Goals push us forward and help us grow. This year, my goal for my voice acting adventure is to branch out beyond audiobooks.
I’ve been playing around with video game narration. E-Sports is a huge and growing industry and there are so many companies…small starters to big leaders…coming out with new games and in need of voice talent.
Looking for script samples was fun. Voices.com had a nice variety, so I started with this adventure/fantasy script featuring a brave, strong and compassionate princess in a 17th Century silver mining kingdom.
I’ll continue to play around with voices and plan to sit with the boys as they play their favorite card collecting video games to get a feel for voices and characters. I’m sure they will be only too eager to help with this “market research”.
“But, it’s Joe’s birthday! We have to at least try!”
Pixie, Figgy, Nim and Lil sat around the table in the Elfeteria eating a midnight snack of Sugary Frosted Syrup Bites and trying to figure out how to be in two places at once.
“We could split up,” said Figgy. “Pixie and I could go to Joe and Jake’s and you two could go to the Malloy’s.”
Nim huffed. “And let you guys have all the fun setting up the pancake breakfast for Joe’s birthday? I don’t think so!”
Lil nodded in agreement. “They were our first assignment.”
Pixie scowled. “They were our first assignment too! And what’s more…I’M the Birthday Elf!”
“Don’t you dare…”.
“If you say that again…”.
“Ho, Ho, HO!” The bickering elves did not hear Santa until he stood at the head of the table. He looked at each elf in turn. “There is a solution where all of you can go wish Joe a Happy Birthday.”
“There is?” they asked in unison.
“Yes. Drop by the Malloy’s and leave a note explaining your absence. Leave them a special craft or movie or treat. Then, you can all go to Joe and Jake’s for the traditional birthday breakfast.”
The elves were silent.
“I guess that could work,” said Nim.
Lil rolled her eyes. “Now why didn’t we think of that!”
* * *
“Ouch! Get OFF my feet Figgy!”
“Guys, be quiet!”
“Yeah, we’re going to wake them up and ruin the surprise!”
After a quick stop by the Malloy’s to drop off a note, a treat and The Christmas Story for the kids to watch, the Mischief Makers zipped to their old stomping grounds to set up the world’s best pancake breakfast.
Lil pulled out a clipboard. “Ok gang! Pancake batter?”
“Check!” said Pixie.
“Check!” said Figgy.
“Check!” said Nim.
“Hot sauce and lemon pepper?”
“Er…are you sure about those, Figgy?” asked Nim. “They don’t really go with pancakes and sausage.”
Figgy squinted at Nim. “We all agreed to put Joe’s favorite things on the pancakes, didn’t we?”
“That means all his favorite things.”
“Oookay. I’m pretty sure we have everything then.” Pixie interrupted.
“Alright! Places everyone!”
Each elf wrapped around the light fixture holding balloons and a birthday banner with big smiles on their faces. They’d made it in time to help Joe celebrate his 11th birthday.”
“I hope the Malloy’s aren’t too upset,” said Nim.
“Nah, we left them a movie and lots of snacks. I’m sure they’re fine. Right, Pixie?”
“Er, yeah.” But Pixie had a sick feeling in the pit of her stomach. Somehow, she didn’t think they were fine with them missing a night.
“I’m afraid I have some bad news,” Santa began gravely.
Pixie, Figgy, Nim and Lil stood silently in Santa’s office. The last few nights had been a disaster. First…drums, followed by messes of confetti and glitter. Last night’s slime sledding must have been the star that bent the tree, because Burt and Carol Malloy were NOT happy.
Figgy and Pixie gulped in unison, unable to speak.
“What is it, Santa? Not…a twelfth letter?” asked Lil.
“B-but we’ve been so good! We made cookies!”
“I agree with Figgy,” said Pixie. “Sure, the glitter bombs were messy, but we did our best to contain it to the hallway.”
“It’s not really about you two, per se. It seems the Malloy parents have discovered that it has been their children, and not you two, making such a mess.”
Santa handed them the letter.
First, we would like to apologize. It seems that catastrophes of late were not, in fact, the work of your “Mischief Makers”, but of our children. They confessed all last night after we threatened to have the two elves banned from the house. Permanently.
As such, we feel that a suitable punishment would be for Figgy and Pixie not to return for the rest of the season. It is nothing against them. Not really at least. But, it may be the only way to get through to the children and make them stop their disastrous shenanigans. We cannot, nor will we, tolerate any more mischief.
Figgy and Pixie may, of course, say their goodbyes by one last night of fun, but we would appreciate them not returning after that. At least until next year, maybe longer.
With sincere thanks,
Carol and Burt Malloy
Pixie and Figgy were speechless. While it was true that it had been the Malloy children who had made the majority of this season’s messes, the past few nights had been all Pixie and Figgy’s doing.
“Wait just a minute, Santa,” said Nim. “Can they do that? Is it really up to them?”
“I’m afraid so. If we ignore their request, they have every right to file a formal complaint with the Bureau of Malicious Mischief.”
“And even if they don’t file a formal complaint,” said Lil. “It is the 12th letter. You remember what The Book said.”
“But,” said Pixie. “Does that mean our fun is…over?”
No one said a word.
* * *
Glumly, Pixie and Figgy slumped on the couch. Nim and Lil had come along for moral support while Glitter stayed behind, too distraught to face the last night.
“I guess we should…do something,” sighed Pixie.
“Yeah,” Figgy agreed morosely.
“Ok you two,” said Lil. “Enough moping. If this is your last night, you need to go out with a bang.”
“And not a messy bang,” added Nim. “A ‘look-how-helpful-we-are’ bang. If you are going to convince the parents you should stay for the rest of the season, it’s going to have to be good.”
“How can we do that?” asked Figgy. “You heard the letter.”
“Pish-posh,” said Lil. “Just because it looks hopeless, doesn’t mean it is hopeless. Remember the footnote?”
Pixie and Figgy tried hard, but they couldn’t hold back the giggles.
“Pish?” said Pixie.
“Posh?” said Figgy.
Lil smiled. “Now let’s get started.”
Over the next five hours, the four elves cleaned with all their might. They scrubbed and scoured. Dusted and dried. Wiped and washed. Every surface sparkled…and not with glitter.
“Hey guys, look what I found.” Lil flew over to the table with a photo in her hands.
It was an old picture of the whole Malloy family. Alex was just a teeny, tiny baby. Everyone was smiling, a Christmas tree in the background.
“Are you thinking what I’m thinking, Nim?”
“That we should scrub the toilet one last time?”
“No, but that’s a good idea. I’m thinking it’s time to write the poem.”
Pixie shot up. “Yes! Oh Lil, that is a wonderful idea!”
The group sat and wrote a poem together. Once done, they placed it under the tree with a beautiful ornament.
“There,” said Figgy. “That should do it.”
Long ago on Christmas Eve, You gathered ‘round this tree. Your smiles were big, your eyes were bright, Your hearts were filled with glee.
But since that day, you’ve lost a bit Of spark and family cheer Perhaps by this reminder You’ll discover it this year.
Each of you must take a piece Of loving, sound advice Relax and smile, enjoy this time You cannot live it twice.
Figgy, Pixie, Nim and Lil sat around the tree. Nim and Figgy quietly seething and Lil and Pixie suppressing laughter.
Pixie was the first to break the silence. “Ok you guys. This is getting ridiculous.”
Nim and Figgy glared at her.
“Seriously?? You two are still mad?” asked Lil.
“First of all,” said Figgy. “We didn’t throw the first snowball.”
“And second,” added Nim. “We were outnumbered!”
Pixie and Lil glanced at each other blankly. Outnumbered?
“How do your figure that?” asked Lil, hiding a small smile.
“Yeah, it was only Lil and I…that’s two, against you and Figgy…that’s also two.”
“Well, you had a secret weapon, didn’t you? Someone waiting in the trees to gallop to your rescue!”
Lil and Pixie tried to keep a straight face. They had hoped the boys would not notice Glitter who waited in the woods outside Santa’s workshop for a signal to join in the snowball fight. The snowball fight that they started.
Lil laughed first. Pixie followed with a giggle. Soon, Figgy and Nim forgot their anger and joined in the merriment. They couldn’t stay angry with their partners for too long. All it took were chuckles and chortles to bring them around.
When they had all caught their breath and settled down, Nim asked, “So…what’s on the agenda for tonight?”
“We-ell,” said Pixie. “Since Figgy and I didn’t really have anything planned for much beyond the middle of the month, Lil and I took the liberty of coming up with a fun…activity.”
“I don’t like the way you said ‘activity’, Pixie,” said Figgy. “It sounds like trouble.”
“Oh don’t be a spoilsport Figgy,” said Lil. “It’s just a little harmless fun. We thought we could set up a sledding hill in the living room.”
Nim looked around the room. “Maybe you haven’t noticed, Lil…there’s no snow in here.”
“True, but we can build hills with toilet paper rolls and use this to make them slippery.”
With a flourish, Pixie revealed a ‘make-your-own-slime’ kit.
Nim’s eyes bulged. “You have got to be kidding! If we do this—”.
“We’ll have the best sledding hill EVER!” Figgy shouted.
While Nim looked on in disbelief and doubt, the other three elves poured and mixed and stirred until they had several colors of slime.
“Come on Nim! Join in and help us construct the big hill,” coaxed Figgy.
With some poking and prodding, the elves managed to convince Nim to help with the hill. Once they were all done, Pixie poured some of the slime down, coating the slope with slippery goo.
Lil cupped her hands and called up to Pixie. “No more slime, Pixie!”
“More? Ok!” Pixie poured another bowl down the hill.
“No! No more slime!” Nim yelled.
“OK! Here’s another bowl!”
But Pixie had already started to pour. As the goopy goo streamed down, the cardboard slide buckled and slime went everywhere, coating the floor. Nim, Lil and Figgy raced to clean it up, but ended up slipping and sliding and sloshing in the sticky pool.
Figgy grunted. “You try carrying a giant, heavy bag of confetti and see how you do, Pixie!”
Glitter cantered behind them, pulling two small boxes along. “Oh you two. Stop arguing!”
It was the first night after leaving the threatening poem for the Malloy children to find. They were pleased to see that the kids had not left a mess behind for them to clean up.
“Maybe they’re worried about what we are going to do now that we know that they know that we know how they figured out our plan,” said Figgy.
Glitter and Pixie looked at each other then at Figgy in confusion. “What?”
“Well…we know that they know that we know—.”
“We heard you the first time, Figgy,” said Pixie. “But you’re not making any sense. They didn’t do anything because we only had the first 12 days of Christmas planned.”
“Are we sure this is a good idea?” asked Pixie as she filled one of the boxes with confetti. “I mean, the parents are not going to be happy with yet another mess to clean up.”
“It’s fiiine,” said Figgy.
Glitter snorted. “Sure. It’s fine. Famous last words.”
Figgy scowled and threw a fuzzy pom pom at Glitter. She caught it in her antlers and lobbed it back at him. Unfortunately, Figgy ducked and it hit Pixie square in the face.
“Oops, sorry Pixie. That was meant for Figgy.” Glitter made a sound somewhere between a bray and a laugh.
Pixie narrowed her eyes, picked up the offending ball and lobbed it back at Glitter.
After that, chaos ensued. Confetti and pom poms flew fast and furiously down the hall. The confetti fight continued throughout the house until, breathless, the trio collapsed on the couch, laughing.
“Thanks team,” said Figgy through huffs and puffs. “I needed that.”
Pixie looked at the clock and popped up. “We’d better get the confetti traps set up! We’ve got a lot to do if we want one on each bedroom door.”
They worked frantically over the next hour filling boxes and rigging them to pour out when the kids opened their doors in the morning. They had planned to sweep up some of the mess, but by the time they were done with the boxes, the sun was coming up and the just had time to get into place before the first door opened.
“I hope Carol and Burt aren’t too upset,” said Glitter.
Pixie looked around at the mess and gulped. “Me too.”
“I think we should stop by Joe and Jake’s house before we go to the Malloy’s tonight,” said a flustered and frustrated Figgy.
“Why? Do you think they could somehow help?” asked Pixie.
“No, probably not.”
“Tonight is cookie night and we don’t have the right recipe.”
“We could just wing it,” said Pixie. “Or use a box mix.”
Figgy looked aghast at Pixie.
“Or…stop by the boys’ and get it?”
“It’s their grandma’s recipe too, so we need to make sure they are ok with us using it.”
“Ok, let’s get going then!”
Figgy and Pixie took off, zooming as quickly as possible to Joe and Jake’s house. It took them a few minutes to wake them up without scaring the Christmas PJ pants off of them, but they managed after the third “PSSST!”
Jake rubbed his eyes sleepily. “Hi guys, what are you doing here?”
Joe yawned loudly as he trudged into Jake’s room. “Hooooow–yawn–is the season going so far?”
Figgy took a big breath, ready to tell Joe and Jake all, but Pixie beat him to it.
“It’s going great! Isn’t it, Figgy?”
“Better than great! Right, Figgy?? She elbowed him in the side, smiling maniacally and nodding her head vigorously.
Pixie scowled at Figgy and smiled brightly at the boys. “It’s so good to see you two. I wish Nim and Lil could have come too, but they’re dealing with a reindeer trainee emergency. Some sort of scuffle involving antlers, jingle bells, and eggnog.”
“Apparently the annual Reindeer Rumble got a little out of hand,” added Figgy.
“That’s ok, tell them we said hi,” said Jake.
“What’s going on, guys?” asked Joe.
“Well, we stopped by to ask if you would mind us using the molasses and sugar cookie recipes at our new assignment. We think the Malloy’s would really love them,” said Pixie.
“Yeah,” Figgy grumbled. “They’ve already shown us how much they enjoy decorating and making giant—”.
“Balloon animals!” interjected Pixie.
Joe and Jake looked at the elves suspiciously.
“Anyway, would it be ok if we shared your recipes? We know how special they are so we wanted to ask first.”
The boys smiled and Jake said, “Of course! Grandma would have loved that.”
Two quick hugs and a wave goodbye and the elves soared back into the sky.
* * *
“Oh my.” Pixie gaped at the road of icing. It covered the table, went down a ramp made of cardboard and curved down the stairs. A small graham cracker car sat precariously at the top, it’s back open and filled with sticky, gooey maple syrup.
Figgy didn’t move. His face remained blank, passive. His eyes had glazed over.
“Figgy? Are you ok?”
He didn’t answer or acknowledge Pixie. He just stared at the icing road.
“Ok, let’s…let’s get this cleaned up. Pixie floated down to the floor and approached the graham cracker car just as Figgy snapped out of his trance.
“Pixie, wait! There’s a trip wi—”.
Too late. Pixie’s foot tripped the wire and the car careered down the stairs, gleefully splashing maple syrup all over the carpet.
It was in the silence that followed that Figgy noticed the icing note on the table.
Sprinkle, sprinkle little car Fast you’ll go and you’ll go far Through the icing, down the chair Cookie crumbs are everywhere Sprinkle, sprinkle little car Fast you’ll go and you’ll go far
“At least it wasn’t messy,” said Figgy after Lil and Pixie had relayed the previous night’s events.
“Not messy?” asked Lil. “There were ballerinas everywhere! And it was SO noisy!”
“Did the parents wake up?” asked Nim.
“Oh yes,” said Pixie. “And boy did they give those kids a talking to!”
Lil nodded. “They threatened to write another letter to Santa.”
“Another letter?” asked Figgy. “How many have they written?”
“Over the past 3 or so years? 11.” Santa stood in the doorway of the toy shop, his arms folded over his jiggly belly. “And we all know what a 12th letter would mean.”
Pixie and Figgy looked blankly at each other while Nim and Lil nodded.
“Er…what?” asked Figgy.
“12 letters is bad.” Nim took a deep breath. “Lil, could you get The Book.”
Lil lugged a large book to a table and flipped it open. “Here.” She pointed to a footnote.
Footnote 3.1 – In the event that 12 written complaints are received from a parent or guardian, all Mischief Maker privileges for the household will be revoked during the Revoking Ceremony. Permanently.*
“Oh,” said Figgy.
“Wait, what’s that little star?” Pixie pointed to the asterisk.
“Let’s see…” Lil ran her finger down the other footnotes until she got to the corresponding asterisk.
*Addendum to footnote 3.1 – If the assigned Mischief Making team can, in some way, make amends for the devastation and destruction and convince the grown-ups to retract the 12th letter before the Revoking Ceremony, all letters will be expunged from the record.
“Ah, a loophole,” said Nim.
“We’ll just have to make sure we don’t have to use it,” said Pixie.
Figgy looked doubtful. “I guess we’d better get going.”
As Figgy and Pixie flew through the stars, Glitter lagged behind, staring morosely into the lake.
“What’s the matter, Glitter?” Lil landed at the edge of Narwhal Lake. “Why didn’t you head back with the others?”
“I’m worried, Lil.”
“About Figgy and Pixie? Oh they’ll be ok, Glitter. Even if they do get booted from this assignment, Santa knows the extenuating circumstances and—.”
“That’s not it,” interrupted Glitter.
“I’m worried that I’m the spy.”
* * *
“Where did they get all this tape?” asked Pixie.
“When did they do all of this taping?” wondered Figgy.
“At least it’s not a big mess, or loud, or—.”
A large blue ball bowled the elves over and rolled down the hall. When it finally stopped spinning, both elves were tangled together in tape with a note stuck on it.
Nim and Lil watched as Figgy downed his 34th shot of Grade A maple syrup.
“Do you think he’ll be…ok?” asked Nim.
First they trapped us in a glass bowl And they made a mess, they made a mess Then they strung me from a craft cart And they made a mess, they made a mess
Pixie shook her head and frowned. “I’m not sure he will be.”
Don’t forget the chocolate fountain Made a mess, made a mess, What. A. Mess. Birds and feathers in the bathtub They made quite a mess, they made a mess.
“Maaaaybe Figgy should stay here tonight,” said Lil. “I can come and help you with the dance floor set-up while Nim…keeps an eye on him.”
Pixie sighed gratefully. “Thank you, Lil. I don’t know if I can stand another night of his paranoia and jumpiness. You don’t mind, Nim?”
Nim shook his head. “Course not. I think what good ol’ Figgy needs is a night off. Have some fun. Elf to elf.”
“Ok, if you’re sure.”
“Of course he is, Pixie. Now let’s head out. I’m looking forward to stretching my mischief muscles again.”
Pixie nodded and they headed toward the Malloy house. Lil, bursting with excitement. Pixie, wondering what was in store for them.
All was quiet and dark when Lil and Pixie touched down.
“Careful, Lil. Their shenanigans aren’t always obvious…at first.”
Lil nodded and looked around. “It’s awfully dark in here. Let’s turn on the light.”
As soon as the switch was flipped, a strobe light started flashing and a disco ball started spinning. Dozens of musical ballerinas twirled on their stands. Their tinny songs clashing with each other and filling the house with everything from Greensleeves to Jingle Bells to the Nutcracker Suite.
Lil put her hands over her ears and looked at Pixie in panic. “What do we do?”
“We have to shut them off!” yelled Pixie, but Lil could not hear her above the din of ballerinas.
As the closest ballerina slowed and came to a stop, a small note shot out across the floor. Lil and Pixie barely had time to read it when they heard the sound of stomping feet and angry voices coming down the hallway.
“Now Figgy, that is going a little far!” scolded Nim.
Figgy’s pen stopped scratching and he looked up at Nim. “I was hanging from that craft cart all night, Nim. All. Night.”
Name: Gabe and Gertie Malloy.
“Alright Figgy, that’s enough,” said Lil. “Put the pen down and step away from the Notebook.”
Figgy started to argue, but then caught sight of Santa coming in through the double doors and, wisely, held his tongue.
“Did I hear the Malloy children anticipated your antics once again?” he asked with a twinkle in his eye.
“Yes,” sighed Pixie. “It really is a mystery how they–.”
“Mystery?!” Figgy exploded. “Is it a mystery, Pixie?”
“Yes, yes Figgy,” interrupted Nim. “We all know your theory.”
Figgy began mumbling under his breath.
“Theory…true…I’ll get proof…you’ll see.”
“C’mon, Figgy. Let’s head out.”
Grumbling and shuffling his feet, Figgy followed Pixie through the clouds.
* * *
“Ok,” said Pixie. “So far, so good.”
When the elves had arrived back at the Malloy house, there was no sign of a mess or mayhem. Perhaps the children grew bored or perhaps they were sent to bed early. Whatever it was, Lil was grateful. Figgy, suspicious.
“We can use this dish.” Pixie pointed to a large white bowl on the table. “Figgy, can you get the food coloring? I’ll get the dish soap and milk.”
Figgy cautiously approached the pantry cabinet. He opened the door and jumped back quickly. Nothing happened.
He peeked in and slowly pulled the small box of food coloring out. Nothing happened
“Honestly, Figgy,” said Pixie. “If something were going to happen, it would have. We are in the clear.”
Pixiepopped the cap off of the milk. “Hmm. Smells funny. Tangy.” She started to pour the milk in just as Figgy noticed a white, powdery film all over the bottom of the dish. “Pixie, wait!”
Too late. A frothy mountain a foam bubbled quickly over the dish and dripped out all over the table, swiftly covering both elves and knocking them onto the floor.
Got milk? 🙂 -Terry Jr.
Figgy sat, dripping with vinegar laced milk and pointing a shaking finger at a box of baking soda on the counter. “I told you so, Pixie!