First published March 4, 2017
Steven Langley II of Grass Valley performs the voice of Alfred Jackson in the Deer Creek documentary. Jackson is the character-narrator of the book, The Diary of a Forty-Niner,
“I believe that if it were not for the potatoes, that are fairly plenty, and the fact that the woods are full of game, we would all die of scurvy,” says Alfred.
I met Steven in 2011, when he came to my studio for portraits. He was impressive then, with his dance performances (he played the lead role as Prince in the Nutcracker for several years), but what I remembered most about Steven was his incredible voice.
When I decided to include Deer Creek references from the diary in the project, I knew, immediately that Steven was right for the job.
Between Alfred’s words and Steven’s voice, the viewer will gain a rich and evocative sense of day-to-day life for a young, caucasian, miner in the 1850’s.
Stay tuned for excerpts of Steven’s work in later posts.
From The Diary of a Forty-Niner, published in 1906:
“Inside the front cover bore the name of Alfred T. Jackson, Norfolk, Litchfield County, Conn., October 10, 1849. The entries range over a period of two years and the people referred to were persons who actually existed, not only in Nevada County, California, at the time covered by the diary, but also in his New England birthplace.”
“The editor can add that the many incidents and happenings so simply noted, tragic and otherwise, have been verified, both by local tradition and the testimony of old-timers still living, and that the diary gives a veracious, faithful and comprehensive picture of the pioneer miner’s life in the early “Fifties.”
If you liked this post, check out Miners Provisions – 1850 Food Prices featuring Steven’s voice work.