Using a God-given talent.



September marks one year since I retired and started the second phase of my life – Dennis 2.0. I wanted to spent the rest of my life doing what I wanted to do, to pursue the things that I always wanted to do. My interest in writing and photography and using my voice .

I am writing under “Dennis 2.0”  

I am Voiceover under “Dennis Young – Voice Talent.”

Everything under my own, personal,  Renaissance: Resurrection of Dreams Deferred”

All of my efforts this past year have boiled down to laying down a foundation. I’m not a published author or in-demand voiceover artist – yet, but I’ve done a LOT to set me on that path. I’ve had a ball going to classes and rediscovering the joy of learning things. I’ve been able to do new things and meet lots of wonderful people, live and on-line. Just recently traveled to Chicago for a voiceover convention, learning and networking.

My life has settled into a nice routine around the two interests. My writing program at Emory is going quickly. I’m almost finished. Right now working on a piece about street preachers.

My voiceover pursuit keeps me really busy. I have learned this is going to take a LOT more work than I thought. Not a bad thing at all, as I’m enjoying the journey. As I mentioned, just came back from a trip to Chicago for voiceovers. I am also part of a very strong Atlanta voiceover networking group. Lots of conference calls, meetings and training sessions, and they’re all beneficial.

A lot of stuff happening, and that’s what I enjoy. I had no intention of just retiring to watch grass grow. I was very, very miserable during my last year of work. I never wanted to be the person who came home everyday complaining about work. It had gotten to the point I hated Sundays because it meant going back to work the next day. Which meant I hated Saturday nights because next day it was Sunday. I couldn’t enjoy he time away from the job because I was too busy thinking about it.

For years I kept trying to get into the media end of the business, and outside of a few volunteer opportunities I never got anything solid. Meanwhile I was getting blessed with jobs all over the spectrum of things that never interested me. Sort of like paddling towards your goal but the currents keep sending you to other ports. And I did well at other things, with promotions and awards, which only frustrated me more because if I did well at those things then geez, what can I do with something I love???

So it’s been in my hands.  Finally. Training courses are courses I choose to take, and it’s my deadline, not a corporate target deadline.   Conference calls are ones I choose to participate in, because I want to  and need to.  Words can not begin to describe how liberated and happy I am to be doing this.

Make it or not, I have a little more control over what happens to me.  I thank God and my wife for the opportunity and blessings.

 After One Year… it  tastes and feels so good.



Nose to the Grindstone

Lots of good stuff happening here.  Haven’t been posting because I’ve been busy. Excuses, excuses, excuses!!

Knee-deep, no make that vocal chord-deep in getting my Voiceover plans in play.    I’m just dedicating every second to that now.  My voiceover blog development is time-consuming… but once it’s done then I can enjoy the fruits of that particular labor.  I’ve also signed on with Voice123.com, and busy getting new demos created.  I’ve got a profile page there, but every resource out there, including Vince, my VO instructor, recommends having your own site.

Term Paper Galore

Finished up another writing class.  Got some practice in on writing travel guides and people profiles.  My Creative Nonfiction workshop is going great!!  As fate would have it, I had papers due for both classes at the same time, and I did my best to prevent that from happening.  It ended up where I couldn’t get my interview done until the same week my other paper was due, so…BOOM.  Flashback to college term paper marathon sessions, caffeine fueled courtesy Coke Zero.

My attempts to get pictures of the super moon a few weeks ago was a disaster!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Total disasters!   Took two cameras with me.  I drove around about a half hour before moonrise to find the best view of the east.  I never realized there were that many damn trees around here.  I did find a good spot, and when the moon came up it was as impressive as advertised.  HOWEVER, through the lenses…another story.  I found a second spot, and about a half hour after rising it was still pretty huge, but the camera view was totally different.  I know there were probably some techniques I could have used, if I knew them, but I had forgotten to look them up, and was lucky to remember the whole thing was going to happen that night.

I couldn’t and won’t let another week past without a post.  Hell, I worked just as hard to get this set up as I’m doing now on the other projects.  Keeping this plate spinning, and now  I’m getting the other two plates balanced!

Dancer with spinning plates - Kandy, Sri Lanka...

See, it can be done!!!  Just takes practice!

Heigh Ho! Heigh Ho! To Work with Words I Go!!

A very quick post today. (Editor’s note:  I wrote that sentence over an hour ago) I am knee-deep in creating my Voice-over site.  My self-imposed deadline is “past-due.”  As soon as I’ve posted this it’s back to work.  My new target is Monday the 15th, but depending on the method I use it might take a little longer, as I’ may have to wait on set up response times.  I’m not going with a blog for the VO site, I need to set it up as a separate web site.  Right now reading up on process and deciding on hosting service.  Lots of reading and research.  This is a priority on the list of things to do.    I also joined a local Voice-over networking group along with a few of my VO classmates.  One of the things we  learned first day is the importance of networking in this business.  It’s OK for me to have fun and enjoy it, but talking to myself is not going to advance me.  There’s work to do for the spoken words!

My writing assignment for one of my new classes is creating a  profile of a person I do not know, and so I’m now concentrating on that.

Aw heck, let’s not miss chance to get a little writing fun in:

Alas,  I am charged with  task of unwrapping and displaying to you, fair readers , the life, the persona, yea if I could the entire essence of the soul of a stranger, one who does not know me, nor I him or her.  Note ye, if  such task was thrust upon me in my youth ‘twould make an interesting  instrument to aid me in my journey through the cavernous halls of the buildings I visited often, amid the strobe lights flashing and the cacophony of  noises, the singing of the  noted Minstrel 50 Cents thundering from the speakers and the hundreds of voices forcing me to concentrate with all my being on my task – find the unknown woman whose tale must be told, whose life I must probe, for I am In the Club!    Alas (again) those days have become shadows of the past,  and I am now seated at  the table of my spouse’s love, and thus my search must move to saner, yea, safer lands, with purpose clearer in mind  and desire for other treasures, removed  from the heart of the task, also removed from thoughts.

(Been watching waaaay too much Spartacus)

I joked in the last post about doing a profile on celebrities like Beyoncé and Jay-Z.  Who knows, maybe if I approach someone with “Can you help me with my homework?” it might work!  In any event, it’s due in a couple of weeks, so I have to get on the case starting now. A little something about a  five-page  minimum requirement seems to add a sense of urgency.

So not a lot of musings today.  I promised you and myself not to just post to be posting – don’t want to  just put junk here.  As I said, not a lot of time for musings today, especially sinceI get my mind in gear for this anyway – too worried about getting the web site up and running.  Nah,  I killed those strikethroughs. I got too carried away being silly, but it’s ok!   Didn’t want to waste an opportunity to play around with the written word.IMG_4557 - The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

“So Dennis, what did you learn in school today?” Episode 3

Paper Earned!!!!

Black and white photograph of a Neumann U87 mi...

This week I completed my Voice-Over program at Clayton State.  I am now a




As I mentioned on the “About Me”  page I’m going after my heart’s desires, the things I always want do, to do for real what I did for fun!  After years of trying to get on board with the media side of my old employer I can now pursue things on my own.  Did the DJ thing at house parties.  Did my little stint at WIGO radio’s “Community Broadcast Network”, pre-recorded and broadcasted at 2 in the morning one day a week for about a couple of months.  Did voice-over for company’s benefit program during my second year on the job, thanks to Barbara Russell, the Admin who liked my voice.

And yep, did the writing thing also.  Did a stint writing for the  long-defunct Lovely Atlanta magazine, although I fell down on  that job.  Remember, I’m my own “Renaissance Man.” Not that I’m trying to be the 21st Century da Vinci or be the next “most interesting man in the world.”  It’s just simply doing what I love!  Nothing deeper than that.  So my writing classes and my journey with the  written word continues along with the pursuit of this.

The Spoken Word:  Grab the Microphone!

In the meantime it’s on to implementing the voiceover part of my life.  Now that I’ve been trained (by one of the best, Mr. Vince Bailey) it’s time to follow through on  the many, many things  to do.

I have my hardware, my sound booth is set up, and my software is loaded:

  • Porta-Booth Pro sound booth w/stand
  • Perception 120 USB microphone w/shockmount ( for real work)
  • Blue “Yeti” microphone (using it so far just to practice at my desk)
  • Beyerdynamic DT 880 Pro Studio headphones
  • Audacity recording software
  • Adobe Audition CS5.5 recording software

With all of this it’s going to be quality in = quality out. I’m combining practice with learning Audition, so I’m just using at my desk for that.  Of course, you can throw my voice in the list also, seeing as how it’s the necessary item.  Speaking of which…

Adobe Audition Screenshot

What I learned: being told “you have a nice voice” isn’t enough!

If having the equipment is all that’s needed for success then I’m set.  HOWEVER… there is a special skill to doing commercials, audiobooks, voicemail greetings, etc., and hopefully I’ll put what I’ve learned to good use.  Vince did a good job of not only training us in the actual work of voice-overs, but he also covered the  business side of it as well.  The class was fun, with lots of good people in it, and all of them with incredible talent.  I fully expect to hear them on the radio or TV soon.

Among the many post-graduate tasks on my list is setting up a web site strictly for VO business purpose.   That won’t be a separate blog, strictly business.  My voice-over adventures will still be chronicled here, as it’s all part of my personal renaissance.

That’s my number two task, number one being getting my first demo clip out to the world ASAP.  There are many networks to utilize, including friends as well as the voice-over internet sites. Since I’ve already established a  web presence here, I’m adding my voiceover demo.  CHECK OUT MY DEMO IN THE SIDEBAR ——->>>

According to one of the web sites, the “official” spelling is now recognized as voice-over.  Right now the spelling is all over the place – voiceover, voice over, voice-over, VoiceOver, Voice-Over, etc.  So now it’s supposedly settled, per the good and wise folks who update the various dictionaries out there.

So here we are.  My next set of writing classes starts next week.  One of the courses I’ve really wanted to take, Freelance Writing, is up on Monday.  Having done the magazine stint a long time ago is still a pleasant memory and another current goal, so let’s see what happens!!


Words: Spoken and Written

Candy Store

Candy Store (Photo credit: Bart Heird)

I’m at a point now where I’m eating every piece of candy I can get my hands on.  So before I get sick I need to step back a little and figure out how to pace myself ! I’m winding down my first set of classes, and am about to tackle the other dream deferred:  Voiceovers.  So it looks like I’ll have to change my current work pattern, but it’s a task I welcome!  I’m living with words,  growing in both the spoken and written form.

That Thing They Say About Life’s a Roller Coaster…

Kirnu, a steel roller coaster in Linnanmäki. S...

Ups and downs.  Peaks and valley’s.  Good days, bad days.  Yep, it’s a roller coaster all right.  No matter how much planning you do, life still has a way of dropping  something into your river, so your current either goes around it or over it but it is affected by it.  I am easily frustrated  (ok, too easily frustrated) by a succession of trials.  What’s  the adage… “death comes in three’s?” I kind of lose it when one hurdle follows another hurdle.  Oh  I deal with it, but I don’t like it, and there’s quite a few times I don’t handle  it well.  “First time is an accident.  Second time’s a coincidence.  Third time… it’s on!”  Give me  a minute to curse the garbage someone threw into my river (and a few choice words for the perpetrator  as well) and then I’m on to the task of cleaning it up.  Last few weekends were hijacked by my wrist and by something called Spring yard work.  Add to that I had to spend serious coin on a repair bill yesterday and then again today for another job (back to back… teeth on edge here) and my waters are seriously troubled.  This thing about wanting to control what happens…

As I keep reminding  myself I’ve already done enough bitching in the written word,  cussed out the AC and the sprinkler system very loudly in the spoken word  as I wrote the checks, I thought of a scene from one of my favorite movies, “Smokin’ Aces,” that can provide the image of the words.

If you haven’t seen the movie, the scene involves a bounty hunter who survived a shooting by a team of assassins looking for the same man. He’s found one of them.  I’m in that scene, as I’ve got my left wrist all wrapped up, and some of my plans have taken a few shots.  Love what the assassin says about “Fate”, but not to worry – I’d never shoot my way to a resolution, nor am I that pessimistic !!!  I’ve got deep roots on my spiritual side, deep enough that I  can enjoy this clip guilt-free about what he says about fate.

Oh, language warning!!!

Smokin’ Aces (10/10) Movie CLIP – The Way of the World (2006) HD

By the way, I think a good actor is one whom you can’t  recognize from movie to movie.  The assassin is Chris Pine, playing one of the Tremor Brothers.  He also starred with Denzel Washington in “Unstoppable” and was Captain Kirk in the latest Star Trek movie.

So, it’s continuing on my journey!  Don’t want to leave the impression it’s all frustration!  Words and music are my anchor, and good friends are my crew mates.  I was only too happy to give up some writing time to go the ACC basketball championship game a few weeks ago, and I’m blessed to get a chance to attend the Elite Eight game this weekend courtesy one of my best friends.  

So those were detours in my journey I had absolutely no problem taking!  I just wish those types could be back-to-back-to-back, but wishing that’s only being human, and what happens, occasionally or back-to-back, is only … life.  All this candy, but I can’t eat it all at one time… bad as I want to!

Have a Blessed Week!!