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Ted Cole

How did you get started in voice-acting?

Well, I'm an actor... and when the voice-over industry was first coming up to Vancouver, I auditioned for Doug Parker here, and I just had one sort of crazy voice at the time, and he kind of clued in to that, and he said, "Oh, we have to use that sometimes." And so, from that one voice, I've just sort of developed more and more voices.

What role did you play?

Well, I played a number of characters in the end, but the first was this cute little robot... that was the initial sort of break in the door, and I had tons of voices come after that.

Do you do anything special to prepare yourself for a role? Research, or little warm-ups?

I can't say as I do, exactly I guess the truth of the matter is, I mean... I suppose it's different for every different individual. I mean, I'm an actor and I perform on stage as well as on television, and I do voice-overs as well, and so basicallyI rely on my education as an actor to help me out.

When working on something that's been translated from the Japanese originally, do you want to hear the Japanese, to see how that voice-actor handled the part?

It's difficult to say. Sometimes the Japanese is helpful... I find that especially during live-action- that is, if you're dubbing live-action- but in the cartoons, I find it's easier to have your own interpretation of the character, because it's mostly off the visuals that I take things.

So are you saying there's room for improvisation, or...?

I think that often there are cultural differences, sometimes you can... hmm, what am I trying to say. There's cultural differences insofar as sometimes I think certain characters are stereotyped as sort of quieter or more stern characters, and sometimes you want to sort of break away from that a little bit. For the read in English, sometimes you want to be a little bit more animate... I don't know.

Do you ever watch the animation you are in?

Oh, yeah, yeah. I've got the videotapes. They're great.

Do you watch Dragon Ball on TV or anything?

Well, the problem is you never know when these sorts of things are going to be on. I mean, very often I'll do a television show, and I don't find out when it airs, and people will say "I saw you on television last night!" And I'll go, "Oh, what was it? I don't even know!"

Did you watch animation before you got into voice-acting?

Oh sure, sure... as a kid. Kids all love cartoons, and I guess I had an affinity for certain cartoons, certainly all the sort of Mel Blanc cartoons, I really loved those. All those great characters.

When you go out for a voice role, what "type" of character do you usually go for? Tough guy, young boy, gruff old man?

It's different... I'm starting to get more into the action characters, the tougher guys, usually they're the more refined characters, sometimes I play sort of the cuter, cuddly little characters, I don't do too many of the rough guys... you know, GRAAH... those kind of guys. Mostly the sort of refined characters, but getting a little more into the action cartoons.

Of all the characters that you've played, who do you consider to be your favorite, and who do you consider to be the strangest?

Oh boy. Well, it would probably be both, all wrapped up into one category. There was this character on The New Adventures of He-Man called "Slush Head"... it was a swamp creature who wore a helmet filled with swamp water... [BUBBLY UNDERWATER VOICE] "So he'd talk like this. Oh no! What am I gonna do?" [LAUGHS] That was definitely the strangest sort of character.

And that's your favorite as well?

Oh, I think so. Everyone always goes "Oh, do that, do that, do that," and I think it's just so silly.

You mentioned your live-action work earlier. Is there anything recent, that the readers might have seen lately?

Oh, perhaps- I did an episode of Sliders, I did an episode of Strange Luck, The Marshal, tons of stuff.

Sounds like you've kept pretty busy.

Fairly busy, yeah... in fairly diverse fields. There the stage and there's television, and there's voice-over. It keep you busier if you can diversify.

How do you think voice-acting compares with live-action work?

Voice-acting is a completely different animal. You have to try and put more into the character with your voice... you're trying to create action, you're trying to creaet movement with your voice- which is something we don't do in live-action. When you're on screen it's all very clear; what you do is, you try to bring life to a character in a cartoon, whereas whe you're on screen in a live-action role, it's much more internalized- you're very secretive and internal.

You probably have to work more when you're actually on screen.

Yeah... but I also think there's a tendency to hide more when you're in live-action and to show more when you're in a cartoon.

Hmm... That's interesting. Do you ever get fan mail?

No, I don't get any fan mail. I don't have any fans. Every once in awhile, I'll have somebody who comes up and says "I think I know you, I think I saw you on a show," but it's fairly rare. NOT a big star yet. [LAUGHS]



They'll find you. Well, do you have any words of advice, for would-be actors, aspiring voice-actors?

The only thing I can say is that if you want to be an actor of any kind, it's a good idea to get some training of some sort. I know there are natural talents out there who just go out and do it, without having been formally trained, and you just kinda go, "Wow, that's just... just great." But you may find that if you want to expand beyond the boundaries that you're in, you could run into some problems unless you have some training. If a person finds they're doing well in voice-over, they might want to get some training.

Fan mail can be sent to:
Ted Cole
c/o Northern Exposure Talent Management Group
Suite , 1155 Melville Steet
Vancouver, B.C., Canada V6E 4C4

Originally Published in:
Animerica Vol 5. No. 4

Credits include:
Tatewaki Kuno

Daisuke Dobashi/Hiiragi
Please Save My Earth

Dragon Ball

Dragon Ball Z

Wufei Chang
Gundam Wing

Man with Snake
Vision of Escaflowne.

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