Rob Paulsen Email

The following is a log of the email communication between Rob and I regarding my voice acting research paper...


From: wakkanne@hotmail.com
To: Rob Paulsen
Date: Mon 14 Sep 1998
Subject: Can You Help Me? :)

Hello there! My name is Suzanne Smiley. I am a 20 year old college student from Ocean Pines, Maryland. This semester in English, my class is required to write a research paper on the topic of our choosing. The topic I hope to cover is voice acting. I would sincerely appreciate if you could help me by answering a few questions about the profession. I will present these questions in a future email if you agree to help me. I would be more than happy to send you a copy of my final report when I have finished it, which will be about a month from now considering it is due October 8th.

Before you commit yourself to anything, I would first like to tell you a little about myself...

For as long as I can remember I have loved to draw, cartoon characters for the most part. Singing is a talent that also came naturally to me. Growing up, a favorite subject in school was art, second only to chorus. Whenever possible, I incorporated my current favorite toon characters into school projects, be it Ninja Turtles, Tiny Toons, or Animaniacs, to name a few of the best. I have been an avid fan of Animaniacs since day two. The first two Animaniacs characters I ever drew were Wakko and Pinky. I took four years of art in high school and two years of chorus. Then in 11th grade, I learned that there was even more to life than drawing cartoons and singing, I had discovered... drama class. In my Junior and Senior year of high school my electives were mostly used up for drama. When I graduated high school in 1996, I went on to Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia to study musical theatre acting. However, the expense of living in another state, plus the great distance the school was from home, made up a large majority of the reasons I didn't return to Shenandoah the following year. I am currently in my second semester at our local community college, getting my "required" courses out of the way before I decide what I really want to do with my life.

So you can see from my brief "life history" that my main interests have revolved around cartoons, singing, and acting. I suppose an interest now, over the past year, in cartoon voice acting, is quite understandable. I would tell you more, going into my writing interests (I love writing songs, short stories, and novels too), but I fear this email has already gone on long enough. :) Now that you have heard the story of where I am coming from, I hope you will be even more willing to help out with this school assignment.

In addition to sending you a copy of my completed report, I would also be happy to mail you a few of my Animaniacs related drawings as a token of my appreciation. Thank you for taking time out in your busy schedule to read this email as I'm sure you appreciate the time it took me to compose it. Even if you do not care to, or simply can not take the time to help me, it would please me to at least hear a reply explaining this. Perhaps even telling me who else I could go to for help and how to contact them (How about Jess Harnell or Tress MacNeille? :). Your reply would make this fangirl a VERY happy person indeed... :)

Groovy-Faboo!
Suzanne Smiley aka: Wakkanne Warner
wakkanne@hotmail.com
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wAkKo wArNeR's Animaniacs/Beatles Page >( |>=0 )>
Home of the classic CRGA and the NACRG!!!
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A! JW23 WK+++!^i"':# |"I'm Wakko Warner and I don't have
WAR++ SQ+ RI+ MD+ PI+ |any numbers like that, but I
KK-- HIP-- P+ I++ |believe the moon is made out of
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Re-H78a XFanny Ay78 F | -- "From Burbank With Love"
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From: Rob Paulsen
Date: Sun, 20 Sep 1998 01:50:19 EDT
To: wakkanne@hotmail.com
Subject: Re: Can You Help Me? :)

Hi Suzanne,

Sure, I'll help you! Just E-mail me your list of questions and I'll answer them for you as soon as possible. I'm glad you're interested in voice acting. It's a great way to make a living. I appreciate your interest in my work in particular. Looking forward to hearing from you!

Rob Paulsen


From: wakkanne@hotmail.com
Date: Tue, 22 Sep 1998 7:10pm EST
To: Rob Paulsen
Subject: Re: Can You Help Me? :)

Rob,

First of all, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for answering my email!!!

Some folks weren't sure you used this address anymore because they had never gotten a response. I'd guess that is understandable if they send you 10 emails a day. :)

As I promised, if you helped me, I would send a copy of my research paper when complete and some of my Animaniacs/Pinky and the Brain related art. May I have the snail mail address where I could sent that?

I know that you are busy and for that I am very, very happy you could take the time to help me at all. I hope that through this we can actually get to know "each other" a bit better. Coming up with good questions was a tough one. I knew what it was that I wanted to know, but wording it was sometimes difficult. So if you aren't sure of what I am asking in a question, feel free to have me clarify. I have also tried my best to come up with stuff that you haven't been asked a thousand times before. :) So let the interview begin! First off, here's a question I think is important to ask:

If during my further research, I think of a couple more questions to ask you, is it okay if I do so?

1) I know that you are originally from Detroit. Was it your career that led you to California?

2) What was it like getting into voice acting personally?

3) Any memorable/amusing stories from your first expiences working as a voice actor?

4) What would you say are some benefits of voice acting over other kinds of acting (other than the fact that you aren't recognized by your face as often)?

5) What do you think is perhaps the biggest piece of advice you have ever been given relating to working as a voice actor and who gave this advice to you?

6) All acting professions are competetive. It seems that voice actors are more supportive of each other compared to actors in other acting professions. What do you think?

7) Could you explain in some detail, for example, what a typical day of recording an episode of "Animaniacs" was like?

8) I thought I read somewhere that Yakko's voice was pitched upward (I forget what percent) like Skippy's. Is that correct?

9) If so, is there all that big a difference between you doing Yakko straight out and the "electronically enhanced" version?

10) I have my own "Save Animaniacs" web page as do many other loyal fans around the world including Louie Gonsalves's "Save Our Animaniacs Kampaign" (SOAK) and his successful online petition which I had originally suggested. What do you think about the fan's continuing devotion to "Animaniacs"?

11) Do you think this is the end of "Animaniacs" or do you think it could make a come back after a year or two like Rugrats did?

12) Do you know the latest news on the Animaniacs movie, "Wakko's Wakko Wish"? Is it supposed to be a direct to video, a theatrical release, or what?

I must ask this next question because I have never had the WB network and probably never will. *sigh* That means no Animaniacs in my area since 1995, EEK! I only very briefly got to see such shows as "Freakaziod" and "Pinky and the Brain" for the very first time in 1996-1997 when I went away that one year to Shenandoah University. So going on...

13) How are "Histeria" and "Pinky, Elmyra, and the Brain" going?

14) And finally, is there anything else you'd like to mention that was not covered by my questions?

Thank you again for agreeing to help me with this report. I think that the work you do is incredible! Okkay Warner says "HI!" (she MADE me say that, she LOVES you! :) Well, I'd better let you go before I add another page to this email!

Groovy-Faboo!
Suzanne Smiley aka: Wakkanne Warner
wakkanne@hotmail.com


From: wakkanne@hotmail.com
Date: Sun, 04 Oct 1998 2:20pm EST
To: Rob Paulsen
Subject: Re: Can You Help Me? :)(HOPE YOU SEE THIS)

>Hi Suzanne,
>
>Sure, I'll help you! Just E-mail me your list of questions and I'll answer
>them for you as soon as possible. I'm glad you're interested in voice acting.
>It's a great way to make a living. I appreciate your interest in my work in
>particular. Looking forward to hearing from you!
>
>Rob Paulsen

Hi Rob, remember me?
I've waited two weeks and haven't heard a response. I'm not quite sure what happened to you. :( Since you've already agreed to help me, I don't know whether you forgot about me, or that you didn't receive my last email with the questions at all, or if I asked too many questions for you to have time to answer. To cover all those possible reasons, I have decided to re-send my email with a revised list of questions that is shorter now. I knocked off 6 questions from the original list. That was a tough choice, but I did it. Please help answer, if still not all, at least a few of these questions as you said you would. Just as many as you can. Any answers at all would help me out so, so much! My paper is still due October 8, and it just won't be the same without you... :)

Suzanne

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Rob,

First of all, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for answering my email!!! I know that you are busy and for that I am very, very happy you could take the time to help me at all.

As I promised, if you helped me, I would send a copy of my research paper when complete and some of my Animaniacs/Pinky and the Brain related art. May I have the snail mail address where I could sent that?

1) I know that you are originally from Detroit. Was it your career that led you to California?

2) What was it like getting into voice acting personally?

3) Any memorable/amusing stories from your first expiences working as a voice actor?

4) What would you say are some benefits of voice acting over other kinds of acting (other than the fact that you aren't recognized by your face as often)?

5) What do you think is perhaps the biggest piece of advice you have ever been given relating to working as a voice actor and who gave this advice to you?

6) Could you explain in some detail, for example, what a typical day of recording an episode of "Animaniacs" was like?

7) I have my own "Save Animaniacs" web page as do many other loyal fans around the world including Louie Gonsalves's "Save Our Animaniacs Kampaign" (SOAK) and his successful online petition which I had originally suggested. What do you think about the fan's continuing devotion to "Animaniacs"?

8) Do you think this is the end of "Animaniacs" or do you think it could make a come back after a year or two like Rugrats did?

9) Do you know the latest news on the Animaniacs movie, "Wakko's Wakko Wish"? Is it supposed to be a direct to video, a theatrical release, or what?

Thank you again for agreeing to help me with this report. I think that the work you do is incredible!

Groovy-Faboo!
Suzanne Smiley aka: Wakkanne Warner
wakkanne@hotmail.com


From: Rob Paulsen
Date: Wed, 7 Oct 1998 22:40:59 EDT
To: wakkanne@hotmail.com
Subject: Re: Can You Help Me? :)(HOPE YOU SEE THIS)

In a message dated 10/4/98 11:05:15 AM, wakkanne@hotmail.com writes:

<<1) I know that you are originally from Detroit. Was it your career that led you to California?

Yes, that and the weather.

2) What was it like getting into voice acting personally?

It's a long, sometimes frustrating process, but ultimately, it's been worth it, and I wouldn't change a thing. Plus, the people I work with are the most talented actors I've ever met.

3) Any memorable/amusing stories from your first expiences working as a voice actor?

The first time I worked with Jonathan Winters on Smurfs was very memorable for me, since he was one of my childhood heroes. That was back in 1986, and I had to take a break from working because he had me laughing so hard.

4) What would you say are some benefits of voice acting over other kinds of acting (other than the fact that you aren't recognized by your face as often)?

I'm not limited by phsical features - I'm only limited by my imagination. Plus, I get to come home at a decent hour and see my family - much more than folks who are regulars on a sitcom.

5) What do you think is perhaps the biggest piece of advice you have ever been given relating to working as a voice actor and who gave this advice to you?

Actually, the biggest piece of advice I've been given was given to me by Gordie Howe, a famous Hockey player. I was sitting next to him signing autographs at a sports memorabilia and a comic book show, and after two hours of signing, a young man asked Mr. Howe if his hand was tired from signing all those autographs, and Gordie replied "Son, I've worked too hard for this privelege." When I heard that, I vowed that I would never forget it is indeed a privelege for someone to ask you for your autograph.

6) Could you explain in some detail, for example, what a typical day of recording an episode of "Animaniacs" was like?

Actually, it's quite simple. We get to work, go over the script, rehearse it, make some changes, record it, and go back and re-record any mistakes, laugh a whole bunch, eat free food, and then go home. All this takes two to four hours.

7) I have my own "Save Animaniacs" web page as do many other loyal fans around the world including Louie Gonsalves's "Save Our Animaniacs Kampaign" (SOAK) and his successful online petition which I had originally suggested. What do you think about the fan's continuing devotion to "Animaniacs"?

I think it's tremendous; I'm actually flattered and a little overwhelmed that people would take time out of their busy schedules to help keep our show on the air. Please give them my deep appreciation and undying gratitude.

8) Do you think this is the end of "Animaniacs" or do you think it could make a come back after a year or two like Rugrats did?

I think it will always be around in some way - i.e. specials, new CDs, new videos, etc.

9) Do you know the latest news on the Animaniacs movie, "Wakko's Wakko Wish"? Is it supposed to be a direct to video, a theatrical release, or what?>>

I think it's going to be a direct-to-video released in the spring. I hear that it's excellent.

Hope this helps you with your report - sorry for the delay, I've been a litle nutty lately..

- Rob


From: wakkanne@hotmail.com
Date: Thu, 08 Oct 1998 8:49pm EST
To: Rob Paulsen
Subject: Thanks to the Awesome V/A... :)

>Hope this helps you with your report - sorry for the delay, I've been a litle >nutty lately..

Hi Rob!
I was just checking my email today to tell you that I had planned to re-use the long, tiring English paper research for an informative speech about voice acting on October 27th for my public speaking class. And then I saw your reply!

Actually, I'm even more excited about this speech because one of the requirements is to have a lot of audio/visual aids. I can show off my Wakko impression and a few of my original voices, plus I've already planned on showing a short clip from Animaniacs and hanging pictures of the toons who's voice actors I will be focusing on the most. If all goes well, it should be a blast! :)

I can't thank you enough for helping me out here, Rob. I understand that it's asking a lot from you to take out the time to answer one person's list of questions when you have many other commitments to attend to. I respect that. I know how for me, just coming up with what to say to you was the longest, hardest task of all the research for my paper. And one reason why your reply meant so much to me.

A question still on my mind: My brother and I still kinda pondered what I read once about Yakko's voice being pitched upward. I mean, how much different do you sound when you do Yakko's voice for fans in person as opposed to the Yakko we hear in the cartoon?

Although I couldn't use your comments for this one, I have a copy of my voice actor research paper if you still want it. I will also be setting up a webpage for the research paper very soon so you could look at it there as well/instead. It's up to you. :) I *DO DO DO* want to mail you a couple of my Animaniacs drawings though as an additional thank you as I promised, so I still need to ask: To what address do I sent them to make sure that they indeed get to you?

No deadline for your replies on this email (whew! :) I would not want you to forget about me, but please answer this one at your own leisure as time will allow... :)

"Be cool, and smell a flower"
"G'night everybody!!" :)

Suzanne


From: Rob Paulsen
Date: Wed, 28 Oct 1998 02:14:57 EST
To: wakkanne@hotmail.com
Subject: Re: Thanks to the Awesome V/A... :)

Instead of sending the pictures of the mail, if you have a scanner, you can send them as picture files in E-mail. It's a lot faster..

- Rob


That's all for now!

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