Nancy Cartwright Chats with Andrea Romano -- Part 2
For the most part, I love working with voice over actors because they are not being judged by how they look, it doesn't matter if they are tall enough, blonde enough, young enough, pretty enough or thin enough. Either they can do the voice or they can't do the voice. So their ego's different than the on-camera actor ego. They're not as neurotic, they're not as possessive. They are more generous that way. I love actors, period. I love the creative input that they have and that's the thing about directing too. You prep a script, like what I talked about and you hear it in your head and how the script is going to run. But I have to be open-minded when I get into the recording studio because actors have ideas and you want to hear what they have. That's why you hire an actor instead of a technician to work for you. I don't want to just stand there and force an actor to do what I want them to do. I want them to have thoughts of their own. I want them to creatively come up with their ideas. Then I will check with my producer who is sitting behind me or my animation director and go "You know we didn't talk about doing it that way. Do you think that is an interesting way to do it? It's organic and it happened spontaneously on the spot with the actor. Can we adjust what we were planning to make that work?" And more often than not we will go with what the actor created. So that's my job: to make the actor feel comfortable, to let them feel creative. I bring you in so that collectively we make a project and that's the way you want it.
NC: I would like to know, just out of curiosity, what's your most challenging job as a director and what's one the funniest job you have had as a director?
AR: SpongeBob is very challenging because all the actors can't always be there at the same time. I'm one of those directors who really enjoy an ensemble record. I like to give the actor a chance to react to the guy before them. That's not to say that I am not very successful at getting the correct performance when I have to record actors individually. I like the energy of all the actors in the room. It's like when you do the table read, doing the rehearsal and the actors can cut up, play, ad-lib and do all that stuff. I like to bring that into the recording studio as well. However, you don't always get the chance to do that. SpongeBob, we have the wonderful Clancy Brown who plays Mr. Crabs, he works a lot theatrically. He's even right now in Texas for three months, so I have to record him separately from the cast and that creates a challenge.
NC: You know, I consider you a comrade, a comrade in this industry and we have known each other 27-28 years. If we weren't connected in the industry, I would have loved to have grown up and been your friend. Thanks so much for this.
Nancy Cartwright is best known as the voice of spiky-headed Bart Simpson on The Simpsons. She has voiced dozens of cartoon characters in a career that has spanned more than 20 years. Currently, she can be heard as the voice of Rufus the Naked Mole Rat on Disney's Kim Possible and Todd Daring in Disney's The Replacements. To learn more about Nancy's career, listen to her audio book My Life as a 10-Year-Old Boy