Friday, December 31, 2010

Thoughts on voice-acting.

I admit I am, largely, uninformed when it comes to the process and procedure of voice acting. I know and have spoken with voice actors and respect a great many of them as artists and as persons. I however am not a member of their rarefied and difficult profession. I am however a fan of anime and have been for more time than most of my contemporaries have been alive. This, as I'm sure you all know, gives me the power to rant like a sunnovabitch over something I know nothing about. we go.
   A voice-actor I have a small (Okay tinytinytiny) acquaintance with was recently stating that some of the members of their profession. I remind you again this profession is called voice ACTING, can be somewhat FAKE.  They stated this as if it should be some kind of a surprise and as if the fandom should be angry or upset that this occurs. I however, call shenanigans. Voice actors, despite their larger than life roles are people and voice acting, despite the amount of attention it garners is a job.
   Like any other job it gets done and a paycheck gets cashed. There are heroes and there are assholes. I don't see why it should come as any great surprise that some voice-actors aren't the sparkling gems they portray. At the end of the day, and here's a really depressing thought for you, voice acting is just another customer service job. Some people come home from it fresh and happy, others while doing it well enough are surly and mean about it afterward, the problem being that their shifts can sometimes last 96 hours of convention time. At the end of the day, sad as this may seem, voice actors, as people do not have any obligation to be nice to their fans, the same way anyone when confronted with a customer outside of work has any obligation to be nice to them. This is especially true when that customer is demanding attention and expects that person to be their "work face."
    I will admit that I like it when voice actors are nice to me. I definitely have an easier time dealing with those who treat their fans well and can hold their bile until I leave the room. I do not, however, expect them to be chipper about me behind closed doors. Therein lies the rub, can we, as fans, really expect not to be complained about by the people we mob? Can we look down on them for bagging on us as customers the way any of us who might be in retail bag on the customers we may serve? I don't think we can. There is a certain point, where it becomes detrimental to that voice-actor's career, that shouldn't be crossed, but I do not count it as "fake" to be horrified or even a little off put by us fans.
    We are a demanding bunch and sometimes have trouble with separating voice from role.  I admit it, I'd love the chance to spend a second in the presence of Megumi Hyashibara. I'd literally be willing to clean her bathroom or change her motor oil. ( The motor oil changing being something unpleasant which I only vaguely know how to do because the only outcome I can imagine is having my head crushed by the wheel of a badly balanced car.) I will admit to having the fanboy shivers when Monica Rial signed something using my back as a pencil board, to me these are the closest I will ever come to knowing Lina Inverse from Slayers or Hyatt from Excel Saga. Am I a bad fan? I don't believe so. I have owned/still own the anime these voice actors worked in and I buy the merchandise these anime have inspired, but in the end it would be me changing Lina Inverse's oil (or Nuku-Nuku's or Girl Type Ranma's pick a role, really.) and having my back scribbled upon by Hyatt.
    I've spoken with Monica Rial (Not for very long or even more than once or twice) she once offered to kidnap my daughter. (Ms. Rial, if you are still in the market, she's 7 now and I'd consider paying YOU to take her. -Call me sign-) She is a nice person and did considerably well dealing with me as a rabid fanboy, but I can imagine her shuddering after the meeting and shuffling my image into the "God this guy is creepy" category. I'm okay with that. I was creepy. I'd be creepy again, given the chance. I admit it. It cannot be a pleasant picture, a 350 lbs man with a goatee giggling like a schoolgirl while imagining her voice coming out of some other person's mouth, and that person ISN'T EVEN REAL. I can imagine that male voice actors, especially male voice actors that play popular, flavor of the moment roles, have it even worse.
   So do I begrudge voice actors a little time or opportunity to complain about me behind closed doors? Not at all. Do I expect them to be happy and chipper and ready to deal with my nerdy ass at the drop of a hat? Not really.  I expect them to be good at their jobs and willing, while in public, to put on a kind face, because putting on that kind face in public is their job. When I was working as a restaurant manager I stopped being a manager the second my work was done. Did I complain about my customers? You bet your ass I did. Did I hate some of them? Damn tootin'. I was professional and kind in front of them, but that has to get turned off sometimes or a person goes crazy. So, as long as they do their jobs and put on a good show for the public I don't mind voice actors being a little "fake". They work hard and they deserve to live the life they wish to live after the microphones are shut off and once their hotel room doors are shut. They are only human after all, humans playing the roles of super-humans. They have to get tired and surly sometimes and who am I to demand that they give up the right to complain after a job well done?

1 comment:

  1. I must agree. This is why I don't read Hollywood blogs. The actors/actresses have to be just as "fake" there as they are on screen. They're wearing their "Celebrity" mask, instead of exposing rabid fans to all their imperfections. Unless they are Tila Taquila, she just crazy.