Interviews: David Sobolov (11/98)
Unlike most interviews for bwtf.com, this one is filled with questions contributed by fans. Check it out!
Have you ever played with Transformers toys before?
Yes, actually. With my nephew - he loves 'em!!
Is Depth Charge's only goal to destroy Rampage? Better ask the writer's that one! :)
Hector L. Zapata-
What other characters (and series) have you given your voice to?
These past two seasons:Robocop - Robocop: Alpha Commando Vor-tech - Lord Matrix (Damien Roarke) Guest shots on - Extreme Dinosaurs, Mummies Alive, Tex Avery
What does it feel to see and hear a cgi-animated character speaking with your voice?
As of today, I haven't yet seen it! Check back with me in a month or two for the answer!
Have you ever seen episodes from the original Transformers, Transformers The Movie or Beast Wars before your involvement with the Depth Charge character?
Beast Wars, yes. Others, no.
Will you be voicing any other characters through out Season 3? Can you tells us what characters?
Maaaaaaaaaaybe!! :) I can't spoil anything for ya, sorry!!! :)
If you have children, what do they feel about you providing voices for Beast Wars?
How would you define Depth Charge's place in the Maximal Team?
He's got his own agenda, but he's also got a strong sense of what's rightwrong. He's willing to help out when things get rough for a Maximal.
Have you watched Beast Wars before they wanted you to do Depth Charge's voice?
Are you happy with Depth Charge?
Yeah, he's a very interesting character. And with such great direction from Sue Blu it's an all-around great experience.
What is your favorite Maximal or Predacon besides Depth Charge?
Waspinator. Scott stands a couple microphones to my left when we're taping... Each time he fires up old waspy, it brings a smile to my face and gives me the creeps at the same time... brilliant!
Hey, whats it like working with all of the Beast Wars team? Like the actors, the animators [if you've met them yet] and the writers.
It's comfortable. I've worked with all the actors on other projects and it's always good to see them and hear what they've been up to. I haven't had a walk-through yet at Mainframe to meet the animators, and I haven't met the writers, but I have had some good conversations with our producer, Ace Fipke. I've got a lot of respect for Ace... We share the same dedication to making this project the best it can be, and he treats ME with a lot of respect. And our Voice Director, Sue Blu is one in a million - the best in the business... and a REALLY nice person, too!
I was wondering do you pay attention to the script or do you just do not take it seriously as a voice actor because it is a kid's show.Also do you talk to the other voice actors or are you in a another sound booth and do not know what they look like.
I sure DO pay attention to the script! Depthcharge has layers and layers of stuff going on inside him. If I didn't care, you'd know when you watched, and you wouldn't care either! My goal is to make all those emotions as real as possible. For most episodes, all the actors are together in the same room. We all know each other well.
Wow! You're lucky! Did you jump at the opritunity to do a voice on "Beast Wars?"
It's a respected show and I'm very happy to be a part of it.
What are your views on the depth charge figure?
I'd say, cool, but I only have mint-in-the-box to look at, which I was given for my birthday - I've never seen it out in the open. I've started a shelf above my 1950's pinball machine to display all the action figures (mint in boxes) from shows I've done!
How is it you come to the beast wars as Depth Charge?
Two auditions - then they cast me!!
What is your favorite episode that you are in?
They were ALL cool, but there's one coming up I'm especially fond of. More on that after it airs. BTW - Doesn't Depthcharge look cool when he folds his "wings" to protect himself?! (well, I thought so anyway :) ).
Why did you want to do a voice of Beastwars? How do you get ready to do a voice for a character? Thankx.
Other than the fact that doing voices on cartoons is what I do for a living :) - who WOULDN'T want to be on such a well respected and popular show!!!
How do I get ready?...
A couple of days before the episode, I'm given a script. First I highlight my lines so I'll know when my character is appearing in the episode. Then I read the script through and make sure I understand "the big picture." After that, I go back over my scenes and think about how they might play (you never really know until you're in the studio with the other actors and our Voice Director, Susan Blu). It's best not to think about it TOO much before the day we work, because you never know what Sue has in mind (and her word is final!!)
The morning of the show I make sure I have a decent breakfast and get there early with a huge honkin' bottle of water (I wouldn't want to do a session without it). Sometimes there are new scripts with changes to look at, so I make sure I'm up to date. There's a little "stretch" thing I do sometimes to get my voice ready, but other than making sure I have that water bottle handy, that's all I do on the day of a session... I just jump in and see what happens!
What would you recommend to someone who is interested in getting into show business? What kind of education do you need to be an actor like yourself?
There are many ways to go about this, but here are my ideas. Your mileage may vary...
First thing... If there's a community theatre group in your town... try out for a show and get some stage experience. Then, if you want to get serious (after you FINISH high school!) enroll in a community college or university acting program. If you REALLY REALLY want to get serious, go to a large city (depending on your country - New York, Los Angeles, London, or Sydney for example) and try to get into a conservatory style acting program (like The Neighborhood Playhouse in New York where I started out).
Next, try out for more theatre work (perhaps for semi-pro or professional theatre companies) and get yourself a SAG Franchised agent if you're in the U.S. Put together a demo tape or CD (under 2 minutes) to market yourself for voice-over acting if you're interested in that. (Don't do Tweety Bird or other famous characters... they've already got the job). You might want to consider further classes that focus on scene study for film, and maybe a cartoon voice-over workshop or two.
Having a theatre background is REALLY helpful when you're trying to be a voice actor. Don't expect the world to be handed to you on a silver platter without paying some "dues." It might happen, but many people have to work for years before they get their "big break."
During all of the above (after high school) make sure you have some means of financial support that DOESN'T involve acting... the starving artist thing gets old really fast.
What happens if you get a sore throat- do you have a replacement, or does the show go on? And how did you start out as a voice-actor?
Great question. Unless you're REALLY REALLY sick (like, in the hospital) it's best if you find a way to work through it. Sometimes they can "pick you up" on another day, but the most professional thing to do is to try to be there if you can. People do sometimes get replaced when they're sick, but if you've got a continuing role, most producers are flexible enough to work things out. Showing up is always the best option.
If your voice is sick or tired, it's best to keep the medicating "natural" if you can... I use those Ricola cherry flavor herbal things to soothe my throat if it's really buggin' me (like on a two episode day when my character has to do lots of screaming and struggling). Sometimes all you need is lots of water in between takes to calm things down if you're having a sick day. If you're REALLY stuffed up, you might have to do something to clear yourself up (like using a decongestant) or it'll be noticeable on the recording. I've only had to do that ONCE, thank goodness... it's not a good long-term plan because those sprays and pills get addictive if you start depending on them!
Which character voice reflects you more depthcharge? Mummies Alive? robocop? or damian Roarke in VOR-TECH? Do you mean, which of my other characters are most simliar to Depthcharge? NONE, really... Ideally, every character has a new story. It's not about pulling a voice out of a hat for me - even if the character has a very distinctive way of speaking. ...it's about developing a character that has a very specific place in his particular world. As my acting teacher, Sandford Meisner once said... "Acting is living truthfully under given imaginary circumstances."