On July 18th, 2023, I will host a free event featuring some of the best and most active voice actors in the business. This discussion will be less of an interview about their careers (although we will certainly talk a little about their amazing accomplishments) and more of a chat about the voiceover business: some history, some historical context, and some audience questions.
This round-table discussion will feature Bob Bergen, Bob Joles and Jim Conroy with me as host and moderator. It will also be recorded for a future episode of my yet-to-be-released podcast series Un:Sung- The People you Don't Know you Know.
Mr. Bergen was recently in New Jersey as a guest of the Chiller Theater Expo, where he met fans of the many characters he voices (most notably Porky Pig and Tweety Bird- but those or but two of a very long IMDB list!). While Bob and I have interacted on social media, and he was even a guest on Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast when I was still handling the show (listen to the episode here!), we had never actually met in person! So I texted friend and local voice actor Jim Conroy to say "Let's go say hi!". Jim was way ahead of me, and even had another voice actor friend in from LA planning on surprising Bob.
That visit (photo above) turned into a dinner after the expo with Bob Bergen, Bob Joles and Jim Conroy. It was a surreal evening, the details of which I will save for the live discussion. It felt great to talk about the business of voiceover with people who have lived and breathed it for so long - and CONTINUE to work!
Bob Joles can be heard in the Disney series Big City Greens, where he voices Bill Green. His career goes back quite far! He has worked as the voice of Sallah from Indiana Jones for theme park attractions, as well as voicing Gimli for Lord of the Rings related titles. Learn more about his career on IMDB by clicking here. It's an impressive list of work!
Jim Conroy is a relative "newcomer" compared to these folks, but has no less impressive a track record. You've seen him as the TD Ameritrade guy, as well as numerous commercials for AT&T and other large brands. He also voiced Ruff Ruffman in the PBS series Fetch with Ruff Ruffman. His earliest animation credits go back to Celebrity Deathmatch on MTV, and he has worked steadily since then in animation, commercial and on-camera.
So there we all were, sharing stories... complaints... what we love... what we don't love... at a steakhouse at the Hilton in Parsippany, New Jersey. It was a surreal evening in itself (more on that when we meet up on Zoom), but it left me feeling inspired rather than full of the doubts I had about the future of voice acting- especially when it comes to what is peddled across social media. At the end of our four hour meal/chat, we joked that "this should be a podcast episode".
And here we are!
The four of us will talk about the business of voice acting and the state of the industry in what will likely be an animated discussion. This is your chance learn about what is ACTUALLY going on in the business through the lens of the people actively engaged in it. We will also have time at the end for questions. Ultimately, this will become part of my podcast series that deals with the behind the scenes of the entertainment industry!