Saturday, January 21, 2017

The Dub Wars: Why people think English voice acting is inferior

If you've spent longer than four seconds in a comment section regarding anime, you're already familiar with the fabled Dub Wars, the lives they have claimed, and the fires of rage they have ignited. You know the usual arguments: "English voice acting is always bad!" "Nuh-uh, you're just a sad little weabboo living in his parents' basement!" "Nuh-uh, it's objective truth that Japanese voice actors are superior to all living things!"

Anyone else feel like beating their own head in with a cinder block?

I've long pondered the mystery of the Dub Wars, and I've come to some realizations about what started them and how it all works. Why do people think English voice acting is so often inferior? Really, this goes for all English voice acting, not just dubs, but dubs are what I'll focus on.

First, some disclaimers. As of yet, I have not provided voice work for an anime. I would love to add such to my resume, but all I have to go on now are my experiences in other forms of voice acting and my knowledge and hearsay of how the dubbing process works. Maybe years down the road when I have dubbing under my belt, I will write a follow-up piece. Additionally, I am no certified philosopher or historian; much of this is my own observation. For now, take this as my personal perspective, some food for thought if you will, and use it to further your own understanding of the Dub Wars.

So. Why do people think English voice acting is automatically inferior to Japanese voice acting?

Friday, January 13, 2017

A little update on things are about to be run around these parts

It is theoretically possible you have noticed the general lack of activity on this blog.

I haven't given up on it; the reality is, I'm involved in a great many things right now, including trying to move, working a day-job four days a week, finishing a novel, finishing a project with as much writing as a novel, and just trying to keep my own voice acting career humming along. It's hard to devote the time to this blog that it needs to stay up to speed, especially given the direction I wanted to take it, with interviews and accent videos and the like on a monthly/weekly basis. If I won the lottery tomorrow and all aspects of my career took off like a firework, perhaps I would leave my day-job and devote that much-needed time to my writing and voice acting, but as it stands, I have neither the time nor the sanity.

That said, I love writing and sharing my opinions with the world, and I don't want to totally stop. Blog gurus always say to update regularly, but at the moment, that really isn't possible, so here's how it's going to play out for now: please stay subscribed, and I will update with an article when I get it into my head to do so. That means I could update weekly, I could update monthly, or maybe I will disappear into the desert sands like a wraith and vanish for months. Regardless, at some point, I will be back when I feel like talking. When I do, please listen, tell me what you think, and ask others what they think so we can get all kinds of input.

Also, the tone of my posts will probably change a tad. Where it used to rely on tips and observations I've made, it may now cover more down-to-earth material as the mood strikes me, like perspectives on certain character performances or anecdotes on my career. I'm not going to totally forget about things like Audacity 101 or Let's Learn Accents, but right now I could do without the pressure of feeling like I need to upload in an orderly fashion once a week.

Thanks in advance for your understanding if you happen to read this. Now that I've made the conscious decision to start blogging again - however irregularly - you should hear a lot more from me. Stay tuned.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Are voice acting lessons worth it?

At some point in every budding artist's preparation for the leap into professionalism should come one question: "Are lessons worth it?" If you're writing a book, you have to consider paying for an editor (a costly but effective endeavor). If you aim to voice act professionally, you'll have to consider formal education.

So is it worth it? Short answer: yes.

...So, uh, I guess the article's over. Thanks for reading. Subscribe, share, proclaim your love for me, keep marriage proposals to less than 150 characters.

But you came for a more detailed answer, I'm assuming. The answer really isn't as easy as "shell out money, git gud." There are important benefits to voice over lessons, some precautions to take, and a certain mindset you'll need to have.

Friday, September 2, 2016

LLA #1 - Let's Learn a Russian Accent

Welcome, finally, to Let's Learn a Russian Accent, the first installment in the Let's Learn Accents series. I opted to start with a Russian accent because I'm actually fairly familiar with it, and therefore perhaps my very first entry here won't result in me being laughed at and booed off the virtual stage for my failures.

For those of you just dropping in out of nowhere (hi!), Let's Learn Accents is sort of a collaborative journey where I pick an accent, study it, dissect it so everyone else can follow along, and then attempt it myself with audio proof so you can hear how I did. Again, I'm a bit more familiar with the accent in question this time around, but I will tackle accents I don't know at all in the future, so that will be an excellent time to observe and explain both where I can improve and how others can sound more genuine as well.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Interview with Branden Loera, voice actor at Funimation

Last week, I had the privilege of interviewing actor Branden Loera. We've crossed virtual paths before, having been in Zelda Universe's Wind Waker dub, and from everything else I've seen him do (which, admittedly, I have not seen much, but maybe that will change), he's definitely got the acting chops to back him up.

What made me want to interview him, though, is his involvement with Funimation, the company responsible for dubbing and distributing English versions of such anime as Dragon Ball Z, Fullmetal Alchemist, Attack on Titan, and pretty much every other anime you've ever liked. Of course, nondisclosure agreements go with voice acting like love does marriage and a horse does a carriage (if Frank Sinatra is to be believed), so we couldn't talk much about some of the work he's done with them. He's been working with them for a few months at least now, and given my burning curiosity to know more about his perspective, I think a lot of you may appreciate it, too. The interview itself - nine real questions, one for giggles at the end - is fairly lengthy, but more than worth it in my book.