Hello ComicBookers, (Not So) Silent Mike here with another amazing interview. This time around I posted up on my Twitter asking folks what they would ask an established voice actor if they had the chance. I received some great responses and have used a few of them here in my interview with well known voice actor Patrick Seitz.
I contacted Patrick asking if he could spare a moment and answer some questions for our website and he very willingly agreed to be interviewed, which i have thanked him numerous times over. If you have never heard of Patrick he has done a great deal of work in the anime and video game worlds, as well as writing and directing for a few shows. He has done some amazing work some of my personal favorites are Luke Valentine in Hellsing and Deathstroke in Mortal Kombat vs. DC. I truly hope you enjoy the interview of this greatly talented man.
-The first question obviously is how did you get into doing voice work and was it easy getting work in the beginning?
While it’d be inaccurate to say I got into voice work by accident, I’ll be the first to admit that a lot of luck was involved. I moved out to Los Angeles in my early 20s to pursue a career as a TV/film actor, not really having any idea as to what I was doing, or what it required. I learned plenty of “life lessons,” which was a blanket term for life kicking my ass in various and sundry ways, and my learning various vital things along the way. Luckily, before I moved to LA, the woman with whom I’d been taking acting/singing lessons in Riverside (my hometown) suggested that I pursue VO work on the side, since my voice was somewhat distinct. While in Los Angeles, I took some classes and made a demo–which is an expensive process in the best of conditions, let alone as a broke Hollywood newbie–and had the good fortune to get in with a dubbing studio on one of their very first projects, before they’d filled their talent roster with other folks. As they got more gigs, they brought me in with increasing frequency. Working for that one company led to work with other companies, and things blossomed over the years into my current situation.
That said, getting work in the beginning was not easy. The first year, I got one VO gig. The second year? Two. The third year? Four gigs. The growth was exponential, and it snowballed into something considerable, but there’s no way I could have navigated those first few years without a “real” job to pay the bills.
-What made you choose voice acting over other career possibilities?
I’d always known I wanted to do something creative with my life. Up until high school, I figured I’d be a writer. Had the acting bug not bit me, that’s probably what I’d be doing full-time. Thankfully, working in the VO industry has given me the opportunity to adapt scripts, so I’m getting to flex those muscles, as well.
As far as VO versus on-camera acting goes…one of the things I realized during those first couple of rough years in Los Angeles is that I didn’t care about being famous or rich–I just wanted to act. Doing voiceover gives me the chance to do that. Actually, it gives me opportunities I’d never get if I were to pursue the same parts on-screen. There’s a narrow range of looks I can adopt, physically, but going by voice alone…that’s a different story.
-Is their a specific character you would love to voice?
There’s nobody specific, really. If there’s a character whose voice I love, who am I to think I could do a better job? And generally, I try to keep myself from wanting to voice particular characters or land particular gigs. With so many people in the business, getting your heart set on a job is an easy path to heartache when somebody else books the role, or you find out they’re recording it on the other side of the country. That said, when I get to work on projects that hearken back to games or shows I enjoyed as a kid (voicing Dracula in some of the Castlevania titles, or working on the recent GI Joe game or Transformers: War for Cybertron), it’s an added shot in the arm. If you’re a guy of a certain age, nothing beats getting paid to yell “Cobraaaaa!”
-Being that we are a comic book website what was it like voicing Deathstroke for in Mortal Kombat vs. DC?
Voicing Deathstroke in MK vs. DC was tons of fun–those odd boy-shorts aside, he’s a real badass, and though I was never very good at the game, I did like whipping out the gun and sword in tandem.
-What has been your favorite job so far in your career?
I don’t know if I have a clear favorite (not even sure if I’d want a clear favorite), but on the gaming side of things, one of my favorites would have to be voicing Chopin in Eternal Sonata. It’s not every game that lets you voice a famous, real-life composer navigating a dream-world as he lies on his deathbed in the last stages of tuberculosis. On the anime side of things, the character of Grimmer in Monster (which I also had the good fortune to direct) was so complicated–smiling and casual one moment, killing folks without batting an eye the next–I always enjoyed those recording sessions.
-Are there any negatives to doing voice over work?
The work is sporadic, the hours are inconsistent, a great month can be followed by a terrible month (or three), and if you get sick in such a way that it’s evident in your voice (a cold, bronchitis, etc.), there’s no way to fake your way through it. You’re your own boss, which is great, but there’s no job security. You’re paying for your own health insurance, and getting double-dinged for Social Security, since you don’t have an employer ponying up half.
-What has been your favorite experience this far?
I had a day not too long ago during which, just through luck and chance, it seemed like nearly every facet of my career was represented–auditioning, writing, directing, working an actual gig, having a project announced to the public, etc. It gave me occasion to step back and think, “This is your life, Seitz–good times, indeed.”
Again I have to say that Patrick was great for taking his time and answering these questions. If you would like to follow Patrick on Facebook here is his fan page link.