Become the voice of Zozobra: Tryouts to be held in Santa Fe soon

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The search is on for the new voice of Old Man Gloom.

Only a handful of people have had the honor of voicing those Zozobra moans and groans throughout the decades – did you know it used to be an animal recording?

“Will Shuster, back in the 1930s, actually got a recording of a lion growling and they could never get the recording to match up with the mouth movement,” said Ray Sandoval, the Zozobra events chair. “Some years he would burn faster or slower, so they decided they couldn’t do that.”

Since then, someone has had the honor of voicing Zozobra. Now, the Kiwanis Club of Santa Fe, the organization that puts on the event, is looking for the next voice.

“It’s a very critical part of the show, the voice of Zozobra is critical to making the event become alive,” Sandoval said. “It’s a fine line between too much and not enough to where if someone does the voice in a way that makes it comical, it really detracts from the actual event in which you are really fighting this evil spirit.

The person who gets it should anticipate having the job for years to come, including the mega 100th-anniversary celebration in 2024.

Mark your calendars! Tryouts will happen July 9 at the Scottish Rite Center in Santa Fe.