Sakura Con 2011: Pet Sounds – Voicing Creatures, Monsters, and More

This amusing panel was hosted by Christopher Bevins and Chris Cason and included quite a few demonstrations of strange sounds throughout. I’m focusing mostly on Christopher Bevins here, as there is an upcoming interview with him that I will be sharing later as part of my Sakura Con coverage.

Both panelists agreed that everyone has tricks they use in order to enable their voice to hold more difficult sounds for a longer time frame. Bevins said that the Mc Donald’s orange Hi-C helped when doing lots of screaming for Aquarion. Cason mentioned that green tea was good for drying the throat out a little. Cold water was mentioned to be good for soothing a throat after screaming.

Bevins mentioned that when he was the ADR Director for Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad, he played the dog Beck and his co-director, Taliesin Jaffe, decided to play another dog in the series, Keith, who had rougher sounds. That was probably rougher on Taliesin’s throat too!

Bevins also mentioned that he finds physicality can help a performance. Some voice actors are known to move around a lot in the booth, but if it’s a smaller booth sometimes they have to be more creative. Bevins noted that for one role, he actually held onto a bar overhead and leaned toward the mic to help him feel like he was always tense and ready to pounce while acting.

Both panelists remarked that they also do sound effects at times, but for anime the sound effects track is usually provided with the Japanese version. Quite a few times during the panel, Cason would make the sound of a clown’s nose being honked. He also recalled a story he heard about The Exorcist and how a man from South America was brought up to do sound effects for the film. One of the techniques he used was bending an old, leather wallet to get the sound that was used when the girl’s head turned all the way around.

When it comes to directing, they both mentioned that directors have a tendency to say strange things or use made up words while directing. For Bevins, this includes asking for a performance to be more “sexadelic” (sexier and trippier).

In regards to returning to previous roles, it was mentioned that it can be difficult to get back into a character that was played before. However, Bevins also said that does enjoy doing voice roles for other directors, even if the role is very challenging.

This was a fun panel that had the audience laughing throughout and the panelists making progressively older references to pop culture (which made the audience laugh even more and jokingly say “how old are you?”). Cason joked he was in his 80’s compared to the modern fan, since he usually makes reference to things pre 1990’s.

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