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LOS ANGELES - I grew up listening to radio dramas. As a child, I memorized and recited the cheery jingles from children's shows like "Happy Theater." As I grew older, I thrilled to the adventure on shows like "Bobby Benson and the B-Bar-B Riders" and "Sergeant Preston and His Yukon King." The big city kid in Los Angeles listening only to the sound of actors' voices coming out of a box was transported to the dusty excitement of the old West by "The Lone Ranger" and "The Cisco Kid." I listened to film dramatizations on "Lux Radio Theater" to relive movies that I had enjoyed before or to "see" those that I had missed. Radio was my magic transporter. And my conjurors were the actors that brought the stories to life - with only their voices, accompanied by sound effects, they magically took me to another place, another time and new sensations. I loved radio.

Radio was wonderful story telling. It was the ancient tradition of sharing a tale around the campfire - except that my campfire was a radio in our living room. It was the technological campfire of the times. The whole family gathered around the radio to be chilled by thrillers like "The Shadow."

Vocal storytelling still exists today. But it's not all on radio anymore. It's called "books on tape." There are superb readings of novels on audio tape. For those who commute long distances in their cars, it's a great way to "read" a novel as they drive. People taking public transportation can listen to them on their way to work. Hospitalized people can listen as they recuperate. I love audio tapes as I used to love radio dramas. They keep alive the wonder of spoken storytelling. And now that I am a professional actor, I am among those storytellers. I've enjoyed reading many novels onto audio tape. Of course, there are the Star Trek novelizations, but I've also read onto tape such classics as the "Sherlock Holmes" novels. I particularly enjoyed reading my own autobiography, "To The Stars," on tape. I'm happy that there is a medium where the simple sound of an actor's voice can stimulate the imagination and vicariously take the listener on fictional as well as autobiographical journeys.

After the cancellation of the "Star Trek" television series, we worked on the voices of our characters on the animated version of "Star Trek." It became another unexpected extension of the "Star Trek" phenomenon. I must confess, however, that working on the cartoon version was not as satisfying as acting in the television version because the scenes weren't read with the other actors. I did the voice of Sulu solo without my colleagues to bounce off of. It wasn't as much fun. But it was still using our vocal tool to give life to our characters. Actually, voice acting could be more challenging because that tool alone -- with only the rather stiff animation as the visuals -- had to tell the story. I'd like to think that the voice of the actor is still essential to the recounting of a good story.

Indeed, accelerating advances in technology have shot up the use of the vocal tool for Star Trek storytelling to amazing heights. For the last few years, I've been working with Interplay Entertainment Corp. on a series of Star Trek CD Rom games called Starfleet Command and another called Klingon Academy. This is no longer sitting around the old campfire merely listening to a story as it is told. CD Rom games suck the listener directly into the narrative as active participants in Star Trek adventures. And there I am as Captain Sulu, blazing across astoundingly real galaxies blasting away at Klingons - and the "listeners" are right there engaged with me as wily adversaries or full, decision making partners. My next one for Interplay, "Star Trek: Shattered Universe," will have Captain Sulu on the USS Excelsior caught in the mirror universe from the television episode, "Mirror, Mirror." My vocal chords are already aching to become the viciously scarred Sulu and then the heroic Sulu that we all know and love. The vocal challenges will be bracing.

This medium of work also provides the relief of greater scheduling flexibility than does acting on film or television. Voice work has granted me the blessing of maintaining my career, and, at the same time, managing the unpredictable needs of my mother's continuing illness. If problems should crop up at home, recording calls could be rescheduled without causing too much inconvenience to too many others. With film or television work, rearranging shooting schedules would be well nigh impossible. So, over the past month, I've been able to do voice work on Disney's new CD Rom game, "Freelancers," and animated shows such as "Team Atlantis" and "Samurai Jack." Yet to air are such animated shows as "Jackie Chan" and another episode of "The Simpsons."

From the kid listening to that radio so long ago in Los Angeles and transported to adventures in the old West to the professional actor who now transports fans soaring into galactic explorations, the sound of the human voice has always been my charmed vehicle of transport.

Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

Have you ever been reading a book, watching a movie, or even sitting down for a fantastical cartoon and began to salivate when the characters dig into some doozy of a made up food?

You're not alone.

Food is apparently fertile ground for creativity. Authors, movie directors, and animators all can't help but put a little extra time and effort into the process of making characters' tasty delights mouthwatering even for audiences on the other side of the screen.

Read on for a perfect mixture of nostalgia and hunger.

AllWhammyNoMorals asked, "What's a fictional food you've always wanted to try?"

Some people were all about the magical foods eaten in the magical places. They couldn't help but wish they could bite into something with fantastical properties and unearthly deliciousness.

Nutritious

"Enchanted golden apple" -- DabbingIsSo2015

"The Minecraft eating sounds make me hungry" -- FishingHobo

"Gotta love that health regeneration" -- r2celjazz

"Pretty sure those are based off the golden apples that grant immortality. Norse mythology I think?" -- Raven_of_Blades

Take Your Pick

"Nearly any food from Charlie and the Chocolate factory" -- CrimsonFox100

"Came here to say snozzberries!" -- Utah_Writer

"Everlasting Gobstoppers #1, but also when they're free to roam near the chocolate river and the entire environment is edible." -- devo9er

Peak Efficiency

"Lembas" -- Roxwords

"The one that fills you with just a bite? My fat a** would be making sandwiches with two lembas breads and putting bacon, avocado and cheese inside. Then probably go for some dessert afterwards. No wonder why those elves are all skinny, eating just one measly bite of this stuff." -- sushister

Some people got stuck on the foods they saw in the cartoons they watched growing up. The vibrant colors, the artistic sounds, and the exaggerated movements all come together to form some good-looking fake grub.

The One and Only

"Krabby patty 🍔" -- Cat_xox

"And a kelp shake" -- titsclitsntennerbits

"As a kid I always pretended burgers from McDonalds were Krabby Patties, heck from time to time I still do for the nostalgia of it all. Many of my friends did the same thing." -- Thisissuchadragtodo

Cheeeeeeeeese

"The pizza from an extremely goofy movie. The stringy cheese just looked magical lol" -- ES_Verified

"The pizza in the old TMNT cartoon as well." -- gate_of_steiner85

"Only bested by the pizza from All Dogs Go to Heaven." -- Purdaddy

Get a Big Old Chunk

"Those giant turkey drumsticks in old cartoons that characters would tear huge chunks out of. Those things looked amazing, turkey drumsticks in real life suck and are annoying to eat."

-- Ozwaldo

Slurp, Slurp, Slurp

"Every bowl of ramen on any anime, ever." -- Cat_xox

"Studio Ghibli eggs and bacon" -- DrManhattan_DDM

"Honestly, any food in anime. I swear to god half the budget no matter what the studio goes into making the food look absolutely delicious." -- Viridun

Finally, some highlighted the things that aren't quite so far-fetched, but still far enough away that it's nothing we'll be eating anytime soon.

That tease can be enough to make your mouth water.

What's In It??

"Butter beer" -- Damn_Dog_Inappropes

"came here to say this. i was pretty disappointed with the universal studio version which was over the top sweet. it was more of a butterscotch root beer. i imagine butter beer to be something more like butter and beer, which wouldn't be crazy sweet, but would have a very deep rich flavor" -- crazyskiingsloth

Slice of the Future

"The microwave pizzas in back to the future two" -- biggiemick91

"I've been fascinated with those for years! They just look so good!" -- skoros

As Sweet As They Had

"The Turkish Delight from Lion Witch & Wardrobe. The real ones I had weren't bad but nothing special." -- spoon_shaped_spoon

"Came here to say this. I know it's a real thing, but I always imagined that it must have been amazing to betray your siblings over." -- la_yes

"You're used to freely available too sweet sweets. For a WW2 era schoolkid, it would have represented all the sweets for an entire year." -- ResponsibleLimeade



Here's hoping you made it through the list without going into kitchen for some snack you didn't actually need.

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