Entries Tagged as 'character voices'

Voice Actor Peter K. O’Connell Releases New Character Voice Demo

Peter K OConnell Character Voice Actor

Truth be told, this new character voice demo was a long time in the making.

A loooong time…like 18 years.

You read that right.

Why so long?

I kept getting hired off the 18 year old demo.

LISTEN TO PETER K. O’CONNELL’s 2024 CHARACTER VOICE DEMO BELOW:

Then the character voice demo evolved – there were character voice demos, then just animation character voice demos, then video game character demos. Then offshoots and collections mixing all that stuff. Oy!

I wasn’t sure how I should roll with these changes. I can do voices and voice acting for all those genres.

I even worked on one of the early famous video games (with a boatload of audio files) – Bioshock. But when I saw the game, I didn’t really like the story and visuals…they creeped me out, honestly. Clearly there was a huge audience for it but that audience didn’t include me.

Plus, I realized if I played in those video game voice acting waters…I’d likely be faced with that same gut/moral conundrum more than a few times. I don’t mind ceeding artistic control on most projects…but video games could get really weird really fast for my tastes. Not judging others but it was not for me.

I decided I was more of a commercial and animation character voice person. Plus there are a ton more talented than me video game voice actors in the world.

Voice Actor Peter K. O'Connell - Buffalo Bills fanThen there was the paralyzing (for me) question of what to include in a new character voice demo. I can do and have done a ton of unique and familiar characters…I became overwhelmed.

It was a terrible but very real feeling about this inconsequential character voice demo (inconsequential when compared to the big picture of life).

I talked to some character voice producers (smart, talented folks) but I didn’t feel confident enough in my choices and the direction I wanted to go in for my demo to make it a worthwhile partnership to invest my money and their time.

Then a few weeks ago, I spent a Saturday doing a deep dive into the archieve of ALL the character stuff I have voiced. I sensed a direction and felt a great confidence to begin assembling, writing, voicing, editing and mixing.

One of the great benefits of working professionally in voiceover for over 40 years is that you become friends with very talented people who opinions you respect and who you know will lend a helpful ear and thoughtful, smart feedback.

I am so grateful for the help of my friends Bruce Miles, Steve Pogatch and most especially Rowell Gormon – who together easily total a century’s worth of professional character voice performance and production – for their insights. If you love the demo, it’s in large part because of them. If you hate, that’s on me.

I hope you love it.

And I hope there was a wonderful reason in God’s big plan that I had to wait 18 years between character voice demos. Cause I’m not sure I still be around if I have to wait ANOTHER 18 years for the next one! 🙂

a voice talent at raleigh supercon

Raleigh SuperconSo you’re saying to yourself: ‘Peter, you are a voice talent, you’ve voiced a part in a video game, you’ve done character voices your whole life! How is the Raleigh Supercon your first ComicCon?’

The answer is: ‘I don’t get out much.’

None the less, today I went to my first ComicCon…well, bigger than that, it was a SUPERcon (had to make up for lost time).

Some truths before I begin:

  • I am not a gamer
  • I don’t have that much interest in Sci-Fi outside of Star Trek (loving almost all iterations) and Star Wars (and really only the first three movies)
  • I know Dr. Who’s Blue Phone Booth was important to the story but never watched an episode so I’m not cool (but you knew that I wasn’t cool already 🙂

So admitting all this, I might have lost lots of points with some of my friends and could have risked my admittance this Con had I said this before today.

In spite of the fact that I never got into video or on-line gaming and sci-fi stories personally, I appreciated the interest that they generated, which is part of the reason I wanted to go to a ComicCon. Plus, like I said, I’m a character voice actor – I knew I’d find something of interest to me.

Buffalo didn’t really have a Con of note. Raleigh, on the hand did. So it was off to the Raleigh SuperCon I went this morning.

What follows are some of my observations that may prove entertaining to those of you who have been to a ComicCon or enlightening to those of you who like me (before today) have never been.

Raleigh Supercon 2017 Saturday

  • Many bigger Cons take place on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays – Saturdays are likely among the busiest days and just after it opens is really busy and you shouldn’t go then…cause the lines are long then, like around the block long (find shade or you will sweat, which I learned the hard way)
  • If you have Uber in your area, try and take it – it saved my bacon from dealing with crazy traffic around the venue and annoying parking
  • People attending the show were nice – normal, not weird; I wasn’t expect weird people but some people who haven’t been to Cons think everybody there is kind of wacko….no they generally aren’t (and yes, there are always exceptions)
  • I could only identify about 1/3 of the costume characters walking around (again, because I don’t follow the genres) but I really appreciated the creativity that everyone showed in their costume design and makeup
  • Clearly, everyone who wore costumes (Cosplay) were so happy to be out in their wares and among their people; it made me happy for them
  • While there are sessions on various topics and game rooms, I didn’t do any of that; I went right to the show floor
  • The show floor consisted of autograph alley (with all sorts “celebrities”) and then hundreds of vendors selling comic book, games, posters, costumes and every knick knack you can think of having to do with every character, story line, logo etc you could imagine (and other stuff you didn’t know existed)
  • The show floor has lots of interesting things to see but I didn’t buy anything…many others did, I am quite sure
  • Voice Talent Peter K. O'Connell, Author David Atkins and Voice Talent Greg HouserWhat made the show fun for me was catching up with my fellow voice talent Greg Houser (who I believe I first met in 2010 or 2011 at VOICE in Los Angeles); he’s been a voice talent in anime titles including “Evangelion”, “Ikki Tousen”, “One Piece”, “Shiki”, and “Tales of Vesperia” — he was signing autographs and presenting a seminar at Raleigh SuperCon

The question is whether I would recommend someone going to a Comic-Con based on this experience. Short answer: yes.

I think it was especially important for me to attend because I was NOT and am not a Sci-Fi or gamer person. However it’s good to be exposed to and event like this and enjoy the experience. Raleigh SuperCon did a nice job and I’m sure if a similar Con comes to your area, you’ll have fun too.

 

voice over observation and insight

I’ve held on to a blog post from “Not Just Voiceover”, produced by my voiceover friend James Lorenz, since mid-March because I just wasn’t sure what to do with it…but I knew there was “something” there. The post noted:

Actor-singer Zac Efron, who is part of the animated movie ” The Lorax”, says giving voice-over for the film was not what he had expected.

The actor plays the lead protagonist Ted and admits putting his voice down for the part was not what he had expected, reported contactmusic.com.

“It was kind of weird. It was not what I expected. Luckily, I found out we got to record before it was animated, so we didn’t have to fit our lips into their mouths, which I always wondered if people had to do or not.

An “actor” who doesn’t understand voice acting? “Fit our lips into their mouths,” said Efron. Surely, that was a joke, right?

But why was Zac Efron (or Taylor Swift for that matter) the right voice for the movie? I kinda wonder, but do not know, if the casting was more about star power than voice acting skills.

Certainly, my opinion is tainted because this is my business. Further, in fairness, I’ve not seen the movie and maybe the performances by the two young performers were amazing. And movies are a business, not an acting showcase – stars do sell tickets.

But is it right? The answer is, I think, it doesn’t matter because the celebrity voiceover situation is unlikely to change.

But then I came across this AMAZING interview with the great voice actor Billy West produced by Dan Roberts.

There is so much great stuff here but West talking about celebrity voice over made me feel better and not so alone in my opinion.

What do you think?

now even the news anchors are doing cartoon voices

Oy!

As if being a voice actor weren’t tough enough, what with every goofus with an iphone calling himself a voice talent, now comes an animated special from “30Rock” where only celeb VO’s need apply.

unmasking animation voice actors

Many voice actors know the names and faces of our more famous voice actoing brethren (and sisteren) who star in popular American animation TV series (you could throw animated movies in there but those castings always feel more about “movie star power” than anything else).

Some of us are even good enough to be able to identify an actor’s voice in animation or commercials on the first listen.

But what about the general public – do they particularly care what these voice actors look like?

I ask the question because on the Fox News web site today they featured a section called “TV Cartoon Stars Unmasked”.

Basically it’s a slide show of cartoon characters with a head shot of the voice actor next to it. Nice and deserved recognition for the actors, to be sure, but I’m just not sure the public really cares (and that is not meant as any slam to the actors).

What do you think?

the voiceover fight is on: “dora the explorer” vs. viacom

Caitlin Sanchez - Voice of Dora The Explorer; Photo courtesy of Nickelodeon-AP

This is not the first voiceover contract battle nor will it likely be the last but Caitlin Sanchez family’s lawsuit now filed against defendants Nickelodeon, MTV Networks and Viacom International is a bit more high profile than most.

It pits Viacom, one of the world’s largest communication companies and owner of many media properties including MTV as well as Nickelodeon against the plaintiff Sanchez (and her family) who was hired in 2007 as the voice of Dora the Explorer for the wildly popular and profitable cartoon series of the same name. The family

According to the article in the New York Daily News, the suit claims “Defendants used Caitlin, unjustly enriching themselves of millions of dollars in profits from the series and branded products, which Caitlin preformed and promoted,” and that Sanchez’ Dora deal promised her more than $5,000 an episode and compensation in residuals and merchandising.

After negotiations between the parties failed the lawsuit, which the defendant’s attorney claim is “without merit”, was filed.

My take on these suits is always “we’ll see”.