Sunday, August 27, 2006

Voiceover Lessons

At the advice of some listeners, I have found a voiceover coach. My goal is to make these speeches come alive and become as interesting and exciting as they were originally. There is no way to know exactly how these speeches were delivered, but the very fact that some of them were over two hours long indicates that Ingersoll was a captivating speaker. Who today would sit through a two hour speech without being forced to?

It all depends of course, on the subject and the speaker, or rather the manner of presentation. I am not a professional, and may never be, but I want these recordings to be as professional as I am capable of. As I learn new techniques, and apply them to these readings, I may become guilty of overdoing the techniques I learn, like a young actor learning his craft. I ask your indulgence if I do overdo it, and your constructive criticisms, especially from anyone who speaks for a living or has other specific skills in the area of reading, storytelling, teaching, lecturing, public speaking, etc. I certainly don't want to sound ridiculous, because the subject matter is so important.

My podcasting host,, or as it is now called, offers me unlimited bandwidth, but limits my disk space (unless I pay more money). When I get near my disk space limits I will be taking older recordings off of the list. As time permits, I will re-record some of these, with the intention of making them more enjoyable and listenable. I will then re-introduce these new (and hopefully, improved) versions into the rotation.

My release dates are irregular because some recordings take longer than others, obviously, and I publish them as they are completed. There is some audio editing and re-recording involved, to correct misspoken words (although some might dispute that) and extraneous noises that get into the recordings (like my dogs barking). This editing, although minimal, is still time-consuming. A one-hour reading, for example, may take me close to two hours to record, and another hour and a half to edit. I am learning as I go. My point is, that like everyone else, sometimes my daily life interferes with my latest obsession (this podcast), and the recordings come at uneven intervals.

Thank you, everyone, first for listening, and second, for your support and encouragement. I thought that if I could bring the words of Ingersoll to life today, it might influence and inspire someone or many people to make the world better by eliminating or reducing superstition. I would love to see his words translated into foreign languages and presented in audio format to people in other countries throughout the world.

This is not meant to say that Ingersoll was a saint. All humans have their flaws, and most of us have at one time or another held incorrect opinions, based on incomplete information, or just plain ignorance and prejudice. I am sure he had his faults too. I don't know; I am not an Ingersoll scholar. But what I love about him is that he says, in an eloquent way, what most thinking people have thought. He gives us courage to speak up and say "that makes no sense at all" when someone makes a ridiculous claim. He reminds us of our right to think for ourselves, about everything, and to make up our own minds. He loved truth, and justice, and liberty. So do I. And I hope you do also.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Thanks, Penn.

I would like to thank Penn Jillette for turning me on to Robert Ingersoll. I listen to the Penn Radio podcast on a more-or-less regular basis, because it is always entertaining, and often very educational and intellectual. One day, a few months ago, he mentioned Robert Ingersoll. I was curious, because I had never heard of Ingersoll. I then started searching on the internet and found his speeches and writings at I was amazed, to say the least. Upon further research I discovered Ingersoll's amazing popularity and influence in the 19th century. What bothers me, of course, is why isn't he in every American high school history book? The obvious answer that comes to mind is that his ideas are very much against establishment religions, especially Christianity, so he is suppressed. I think also, that since he never held prominent national political office, he was probably considered not important enough to include.

So, thank you, Penn Jillete for the enlightenment.

James Carr

Check out the Penn Radio website at

Monday, August 07, 2006

I thought I should direct you to the written works of Robert Ingersoll. He is represented in many places on the internet, but I use

Also, here is the xml for the podcast: View RSS XML

(To be honest, I'm not sure how the xml tags work; I get my podcasts through iTunes.)