest.  And in the spirit of fun and frivolity I played “Patsy” to Bruce’s “King Arthur” while the rest of our crew marched behind.  It was a great afternoon and we raised $4,370 for FTE.  Huzzah! (Photographs by Amy Goldsmith)

ArtsWalk 2

The nut with the coconuts!

ArtsWalk 3

King Arthur (Bruce De Les Dernier) & Patsy (Jonathan Murphy)

ArtsWalk 1

“We’re not dead yet!”