Voice actor Neil Kaplan is a man on a mission, and his mission is to bring audio theater to the US Armed Forces serving overseas.
Find out how you can help!
The concept of Audio Theater for the Troops was created in 2005. With two relatives and a close friend having served in the US Armed Forces, this project is very dear to Kaplan’s heart, a story which he relates in an interview on VOX Daily.
One of his cousins was stationed on an aircraft carrier. While docked in San Francisco, Kaplan had the opportunity to spend some time aboard the carrier where he encountered a small television production facility where the crew could edit inbound material and also provide information and entertainment.
Fresh entertainment to help keep up the spirits of men and women in uniform became a focal point for Kaplan as he saw the need for it over and over again, and with that realization, his desire to contribute became greater and more defined.
Kaplan relates, “I played a character by the name of Optimus Prime on Transformers: Robots in Disguise and as a result became friendly with a fire fighter who had legally changed his name to Optimus Prime! That man went to Iraq to support our troops. To fight fires and to keep men and women safe. That is one VERY brave man. One day while chatting he to me ‘You know, you’re my hero’ to which I responded ‘I’m a cartoon voice guy… YOU’RE the hero!’ … and I thought to myself, what could I do to thank this brave man and his colleagues.
After some thought, it was clear that using the human voice to entertain through audio theater was the perfect solution to how he could reach out and involve others voice acting to present the troops with quality entertainment that they could consume.
With that, he applied to AFTRA for a waiver to allow actors to donate their time. Earlier this year, Kaplan got his waiver and the first pilot script and began moving along.
Although celebrity voice talent will be donating their time to record for the project, the services of an audio engineer are required to edit the recordings and mix down final versions. This costs money.
Neil Kaplan has entered a contest that should he win, will help him out in that stead by raising funds to pay for a recording engineer, but he needs your votes.