Learning, Growing and Embracing My Geek
By Jonathan Cormur | Published on September 28, 2020 | 8 Minute Read
Tell us about yourself.
Hi, I’m Jonathan Murphy and my professional name is Jonathan Cormur. I grew up a different thinker and was diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum at 13. The diagnosis gave a name to my unique way of being and interacting with the world but it didn’t change anything in my life. I have always been fully accepted by my family, even when I didn’t accept myself. They helped me become the best “me” I could become by finding opportunities for me to learn, grow, and embrace my geek 😊.
Today, I’m a voice actor and storyteller who is a member of the Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) with agency representation. My character voices have appeared in video games, apps, audiobooks, and for 6 years I was the in-park voice for California’s Great America. I’m currently the host and storyteller of the Dorktales Storytime Podcast where I tell two kinds of original stories—Dorktales, slightly wacky and very geeky retellings of classic fairy tales and Hidden Heroes of History about real-life heroes who made history in ways you’d never imagine.
If there was one thing that you would tell people who don’t know anything about autism, what would you tell them?
That it’s a neurological difference, not a disease, and it’s a “spectrum” so that means that we all have unique autism-related experiences.
How did you begin voice acting and how has voice acting affected your life?
I started taking voice over classes from professionals in the industry when I was in my late teens. I learned the ins and outs and what it takes to be in this profession, beyond being able to do character voices.
Voice acting has given me something to be proud of and a way to express my creativity. It’s been so validating to work hard at something and find success. It’s led to so many interesting opportunities too, including having stories about my real life made into interactive comics as a way to talk to kids about autism: Mighty League, Vol. 1 The Terrible Taunting and Mighty League, Vol. 2: The Horrible Hug.
What else do you do outside of voice acting?
I work at an after-school program for kids, do live storytelling events and school assemblies, perform in local theater shows, (all pre-COVID) and enjoy playing video games, watching animation, and listening to podcasts. I’m currently listening to Critical Role, Adventure Zone, and Blackout (an apocalyptic thriller).
Who are the people in your life who have helped you become the person you are today?
My family who has helped me find my place in the world every step of my way. They found my out-of-the-box school, Stanbridge Academy, who saw my potential and showed me my value. I can’t say enough about my theater friends at Peninsula Youth Theatre, Festival Theater Ensemble, and Dragon Theatre who nurtured my acting and made me feel safe to be myself. And I’ll always appreciate my first employer, California’s Great America, where I had an opportunity to create character voices for their shows and rides.
What advice would you give to empower people who have autism?
Don’t give up and don’t be afraid to be yourself. Find the people who accept and like you for who you are.
My favorite quote and one that continues to inspire me is by the character, Tyrion Lannister played by Peter Dinklage, who said:
“Never forget what you are, the rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor and it can never be used to hurt you.”
Where can our readers connect with you online?
Dorktales Storytime Podcast: https://jonincharacter.com/dorktales/
Sign up for Podcast News: https://bit.ly/dorktales-signup
About the Author
Hi, I’m Jonathan Murphy and my professional name is Jonathan Cormur. I grew up a different thinker and was diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum at 13. The diagnosis gave a name to my unique way of being and interacting with the world but it didn’t change anything in my life. I have always been fully accepted by my family, even when I didn’t accept myself. They helped me become the best “me” I could become by finding opportunities for me to learn, grow, and embrace my geek.