Interview with Dee Bradley Baker and Michelle Ang at Star Wars Celebration (May 29, 2022)

KEITH YARDE: Hi, I’m Keith, and this is Father and Son: A Star Wars Podcast. I’m here with…

MICHELLE ANG: Michelle.

KEITH: And…

DEE BRADLEY BAKER: Dee! 

KEITH: Yeah, so this is the cast of the Bad Batch. Tech, Hunter, Echo, Wrecker, Crosshair, and then Omega. Yeah, so the first question is for you, Mr. Baker. 

DEE (as Captain Rex): Yes, sir.

KEITH: How many clone troopers have you voiced in total?

DEE: The total number of clone troopers that I have voiced is… I think four. There’s four clone voices I’ve ever done. No, that’s not accurate. I think there might be more than that. At least six. Twelve? It was twelve. No, no, I’m gonna say it’s five hundred and one. I’ve voiced five hundred and one clone troopers. And there’s a reason I say that.

KEITH: You mean like the 501st? 

DEE: Oh, you got it! Look at that, you are a mega fan. 

KEITH: Yes. Captain Rex and Anakin led that battalion.

DEE (as Captain Rex): Yes, sir. Right away, sir. Very good. 

KEITH: 501st, that’s a good one. 

DEE: Thank you, sir.

KEITH: So, Ms. Ang, what made you decide you wanted to start acting? 

MICHELLE: Well, I don’t really think of it as, like, me deciding I wanted to be an actor. It kind of ended up being the other way around. I accidentally went to support my sister at an audition and it was kind of awkward because I ended up getting the gig. And that was when I was..how old are you?

KEITH: Uh, ten.

MICHELLE: Ten. A little bit older than you, I was thirteen. So, I’ve kind of been dabbling with it, pretty much since I was thirteen. I started with TV and then doing some films, and then this – this was my first foray into voice acting, and it’s a pretty sweet project to get my feet wet in. 

KEITH: Awesome. You know, a lot of shows are now becoming animated. You see a lot more animation than before with the movies and stuff. Yeah.

DEE: A lot of animation, yeah. There’s a lot more animation now than ever. Than I’ve ever seen. 

KEITH: Like, how do you come up with all these different distinctive voices for each clone trooper? 

DEE: You know, the key to coming up with the distinctive character voice is to first look at the script, and the script will give definite clues if it’s well-written, which, in this case, they are brilliantly written. And so it’s very clear what the character needs to be. And then I can work with the director or the writer, who are also working with us, to fine-tune that so they have exactly the right tone of the character they want. And then if I forget what I performed and we need to re-create that again, the engineer will play back that back with the recording they already have.

MICHELLE: It’s very clever. He makes it sound easy, but it’s not easy. He’s a real artist.

DEE (as Wrecker): Yeah, it’s really hard! 

KEITH (laughing): I keep laughing every time you do that. 

DEE (as Wrecker): Oh, I’m sorry. I’m making you giggle. I’ll start giggling too! This is professional, so here we go. 

KEITH (still laughing): Yeah. So, what will we learn about Omega in season two that we didn’t really know much about in season one? Like her being Force-sensitive…?

MICHELLE: Well…all I can say…

DEE (as Wrecker): You’re gonna get in trouble! 

MICHELLE (laughing): There’s been a bit of time passed when you meet up with Omega again. So, she’s done some growing, a little bit. As to whether she has any special skills/enhancements, you’re just gonna have to watch. One thing that I can say is that she’s got some protection in season 2. She’s got a helmet, thank goodness. 

KEITH: Yeah. 

MICHELLE: So, yeah. Stay tuned. She has some surprises. 

KEITH: Yes, I certainly will watch. So, this question is for both of you. What advice would you give to an aspiring actor just getting into the voice acting gig?

DEE: Well, I happen to have a free website with free information on how to become a voice actor. And it’s called, iwanttobeavoiceactor.com. And anybody can go to it. And you don’t have to log in. There’s no money at all, it’s just free. And I share everything I’ve learned about becoming a voice actor at my website. And that’s my advice. In a nutshell, you have to be a good actor, and you also have to be good at improvisation, to change up your ideas to work with your producers in the moment to adjust the performance. Because you’re not memorizing the script and setting on stage like a particular show. You’re jumping in on a particular episode and often creating new characters in the moment. So it’s very improvisational. So, live performing, in any case, is a very good thing to do. 

MICHELLE: If anyone has any tips, I would love to hear them myself. I’m learning as I go, and luckily I have Dee to guide me. But, kind of what Dee said, it’s really voice acting is acting, but it’s a different kind of acting. It’s remaining flexible and being able to pivot. Some people feel like there’s a perfect way to deliver something, and I would say that’s never, ever the case. You have to notice the patterns in it and purposely try and break them so they can remain interesting and made more organic and, therefore, more human or more interesting character offers. 

KEITH: So, that is it for this episode. If you’d like to find us on the socials, we have a lot of them. We’re on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Radio Public, Amazon Music, Audible, or wherever you get your podcasts. 

MICHELLE: Wow, you’re everywhere. 

DEE (as Wrecker): Wow, that’s a lot of places. I need to get a subscription to those. 

KEITH (laughing yet again): It’s still funny! And we’re also on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @fathersongalaxy. What socials are you guys on?

DEE: I’m on Twitter and Instagram at @deebradleybaker. 

MICHELLE: And I’m on Instagram at @themichelleang, and Facebook. 

KEITH: And our website, fathersongalaxy.com.

 

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