How Did You Fall in Love With Voice Acting?
There must have been something along the way in your past that sparked your passion for voice over.
Today, I’d like to share a story of my own about how I came to be fascinated with and love voice over, something that perhaps many of you can relate to.
After you’ve read my account, I’d love it if you shared your story too!
Disney and Saturday Morning Cartoons From Early Childhood
If it weren’t for Walt Disney and other animators who gave voice to characters in film and on television, I highly doubt that voice acting would be as remarkably intriguing, spellbinding or desirable, for the majority of our first encounters with voice over are through animation and film.
My first memory of voice over stems from Walt Disney’s animated classic, Sleeping Beauty, a movie that happens to be celebrating it’s fiftieth anniversary this year. The voice actors and voice actresses danced through my mind and I’d join the chorus singing along to “Once Upon a Dream”, a song I believe can also be attributed to my love of singing.
Although Sleeping Beauty’s voice itself was beautiful, I remember the velvety voice of Maleficent (Eleanor Audley) with more clarity, a voice that was powerful, dark and controlled whether portraying an evil stepmother (Audley also performed Lady Tremaine in Cinderella) or in this case, an evil fairy.
One other Disney character voice that really struck me in my preschool years was Robin Hood, or as people in the real world would acknowledge, the voice of Brian Bedford.
Listening to these melodic voices was entrancing and I’ve been listening to voices ever since.
On a more humourous note, a couple of other memories include trying to do poor imitations of Woody Woodpecker and Daffy Duck; which was worse, I’ll never know 🙂
If Nothing Else, Children Of The 80s Watched Cartoons That Ruled
For all of the embarrassing fashion trends, hairdos, geeky dancing and spandex, the 80s did in fact yield something worth talking about and cherishing. This decade wasn’t exactly the picture of perfection but it sure did offer some of the best and most beloved cartoon series that ever were.
Sometimes I find myself looking through IMDb listings to check the voice casts from programming I watched as a child and am often pleasantly surprised to see the names of people I know and also people I am blessed to call my friends.
A couple of days ago, I was looking up the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and discovered to my delight that Townsend Coleman was the voice of Michelangelo, my favourite pepperoni pizza, nunchucks slinging turtle in a half shell, I must say. Among others in the credit list were Jim Cummings, a great friend Pat Fraley and the generous talent that is Beau Weaver, which was totally tubular if you know what I mean.
I think this is when people become aware of voice over used for other applications such as commercials, movie trailers, radio and so on. You’re liberally exposed to advertisements and voice over becomes more apparent. This is probably when I noticed that there were such things as promos for television shows and heard my first sound bite from Randy Thomas on Entertainment Tonight 🙂
You also have disposable income as a teenager and pay closer attention to things you may wish to purchase, being gently persuaded by that nice voice on TV who makes you want to buy things. Movie trailers were gripping, but I wouldn’t have known who did them then while I sat in blissful ignorance with everyone else. It wasn’t until much later that the world would meet the voice behind the ‘white knuckle thrill ride of the year’ who opened new doors with the three transporting, adrenaline pumping words, “In a World”.
If only our teachers in high school could have competed better with the voice over giants in Hollywood who captivated audiences within seconds and kept you on the edge of your seat… listening to documentaries became a passion back then for me and I think that’s how I managed to get through and enjoy most lectures attended at school and university as I completed my music degree, specializing in voice.
Now I find that I’ve widened my horizons and take notice of voice over wherever it is present. It’s a comfort to hear voice overs. Voice overs aren’t merely entertainment. Voice overs are truly omnipresent and serve so many different and necessary purposes.
I can’t imagine a better industry to be working in or with better people 🙂
Well, that’s my story. Can I hear yours?
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Looking forward to hearing from you,