|Forum Home > Interviews With Cast & Crew > Scott Menville - March 2010|
1: You played a lot of characters from our childhoods that we enjoyed. You worked on RAINBOW BRITE as well as TEEN TITANS, and in video games such as FINAL FANTASY! What made you decide to be a voice actor?
SCOTT MENVILLE: My dad was a writer at Hanna-Barbera at the time, so he was well versed in the business. He recognized that I was good with mimicry and doing voices so he enrolled me in acting classes at age 9 and encouraged me to start auditioning at age 11, which was when I began acting professionally.
2: Do you prefer voice acting to live acting?
SCOTT MENVILLE: It's sort of like swimming in a pool versus the ocean. Both are fun for different reasons.
3: Did you study in school or in a theater group?
SCOTT MENVILLE: I studied acting for years and years and years in various drama classes for scene study and monologue study, as well as improvisation classes and voiceover classes. And of course, the number one teacher-learning on the job.
4: What is a voice that you prefer to do? A role you are familiar with the most?
SCOTT MENVILLE: I always get a kick out of playing a stoner/slacker/surfer type. I've known so many guys like that in real life, and I've done those roles so many times they're like second nature.
5: What is the most difficult voice you've had to do?
SCOTT MENVILLE: I've done some voices for interactive games where I've been required to do a lot of screaming, dying, throat-ripping battle cries.
6: In addition to voicing animation you have also been in movies and on television. Do you like live acting as much as voice?
SCOTT MENVILLE: I love both for different reasons. Each is creatively fulfilling in its own way.
7: Research shows that you have also played in a band and toured the country. Do you miss touring?
SCOTT MENVILLE: I miss certain aspects of it, like being on stage and getting to watch other great bands from side stage.
8: You left the band a while back. Do you still play or practice?
SCOTT MENVILLE: Not professionally.
9: What are you up to now?
SCOTT MENVILLE: Focusing on acting, writing, and my family.
1: How did you first get involved with RAINBOW BRITE?
SCOTT MENVILLE: I don't exactly remember, but I assume I auditioned for our director Marsha Goodman and the people at DIC and was cast to play Brian.
2: What is one of your fondest traits about the character you played?
SCOTT MENVILLE: To be honest, I don't really remember much about Brian since it has been over two decades since I played him or have even seen the show. Funny, I do still remember him greeting his dog and saying sadly, "Hi boy. No, I didn't make the team." It's strange, some of the lines of dialogue that remain in an actor's brain over time.
3: Did you ever watch the episodes you were in? What did you think of them? Is there an episode or scene that you enjoyed the most?
SCOTT MENVILLE: I watched the show when the episodes first aired but I haven't seen the show since.
4: I'm sure you have heard of the new market for the 25th anniversary release of the franchise. What are you looking forward to the most? Characters?
SCOTT MENVILLE: I think it's great that it's coming back. It will make a lot of people happy, young and old.
5: What is one of your favorite memories of being part of the cast?
SCOTT MENVILLE: Working with Pat Fraley and Peter Cullen. They always made us laugh. I loved how Pat Fraley would contort his face into a goofy overbite when he voiced Lurky. In fact I can still remember him doing one of his lines with that face saying, "Hey Murky, they're heading to Rainbow Land!"
6: Do you have any particular memento from then that you keep? What is it?
SCOTT MENVILLE: Unfortunately, I don't have any mementos from the show. But I have many fond memories from that time.
Voice Acting (Rainbow Brite)
1: Studios differ in their methods of recording voice actors. Some are recorded all actors in the same room actually acting off the other's performance, others are recorded separately, acting to no one, having to repeat lines in different ways. For the recordings of RAINBOW BRITE, how was studio time arranged?
SCOTT MENVILLE: I believe we all recorded together, which is by far my favorite way to work. It's always fun to playoff each other. I do remember one time when Bettina and I were recorded separately from the rest of the cast due to scheduling conflicts. She and I were kids, so perhaps our school schedule had something to do with it. But in general, we were all in the same room recording together.
2: Was there a cast member that influenced you the most?
SCOTT MENVILLE: Well, I spent the most time with Bettina since in addition to rehearsing and recording each episode we also had to fulfill the legal obligation of three hours of school on the set. In addition to that Bettina and I were also on THE GET-A-LONG GANG animated series together and I think we may have done MY LITTLE PONY together too. Bettina was a cool friend to hang out with and we're still friends today. She's a sweetheart.
3: Was there any advice given that you take to heart from your cast mates?
SCOTT MENVILLE: I don't remember any specific advice but I do remember learning tons from watching Pat Fraley and Peter Cullen. I remember Peter showing me little tricks and techniques to do dog sounds. And I remember Pat doing a New Jersey accent and then. I'd repeat it and copy him as best as I could.
4: Acting in front of a microphone can be awkward depending on the scene you have to do or what your character is reacting to. Was there a time in doing this that you asked yourself, "What am I doing?" and what did you have to do?
SCOTT MENVILLE: Sure. There have been many times that happened, and I'd say 99% of those times have been on auditions or preparing for certain auditions. If that question ever arises on the job, it is usually quickly answered by the director, who is there to guide you along. When that question has come up in preparing for an audition I've just continued working on the material over and over until I felt like I had more of a handle on it.
5: From the recording to the animation, how long did the process take?
SCOTT MENVILLE: Probably around six months from the initial recording session of an episode to the first airdate of that episode on TV.
6: Animators in general often take the actors in to consideration when animating the characters. Were any of your characteristics used in the animation of RAINBOW BRITE?
SCOTT MENVILLE: No. I've worked on other projects in which the animators used my characteristics. But on RAINBOW BRITE they showed us drawings of the characters before we began recording.
7: With the new introduction of the characters, and being on the original cast, are there ny hopes of a reunion?
SCOTT MENVILLE: I haven't heard any rumblings of one. But I do get to see a few of the other cast members frequently on jobs and at auditions. Pat Fraley and I are represented by the same agency so I see him quite a bit. From time to time I run into Mona Marshall, the hilarious Charlie Adler, and Bettina.
8: Were there any lines in the script that were not used? Often lines are clipped for length or other purposes of editing. Do you remember any? And can you share some with us?
SCOTT MENVILLE: I'm sure there were lines that were clipped. That always seems to happen on just about every show, usually due to the script running too long.
Voice Acting (General)
1: You have voiced many other characters in your career. What is a character you have enjoyed playing the most?
SCOTT MENVILLE: I have a handful of favorites. I have fond memories of doing Spanky on Hanna-Barbera's THE LITTLE RASCALS because it was my first job in this business. I liked being JONNY QUEST, Freddy on THE FLINTSTONE KIDS, Larry and Steve on some episodes of RUGRA TS that I did. I loved playing Fraz Flub on the series THE BROTHERS FLUB because the character was so neurotic and because I learned a ton while being directed by Charlie Adler. And of course, I have to list Robin on TEEN TITANS as a favorite. But I'd have to say my absolute favorite was when I got to voice Kevin French on the prime time series MISSION HILL.
2: What is a character you have played that is the most difficult?
SCOTT MENVILLE: I've voice-matched on-camera actors from time to time when they were not available to do their own ADR (Additional Dialogue Recording). Matching a voice always presents a challenge. A voice match is much different from an impersonation. You can't rely on mimicking the other actor's physical mannerisms. You have to nail it solely in the voice.
3: What is a character you have wanted to play but have not?
SCOTT MENVILLE: There have been a lot of roles over the years, both voice-over and on-camera, that I have auditioned for and really wanted but not gotten. Every actor in the world knows how that goes. And sometimes after the fact I've watched the project on air and ultimately realized one of three scenarios: Either
a) they cast a completely different version of how I interpreted the role, or
b) I still would have done a better job than who they cast, or
c) the actor they cast was waaaaay better in the role than I would have been. So it's always interesting. It's all a learning game, and I always try to keep looking forward.
4: A lot of people want to get involved in voice acting. Do you have any tips that may help them?
SCOTT MENVILLE: Know that it is extremely competitive. Some of the best actors I've ever worked with are voice-over actors. There are a lot of talented cats out there. That being said, new people break into the v.o. business every year. I would recommend taking classes, listening to playbacks of your work with an objective ear, be willing to take risks, and don't be afraid to look ridiculous.
5: When making a demo: sounds or music or none?
SCOTT MENVILLE: Obviously the focus needs to be on the vocal performance, but it can also help to add sound effects and little music stings in chosen places. And keep it short. Agents and casting directors are very busy and don't have time to listen to a 5 minute voice demo.
6: In your history it shows you have done both animation and dubbing. What do you think of those? Is dubbing easier?
SCOTT MENVILLE: I really enjoy both. I feel like I have more freedom when I'm voicing something that is not yet animated. There's more room to play and to improvise and try out different ideas. Dubbing is fun for me in a different way. It's a little more technical because you're dealing with synching lip flaps and delivering the lines within a very specific time code on screen. Dubbing is a challenge and I always get very competitive with myself while doing it. It's like working a puzzle under a ticking clock.
7: Do you listen to the original voice track before you do a dub?
SCOTT MENVILLE: Sometimes. In some cases listening to the original track can be a hindrance, and in some cases it can be helpful. For instance, when I played the character Black, one of the two leads in the English version of the Japanese anime feature TEKKON KINKREET, there were times where the voice director and I would refer to the original track to stay true to the emotion of the original. Although I don't understand Japanese, I could hear the emotion and intensity coming through in the Japanese actor's line delivery to make sure I was on target with my interpretation.
8: Is recording a dub or video game different than for an animated show?
SCOTT MENVILLE: In a dub you are recording to picture, so you need to match the timing of your lines to the lip flaps of your character on screen. In a new animation script the voice tracks are recorded prior to the animation, so there is more freedom to deliver lines in your own timing and rhythm. In dubbing and video game sessions the actor is almost always recorded solo, whereas on an animated show generally the entire cast is recorded together.
9: You have added a list of new roles. Any of them your most memorable?
SCOTT MENVILLE: As I mentioned before, I absolutely loved being a part of MISSION HILL and voicing Kevin French. Robin on TEEN TITANS remains at the top of my list too.
10: Do you consider going to conventions?
SCOTT MENVILLE: Yes. I've done signings and panels at a couple conventions, the most notable being Comic Con in San Diego, CA. I enjoyed those experiences.
11: Do you have a favorite video game or comic?
SCOTT MENVILLE: I still love the old school Donkey Kong and I'll tear up some Ms. Pacman, so watch out. As for comics, I was a fan of TRANSMETROPOLITAN while it was in print.
Final Comments from SCOTT MENVILLE: Before we wrap it up I have to share this. Pat Fraley and I were working together on a voice-over job about two years ago at a studio here in Los Angeles. One of the studio assistants was a young woman who was a big fan of Rainbow Brite. She told Pat and I that she was excited to meet us and she showed us a large colorful tattoo of Rainbow Brite on her arm. I saw Bettina shortly after that and told her about it. Bettina laughed and said, "That's awesome!"