By Stephanie Ciccarelli
April 12, 2008
Many of you have seen the Voice Talkers : Living the Dream of a Voice Actor video on YouTube and are loving it!
For those of you who haven't seen it yet, click here.
Now, for those of you who have, here's an awesome interview with three members of the comedy troupe that discusses how Voice Talkers came about.
VOX: Where did the inspiration for "Voice Talkers : Living the Dream of a Voice Actor" come from?
RYAN HUNTER (CO-WRITER/DIRECTOR): I always thought it was hilarious that both Taige and his Dad had these Don LaFontaine-type voices. Just the idea that something like that could be genetic seemed sort of funny and unexpected. It makes sense, but it's not something people usually think about.
VOX: How do the themes "living the dream" and the word "indubitably" shape Voice Talkers?
RYAN: We wanted to use the theme "living the dream" in a way the other finalists might not. So we ended up telling a story about a guy who's been living someone else's dream and wants out. It seems like the contest organizers wanted to force every contestant to use a silly and arbitrary word in their piece, and they picked "indubitably." Hence, we used it as if some advertiser had pointlessly thrown it into their copy for a reason that was itself silly and arbitrary.
VOX: Z100's Dave Foxx is featured prominently in a very Don LaFontaine-like role. How did you secure Dave for the role and what kind of expertise did he bring to the table that helped you make this very niche comedy sketch?
TAIGE JENSEN (Lead Actor/Co-Writer/Editor): It turns out that Dave Foxx is actually biologically related to me. After discovering he was my father, I think he felt obligated to help us out. And we bought dinner (two large pizzas).
Dave was a great asset and was extremely generous with his time and facilities. He even engineered our ADR session at Z100 with the help of his Neumann and expert VO tips. It was awesome to collaborate with him, and I hope we get the chance to do it again.
VOX: How did Voice Talkers challenge the cast? Did anyone have voice acting experience before?
TAIGE: The biggest challenge for me was performing while feeling awful. Luckily the plan was to ADR everything from the beginning, because my voice was shot. Also, it was intimidating knowing that our voices were going to be back to back with an industry legend.
VOX: Who came up with the title "Voice Talkers"? What was it that made Voice Talkers the perfect title?
RYAN: We went through a ton of different titles. I thought the "The Cords That Bind" was pretty smart, although, conversely, I was also gravitating towards "Voice Males," just for the sheer idiocy of it. Likewise, I was attracted to "Voice Talkers" because it sounded so awkward, and yet it somehow seemed to fit. It has a certain misplaced gravitas about it that I liked, and it was also the only name that everyone else liked right away. I learned only recently that "Voice Talker" is an actual term thrown around jokingly in the voice industry. We had no idea.
VOX: When you were shooting this film, you likely had no idea what the response would be from the voice acting community online -- maybe you didn't expect there would be one at all. Now that the video has circulated and comments are funneling in, how has their response affected you?
RYAN: The response has been positive, and we've all been really happy about that. Some voice artists have told us that our piece is not far removed from their actual experience, which is really weird. We've also gotten a really good reaction from the orthodontic community, and that has probably touched me more than anything.
VOX: Do any of the cast members have plans to live the dream of a voice actor?
TAIGE: Like many voice actors, I've been struggling to live that dream for years. (hands out his demo) Call me!
TYLER JACKSON (Producer): I once did a voice-over for a documentary. I had a wonderful time, and was very proud of my work. I was fired - never to voice talk again...?
VOX: This video may very well go down in VO history as a classic, standing among such greats as "5 Men in a Limo" and "The Santa Sessions". You've captured a slice of life that most voice actors can identify with, some going as far as saying that what you've shot is almost as if you turned a camera on in their own homes and hit record. As a producer, how does this make you feel?
TYLER: Whenever people feel like your work has connected to a truth in their lives, you know you're doing something right. Surprisingly, our parents didn't want us to be in a comedy troupe as a career, but my dad doesn't have as much bass in his voice so it was much easier to disobey his wishes.