Dave Dugan: Corporate Comic, Stand-Up Comedian And Voice Over Talent
When you see Dave Dugan perform, you may be reminded of some of those well meaning television dads who mete out their sage wisdom in a fumblingly laconic manner, usually with horrific results. His stand up comedy hinges on eloquent misdirection and an ironic demeanor that is somewhat incongruous with the situations he finds himself in. Having done hundreds upon hundreds of voice over gigs, from Midas Mufflers to Microsoft, it’s a good bet that you have heard of Dave Dugan before and just don’t know it. Having seen him perform several times, I wanted to talk with him in more depth about his voice over talents…
J.T.: Since you do so much voice over work, do you have a ritual to prepare for the particular mood or emotion you need to convey?
Dave: Sure, if they want a manly, gritty read, I chop some kindlin’ and gargle some Jack Daniels. If they want me to be all sensitive, I crank up the Tori Amos and shave with a Daisy Razor.
J.T.: Do you ever have to perform a series of intentional “outtakes” just to get some of the funny stuff out of your head so you can do a serious take?
Dave: Recently, I voiced fun facts about California for anyone renting a car in the state to hear on their navigation system. The script was of record length …took 8 days to record! Outtakes were plentiful just to keep from going stir crazy.
J.T.: What is probably the most difficult voice over that you have had to so?
Dave: I auditioned for roles in an Italian animated series that was sold to an American (broadcaster) and therefore needing English speaking voices to translate the original lines. I ended up getting the roles of two characters. One voice was a very screechy, evil bird character and for the audition I went way out of my voice range. Then when it came time to do the actual read for the show, the character had tons of lines. I strained myself big time. Pretty sure I may have collapsed a lung…
J.T.: With your comedy, your approach is so deadpan…do some audiences have difficulty in picking up on the subtleties of your act?
Dave: Sometimes a few audience members just don’t get it… and they are always asked to leave. No, not really…I’m just kidding. I usually try and play off their not following me with a series of random audience involvement comments. After doing standup comedy this long, I know I may have to make adjustments from time to time to please all audiences.
J.T.: What is your ultimate Spinal Tap moment?
Dave: A booker once scheduled me to headline ‘ a club’ in Napa Valley, California. I had visions of smart, jaded audiences sipping fine wine and appreciating my most obscure comments. Turned out to be a biker bar. Before the show was over a biker chick came up on stage and tried to wrestle me to the ground.
To save face, I made cracks about the absurdity of it all, which only seemed to make her angrier. Fortunately, her 300 pound boyfriend found that part of the show amusing and I was allowed to settle up and leave without being maimed or beheaded.
You can check out Dave Dugan live at Wiley’s Comedy Niteclub at 101 Pine St. on Thursday June 9th at 8:00pm, Friday June 10th at 9:00pm and June 11th at 8:00pm and 10:30pm. Tickets range from $5 to $12, but for our DaytonMostMetro.com readers, you can mention you read this article when you make your reservations and receive a two for one admission price.