An Interview With Mary Murphy of the NoSleep Podcast

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Continuing our NoSleep Podcast series of interviews we have Mary Murphy with us today! Mary has been with the show and lending her unique voice for the last 6 seasons and you can mostly hear her voice used as a witch or old woman that brings a certain charm to her roles that you can’t quite get with others. She can perform a range of emotions that cover just about everything you need for a NoSleep story from caring and sweet to scary and sinister and it’s always a delight to hear her name come up on the intro to a new story!

Anthony:
Mary, thank you so much for taking the time, and for being a part of our NoSleep series of interviews. I’m excited to have you with us. How’ve you been holding up with all this craziness going on around us?

Mary:
Thank you so much for having me, Anthony. Yes, it certainly has been a strange and challenging time. I’ve been feeling more optimistic though as more of life has re-opened, but I feel like I should knock on wood when I say this.

Anthony:
So, let’s get to know you a bit. Who are you and where are you from?

Mary:
Well, I’m an actor and voice-over artist. I’m originally from Niagara but pretty much grew up out on eastern Long Island. As an adult I’ve moved around a bit but I’ve primarily been based in Brooklyn.

Anthony:
What got you into voice acting and subsequently what led you to the NoSleep family?

Mary:
I’ve always loved the fact that in voice acting you’re not limited by your physical appearance or type. You can play characters that you might never have a chance to perform if you were on stage or on camera.

I connected with David and the NoSleep family after a friend introduced me to the podcast. I was captivated by their approach to storytelling. It’s also such a prolific show that there’s an extensive catalog of content to explore and they are constantly evolving

Anthony:
What’s your background in regards to horror? Where does your love of horror come from? What are some of your favorite ways to consume the genre and all of its subgenres?

Mary:
When I was a kid I loved the adrenaline rush that would come from a horror story, it was similar to the thrill of a roller coaster ride. Back then most of the horror that I consumed came from films, or ghost stories told at slumber parties. Now I probably read and listen to more horror. I’m generally drawn to stories that are rooted in the occult or supernatural, or writing that might delve into magical realism or has a psychological component. I’m also very curious about different cultural approaches to horror. That being said I enjoy exploring genres/subgenres that are new or less familiar, and a well-crafted story will draw you into its world regardless of the genre.

Anthony:
You not only work with NoSleep but you also perform as a part of children’s shows, other audio dramas as well as audiobooks, and other formats. Do you have a preference for what medium you act within? What have been some of your favorite projects you’ve worked on?

Mary:
I’m not sure if I prefer one medium over another per se, it’s more about all of the elements in the project itself, the writing, the role, the production, etc. The same holds true in terms of a list of favorite projects, there are a lot of variables involved. Right now, I’m excited to revisit a play that I worked on prior to the pandemic about Lola Montez, not a horror story but Lola was definitely notorious in other ways. And I mean that as a compliment

Anthony:
You’ve been with the show since season 10. What has it been like being a contributing member of NoSleep?

Mary:
It’s been an amazing experience to be involved with the show, and I’m incredibly grateful to work with such a talented community of artists.

Anthony:
What are some of your favorite memories of working with and being a part of the show?

Mary:
I would say that one of my favorite memories is when I got to meet David and some of the other NoSleep cast members and production team in person. During one of their last tours I got to join them on stage at The Bell House in Brooklyn. Before then all of my communication with everyone had only been online. It was great to see that they were just as awesome in person as they were in the virtual world.

Anthony:
Are there any challenges you need to overcome when it comes to voice acting or being on the show in general? Is it easy for you to get into character?

Mary:
One of challenges with voice acting for a show like NoSleep is that you’re recording your dialogue alone, not directly responding to the other actors. That’s not uncommon but you’re acting solo and directing yourself so I find that I have to experiment a bit at times.

Anthony:
You have one of those distinct voices in that I instantly know it’s you. One of the stories I recall you performing in recent memory (among others I can’t remember the names off the top of my head) was “Tiny Gods.” Do you have any favorite types of characters to act out? You’ve done so many!

Mary:
It depends on the story, but I will say that I enjoy roles where I really have a chance to play, NoSleep has its fair share of wild and unusual characters and whenever I get to voice one of them it’s like I’m getting to have my favorite dessert.

Anthony:
What have been some of your favorite stories that you’ve been a part of as well just in general? I know that’s a hard question with 10 years worth of stories to pick from.

Mary:
Yeah, it’s hard to narrow them down because of the volume of material. I do think though that if a story stays with me long after I’ve read or listened to it that something in the piece has resonated with me, the work has made a lasting impression.

Anthony:
Here’s one I ask everyone here and one of my favorites: What equipment do you work with and use to record?

Mary:
I’m currently using a Shure SM7B or a Rode NT1 as my mic and a Focusrite or Apogee One as a portable interface.

Anthony:
Do you have any voice actors that inspire you?

Mary:
I don’t know if I can name specific voice actors, but I am always interested in listening and learning from other performers. The thing with the voice is that is so unique, everyone brings something different, qualities that distinguish their sound from others.

Anthony:
2020/2021 has been pretty horrific in and of itself. That said, what do you think it is that keeps people coming back to fictional horror when we already have real-life horror surrounding us?

Mary:
That’s an interesting question. I think well done fictional horror is a perfect respite in many ways from real-life horror. In fictional horror, you can step into alternate realities that can be like lucid dreams. So, while you might experience something terrifying you know that you’ll eventually wake up and be able to leave that world. That’s a much more comforting experience than “real-life horror” that you often have no control over.

Anthony:
Mary, thanks again for doing this with us as we continue our NoSleep series of interviews. It’s been a pleasure having you all with us. Is there anything else you’d like to add or say before we let you go?

Mary:
It’s been fabulous talking with you Anthony, thanks so much for the interview. Hope you and your readers enjoy some unexpected chills this summer.

Dig this? Check out the full archives of A.M. Radio, by Anthony Montalbano, here: https://vinylwritermusic.com/a-m-radio-archives/

About Post Author

Anthony Montalbano

Anthony Montalbano grew up in New York and North Carolina. Anthony is a baker by day and a contributor to the Vinyl Writer cause by night. With a passion for podcasts, Pop Punk, video games, and more, Anthony brings a unique and fresh perspective to the team. Anthony's column is a catch-all for the things he loves most, and he wouldn't have it any other way.
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