Kristen Schaal has been a voice actor as well as a live actor for many years now and has managed to excel at both, though there’s a good chance that a lot of people don’t really know which voices she’s been responsible for in the past. She’s lent her voice to such films as Despicable Me 2, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Toy Story 3, and will even be in Toy Story 4 which is still in production. The contributions that she’s made have been fairly important since she’s played some pivotal characters but depending on the movie and the role it sometimes seems as though she’s not quite getting the recognition she deserves. Thankfully she is a big name in the business where there are many big names to be discussed and tossed around but with those that do voice acting it almost seems as though they have to stand out in some vital way to be noticed for the things they do.
Being a comedian on top of everything seems to make it work however since those that do comedy tend to have some of the strongest wills by necessity and are able to roll with the punches a lot better than others in the industry. There are times obviously that not being known as well and not being as lauded as her costars might seem like a bother, but to be honest a lot of people know about Kristen and even if her name gets buried in the mix she’s not hard to find since she does her best to stand out and be counted as the individual and team player that she is. Quite honestly in Hollywood there is a very big need for each individual to look after their own career, but when it comes to creating something special a lot of people need to pull together in order to make it work, and Kristen is one of those that seems primed and ready to go it alone or to be part of a team and make it work.
The interesting thing about voice acting that a lot of people don’t seem to know about is that many times actors won’t be in the same room together when they’re speaking their lines. Voice acting isn’t always a team effort in terms of the actors working together. There are times when conflicting schedules just don’t work and the whole group can’t get together or there are times when actors simply can’t stomach one another. The latter does happen unfortunately since egos tend to clash on occasion. But voice acting is of course done in a studio and there it differs from traditional acting since there’s not as much movement unless the actor feels the need to add it in for their own method, and there’s not a lot of interaction beyond the voices and getting each scene right. In fact the voice actors tend to have more interaction with the director and studio workers than each other sometimes, which makes it seem like it could be kind of a lonely job. At least it might sound that way. In reality a lot of actors have a blast when they get to the mic and start trying to develop their voices.
Many of them spend a great deal of time on finding and perfecting a voice for their character. John Leguizamo had to really work on the character of Sid in Ice Age, while in contrast the actors for Kung Fu Panda simply used their actual voices. It’s all dependent on what the director wants, how the character looks, acts, and reacts to their environment and other characters in it, and of course the capabilities of the actor that’s been selected. Kristen has managed to do a lot of characters that conform to her vocal range just like anyone, meaning that their pitch is fairly high and their voices are inherently friendly. It’s interesting to note the difference between voice actors since there are only a handful of them that can really alter their voice in such a way that it might seem as though they’ve been possessed considering that they sound nothing like their usual selves. Kristen however is pretty easy to point out and cheerfully so since she usually tends to play a very chipper and upbeat character when she’s in a voice role.
Celebrating voice actors is just as important as celebrating live actors, and Kristen Schaal is both. Without those that are willing to work behind the scenes and provide unique and endearing voices some of our favorite characters never would have come to life after all. So in this manner it’s very easy to give kudos to folks like Kristen when they decide to spend some time in the studio and give voice to one animated character or another.