An Interview with Mike DelGaudio of the NoSleep Podcast

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All images courtesy of Mike DelGaudio.

As we start winding down our NoSleep series of interviews, the term “last but not least” couldn’t be any more appropriate. Everyone has been so incredibly kind throughout this project and I couldn’t be any happier with the results we have gotten from everyone who has decided to join us thus far, which, brings us to our next interviewee!

Mike DelGaudio, another longtime veteran of the show dating back to season 4 is someone who found his roots in the NoSleep subreddit and grew from there. Among other things, in this interview, we talk about his time on the show and what defines horror for him.

Now, people’s definitions of horror vary greatly based on many different defining moments and situations in their respective lives and Mike is no different. Like many other voice actors on the show, Mike has a varied history of voicing for various mediums and other shows, so be sure to check out his work linked throughout this interview for his YouTube channel and other podcasts! Hope you enjoy the read!

Anthony:
Mike, thank you so much for taking the time here with us. We are happy to have you here amongst the other and upcoming NoSleep interviewees! How have these past couple of years been treating you?

Mike:
Well, aside from the…uh…quarantine fifteen that caused me to use a few new holes in the ol’ belt my family has been safe and healthy which is all I could really hope for. Weirdly, since I spend most of my waking hours in a small windowless six-by-six room my work environment didn’t change much! I’m eager to see the world re-open and I hope to travel and go to concerts again, so many plans got postponed. Get vaccinated, people!

Anthony:
Now, before we really get into it, can you tell us and our readers a bit about yourself? Where are you from, and what initially got you into voice acting before joining the cast of NoSleep?

Mike:
I’m an east coaster. I spent most of my time near Annapolis Maryland — which we’d pronounce ‘Napolis Merlin. I took a near decade-long detour through Pittsburgh n’at to meet the woman of my dreams, and now I’m situated so I can be close to New York City. 

As to what got me to want to voice act? Well, If you’re of a certain age, you may remember the advent of the infomercial back in the late 80s. There was always this guy who told you that, “All this can be yours for just three easy payments of $19.99! But wait, there’s more! If you act now we’ll double your order – just add $4.95 shipping and handling. Don’t delay, call today!” That guy. I wanted to be that guy. 

Anthony:
You’ve done some radio and TV commercial work. Are there any commercials we would know? Where can we hear them?

Mike:
Hmmm. Good question. It depends on the week and when you’re reading this interview. It’s kinda weird, most of the time I don’t get to hear or see an ad before it is released, and I’m not always sure where or when the ads are going to run! I know I have ads running in the midwest for a bank, a boat company, some convenience store ads running, mostly on streaming services tied to certain locations. So…maybe? It changes. 

If you want to find me, the best place to look is at my YouTube channel, called Booth Junkie, where I talk about home studios and help other voice actors select the right gear. 

Anthony:
Do you plan to get into voice acting for any video games?

Mike:
I would love to be in more video games, but I’m not actively pursuing game roles at the moment. I’ve done a few games for Still Alive Studios whom I’m friendly with. I’ve been a recurring character in some of their games. Not ruling out games by any means, but I’ve had my attention turned elsewhere. Right now I’m more engaged in starting up a production company called Roaring Box that I started with my wife to make audio dramas. We just released our first miniseries called Newfield where I got to work with other NoSleep actors Graham Rowat, Erin Lillis, Mary Murphy, and Erika Sanderson. We’re in the process of researching and writing our next series. 

Anthony:
You joined the show back in season 4. Were you a listener of the show for the first 3 seasons or was the subreddit your entry point?

Anthony:
The subreddit was first for me. I had seen stories go by on my feed. I had the unoriginal idea to try narrating/producing the stories — mostly for myself as a way to improve my sound design skills. I discovered that already existed in excellent form in the NoSleep Podcast

All images courtesy of Mike DelGaudio.

Anthony:
What was the process like for you joining? At what point did you perhaps say to yourself, “I want to be a part of the NoSleep team?” Your bio on the NoSleep website says you narrated a story from the subreddit. Do you remember which story it was, and how David Cummings got a hold of it?

Mike:
I sent an email with samples asking if he ever needed roles filled that I would love to participate. Should I share it? What the heck…it was from r/nosleep called I was Skyping my sister. It’s actually pretty hard for me to listen back to those old recordings.

Anthony:
Having been with the show for so long, what are some of your favorite memories of working with NoSleep?

Mike:
In the before times, having the opportunity to meet with the listeners when the tour would come by was one of the most singularly rewarding experiences I’ve had. It’s amazing to have someone come up to you and say how much the podcast means to them, or that they’re a fan of a role you played. 

Anthony:
For the past 12 seasons, what has been like seeing the show grow to the level it has? It’s now become a full-blown multimedia platform which includes live Twitch streams, live shows, and more.

Mike:
To know that I’ve been a small part of the success of the podcast has been incredible. Every once in a while I’ll meet someone and they’ll say, “Wait are you the guy on the NoSleep podcast??” It’s pretty surreal. The success of the podcast is a huge testimonial to the dedication David Cummings has in creating it. I don’t think people realize how incredibly challenging it is to assemble a podcast of the size, scope, and quality that NoSleep puts out consistently episode after episode, season after season. I look forward to the future for as long as David will have me!

Anthony:
Have you had the opportunity to participate in the live shows? If so, what are some of the coolest places you’ve seen, and what was it like performing live vs. recording at home?

Mike:
I had the good fortune to be invited on stage at a few shows when the tour swung by cities I could get to. I played in Cleveland, Boston, and New York City. The Cleveland show was a lot of fun as I traveled there with Dan Foytik of the Victoria’s Lift and the Wicked Library podcasts which some NoSleep fans might know. It’s funny that I hadn’t met, or even spoken with many of the other cast members other than via IM or email to that point, even though we had shared so many intense scenes. So, getting to hang out with other voice actors and authors was a real treat. I’m right there fangirling over meeting Cummings, Ault, Nicole, Brandon, Jessica, Peter, Zappula, Graham, Mary, and… jeez, everyone who makes the podcast so cool. Getting to meet and talk to so many people who like the show is so incredibly rewarding. NoSleep has such a dedicated, diverse and engaged fan base, getting to meet and shake hands with everyone is an experience I cherish! As far as actually being on stage, as always it’s exhilarating and terrifying. What I like about being a voice actor is you get to go again when you mess up a line, on stage, that luxury goes out the window!

Anthony:
When it comes to horror itself, what are your favorite ways to consume the genre? It could be video games, podcasts, audio dramas, TV, or movies. What are your favorite types of horror? Personally, I’m a fan of psychological and body horror. I absolutely loved the “New Decayed” and the “Sleepless Decomposition” stories.

Mike:
I think the scariest stuff is the horror that could reasonably happen to me, where I don’t have to suspend all that much disbelief, or perhaps will actually happen to me. The closer to home it hits, the scarier. I mean, the movie Jaws…that messed up beach-going for years. Maybe not horror by today’s standards, but that movie had a lasting impact. Closer to home, knowing that, at some point, there are only five minutes left before I meet my maker? Scary. That seemingly unending fraction of a second between recognizing an accident is about to happen, and the actual impact…oof. My kid is suddenly missing? Terrifying. I enjoy the stuff that gets in my head, the psychological stuff, but the stuff I can relate to. 

All images courtesy of Mike DelGaudio.

Anthony:
It still surprises me that everyone records their own parts separately without acting against each other. Is that something which was hard to do at first but got easier over time?

Mike:
It helps when you talk to yourself all day and hear voices in your head for a living. 

Working asynchronously is a challenge, but we get the hang of it, and it’s the nature of the gig. When I’m playing a part I give the sound designers several takes of each line, done slightly differently so that hopefully one of the reads fits in with the other actors. When I’m the main narrator I try to anticipate how I think the other actors will read the line, or I suppose I interpret how I would do it and try to react to myself. 

Anthony:
Do you have any inspirations for your voice acting?

Mike:
Oh yeah, there are tons of people who inspire me, awe me really, and make me want to be better at my craft, Mel Blanc, of course, Billy West, amazing. Grover Gardner for audiobooks, love his voice. Jim Dale, Tara Strong, Seth MacFarlane, H. Jon Benjamin.  

Anthony:
What are some of your favorite stories or characters you’ve recorded? Have there been any roles which really stretched your performing limits? In recent memory, you mainly narrated “The Hole in the Great Grass Sea”, which was such a great story, a slow burn, and was certainly a “thinker!”

Mike:
That one time I played the Sheriff of a small town. That was really an amazing role…I kid, I kid (I play cops a lot!). [Laughs]. One story that really stands out for me was the Season Nine finale story called “The Hidden Webpage” by Jared Roberts, which brought back so many memories of an earlier internet that I often get nostalgic for. EZMorgan’s “1% Series” from Season 7 was pretty intense and was very polarizing. The “Search and Rescue” series from Season 6 was also a lot of fun, and I really enjoyed getting into that role. Marcus Damanda’s stories are always enjoyable as we seem to share a lot of common experiences. I always get psyched when I get to participate in one of his stories. 

Anthony:
What are some of your overall favorite episodes regardless of if you performed in them?

Mike:
So many good episodes…the season finales of “Borrasca” and “Whitefall” immediately come to mind, Mick Wingert was so good in “Whitefall.” These are epic productions that really draw you in. I dug playing a Rock Star in “Double Bass Kick” (S8E21). There should be a food season…we’ve had so many memorable food-based stories. “Mrs. Willisons Homemade Jam” (S8E17), “My Dad’s Preserves” (S10E23), “Taco Tuesday” (S9E8), “The Pancake Family” (S8E1), “Free Coffee with Order of Pie” (S5E1), “Milk and Cookies” (S3E9), “Mr. Banana” (S9E23) come to mind. I know I’m missing a ton more….quite a feast. [Laughs]. Welcome to the NoSleep Cafe…Brace yourself…For the “scrapple.” 

Anthony:
Here’s a question I ask everyone here: What equipment do you use to record with? Has your equipment evolved over time?

Mike:
Oh, it’s evolved for sure. I’ve got GAS…bad. That’s “Gear Acquisition Syndrome” — I have an unreasonable microphone collection and a handful of preamplifiers. I use Audient interfaces, an Avalon Vacuum Tube Preamplifier, and Neumann Mics –  I have a U87 and a TLM103. I just got my hands on a real vintage RCA ribbon microphone manufactured in the 1940s. I’ve been on a little bit of a ribbon microphone kick recently. They are a little more challenging to work with, but I love the sound.

Anthony:
One more before we let you go, do you have any podcast or audio drama recommendations?

Mike:
I’d love it if people check out our two-part series “Newfield,” you can find it on NewfieldPodcast.com. Also, check out some of the podcast efforts from my fellow NoSleepers! Congeria, The Grey Rooms, The Death of Dr. John Parker, Hidden Frequencies Podcast

Anthony:
Mike, thanks a lot for taking the time to do this with us. Is there anything else you’d like to add that we may have missed or didn’t get to cover?

Mike:
Thanks so much for inviting me! As I mentioned before, I have a YouTube channel called Booth Junkie where I talk about setting up home studios for voice work, review microphones, and share tips and techniques to become more proficient in the studio. If you’re thinking about voice-over as a hobby or vocation, swing by!

All images courtesy of Mike DelGaudio.

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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