Did you know that the guy who voices SpongeBob SquarePants, that’s Tom Kenny, is also the voice of Rabbit from Winnie the Pooh, Mr. Lopart and Pat “the Hammer” from Handy Manny, and oddles of other characters you are probably familiar with too? I don’t know about you, but I was so surprised. Picture those characters in your head — can you believe the voices of each come from the same guy! It’s actually kind of funny.
I recently had a chance to chat with Tom, who sounds nothing like any of these characters when you are talking to him by the way, and I was surprised to learn that many of he voices you hear on TV and movies are created by a small group of actors in Hollywood with a large repertoire of characters. Tom laughed when he told me that his IMDB page is longer than Adam Sandlers. (It is a LOT longer, I checked.)
I asked this father of two (eight and 14) what advice he has for kids who might want to get into his field. He told me that two of the most important traits in his career have been versatility and being easy to work with (actually he said “not being a jerk”). Like many professions voice acting is a lot about who you know, and if you have a reputation for being a good guy to work with and having the ability to create several characters for a single show people will remember you when another project comes along.
Another piece of advice Tim shared for kids is to “Grab a glove and get in the game.” Instead of just playing a video game, learn about how video games are created. Read a book, ask questions. Tom says that whatever kids (or adults) enjoy doing, they should learn as much as they can about it and then go for it. That he says is the key to finding a job that you like.
This summer Tom Kenny has teamed up with Popsicle to help kids “get in the game.” Together they created an all-new Popsicle mini cartoon starting Popsicle Pete. (Nope Tom isn’t Popsicle Pete, he is Popsicle Pete’s Mom!) But they didn’t finish the story! That’s where fans come in. Instead of just releasing a cartoon, Popsicle decided to create a contest where fans would have the opportunity to write the ending. So here’s your chance to be a mini screen writer and see your words brought to life by Tom and the Popsicle team in Los Angeles, CA .
To enter, watch the open-ended Popsicle Pete adventure and create your own ending, in the form of a 50-250 word written script. Your script must include Popsicle Pete combining with yogurt in an unexpected and wacky but safe way.
The prize – A 5-day/4-night trip for two to Los Angeles, CA to meet narrator Tom Kenny and witness his transformation of the winner’s script into a live action animation spot during his voiceover session. Trip includes round-trip coach air transportation, hotel accommodations and $500.
The contest ends June 12, so gather the family, watch Popsicle Pete (and his mom) and brainstorm ideas for what should happen next. You too could have the chance to chat with the voice of SpongeBob SquarePants and see Tom Kenny bring your ending to life. Enter on Popsicle’s Facebook page.
Disclosure – As a Yo! Mom blog ambassador, I have received product on behalf of Popsicle. All opinions are my 100% mine