By: Connor Lenahan
For the past four years I have worked professionally as a public address announcer over a large number of sports. It may be a stretch to call this “professional” work, but being able to log experience announcing basketball, hockey, lacrosse, swimming, and soccer before I turned twenty was awesome. This vocation has created an odd fascination in my mind. I am overly intrigued by voices. I actively change my voice when I am behind a microphone and have come to gain the ability to turn on and off this “announcer voice” at will. It’s the greatest party trick in the world.
This has led to me paying an absurd amount of attention to other PA announcers in stadiums I visit. For example, my style of announcing and that of the PA for the Miami Heat do not match in the slightest. We would have a principal disagreement on vocal inflection should I ever be granted the opportunity to take the microphone at American Airlines Arena.
Further than PA announcers, I have a overwhelming love for voice actors. The ability to change voices on a dime is fascinating to me. So imagine my joy when I found out about I Know That Voice.
I Know That Voice is a documentary about some of the most famous voices in Hollywood today. John DiMaggio (Bender from Futurama), Billy West (Fry and Zoidberg from Futurama), Tara Strong (Bubbles from The Powerpuff Girls), Tom Kenny (Spongebob), and Jim Cummings (Winnie the Pooh) are just a few of the names/characters featured in the film.
I have it rented on my iTunes. I have things to do for tomorrow, but dammit, they can wait. I need to watch and learn from the best. Why? Because who knows, maybe I could do this someday. I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t considered it before. Given my obsessive fandom of The Simpsons the thought of actually lending my voice to a character is a dream of the highest order.
Now it’s time to watch how the people who make some of my favorite characters come to life do it, and how I can too.