Theatre Graduate Gives Voice to Explorer’s Story
During the past few years, Jack di Golia (Theatre and Dance, ’74) has narrated 90 audiobooks for Audible.com, done e-learning narration for major companies, and provided voices for video games and commercials. His favorite project has been the dark detective series Dirty Deeds by Armand Rosamilia, for which he recently won an Earphone Award from Audio File Magazine.
“My UC Davis drama degree gave me the acting basics that all these years later have bubbled up to the surface and enabled me to dive into voice acting,” said di Golia, who retired in 2008 from a career as a U.S. Forest Service public affairs officer and a National Park Service interpretive ranger. “I did have to tone it down -- I didn't need to project to the back row of the theatre anymore. The audience is the microphone, and it's right there.”
One of his most recent projects, A Journal of Ramblings Through the High Sierras of California, is also connected to his time at UC Davis. While researching a paper for a geography class in his senior year, di Golia came across journals by explorer Joseph Le Conte. Le Conte, a professor at the University of California, took 10 of the new university’s 40 students on the six-week journey to Yosemite Valley, the High Sierra and Lake Tahoe in 1870. The journals were first published in 1875 and republished in 1900 in the Sierra Club Bulletin.
“It’s a great tale,” di Golia said. “LeConte and his students faced hardships of weather and terrain. They had difficulties with their horses and finding trails, and the weather made the men broil and freeze. But in spite all of the harsh conditions, LeConte was enraptured by the awesome beauty. They met and traveled for a time with the young, but already brilliant John Muir. The journals give us a snapshot of the day, with observations about natural history and also social attitudes.”