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Interview with Joe Paulino, voice of the American soldier

Discuss. About Battlefield. 1942 of course.

Interview with Joe Paulino, voice of the American soldier

Postby seventy » Fri Jan 17, 2020 4:39 am


You all know him as the voice of the American soldier, his name is Joe Paulino, and he was very kind to answer me a few questions about his voice acting career and his work on BF1942.

You can find his website at: http://www.4joe.com/ and his music Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/Tim-White-and-Joe-Paulino-220256361367830.

"Let's go, let's go, let's go!"

Dear Mr. Paulino,

Thank you for your reply and and thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions. Well, here is the list ...

Please tell us a little about where you were born and raised.

I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. I was born in the late 50's so I went to school in the 60's and 70's. It was a great time for California schools - there was money for music and the arts so even if one did not want to pursue a career that involved creative performance, you could still get some training and participate, and get exposed to the challenges, thrills and rewards of those experiences.

When and how was it that you found your interest for voice acting?

When I was 9 years old, I was in a serious automobile accident. I spent 6 weeks in the hospital and it took me months to recover. To help me pass the time, my parents got me a small battery operated tape recorder that I used to do funny voices and make up silly little plays. Growing up, I was always doing community theatre and taking acting classes. In college I got a shift at the campus radio station. I was terrible, but I got bitten by the love of microphones and the insanely creative opportunities of audio production. After I graduated, I was able to land an agent and through handling the rejection of the audition process, I was able to build a nice career as a voice actor and announcer. My career was such a gift! I was able to make a living out of my tape recorder fetish and my ability to act in strange voices.

What are the things you love most about your job?

Well, after doing this for 35 years, I've pretty much retired and now I spend more of my life trying to be a better musician. But I love recording studios with all their lights, meters & racks of gear, and I love interacting creatively with people. Now that so much VO work is being done solo out of home studios, it's hard to find that sense of community that we all thrived in. Most of my voice work has been in advertising, not in gaming. But the joy of my work is taking whatever script I am given and finding different ways to bring it to life.

Please give us some insights into a routine voice recording session.

Each session is different. I've had sessions where I've had an engineer, a writer, a producer, an account executive, a client, and another voice actor. In those sessions, I felt that my job was to find the read that would make all of them happy so we could go home and get paid. I've had other sessions in my home where the client would say "Aw, just give me three different reads, and we'll take what we like best". But generally, we all want to get a sense of the style and overall feel of the project, any historical or character notes that the client wants to give us, a sense of the "where" - am I intimate or shouting, am I the good guy or the bad guy, am I in danger, may I have some water please, stuff like that. It's also good to save all the real taxing vocal scream stuff for last. I once did a game where they said "Ok, now we have to kill you three ways - hit by a car, thrown out a window, and set on fire. What order do you want to do them in?" I was hoarse for days after that session.

If you still remember, how long did it take to record your voices for Battlefield 1942?

I honestly don't remember. A few hours? But I do remember that the directors at EA were always very professional, very prepared, and very patient. They would encourage you to try different things, but were also clear on how fast a line had to be delivered in a certain context, how big or small it had to be, how close you had to be to the mic to make it work, etc. That studio was a glorious playpen of potential.

Did you play Battlefield 1942 yourself and what was your impression of the game?

Please forgive me, but I am in no way a gamer. I remember many years ago, how hard I worked to finally save that Princess in Super Mario 3, and after I did I got sent back to World One without so much as a kiss. After that I left my console at a friend's house and never looked back.

One of your most memorable lines in Battlefield 1942 is: "We're taking casualties!", when the American team is losing tickets. Are you aware that to many people your voice is more recognizable than those of most Hollywood actors?

WOW! I had no idea! Thank you! My voice also has a nice scene with Tom Cruise in the film Minority Report. I'm the voice of the talking billboard that says "John Anderton - looks like you could use a nice frosty Guinness".

Finally, what advice would you give to people wo might be interested in becoming voice actors?

Acting is an art and a craft that has moved, inspired and entertained humanity for centuries. Today's voice actors are part of the next generation of the keepers of that flame. Always be honing your craft. Listen and learn, be willing to take risks and fail, pick yourself up and keep at it. Learn all the things about voice work that have nothing to do with making voices - about how to create relationships with the listener and your fellow actors. Play your objectives. Figure out where your character's voice sits inside your mouth, and what it does when it gets there. Have ideas about how you want the listener to feel on a moment to moment basis. Listen to how people in popular culture communicate with each other, but also get a sense of how they might have done that in other eras or different cultures. Be a sponge. Soak it all up so you have it in your toolbox for later. Practice a lot. Learn everything you can about your instrument and who you are when you're standing in front of the microphone. Try and be a nice person, and try to have a good time. Finally, if you really want to do this professionally in the States, consider being a member of the Performers Union SAG/AFTRA. I can't begin to tell you how much I've been helped by their Health Plan when I've been sick, and how much I'm enjoying my pension now that I've retired.

Many thanks again for taking the time for this little interview and best of luck for any future projects!

You're very welcome.

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