This time around we’ll take a look at the career of voice talent Taliesin Jaffe. His life and work are a great example of first-rate voice acting and the principles behind it.
This post has been updated in September 2021.
Taliesin Jaffe: Some Background Info
Taliesin Jaffe started his career as a child, acting in productions such as Mr. Mom, Explores, The Facts of Life, St. Elsewhere, and others. He’s had a very varied career as well. He’s worked extensively as a voice actor as well as a live-action actor. Some of his work has included ADR directing too.
Voice Acting is Acting
Taliesin Jaffe is a great example of something we’ve talked about at length before: Voice acting is acting! We shouldn’t be misled by the fact that voice acting is created in a booth or studio. The fact that a voice actor is seldom seen by an audience doesn’t mean that voice acting is any less performative, so to speak. Voice acting is very much acting in its own right.
What does this mean? Well, when we’re creating a project in need of voice talent we must look at the candidates as performers. Can the talent sing or dance? This will stretch the talent to fit a particular role. Even if it’s a voice role, it may need such amplitude in the performance.
Also, it’s useful to consider if a talent has experience in television or the theater in particular. The theater is a great training ground for any actor, including a voice actor. An actor who has experience in using their voice in the theater will be particularly suited to the recording booth.
The case of Taliesin Jaffe is quite interesting in this regard. He’s had tremendous experience in a variety of mediums. He’s had a successful track record in anime, for sure, but also in live action content.
Story is King
When putting together a piece of content involving voice talent, we need to remember that story is essential. Story can’t be neglected, no matter what. Every type of content will benefit from the essentials of good storytelling and dramatic writing.
There’s a lot of content that could need the work of voice talent. This includes film, television, documentaries, advertising, corporate videos and more. Also, as we know, voice talent is required in dubbing processes, where the original voice is replaced with a new voice in the language required.
All these types of content really do need of a firm grasp and knowledge of story fundamentals. This includes the ability to structure a three-act narrative, complete with turning points at the end of each act, and a climax and resolution in the ending. There’s quite a lot that can be said about story fundamentals and it’s vital to understand this basic structure of content.
Perhaps nobody knows this better than Taliesin Jaffe himself. Indeed, he’s not only a voice talent or live-action actor. He’s also written a number of anime projects himself such as: Ergo Proxy, Hell Girl, ROD the TV, Amazing Nurse Nanako, among others.
Learn to Direct, Learn to Produce
It’s important to understand that talent needs great direction and production to shine. A common misconception is thinking that directing and producing are concerns only in larger projects. The truth is that any content, however small, requires deft directing and production, to make it stand out.
A good director must know the acting process. This usually involves several things. Actors need a degree of guidance to achieve the perfect performance. Having said that, most talent thrives in an environment where they feel they can have a lot of freedom to achieve a potent and unique performance.
In the case of producing, the challenge is generally multifaceted. Voice talent must have the proper technical aspects for a proper recording. The proper technical specs and effort in this area will make smaller and simpler content punch above its weight.
Taliesin Jaffe understands this quite well. He’s been a director in a number of projects including Skip Beat, Hellsing Ultimate, Speed Grapher, Beck and much more.
The Expanding World of Video Games
Video games are an expanding market for voice talent. There are certainly differences between them and other forms of content though.
For one, video games are longer projects than other types of content. An audio commercial can be created in as little as a day, or even less time if needed. A video game, on the other hand, requires a long effort, and a lot of moving parts.
Video games may also, consequently, place a greater strain on the voices of talent. A video game will usually require an ample array of voice work. This is particularly true of a main character, who must carry a large part of the story.
Finally, video games may require a larger cast. A video game is evidently a much more complex undertaking than an audio commercial or similar content. A full cast able to voice the different characters must be vetted and assembled. The larger companies who create this type of content can usually handle such a complex proposition. Smaller companies may require assistance in casting this sort of thing. This is where online hubs such as Bunny Studio can be invaluable.
Note that Taliesin Jaffe has taken part in many video game projects including World of Warcraft: Shadowlands, Lego DC Super-Villains, Injustice 2, Hearthstone, Fire Emblem Heroes, and much more.
Many Types of Voices
It’s vital to realize that there are several types of voices in a project. There surely is voice talent who must carry the whole project, but there are more roles available too.
Voice acting also requires unusual voices for specific characters. Video games, for instance, have a tremendous amount of characters in need of voice talent. Many of these characters won’t necessarily have what we would define as classical or mainstream voices. In fact, they can be voiced by extremely distinct voices, which perhaps at first wouldn’t seem the type to be featured in a video game.
Some talent will carry the large roles but there are opportunities for others. A casting director will usually be of great help here. Alternatively, an online hub like Bunny Studio can be instrumental in selecting the right talent for each role in a script. Such an online hub of voice talent can go a long way in giving creators some peace of mind.
In a way, a place like Bunny Studio can serve as a casting director. You provide the details of the project or even a script if you already have it. Thereafter, Bunny Studio takes care of things. Note that Bunny Studio features a series of services not limited to voice talent. What this means is that it’s possible to create an intricate project from start to finish: writing the script, creating translations, casting voice talent, recording, producing etc.
Physical Hubs and Online Hubs
Established voice actors like Taliesin Jaffe work for well-known large companies, producing content that usually has a high budget. Such work usually takes place physically, in a recording studio.
This doesn’t mean, however, that this is the end of audio work. Indeed, many people imagine that voice talents are prohibitively expensive, fit for only the most high-budget projects. We need to remember that voice talent can work online as well as physically in-studio.
In the case of online hubs, voice talent may work on content remotely. This means that voice actors will have a studio set up at home, and work there, sending and receiving files online.
In the case of work that can be fulfilled remotely, there really is no need for the added cost of in-studio work. The use of online hubs which carry tremendous talent rosters and very reduced costs are a very good way to go. Bunny Studio is the perfect example.
Creating a Voice Project
As we’ve been able to see, crafting a project involving voice talent is not always so simple. To sum up what we’ve been discussing here, there are a few things to take into account:
- Cast the right talent. If the project is large, specialized staff such as a casting director may be needed.
- Direct and produce the talent correctly. Poorly directed talent will have a hard time shining. Likewise, it’s vital to provide voice talent with all the necessary technical requirements, lest good work be tarnished by poor equipment.
- Story is king; get the proper writers!
- Don’t forget translation. Any dubbing project will generally mean translating a script. This step is key and cannot be neglected.
- Consider range and type of your talent. As mentioned earlier, there are a diverse amount of voice actors in projects.
- Once the process is underway, it’s important to provide the voice actors with solid direction and production.
- After recording is complete, there may still be work to be done in post-production. Also, there is the occasional need for ADR dubbing.
The Bunny Studio Way
Bunny Studio began as an online hub for voice talent. It has grown over the years to provide a very large array of services and talent. What this means is that voice talent is at the heart of the company and thus Bunny Studio is really the best place to go to in search of a particular voice style.
Bunny Studio has a very large offering of voice talent. You can hire a voice actor who can carry a wide range of roles and projects. Indeed, the offering at Bunny Studio is so large that it’s possible to ask for voices that resemble Taliesin Jaffe’s as well!