Danny Shorago [Interview]

Photo by Erin Stone

Strap on your strap on folks, we have an amazing thrill ride of an interview for you all! Today we are talking with the wildly eccentric and creative individual known by his birth (configured?) name, Danny Shorago. He is an amazingly talented actor, voice over artist, writer/director, and musician who has worked on some amazing projects in his career, including being the frontman for the incredibly original band, The Fuxedos.

But, I have a feeling that I know why most of you are here. Danny is the man who provided the voice of the infamous Hancock from the wildly popular, and biggest reason of time consumption in my personal life, Fallout 4. He is the chew-loving ghoul who rules Goodneighbor with sharp dagger and a heart of gold. He’s one of the most creative character that the Fallout world has ever produced, and the good folks at Bethesda made the amazing decision to cast a hilarious and brilliant artist who was not only a brilliant fit in the voice over department, but has a personality that is as original and forthright as the character he was born to speak for.

And it would be behoove me to give a shout out to all of the Fallout Wastelanders (what up Junior Alvarez and fam!) out there who are tuning in right about now. We started showcasing the Fallout world about a year ago, and have continued to receive some lovely praise for all of the fine fans of the series that has affected (infected?) our lives so very much. Danny, please know that this is an interview that are YOUR people. I am a huge fan of your work in the Fallout universe, and have in turn become a huge fan of your entire catalog. Thank you to the Wastelanders and Danny for being so wonderful. And for the rest of you….hey. How you doing’?

So Ladies and Gentlemen, please enjoy one of the most fun and brilliantly answered interviews we have had on TWS we have ever had. For long time readers, gear yourself up for a J.D. Shapiro (the Battlefield Earth/Robin Hood: Men In Tights) guy, remember him?, like collection of answers. He is a fine individual, and I am certain we will be showcasing his work in the future, if he would do us the honor. Enjoy!

When did you know that you wanted to be in the world of entertainment as a musician? Was it always a passion for you from a young age?

I remember watching squirrels mate outside my treehouse one sunny summer day, long ago. The rhythm of the male squirrel thrusting into his mate was relentless but unconventional. Instead of the usual 4/4 pumping (4 beats per measure, quarter note gets one count), his procreative pounding shifted frequently between such challenging, asymmetrical musical meters as 13/8, 17/16, and 43/32 (43 beats per measure, 32nd note gets one count). And his mate, meanwhile, screeched along polyrhythmically in a series of modal scales clearly influenced by both Ottoman and Byzantine musical history. It turns out they had both traveled to the US as stowaways on a commercial barge from Bulgaria, where they had clearly absorbed the local folk music on an impressively cellular level. Listening to them rut away like that changed the way I perceive rhythm and harmony — and set me on the singular musical course I travel to this day.

But, golly — that “E” word gives me hives. “Entertainment” always compels me to think of game show hosts and surreality TV and sitcoms and the treacly, formulaic shit oozing out of commercial radio stations: disposable, shiny, focus-grouped corporate product designed to be consumed, digested, and excreted instantly, and to distract people from more pressing things. Call me a fancy lad, but I prefer the “A” word. No, not “asshole” — “artist.”

When did you realize you could have so much success in the world of voice over work? Was it something you have always done?

Indeed — VO is something I’ve always done. Wanting nothing but the best for me, my parents provided me with a rigorous schedule of enrichment activities from the moment of my conception. Immediately post-fertilization, a tiny microphone, mic stand, and popper stopper were surgically implanted in my mother’s womb — along with tiny audio recordings of commercial, narration, animation, video game, and promo voiceovers for reference.

I first knew I could attain so much success in the field after my debut audition. I walked out of the studio booth with a massive grin on my face and an effervescent bounce in my step, confident that I had absolutely nailed the panoply of characters I had potently hurled into that mic. Of course, I subsequently heard absolutely nothing back about that one. Aw, showbiz: it’s a cruel, random, absurdly vicious game that ain’t for the faint of heart, the weak of liver, or the feeble of kidney. Stay in school, kids.

How do you enjoy the work itself? Is it cool to go to work in just whatever clothing you would like?

I enjoy the work as much as a puma enjoys sinking its frothing fangs into the juicy flank of a desperately sprinting mule deer. I primarily audition from home, a strictly “clothing optional” environment. But although I prefer to audition in my natural, edenic, unclothed state, I rarely record actual sessions in the nude. Instead, when I head to the studio, I ritualistically don a star-spangled, red-white-and-blue jumpsuit that was personally donated to me by legendary stuntman/maverick/American hero Evel Knievel. It’s heavily padded in case of unexpected bouts of studio violence, and includes a diaper compartment for those long sessions where you just don’t want to break your creative flow or I’m gunning furiously for a deadline. It also includes a fetching, sparkly, visored motorcycle helmet equipped inside with its own proprietary, highly advanced, five-point-one surround sound contact microphone technology — which enables me to capture a vocal timbre unlike anyone else’s in the business, motherfuckers.

What has the fan reaction been like since you worked on Fallout 4 as the wonderful companion Hancock? Do you find Fallout fans to be different from other groups of fans?

Except for that pack of women perpetually camped out in the hills above my home, my fans have been zealous — but not overly so. Like a fine scotch, my fans reveal subtle hints of caramel, leather, dried fruit, cedar wood, and smoky peat. Like an exquisite symphony, they provide a richly dynamic, nuanced, immaculately orchestrated, and profoundly enriching emotional experience. Like a monster truck show, they provide terrifying heart-racing thrills, the furious spectacle of brutally violent collisions, and deliciously sumptuous corn dogs for purchase at the concession stand outside the main arena. Unlike many other groups of fans, they clearly value panache and dashing charisma over conventional good looks. No, we’re not talking about my face, you jerks! We’re talking about Hancock’s. You know, the guy with a complexion like venison jerky but a heart o’ solid goddamn gold. Clearly, their priorities are in the right place.

I am very intrigued by something called The Fuxedos. Can you tell us a bit about what it is? How did this come about?

Oh, wonderful — thanks for asking. Unsurprisingly, the offspring of the aforementioned Bulgarian immigrant squirrels all turned out to be musical prodigies. I attempted to form an ensemble with the seven of them. But although they possessed tremendous talent, they suffered from both a severe lack of discipline, and from serious substance abuse problems. They’d routinely show up drunk or stoned to our rehearsals and gigs, with only a superficial knowledge of the material. Their intoxication and idleness were rivaled only by their belligerence, which they’d unpredictably unleash on club owners, patrons, and each other. It was a bad scene, man! Ultimately, I was forced to fire each and every one of the furry little bastards. When they attempted to ambush me in a dark alley outside of the club after our final, disastrous gig together, I had no choice but to mercilessly slaughter them all — and then, after removing the blood stains, make a coat from their silky, sleek fur.

I still have that coat. When I’m feeling dejected about the sorry state of live music in today’s virtual reality-obsessed world, I put on a Frank Zappa record and that coat…caress it nostalgically…pour out a 40 for my slain former collaborators…and flash a knowing, world-weary smile. Sometimes a man just has to slaughter squirrels, you know.

Since then, I’ve strictly employed humanoids in the band — and have found the results to be far more gratifying:


The Fuxedos – pic: Mike Dunkley/Paul Zollo with Myles Boisen, Kenny Leath
Poodle Point/IMG_2853/IMG_2656: Ale Robles

What does the future hold for you? Anything you would like to plug to our readers?

Ah, but the future is unwritten, my friend — a tabula rasa upon which nothing is yet engraved. And the way things are regressing out there, there’s no guarantee we’ll make it to Thursday. However, assuming life on earth still exists in some sort of semi-civilized form, I’ll be returning as a guest of Magic City Con in Birmingham, Alabama from June 8 to 10 of this year. On June 9, I’ll be dressin’ up as my favorite ghoul mayor — in a new ‘n improved Hancock mask courtesy of the lovely ‘n talented Emma Campbell of Pink Mist FX  — for my debut VIP event: the only event I’ll be performing at and cosplaying for all weekend (and quite possibly, all year). C’mon out and join me, Ghoulettes and Fancox!


What was the last thing that made you smile?

When I last recalled that, in five billion years, our sun will swell into a massive red giant and then expire. Th-th-th-that’s all, folks!

For all of you die-hard Hancock/Fallout 4 fans out there, check out this incredible video of Danny performing “The Wanderer” as Hancock at Magic City Comic Con in 2017 via his YouTube page:

About rontrembathiii
write. write. write.

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