Declan P. Burke at your service. I'm an Ontarian born, British Columbia dwelling Voice Actor, Writer, and Producer. I'm also a hobbyist artist, photographer, and web designer with a healthy and growing interest in branching into music and animation. Needless to say, I'm the kind of person who can usually find something to keep themselves occupied. I've had quite a journey to get to the starting line of this race, and I thought I would share a bit of it here to give you an idea of who exactly I am.
I may be a creative by trade, but I am first and foremost a philosopher. The academic roots of the title do the work little justice. There's a reason people treat philosophy as an easy credit, or as the intellectual equivalent of fancy tassels on a bicycles handlebars; cute and maybe endearing, but not really worth anyone's time and money with more important things to worry about. But what could be more important that understanding? People often think that means knowing, and thus the academic connotation comes back with a vengeance. But in the immortal words of Speed Levitch on the bridge in Waking Life: "Life understood is life lived." I don't want to spend my life trying to understand things in abstracts, and while much of what we consider philosophy today is certainly that, the heart of a philosophers life has always been in the waking world of life, finding reasons for something as trivial as choosing tea or coffee in the morning, or pork vs chicken for dinner in the evening. To live is to choose, and to fail to choose is to live life as if you'd already died. So I choose a creative life, a positive life, and a full life. And I hope some of that life will help others live their lives a little easier, a little brighter, and of course, a little more creatively.
I grew up in rural south eastern Ontario, along the Great Lakes themselves in the Limestone City of Kingston. I spent much of my youth engrossed in stories from every medium, growing up on the cusp of the internet age in a wild surrounding that afforded me ample opportunities to express and act out the fantasies that filled my waking moments. Video games, TV, movies, cartoons, and the early internet sent me around the universe and back again, instilling a life long passion for being more than myself. Long before I would pick up Sartre I had learned one of existentialism's most important lessons; I was free to be whatever I wanted, even if only in my own mind. But that spark led to pack after pack of printer paper being devoured by my desire to illustrate my adventures. Page after page of notebook filled with fragments of stories (none ever completed before a better idea came to me), and lego and action figures played out galaxy spanning epics across the basement floor. Though its only occurred to me recently, the stage was already set for my path in life to becoming a creative. My childhood overall was quiet socially, my rural home allowing only a few close friends at most. My teen years were similarly socially restricted, though with the added complications of teen angst, strife, and general stupidity that warrants little mention. Suffice to say, my early years while formative were nevertheless lacking in something to truly crystallize my path in life.
Kingston gave way to Waterloo, and life at university. It was a turbulent time for me without question. Early on I realized academia was not the way I should have gone in life, and yet there I now was, and a part of me still wanted to see it through. Five years of schooling later, and with two years of teaching, I had a chance encounter at a convention with a voice actress from Vancouver, and after sharing in a good conversation (and realizing we even shared alumni status at the same institution), I was galvanized to stop chasing success and start chasing my dreams again. So out went any thought of grad school and more exams, and much to my parents chagrin, their honour student turned sharply onto the dangerous path of the artist. With some cajoling though, they were convinced to aid me in my creative crusade, and within a year or so I had left the province of my birth behind, and established my humble presence in Hollywood North's foothills, ready and more than willing to do what was necessary to turn my dream into reality.
Today, I am proud to say that I am becoming the person I want to be. I've been working furiously in numerous areas, from writing to art to videography to photography, to bring my visions and voices to life. I've had the privilege of knowing and working with numerous creative people on several interesting and entertaining projects. I have rediscovered love for talents I forgot I had, and discovered new talents I never imagined I could have. Rather than losing what my education has given me, it's given those skills and knowledge new focus for a new context, tested my thoughts and beliefs, and made me all the stronger for it. So as I move forward with everything I have planned, I'd like to thank you for taking the time to watch, read, think about, and enjoy my work. There's a great deal more to come.
Declan P. Burke
The Vocal Philosopher