Entries Tagged as 'character voices'

voice actor john morris of toy story 3

Toy Story 3 comes out tomorrow. The voice actor who plays Andy, the owner of all the toys like ‘Woody’ and ‘Buzz Lightyear’ has provide the character’s voice in all 3 films.

He started when he was 7, the next movie was made when he was in his teens and now, in his mid-twenties, he’s voiced Andy for the 3rd time.

Here’s an interesting interview with voice actor John Morris.

bob bergen in nyc december 5 & 6, 2009

<em>Voice Actor & Teacher Bob Bergen</em>

Voice Actor & Teacher Bob Bergen

I believe it was my friend and voiceover compatriot Liz de Nesnera who posted a notice in social media circles about an upcoming Bob Bergen Voice Over Workshop that will teach you how to buy foreclosed homes for pennies on the dollar and become rich, rich, rich!

Um wait, that might be wrong.

Actually, Bob’s hosting a “2-Day ADVANCED Animation Voice-over Workshop” December 5-6, 2009 in New York City, (“Advanced” meaning you must have previous animation voice-over technique training or experience).

Eschewing the hype found in many one-sheets for workshops (har-har), this workshop’s flyer promises the following:

This work shop takes you through the entire process of what it’s like to audition and record a cartoon! Each student will have the opportunity to “audition” for up to 15 characters . Based on their” auditions” Bob will then cast and record an episode of the cartoon.! Each student will receive an audio copy of the finished product! This is a great opportunity to know what it’s like to actually work as a voice-over artist in an animated film.

I have not trained with Bob but that only means he’s selective about who he teaches and he has good taste – I’m kidding! All the people I know who have trained with Bob speak very, very well of the experience and if they didn’t you wouldn’t be reading about this workshop here. If you’d like more information, you can find it here.

video cameras within isdn sessions


Today I came across another valuable article from my Google Alerts. If there are topics of interest to you professionally or personally, I hope you take advantage of this free service.

This Google Alert came under the term voice over and it let me to an article in Animation World Magazine, part of the Animation News Network. The article, written by animation casting director Mark Simon, discussed how he has started to use video cameras (computer cameras) via Skype as part of his ISDN sessions with animation voice actors. It was entitled “Seeing Voice-Overs”.

If this doesn’t start happening in a lot more ISDN sessions for animation, commercials or anything else, I’d be really surprised. A great idea and article from Mark.

a grand debut


With thanks to David Houston’s blog for the head-ups, major kudos to male voice talent Joe Rodriguez for a terrific audio book debut in the book Ten Mile River. The link features and audio cut of Joe’s work which I thought was really terrific…great character voices! Please take a listen.

I remember Joe writing about this session, his first audio book, on his blog a while back and recall that he was a bit nervous.

No nerves in the performance I heard. All I heard was a great story from a guy who’s developing into a great storyteller.

And should you need a great male Spanish Voice Talent, well there’s a guy name Joe on the International Voice Talent’s page that I could direct you to…

“what people say they want, and what they are actually looking for.” – dick tufeld


There is occasionally downtime in the voice over world of audio’connell Voice Over Talent. While I should say that I am always marketing or developing new business when the mic isn’t on, well, that’s not always true.

Sometimes I surf. And not on water.

But a recent surfing expedition (which really was a key word search on Google) led me to a 1997 interview on a “Lost In Space” website with a fairly well known announcer by the name of Dick Tufeld. Dick was the voice of “The Robot” in the series “Lost In Space” and reprised his role when the movie came out. (And, if you like, there seems to be another interview with Dick here).

Dick’s career has spanned a great deal more than just “Lost In Space”. I remember him as a long time announcer of the Grammy’s among other shows (his signoff that I remember was “This is Dick Tufeld speaking”). I can’t find too much present day information on him to know if at 82 he’s still working, other than some somewhat suspect web sites that I cannot confirm as credible.

But what I loved though, from the 1997 interview, was this quote, telling a story that almost every professional voice talent can relate to and laaaughh!

Q: How did you get the voice job of the Robot?
Dick Tufeld: When I was 18 years old, I was working one summer at KLCA-LA radio, and I used to announce shows and do station breaks, etc. There was a literary agent named Irwin Allen, who must have been, I’m guessing, 35 years old at the time, who would walk in and nod to me, and I’d nod to him — I was just a kid at the time. He had a Hollywood gossip show, and I’d spin the theme music for it and announce him, for 15 minutes once a week. Then he’d leave and nod to me, and I’d nod to him. That was the extent of our conversation.

Twenty years go by, and he was walking out of the commissary at 20th Century Fox and there was a guy named Emmett Labry, Jr. who was in the business affairs department. Irwin ran into Emmett and said that he had a new series going on air in a few weeks. “We need a narrator and is there anybody you can think of?’ Emmett was a friend of mine, and said “How about Dick Tufeld?”

In one of the most astonishing statements I’ve heard repeated to me, Irwin turned to Emmett and said “Dick Tufeld, my oldest and dearest friend — great idea!” Which I think is pretty funny. Irwin contacted my agent, and they got an audio tape of my voice doing some narration. Irwin liked it and I became the narrator of the show.

About two weeks later I got a call from Irwin’s office asking me to read for a robot character. So I go in there, and think this is good. He hands me some copy, and I say “Irwin, I presume what you are looking for a mechanical, robot-ian kind of robot sound.” He looks at me and says “My dear boy, that is precisely what I do not want. This is a very highly advanced culture in the year 1997.” Of course that seemed to be very far away to everybody [chuckle]. “I want a cultured low- key voice, (I would equate this with the voice of computer Hal in “2001”), an Alexander Scourby” — the wonderful NY actor and narrator voice who has passed on – and he said “that’s what I’m looking for.”

So I started reading for Irwin with my best Scourby imitation, and I’m not coloring the words and I’m doing an unemotional read and I’m saying “Warning that does not compute.” He says no, that’s not it, and I do it again, and then he says no, that’s not it, and I try something else and that’s not it. All this time I’m trying to do my best Alexander Scourby imitation. And he finally says to me, after about 10 minutes, “Well Dick, I appreciate you coming in. To be honest with you, you’re not getting this, so I have to look further for this. But you’re still the narrator on this show.” And I say to Irwin, “Thank you very much.”

I take my reading glasses off and start packing up my attaché case. And God knows why I even did this. I say to Irwin, “Let me try one more thing for you just before I go.” And now I read the line in my best mechanical, robot-ian kind of way and I say “Warning that does not compute.”

And he says “Jesus Christ, that’s the Alexander Scourby approach I was looking for, what the hell took you so long?” Honestly, I had to literally turn away from him, so as not to laugh in his face, because I was so convulsed.

It was the classic example of what people say they want, and what they are actually looking for. They are two different things. In a sense I was *very* fortunate to become the voice of the Robot, because if I had not said “let me try one more thing” as I was walking out obviously I would never have been the voice of the Robot. It was a kind of a fluke the way it happened.

That IS a classic and oddly timeless truth that makes me smile, knowing the challenges of today in voice over aren’t actually that different from those great talents who paved the way for us.

Thanks Dick. Love your voice, love your humor!

dora’s new voice

flintstones- all rights reserved and acknowledged

If you had asked me three years ago who the h-e-double hockey sticks Dora the Explorer was I might have guess a nickname for a medical device that was part of an unpleasant medical experience – the older I get the more I start to think that way.

But most everyone with kids knows its an ungodly popular TV animated show and billion dollar enterprise for Nick Jr. I have about a dozen Dora related products in my home (more to come I’m sure) including pull up diapers because as the Muppets will tell you you’re not really a hit in TV animation until your animated likeness is plastered all over a…diaper. Please insert your own joke here.

But for fans of the show and for voice over, this upcoming season will unveil a new voice talent for Dora. Caitlin Sanchez, a 12 year old from New Jersey and new to VO, is set to fill the role of Dora. While I offer my congratulations to her as I’m sure she’ll do a fine job, I wonder if the current audience will notice the change as the producers hope they won’t.

For example, even as a child I noticed voice acting changes on the Flintstones during the series and its various incarnations and the later voices made me tune out. Now maybe I was a VO producer even as a child but I think kids are more discerning that adults give them credit for or even hope they’ll be.

I’ll be interested to observe if a certain young lady around our house notices any difference in her must-see-TV.

Thanks for reading.

If you haven’t already, we’d be honored if you subscribe to voxmarketising – the audio’connell blog and podcast by clicking the “subscribe” button on this blog.

If you have previously subscribed, as of August 1, 2008 we’ve implemented a new RSS feed. Please update your subscription now in your reader because as of September 1, 2008, the old subscription feed will go away and we want you to stay!

If you really like this post (of course we hope you do), please feel free to bookmark and or promote it by clicking the buttons below on your preferred services.