Wednesday, November 30, 2016

A new tintype photo and another nice review!

My nephew, Jeff Howlett, was back in town again a couple of weeks ago to take tintype photographs at two different venues in Tampa and Dunedin.  You can read about my first tintype Jeff took of me in a previous post here.   This time around I had my eyes opened much wider -- which I made a point of doing since I look a bit like I'm squinting in the first tintype.  It's difficult not to squint or blink due to the bright lights Jeff has to use. 

Jeff's website is here.  He also has another site with a fellow photographer that explains a bit about tintypes here. Jeff had a lot of happy customers at the Tampa Indie Flea.  Many people were having tintypes taken for holiday gifts.

My other bit of news is that I've received another nice review of one of my recordings in Audiofile Magazine.  This one is for The Prettiest Girl on Stage is a Man: Race and Gender Benders in American Vaudeville by Kathleen B. Casey.

"Narrator Lee Ann Howlett brings to life an array of American vaudeville stars from the 1890s-1920s whose acts reflect the cultural changes caused by immigration, racial discord, and changing gender roles at that time. With a conversational delivery style, Howlett creates a tough persona for singer Eva Tanguay, emphasizing her strength while performing racy songs of the period. Also portrayed is Julian Eltinge, a top female impersonator whose extreme masculine facade in real life countered speculation that he was gay. Howlett is most enjoyable as Lillyn Brown, a biracial woman who played a black dandy with a top hat, which she removed to display long hair as she sang suggestive songs as a woman. The great Sophie Tucker herself played in blackface, impersonated men and people of other races, and emphasized her Jewishness. Listeners will be intrigued to hear that Lady Gaga is considered a modern gender bender."

The link to the review is here and you can listen to a sample of the book on Audible here

Friday, November 11, 2016

A special voice-over project

Today is Veteran's Day.  My father was a veteran of the US Air Force.  He was also a Vietnam veteran although he was not in combat.  Dad was in Vietnam for a one-year tour from the summers of 1966-1967.  He was stationed at Bien Hoa which was about eighteen miles from Saigon.  I know that he served as a 'liaison' to the South Vietnamese Air Force.  That's mostly all I know about his work there.  When I requested a copy of the documents of his time there a few years ago, after Dad had died of what was deemed by the military to be Agent Orange-related cancer, I discovered...  very little.  Almost everything on the documents regarding his duties had been redacted.  I often wonder about this.  After fifty years, it's difficult to come to terms with whatever it is that his family isn't allowed to see.

My youngest sister, Heidi, works as Director of Communications for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund in Washington DC.  The VVMF needed someone to narrate the voice-over for part of their ongoing education program about the Vietnam war.  I was honored to oblige.  

You can listen to my recording about the history of The Wall and other monuments connected to it by going to the VVMF page here and clicking on 'Virtual Tour' on the right in the descriptive area.

A special Thank You to all who served and are presently serving.  Happy Veteran's Day.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

A free recording and a nice review!

The Online Stage

The group The Online Stage not only produces full-cast audios for Audible but we also record audio that is posted on the Internet Archive where people can listen for free.  I've just had my first 'free' recording with The Online Stage go live on Internet Archive.

I play Mrs. Plinth in this production of the Edith Wharton short story Xingu. 

Mrs. Ballinger and her ladies' Lunch Club believe themselves to be authorities on art, culture, and literature in the small town of Hillbridge. But when celebrated novelist Osric Dane consents to join them for a discussion of her novel The Wings of Death, they find that things seem destined to go awry. 

This dramatic reading of Edith Wharton's hilarious 1916 story features an all-female cast.

Miss Van Vluyck: Libby Stephenson
Mrs. Roby: Amanda Friday
Mrs. Plinth: Lee Ann Howlett 
Mrs. Ballinger: Susan Iannucci
Mrs. Leveret: Jennifer Fournier
Laura Glyde: PJ Morgan
Osric Dane: Nancy German
Narrator: Elizabeth Klett

Besides voicing the narrator and editing Xingu, the talented Elizabeth Klett also edited the production.   

The direct link to the play can be found here


In other news, I received a very nice review for my recording of the book Imogene in New Orleans by Hunter Murphy in Audiofile Magazine.

"Narrator Lee Ann Howlett does a rousing job portraying glorious New Orleans and its many residents. When 73-year-old Imogene Deal McGregor; her son, Billy; and his partner, Jackson Miller, arrive, they expect some traditional Southern hospitality but instead find their friend, Glenway Gilbert, dead in his studio. Howlett's Imogene is hilarious, reckless, and determined to help solve the murder. Hypochondriac Billy, with his blood pressure cuff and medical satchel that becomes a weapon, is priceless. Boyfriend Miller looks out for both McGregors while trying to decide which of the many suspects is the murderer. Along the way, they meet praline chef Lena Ward, who has the perfect Southern voice, vocabulary, and personality. Listeners will enjoy an eventful tour and will especially enjoy the fun as one suspect is followed in a horse-drawn carriage."

The review may be found here and if you'd like to listen to a sample and/or purchase the book, it's available on Audible here