Nancy Cartwright
-The Rise of A Legend



By Bruce Edwin

Nancy Cartwright: Anyway, when they did that, it sort of planted a seed, then when I went on to Ohio University and competed, I had met up with a gal at the radio station, who was promoting music, but she was with Warner Brothers Music, and Warner Brothers to me meant Mel Blanc (famous voice actor who did the voices of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, and many hundreds more), so that's where it kind of started, that seed now got a little bit of water and it started going wow! Mel Blanc! I said "Do you work with Mel Blanc?!" And she said, "No, I'm not, I don't work in animation, but here's my card. I'll see if I can…Put a little tape together maybe.." And demo tapes they weren't really something (used then), even while I was in Ohio, had I been in Los Angeles, I don't know that there would be such a thing as an official demo tape. Eventually when I moved out to California, she really backed me up, and I did put a very amateurish, a very unprofessional tape together, and I say that because it was like fourteen minutes long, fifteen minutes long, and a demo tape should be about a minute and a half, or two minutes long.

Hollywood Sentinel- Bruce Edwin: Right!

Nancy Cartwright: I didn't have any knowledge of what I was doing, I didn't know, but I think to my benefit, I didn't know, so I didn't have any obstacles. There were no considerations getting in my way.

Hollywood Sentinel: Awesome, I love that!

Nancy Cartwright: Nothing getting in my way of what I wanted to do, and that's a great thing! It's a great thing to 'not know' because you don't have any 'back off' you know?

Hollywood Sentinel-Bruce Edwin: (Laughs) Exactly!, When I started out in the music industry with an earlier magazine, and was calling some record labels, it was the same for me on that level, I'd call these publicists, and I'd ask to talk with the CEO or other things, and they'd say things like, 'You can't do that!' And I'd say, 'Why not?' I just didn't know any better, and they'd say, 'Well I don't know, you just can't because that's how it is and always has been and I don't know why but you just can't!' And I ignored all of that.

Nancy Cartwright: Well you know, there are no hard pressed rules. There are some etiquette, and certain protocol that people need to be aware of. You need to be kind of savvy to that. Don't show up late, you know, you should be a professional. It's kind of common sense sort of thing. I get a lot of requests and e-mails from young people, different age's people asking me, you know, "I have an unusual voice, people have told me my whole life, you know, I'm 48 years old, and I've always had this wacky voice and, what can I do?" And I say well, you know first you have to be a professional. You can't be a dilettante.* You can't just pick this up like well, I'm just going to do this as a hobby. To do it, you've got to do it all the way. Read all the books you can read. Filter out for yourself what is good information, what is going to help you, and what is not going to help you, and start your own little list of things that will help you out.

(Dilettante: A person who claims an area of interest, such as the arts, without real commitment or knowledge)

Hollywood Sentinel-Bruce Edwin: That's great advice, absolutely. I meet so many people in the industry or trying to be, and surprisingly they've never read a book on acting, or whatever they want to do, and it seems so obvious, and it's so true, but many people just don't get that.

Nancy Cartwright: Right. It's kind of common sense, I mean anything you want to do, If you're gonna' be working on cars, you would go to auto shows, and you would open up the hood of a car! And get familiar with the different kinds of motors, and how things are put together, and likewise, myself, meeting people like Robert Easton (Burke, the man of 1000 voices), and going in and taking a lesson from him, you know or, take a tape recorder with me when I travel throughout Italy, and start recording the various accents of the different regions, you know, and get the difference in the sounds. Get that as a tool, so I have those real life accents. It's a bit challenging, because you don't want people to know that you're tape recording them.

Hollywood Sentinel: (Laughs)

Nancy Cartwright: I'm just doing it, not for what they're saying, but to listen to the look of their voice, or how they emphasize certain words or whatever.

Hollywood Sentinel-Bruce Edwin: That's brilliant, yeah, I had a film instructor before that told us to do that, to just carry a tape recorder around the city. One can learn so much from just listening to people. Now, The Simpsons has been on the air for so long, and justifiably so, and I'm always been a fan of Matt Groening's work, If I'm saying his name correctly?

Nancy Cartwright: It rhymes with ingraining.

Hollywood Sentinel: Ah! OK!

Nancy Cartwright: It rhymes with raining or braining!

Hollywood Sentinel: (Laughs)

Nancy Cartwright: Graining!

Hollywood Sentinel: Ha! OK Cool Groening. Thank you. So, I guess my next question is, aside from your genius talents, why do you think the Simpsons has been so successful and lasted so long?

(To be continued in next issue).

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