Monday, 4 June 2012

Susan Sheridan- A case study



Famed for her roles in popular children’s show Noddy’s Toyland Adventures (1992) , as Trillian in radio 4’s original series of The Hitchhiker’s Guide To the Galaxy (1978), and Eilonwy in Disney’s The Black Cauldron (1985) Susan Sheridan has been working as a voice actor for over half of her life, in amongst taking on roles in theatre and TV, and coaching voice development.

She studied at the Guildhall school of music and drama, although her passion for performing began at a much earlier age, when she attended the Brigidine Convent in Windsor, a school which encouraged drama and dance, and put on annual shows at La Scala. Her first credited voice over role seems to have been as Trillian in 1978, although there were other commercial voice over roles from 1965.

In 1984 she was nominated for an Emmy award for her contribution to an episode of TV series Fame in writing and composing the music, and although she is credited as the voice for many popular and cult figures in radio and animation, she has not yet received any other awards.

I find her admirable because she has a very distinctive voice naturally, and although she has a home coutnies crispness to her voice, manages with ease to sound inviting and friendly. Some may think she does not have such a range of character as some other voice actors (in this instance they would be incorrect; she voiced eleven regular characters in Noddy’s Toyland Adventures, plus several additional voices), but even so, she has a strong and memorable voice which she knows how to use. She has portrayed characters of all ages and both genders, and although she may not be critically lauded, she has made a long and successful career from her voice. If there is one person i can currently look to as inspiration, it's her.



Saturday, 2 June 2012

Rob Paulsen- A case study


It would not be unreasonable to state that Rob Paulsen is one of the voice actors that inspired my interest in the field, and certainly one of my idols. As a child of the 90s decade, there were very few cartoons I would watch which Mr Paulsen wasn’t involved in for at least an episode.

Rob Paulsen landed his first credited job as an “additional voice” on The Smurfs (IMDb, date unknown), and was in work consistently from the mid-80s onwards. His personal website lists his most well-known roles as Raphael of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987), the title role of Mighty Max (1993), Arthur in The Tick (1994), both characters of Stanley Ipkiss and The Mask in the animated series of The Mask (1995), Carl Wheezer of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius (2001), Jack Fenton in Danny Phantom (2004), and Bobble in the Tinkerbell DVD series (2008-present). With a career this long-lasting and wide-reaching, Mr Paulsen is an imposing and knowledgeable figure in the voice acting industry.

He was born in Detroit, and raised in Michigan. From an early age, he was an avid fan and player of ice hockey, but soon found that he did not have the skill or temperament to play professionally. So, at the age of eighteen, he decided to dedicate himself to acting and singing, his other passions. It was clearly a wise choice, as he has had a varied and prolific career, with some on camera roles, character voices for animations and video games, and commercial voice-overs all evident on his resume.
Rob Paulsen currently offers one-on-one and group seminar sessions in a bid to raise money for children’s’ and veterans’ charities.

His awards include:
4 nominations and 3 wins- “Annie” awards, voice acting in the field of animation
1 nomination and 1 win- “DVDX” awards, best original song in a DVD premiere movie
2 nominations and 1 win- “Daytime Emmy” awards, outstanding performer in an animated programme



I think, personally, my admiration for Mr Paulsen stems from his tendency to portray particularly talkative characters, displaying a mastery of wrapping his mouth around particularly difficult phrases. My first knowledge of him as a performer came from his role as Yakko Warner in the 1991 cartoon Animaniacs, a particularly good example of Paulsen’s ability to be both wordy and witty. With the pointed yet drawling New York tones of a teenage Groucho Marx, Yakko was supposedly the elder of three ink-blot style cartoons, who used a special brand of music and mayhem to make an entertaining, educational programme. The wordiness of Yakko’s character did not end with witty one-liners and parodies of famous speeches, but extended on into songs that listed the presidents throughout American history, the planets of the solar system, ingredients in ice cream and chocolate bars and, most famously, the countries of the world.
If there are two things Rob Paulsen’s career can teach the aspiring voice actor, they are that commitment, practice and perseverance are invaluable skills, and breath control.

Monday, 27 February 2012

"The Jabberwock" reading

"The Jabberwock" is one of my favourite poems, and I recorded myself reading it as an exercise in attitudes while reading. I thought it was a good example of the style in which a person speaks being more important than the words. The words of "The Jabberwock" are utterly nonsensical, and as such any performance of it relies entirely on the tone created by the performer. I think I did a rather good job!


In other news, I finally got to meet local professional voice artist Pavel Douglas (www.paveldouglas.co.uk), and he has been amazingly kind and helpful in recommending local projects and opportunities, agreeing to an interview for this blog, and allowing me to visit his personal studio. I cannot wait to speak to him further!

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Video blog 5 and some news

Well, here it is! Blog 5, which is a bit overdue. Life's getting a little bit hectic, as all of my assessments are starting to pile up, but fear not, readers, I will not forget you!


Lyrics for "Yakko's World" follow, so you can sing along at home:

"United States, Canada, Mexico, Panama
Haiti, Jamaica, Peru,
Republic Dominican, Cuba, Carribean
Greenland, El Salvador too.
Puerto Rico, Columbia, Venezuela
Honduras, Guyana, and still,
Guatemala, Bolivia, then Argentina
And Ecuador, Chile, Brazil.
Costa Rica, Belize, Nicaragua, Bermuda
Bahamas, Tobago, San Juan,
Paraguay, Uruguay, Surinam
And French Guiana, Barbados, and Guam.

Norway, and Sweden, and Iceland, and Finland
And Germany now one piece,
Switzerland, Austria, Czechoslovakia
Italy, Turkey, and Greece.
Poland, Romania, Scotland, Albania
Ireland, Russia, Oman,
Bulgaria, Saudi Arabia
Hungary, Cyprus, Iraq, and Iran.
There's Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan
Both Yemens, Kuwait, and Bahrain,
The Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium, and Portugal
France, England, Denmark, and Spain.

India, Pakistan, Burma, Afghanistan
Thailand, Nepal, and Bhutan,
Kampuchea, Malaysia, then Bangladesh (Asia)
And China, Korea, Japan.
Mongolia, Laos, and Tibet, Indonesia
The Philippine Islands, Taiwan,
Sri Lanka, New Guinea, Sumatra, New Zealand
Then Borneo, and Vietnam.
Tunisia, Morocco, Uganda, Angola
Zimbabwe, Djibouti, Botswana,
Mozambique, Zambia, Swaziland, Gambia
Guinea, Algeria, Ghana.

Burundi, Lesotho, and Malawi, Togo
The Spanish Sahara is gone,
Niger, Nigeria, Chad, and Liberia
Egypt, Benin, and Gabon.
Tanzania, Somalia, Kenya, and Mali
Sierra Leone, and Algiers,
Dahomey, Namibia, Senegal, Libya
Cameroon, Congo, Zaire.
Ethiopia, Guinea-Bissau, Madagascar
Rwanda, Mahore, and Cayman,
Hong Kong, Abu Dhabi, Qatar, Yugoslavia...
Crete, Mauritania
Then Transylviania,
Monaco, Liechtenstein
Malta, and Palestine,
Fiji, Australia, Sudan." 

Saturday, 21 January 2012

"Me and Mine" extract reading

As promised, here's the extract reading/trailer for Sarah Goodwin's "Me and Mine", voiced and animated by yours truly, with music from Kevin MacLeod at incompetech.com


"Me and Mine" is available as an ebook from amazon.com, and amazon.co.uk, and as a paperback from lulu.com.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Vikkie's Voice blog 3


Yes, blog three, and my how advanced we are. Making sounds! Next time, we might even get around to talking!