Pat Fraley Interview (2009) by RainbowBrite.Co.Uk

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The Person
The Actor
The Show
Voice Acting (Rainbow Brite)
Voice Acting (General)

Pat Fraley laughing

The Person

1: Do you have a personal or professional website that you would like to link from your profile?

Pat Fraley: www.

2: Are you involved with any charities?

Pat Fraley: I give through my church. Grace Community Church, Sun Valley, CA, and Campus Crusade for Christ.

3: If so, do you have a particular reason to support that charity?

Pat Fraley: Both do a wonderful job at what they do.

4: How big is your family?

Pat Fraley: Renee, my wife for 30 years, and I have four sons: Patrick 25, Harrision, 24, Henry, 21, and Ford, 19.

5: Being a father, I'm sure story time in your house was fun. What impression do you think you leave upon your kids?

Pat Fraley: They always wanted me to use my own voice. I think they enjoyed me reading, but growing up around all the wonderful talents I have worked with, were not terribly impressed by "voices," and "characters." They just wanted Dad reading.

6: Before acting, did you do anything else? Attend any particular schools? Leave tacks on teacher's chairs?

Pat Fraley: I wanted to perform from the very beginning. I studied drama, theatre, and acting all the way through graduate school. I learned to love performing and performers in High School, and in college at Whitman College, Walla Walla, Washington, and a love for the hard work at Cornell University, Ithaca N.Y., where I finished training with my Master of Fine Arts in Acting.

7: Would you have thought yourself a good student or the class clown?

Pat Fraley: Both.

8: Academically, do you have any favourite accomplishments?

Pat Fraley: Academically, I did not do well. I was too busy in plays. I was not disciplined as a young man. I sought what I enjoyed, and excelled, and that was in drama and theatre.

9: Do you travel? Favourite places to visit?

Pat Fraley: Kauai, Hawaii every year. Renee and I were married in Hawaii, and we've returned most every year for 30 years.

10: Favourite food to eat?

Pat Fraley: Lately, I've been enjoying simple stuff. Being in California, I get wonderful produce. Love avocados.

11: Favourite cloths to wear?

Pat Fraley: I like suites. I'm about the only voice over person I know that likes them. Renee likes to see me in them.

12: In Rainbow Brite, your character wasn't the best of drivers. Do you have a favourite car to drive?

Pat Fraley: My favorite car that I owned was a Morris Minor. Now I drive a convertible Camero. I love any convertible.

The Actor

1: You played a lot of characters from our childhoods that we enjoyed. From Rainbow Brite, to TMNT. You voice many of the games we all play today. What first made you decide to be a voice actor?

Pat Fraley: Actually, "they" decided. The "they" are producers and directors. I just threw myself into the professional world, doing stage, TV, movies, etc., and I was best and got work doing character voices.

2: Do you remember your first Acting Role?

Pat Fraley: 6th Grade (11 years old), in a school play. Can't remember the name of it, but during the play, we had a trunk on stage. I opened it, and it had someone's underwear in it. I pulled it out and got a laugh. That was the first "ad-lib" I remember doing. I was hooked on the laughter as I did something unplanned and while "breaking a rule."

3: Do you prefer Voice Acting to Live Acting?

Pat Fraley: I prefer the lifestyle of voice acting. Everyone I work with is so very skilled. It doesn't matter what you look like when you're a voice acting. The only thing of importance is your skill.

4: What is a voice that you prefer to do? A role you are familiar with the most?

Pat Fraley: Many of my jobs call for me to perform a character I have done many times. I like that. I am so comfortable with the characters, and they're like being surrounded by old friends.

5: What is the most difficult voice you have had to do?

Pat Fraley: The voice of Jesus on a video series. I felt the responsibility to get it just right.

The Show

1: How did you first get involved with Rainbow Brite?

Pat Fraley: I don't remember exactly, but most likely auditioned and was chosen for the role.

2: What is one of your fondest traits of your Character?

Pat Fraley: His naiveity. Lurky wasn't stupid, or at least I didn't play him that way. I played the child-like qualities of him.

3: What was a story or subject you would have liked to see your character face?

Pat Fraley: I loved my interaction with Murky. I delighted in how frustrated he got with my character. Peter Cullen was so wonderful at Murky.

4: Did you ever watch the episodes you were in?

Pat Fraley: Not many. I think I saw the feature length movie, "The Star Stealer." I did a lot of roles in it, and that was fun.

5: What is one of your favourite memories of being part of the cast?

Pat Fraley: I loved the time visiting with Bettina, her mom, and brother. Bettina was such a wonderful, cheerful little girl. Having all boys, I loved having a daughter figure around. Her mom was a gracious, attractive, committed mom, and her brother was a fine young man. We used to have lunch (a deli platter) at the studio, and I recall sitting and visiting. Years later, I was at my talent agency, and saw this strikingly beautiful woman. She turned and said, "Pat! It's me! Bettina." Wow. What a delightful surprise. Every time I see her, my heart leaps a little at what a fine, talented woman Bettina has become.

Voice Acting (Rainbow Brite)

1: Studios differ in there methods of recording voice actors, some are recorded, all the actors in the same room actually acting off the other’s performance, others are recorded separately, acting to no one, having to repeat lines in different ways. For the recordings of Rainbow Brite, how was the studio time arranged?

Pat Fraley: We had full cast recordings, which, of course is a system that is more fulfilling.

2: Was there another cast member who influenced you the most?

Pat Fraley: My scenes were mainly with Murky, played by Pete Cullen. Pete and I had worked together on another series, "The Original Ghostbusters," and we worked well together.

3: Acting in front of a microphone can be awkward depending on the scene you are having to do or what your character is reacting to. Was there a time in doing this that you asked yourself "What am I doing?", and what did you have to do?

Pat Fraley: No. The adjustment to working the microphone was not difficult for me. It's about listening, and not looking and I didn't struggle with that. I know actors and some of my students do, and it's just a matter of training.

4: From the recording to animation, how long did the process take?

Pat Fraley: I think there was about a six month lag from the time we recorded the audio tracks to completed episodes, but I'm guessing.?

5: Being of the original cast, are there any hopes of a reunion?

Pat Fraley: I see cast members every so often, and it's always a delight. We had a wonderful time, and we have that in our hearts. There is an immediate connection when I see Andre, Bettina, or Peter.

6: Were there any lines in the script that were not used? Often lines are clipped for length or other purposes of editing, do you remember any? And can you share some with us?

Pat Fraley: I don't recall much ad-libbing, and nothing off-color. We were aware of Bettina being so young, and we protected her little ears.

Voice Acting (General)

Pat Fraley Teaching

1: You have voiced many other characters in your career. What is a character you have enjoyed playing the most?

Pat Fraley: I loved doing "Wildcat" for Disney's TailSpin. He was a hybrid built off Lurky, and very child-like. I was given a lot of freedom during the sessions by the director, Ginny McSwain. A very nice situation.

2: A lot of people want to get involved with voice acting. Do you have any tips that may help them?

Pat Fraley: The two fundamental skills are storytelling and acting. It's very important to understand the story, so that you can realize it with your acting.

3: When making a demo: sounds or music or none?

Pat Fraley: Less music and sound effects, more focus on the voices.

4: In your history it shows you have done both original animation and dubbing. What do you think of those? Is dubbing easier?

Pat Fraley: Dubbing has the added challenge of replacing or adding to existing performance. I like both. Dubbing, or "ADR," is like a puzzle.

5: Do you listen to the original voice track before you do a dub?

Pat Fraley: Yes.

6: Is recording for a dub or video game different then for an animated show?

Pat Fraley: Interactive/Gaming work is much more subtle, and I like that. I like getting very, very real with the characters.

7: Is their anything in your life or career you are looking forward to accomplishing?

Pat Fraley: I teach a great deal now, and it's a joy to see my students excel. I've done most everything several times, and although I enjoy performing, I get a real charge out of seeing my students get work and advance their careers.

8: If you have any final thoughts to share, please feel free to do so now:

Pat Fraley: God gifted me with talent. I studied hard to realize the talents. I am pleased that I brought joy to all who watched my performances, but I hope that it inspired some to get out there and create, rather than just watch.

To Pat Fraley:
Thank you so much for participating in this interview, and I look forward to interviewing with you again in the future.

Images courtesy of Pat Fraley
Interview Content © 2009 RainbowBrite.Co.Uk,