MovieWeb Interviews Townsend Coleman

Townsend Coleman reminisces with MovieWeb about working on the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series. Here’s an excerpt with Townsend discussing how he got into voice acting:

[Back] in Cleveland, Ohio, I had been a DJ, a rock-jock for close to 10 years. Finally, when I turned 30, I just decided I had enough of radio, I always wanted to be an actor, I was doing acting in Ohio and so I came out here after the Olympics, found a place to rent, went back home and said, ‘Honey, we’re up and moving the kids to Hollywood.’ She was a little nervous about it because we didn’t really know anyone here. I was just out looking for work, trying to get an agent, and I got really lucky and got a great commercial and voiceover agent within my first week here. Back home, I had been production director at a number of the radio stations I was at, so I was voicing a lot of the commercials and I had a really good demo reel when I came out here. So, virtually, the first guy I gave it to, signed me and I’m still with him today, 25 years later. I knew that I could do voiceovers to kind of pay the bills while I was trying to get a theatrical agent and get my acting career going, because that’s what I really really wanted to do. The voiceover stuff I knew I could do if I had to, but as it turned out, the voice stuff just kind of took off.

Six months after moving here, I got my first cartoon series and my first on-camera national commercial and my first little movie role, all within 10 days of each other. So I thought I was off and running, I was doing Inspector Gadget and I got this Kraft barbeque sauce commercial running and this movie with Tommy Lee Jones, so I was on top of the world. As it turned out, the voiceover stuff took off, but the movies and TV stuff, I was beating my head against a wall for, gosh, a good two or three years, with no success. To be honest, I just hated the whole process of the auditions and even the people in it, I hate to say, but the competition and the attitudes and the cut-throat nature of the theatrical stuff, just was so unappealing to me. In the voiceover world, you will never meet a greater, kinder, nicer bunch of actors in your life. That was much more my style, my speed and towards my liking. After about two or three years, I just gave up the whole theatrical dream and just turned my energy towards commercials and voiceovers. It was amazing how much more work I ended up getting, because my attitude was so much better. It was really tough to let that go, but I’ll tell you, it’s the best decision I’ve ever made.

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