Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Interview with... Corey Burton

Okay, so Jamie Alcroft wasn't all that involved with Star Wars, but Corey Burton certainly is!

Corey is a voice over artist who has worked on many productions. From Disney's Hercules Wolverine And The X-Men, Duck Dodgers, to Batman Beyond, if you're looking for Star Wars material, he voiced Count Dooku in Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

Personally I hate the villainous Count Dooku, but I'm rapt to be able to interiew his voice, Corey Burton!

1. Have you had any professional voice training, or are you a self-taught artist?

I'm basically a natural-born mimic, with an obsessive interest in sound and character voices - but I was not an Actor until I started attending regular workshop sessions with Daws Butler. It took years to become fluent in the craft, and a long time working in the business, to finally fully comprehend and develop the artistic aspects of acting, and be able to easily access any kind of characterization as a natural form of vocal expression - so long as the character is "present" in the scripted material.

2. How did you get the roles in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, GI:Joe, James Bond Jr., Transformers: Animated, Batman: The Brave And The Bold? (my God, you've been in some top shows!)

Well... They all came through the normal career routes: Establishing credibility and contacts through agents, auditions, and the occasional stroke of good fortune. The original Transformers series was the first regular TV animation gig for me, which led to audition and casting for the G.I.Joe series; which led to the opportunity to work on the James Bond Jr. shows (director Sue Blu was a fellow performer with me in those Hasbro/Sunbow series); and all those years later lending "a leg up" in the initial casting process for Transformers:

And my association with the WB shows began with my first experiences working with Andrea Romano on Chip'n'Dale Rescue Rangers, who helped me gain casting advantage for incidental character voices when she established herself as Warner Animation's primary voice/casting director. And Andrea was the initial casting director for the current Clone Wars series; although I began working with the Star Wars franchise as a "utility" sound-alike voice actor a very long time ago, matching the voices of Mark Hamill and Alec Guinness for Disney Storyteller records, and in more recent years beginning with LucasArts video games as Christopher Lee's Count Dooku - which led to working on the first animated Clone Wars series of "mini episodes" on Cartoon Network. One thing does lead to another, once you establish a track record of reliable work with good producers, writers and directors as they move up through the ranks of show business from project to project.

3. Are you a fan of Count Dooku? He's a pretty intriguing character.

Very much so. I love polite and dignified villains who casually toss thunderbolts of calamity into unsuspecting crowds. He's like a "Bond Villain" on an operatic scale; and I think it's my favorite Christopher Lee role. Even better for me personally, since George gave us voice actors license to "make it our own" characterization (in concert with Dave Filoni and the episode writers, of course).

4. Have you been to many Sci-Fi conventions? What experiences can you tell us about this?

The only convention events I've been to have been Disneyana, NFFC and ASIFA gatherings. Like many performers, I'm socially "awkward" and painfully uncomfortable in a crowd; and have no real desire to be "in the spotlight" as myself. And though many voice actors really get a kick out of the experience, what I hear about some of the larger Sci-Fi/Fantasy conventions and festivals makes me shudder with anxiety. I might still be convinced, but it would have to be under some very reassuring circumstances for me to step foot in such a formidable swarm of passionate eccentrics.

5. What's it like working with Mark Hamill?

I've known Mark since meeting him during ADR for Empire Strikes Back; but despite the many times we've worked on, or auditioned for the same projects, I can't recall much actual "same room" performance experience (other than the fact that he's a solidly reliable voice acting pro, who'll do a top quality job with anything handed to him).
What I know best is that he's a fantastic guy to hang out with, as an incredibly knowledgeable, entertaining, and enthusiastically warm and friendly fellow showbiz veteran. After the initial thrill of "meeting Luke Skywalker" all those years ago, I became far more impressed with his genuine "personability", and the spirit of fun and creativity that he always generates. As the old saying goes: He's a Good Egg.

6. What's coming up next for you?

I never know what's around the corner... and can't reveal much about projects that are "in the works". I guess I can mention that I'll be playing Cap'n Hook again for a new Playhouse Disney series called "Jake & The Neverland Pirates"; and I believe it's no secret that the Clone Wars series will be in production for several more seasons. And the new Kingdom Hearts game will be released sometime this year, I think (or maybe early 2011?), in which I play a stack of characters.
And then there's always the dizzying assortment of Voice Over bits for commercials and movie trailer/promo pieces, and I never know when and if anything I've auditioned and worked on will actually "see the light of day" in public. I'm happy that the commercials for the new Toyota Avalon have made it to prime time TV - they came out very well indeed!

If you have a production/event/charity you would like to bring to my attention please let me know and I'll make mention of it in my blog.

The charity effort I'm most closely attached to is the Camp Millennium Pumpkin Patch; which is an annual homemade theme park attraction in Roseburg Oregon - where funds are raised for a special kind of summer camp experience for kids who are battling cancer. Mike and Mary Kuhnert have been incredibly heroic in devoting extraordinary personal time, effort, and property (including fully-restored authentic relics from Southern California's classic original "Santa's Village" theme
park) to make this charmingly nostalgic Halloween time experience a continuing success, against all odds and challenges. I wholeheartedly endorse it - and am proud to lend voice to all their operational and P.R. projects.

Thank you Corey!!!!

That was one brilliant interview. I could not be happier with how that went.
What did you think of this interview? Please comment, or email me directly at mgbouw@yahoo.com.au
Until next time.

No comments:

Post a Comment