I just signed up for an Animation/Commercial Voiceover class run by MJ Lallo. Why do I feel like a kid on Christmas Eve? Well, this will take a brief explanation.
There was once this little show called “Beast Wars: Transformers” that debuted in 1996, only the second cartoon ever made entirely with computers. This was also around when “Toy Story” was released as the first entirely CGI animated film. Though nothing can top hand-drawn work, I was still fascinated with this first experience with computer generated animation. Naturally I gravitated toward Beast Wars, which quickly became my favorite cartoon growing up. I collected the action figures, imitated the voices, watched every episode at least a dozen times… I was obsessed.
While the animation has become increasingly dated, looking back, Beast Wars still has one of the most-talented voiceover casts ever assembled in modern animation.
Gary Chalk, David Kaye, Scott McNeil especially… I once taped the audio off the TV, pausing for commercials of course, for a full episode on my old Talkboy just so I could listen to it before falling asleep. For weeks. The lines were so filled with energy and character that I could vividly picture every expression and action from the episode. It was like re-watching it in my head as I drifted off. I can still recite almost every line of that script, in character.
Anyway, even as a kid I’d bother to watch those credits at the end of each episode and the name “Susan Blu” always jumped out at me. She was the casting director, though at the time I had no idea what that was. It was she that had assembled this ridiculous team of talents. I later discovered she was also one of the most well-known voiceover talents in the biz.
When asked in an interview about how to get started in the industry, Blu recommended only a small handful of worthy trainers that she personally knew and trusted. The very first name on her list?