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peter & kermit

Voice Talent Peter K. O'Connell and Muppet Puppeteer Steve WhitmireI met Kermit yesterday at Raleigh Supercon 2018.

No matter the stage of their voiceover career, beginning, apex, downslope (and everything in between), I don’t get excited or nervous meeting voice actors…especially around the ‘big names’ when others sometimes feel intimidated. I know they or I are just one step away from the other side of that coin (big career/average career). So when we get together or I meet one for the first time, it’s just like meeting an ‘average’ new person…because we are all average. A peer. At least that’s my attitude.

So as is the case at most Comic-Cons or Super-Cons, there were lots of actors and voice actors, all at various stages of their careers. Many screen and voice actors participate in the Cons (there’s money to be made there, so good on them) but many of the voice actors are from the gaming or anime world, worlds that I am not very involved in.

Raleigh Supercon 2018_audioconnell_voiceoverBut let me tell you, the audiences for these actors are VERY involved and that has to be very satisfying for the actors (I know it would be for me). Prior to the Raleigh Supercon, I was speaking with my friend Kara Edwards, the very popular and talented Anime Voice Actor, who was telling me the names of her fellow Anime actors who were in Raleigh. However, I couldn’t get anywhere near their tables…the crowds were too big!

Then, as I walked down celebrity row (my term, not the Con’s) I saw someone I knew of and wanted to talk with.

You might recall about a year ago I wrote a blog about Muppet puppeteer Steve Whitmire who, it had just been announced then, was fired by Disney as the puppeteer and voice of Kermit and had been let go from Muppets permanently.

Well Steve was at the Comic-Con and was just setting up his area. I hemmed and hawed about whether to bother him, but I decided to talk with him.

My goal was to let him know how badly I felt for him about the situation he left and that at various levels, we’ve all been there.

It turned into a very nice private conversation that I’m sure won’t be memorable for him after such a busy weekend meeting strangers. It made me feel better, though, that I got to tell him personally.

No matter whether you’re a screen actor, voice actor or puppeteer, this is a very emotionally draining business. Family and friends are nice during a bad spell, but sometimes it can be helpful to hear something supportive from people who fight similar battles (at various levels) everyday as well.

Well, that was my thought anyway.