Welcome to the Potpourri Parlor!
Voice Actor Tim Danko recorded my book, Hyphema. I was super impressed with the job he did capturing the dialects and personalities of the characters.
Tim Danko is based in Mechanicsburg, PA. He’s nearing retirement from his first career and pursuing narration as a second career.
In addition to Hyphema, Tim Danko has also recorded the following books: The Parting – An OCLT Novel, by David Niall Wilson; Cognitive Science, Religion, and Theology by Justin L Barrett.;- The Quest of the Thirteen by John Defillipis; and The Korean Intercept by Stephen Mertz
You mentioned a change in careers. What career brought you to this place? What made you consider becoming a voice actor?
I’ve built a 40-year career with a global information services and technology enterprise. I had been listening to audio books for over 15 years. Recognizing I could retire at any time, I began considering ideas for a second career about 3 years ago. Because I enjoy listening so much, I explored audio book narration. I have studied with several well-known coaches and narrators, each of whom encouraged me.
Do you have a home studio? What expertise did you need to put that together?
I do have a home studio and, at this time, do my own production and mastering as well as narration. Honestly, it was not at all difficult to create. There’s also a wealth of free information, instruction, and examples available through the internet. I have some advantage because I am fluent in computers and software and have some prior background in audio production.
Any difficulties with working from a home studio?
I think many narrators will admit that the most challenging aspect of working in a home studio is directing oneself – working to get a performance that honors the emotion of the story, sustains consistency and distinctiveness of each character, and sets a pace that keeps the listener engaged.
There are also occasional delays due to neighbors mowing lawns, the occasional planes from a nearby airport or the helicopters from the nearby military base.
Please tell us about your family? Do you have any pets?
Sally and I married rather later in life. We have neither children nor pets and we simply enjoy being kids ourselves whenever we get the chance. We are blessed to have close friends who have made us part of their family.
How does your family feel about your new career? What reaction do you normally get from friends when you tell them about your latest endeavors?
Sally is very supportive, as are my friends. They all feel audio book narration and voiceover will be a great second career for me.
Do you have a regular fan-base?
Hyphema is my fifth audio book. It takes time to build a fan base and that work lays ahead for me.
How do you feel when you hear your own voice on a recording?
I do listen to the books I narrate and you will not be surprised to learn that I am my harshest critic. My coaches and some listeners have described my voice as warm and appealing. I have come to learn that it’s less about voice and much more about artistry – what you do with your voice and how you connect with the emotion of the story.
Do you schedule time to record or do you just go with how you feel to the exclusion of everything else and you schedule time to do other things? Like eat.
Currently, I am narrating on a part-time basis while still actively engaged in my first career. That means I most often record and produce on weekends and, yes, that means scheduling time. All of the narrators I know are disciplined in the use of time.
What kinds of books do you like to read for pleasure? Do you have a favorite type of book you like to record?
My favorite genre to read for pleasure is science fiction dealing with the space, the future, and the shape of society. Scientific and espionage thrillers come next, following closely by books on faith and spirituality.
For recording, I enjoy a wide range of modern fiction that, like Hyphema, offer a good story with elements of mystery or suspense. I also enjoy recording non-fiction because it requires a different approach and style to narration than does fiction and it provides the opportunity to learn more about topics of interest to me.
Ok, be honest – what did you think of Hyphema?
I found Hyphema to be an entertaining and evocative story focused on a poweful contemporary social issue – attributing the damaging intent and behavior of an extreme few to others who share a label such as Muslim or Republican or liberal. It reminded me of a quote from Walter Cronkite – “I don’t like labels. They associate me with others with whom I may share only one opinion.”
I must admit I was surprised at the villain since, during most of the book, I was expecting another character
What would we find under your bed?
A portfolio of fine art prints by fantasy artist James C. Christensen that I’ve never had framed
Please tell us something about where you grew up?
I grew up in Osceola Mills, Pennsylvania, in the same house in which my father was raised. It’s a small town of about 2000 residents and for many years, held the largest Independence Day Parade in the state.
Is there a place where fans can reach you?
Yes, listeners may contact me through Facebook. Search for “Tim Danko”. They will find four entries. Pick the one with the picture of the guy at the microphone. I expect to have a web-site online and accessible in early 2014.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your listeners?
Yes, thanks Chelle. I want listeners to know how much I appreciate them. It’s important to me that they enjoy listening and have a terrific audio book experience. I ask that they take some time and share with us what they liked in Hyphema and how future audio books can be more enjoyable.
Thanks Tim for taking the time to chat with me today in the Potpourri Parlor.