Spotlight On Narrator Gary Dikeos--From Thrillers To Romance





Gary Dikeos has a fascinating background.  It was a pleasure working with him.  His audio quality is superb.  He easily became Noah, my hero in FALLING FOR HER BOSS, with a depth of feeling that increased with each chapter.  I hope you enjoy getting to know him a little better.



Where did you grow up?

I moved around a lot as a kid and lived all over the world!  Our family moved every two to four years back and forth from Washington DC to somewhere overseas.  I'm from a lot of places!

What was your schooling?

I attended American University for a couple of years, then George Mason University for a couple of years, and I finally graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in political science.

How did you train to become a narrator?

First, I studied to be an actor when I moved to Los Angeles in 2001.  I took several classes in voice over and then I took a two-year Meisner acting program.  I was cast in several plays and student films in Los Angeles.  Then I took an audiobook class from Pat Fraley in Los Angeles in 2010.  One of the guest teachers in Pat's class was from Random House Los Angeles and he ended up casting me in my first book--POWERLESS by Matthew Cody--a young adult title.

What's been your experience with narrating so far?

After my first title with Random House, I went to the Audiobook Publishers Association Conference in New York and was able to meet other audiobook publishers.  I started working with Blackstone Audio, Oasis Audio, Brilliance Audio, Harper Audio and Audible, Inc.

Do you listen to audiobooks?

I listen to snippets of audiobooks of narrators I like.  I really don't have time to listen much at all.

Did you read a lot as a kid?  As an adult?

I did read a lot as a kid and now I love to read mostly thrillers and mysteries and action/adventure novels.  I also love history books.

Why did you begin narrating audiobooks?

I'd wanted to narrate for a long time but was working in an unrelated industry for many years doing meeting and event planning which requires a time-consuming and demanding schedule.

How do you know what voice to use for each character?

I let the emotion of the action dictate the voice and also the character and physical description helps!

How do you keep them straight?

I punch record using Pro Tools when I narrate in my home studio and I prepare a separate character track beneath my main recording track.  I name and copy a sentence or two of each character and I can call them up if I forget what the character sounded like. 

Do you feel you "become" the characters as you narrate?

I don't feel I become the character, but I can get deeply involved in the feeling and the situation the character is going through, depending on the level of the writing.

Do you read the book before you start or do you narrate scene by scene?

I pre-read the titles as much as possible.  I don't want to be caught finding out at the end of the book that the main character has a New York accent!

What is the toughest part of narrating?

The toughest part of narrating for me is maintaining the energy of the story throughout the many hours of recording over several days.  The key is trying to keep the same tone and energy from day to day and maintain it throughout.

How do you protect your voice?

I try not to go too long during the day, especially if I have a lot of characters who have deep, raspy voices with a lot of dialog.  They can irritate my voice after a while.  If I have a lot of deep raspy-voiced characters, I tend to drink more tea throughout the day!

Why narrate a romance?  What other genres are you narrating?

I wanted to narrate a romance because there are fewer men narrating romance titles and I think my vocal tone lends to the genre.  I mostly narrate thrillers, mysteries and sci-fi.  I also narrate non-fiction, history, young adult and Spanish titles.

What do you look for in an author's history to sway you toward narrating their book?

Amazon ranking and body of work are two things I look at when deciding to audition for a title.  I also read book reviews and ask friends and family what their thoughts are about the author/title.

What do you like to do most when you're not narrating?

I like spending time with my family, watching sports and traveling.

What are you planning next?

I'm currently working on a series of politically-driven international spy thrillers for Audible, Inc.

©2013 Karen Rose Smith

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