Voiceover Career Event in NYC on September 22nd

08.26.2010

For Immediate Release

That's Voiceover (banner coutesy Push Creative Entertainment)

THAT’S VOICEOVER – NATION’S TOP VOICEOVER ACTORS REVEAL CAREER SECRETS FOR CHARITY

In New York, NY on September 22, 2010, an expert panel of top voice-over actors, talent agents and ad executives will provide a crash course for those seeking careers in the exciting world of voiceover acting. And one lucky audience member will win a chance to become the voice of an on-air TV promo for a network station and win Hollywood representation with TGMD Talent Agency. Proceeds from the event benefit the Alzheimer’s Association.

Author of Secrets of Voice-Over Success, Joan Baker and Late Night with David Letterman announcer, Alan Kalter host an entertaining evening of information, an American Idol-styled audition (complete with industry executives as judges) and a chance for job seekers to meet the industry buyers who provide the jobs.

Attendees will also meet and hear from the talented voices behind TV and radio ads for THE E-TRADE BABY, THE SIMPSONS, LAW & ORDER, THE OSCARS and EMMYS, DEAL or NO DEAL, AMERICAN IDOL, the NBC OLYMPIC GAMES, HBO, SHOWTIME, VERIZON WIRELESS and many others. These consummate pros will separate the facts from the fictions about breaking into the voiceover biz. Even seasoned voiceover actors will find incredible guidance as the conversation will include best practices for enhancing careers in an industry of changing trends.

AFTRA, BACK STAGE Magazine, Neumann USA, Voicebank.Net, Dale Pro Audio, and TGMD Talent Agency are major sponsors in what has been a growing effort by Push Creative Advertising to expand employment opportunities in the exciting and often lucrative field of voiceover acting. And, as is the case with Joan Baker’s breakthrough book, Secrets of Voice-Over Success, proceeds from this event will benefit the Alzheimer’s Association.

Voiceover acting has long been the most intriguing, anonymous and off-the-radar crafts in the entertainment industry. But the surprisingly large interest among people from all walks of life has been slowly encouraging industry insiders like Emmy Award-winning producer and CEO of Push Creative Advertising, Rudy Gaskins to respond to the need. Says GASKINS, “It pretty much began with Joan Baker’s Secrets of Voice-over Success (foreword by David Hyde Pierce). This book is the first to provide a practical, step by step guide through the eyes of numerous successful voiceover actors, including the late great DON LA FONTAINE, Tony Award-winner, JIM DALE, Emmy Award-winner RICHARD THOMAS, radio personality VALERIE SMALDONE and JOE CIPRIANO who took home the first annual 2010 DON LAFONTAINE LEGACY AWARD sponsored by PROMAX BDA.”

That's Voiceover (Banner coutesy Push Creative Entertainment)

Other panelists include Bill Ratner (voices on G.I. Joe, Family Guy, Robot Chicken, Mass Effect), Tor Myhren, CCO of Grey Advertising, Miranda Patterson, Creative Director for NBC Universal, and Jeffrey Weinstock, SVP Creative Services for Disney. “In a historically challenging economy where jobs are scarce and people are seeking to diversify their options, we’re bringing together the industry insiders who know what it takes to succeed.” says Gaskins. Joan Baker adds, “THAT’S VOICEOVER is first and foremost a career event. The award of an actual job in this context is an industry first. It bolsters our mission to elevate the conversation and point people in the right direction.”

And this year, thanks to Lee Minard, director of creative services for KLAS CBS Las Vegas, one lucky attendee will win a chance to book an actual job voicing an on-air TV spot. “With top industry executives helming the judges table, attendees will get an unprecedented glimpse into how voices are selected and how to be ready when the call comes their way.” says Gaskins.

Complete event details are available at THATSVOICEOVER.COM and TheTimesCenter.com.

Thanks to Push Creative Entertainment for the press release and images. We previously mentioned this event 8.19.2010 via Twitter.

~ Craig “Voiceroy” Crumpton
Publisher: Voice Actors in the News


SAG Appoints Bob Bergen National Chair of Animation

07.27.2010

For Immediate Release:

SAG National Board of Directors Appoints Bob Bergen
National Chair of Television Animation and Basic Cable Animation

Negotiating Committee Receives Report on The Presidents’ Forum for One Union
Announces Fiscal-Year 2010 Surplus and Receipt of Unqualified Audit Opinion

Los Angeles, (July 24, 2010) – Screen Actors Guild National Board of Directors, meeting in a one-day video plenary in Los Angeles and New York, named Bob Bergen National Chair of the 2010 Television Animation and Basic Cable Animation Negotiating Committee. Pursuant to Screen Actors Guild policy, the members of negotiating committees are confidential and their names will not be released. Negotiations for a successor agreement to this contract are scheduled to begin September 27, 2010.

In other business, National President Ken Howard reported to the Board regarding the formation of The Presidents’ Forum for One Union – a joint platform with American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) to facilitate development of a process that can lead SAG and AFTRA to form one autonomous union.

Screen Actors Guild’s contingent to The Presidents’ Forum will consist of six SAG members including President Howard as Chair, Secretary-Treasurer Amy Aquino, and four additional members selected from the Guild’s SAG/AFTRA Relations Task Force. The Forum will include a similar group designated by AFTRA.

President Howard said, “This is a positive step toward uniting SAG and AFTRA and good news for our members. The creation of a single performers’ union is overdue, and I’m pleased to be working with Roberta Reardon, who’s been such a champion of that goal.”

Related post: 12.11.2009 – Smackdown: Union Voice Actors VS Video Game Companies


Voice Acting Instructional Book is an Award-Winner

07.17.2010

For Immediate Release:

AWARD-WINNING WRITERS WITH A WHOLE LOT OF GEEK APPEAL

Voice-Over Superstars Yuri Lowenthal and Tara Platt’s “How-To” Book Is A Winner

Husband/wife voice actors Tara Platt and Yuri Lowenthal (undated publicity photo courtesy bugbotpress.com)

 

07.16.2010 – Hollywood, CA — Actor-authors Yuri Lowenthal and Tara Platt have been landing prestigious awards with their new book Voice-Over Voice Actor: What It’s Like Behind the Mic, which was released earlier this year under indie publishing company Bug Bot Press. Since Voice-Over Voice Actor’s launch in March, it has won the 2010 Pinnacle Book Award and the National Indie Excellence Award as well as heading into a second print run to keep up with demand.

The book has taken the married celeb voice-acting couple on a world-tour this year with stops in Australia (Brisbane & Melbourne), the UK (London & Dublin), Canada (Montreal) as well as the US (Vegas, San Francisco, LA). Platt and Lowenthal’s huge fan base is actually one of the reasons that the duo credits the success of the book as well as the recent title of Nerdage’s “Fans’ Choice for Actor, Actress with Geek Appeal” by the on-line contest held by the Oklahoman NewsOK blog.

“It was fun to learn that we’d both won in our respective categories, beating out some really heavy hitters, but it’s entirely thanks to the fans,” Tara noted when asked about the recent nomination and win for Actress with Geek Appeal. Yuri added, “Yeah, we’re humbled by the fan response and kind of dumbfounded that we beat out names like Robert Downey Jr. and Megan Fox.” Lowenthal attributes it to fanbase crossover; his and Platt’s work includes roles in anime, videogames, animation, and genre webseries, TV, and film, including titles like Naruto, Afro Samurai, The Prince of Persia, Resident Evil, Ben 10: Alien Force, Legion of Superheroes, Absolution, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and the recently completed The Arcadian with Lance Henriksen.

And just in time to fly their geek colors, the pair will be headed later this month to San Diego for the 41st annual International San Diego Comic Con, July 22-25, a celebration and gathering of geek culture, movies, videogames and more, with attendance looking to top 125K at the San Diego Convention Center. Platt and Lowenthal will be selling their book, speaking on panels and signing autographs at SDCC.

Book cover image courtesy Spotlight PR

The book is distributed nationally through Emerald Book Group and is available on-line and in brick and mortar shops like Borders, Barnes & Noble and specialty theatre bookstores like Samuel French. Voice-Over Voice Actor also recently became available as an eBook on lulu.com and will be available for the iPad soon.

For more information on the book check out: www.VoiceOverVoiceActor.com

Related post: 7.25.2009 – Voice Actors Platt, Lowenthall Announce Voice-Over ‘How To’ Book


Animation Casting Director Interviewed

07.12.2010

BackStage.com has a feature article on “Actors Casting Directors Love” which mostly covers on-camera actors, but there’s an interesting quote from animation casting director Bernie Van De Yacht that I felt was worth repeating here:

[As] an animation casting director, I generally don’t try to narrow it down to whether they have voiceover experience or not. A good actor is a good actor, no matter what arena they’re acting in. Sometimes it’s a detriment if they’ve done too much voiceover work, because then they tend to sound a little bit cartoonish; sometimes the heart and soul is missing. And if somebody has never done it before and is just a really good actor and can create an entire world in a soundproof booth with a microphone, it’s amazing. It’s kind of like an actor on stage having to do a soliloquy, where they have to hold the interest of the audience by themselves and with nothing else and we have to be able to visualize what they’re saying. And I think that actors who are good at that tend to be very good voiceover actors. They’re the ones that excite us.


Adventures in Voice Acting Offers Free Webinar

05.11.2010

On May 17th, Bang Zoom! Entertainement and Tony Oliver will host a free Adventures in Voice Acting webinar from 5:30-6:30 PM (EST). The press release follows:

A free webinar about breaking into and working in the Voice Acting business. We will cover some basics you need to learn, give some advice as to how to proceed and provide a chance for you to ask questions. We will also tell you about future webinars and how you can subscribe to them. This webinar will be conducted by veteran Voice Actor & Director Tony Oliver and is sponsored by Bang Zoom! Entertainment.

To register click the link below:
https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/551561433


Spike Spencer in Vandal Hearts: Flames of Judgement

02.09.2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Spike Spencer to Voice Characters in Vandal Hearts: Flames of Judgment

LOS ANGELES, CA – Feb. 9 – It has been announced that actor Spike Spencer is to voice two characters in the Classic RPG Vandal Hearts: Flames of Judgment, recently developed and published by Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc.

Spike will provide the voices for Connor Ganson, (a career criminal since age sixteen; an unrepentant street thief and con artist) and Menicks Rence. “I really enjoyed playing a career criminal, a character so totally unlike me. Wink, wink, nod, nod, say no more…” joked Spike in a recent interview. “It was also nice to play another character, in Manicks, with a deeper voice which a lot of people don’t realize I can do. It was a nice departure from all those effeminate little girly boys who save the world in a biomechanical frickin robot.” Spike jokingly added.

Story:
This time, the action takes place in a time before the first Vandal Hearts story. Konami’s legendary tactical RPG series returns with the all new Vandal Hearts: Flames of Judgment for Xbox LIVE® Arcade and PlayStation Network.

On the continent of Sostegaria, two rival kingdoms stand on the brink of war. Caught in the tide of battle is young orphan Tobias Martin. Driven to defend his homeland, and to avenge those already fallen, Tobias enlists with his comrades to fight for peace. But all is not what it seems, and they face a threat far deadlier—and closer—than they know.

It’s been a decade since the launch of the first Vandal Hearts game, which appeared on the original PlayStation and made a name for itself as one of the first and more successful tactical role-playing games outside Japan.

Key Features:
-Classic gameplay, expanded and streamlined – Combines the speedy RPG pace of the original Vandal Hearts with improved user mechanics and top-notch representation.

-Strong story – Serving as the prequel to the original Vandal Hearts, Flames of Judgment delivers a rich, focused, and character-driven storyline. Between the action, towns, story sequences, and cinematic cutscenes, a typical play-through can last 8 to 10 hours on average, with additional replay value.

-Multiple Endings – The player’s actions throughout the game determine the ending, Tobias’ future and more.

-Party members adapt: Player characters improve their skills as you see fit, providing a wide range of options.

Spike Spencer is scheduled to appear at several Anime and gaming conventions this year including Anime Evolution in Vancouver, Imagicon in Alabama, and Puerto Rico’s Comic Con.

ABOUT SPIKE SPENCER:
An accomplished actor, Spike Spencer has worked onscreen with such notable stars as Tommy Lee Jones, Sandra Bullock, Frank Langella, Tia Carrere, and Scott Glenn.

In the realm of voice acting he has voiced hundreds of episodes of Anime including Evangelion, Spriggan, Nadesico, Mar, Pre Tear, Code Geass 2, Buso Renkin and Bleach as well as numerous video games including World of Warcraft-The Burning Crusades, Tales of Vesperia, Trauma Center, Steambot Chronicles, and Star Ocean 2. Spike has lent his voice to many radio and television commercials and campaigns.

Spike is also an author/screenwriter and is in pre-production on his first feature film that he scripted, “Dwindle Down.”

Learn more about Spike at:
www.worldospike.com
www.spikespencer.com
http://www.almostevilminions.com – coming soon
Twitter.com
Facebook.com

Related post: 1.15.2010 — Spike Spencer Cast in ‘Lunar: Silver Star Harmony


Full Coverage: 2010 Annie Awards Ceremony

02.08.2010

This article was originally posted 1.03.2010 and has since been revised and updated as new details have become available.

Presented by the International Animated Film Society, ASIFA-Hollywood, the 37th Annual Annie Awards were held on Saturday, February 6, 2010, at UCLA’s Royce Hall, in Los Angeles, California. The ceremony will also be webcast on AnnieAwards.org beginning Tuesday, Feb. 9th.

Following are the nominees and winners for the voice acting-related categories:

~ Voice Acting in a Television Production ~

Tom Kenny accepting his award. (Photo courtesy Carol Wyatt)


Danny Jacobs, Voice of King Julien: “Merry Madagascar”: DreamWorks Animation

Nicky Jones, Voice of Chowder: “Chowder: The Dinner Theatre'”: Cartoon Network Studios

* WINNER: Tom Kenny, Voice of SpongeBob: “SpongeBob SquarePants: Truth or Square”: Nickelodeon

– Dwight Schultz, Voice of Mung Daal: “Chowder:The Party Cruise”: Cartoon Network Studios

– Willow Smith, Voice of Abby: “Merry Madagascar”: DreamWorks Animation

~ Voice Acting in a Feature Production ~

* WINNER: Jen Cody, Voice of Charlotte: “The Princess and the Frog”: Walt Disney Animation Studios

– Dawn French, Voice of Miss Forcible: “Coraline”: Laika

– Hugh Laurie, Voice of Dr. Cockroach Ph.D.: “Monsters vs. Aliens”: DreamWorks Animation

– John Leguizamo, Voice of Sid: “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaur”: Blue Sky Studios

– Jennifer Lewis, Voice of Mama Odie: “The Princess and the Frog”: Walt Disney Animation Studios

The highest honor of the night went to Pixar/Disney’s Up for “Best Animated Feature,” which won another award for “Directing in a Feature Production.”

Futurama: Into The Wild Green Yonder won for “Best Home Entertainment Production,” and Robot Chicken: Star Wars 2.5 was the winner for “Best Animated Short Subject.”

Disney’s Prep and Landing won “Best Animated Television Production” and 3 additional awards, while The Penguins of Madagascar won for the “Best Animated Television Production for Children.”

Producer/animator/artist Bruce Timm was one of three recipients of the prestigious Winsor McCay Award. Timm has also voiced incidental characters and performed background walla for the many DC Comics animated properties with which he’s been involved.

My hearty congratulations to all the winners and nominees.

William Shatner hosting (photo courtesy Carol Wyatt)


William Shatner served as host for the event (previously reported here), and presenters included June Foray, Seth Green, John Leguizamo, Sean Astin, Pete Docter, Ed Catmull and Henry Selick. Disney’s Don Hahn also introduced a special tribute to the late Roy Disney.

Please visit AnnieAwards.org for the complete list of winners.

I will be adding more photos and video from the event over the next week, but in the meantime here’s a video from the 2009 Annie Awards featuring voice actors James Hong, Brad Garrett and Pat Fraley (via ActorsReporter.com):

Update: 2.08.2010, 3:05 AM (EST) — My friend and fellow voice actor fan Matt Dunford had the privilege of attending the Annies and provided the following report:

It was great show. But I really don’t think that Shatner was anywhere near as good as Tom Kenny has been for the past 5 years. But the highlight of the evening was Shatner totally botching the pronunciation of John Leguizamo and the running gag it prompted for the rest of the evening.

[Besides the aforementioned presenters], John DiMaggio and Fred Tatasciore presented an award together. Later on Bill Farmer, Tony Anselmo, and Russi Taylor went on stage and presented an award and also gave a marvelous tribute to Wayne Allwine. It was wonderful, Russi was so thankful to everyone there as she was holding back tears, yet the trio still gave a wonderful performance.

And for VAs in the audience I ran into Dana Snyder from [Aqua Teen Hunger Force], and Michael-Leon Wooley [Princess and the Frog]. Wooley was…very smiley and laughing all the time.

Other comments on the Annie Awards ceremony via Cartoon Brew:

From Floyd Norman: “William Shatner was a terrific host. Plus, he really moved the show along nicely, making the most out of every comic opportunity. I’d gladly have him back at the helm for another awards ceremony.”

From Floyd Bishop: “I thought the show was great, even from the nosebleed seats. The Tom [Kenny]/William Shatner voice swap skit was funny, and as Floyd Norman mentioned, Mr Shatner did a great job of keeping the show moving. It didn’t feel as long as it was.”

Update: 2.09.2010, 5:00 AM (EST) — The first few minutes of AnimationArchive.org’s podcast includes an “Annies Wrap Up.”

Seth Green fan blog “Freakin’ Awesome!” has posted photos collected from around the web of Green’s appearance at the Annie Awards here and here.

I also have a full gallery of photos courtesy of artist Carol Wyatt of Carol Wyatt Illustration (Thanks again, Carol!):

Annie Awards
Annie Awards
Annie Awards
Annie Awards
Annie Awards
Annie Awards
Annie Awards
Annie Awards
Annie Awards
Annie Awards
Annie Awards
Annie Awards
Annie Awards

And if anyone from ASIFA-Hollywood happens to be reading this, I would like to submit Richard Horvitz as host for the 38th Annual Annie Awards, provided that Tom Kenny is not available again. I’ve observed Horvitz for a few convention panel presentations and he’s naturally funny, quick-witted, great with people and presents himself professionally as well. He also has ample experience as a speaker since he teaches voice acting workshops which come highly-recommended.

While I’m sure having a celebrity guest host helped boost the Annies’ media exposure, wouldn’t you really rather have the host represent someone who genuinely works in your own industry?

Added: 2.08.2010, 3:39 AM (EST) — 2010 Annie Awards videos from the red carpet event:

Lacey Chabert (The Spectacular Spider-Man, The Wild Thornberrys, and the original voice of Meg Griffin on Family Guy):

John Leguizamo (Ice Age film series):

Russi Taylor (Minnie Mouse):

Tony Anselmo and Bill Farmer (Donald and Goofy, respectively):

Jennifer Lewis (Princess and the Frog):

Michael-Leon Wooley (Princess and the Frog):

Jennifer Cody (Princess and the Frog):

…and Cody receiving her Annie Award:

Nicky Jones (Chowder)

Seth Green (Robot Chicken, Family Guy)

Tom Kenny vs William Shatner: Battle for the Host!
…also includes Seth Green presenting the award for “Best Home Entertainment Production” (and a brief appearance by John Di Maggio)

A very special thanks to Matt Dunford for providing the event report, to artist Carol Wyatt of Carol Wyatt Illustration / Carol’s Couch for all the photos, and to Doreen Mulman for the heads-up on Carol’s photos.
I’d also like to thank the Academy…

Additional sources: NewsroomAmerica.com and Celebrity2Celebrity.com.

Related posts:
– 1.26.2010 — William Shatner to Host Annie Awards
– 12.17.2009 — Golden Globes Nominees Announced