Happy Birthday, Wil Wheaton!

07.29.2009

Wishing a very happy 37th birthday to Wil Wheaton, born today in 1972.

While most recognize Wil for his roles as Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) and Gordie in Stand By Me (1986), Wil has enjoyed a successful career as a voice actor starting as far back as 1982 when he voiced Martin in Don Bluth’s animated classic The Secret of N.I.M.H. He has since voiced several lead and supporting characters in video games (Grand Theft Auto series, Ghost Recon series, Everquest II) and animated TV series such as Aqualad on Teen Titans, Cosmic Boy on Legend of Super Heroes, Blue Beetle on Batman: The Brave and the Bold, and Mike Morningstar/Darkstar on Ben 10: Alien Force.

Wil founded an independent publishing company in 2003, Monolith Press. He is the author of three memoirs: Dancing Barefoot (Monolith Press, 2003), Just a Geek (O’Reilly Media, 2004), and The Happiest Days of Our Lives (Monolith Press, 2007). Most recently, Wil published Sunken Treasure: Wil Wheaton’s Hot Cocoa Box Sampler which includes a collection of his favorite pieces from his blog and books, fiction excerpts, a production diary from his guest role on Criminal Minds, and a script he wrote and performed at the ACME Comedy Theater.

You can drop Wil a birthday note via Twitter or through this post on his official site.


Voice Actors Platt, Lowenthal Announce Voice-Over ‘How To’ Book

07.25.2009

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

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Pre-Order Your Peek Into the World of Voice-Over with New Book

VO Pros Write Comprehensive Book about How to Get into Voice-Over

LOS ANGELES, July 21, 2009 — Have you ever watched a cartoon, played a video game or heard a movie trailer and wondered just who are those folks behind the mic? Maybe you’ve wanted to get into the business and become a voice actor yourself, but wanted to know where to begin? Coming November 1st, you can get answers to those questions and more with a new book about the world of VO written by Yuri Lowenthal and Tara Platt, two working pros with a long list of credits and a stellar reputation in the biz. The book is being launched this coming weekend at the prestigious San Diego Comic Con.

With insider tips and in-depth discussion about this exciting profession, the book, Voice-Over Voice Actor: What It’s Like Behind the Mic, is also peppered with anecdotes from stars in the field like Phil Morris (Secret Saturdays), Wil Wheaton (Batman: The Brave and the Bold), and Dee Bradley Baker (Spongebob Squarepants), and with a foreword by Eisner Award winning comic book writer Paul Jenkins (Wolverine: Origin). This book is sure to open your eyes and entertain.

Yuri Lowenthal (undated publicity photo courtesy bugbotpress.com)

Yuri Lowenthal (undated publicity photo courtesy bugbotpress.com)

“So many people have asked us how we got into [VO] and how they can do it too,” Yuri says, “and in the book we do our best to tell them all about what we’ve done.” Tara adds, “But more than that, we let them know what they might be able to do on their own to break in.” The book includes everything from mic technique and the auditioning process to suggestions for voice exercises and tips on self-marketing.

Several VO celebs have already praised Voice-Over Voice Actor. Phil LaMarr (Futurama), no stranger to acting and voice-over, says, “People always ask me for advice on how to get started in the VO business. My advice: Get this book.” Emmy award-winning voice director Andrea Romano (Avatar: the Last Airbender) lends her endorsement by adding, “Anyone wishing to pursue a career in voice-over will be more prepared and have a better chance of success if they read & heed the wisdom contained in this book. Were I teaching a class right now, this book would be a required text.”

Tara Platt (undated publicity photo courtesy bugbotpress.com)

Tara Platt (undated publicity photo courtesy bugbotpress.com)

Lowenthal and Platt have a long list of voice-over credits from animation to video games, commercials, narration and more. Some of their recognizable credits include Yuri’s Superman (Legion of Superheroes), Ben (Ben 10: Alien Force), Jinno/Kuma (on the Emmy-Nominated Afro Samurai: Resurrection), and the Prince (the Prince of Persia series of video games) as well as Dell, Coca-Cola and more. Tara’s credits include Wonder Woman (DC vs. Mortal Kombat), Dream Girl (Legion of Superheroes), and Temari (Naruto) as well as commercial work for clients like Subaru, Budweiser and McDonald’s.

Voice-Over Voice Actor is published by Bug Bot Press, and 15% pre-order discounts are being offered on the Web site before the book comes off presses November 1st. For more information, visit www.BugBotPress.com to pre-order your book now.

Previous news: 6.28.2009 — Lowenthal and Platt Interviewed.


VAs @ LA Times Festival of Books

04.02.2009

The LA Times’ annual Festival of Books takes place April 25-26 at UCLA and will include appearances by voice actors Debbie Derryberry (Jimmy Neutron, Grim & Evil) and Yeardley Smith (The Simpsons), as well as celebrities who have done a fair amount of voice acting: Danica McKellar (Static Shock, Justice League), Wil Wheaton (Batman: The Brave and The Bold, Ben 10: Alien Force), Cloris Leachman (The Iron Giant, A Troll in Central Park), and Michael J. Fox (Stuart Little series, Atlantis: The Lost Empire).

Here’s a sample of the schedule of events:

– Saturday, April 25th

Panel presentation: 10:30 AM
Status Update: Social Networking and New Media, featuring Wil Wheaton

Stage presentation: 10:40 AM
Debi Derryberry, voice of Jimmy Neutron and Author, “Baby Banana” and “Licorice Tree”

Stage presentation: 12:00 PM
Danica McKellar, author, “Kiss My Math: Showing Pre-Algebra Who’s Boss”

Stage presentation: 3:00 PM
Yeardley Smith, voice of Lisa Simpson and Author, “I, Loreilei”

– Sunday, April 26th

Panel presentation: 10:30 AM
Michael J. Fox in Conversation with Mary McNamara

Panel presentation: 12:00 PM
Cloris Leachman, author of “Cloris” interviewed by George Englund

Event information is available via LATimesFestivalofBooks.com or you can call 1-800-LA TIMES, ext. 7BOOK. Admission for the event is free, but tickets are required for panel presentations. However, tickets are only .75 cents and can be purchased via select Ticketmaster outlets in Southern California starting at Noon on April 19th.

Previous related news: 3.19.2009 — Simpsons’ Yeardley Smith Publishes Children’s Book.


‘Family Guy’ Reunites ‘Star Trek: TNG’ Cast

03.25.2009

The Sunday, March 29th episode of Family Guy, “Not All Dogs Will Go To Heaven” reunites Star Trek: The Next Generation cast members appearing (in animated form) as themselves: Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner, Denise Crosby, Gates McFadden, Jonathan Frakes, LeVar Burton, Marina Sirtis, Michael Dorn, and Wil Wheaton.

Part of the episode’s plot involves the Griffin family attending a Star Trek convention, and Stewie throws a fit when he doesn’t get a chance to ask any questions, so he devises a means to transport the entire cast to his bedroom.

EOnline.com offers more details on this episode, including an interview with Family Guy producer David Goodman, who confirms that The Empire Strikes Back parody episode will air at the end of the next season.

Elsewhere, David Goodman offers more details on this episode and working with the Trek cast in these interviews on TheDeadbolt.com and The Winnipeg Sun.

Previous Family Guy news: 3.22.2009 — MSNBC Interviews Seth MacFarlane

Additional source: GeeksofDoom.com