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.