Starting a voice acting career with Nolan North

Nolan North didn’t realise his career in voice acting would be a big deal, or how far he would travel in a career delivering voice and motion capture roles. This post summaries the stories and advice he told on voice acting careers at the Supanova Gold Coast convention in 2017.

North didn’t believe that after recording the line “Grenade! get down” over and over again that this extension of his screen acting would be a viable option.

North continued to find roles that pushed into the new voice acting profession. Like in any profession, his passion for making funny voices caught some attention. Like in any profession, actors improve by meeting and working alongside people who have a higher skill level, or more years of experience. An emerging actor, or even an experienced actor, can always benefit from being willing to learn from new experiences.

The actors job, according to North: “To me, an actor’s job is to deliver a performance. To deliver what I am supposed to.”

Physical acting skills developed and enlisted to build character with gesture and posture, flowed into motion capture sessions. North called on his physical acting repertoire to deliver a performance.

He confides that the willingness to play make believe remains an essential part of acting and creativity.

There’s a clash, however, between the logical, bottom-line focused thinking of delivering a performance, and the creative, powerful thinking of belief and imagination that can be traced back to childhood games. Balance and flexibility, and the ability to retain some autonomy to be creative and play, even when working toward a deadline, comes across as vital in creative fields, and particularly essential to voice acting careers.

Technical skill is important – repeating movements that match up with the direction players want to send the character in with a touch to a screen, control stick, or their W, A, S, and D keys, is one example North highlighted.

Being able to crouch, walk, and sprint from zero, ninety, one hundred and thirty, and one hundred and eighty degree directions from a standing position can prove difficult. North finds that the choreography difficult to repeat, but the technical skill and endurance of moving in different directions cannot be understated. He still dislikes going from a crouching position to sprint backward – sprint 130 degrees back. This type of cardio is a tough workout on an actor’s thighs and shins.

Another reality is that voice actors sometimes fall out the loop – their character directions might change, and their are no realistic channels for the news to reach the actor.

North has found out about dramatic character changes from social media questions often long before he receives a brief or update. This appears to be the reality of a busy corporate decision making network running at a different pace to the professional life of an actor.

In summary, North says that playing iconic roles represents a responsibility to be taken seriously. Consider the other actors in the field. Ask if they are well known for voicing a certain role before. Weigh up whether it fits with your career to taken on a character voices and brought to life by another actor.

And on that topic, North comment in a few lines on his impact created through voicing Deadpool.

You can find more games and film related content on the wallflyer.wordpress.com and you can follow me, Joe, on twitter @thewallflyer

 

 

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Supanova Gold Coast Cosplay 2017

Supanova Gold Coast 2017 took place last weekend, featuring guests from film and comic worlds, skilled writers and artists, and cosplayers.

Characters from all across different media gathered together, and this post is a list of the standout characters that I was excited to see cosplayed.

For example, haven written about Naoto Shirogane from Persona 4, it was a fun surprise to actually see a Naoto cosplayer. And more on that point, having started to play Persona 5, a Futaba Sakura cosplayer appeared on Saturday. Another shock, and a great surprise.

All photos from the weekend are available on The Wallflyer Facebook page.

Five reasons why Maurice is a good father in Beauty and the Beast (2017)

One performance in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (2017) I most enjoyed was Kevin Kline as Maurice. I thought he captured several good parenting skills in his portrayal of the inventive father of avid-reader, and protagonist Belle. This post is a list of how well Maurice models good parenting.

Spoiler warning – this post contains plot spoilers specific to the 2017 Beauty and the Beast film.

The Positive Parenting Program (The Triple P, an Australian initiative) presents good resources for families. They teach techniques to raise happier kids. They encourage parents to feel confident they are doing the right thing. They instruct parents how to take care of themselves as well.

One blog post from Matt Sanders of the Triple P program describes the five things that fathers and father figures should know.

Here’s how Maurice stacks up next to those ideas:

#1 Talk to your kids – Maurice and Belle share some of the most powerful conversations in the film.

This is a foregone conclusion. Maurice respects Belle, and speaks to her as an equal. On to the next one.

#2 Play with your kids – Building intricate things is one of Maurice’s skills, and he created a finely crafted baby rattle for Belle to play with.

It’s easy to picture Belle and Maurice playing with various micro mechanical projects together. Belle was able to design and implement a donkey-powered washing machine early in the film with her technical knowledge, after all.

#3 Set a good example – Of all the people in the community, Maurice is the only one to stand up to Gaston. This turns out to be costly, since Gaston is a neanderthal with a mind for wily strategy.

Maurice aims to be upstanding in all he does, regardless of who is watching. Except for maybe one lapse in judgement. He tries to strike Gaston with an open hand. In his defence, Gaston had verbally assaulted his daughter, attempted to murder him, and was casually gas lighting him in front of the town. Extreme conditions, for sure.

#4 Keep your vaccinations up to date – While vaccination would not enter mainstream medicine until the late 18th Century, Maurice protects himself and Bell from disease. This is a key plot point in the film.

Belle and Maurice move from Paris to the country to escape a plague. Belle’s mother died from infection. Maurice was doing everything he could.

#5 Get screened for depression – Despite Maurice being a model citizen, Gaston disparages his mental state, and a dour coachman hauls him off to the asylum.

His mental health remains sound, despite these assaults. He speaks in an even, conversational way to the coachman from the Asylum after he escapes the asylum’s padded and barred carriage. It is one sign that Maurice endures pain and grief, but resists violence and despair. His positive mental state persists.

At the end of the film, Maurice has moved from clockwork and metal crafts to painting. He appears calm, perhaps taking time to recover from his ordeal, and celebrate his daughters wedding by capturing the moment with water colours on canvas. But this is why care for and checking on mental health must take priority – like Maurice, a person with depression can appear find on the surface, but in reality, need more help. let’s hope he finds what he needs.

The original blog post with information for fathers and father figures can be found on the Triple P Blog, and you can read more about the Triple P initiative on their website.

This post was written by Joe at The Wallflyer. You can find more posts here at The Wallflyer, and you can follow me on Twitter for more updates.

Final Fantasy Distant Worlds 30th Anniversary tour announced

The Final Fantasy: Distant Worlds Orchestral performance began in 2007 for the 20th anniversary of the Final Fantasy game franchise. This year marks the 30th anniversary, and a new concert tour is about to begin.

The concert is a multi-media experience, and Final Fantasy composer Nobuo Uematsu has been announced as a special guest. Conductor and composer Arnie Roth will return as conductor for the Distant Worlds Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus.

Distant Worlds starts in Sydney, Australia on July 1. It then continues into North America, Europe, and Asia, before visiting Tokyo and Osaka in December.

Those interested can also vote for the music they would like to see and experience at the event.

The Distant Worlds website has more information on the new Distant Worlds tour.