What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is Richard Epcar and I am an actor / director.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I think doing animation is pretty crazy-especially if I’m voicing the Joker. I’ve been lucky-I pretty much became an actor and have been supporting myself doing that for many, many years.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
For me that’s covering a wide terrain. To start with-I’m happy to have been in the original Robotech-playing Ben Dixon, Lunk and Grel and now Capt Vince Grant in Shadow Chronicles and co-directing that. I’m very proud to have adapted and directed into English many Academy Award winning films such as Cinema Paradiso, Belle Epoque, Eat, Drink, Man, Woman-and many, many more and many adapting and directing many animated projects including Space Dogs 3D and Capt Schnauzer, Lupin the Third, Noein, Fighting Spirit to name a few. I’m proud to have done the voice of the Joker and Raiden in Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe and Raiden again in Mortal Kombat. I’m very proud to be part of the Transformer family, writing half of Robots in Disguise and playing Armorhide and playing Skywarp in War for Cybertron. I’m thrilled to be doing Ansem / Xehanort / Xenmas in Kingdom Hearts, thrilled to be in the Avatar series at Nickelodeon- Legend of Korra, Happy to be in so many AAA games like Star Wars, Resident Evil, Call of Duty, Starcraft, World of Warcraft, Command and Conquer and many, many others. I’m very proud to have been picked by DreamWorks and Universal pictures to supervise the dubs of some our greatest films overseas, including Gladiator, Galaxy Quest, Chicken Run, E.T., and Madagascar to name a few. Very happy that I’m in most anticipated game of 2012-can’t say what it is right now-very happy I’m going to reprise a character that I loved doing soon-can’t say who. I’m very proud to play Batou and to have done the English adaptation and direction on Ghost in the Shell Innocence. I’m very proud of the work and being a lead in a new film-Broken Spirits-in which I appear on camera, I’m proud of my Coke commercial-which you can see on youtube.com and I’m very proud of my audio book that I just completed and is now on sale-White Eyes, a Doc Savage Adventure. I got to play 40 characters and the narrator and I think it came out great.
How did you become interested in animation?
I’ve always love animation. When I was a kid I loved Bugs Bunny. And I did love some of the anime at the time-Transformers, Speed Racer (I’m in the new one- I play Racer X) But my absolute favorite was the Lone Ranger-it was an animated series-that only ran one season I think-it was all done in Indian ink and water color. It was the coolest cartoon I’ve ever seen. Robotech was the one of the first shows I voiced on. I’ve been very fortunate to voice on hundreds and hundreds of animated projects.
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I’m from Denver. (see above)
What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
I spend a lot of time either in the booth recording jobs, auditioning or driving to those things. Occasionally I’m acting in front of the camera, or on stage. Generally I have a lot of auditions everyday.
What part of your job do you like best? Why?
I like that I get to be a ton of different characters-that’s really fun for me. And I get to do a variety of things, drama, comedy, big and over the top and subtle and underplayed.
What part of your job do you like least? Why?
I usually enjoy all of it. The only thing that can make it bad is working with someone who makes it unpleasant.
What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis?
My home studio is equipped with pro-tools and that’s what most of the studios use.
What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
That it’s uneven financially. You can be doing really great and you might have a slow period-it’s not a steady paycheck.
In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
I’ve had the opportunity to meet a lot of wonderfully talented people all over the world. Too many to mention, but it’s been a great adventure.
Describe a tough situation you had in life.
My mother died when I was 15-that was very tough and I just recently lost my sister.
Any side projects or you’re working on you’d like to share details of?
My wife Ellyn Stern wrote a very funny sit-com that we’re trying to get made. I don’t have time for hobbies really, but I try to work out when I can and I love to play golf-when time permits.
Any unusual talents or hobbies like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metallurgy?
I’m a drummer in the L.A. River Band-that’s really my therapy. I get to play and sing-we do songs from the 60’s and 70’s.
Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
If you want to become a voice actor-study to become the best actor you can be. Train like you’re training for the Olympics, because it’s very competitive, and you have to be able to deliver the goods, so don’t try until you feel competitive. Take voice classes and learn to work on characters and be the best you can and find out where they are doing the bulk of the work and move there. Good Luck.