Thursday, September 27, 2012

Interview with ADAM HOWDEN

Welcome to The Chatty Cat Cafe!

Those of you who've followed me for a while know I used to post pet-centered interviews under the Cafe title, back on my old blog.

A few of those interviews were saved and appear on my website.

But I haven't done any more....UNTIL NOW.   **trumpet fanfare**

Have you been listening to the audio version of Wicked Beloved and wondered, who is the exceedingly talented and sexy fella reading this? Wonder no longer!

Yes, today the Chatty Cat is privileged to present.... oh, who am I kidding.... Today the Chatty Cat is squeeeeeing like a teenaged fangirl on a half-crazed sugar high because our guest is the one and only:


If you play video games at all, you'll be familiar with his work. He's all over:

Dragon Age: Origins
Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening
Fable III
Star Wars: The Old Republic
as well as starring in:
Lost Horizon (Fenton Paddock)
Xenoblade Chronicles (Shulk) (English version)
The Adventures of Tintin: The Game (Tintin)

And he has acquired his own Estrogen Brigade from playing Anders in Dragon Age II.

On stage he starred as Malevole/Altofront in The Malcontent, plus he has guested in several television programs, like New Tricks.

Adam in The Malcontent

And, as I said, now he has narrated the audiobook version of Wicked Beloved. (Squee! Such a sexy voice!)

So, yes, right there my gaming and writing worlds collide. 

Luckily I am a professional.



Okay. Not that much of a professional. (major Twitter crush)

Amazingly, because he is an extra-special, patient, and very, very nice person, he agreed to be interviewed by drooling fangirl me.

So here we go:

Welcome to The Chatty Cat Cafe! First off, tea or coffee? How do you like it served?

Tea, well brewed, milk, half teaspoon of sugar.

The focus here is generally on pets and you’re famous for being a Kind Hearted Cat Lover. Please introduce us to your cats.

I have two black cats. They are called Frankie & Goose. Frankie is very pretty (he's a bit of a girl). He wears a collar & has white armpit hair. He's also a bit chubby. Goose is a bit more rough around the edges, but still very handsome.

How did you come up with the names Frankie and Goose?

I actually didn't have the honour of naming Frankie & Goose. They were from a rescue centre. I think they'd already had several owners before me & presumably one of them named them. They are from the same litter though, brothers, so they've always had each other.  

What are their favorite treats?

Goose likes treats. His favourites are these smelly biscuits called Dreamies, but he's also partial to a bit of smoked salmon. Frankie won't eat treats. Don't know why. He'd rather eat more than his fair share of his normal dried food.

Favorite places for napping?

Goose likes to either sleep on my bed (especially when I've just changed the sheets), or on rough surfaces like wicker baskets. Frankie likes to sleep in enclosed spaces. Under duvets or in his little cat hut, which is like a very small tent. They're both fond of the sofa too.

Which of your characters/performances would you say best represents the ethos of each of your cats and why?

Goose is like a character I played in a play called MARY STUART called "The Earl of Leicester", who was Queen Elizabeth I’s favourite at court. He behaves all smooth & cavalier & is a bit of a user but really he's a bit insecure & needs love & reassurance.
Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester. Historical Hottie.

Frankie is more like my character "Anders" who I voiced in the video game DRAGON AGE 2. He's pretty loyal, loving & very determined (especially when he wants to get into a room when the door is closed or under my duvet in the middle of the night) He appears to be a softy but he sometimes goes absolutely crazy like he's possessed (like Anders). He's given me some nasty bites & scratches before.
Anders in Dragon Age 2
Do you get nerves before performances? How do you relax?

I do get nervous before any performance whether it's stage, screen or voice over. I just have to say to myself "you'll love it when you're doing it so get on with it". You just have to dive in & at some point the nerves subside & you start to enjoy the performance.

How do you warm up before performing?

To warm up I do vocal & physical exercise. The vocal involves lots of scales & I will sometimes sing songs. Also I do tongue twisters like repeating "Red Leather, Yellow Leather" & "I'm not pheasant plucker, I'm a pheasant plucker's son. And I'm only plucking pheasants till the pheasant plucker comes." The latter one can sound quite interesting if you mess it up.
I do loads of stretching for physical warm ups.

What's your favorite song to sing?

Songs I might sing to warm my voice up are "Shimmer" by a band called FUEL, "Folding Stars" by BIFFY CLYRO & "Friday I'm In Love" by THE CURE.

If life were a musical, what would be your theme song?

If life were a musical, my theme song would be "Hasa Diga Eebowai" from THE BOOK OF MORMON. It's so funny & outrageous. I love it.

You can act and you can sing - are you a triple threat? Can you dance?

I am possibly one of the worst dancers mankind has ever known, so unfortunately I'm not that kind of "Triple Threat", no. I probably have some comedy value though.

If you had complete artistic control and money was no object, what play/movie/game/book/whatever would you choose to star in and why?

If money was no object & I had full artistic control I would want to write, star & direct a movie about my mother's side of the family living in East Africa in the 1960's. I would play my grandfather. I've been told so many amazing stories of their time there & having visited there myself I want others to see what a beautiful place it is. It's all in my head, I just need to write the bugger ;)

I know you write comedy sketches—are you working on anything currently? Is comedy your favorite genre to write?

I'm hoping to film some more comedy sketches soon. It's hard because you're often depending on other people's availability & there's no budget. But I do it because it's fun. I like writing & performing comedy because I am very childish.

How was recording an audiobook different from recording for games and adverts?

Recording an audiobook takes a lot more time than games or adverts. So it takes a lot of patience on both my part & the sound engineer. You know you're going to be sat at a mic for hours reading aloud, which is not something we tend to do much of in the 21st century, so it's important to try to be as relaxed as possible. Don't get angry at yourself when you cock-up & try to be as prepared as possible.

And lastly, getting back to the pet theme I wandered away from, do you have any advice for someone thinking of getting a cat?

My advice to anyone thinking of getting a cat is to get one from a rescue centre. The chances are it'll be much more fun & intelligent than some inbred pedigree breed & you won't have to worry that people are going to steal it. Also, the rescue centre will have had it health checked, neutered & micro-chipped. There is no need to spend hundreds of pounds for a cat. You can get yourself a wonderful bundle of fluff for the cost of a small donation to the rescue centre.

Thank you so much for doing this!! 

Y'all can follow Adam on Twitter to keep up with his exploits. 

And you can buy his reading of Wicked Beloved on Audible or iTunes.