However, these voices, which range from such movie and television stars as Johnny Carson, Ed Sullivan, Sean Connery, Robert De Niro and Marlon Brando to political figures Ronald Reagan and even animated characters like “Bugs Bunny,” “Elmer Fudd” and “Bullwinkle the Moose,” ask only that he do voice impressions of them and he is glad to oblige.
English, a 33-year-old married father of two and a cancer survivor, has developed more than 40 voice impressions through the years and can instantly go from his regular speaking voice to, as he put it, “an actual star’s voice or that of an animated character.”
“My mom probably said it best,” added English, a Rex native and Henry County resident who works in a law firm. “She said one can never be sure what voice will come out of me at any moment.”
In addition to those already mentioned, his voice impressions also include actors Christopher Walken, Woody Allen, Bill Cosby and William Shatner as “Capt. Kirk” of “Star Trek” fame, plus a host of others.
Although English has not ventured out to use his voice impersonations to foster a professional career, it is a dream he has always had.
“I want to start doing my voice impressions in front of local groups, clubs and organizations, and then look for their reaction, especially making sure my impression is good enough and that they can easily identify the individual or character,” he said.
English, who also does cartoon illustrations and has already published a children’s book, said a good impressionist concentrates on both voice and mannerism to create what he calls, “the total package.”
His fascination with voice imitations started in the seventh grade, where several of his classmates described him as a “comedy junkie.”
“We had an impressionist to come to the school and he did different voices and I was hooked as I thought that was the neatest thing,” he said. “I have always enjoyed making people laugh and what better way to do it than imitating the voice of a well-known person or an animated character.”
English’s quest to be a recognized impressionist was all but halted in 1994 when he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. That summer, he under went eight surgical procedures and is now cancer free.