Sunday, September 6, 2009

Voice Actor Profile: Jason Kuder

First off to avoid any confusion, I am Jason Kuder, so for the rest of this blog post I will just be referring to myself as "I".

I have always loved doing voices and making silly noises with my mouth for as long as I can remember. I think this goes back to my father who would entertain us with his impressions of "Yosemite Sam", "Porky Pig" and other classic cartoon characters. Well, I quickly picked up on this and began doing impressions of "Krang" (the brain guy from the 1980's Ninja Turtles cartoon), "Kermit the Frog", "Baby Animal" (from Muppet Babies, and which is mostly the voice I do for Ian Bunay), Pat Buttram (Mr. Haney from Green Acres which is the voice I do for Farmer Bill), and the list goes on.

So, since this "Voice Actor Profile" is from the inside looking out, I thought I would give you all a bit of a different perspective.

Now, granted I wouldn't say I'm the caliber of say world renowned voice actor, Frank Welker (known for: Scooby-Doo, Freddie {from Scooby-Doo}, Megatron, Soundwave, Santa's lil helper, Abu, & Nibler just to name a tiny few) but I would say I do a good job at what I do for 3twins... Most of the time.

Most of the voices I've done so far for 3twins as I mentioned have been voices I've done on and off for ages, take Marvin the Blue Wizard for example, I do my impression of Sir Ector in Disney's The Sword in the Stone (who was voiced by Sebastian Cabot). When Andy first started designing Midieville, I begged him to let me voice the wizard because I thought that voice would be perfect.

However, what I had always done with that voice was grumble a bit and say a short line like "That's preposterous"! But, when it came time to voice Marvin, I very quickly lost "it" because I wasn't accustomed to speaking long sentences in that voice and it takes quite a lot of energy.

So, I had to work on developing it more. I could say almost anything in the voice, but keeping it for long drawn sentences as the script called for was a completely different matter. One little trick I found to jolt myself back into the voice, though, was to make those little grumbling "harrumph" noises, (which sometimes are edited out of the cartoon and other times are not).

In case you want to know my "acting" history, I don't have much, other than 2 years of Drama Class in High School and some of the church dinner theaters mentioned in my Tom Cox Profile and just plain goofing off my whole life.

I would say, however, that from my observation, the whole character voice acting thing is for the most part one of those, "you either can or you can't" skills and even then there are some voices that you just can't nail at all, even with a whole lot of work.

Also, if you train your ear you'll be able to tell when a certain person is doing a certain voice, like Dan Castellateta in The Simpsons, for example. So, we've tried to give our stories a richer voice sound by using a large selection of voice actors. When in reality I myself could probably do all of the voices, but then, we'd just sound like Homestarrunner (who has only one person do all the voices except the one female voice).

Anyhow, I could probably ramble on for pages and pages on my thoughts on voice acting, but I think I'll stop here, because, chances are, most of you find it boring.

Join me next time when I take a look at the Man behind the voices of Glomo, Zapman and Gidju, just to name a few, Steve Surine!


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