What Pumps up the Tough Mudder Pump Up Guy? An interview with the man with the VOICE, Sean Corvelle

Sean Corvelle, the man with the uniquely inspiring voice at Tough Mudder’s 2012 WTM

Mud and Adventure: Sean, we got to see you pump up the crowd for Tough Mudder’s biggest and baddest season finale – the World’s Toughest Mudder. You really got the crowd going! So many questions for you!

M+A: First, where do you get the energy?!

Sean Corvelle: I love this job. I’m having fun!

M+A: You looked like you were pumped yourself.  Were you? and what pumps up the pump guy before sending 1000+ elite athletes off on an over 24 hour sufferfest?

SC: This was my first WTM. It had a momentum that started at the beginning of the year, and finally here it is. Everyone was pumped. The TMHQ staff, the runners, the spectators, everyone there was excited. You can’t help but get caught up in that energy. It was like the Super Bowl for Mudders.

M+A:  How did you land this gig?

SC: Through Clinton Jackson. He’s our Finish Line and Main Stage MC, I call him the Mayor of Electric Shock City. We’ve known each other forever from our days of doing stand-up comedy in the San Francisco Bay Area. He worked with them first and really enjoyed it and then he got me involved.

M+A: Any other interesting gigs at the moment? I assume you do commercial voice overs – do you? Anything we may have heard that but never put a face to?

SC: Yes, but I haven’t really been able to do much of anything else. Tough Mudder has me so busy I moved out of Los Angeles up to Sacramento to be close to my family when I’m not on the road. Usually this time of year there’s a “Friends” episode I was in that runs, where I sold Ross an armadillo costume instead of a Santa outfit. I start to hear from a lot of people after they’ve seen it. And a lot of them tell me they first recognized my voice.

M+A: Seeing you on stage I immediately thought you were a Marine, probably a former drill instructor. Was I right?

SC: No. Sorry. I get asked that a lot. I think you and I talked about it before in an email. I’ll have to see if I can find it.

Hey Paul,

Thanks for the kind words. No Sir, I am not a Marine. I am always asked that question and am always honored by it’s association. I’m just one of millions of civilians that have love ones, family, and friends, who have served and currently serve in the Military at some capacity. I hope the connection that you and others who ask me this question feel, is the strong sincere appreciation and gratitude for the sacrifices and continued duties that you and our fellow brothers and sisters provide for our country and the world. That’s why you hear me say HOORAH instead of OOH-RAH, or the other different Military call of affirmations. Those are cries of honor shared by you and your brothers and sisters that in time have stood together through experiences that I could not begin to imagine, and would never want to dishonor by exploiting their call. So I’ve adopted HOORAH as my civilian call to people like you, that have given so much for the rest of us, and in part says THANK YOU. YOU ARE MY HERO. I WOULD WALK THROUGH HELL WITH YOU. I GOT YOUR BACK WHETHER YOU ARE HERE OR ABROAD, AND WILL LIVE MY LIFE AS BEST I CAN TO HONOR YOUR SACRIFICE AND SERVICE.

M+A:  Man, as a former Marine, that’s the first time I think I got that wrong.

M+A:  How did you get into this line of work and develop this unique set of public speaking skills? What’s your background? When did you realize you have the right combination of THE voice, the confidence and the passion for getting people excited for something?

SC: I guess the many years of Stand-up played a big part in finding my voice and talking to people. Survive enough road and hell gigs and you’ll start to develop some skills and confidence. Then the time I spent in Hollywood, hosting shows and events just gave it all a little polish.

M+A:  Are you the go to guy for all Tough Mudder events? How do you keep it fresh and pump yourself up for each event?

SC: I hope so. That will be TM’s call. They are blowing up, and there are so many events this coming year… there is no way Clinton and I can be at them all. I think the plan is who ever the MC’s are next year, that they will bring their own unique excitement to the event and still maintain the Tough Mudder brand.

For me it’s about the people. The TMHQ Staff, the Volunteers, the Medics, the Merchants, our Sponsors… but mostly the Runners. Before I began working with Tough Mudder I probably said the word awesome ten times in my life, and now I say it so much. I’m like Eddie Murphy’s Bowfinger character with the awesome, and I mean it. The positive energy brought by the runners and the people that come to support them keeps it fresh for me. Every event and every wave feels like it’s the first.

M+A:  What’s next for Sean C.? Will you be the next Michael or Bruce Buffer (the half brothers known for their voices announcing boxing + UFC events)?

SC:Wouldn’t that be cool.. I hope to continue to become more involved with Tough Mudder and the people around it. I have my own personal projects I’m working on, and I would really like to do more with the Wounded Warriors Project. A great organization working with amazing people. I would very much love to contribute what ever way I can.

M+A:  So here’s the all-important question? You seem really fit. Have you done a Tough Mudder? any other obstacle race event(s)?

SC: Yes. I would not send anyone into a hell that I haven’t done or would not do myself. In fact, I believe all the TMHQ staff has either done or is scheduled to run an event.

M+A:  Thank you so much for being an exciting and gracious part of our world and taking the time to share your story with us!!

SC: Thank you.



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