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Voice Coaches Radio #439 – Mike and Andrea

Voice Coaches Radio. Everything voiceover. And welcome to this week's edition of Voice Coaches Radio. I am Josh Heller, delighted to have you joining me as always. And, uh, again, we're in a bit of a, uh, a bit of a transitional phase right now for Voice Coaches Radio. We'll be welcoming in a new co host very soon to join me and join you each and every week here on Voice Coaches Radio.

And, uh, we are setting that up, so... So stay tuned. It's gonna be a lot of fun. But in the meantime, when we talked about this a little bit last week, but in the meantime, we are we're taking a look back at at some of the golden oldies. That is voice coaches radio, which has been on for almost 10 years now, and certainly has had its fair share of really, really, you know, great interviews, really great Uh, great subjects that were, that were discussed and talked about and things that we certainly wanted to, uh, to bring back that, uh, I think some of our listeners, especially some of the newer listeners who have joined us recently here on voice coaches radio would, uh, you know, w w would take an interest in.

I know I certainly did. When I had a chance to kind of dig through the archives a little bit, uh, and so we mentioned this last week, last week we, uh, uh, we heard an interview between, uh, well, Mike Spring and it was Mike and Warren who were hosting the, uh, the show, Mike Spring and Warren Garling and, and Mike was at Comic Con back in 2011, uh, back in November of 2011 and had a chance to sit down with a, uh, with a few fairly, fairly famous people in the world of voice acting.

Last week, we, uh, we heard his interview with Kevin Conroy, who, uh, was and is and has been the voice of, uh, of Batman for, uh, quite some time now back since, uh, since 1992, he has been the voice of Batman. Batman again, you can go back and certainly listen to that episode as well, but somebody that he mentions quite a bit, uh, is a woman by the name of Andrea and that's Andrea Romano and, uh, and we talked about this and touched on this just, uh, just briefly and, and, uh, and Mike mentioned it as well.

Andrea Romano, uh, who was the voice director and cast director from Warner Brothers Animation. It actually retired back in 2017, but, uh, at the recording of this interview, she was, uh, still working quite a bit, um, and, uh, had a chance to, uh, to speak with her as well, really interesting stuff, and again, you heard Kevin Conroy, the voice of Batman, mention her specifically, uh, and, uh, and it was kind of previewed there, so I thought it'd be a nice little, uh, little segue, little tag team for these two podcasts, uh, as, uh, it was certainly something that was mentioned there, and again, something that was, uh, was very interesting to listen to as well, uh, so this is from back in 2000, and, uh, 11, uh, back, I believe it was back in December, the beginning of December in 2011, uh, when Mike Spring was at the New York Comic-Con and, uh, and had a chance to be a part of a round table with the then voice director and cast director for, for Warner Brothers Animation.

Uh, that was Miss Andrea Romano. So take a listen. I think you'll find this one pretty interesting as well.

Andrea Romano is the casting director for Warner Bros. Animation. She's also a voice director, so she does a lot of stuff with Warner Bros. Animation. She has put together the casts for more cartoon animated shows and movies than you can possibly imagine.

Is this the same lady that's worked with the Smurfs, and Scooby Doo, and the Jetsons, and Yogi Bear, and Tiny Toons, and Animaniacs? Yes, that would be the same one. And we've got her. That's right. That's terrific. It is. Now this is also part of your trip down to the Comic Con in New York, right? Yes. Yes. And like with last week's interview with the voice of Batman, Kevin Conroy, and if you haven't listened to that, you really should, it's a great interview, um, this was a round table interview.

So, uh, myself and a few other journalists. sat with Andrea, and we talked to her about, uh, an upcoming project she's working on called Justice League Doom, which is an animated movie about the Justice League, um, and, uh, and as with last week's interview, the audio quality is not as stellar as I'd like it to be.

It is in a room filled with journalists. There are some other interviews going on at the same time. Um, but it is, it is fun to listen to. So here are a few minutes with Andrea Romano. Okay. So before we get to the first question, let me point out that, uh, Andrea is speaking very fast. We were unfortunately had a little less time for the interview than we expected.

So she decided to try to get to everyone's questions by speaking very quickly. So, so do try and keep up with her if you can. But the first question that she was asked was what it was like to reunite the cast of the justice league for this movie, because what's happened is. The Justice League cartoon series started airing in the 90s, I think, or the early 2000s, and um, had a set cast.

And then as they've done various animated movies throughout the years, they've done more of these, kind of, what they call stunt casting, where they bring in celebrity voices. So this was the first time in a few years that the Justice League cast Proper had been brought back together for a film.

It's like going to a family reunion where you handpick your family

I, I, I always, whenever I'm given a Justice League project, I always ask, may I use the original cast? 'cause I thought I did a pretty good job from whatever 15 years ago when I first cast them. And sometimes they say yes, and sometimes they say no. This time they said yes. It was just, it was so great to hear all those voices again.

You know, certainly we've done lots of projects with Kevin since the Justice League and lots of projects with Team Daily since the Justice League. But having him play the Green Lantern on this was really fun. Um, and then Susan Eisenberg I hadn't worked with in a long time, and that was a distinct pleasure.

We had new characters like, um, Metallo in it, and I couldn't get, um, Malcolm McDowell to come back. He was unavailable, I think he was in Europe, and we just couldn't get him within our production period. So I hired this wonderful actor named Paul Blackthorne, who's really good. And then Claudia Black came in to play, uh, Cheetah.

And then, so a lot of really cool, different, new people that we kind of got added to this extended family.

So in this next question, she was asked about some of the complexities of getting together an all star cast. Because in the Justice League cast, you have Jill Eikenberg, Tim Daly, Nathan Fillion, a lot of really well known actors.

And so she talks about what it's like trying to kind of coordinate.

I'm so lucky, so often that so many of these stunt castings, these celebrities say yes, because sometimes you just know they'd be right, and oftentimes they say no simply because of their availability, they just can't, we have just a limited amount of time that we can record in, and it may be as much as a month, but they may be in Europe, they may be shooting, their schedule's impossible, and we will record on Saturdays and Sundays, Nathan I think we did record on a Saturday to get him, just so slow of him to say yes, I'll come give you my few hours off that I have a week, um, but they, When they, when it fits and it's right, to replace an actor, especially a celebrity, if they're not right, is really depressing.

So I work really hard to make sure that this is the right actor. And if I'm not really familiar with their work, for example, if I had not watched a lot of Southland, I don't know that I would have known Ben's work all that much. So if I don't know their work, I try to study it. And, and, and watch a bunch of their work.

God knows there's enough ways to see their work these days, whether it's DVDs or online or whatever. And then go. Now, with Ben, I know Regina King very well from Southland, because we did the boondocks together. So I just said, I'm gonna call Regina and find out if Ben's a good guy. And sure enough, she's like, oh, he's wonderful, you're gonna love him.

He'll absolutely give you his full game, and he did. And so, if I have those resources, I'm not afraid to call up a friend and go, how is so and so? Are they a good actor? Because, you know, some actors are weird on set. You find out, they're like, everybody has to tiptoe around them. They think they're a bigger celebrity than they are.

Well, I don't know. I don't need to do that. I want somebody who wants to be there.

And then I asked Andrea, what is her process for putting together a cast? How does she pick which actor's voice fits which character?

I keep a wish list of celebrity actors that I want to work with. And when I say celebrity, I don't to be a big fat movie star.

I work on TV or whatever. Uh, so I have a massive list over the years of people that I wanted to work with. And that's the first thing I go to when I go, And then I'll look and check, okay, we did offer so and so that role. We offered that guy the role and he wasn't interested in the money we have for these.

Because we don't have enormous feature film type money. Some of these guys get half a million dollars to walk through the door. We don't have half a million dollars. It's our budget for the whole piece. So, um, I keep notes as to why they turned me down or whatever. And so I start there. Then, I look at TV Guide.

And I look page two and go, okay, what are the top shows right now? Who is everybody looking at on TV? And how will that work? And who do I know? And who do I like? And then, um, we all take notes. We all sit together and it's Warner Home Video, publicity, uh, Bruce Timm, myself, all the creative people. And we go through and we go, who do we all like?

And let's put together a list of names. And then after we've got this huge list compiled, we go, okay, now in what order do we want to go after these people? Who do we think will go well? Who's a good, you know, Superman to this lowest lane? Who's going to match up well? And then you have to make sure that you don't end up with, okay, the first Superman said yes, we're down to like lowest lane number five, but they won't really be good to go.

Then you have to sort of revisit it and go, okay, who's going to, so, and then there's a thing called the, um, players directory, which is a big, like a yearbook of all the actors in the Screen Actors Guild. And you just page through and go, okay, this guy. Oh yeah, I know that guy. He's great. What a great voice.

And I had watched an episode of Castle and seen this wonderful actor with a great raspy voice. And I called up, tracked him down by IMDB and then called up Nathan and said, Nathan, is this a good guy? Oh yeah, I like him so much. And brought him in and he came in and did, I forget which piece it is. I think it's a.

I'll just do that. I'll just go, my gosh, that's a great voice. And then track him down and bring him in. And again, if I can do the research and find out from somebody else how is this guy, then I'll do that too.

on the process of recording voiceovers for an ensemble cast piece and and how maybe it's a little different than some people who don't know the voiceover field that well might expect.

Well, because they hardly ever record together. It doesn't really change in the booth as far as they don't, they're not acting.

Their schedules are dreadful. Like I said, Nathan recorded on a Saturday. You know, I brought the cast and you have to pay more for an actor to pay him to record him on a Saturday. So I couldn't afford to bring the whole cast in on a Saturday. So you grab, you know, Kevin lives here in New York. I picked him up separately.

Tim, on a break from the. It's a private practice program and got him in it. So everybody, you know, all the main cast, the main Justice League, exactly all, I'm looking here at the dates. They, Tim and Susan Eisenberg recorded together on the same day, different times. But yeah, they all recorded separately.

Carl Lumley and Michael Rosenbaum did record together. But they all recorded separately, so there's not really a dynamic in the room. I have to just be aware of the dynamic, ultimately how it sounds, but that will fit together as a cohesive piece.

Obviously really interesting stuff, and also a really interesting perspective as well.

Uh, especially thinking back to last week with having a guy like Kevin Conroy, uh, having that interview on there. Looking at it from the voice acting side, this looking at it from a, from a different perspective, as that was, uh, Andrea Romano. Who was the voice director and cast director for Warner Brothers Animation for quite some time.

Actually retired back in 2017, but was still active at the time of the interview back in 2011. So hopefully you found that as interesting as I did. Uh, we're, like I said, gonna be going back through some of the old archives as we get set to move forward with Voice Coaches Radio, with a brand new co-host joining me.

Uh, so you wanna stick around for more announcements about that. It's gonna be, uh, gonna be a lot of fun here on Voice Coaches Radio. But again, for now, we're gonna be looking back a little bit at the, at. The, uh, Voice Coaches that was, or Voice Coaches Radio that was, uh, going back to some of the, uh, the archives and some of the older episodes because there really is a lot of great stuff in there and I know that, uh, not everyone has time to comb through, uh, what is now over 400 plus episodes of Voice Coaches Radio over the past 10 years.

So we'll do that for you. We'll do that for you. I have some of my, uh, my favorites that I picked out some topics that I think are great to, uh, to have covered some guests and interviews that were done as well. But if there's a topic that you want to discuss a topic that you want us to discuss, let us know, uh, reach out to us at any time here at, uh, here at voice coaches would be happy to, uh, yeah.

You know, to, uh, to take that on and, uh, and give our perspective as best we can, answer whatever questions we can as well. So always reach on out to us because it's not just our show, it's your show as well. So hopefully again, you enjoyed today's, uh, today's little flashback as it were with, uh, uh, an interview that was done with Andrea Romano.

Thanks again to Warren Garling and Mike Spring, who were the. at the time, hosts, co hosts of Voice Coaches Radio. Thanks again for tuning in this week. We'll have more archived footage, more flashbacks, more golden oldies next week as well. We look forward to having you here with us. Until then, so long everyone.

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Josh sorts through the archives to find an episode in which Voice Coaches team member Mike interviews voice over industry professional and casting director Andrea.