The world-famous Hollywood Improv is proud to invite you to join Emmy and Annie award winner Rob Paulsen as he talks about his experiences in voice acting!
About Troy Baker:
Texas native Troy Baker has recently risen to be one of the most prolific actors in video games. In 2013 alone, his performances as Joel in The Last of Us, Booker DeWitt in Bioshock Infinite and even The Joker in Batman: Arkham Origins quickly caught the eye of both fans and media alike, landing several nominations and awards. He was even featured in Entertainment Weekly's "Best of 2013" issue. Troy also plays bow-wielding Avenger "Hawkeye" in both Disney's Marvel Avengers Assemble and Ultimate Spiderman. An avid gamer, comic book nerd and cartoon fanatic, Troy says that "being a part of something you're going to geek out over later is the best part of the job".
About Steve Blum:
With literally hundreds of V/O credits to his name, Steve Blum is best known as the voice of "Spike Spiegel" from Cowboy Bebop, “Wolverine” from several incarnations of X-Men (animated movies, games, the Wolverine and the X-Men TV Series, The Super Hero Squad Show, X-Men Anime and more), “Orochimaru,” “Zabuza,” and others from Naruto, “Green Goblin” from the Spectacular Spiderman series, “Heatblast,” “Vilgax” and “Ghostfreak” from Ben 10, “Grayson Hunt” (Bulletstorm) “Grunt” (Mass Effect 2 and 3),"Zoltan Kulle" from Diablo 3, "Abathur" from Starcraft 2:Heart of the Swarm, “Tank Dempsey” (Call of Duty), “Killer Croc” from Arkham Asylum, “Oghren” (DragonAge),“Vincent Valentine” (Final Fantasy VII), “Leeron” (Guren Lagann), “Jamie” from Megas XLR, “Storm Troopers” and many others in most of the Star Wars games, “Boogoo,”“Sparky” and others from Disney’s Anime - Stitch, The voice of 7-11, dozens of Digimon and a gigantic list of other characters from Anime, Video Games, TV and Film. In 2012, Steve was inducted into the Guinness Book of World records as Most Prolific Voice Actor in Video Games - appearing in almost 300 games!
Currently you can catch him on the super-charged CGI series Transformers: Prime, playing the sometimes delusional but always deadly Decepticon "Starscream" and as “Heatwave” on the action-packed, kid-friendly, Transformers: Rescue Bots! And most recently as "Devil Dinosaur" on HULK: Agents of SMASH, several characters on Ultimate Spider Man, Ben 10: Omniverse, the Regular Show, Tenkai Knights, Doc McStuffins and as the terrifying anti-bender "Amon" on the hit series Avatar: The Legend of Korra!
And after 4 years off the air, thanks to tremendous fan support, Steve once again takes the helm of the great star cruiser Absolution, reprising his role as "TOM" the robotic host of Cartoon Network's Toonami on Adult Swim.
About Rob Paulsen:
Born in Detroit, Rob Paulsen spent his childhood in Livonia and Rochester, attending Junior and Senior high school in Grand Blanc, Michigan. Rob loved cartoons like most kids but aspired to be a professional hockey player. “Fortunately, thanks to some big, strong, kid from Winnipeg who drilled me so hard my ears are still ringing, I learned around age 18 I had neither the talent nor the temperament to make a living playing hockey. So, I turned to my other passions: singing and acting.”
The goal of bringing absolute believability to a fictional character, live-action or animated, is what every actor strives for. Those who are committed to their career and who combine experience, passion and skill are likely to succeed.
Those gifted with exceptional talent who focus on maximizing their potential by finding their own niche, quickly break away from the pack. After years of honing their craft and consistently delivering memorable performances in which the character impacts an indelible image on the viewer, the public and the industry take notice, singling out the best.
“I’m getting paid to do what I got in trouble for in the 7th grade,” jests Rob, who won a Daytime Emmy in 1999 as “Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program” for Pinky and The Brain (Warner Bros.) Though nominated twice previously, the victory was especially sweet due to some formidable competition – fellow nominees Louie Anderson, Ernest Borgnine, Dennis Franz and Jeffery Tambor. In addition to his Emmy, Rob won back-to-back Annie Awards in 1997 and 1998. “I absolutely love what I do and thank my lucky stars for twenty-five years of full-time employment in this business,” he says.
“It’s a treat to portray a complex character,” Rob explains about Pinky, a goof-ball mouse with funny teeth, a head filled with clouds and an inane imagination that is punctuated with a staccato laugh. “Besides … where else could I find a job where emotional outbursts and odd exclamations like ‘Egad!,’ ‘Narf!,’ ‘Poit!,’ ‘Splonk!,’ and ‘Zort!’ are allowed and in fact, encouraged?” With over 2,000 half-hours of animation to his credit, Rob’s versatility shines in his starring roles as the voices of Yakko, Pinky and Dr. Scratch ‘n’ Sniff in the Peabody and two-time Emmy award-winning series “Animaniacs.”
Some of Rob’s other well-known animated characters include Raphael of the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” Arthur in “The Tick,” the title role in “The Mask” (for a WHOLE lot less dough than Mr. Carrey, thank you), the title role in “Mighty Max,” Carl Wheezer in “Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius,” Jack Fenton in “Danny Phantom,” Bobble in the “Tinkerbell” series of DVDs and hopefully more to come.
Paulsen’s extensive credits include on-camera roles in numerous motion pictures including Body Double, Stewardess School, Eyes of Fire, The Perfect Match, and Warlocked. His television acting credits include guest-starring roles on MacGyver and St. Elsewhere. Additionally, he is one of the most sought-after voice actors in the commercial arena, performing in over 1000 commercial spots.
As passionate about “paying it forward” as he is about his lucrative career, Rob supports various charitable organizations, particularly those benefiting children and military veterans. Rob’s volunteer work with GOALmodels has been particularly rewarding. GOALmodels, a high school program in Reseda, California, is designed to inspire 9th graders to set goals and overcome obstacles in life. Blending his life experiences with passion for his work, his presentations are informative, entertaining and inspiring. In his leisure time, Rob enjoys golf, riding his motorcycle and occasionally lacing up his skates for another chance to relive his past glory on the rink. He spends the majority of his free time with his wife, Parrish, and their two Yorkshire terriers, Pooshie and Tala.