by Ryan Meehan
Comedian TJ Del Reno has been seen in many sketches on Collegehumor.com such as Friends with Benefits Wedding, Spank Bank and Electric Company Ad as well as the MTV College Humor TV show. He was featured in the 2007 NY Comedy Festival alongside HBO’s Robert Kelley and has hosted shows that included comedians such as Dave Chappelle, Dave Attell, Chris Rock, and Tommy Davidson. He performs at clubs and colleges all over the country with his diversity comedy tour Black, White, and Red All Over. He is a voice over artist as well who has done commercial work including Capri Sun’s tag line “Respect the Pouch”, Best Buy, Tidy Cats, Dannon Danimals and many radio spots including AT&T, McDonald’s, Wendy’s and more. TJ has voiced cartoon characters for Three Delivery, Yu-Gi-Oh 5D and video games such as BULLY, GTA: The Ballad of Gay Tony and I AM ALIVE. As an improviser he was part of Scotchatory Tape, an improv troupe that toured the country and performed at The Del Close Marathon at The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. He is also UCB trained under Bobby Moynihan from SNL, a few members of the UCB house troupe “The Stepfathers” Zach Woods, Silvija Ozols and Ari Voukydis from VH1. In his spare time he is an avid gamer so look him up on XBOX Live under TeeJayPrime. You can also find him on Facebook or dust off that old Myspace and leave him a comment, and he’s our guest today in 5 questions.
RM: I have to ask this first: Is voiceover work the easiest money in the entertainment industry? How does one train themselves or acquire training to become a voiceover artist?
TJDR: Easy, not really but it does take talent and being able to take direction well in a certain amount of time. Most spots are in seconds like 15, 30, 45, 60 and the producer may ask you to read a spot 2 seconds faster, no more, no less. Voice over doesn’t take memorizing, learning blocking or expressing emotion with your face. It’s all through just your voice. Simple answer: Yes, it’s the easiest. Training? No I did not train to be a voice over artist. I am a comedian and just fell into this whole thing. After a while you just get better at reading and taking direction. You can take classes and find an agent but it’s just doing it over and over really gets you better.
RM: What about the digital short format is so appealing to you?
TJDR: We are all glued to our smart phones, laptops and tablets so if you are in a Starbucks ( like I am now writing to you) and you want to pass the time you go on youtube or Facebook and enjoy a nice two minute sketch. I find that if a video is on the internet and it’s five or more minutes I usually won’t watch it unless it’s a good friend of mine. I love doing Vines on my phone and I love watching them. Vine is a great app!
RM: You host a video game podcast called “Unlimited Lives”…What’s the dumbest video game ever released and why? In your opinion, what is the greatest video game of all time?
TJDR: The show used to be on SiriusXM Radio and it was AWESOME! Now it’s a podcast on iTunes and it’s still AWESOME. The dumbest video game of all time? Two Worlds II was an RPG and the worst game of all time. You spent the whole game leveling up and creating a powerful character. The final battle is against a dragon and you just fire ballistas at it. So you DIDN’T NEED A POWERFUL CHARACTER AT ALL. The best is tied between Half Life 2, Bioshock and Fallout 3. All three narrative masterpieces, revolutionary and great game play. I replay those games all the time and swear by them as the best.
RM: What’s the most important thing that you learned in your training with the Upright Citizens Brigade? Of the four founding members, which one have you worked with the most?
TJDR: Agreement and support is pretty important at UCB. I met and performed with a lot of great, amazing people and made some great friends. It’s all about support and the community is amazing and loving. I love doing stuff at UCB. As for the UCB four I took classes when they were all in L.A. already. I worked with Matt Walsh in a workshop once a year ago and it was awesome. He’s so nice, and cool.
RM: You did a standup tour called “Black, White, and Red All Over” so I have to ask…Do you think that the Washington Redskins’ name is offensive?
TJDR: Well it is offensive on a base level but I think this country is WAY too sensitive about “offending” people. It’s actually sickening all the times someone in sports or TV have to apologize on air about saying something “offensive”. We turned into a country of overly sensitive babies. So not really I mean I hate sports so I don’t really care but the team has been around so long who cares.
RM: What’s up next for you in 2014? Anything big in the works that we should know about?
TJDR: I am working on a great web series called “With Friends Like These” with my buddy Christopher Graves, Ryan Blackwell and it’s directed by my friend Matt Scott who worked with Funny or Die and won awards for a short in the 48 hour film fest. I am also in a pilot called “The Spirit Seeker” with Mary Birdsong (The Daily Show, Reno 911, Disney’s Crash & Bernstein), Romey Rosemont (Glee), Michael Blakelock (Don’t trust the B in apt 23) and Brian Huskey (Children’s Hospital, The Onion, Veep). It was such a great shoot and it’s being pitched now. Also I do a lot of voice over so you’ll hear my voice as the Super 8 Hotel sign in 2014 on TV!
Official Website: http://www.tjdelreno.com/
TJ on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/TJ–Del–Reno/56920639135
TJ on Twitter: https://twitter.com/tjdelreno
Once again thanks for visiting First Order Historians and enjoying more of the internet’s finest in user generated content.