A Voice Actors Journey
Article by CnS Comics Team.
We’ve been given a great opportunity to kick it with a very impressive man, Cedric L. Williams. Cedric took the time out share his journey with us, and to answer of few of our questions (some came from you guys out there). He’s dropped a lot of gems on us here, so don’t miss out!
Q&A with Cedric
Excerpt from IMDb: Cedric Williams originally from Kentucky moved to Los Angeles to pursue an on camera acting career. While auditioning for tv shows and movies, he became aware of voice acting, particularly for cartoons which he always watched… (Complete bio available on IMDb).
Who is Cedric Williams?
For anyone who doesn’t know you, tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from, what’s your favorite color, etc.?
“My name is Cedric Williams Jr. I’m not really from any one place, I was a military brat so I moved around a lot! Mostly lived in Kentucky so I’ll say I’m from there. My favorite colors are black, gray, and yellow. I’m a huge nerd! I love cartoons, anime, video games, and comics. I collect Funko Pops. I sometimes play D&D. I love to eat healthy and workout regularly.”
Have you ever wanted to make your own TV show or animated series?
“Actually yes! Growing up I used to draw my own cartoon characters. I would draw comics of them and even have team up events! My favorite character to draw was a talking hamburger named Extremely Tasty the Hamburger (he was like my mascot). I love creating characters and making concepts! As I got older I’ve put together some ideas for cartoon series. Once I get further in my career I will definitely pitch some of my ideas, maybe even bring back some of my old characters.”
What keeps you going when you hit a wall with everything, when the times are hard, when you want to quit?
“It’s my faith that keeps me going. I know that every obstacle is just a test and eventually I’ll overcome it. Once I do, it makes me stronger. There’s a lesson in every hardship that I need to learn to get to the next level. My goals are too important to me to give up so I keep going. It’s that Capricorn energy”
We love to play games at CnS Comics, let’s play 2 Truths and a Lie. Tell us, two truths and one lie (we’ll give the answer at the end of the interview).
“I’ve never been to Disneyland, I have 3 tattoos, I met Morgan Freeman.”
Tell us about your voice-acting career…
What inspired you to become a voice-actor, are there voice-actors you look up to?
“I’ve watched cartoons my whole life. I still do today, it’s what I watch 95% of the time. Growing up I would act out the cartoons that I saw and do the voices. I didn’t know voice acting was a profession. I originally wanted to be an on-camera actor, which is something I would still like to do. While pursuing on-camera acting, one day I saw a YouTube video of a guy doing voices and producing his own voiceover demo. Something clicked, it was what you call an epiphany. When I saw that guy doing voices, something within said, “you’ve been doing voices your whole life too and you love cartoons. You should pursue voice acting”. After that moment I became a sponge. I researched everything I could about voice acting. I watched interviews of my favorite voice actors, I listened to podcasts, I studied voiceover demos, observed the acting in cartoons, and I started giving names to the voices I’ve created. Eventually I produced a demo, got an agent, and here I am today!
As for the voice actors I look up to…there’s a lot! Everyone is so talented! The ones that have had the biggest influence on me are Tom Kenny, Cree Summer, Johnny Yong Bosch, Tara Strong, Dee Bradley Baker, Kevin Michael Richardson, Greg Ayres, Todd Haberkorn, Ogie Banks, and Zeno Robinson.”
What’s been your favorite role to date?
“It’s hard to pick a favorite. I love all the characters I’ve voiced so far. There are characters I’m working on now that I love very much too. I can say that Cheetu, since he was the first anime character I voiced, will always have a special place in my heart.”
Did you receive a formal voice-acting education, or are you a pure natural talent?
“I never did theater but I did have acting training for on-camera. I studied the Meisner technique and a little bit of Strasberg. Early in my VO career I relied on my knowledge of cartoons and had no voiceover training. As I started working I learned from doing jobs. Eventually I did take classes with Charlie Adler and Richard Horvitz.”
Tell us about a time you didn’t get a role you really wanted.
“I won’t go into too much detail because I don’t like to dwell on stuff since whoever got the role was meant to get it…but it was a lead for a well-known franchise that I love so much. It would span over many episodes and seasons. I did have the opportunity to audition for it, but ultimately a good friend of mine got it instead. I’m extremely happy for my friend who got it.”
What advice would you give a would-be voice-actor?
“Other than work hard, don’t give up, and never stop learning…I would say to appreciate your real voice. It took me a long time to realize that. No one has a voice like you. If you learn to love your voice it will take you far in your career. Most of the work you will do will be your natural voice. Learn its strengths and weaknesses, then build from there.”
For the Anime Heads…
What anime character is on your wish list to voice?
“A new character, as of the time of writing this I haven’t voiced a lead anime protagonist yet. I would love to voice a character like Luffy, Naruto, Deku, etc. I want to voice a character that gets stronger overtime and has a huge goal he’s trying to accomplish. Due to how passionate I am about my own goals I will bring that to the role and make it my own!”
What’s your favorite manga or comic of all time?
“Sorry I’m currently not a manga reader! Favorite comic is anything Spiderman. Specifically Miles Morales.”
Give us your top five anime shows, no-holds-barred.
“Just 5!!! Ok…Death Note, One Piece, My Hero Academia, Yu Yu Hakusho, and Haikyuu.”
What anime hero would you like to voice, what villain?
“Other than a new character…Luffy and Deku would be fun! Villains, I would have loved to have voiced Lelouch or Light Yagami.”
2 Truths and a Lie the Answer…
“I have NO tattoos and don’t plan on getting any.”
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