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Conversations With Voices – Tara Platt & Yuri Lowenthal

Voice Over has always fascinated me. Raised a geek, I simply never grew up; instead I just found smarter cartoons to enjoy in adulthood.

The next stage of the game is my role as “Captain Dada” to Future Geeks of tomorrow. As such, I spend most of my day still watching cartoons, and find myself appreciating the talent behind the voices even more. Ultimately, I find myself becoming a fan of these personalities behind the animated characters, and I start following their work across different genres and different media, playing a multitude of varied personas.

Yuri Lowenthal and Tara Platt are two such voices that I’ve come to respect and admire. From Japanese animation imported to North America, to super heroes in capes and cowls, to endearing, warm-n-fuzzy characters for the kids to enjoy–they may sound different each time, but the talent and enthusiasm behind the performances shine through. Since both also work as actors, their faces are becoming as recognizable as their voices. Recently, they’ve started their own production company, Monkey Kingdom Productions, to produce their own work as they continue to voice both iconic and new memorable cartoons. Pre-orders have just shipped on their book, Voice-Over Voice Actor: What It’s Like Behind the Mic, which is a must have for fans of VO as well as cartoon fans in general.


A Super Man, and A Dream Girl


FLIMgeeks : You both have roots in anime, and continue to work in both new Japan-inspired cartoons and imported series. Japan has always treated animation like an art form, rich in history and profundity (read as: not just for kids). It has always seemed to be taken more seriously, and cover more genres that in North America. As actors, is it a different approach than Western cartoons?

Tara Platt: *laugh* I always defer to Yuri on all things anime, since he knows Japan, its culture, and its crazy anime better than I do *grin*, but I don’t really think that there is a different approach as an actor on working on anime versus a Western- origin animation. I do think it is more technical to record a dub for anime, since you’re matching mouth flap, trying to hit timing and maintain the same emotional arc as the character that was already recorded, whereas for an original animation you can create the character from scratch and not adhere to those technical elements. I still think that your job in both is to do your work as an actor. To build a character, to make choices, to understand and figure out what is going on and why. Whether it is a giant purple Japanese monster or an American superhero, you still have to do your work, or rather fun, of acting!

Yuri Lowenthal: I don’t know that I have a different approach, but there are definitely cultural differences that you have to be aware of. And because I’ve been a fan of anime all my life, I’m pretty aware of them. But in the end, like Tara said, it’s about the acting. And of course, when we’re dubbing animation that’s already been created we have to serve what’s already there.

FG: What’s the process like for imported flicks: translation first? Rewrite? Improv or enunciate differently to make it ‘fit’? I know your multilingualism must come in handy. ;)

T: With a dubbed project, the actor gets it toward the middle. Someone will have translated and written a script into English, time-coded to determine when characters speak and for how long, and tried to make sense of regional things. Then they come in and record, and sometimes there will be some re-writing or figuring out on the fly, but usually it’s just about following the script. Then, after recording, an engineer has to go through and finish the edit with sound effects and voices into the track that will be for the final dub. I’m sure Yuri’s fluency in Japanese helps him out when he listens to the original loop before recording a line, but it isn’t necessary. I can’t speak Japanese, and many other VAs (Voice Actors) I know can’t either, and I think we get along OK! :)

Y: Yeah, Tara covered the process pretty well. As far as my being able to speak other languages it comes in handy in that when I hear the original performance I get an added understanding, but because we get the scripts already translated, it’s not essential. Some of the most talented dubbing VAs I know don’t speak any other languages. We do sometimes have to improv and rewrite a little if something isn’t working, but if the scripts are good, it’s pretty simple. Now outtakes, on the other hand… well, let’s just say sometimes it’s fun to “mess up.”

FG: Sometimes the finer details can get lost in translation–cultural barriers, satiric or referential humour, anecdotal stories that just don’t apply to a completely different geographic and cultural audience. How do you deal with these obstacles?

T: That’s mostly up to the translation and writer of the script to interpret and make sense of the humor, jokes, and cultural idiosyncrasies. As the VA we don’t usually get to see these, because it’s all been solved before it comes to us. Occasionally we do tweak things in the script with the director during a session, but those can be fun and challenging to play with for timing and making sure you honor the story. That, and the Japanese can come up with some crazy shit sometimes! :)

Y: Yeah, those things are pretty much worked out by the time it gets to us. In my opinion, knowing your audience is one thing, but you also have take into account that sometimes it’s the huge cultural differences that make something exciting to another audience. I think that anime is so popular in the U.S. BECAUSE it’s so different and because often we have no idea what the fuck is going on. You change that too much and it loses everything that we watch it for.

FG: It seems there can be a Catch-22 in anime VO: when it’s bad, it’s awful; when it’s good, it’s seamless. How do you achieve the balance between making it work, and maintaining the integrity of the source material?

T: I’d love to say it has something to do with the level of talent of the folks involved, from the script writer, to engineer, director and VAs. But sometimes even with a great group involved, sometimes fans of the original still won’t be satisfied. I do think the ones that are bad usually stink because they just weren’t done well, but you’re right. Sometimes it is lack of balance from not honoring the original material.

Y: You’re right. It’s a fine line. And everyone in the process takes part of the responsibility in getting it right. It’s part translator, part writer, part producer, part actor, part director and part engineer. If any one of those people doesn’t rise up, it can throw the whole thing off. But I think people care more these days about getting it right. Or they did until just recently. Now they mostly care about getting it cheap. And unfortunately there are a lot of actors these days who have been fans all their lives who care about getting it right, so they’ll work for less to ensure that happens.


The Industry:

FG: It appears we’re enjoying the latest boom (or resurgence, depending on your point of view) of animation. Both the big news of the Marvel/Disney merger and subsequent restructuring of DC Universe Animation will have a profound effect on the industry. How do you feel about the renewed interest both as actors, and fans?

T: Well, for me, not being the geek that my husband is *laugh*, it wasn’t such a big piece of news. I see the importance of understanding the business side of things to know who and where the jobs lie, but it didn’t hit home the same way it did with Yuri. I am excited though that graphic novels, comics, cartoons and animation (even anime) seem to be becoming more and more mainstream–mainstream enough that Disney wants in. Which I can only interpret as a good thing for fans and actors alike.  :)

Y: A lot of people asked my opinion when Disney bought Marvel. A lot of people I knew were upset. Here’s the thing—and I think I went on record as saying this –I don’t think it’s that big a deal. If they’re smart–and it’s not like they just got into the animation /movie business yesterday–they’ll do what they did with Pixar: stand back and let Pixar do what they do. They bought Marvel because Marvel’s doing something really well that Disney’s had trouble with: that young male demographic. As long as they let Marvel do what they do–and they paid for it, so they might as well–everything should be fine. But that’s just my opinion. As far as animation booming, it’s not just animation, man, it’s everything geeky that we love! Comics, video games, sci-fi, fantasy… We rule the school these days! It’s a good time to be a nerd, my friend. If I could secret handshake you right now, I totally would.

<Insert overly elaborate handshake here, ending in a resounding cheer of ‘Wolverines!’>

FG: With studios pinching pennies, it seems to make economical sense when you compare the cost of cartoons vs live-action. It’s an obvious choice for capes and cowls, but there are plenty of stories that could be told much better through animation than any other medium. Do you think people are ready to take the medium seriously enough to really stretch beyond just funny book cartoons and children’s fare?

T: That’s a good question–since it is more than just ‘if‘ other stories can be told in that medium or what is the best medium to portray something. I think it does ultimately go back to hard dollars and cents, and supply and demand. If they tried to mass produce and tell forensic crime stories like Bones and CSI, would they hit the same number of viewers/readers that they do using the televised medium if it were told as a graphic novel/cartoon? I don’t know. I know they would get some new hits, but I’m sure they might lose some, too. There is a built-in audience for animation for certain types of stories and I think there are some who are ready to stretch it, possibly even into more of a real mainstream medium for other types of tales. But I think there will always be varied medium, scripted, reality, animated, graphic novel, interview, etc, for the storyteller to utilize and I think that’s exciting.

Y: There’s more of it out there, I feel, so there may be more people watching animated shows, animated films. Do I feel that the general public is more aware, more into it? No, actually, I don’t. I don’t feel necessarily that people are taking it more seriously or willing to take more chances on it. But I can’t deny that there are cooler animated things running rampant in the mainstream. I think it may have to do more with a generation of nerds growing up. The nerds are creating the projects and the nerds have money and can spend it on cool stuff like going to the movies and buying DVDs. And sure, movies like Iron Man and The Dark Knight hit big and it seems like people are more open to that kind of thing, but marketing has something to do with that, and those were good movies on their own, with or without their geek cred. I think visibility has increased, for sure. Anime on network TV, movies like The Incredibles, but the average Joe isn’t buying more comics, I don’t think. Do comics relate to animation, maybe not. My goggles may be tinted by nerd lenses. I think that people in general don’t suddenly regard animation as more legitimate, though. I don’t think that they’d suddenly rush to see a grown-up animated drama. You can sneak some in like in Pixar’s Up and it’s incredibly effective, but I don’t know that an audience would have flocked to it if they knew it was going to be all that. Let’s see what happens when Mary & Max comes out. I’d love to be proved wrong.

FG: Cartoons… “you know, for kids.” The new range of cartoon demographics reaches from pre-school kids to tweens and all the way to adults. Do you prefer to perform for a particular audience?

T: *laugh* I guess it’s my feminine wiles, but I love playing the villianess, especially if she’s sexy, so I suppose that would make my demographic more teen to adult. But there is definitely something fun about playing to kids, since I think to really play to kids you have to play to the adult in them. Kids are smart, and they are always listening and learning, so to really appeal and strike them I think you have to play to their adult inside. And the same for adults, play to their inner child. In that way I think you ultimately play it the same way for every type of audience and that’s what makes it fun and interesting.

Y: First, I’m just happy that you led with a Hudsucker Proxy reference. I like performing for all ages. Performing for kids gives me a chance to entertain them, educate them, nurture their imagination. Performing for adults lets me play out deep dark fantasies and say “Fuck.” But I love that animation has that broad audience so I get a chance to run the gamut. I think I’d be sad if I were the host of a children’s show and got stuck in that my whole life. Like that Steve guy from Blue’s Clues. I’m sure he’s probably got a posh life, but I’d blow my brains out if I had to do that all the time for that long. And in the end, 90% of the time I’m working with people I love, so the audience doesn’t always matter as far as my enjoyment of a project goes.

FG: I’m curious how technology affects the industry, and how the business itself changes and evolves. Is promotion difficult for VO in more text-based media like Twitter, or does multimedia like Youtube counter-balance? Do you see potential in online animation features, or is it already too mired in low-quality homemade shorts?

T: I think technology affects every industry, and the entertainment one especially! I mean, our whole job is about focusing on creating and conveying a story or idea to an audience, so the more technology evolves, the more the possibilities of telling those tales to the audience changes and begs to be explored. I don’t know if various VO promotion itself is difficult, I definitely think it is necessary (see my Twitter feed or the one we set up for the book as proof) but I’m not sure yet how on-board the production companies for various VO projects are. Maybe they’ve yet to realize that these outlets provide personalized interaction with the very fan base they cater to! And I absolutely see potential in online animated features. I am a huge advocate of creating and utilizing new media projects. We need to capitalize on the exciting new ways we can create and distribute information (which is the same thing as entertainment and art). I’m all about using technology to build new forms of animation, video, graphic, art, and putting them all together into productions!

Y: Technology definitely plays a huge part in our business. It allows us to record auditions and work in our own home studio. It gives us huge opportunities to promote our work online via social networking. It allows us to make our own movies and web series and distribute them online. In VO specifically, though, I think the most important tool that technology gives us is the ability to interact with our fans all across the world. As far as a potential venue for animated features? I don’t know. I don’t feel that the average web surfer has the patience for more than about 5 minutes. That’s why you see so many web shorts. It’s true that everyone and their mom’s making web content now and it makes it a little harder for the best stuff to rise to the top, but with the right promotion, hopefully the right projects will make it.


‘Celebrity’ VO actors vs. accomplished VO actors:

FG: The ever-elusive balance between big names vs. experience seems to be a recurring theme behind the scenes and amongst fans. How do those in the industry feel about this debate?

T: Ha ha! The ever elusive balance! *grin* I don’t know if the celebs even know about the debate, I think it’s probably more of a one-sided conversation! I’ve said before and I will say again, if it takes a name to make a project go, that otherwise would have been scrapped, more power to the name. I mean, I hope someday to be a name that can make things happen, you know? Sure it can be hard to know that a job went to someone simply because they are a big name and not because they are the best actor for the job, and I think anyone in the industry would agree that that is the way it works sometimes. But it can create exciting opportunities as well. Think about titles like Afro Samurai. If Samuel Jackson (who I happen to think does a kick ass job on it) hadn’t gotten behind it, it probably wouldn’t have gotten made, and Yuri wouldn’t have gotten to work on it opposite Jackson, Lucy Liu and Ron Perlman. So, although sometimes it can be tough luck to audition for a phenomenal project and know you knock it out of the park only to hear a name is cast and then later listen and think it sounds so-so, there are also opportunities to work on amazing projects that otherwise wouldn’t have seen the light of day. I don’t think the fans of video games and animation go to see films or buy games because of the names who play the roles. They go because they are interested in the story, like the art or like the director. So, yeah, sometimes it makes me sad to think that a studio feels the need to stick a name on a film or game when they don’t need it, but I’ve also heard actors who I didn’t realize could turn in such a compelling VO make me really perk up and listen.

Y: Yeah that’s a tough one. Tara makes a good point. Without “name” cache some of these projects might not ever be able to raise the budgets to get made. But do names really sell animated movies? Or video games? I don’t know. Maybe more in movies than VG. I know that good acting (combined with good gameplay) helps sell video games. It can be disappointing, though. I was supposed to do a show once where I would have been voicing a role I had played before on another show but they found they could hire the same actor who portrayed the role in a live action movie and the job went to him. Because he was a “name.” That happens. And some on-camera “names” are honestly good voice actors as well. But not always. I’ve heard that “names” aren’t selling movies quite the way they used to, though, so who knows?

FG: Is there any resentment over less available roles based solely on the marquee? Or do you simply end up more starstruck with great geekcasting? aka “Holy Shit, I’m working with James Remar today! Motherfuckin’ Warriors!”

T: Definitely geekcast away, how cool is it to get to work with people you admire and look up to. And the idea of stunt-casting is prevalent throughout the entertainment biz. Even web series and new media projects try to stick names in to garner more hits, and more power to them, I say. If that is what it takes to get viewers and maybe create a loyal fan-base, have at it! Then again, going back to my last statement, I am also fully in favor of casting the best actor for the job. And sometimes having a star play a role can take you out of the project, since then you’re thinking “Oh my god, I’m listening to Julia Roberts, or Brad Pitt, how cool,” and then you’re not listening to the character anymore your listening to Julia or Brad doing a voice, which I think can be counter-productive to the storytelling.

Y: Well we discussed this a bit in the last question, but yeah, I’m not gonna lie, it sometimes takes every fiber of my being not to geek out when I show up to work and The Kurgan’s standing there. Or Ilya Kuyakin. Or Drusilla. Or Jackie Childs. Or Wesley Crusher. It’s kind of a geek’s dream come true. It’s oftentimes my absolute favorite part of coming to work. And yeah, it was all I could do not to yell, “Can you dig it!” when Remar walked in. Or not to quiz him on the Code of Harry. I think most of the casting directors we work with have a great reverence for the characters or at least consult heavily with the producers/creators who are most familiar with them. Then they balance that with the “names” that they might need.

FG: Are there horror stories of preferential treatment of the ‘stars’? Or is it more camaraderie amongst like-minded performers?

T: Hmmm. Not being one of those “stars,” I’m not sure if there are any horror stories. I have heard a few silly things, like certain folks who like to disrobe before doing VO, or trying to get into character by doing weird things, but I haven’t really heard any really terrible things. I do like to think of the VO community as a tight-knit group and I do think there is definitely a camaraderie around voice actors, so maybe it is the like-minded thing, or maybe it is just the types of folks who gravitate to VO tend to be down-to-earth likable guys and gals! :)

Y: Most are surprisingly respectful of the other voice actors they’re working with, and in some cases even nervous because they’re used to working in a wholly different manner, so they’re a little more reserved and less confident than they might otherwise be. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anybody really cop attitude in a group record. Although I have heard horror stories from several directors about “name” actors acting up when they’re the only ones in the room. But you’ll get no names outta me…

FG: Yet….    ;)


Video Games:

FG: Bigger business and an increased focus on video games is leading them to be more cinematic and epic. Games can be an evolution of storytelling not limited by time restraints, with the portrayal of IPs/characters in a new environment that is interactive with the audience. You both have extensive work in this new field. How different is it from work in ‘traditional’ VO?

T: *grin* Once again, the work is similar in any kind of VO. You show up, and do your job as an actor. Small things vary, for instance with a video game often you do an “A-B-C” take of each line so the director/producer can decide what fits best into game-play as opposed to original animation where you might have a whole cast recording together. Every video game I’ve worked on has been just me in a room recording my lines, but there may be some that use group record. Games lately tend to have the trend of realism, cinematic realism, so the acting needs to match; no crazy, over-the-top cartoon characters.

Y: There’s a lot more screaming. Most games are about killing and blowing things up, and that means a lot of screaming for the actors. And getting set on fire, electrocuted, falling from great heights and much, much more. You have to get very good at dying. It can be a great stress release exercise, but can be hard on the voice so you have to be very aware of how you’re using it. But you rarely get a chance to look at the script in advance and because there are so many more lines of dialogue in a video game than in an episode of a show or even in a movie, they usually have to be more expedient about getting through them, so you have to be a quick study and learn to make your acting decisions quick. You don’t have time to belabor them. And I miss getting to record with other people in the room, but on rare occasions we get to do that too.

FG: Is the process/preparation different for something that is interactive & dynamic, rather than simply telling the story?

T: I guess everyone is different, but they are the same for me. If I am given the situation for the character, know what I am doing, then I just go from there regardless of the ultimate medium (interactive, anime, etc.). I get into character simply by doing the work, recording my lines and maintaining the humanity and reality of the character while I record.

Y: Like I said, you don’t really get time to prepare. And this is where trusting your director comes in handy, because they know the whole story, they know all the things that you haven’t been given time to read and prepare. So usually you’re just gonna do your warm-ups and turn on your acting engine and let the director lead you through.

FG: Are there unique difficulties: repetition, branching plot/dialogue, sound effects (ie. when the script says,”Argghh”)?

T: Oh, no, not the dreaded “Arggghh.” Just kidding. Actually I recorded several of those today on another Naruto video game. I think it can be nice to know what you’re going to be called on to do vocally, so you can prepare your voice and take care of your instrument. Plus there are a multitude of ways to say “Argghh!” So, the fun is in embracing the repetition and finding new and creative ways to do efforts.

Y: Of course. You have to be patient with stuff like that and not fall into patterns that are going to lead to uninspired reads, and—I know I’ve already said it, but it bears repeating in this case–you have to listen to your body and take care of your voice. A 4-hour screamfest can lead to you not being able to work later that day or even that week if you’re not careful.

FG: PS. Prince of Persia:Sands of Time is one of the greatest games ever. Period.

Y: I’m biased of course, but I’m gonna agree with you there.

T: I second that!



Monkey Kingdom Productions

T: Yes! We have a production company that has a feature (our first feature), Tumbling After, which I guess we can now call award-winning, since it just pulled in an Award of Merit at the Accolade Film Festival. It is a psychological horror film that Yuri wrote, and we both took small roles in. I’m very proud of it, both for being our first film that we produced and completed, but because I think it is a really solid little movie. I can’t wait to see what we might start doing with it when we talk with distributors. We’re also currently shooting our second feature film (another live-action) which is actually about the world of voice-over and conventions. We will wrap principle photography by the end of the year and move into post with editing and cutting of the film. We will keep everyone posted about that one. I think that fans and fellow actors alike will enjoy that one! And we have other scripts and projects up our sleeves, so keep your eye on MKP–we’re wily little monkeys.

Y: What Tara said. We formed it so we could always be working on something fun, and so far it’s working.

Absolution: The Series

T: Oh, that’s a web series that Yuri stars in. I play his wife–big stretch. I think the director has done a really great job of building an interesting world that I think will be compelling to watch.

Y: You can check out a few of the episodes online already. We’re still shooting. It’s got Elvis in it. And serial killers. And Death. I mean, like the Death, the guy himself, so, what more could you want?

Van Von Hunter

T: I leave this all in Yuri’s hands….Van? :) *giggle*

Y: Oh boy… I don’t know what to say. It started out as a one-weekend web series shoot for Tokyopop to promote one of their manga titles. And we had so much fun that two years later, we’re finishing the feature film. I’m getting to see it for the first time next week. And this is one project that’s going to have to speak for itself. Mostly because, even at this point, I have no idea what it’s going to look like. It evolved as we shot. It may be the first movie with ten times as much bonus footage and deleted scenes than the actual movie. And shooting it was an adventure in its own right. From here to New York to Japan. I can’t wait to see it.


Quick Hits:

What do you watch? (always find that fascinating)

T: Bones!! :) Oh, wait, did you mean animation or anime? Besides tuning into Yuri on Ben Ten, and trying to catch Naruto from time to time, I don’t have a lot of time to watch TV. I go see a ton of movies though. I am a movie whore. I love movies. I consider going to the movies to be like church!

Y: A lot of Sci-Fi, Horror, old movies, Noir, hardboiled stuff. The list of my favorite directors and shows and movies would take another whole interview, but right now I’m watching Dexter, Mad Men, BSG, Torchwood. I loved District 9, Moon, The Hurt Locker.

Biggest influences?

T: Besides my parents’ unending support to follow my dreams, which was a huge influence on me becoming an actor, I admire strong female entrepreneurs like Sandra Bullock and Drew Barrymore, for understanding that power in creating comes in decision-making, and building a brand, a company of your own.

Y: All the genre stuff I mentioned a minute ago. I’m living the dream because I get to play a part in making the kinds of things that I would have watched when I was younger. Directors who find ways to do their thing even when they don’t have the money or the backing for it. Terry Gilliam, Guillermo Del Toro, Quentin Tarantino. Actors like Sam Rockwell, Tim Roth, Gary Oldman, Jeremy Renner, and David Tennant.

How much do you reasearch a role?

T: Well, for VO not much, since there really isn’t much time or for me, much to do with that. I have done research for on-camera or theatre roles, though, where I needed to know information or understand something so I did some leg work beforehand.

Y: Depends on the project and the character. In general, I don’t do a lot of research. Even less in VO because we rarely know what we’re doing until we get to the studio to record. Unless it’s a sequel to something, and then I’ve got something to actually look at before I start working.

Do you watch your own work?

T: Yes! I am so vain. I actually really love to watch my work, I don’t always like it, but I always learn something, and hopefully am able to take that and use it for the better in the future.

Y: Yes. It never gets old, despite the fact that I always nitpick it to death as I’m watching it. It makes me wonder when people are going to finally discover that I don’t know what I’m doing. But then, actors are sensitive like that.

Do you fully emote in the studio?

T: I certainly hope so. Although, I will admit it, VO is different than on-camera or theatrical work for me. I can do an emotional crying scene in VO, and simply “turn on the sounds,” since it can be so technical–especially for a dubbed show. So, I guess not always, but for example, when doing efforts, fight sounds, and the like, it is always better to go for it, a) to not hurt yourself and, b) to sound realistic.

Y: Yeah. It comes out better that way.

Do you read to kids in a multitude of voices?

T: I love to read to kids, and I LOVE reading in different voices. It’s what my mom always did for me when I was little. Maybe it’s why I’m an actor now…

Y: If, by kids, you mean “Tara”, then yes. I think that’s how I netted her in the first place. Reading her stories. But yeah, kids too.

You have a blank check to produce any IP ever, which one do you pick?

T: A French superhero magical rom-com. Oh, wait, that’s Amelie. Um…

Y: Buckaroo Banzai: Against the World Crime League. Hands down. And one more, but I’m not gonna tell you because I don’t want anyone else to do it before I can get my hands on it.

What roles would you most love to play? *any character ever*

T: I love the 1940s. The music, the styles, so maybe some sort of film-noir, superhero tale…perhaps a spy….I’d tell you but then I’d have to kill you, killer.

Y: Why must you do this to me? I’m such a fanboy that it’s hard to decide. Any character on the Walking Dead show that Frank Darabont’s producing. Any character in the next QT film. Duncan in the upcoming animated Firebreather movie. Any character in Duncan Jones’ follow-up to Moon. Any character in a Terry Gilliam movie. Moon Knight. Lobster Johnson. The first American Doctor on Doctor Who. My head’s exploding. Next question.

Any ‘Legends’ in the biz you’d like to work with?

T: Yuri Lowenthal! Oh, wait, you mean besides him…. :P I’d love to work with the Family Guy or Simpsons casts simply because they mesh so well and seem to have so much fun doing it. But then again, working on a Pixar Brad Bird film is kind of a dream. So I guess Brad Bird! :)

Y: Mentioned some of them a minute ago, but in animation I’d love to work on Family Guy and The Simpsons. Those shows are full of legends. Brad Bird, fo’ sho’.

Best Superman (other than Legion): Daly or Newbern?

T: Reeve. No, Daly!

Y: Ben Affleck in Hollywoodland? Can’t choose between Newbern and Daly. Too tough. They’re legends.

Chicken or the Egg: dialogue or animation first?

T: Animation was created long before dialogue was attached to it. Think flip books. But are you asking which is done first? If it’s original often VO, but it depends on the project, the budget and the style!

Y: I prefer dialogue first because it adds an actor’s thumbprint to the final animation.

Do you guys fight in menacing voices?

T: You said you like Prince of Persia. Let’s just say I jump him off cliffs if I need to cool down! :)

Y: Wait, we fight?


T: Oh, yeah, and check out the new book. I am super excited about it! It really came together and is filled with a lot of wonderful info as well as fun, honest straight talk of what it is like to be a voice actor and in the biz from many working VO folks. I am so proud of it, and I kind of can’t believe it is real. I keep touching the book and saying, “But it looks like a real book!” * giggle*

Y: For sure. We’re super proud of the book. Check it out!

Voice-Over Voice Actor – What it’s like behind the mic



Interested in pursuing a career in VO? Curious what goes on behind the scenes in a business where people talk funny for money? This book offers a fun and comprehensive look at what it takes, what goes on and what it’s like behind the mic from two working pros who started from scratch.

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