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Voice Coaches Radio #438 – Batman Returns

Voice Coaches Radio. Everything voiceover. And welcome into this week's edition of Voice Coaches Radio. Sure, say welcome back to this week's edition of Voice Coaches Radio. I am Josh Eller. Delighted to have you joining me as always. Bit of a hiatus, but we are back at it here. And, uh, and again, glad to have you tuning us in here on Voice Coaches Radio, glad to be back on the pod.

Uh, certainly, uh, certainly missed you guys. Hopefully you didn't miss us too, too much over the past, uh, few weeks or so. While we were, we'll say we were hibernating or so, but back at it here. From Voice Coaches Radio and, uh, what we're going to do, we're kind of entering a bit of a transitional phase, we're going to be welcoming in a new co host very soon, so you're going to want to stick around and, uh, and keep an eye out for who that is going to be, but very excited, uh, to be heading in that direction.

For now, though, until that time, we're going to be doing a little bit of, uh, of reminiscing. Right, we're going to go back. Now, Voice Coaches Radio has been, has been going strong for, oh goodness, almost 10 years now, and, uh, you know, there's been an awful lot of... Great, great podcast. A lot of great information, a lot of great guests and interviews that have happened on voice coaches radio.

Um, and not all of them while I was here. So we're going to take a look back at the time that was jumping the in the way back machine with Mr Peabody over here and, uh, and go back to some of those older interviews, some of those older episodes with some previous hosts and some previous guests talking about some things that might interest people.

Not sure how many of our listeners, you know, have taken a look in the archives and gone all the way back, you know, to 2010, 2011 and, uh, and seeing some of the gold that is back there. But I had a chance to do that kind of sift through some of the, uh, some of the, the, the, the, the classic, the golden oldies of voice coaches radio and, uh, and, and found some, some really, really great stuff that, uh, you know, that.

That I, I, I think our, our newer fans would, would really appreciate. So, uh, we're gonna start out with an interview. Actually, our first couple episodes are, are, are going to be some interviews, uh, dating all the way back to 2011. So, eight years ago. This is actually, it was November of 2011 this came out. It would, uh, it was right after the New York Comic Con back in 2000.

11, uh, and this episode was hosted by none other than Warren Garling and Mike Spring, and Mike had a chance to go to that Comic Con and interview some people, and we're gonna, we're gonna listen in on a couple of those interviews. The first one, uh, is a really cool one that I think, uh, those of you who have not heard it or, uh, have not gone back into the archives that far will really enjoy this one.

It's actually with a, uh, a famous voice actor by the name of Kevin Conroy, and Kevin has, uh, Uh, he's made a name for himself, uh, As Batman. I'm Batman. Oh, that's awful. I'm Batman. I can't do it. But he can, because he was Batman, he is Batman. Uh, in fact, he's been portraying the voice of Bruce Wayne in Batman since all the way back in 1992.

Uh, with Warner Brothers and, uh, and, and really does a tremendous job at it and, and has through, uh, the television shows, the animated shows, all the different iterations of that, movies as well, and of course the video games that have really taken off in popularity. So, uh, we're gonna have, uh, have Mike and Warren kind of set this up for you a little bit and then you can listen in to that round table interview that Mike had with the voice of Batman.

Kevin Conroy. And I guess we're gonna start

with, uh, the voice of Batman for, for like a long time

he's been doing this? Since 1992, I believe. Wow. Uh, Kevin Conroy is the actor's name. He's been playing Batman. He started off on the Batman, the animated series, uh, did that voice for several years. Then he played Batman in the Justice League series for several years and has also played Batman in probably...

I don't know, two or three dozen various, uh, movies, uh, video games, you name it. He is pretty much the official voice of Batman. Now we should explain

that, uh, Mike was not in his, uh, uh, suite upstairs on the penthouse floor talking one on one with, with Kevin. Tell everybody how this

works. Yeah, it's what they call a roundtable interview.

So basically it was myself and, and five or six other journalists. sitting around a table talking with Kevin, everybody asking questions, and unfortunately there are also other interviews going on in the room at other times. So, so be aware that the audio quality of the interview, you will hear some background noise.

Uh, I think Kevin is, is pretty easy to hear, but you will hear occasional bursts of laughter or conversation coming from the, uh, from the other parts of the room. Uh, and also I should mention, a couple of times Kevin mentions, uh, a lady named Andrea in the interview, and that's important to note, that is Andrea Romano.

She's the voice director and casting director for Warner Bros. Animated, and she's gonna be our interview next week. Oh. So that way you'll know who he's talking about, and you can, you can think ahead, wow, next week we're gonna talk to her. I

need an address and a phone number. phone number as well so I can send my demo down.

Absolutely. So let's hear your interview with Kevin

Conroy. So the first question that Kevin was asked was what it was like to reunite with the Justice League cast for their newest movie, which is called Justice League Doom, that's coming out next

year. There's a, there's a real, um, advantage to working with people you worked with before because you, you know how each other works.

You know when you meet people for the first time, there's always that kind of dance you do for a while. You know, sort of reading each other, and how does this person work. You get to skip all that with people you've worked with a lot of, for a lot of years. And Andrea's really, she's the best at what she does.

And she's widely regarded that way, it's not just my opinion. She is really good at finding, not just talented actors, but people who play well, together. You know what I mean? You don't want to put a lot of kids in the room who are going to fight over the ball. You want kids who are going to throw each other the ball.

Keep the ball in the air. And, um, actors are just like people. Some of them play well together, some of them don't, you know, and, um, so, um, she's good at finding people who work well together. Here

Kevin talks about how he characterizes Batman. One

of the many things that makes

him appealing is that he's not a superhero.

He's a mortal guy. He's smart, he's driven, he's obsessed. He's haunted, but he's human. And um, he uses his wits to accomplish his ends. But he doesn't have any superpowers.

Then he was asked, has there been an evolution in how he portrays Batman over the past 20 years? Two

answers. There has been an evolution, and consistency is so important.

The evolution has been, in the earlier years, I like to make a bigger distinction between Bruce Wayne and Batman. Because I thought that making Bruce Wayne more of a playboy and more... Emphasizing the irony and the sarcasm made Batman darker when he, you know, light defines dark, that kind of thing. Um, so I, I played with those more with the voices.

I did much more dramatic differences. They toned me down over time because they wanted Batman to become darker and darker and darker. And that made that distinction too dramatic. So over time it became much more subtle. So now there's a very subtle distinction between the And Bruce Wayne voices, that's one part of the answer.

The other part, the other part of the answer is the audience understands Batman better than I do. They know this mythology much more thoroughly than I do. So if I was ever to not be consistent or to, to sort of lie in producing the sound, but they hear it, you know, they're, they're the ultimate truth in terms of keeping me on.

Because I know they'd hear it in a second if it wasn't sincere. And the whole, the trick for producing the sound for me is to bring it from inside. Everybody has a public and private face. Everyone has a face they present the world, and a face that they are internally. In Batman, it's so much more dramatic.

And I think the audience hears that, that's what they react to. That's

why I connect it to them. Now here I ask Kevin if he has a process for getting into character as Batman, or if after all this time it just sort of comes naturally

to him.

A little of both, to be honest. I still do go through that internal kind of gut check, thinking about the history of the character and stuff to get me to the right place.

But, um, I have to say I've been doing it for so long that I can kind of

turn it

on. So here's a little insight for you from Kevin on recording with the entire cast of the Justice League and what that atmosphere is like. It

makes it so much more, uh, alive, because you're feeding off of each other, you know?

It, it, oh, and, and actually the, the trick is to not react too quickly, because there has to be a clean break between lines. But you're being fed by somebody, your instinct is to, especially as an actor, jump on it. You can't. But, because you're getting that feed, um, it keeps everything really alive and really spontaneous.

So they get great performances. They get, they get terrific performances by doing that.

And following that up, Kevin talks about joking around in the booth. Um,

I do it all the time. And it doesn't get me in trouble with Andrea because she knows why I'm doing it. I'm doing it to keep everybody loose. And to keep everyone playing.

Because as long as we're playing, good ideas will come. And she knows exactly what I mean. She saw me doing it early on and she said, I know what you're doing with the other actors and I appreciate it. You know, it's keeping everybody loose. I said, well I'm glad you don't get mad at me because, you know, it's a little bad boy, you know?


But it's for a reason.

So in response to that, Kevin was asked about, you know, what it's like when a new member joins this cast and, and sort of becomes a part of this ensemble.

It's, it's kinda, you

know, it's a little bittersweet because it's always fun to see what someone new brings to a character.

Um, I would hate to have to do Joker without Mark Hamill. But, you know, early on in the first three episodes of, of, uh, Batman, the animated series, um, it was Tim Curry that did the Joker. Right. And I thought he was fantastic. And he was. It was a really great example of two actors being really terrific at a role.

But just different. And the creators wanting a different sound. But they were both, I mean Tim Curry was phenomenal as the Joker. But he was scary. And Mark Hamill came in and he was scary and funny. And I said, oh, I see the difference here. Tim Cruise is going to give the kids nightmares, and Mark Hamill is going to make the kids laugh and want to watch again.

So, yeah, I mean, it's, it's, it's wonderful having the same people, but it's also wonderful occasionally having someone who...

And finally, I asked Kevin, what is the best part of playing Batman for you? And he actually had a really fun answer that I think, I think you'll enjoy. I

used to do a lot of work with foster kids in L.

A. I lived in L. A. for 15 years. And they found out that I was Batman. And they begged me, begged me, begged me, begged me for Halloween.

And I said, I'm the voice. These little kids, they didn't get it. Come on, bring the cape, bring the cape. So I went to a Halloween store, a costume store in Hollywood, and I bought a Batman outfit. And I'm driving to this facility on the 10 freeway outside of L. A. at, like, 10 o'clock. And there were these truckers going by.

And I've got the cape and the cowl because I didn't want to show up and have to get into the costume. I wanted to arrive with them. And they're going by going, Hey Batman! You know,

these truckers. And I got there, when I got out of the car, These kids charged at me and tackled me and I just thought this is the best job in the world. So, what's the best part about that? It's because of what it means to so many people and how much fun it brings people and being a part of that.

It's a really cool stuff there with, uh, with the voice of Batman, Kevin Conroy, who still is, uh, still is added as the, uh, as the animated voice of Batman.

And we thank Warren Garling and Mike Spring, our former compatriots here at Voice Coaches, uh, for, uh, for that fascinating interview. And again, it's, uh, it's always nice. And that's why this is one of the ones I certainly wanted to, uh, to bring back because, again, I don't know how much time people have to go digging through the archives, but, uh, really cool, really interesting stuff there.

And actually, as they mentioned... Uh, we are going to do, in fact, what they did, and uh, next week we will, uh, hear, uh, the interview with Andrea Romano, and as, uh, as Mike mentioned, she is the voice, or she was, the voice director, cast director for, uh, Warner Brothers Animated, now she has since retired, in fact, retired a couple years ago, but, uh, at the time of the interview was, uh, was still, uh, going strong with Warner Brothers, and another very interesting interview, very interesting perspective, and I, and I kinda like how they kinda buttress each other.

You know, with, uh, we heard Kevin mention, uh, Andrea's name a few times and, uh, and certainly, uh, Andre has been a big part of that voice of Batman. So we will, uh, we'll hear that interview, um, that, uh, that took place all the way back, uh, in 2011 with Andrea Romano. We'll hear that one next week. And we're going to be digging up some, uh, some oldies, but goodies here, uh, from, uh, some of the, the best of, as it were the best of the voice coaches radio podcast.

Again, uh, we will be getting a, uh, a new co host. Join us as the show continues to roll its way along, but uh, until that time we're going to be taking a look back a little bit, and then of course, as we always say, if you do have any questions, comments, concerns, uh, anything you want us to discuss, do let us know, please, please let us know, we'd be happy to do it, happy to talk about it, happy to discuss it, and um, you know, as we always say, this isn't just my show.

It's your show. It's your show as well. Uh, so again, that's what's, uh, that's what's going to be coming up on tap over the next few weeks or so as we, uh, as we get set to continue rolling. But, uh, a hearty welcome back here from Voice Coaches Radio and thanks for, uh, for hanging with us and, uh, and tuning us back in.

And we're certainly glad to, uh, to be back at it again this week. So, uh, that is it for this week's edition of Voice Coaches Radio. Hopefully you enjoyed, uh, that interview that, uh, that Warren and Mike had with Kevin Conroy, the voice of Batman. Again, we'll hear their interview, or we'll hear Mike's interview, rather, with Andrea Romano, the voice director and cast director from Warner Bros.

Animated, at least the former voice director and cast director at Warner Bros. Animated, uh, that he had with her as well from back in 2011. But don't be a stranger. Reach out whenever you want. We're always here. Till next time, so long everyone. Visit voicecoaches. com for more voiceover news and information.

In a recap episode, Voice Coaches team members Warren and Mike discuss Mike’s round table interview with the voice of Batman!