The Many Voices of Call of the Wild

By Anne Wharton

One moment he’s howling as Buck the dog, and then he’s embroiled in a bar fight… as both sides. Noel Gaulin stars as narrator, John Thornton, Buck and a whole host of other characters. The level of commitment he brings to the show is almost exhausting to watch, but you can’t look away.

Originally from San Antonio, Gaulin has been acting in Austin for ten years. He’s a member of Rude Mechs and Paper Chairs in Austin and he’s the sole actor onstage for ACC’s Call of the Wild.

ACC Drama, Austin Community College Drama Department, Noel Gaulin, Call of the Wild, Call of the Wild - Illustrated Edition, Austin Theater, Austin Drama
Noel Gaulin pours his energy into every vocal character he portrays.

What was the biggest challenge you faced in Call of the Wild?

Gaulin: Changing the mode of storytelling was a challenge. The story is meant to be read so the language is written for that intention. The challenge was to keep it fun, interesting, engaging. And yes, this is the most words I’ve ever spoken onstage.

What was it like to work with the multimedia aspect?

Gaulin: There’s no one to talk to onstage, so I’m actually grateful for the multimedia. I don’t feel alone. It’s like there’s another character in the story.

ACC Drama, Austin Community College Drama Department, Noel Gaulin, Call of the Wild, Call of the Wild - Illustrated Edition, Austin Theater, Austin Drama
Noel Gaulin as one of the many characters in Call of the Wild.

How did you develop such a broad range of vocal characters?

Gaulin: My first goal was to find the voice of the narrator. He was my baseline. Then I had to find the voice of Buck, the main character. And from there I got really big and had fun making them extreme and distinct. You make them larger to life the point of almost making caricatures… almost.

ACC Drama, Austin Community College Drama Department, Noel Gaulin, Call of the Wild, Call of the Wild - Illustrated Edition, Austin Theater, Austin Drama
Noel Gaulin pulls the audience into the performance with his focus.

How did the setting influence your performance?

Gaulin: The environment was everything at the time. It influenced people’s lives a lot more than now. You had to deal with the environment, the conditions. Conditions I’ve never felt, like freezing at below 10 degrees.

It creates a sense of perseverance – the story is about perseverance. It’s easy to be selfish in those conditions too. It’s more noble to do something for someone else given those harsh conditions. AND Jack London is brilliant to talk about all this through a dog.

What do you want the audience to get from the show?

Gaulin: We should be grateful for what we have. Remember to be inspired and believe in yourself. AND, I want people to come away wanting to read the book!

 

Call of the Wild – Illustrated Edition is free and open to the public. Click here to reserve your free ticket.

 

Photos by Anne Wharton.