Brian Long ’19: the voice of the NESCAC Story

Brian Long is a freshman at Colby, and if you don’t recognize his face as you walk by him on the path, you might recognize his voice. Long has been featured on the Snapchat NESCAC story several times—all short videos that show off his impressive talent of “doing voices.”

The proper terminology for “doing voices” is “voice acting.” Voice acting is the art of doing voice-overs such as providing voices for animated characters, dubbing foreign language films, performing puppet shows, recording audiobooks, etc.

Long explains that his recently acquired fame was relatively unplanned. “Most of my NESCAC snaps were fairly impromptu. The first time I ever posted I honestly didn’t even give it a second thought. I was walking down from my hillside dorm and just thought it was a little warm, so I recorded myself saying so.”

After prompting from his friends, Long continued posting. “A lot of my friends said it sounded cool, so I decided to post another one around a week later about the same general topic. The first five or six times I got on [the NESCAC story] I think it was always some random comment concerning the weather.”

After this newfound popularity, Long began planning what he would say on his next submission to the NESCAC story. “After winter break, I moved away from weather comments and moved onto pretty much whatever popped into my head. The snaps became much less impromptu and more pre-meditated.” Long says that he still has a few Snapchat ideas that he is waiting to try out.

Long’s favorite voices vary depending on how his voice is feeling. “I can only really nail my Optimus Prime impression when my voice feels especially gravelly, one of the few plusses to getting a cold.”

Of his favorites, Long says he prefers “the Disney trailer voice, the deep voice, Stewie Griffin, Optimus Prime, the horror trailer voice, the action movie trailer voice, and the Geico voice.”

Long has always liked doing voices, but he traces his skill back to middle school. “In about eighth grade, a few of my friends noticed that I could do what they called the ‘cigarette voice,’ where I made my voice incredibly gravely and talked like an old person. It wasn’t really until college that I got any legitimate attention for my voice, and I’m just about as surprised as anyone else is.”

Long said that voice acting is his dream career. “It’s something that I’ve wanted to do since I was in middle school, but I never really thought of it as a realistic goal before college. In terms of future plans, at this point in time I’m honestly just trying to get better at voicing.” To do this, Long has resorted to practicing any time he can, even when he is alone in his room. “I’m fairly certain my neighbors think I’m insane. At any given time walking by my room, you can hear me yelling, growling, etc. I threw around the idea of making a demo reel to send to some talent agencies over the summer, so who knows what’ll happen!”

The path to professional voice acting is similar to that of most pursuits in professional arts, much of it based on luck. “In the way that I was lucky enough to get onto the ‘CAC story, most voice actors have to get discovered before any sort of career can come from it. Arguably, the most influential voice actor of all time, Don LaFontaine, got into it completely by accident. He was working on the set of a movie, when the voice talent they had hired for the trailer was unable to come. He volunteered his voice in place and eventually became one of the most successful people in the trade. For me, if I do get into the voice acting business, a large part of it will undoubtedly be due to luck,” Long said.

Be sure to keep an ear out for Brian on the NESCAC Snap Story!

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