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Two months have gone by as the revamped and refocused Monkey Island Speech Project started its course. The project was originally launched in October 2008 by Joe Davison and was dedicated to providing voices for the characters of Secret of Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge (as the first part of the series didn’t seem to be technically viable for such a feat at the time). Amused by the sheer arrogance of the idea, mixnmojo has granted it with a nice home address.

Soon after the launch all the main talents set to work. The voice of the beloved Guybrush Threepwood has been receiving an excellent treatment at the hands of Justin Franklin. During the process he accidentally became also the best candidate for the role of the fearsome Ghost Pirate LeChuck! Yet he couldn’t do The Voodoo Lady, so the role was taken over by the amazing Marily Nika. Several minor roles have been cast as well. The Proof-of-Concepts abounded. The hopes were high.

After a while things have gone in a bit of a slump unfortunately. In December various circumstances have brought Joe Davison to leave the project. It has been taken over by David Rogers and, as still little was done for the sequel, he changed the project’s direction to first completing the speech for the original Secret of Monkey Island (much less dialogue lines there!). Only after that feat will the team come back to the second game. And so the great enterprise continues. Even Ron Gilbert himself has recently expressed his support and interest!

So where do I fit into all this? Well, I’m one of those not fully professional voice talents who nevertheless hope to do the game justice. I have been along since the project’s beginning. It’s a lot of fun for such a longtime Monkey Island fan as myself. Originally I was cast as the Barkeep (aka Bartender) for MI2, but currently I’m begging for a role in MI1. Meanwhile, together with David, Nojan and Martin I became a part of the Casting Crew – a group known for making trouble at the Director’s Den. Lately, I decided to keep a sort of personal diary (you are reading it now) describing for both present and future generations how things are going along yet without revealing any of the constant plotting and unexpected twists that go on behind the scenes (well ok, maybe just little hints of them).

Basically what is going on at the moment is that we are receiving quite a few, but not that many auditions. Some people already auditioned, got cast and even got lines recorded. Concurrently, Justin turned himself entirely to doing LeChuck. None of it would be of any good though if not for Charlie Chai – our resident Scummmaster (taking over after Joe). Not only did he rapidly master the JestarJokin tools, but he also made it possible to modify the game’s credits and reintroduced the close up shot of Spiffy the Dog into the game!

So as of now all is great, but there still remains a legion of uncast roles. We receive very few applications from Elaines or women in general. Surprising, as Carla the Swordmaster is quite a character and a large role as well.Β  Curiously, Bob the Ghost appears to be one of the most popular characters, but still no candidate is a sure bet. The key to Bob is being able to conjur up the necessary amount of “pain and misery”. πŸ˜‰

By the way, we may soon start bothering some real actors for help so, in case you haven’t, better start auditioning as soon as possible if you don’t think you can stand a chance against them later! I must say, I should heed my own advice as well. Hopefully, the next time I write about the project I’ll be able to attach a sample of my own successful audition for a character role.

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Note: You can always check all the important progress at the official site.

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