As a precursor to my continued coverage of the San Diego Comic-Con that I’ll be updating later this week, Backstage.com blogger Daniel Lehman talks with casting/voice director Andrea Romano at the con on superhero fans, casting, celebrity voice acting, Green Lantern: First Flight, voice-over work in general, and advice for aspiring voice actors. Here’s an excerpt:
Q: Do you ever hear any backlash or criticism from voiceover actors who think celebrities are stealing their jobs?
A: Sure, I often hear it from actors that they look at their jobs as being taken away by celebrities. But I fight for the right actor for the job. If there is clearly a rank-and-file actor who is better than the celebrity that the company wants to go for, I will fight for that actor. I like working with celebrities, but in a lot of ways it’s very difficult. Their schedule is bad and I have to find some way to wedge everything together with everyone’s availability. There is often an entourage involved. Often when we use celebrities, the company wants press, so there are cameras and makeup. I like to use celebrities in a much more casual situation, and I don’t want them to have to be on camera.
Even when there’s a celebrity or two in a piece, they are surrounded with rank-and-file actors. And those are the guys that are carrying the heavy weight, and are doing three roles, and have to sound completely different and separate. I love voiceover actors. I find them the least neurotic of all the actors that you might have to work with. They aren’t being rejected because they aren’t tall enough or pretty enough or young enough. Either they can do the voice, or they can’t do the voice.
Q: What advice do you have for aspiring voice actors?
A: I encourage everybody to pursue this. Take acting classes – regular, good old-fashioned acting classes. The number one thing about voiceover acting is the acting. You can learn how to do voices, but you can’t learn how to act unless you’ve had the training. Then take voiceover classes specifically geared towards voiceover, towards animation, towards trailers, towards commercials. It’s all different.
You don’t necessarily have to learn how to do different voices. For example, Ben Stein is really only a one-voice guy, but he uses it so well. Whenever I need that kind of voice, I am going to go to Ben Stein. So if you only have one voice, that’s fine, but you need to really hone your skills so that you are the best at that voice. And then there are the versatile voiceover actors, the actors that at the drop of a hat can do the crying baby, the maitre d’ at the restaurant, and the 90-year-old evil sorcerer all in the same session, and sound like three distinctly different people.
Continue reading CD Andrea Romano Gives Voice to Superheroes.
[Thanks to Erik Sheppard for the heads-up via Twitter.]