A couple of weeks ago, the lovely and multi-talented Karyn O'Bryant invited me to a unique voice over industry event at Deyan Audio Studios in Tarzana, CA.
I was pretty excited about meeting the people at Deyan Audio. They're famous for producing over 12,000 audiobooks, and for winning numerous Grammys and Audie Awards. Really, if you want to record audiobooks (and I do), you want to know Deyan.
But this wasn't a hand-out-your-business-card-and-schmooze type of event. There's much more to the story.
Bob and Debra Deyan founded their business in 1990 in a closet in their home. Many voice artists record from home this way, but Bob and Debra expanded to include two locations, both a good deal larger than closets. Now Deyan Audio employs 150 or more audio engineers and directors and has provided freelance work for as many as 1500 voice actors, all who clearly love and respect Debra and Bob.
In 2013, Bob Deyan was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), a neuron-killing disease for which there is no cure. We had gathered at Deyan to make this video for Bob:
The palpable love of all these people made me wish heartily that I'd known Bob Deyan. By the time PJ finished talking my cheeks were wet with tears. But I chickened out of getting doused with actual water. I mean geez, I was wearing a dress. However, I wanted to make a contribution so I made a behind-the-scenes video of the rehearsal:
Bob died one year ago today at the young age of 56, one week after his friends made this for him:
There are many things you can do to help find a cure for ALS:
1.) Accept the Ice Bucket Challenge!
2.) Record a video of yourself dumping a bucket (or a cup) of ice water over your head to increase awareness of ALS. You can use an existing body of water (my friends used pool water the other day), or another drought conscious substance in place of water (dirt!). Challenge at least three people to do the same to support the search for a cure.
3.) Upload your video and challenge/tag at least three others. You can also send it to the ALS Association Golden West Chapter and they'll do it for you!
4.) Give to The ALS Association Golden West Chapter.
Update: Johns Hopkins University has just this week announced a breakthrough in ALS research. All of this is thanks to the Ice Bucket Challenge. So join in! It's definitely worth it!
I'm uploading my video and challenging all of you here. You can douse yourself with water if you like, but we're in California and there isn't a lot to spare. So feel free to cut to the chase.