Here’s part two of TFW2005.com’s interview with veteran voice actor, Jack Angel!
If you missed part one check it out here: Jack Angel Interview
Jack Angel: I started as a DJ and I did funny voices on my show. One thing led to another.TFW2005: How do you create a new voice, and where do you find inspiration?
Jack Angel: There’s almost always directions on the audition copy telling the actor what the writers and producers want. Sometimes, though, you can go the opposite of what they ask for and if they like it they change their minds.TFW2005: Do you keep track of all the voices in your repertoire? For example, have you ever created a voice for a character and then realized “Wait, no … that’s the Medicare Vampire…”
Jack Angel: No. Since one project will never be played next to another one, it really doesn’t matter. In fact, after hearing the “medicare vampire” on my demo reel, producers have hired me to do that voice for their project.TFW2005: When bringing a character to life, do you find it easier if you have a visual representation of the character to study or will just a text description of the character work just as well?
Jack Angel: Either or both. As long as the producers get what they’re looking for I’m happy.TFW2005: Given your impressive vocal range, do you do impersonations as well?
Jack Angel: The “medicare vampire” is an impression of Bela Legosi, who played Dracula in the original black and white movie. I do quite a few, but most of them are of older actors. Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre and Sidney Greenstreet, just to name a few.TFW2005: If you tend to shy away from doing impersonations, is it because you’d rather speak with one of your own voices than somebody else’s?
Jack Angel: I don’t shy away from them. I don’t care which voice they hire as long as I don’t have to rip my throat out doing it. After screaming for hours on “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” I went home and gargled to see if my neck leaked.TFW2005: How has the voice acting profession changed since you first started off?
Jack Angel: There are a lot more people doing it, and the writers and producers are all much younger and come from a different perspective than I.TFW2005: A common misconception of voice acting is that it is just “reading lines into a microphone.”
Jack Angel: That’s not really a misconception. Of course you also must have some mic technique and know how to act in order to pull the whole thing off well. Andrea Romano, who directs animation for Warner Brothers says, “I don’t care how good your funny voice is, you must know how to act or it’s no good to me.” Wally Burr, who directed most of the successful Marvel cartoon shows including “G. I. Joe” and “The Transformers”, used to point out that with such limited animation, the actor has to create the action with his voice.
Like if they were slogging through the mud or a swamp, you can’t see the effort, so the voice has to convey it by grunting and breathing heavy, etc.
Jack Angel: Big name actors are always thrilled that they are asked to do a cartoon’s voice. Most of them say it turned out to be much harder than they expected. But all of them will do it for a lot less money than they would get for an on-camera part just because it strokes their egos. The ultimate for them, of course, is a roll on “The Simpsons” where a character is drawn to look like the star. Do big name actors attract a large box office? If the show sucks, it goes to DVD in a month, regardless of how many stars ore in it. I had four parts on Disney’s “Treasure Planet”. When I saw the film for the first time I knew it was destined for the trash heap. No amount of stars could have saved it. And the producers were both well established Disney veterans. Every once in a while, even the best of them fire a dud.TFW2005: What do you do to get away, to escape the voices in your head?
Jack Angel: What voices? There’s only one voice in my head and that’s me. And I like him. As far as getting away, I love Hawaiian vacations, trips to New York City and weekends at a place called “2Bunch Palms” in Desert Hot Springs. It’s a great spa, once owned by Al Capone.
Once again, many thanks to Jack Angel for taking the time to sit down with TFW2005.com and give us this wonderful insight into the world of voice-over artistry!