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Voice Coaches Radio #603 – Always Want More For Yourself (A Story)

Voice Coaches Radio. Everything voiceover. Welcome to a brand new episode of Voice Coaches Radio. End of September is here. My name is Marissa and, uh, yeah, gearing up for a lot of, um, well, Halloween, spooky season kind of stuff. Um, you know, I... I never feel creative enough when it comes to Halloween. I've got a friend that will throw a Halloween party and she'll have like four outfit changes and I'm over here like, cool, I ripped up this shirt and put some fake blood on it.

Does that count for anything? Um, I don't know why I can be so creative in other Aspects of life, like I, I paint, I draw, I do this ridiculous work, um, which somebody has told me this is creative, yet I feel like I'm just here rambling nonsense most of the time and, you know, that's fine, uh, because people find it helpful, so that's good.

Um, but, uh, yeah, I'll have to try to figure something out. Um, you know, the, the easy way out, I guess, is, is just being Barbie, uh, or some form of Barbie because of the Barbie movie and all the hype. Um, but. I mean, everybody's gonna be Barbie this year. Who, who are we kidding? Uh, sexy Barbie, uh, non sexy Barbie, sexy cat, uh, you know, whatever.

Uh, anyway, so I saw this article that I thought was really, really helpful. Or just, uh, maybe inspiring, uh, if anything. Because... Because even when somebody has been at the top of their game in their career field, you've got that person that still is striving for more or better for themselves, right? And this is such an iconic story, I think, of why it is so important to, to keep trying to get better and keep proving yourself because you and your voice can make all the difference.

The story is this. I mean, I'll tell you, the article is titled this. How Optimus Prime's original voice actor convinced Michael Bay to cast him in the Transformers movie. Now, the guy's name is Peter Cullen. You might not recognize his name. I mean, some people, I mean, just like, I've got friends that are in radio that can name All sorts of DJs and all sorts of programmers and different stations across the country and call letters.

I always am mind blown by that. But when you're obsessed with something, you do kind of learn the ins and outs. And maybe Peter Cullen is a name, if you're obsessed with voice acting and voice actors, that you might very much know. He's voiced Eeyore in Winnie the Pooh. He's, uh, also voiced Monterey Jack in the Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers series.

He was the original voice for Mario. In, in like Donkey Kong segments on Saturday Super Arcade. He's actually the first person ever to give Mario a voice in the English speaking world. So, this is, this is a guy who has been very, very successful. He also happened to be... The original voice for Optimus Prime, along with some other characters within the cartoon series of Transformers.

So, when the opportunity came up, you know, he, he of course was going to audition like anybody else for the voice of Optimus Prime. He wasn't just handed that, and I guess what he's, he's quoted saying that when I first auditioned for Michael Bay, who is the director, a young gal was going to read the lines of the other character.

So, we looked at the script. And it said Ironhide. Well, I actually played Ironhide in the cartoon series as well. So, realizing this right here in itself could give him a little bit of an advantage over everybody else, he did ask, Could I read both sets of lines instead? And that had him alternating between Optimus Prime and Ironhide.

And he... As in, Michael Bay, the director, was stunned, not just by the ask, but then also witnessing what happened. So, you know, that's something that people don't realize. You know, when characters are, well, when voice actors are like this guy, Peter Cullen, and voicing different characters, they do, they transform from one to the other.

pretty regularly and with ease and the seeing the ease of that even though common practice for for cullen i mean this was something that was kind of mind blowing for michael bay and it was Just, like, an instant, like, duh moment for him of, like, yeah, let's sign you up. You've gotta be Optimus Prime. And you know what the benefit, too, I think, of this was?

Maybe not even reaching Michael Bay in that moment is the familiarity. Like, if you grew up watching that Transformers cartoon in the 80s and the 90s or whenever, guess whose voice probably stands out pretty, pretty much to you with, with a lot of ease and is very recognizable. Peter Cullen, right? And all of a sudden, now you're hearing him in the movie!

Like, how crazy is that? Like, it just, it's like bringing your childhood and all that nostalgia truly to life. And that is what has happened in that series. And that movie, um, is celebrating its 15th anniversary already, which is also mind blowing to me. I feel like every time I turn around, I feel so... so old.

Like, I just was having that moment the other day of like, Kelly Clarkson won American Idol 21 years ago, and that was like my first semester of college. And it's like, whoa, all the things that have changed in that amount of time, not just for myself, but obviously for her as well. So it's like, just craziness.

Uh, but I'm just over here feeling old, but feeling creative and having a lot of fun in what I'm doing. So hopefully you're feeling the same way. I want this story to be, uh, Like inspiring to you because, you know, again, this is a guy who was already wildly successful, but he knew that he had the opportunity to be even more and like, don't limit yourself, right?

Like there is no glass ceiling here, right? You can only strive for more and strive for better. Like don't think that. You know, you're not doing well with where you're at. I appreciate your success, but, you know, if you want more, there, there most likely can be more if you want to go for it. It's all in making yourself the best that you can possibly be.

So keep on going and keep practicing and, uh, keep the questions coming, info at voicecoaches. com. Brand new episode is coming at you next week and, uh, hopefully you enjoy your weekend and keep staying safe.

This week on Voice Coaches Radio, Marissa had found an interview with someone very prominent in animation voice over who has had some wild success…but, saw an opportunity to take themselves to another level and what they did to make it happen.