In 2010 I had the privilege of interviewing several Clone Wars voice-actors, among which Tom Kane – the voice of Yoda, Admiral Yularen, and the show’s Narrator. The full interview can be read at my personal site StarWarsInterviews.com, a sister-site of StarWars.community. Below is a short excerpt.
How did you get started in the voice acting business? I read that you had a fascination with voices on TV as a kid and that when you were 14 you could do any voice?
I got into it when I was a teenager living in Kansas City. I was 15, it was summer and I was bored. I knew I had a better voice than a lot of the local stuff on TV and radio because back than it was all done by (does a radio voice) the local FM disc jockey who sounded like be theretherethere’.
So I started calling local advertisers and offered my services. It didn’t occur to me anyone got actually paid for it. One day I got a call back from the American ads agency and they liked to have me donate some voice-over work. I had my dad drive me over to the studio because I didn’t have my license yet and of course they walked up to him and he said ‘No, that’s the guy’. They were like ‘What?’ The co-producer got his ass whooped while the engineer was setting me up on a microphone because they rented a studio and found out I’d never done this before. I asked them if they wanted me to do the lines in some kind of accent. The producer goes ‘What?’ I said that it might sound good like the old Pepperidge farm guy. He said ‘Oh, you do that do you? Let’s hear that’. So I went (does the Pepperidge farm accent) ‘Every weekend a couple dozen Kansas City families have a couple dozen garage sales’. Anyway, they went ‘O’, recorded it and put it on the air and 5 days later I got a call from another ad agency that wanted me to do 5 commercials except it was paid and I had to join the union and here I am!
You have done voice work for Lucasfilm since the mid-nineties. How did you get started at Lucasfilm?
I got started at Lucasfilm just doing miscellaneous small parts for their video games. I guess I was actually on the very first they ever did, it was called The Dig I think. Just goofing around I would read other parts to show off. One day they were doing some TIE Fighter game. There were the voices of Yoda and C-3PO, I read them and they hired me to do them.