Hi, guys! I'm a voice actor and my name's Ben Diskin. It's been a long time since I've done an AMA, so I figured I'd do one again. If you've ever had any questions you wanted to ask me, feel free to do so here!

Wanna know what I've done? Here's my Behind the Voice Actors page!

BUT WAIT! There are certain projects I'm working on (or have worked on) that I can't talk about. To nip the two major ones in the bud, please read the following two paragraphs.

  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure While I'd love to answer any questions about JoJo's, I'm under a non-disclosure agreement about the whole series. I can mention stuff about Episode 10 since the full episode was premiered at Anime Expo this past weekend, but anything that isn't publicly available and hasn't been cleared by higher-ups at Warner Japan I can't talk about. So stuff like, "Who voices [insert character name here]?" will earn you a redirect to this initial post.

  • Kingdom Hearts 3 This is another one of those topics that I can't talk about. Basically, I'm under a non-disclosure agreement for the KH franchise. That means that whether or not I'm going to be in KH 3, I can't talk about it. I can talk about Dream Drop Distance and I can talk A LITTLE about the KH3 trailer. That's it. The only reason I can talk about either of those things is because they're already publicly available. So, there are going to be certain questions about KH3 that I'll probably wind up directing you to this paragraph over. For instance: "Who plays young Eraqus?" Here's the thing: the trailer has been released, the voice cast hasn't. Therefore, I can't answer that question. In other words, if you can't find the answer online from some sort of reliable and/or official source, I can't disclose it.

Anyway, those are the two elephants in the room. Ask away! :D

My Proof: https://www.facebook.com/BenDiskinOfficial/posts/997759513580758

Comments: 146 • Responses: 62  • Date: 

MFBR10 karma

My understanding is you were a Digimon fan long before you were cast in Digimon Fusion. Assuming that is correct, how did it make you feel to be cast in a new version of a series you enjoyed?

BenDiskin7 karma

It was a total blast! I'm sure the poor voice directors and producers who had to deal with my constant corrections probably wanted to murder me, but I'm still quite happy with how the show turned out. Especially the second season (which will finally have the rest of its episodes aired on Nicktoons Network!)

VAPossum7 karma

Assuming you were in the room with him during recording, what's it like when Fred Tatasciore goes into Hulk mode? I picture him kind of acting it out, throwing his hands around and hunching over.

Also, you look so damn young, like get-carded-every-time young. What's your secret? Moisturize? Stay out of the sun?

BenDiskin5 karma

Your mental image is dead-on. There are times when he's dripping with sweat from playing that character because he puts so much of his body into each line. It's freaking AWESOME. :D

Well, I don't get much sun, but that has more to do with being a nerd on the Internet than an effort to look young. ;D

puellimagi5 karma

Hi Ben! First off let me say you are the reason I ended up watching Kill la Kill. I saw a clip of the "faster than a pimp" line and it had me rolling from laughter. I have to ask was it fun recording a show and a character that crazy and ridiculous? Also how does it feel to voice Joseph aka the best Jojos.

BenDiskin6 karma

I love characters like Takarada, so I'm glad you gave the show a chance because of him! :D It was a total blast working on Kill La Kill because Alex Von David (our script adapter and voice director) went all out for Takarada to make him sound and act really unique.

It's both exhilarating and nerve-wracking to be the voice of Joseph Joestar. I hope the majority of viewers like our take on the character for the English dub.

JustinKBrown3 karma

When you sent in your first audition for Joseph, was it in a British accent or was that decided later on?

BenDiskin2 karma

It was always with an accent. They weren't sure how MUCH of an accent he should have, but they knew they wanted one.

Vigor873 karma

How did you get your start in voice acting? I've looked into the industry and it seems to have very low demand with bery high supply.

BenDiskin3 karma

I was very fortunate in that I was born into it. Both my parents are actors and signed me up with an agency before I was even born. When I was around 6 or so, my agents had me audition for radio spots and I started booking a few of them. From there on out, I was able to do all sorts of fun jobs and my career kept going from there.

It's not that there's low demand. Quite the opposite, really. Voice over is one of the most in-demand jobs in the industry. Voice over is used for TV commercials, Radio commercials, original animation, foreign dubbing, background voices for movies, video games, industrials, animatics, presentations, live shows like the Oscars, audio books, and so much more.

The reason why it looks that way to you is because unfortunately a LOT of people have a big misconception about what it takes to be a professional working voice actor.

The typical assumption is that we're just people talking into a microphone. At its core, yes, that's what we're doing. But that's like saying, "I can throw a ball into a hoop. It's easy! I bet I could play in the NBA, no problem!" Yes, TECHNICALLY Basketball is a game centered around the goal of "throw the ball into a hoop" but it requires a lot more skill than such a simplistic description suggests.

Because of this misconception, there at a TON of amateurs who flood the market with demos and auditions that aren't up to snuff and don't understand why they're not able to make a living off of their voice work. It can be extremely frustrating for new voice actors who really ARE talented and can't seem to get anyone to notice them amongst the sea of average-at-best "voice actors" out there.

Mistaken_Stranger3 karma

Man first off big props on playing Eddie and Venom in Spectacular Spiderman. The Spectacular portrayal of Eddie and Venom has probably been one of my personal favorites. It was a heart breaker when that show was cancelled.

I can't really think up any really thought provoking questions right now off the top of my head. So I'll ask something more generic. Any voice actors/actress' out there that you would really like to work with?

BenDiskin3 karma

Thank you so much! :D I'm glad you enjoyed Eddie/Venom in that show. I'm really lucky to have worked on it. :)

Hmmm............... I think I've already worked with every one I could think of (who's alive anyway.) I'd love to work in a group session with some of my voice over friends some day, though! :D

Toominator7183 karma

Hi Ben, I am a member of the news team for KH13.com, a fan site for Kingdom Hearts. We would love for you to tell us about what you thought of the most recent trailer. And for KH3D, you came into the game a bit late and KH is notorious for having a convoluted plot. Did you have people give you a breakdown of the plot before you started recording for KH3D? Thanks for doing this AMA!

BenDiskin10 karma

Answering your questions a bit out of order here, but: Did they give me a breakdown of the plot? Well, I ASKED for one to which they responded with laughter. After they had finished cracking up, they explained that the plot was so complex that by the time they'd finished explaining what had happened across the previous games, we'd be out of time to record. ;)

As for the recent trailer, I liked it! I was EXTREMELY relieved to see the character design for Young Xehanort. See, this is another example of how secretive the KH franchise is. They COULD have told me during the recording process, "Okay, Ben. This takes place before the events of KH3D, so your character will be a bit younger. Can you lighten your voice a bit to represent that age difference?" What they did INSTEAD was say, "Okay, we'd like you to raise the pitch of your voice to match the Japanese seiyu's voice." I then pointed out that I'd never done that in the game and that MY Young Xehanort voice has always been deeper than the one in the Japanese version. They basically just said, "Yeahhhh..... Well, we want you to match his vocal pitch anyway. It just sounds better." So, they couldn't even tell me WHY they were making me change my voice and I left the session thinking, "Oh, Geez. This trailer's going to hit the Internet and people are going to get mad at me for not remembering how to do my character's voice. Why'd they have me change it so much??? This is gonna be embarrassing... :'("

So, I liked the way the trailer turned out, but I wish they could have given me a FEW details so I didn't think I'd screwed up. XD

Madarahim3 karma

Dude, were u a fan of JoJo b4 becoming apart of the english dub cast??? Your Kill La Kill and JOJO panel @ Anime Expo was awesome btw.

BenDiskin10 karma

I started watching the show as preparation for my audition, but I wound up just liking the show in and of itself and became a fan as new episodes continued to come out. My fandom basically grew AS I became a member of the cast.

Also: Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed the panels!! :D

Workshophatemachine3 karma

How do you feel about bigger videogames having the same voice talent over and over again? Is there a shortage of voice actors? Do developers just want the big and experienced ones? Thanks.

BenDiskin5 karma

I don't have a problem with it, really. There's no shortage of voice actors, but the reason you hear the same talent over and over again is because they're really good, they're appropriate for the role, and there won't be any unwanted surprises during the production. For instance, if you hire Sean Schemmel to play a role in a game that requires a lot of yelling, you know he can do it. He's freakin' Goku. The last thing you'd want to do is hire someone who just THINKS they can handle the role and craps out on you in the middle of the session because their throat is too sore and they can't go on.

So, it's not so much about developers wanting only bigger names, it's that they want names they can trust. It's very rare for big production companies to put someone in a lead role just because they think, "This voice actor is famous! His/her reputation as a VA will pull in the sales!" Two things: 1) a "famous" voice actor is an oxymoron. Outside of diehard fans, most people have no clue who we are. If I go to a convention where I'm a guest of honor, okay, THERE I have some sort of celebrity status. Outside of that, though, in the real world, I'm a nobody. 2) Typically the studios that use a major voice talent to sell their games are the SMALL ones that look at your Twitter following to see how many people will pay attention if you tell them to go buy the game.

So, in summation, a big-name doesn't automatically mean you'll get a big role. It just means you're well-known and liked throughout the industry and have a reputation for being a skilled worker.

BroodMeister2 karma

Do you know if there are plans to dub all the way up to the third arc of Xros Wars in Digimon Fusion? I'm really enjoying the dub so far, and I'm really hoping that you guys will be able to go all the way with it. If so, are you able to comment on if there is a chance that any of the old voice actors from previous scenes could be returning to play their old roles?

BenDiskin2 karma

I DON'T know that, sorry. :( I'd love to dub it, but I feel like we'd already know if Saban Brands made the decision to dub the final arc. My guess is that it's not gonna happen. If it DID happen, I know there would be serious effort made to bring back the old voice actors to reprise their roles.

papadanku2 karma

Are you actually cursed to turn into a vampire-monkey each night? How so?

BenDiskin3 karma

I was bitten by a vampire-monkey. ... I think that's rather self-explanatory. o.O

hreyes62 karma

Hi Ben! So my question is what was it like working on Bleach?

BenDiskin4 karma

It was lots of fun! How many other people can say, "I'm sorry, I'll have to call you back. I need to pretend like I'm deep-throating a sword right now." XD

warwickraid2 karma

What did you eat for breakfast?

BenDiskin11 karma

A cup of coffee. :(

Dimi3Infinity2 karma

How did you get into the world of Kingdom Hearts? Did you play the games or seen videos of the games before getting the role of Young Xehanort to get caught up with story?

BenDiskin4 karma

I'd already played KH1 and KH2 in the past, but I barely remembered what happened in them and had never played any of the portable games. The thing about recording for KH that's very unique to other games is that the guys in charge tell me as little as they possibly can. (I presume this is to ensure I can't blab about anything to curious people on the Internet.) For instance, throughout the recording of KH3D, no one told me what my character was going through, what his motivations were, etc. It was all about saying the words in a specific way. ie, "Emphasize THIS word. Raise the pitch of your voice slightly on this other word. Lower your pitch at the end of the sentence. Take your time with the third word, and make sure you sound emotionally distant." So, I'd have no idea what any of my dialogue really meant, but it sounded like I did.

Dimi3Infinity1 karma

Have you gotten to play KH3D after it was release? How did you think of the outcome of everything? Also, have you met the director or co-director of the game?

BenDiskin2 karma

I own the game, but I've barely played it. I got passed the Ursula scene at the beginning, tried getting to understand the character-switching mechanics and dream-eaters, got confused, and gave up. I need to give it more of a chance.

I've never met anyone that high up on the chain-o-command for the KH series. :(

RossSpecter2 karma

Hello, Ben! I can't tell you how religiously I watched KND as a kid (and Numbah 1 was my favorite). My question for you is: Do you have a preference on voice acting or live action?

BenDiskin2 karma

While on-camera stuff is a lot of fun, I don't think it can compare to the fun of voice acting. ;D My preference definitely leans heavily to VO work.

MulciberTenebras1 karma

How was it like working on Spectacular Spider-Man as Eddie Brock/VENOM? Because it was by far my best rendition of the character!

BenDiskin2 karma

It was really fun! Vocally stressful, but fun as heck! Venom's my favorite Marvel villain, so getting to play him in a show was a dream come true. :)

MulciberTenebras1 karma

Cool!

So, I'm guessing that working as Venom played a part in you guest-starring as Harm on Greg Weisman's next show Young Justice?

BenDiskin2 karma

If I'm not mistaken, yes. :)

LavaMeteor1 karma

Did you have knowledge of JoJo before playing the role or was that your introduction?

BenDiskin1 karma

I knew OF it, but I didn't really start watching the show until I auditioned for it.

Moderninja1 karma

Hey Ben, I was at the Kill la Kill and Jojo panels at anime expo. I gotta say, it makes me feel good knowing that you're just as big a fan of the works you get cast in as we are. You made a good character into an amazing one in Kill la Kill especially, it blew me away to hear what a character Takarada could be.

I have a question about Jojo that I'm pretty sure you can answer. Are the more silly engrish lines going to remain intact? The really goofy "GOODBYE, JOJO" line was in episode 3, but had to be skipped over because of technical difficulties. Since it was meant to be shown, could you say if it's going to stay as it was?

Regardless, you do great work man. Keep it up!

BenDiskin3 karma

Since I wasn't IN episode 3, I don't know if that made it or not. I was seeing that episode with you guys for the first time too.

I DO know that where it worked, we DID try to keep the "Engrishy" lines in for the fans. I DO say, "OH NO!" at some point, I remember that for sure. Not positive on how they're doing stuff like Dio's "MudaMudaMudaMudaMudaMUDA!" though. Having Patrick Seitz say, "UselessUselessUselessUselessUSELESS!" wouldn't just sound awkward in English, it'd be a PAIN in the ass to say at the same pace as the Japanese.

ajsw1 karma

Plan on trolling the Kingdom Hearts Insider forums again any time soon? It was a blast being there the last time you did it!

BenDiskin1 karma

MMmmmmaaaaaayyyyybbbbeeeeeeeeeee???? You never know! :D

philckd1 karma

Hi Ben! What was it like to work with the voiceover cast of Sailor Moon?

BenDiskin1 karma

I wish I knew! ;D In anime, we all work separately from each other, so it's tough to say. I admire and respect the other actors in the show, though. How's that? :D

EpicEthan1011 karma

If you could voice any character in any game, who would it be?

BenDiskin2 karma

I've been asked this question in various interviews and the answer always comes back the same: It'd be Spider-Man in a video game where I get to do the motion capture work for Spider-Man. That'd be freakin' AWESOME.

Fidesphilio1 karma

What advice would you give to aspiring voice actors? How did you get your start?

BenDiskin1 karma

Make sure you understand the industry you're getting involved with. The biggest mistake a lot of aspiring voice actors make is believing they know how things work and what's needed of them and then finding out the hard way that the industry won't cater to their expectations.

harbreakfast1 karma

This will probably get absolutely buried but voice acting has always been a huge dream of mine as I have always been pretty good at mimicking sounds and voices and I have been waiting for an AMA like this to pop up. So, a few questions:

-What advice do you have for someone who wants to pursue something like this?

-How easy is it to come up with a voice to match a characters personality or look?

-When did you realize you wanted to pursue this career?

BenDiskin3 karma

Well, the toughest thing about the voice over industry is figuring out where you belong and making the correct strides to reach your goal, whatever that may be. My best advice is to give yourself the best chance you can get by making sure you're a big fish in a small pond and only moving to a bigger pond when you've outgrown the one you were previously in. For instance, I'll list the "levels" of voice over for you here:

  • LEVEL 0 This is where you currently are. At this level, you're that guy who entertains friends and family by doing funny voices or celebrity impressions. In other words, you've learned that you enjoy using your voice to entertain people.

  • LEVEL 1 Your friends and family, because they love you, might be just being nice to you and your voices aren't really all that spectacular. This is where you decide to see if you can entertain more than just a non-objective audience. Perhaps you create your own YouTube channel and just talk into a microphone and see if people want to listen to what you've got to say. Maybe (and this is easier) you go to a website like The Voice Acting Alliance and post up your impressions or voices that you've recorded and get some honest feedback.

  • LEVEL 2 The feedback you've received at Level 1 was pretty positive, so now you start auditioning for some projects (which you can find at the Voice Acting Alliance forums.) They won't pay you anything, but they're fun and they give you something important: the experience of working for someone else. In professional voice acting, we don't just go into a booth, record whatever we think is good, and leave. We have to satisfy the demands of a director.

  • LEVEL 3 So now you've gotten your feet wet by doing some web cartoons, some anime fandubs, etc. The people who've worked with you in those projects seem to think you're pretty darn good at doing what they want. Now it's time to start looking for jobs that pay. Even if you're only getting $20 or something to do a project, it's still money that the content creator is giving you and this changes things quite a bit. When you're doing something for free, the expectations aren't as high since it's all volunteer work. Once it becomes a paying gig, you'll find that the director expects more out of you. At this level, you might also consider signing up for Voices.com or other similar sites. There you'll find jobs that consist primarily of non-union radio and tv voice-over spots that you'll be expected to record from home. It's at this level where you should ALSO get a good microphone and make sure you have a good place to record in where outside noise won't ruin the quality of your recordings.

  • LEVEL 4 Small jobs that require a move. This is usually where a lot of aspiring VAs turn tail. Despite the presence of the Internet, MOST professional jobs require moving to a bigger city where there are more work opportunities. There are markets like Chicago and Seattle where there aren't a LOT of big projects but the talent pool is also not as fiercely competitive. And there are larger places like Los Angeles, New York, and Vancouver (in Canada) where the bigger projects go. But let's say you'd like to take your chance at doing anime. Anime is one of these weird parts of the voice acting industry where it's presented like it's on equal terms with original animation (in the sense that you'll see Doraemon [an anime] sandwitched between Wander over Yonder and Phineas & Ferb [two original animations,]) but pays only about a third as well. This means that, while someone who's only an anime fan might think the show's a big deal, someone who's in the know understands that this type of medium won't attract any of the big names in voice over, giving newer actors a chance to get their foot in the door. The reason this level is so hard is because it'll likely involve you moving to a new place with no guarantee that any of the companies who do anime, video games, etc. will have any interest in you or your acting talents. Hopefully you've used your time working on free projects and small-budget online stuff to establish a friendship with other people who have the same goals as you. Perhaps you can move out to one of these bigger cities together as roommates? Share the living cost and try to meet new people who have better connections than you do.

  • LEVEL 5 You've successfully made the leap to a new town and you're working in anime or doing small projects that you've found through friends and connections you've made. Now you're going to want to do original animation and video games if you haven't already. These tend to pay a lot better and will make paying the rent a lot easier on you. You might not be doing any major roles in these games, but those $400 sessions of being random background characters really start to add up. Maybe you reinvest some of that money in yourself and take some voice acting lessons from seasoned pros who are offering classes. Maybe (even better) some casting directors are offering classes and you take some of those. Sure you're paying for a class, but you're also giving yourself the opportunity to put yourself in front of a person who helps choose actors for roles in real projects. Maybe you impress the right person!

  • LEVEL 6 The connections you've made and the experiences you've been through have helped you hone your craft. Now you're starting to get into the big leagues. People are calling you in to read on union projects which tend to pay the best. After doing enough of them, you're informed by SAG-AFTRA that if you want to keep doing union projects, you have to join. Now you join the union and start looking for an agent to help represent you and get auditions to you so you'll have more work opportunities than what you may have found on your own.

  • LEVEL 7 You're trying out for big projects, but you're still not very well-known so you're going to industry gatherings, and getting your social skills up to par. You're mingling and meeting other actors, casting directors, and producers and learning about all sorts of opportunities. Pretty soon, more and more people know and like you and begin giving you roles. It probably won't be any main characters, but they're free jobs and they provide you with more opportunities to work with and establish good work relationships.

  • LEVEL 8 You're now considered "established." It doesn't mean you don't have to work to get any roles anymore, but what it DOES mean is that people know you, like you, and respect your talent. They want to work with you which makes booking jobs a lot easier. Isn't it nice when a casting director that you've worked with in the past convinces a studio that they should hire you for a project rather than the typical situation of you sending out an audition and hoping and praying that someone gives you a chance? At this point, you're probably riding pretty high, but you need to remember that there are always new talents rising up in rank just behind you and you can't let yourself get too carried away and lose your touch.

  • LEVEL 9 AND ABOVE You're now established at multiple studios and tons of writers, engineers, casting directors, voice directors, project directors, producers, and executive producers know you and like you. You still have to keep your skills sharp, but if you keep up the hard work, you're basically set for life in the voice acting career.

Keep in mind that these "levels" aren't set in stone and there can be overlapping. Also, depending on where you go in the world, your experience can vary quite wildly. By listing these as "levels" I'm attempting to categorize aspects of an industry that inherently HAS no levels. Take ME for instance! I recently did a show called Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. for Disney XD. Almost all of the actors who came in to play roles are well-known guys like Fred Tatasciore, Clancy Brown, James Arnold Taylor, Steve Blum, and more. This would be the type of show you'd book in level 7 or 8. And yet, I'm also working in anime and smaller video games which would fall into the level 4 and 5 categories. What "level" do I fit in? Beats me! These are just here to give you a GENERAL outline for how to plot your advances in building a voice acting career. They do not exist as unbending, unbreakable rules.

It's not too difficult for me to come up with a voice to match a character's personality or look. I usually come up with something while I'm reading the description of the character out loud to myself in the booth before I audition. :)

I realized I wanted to pursue this career when I was 10 and did a show called Problem Child based on the movies of the same name. None of my friends knew I played the main character in it and I realized I'd be able to act without other kids on the playground knowing what I was up to. I got my privacy AND my acting career. It just made sense to me!

Anyway, hope all that helped!

matteso5851 karma

1) Now that Leonard Nimnoy is dead, who do you think is going to voice Master Xehanort in the present? 2) If data doesn't dream, how come The Grid exists in the realm of dreams? 3) Young Xehanort does know that the Sora in the Datascape is not the real one, right? 4) Don't you think its obvious that Mark Hamill is voicing young Eraqus too?

BenDiskin2 karma

1) Dunno. Maybe they already recorded him? Not sure how it's all going to work. They might find someone who can voice-match him.

2) I didn't make the game. I've got no clue! XD

3) See response for "2)"

4) Oh, TOTES McGOATS! That's for SURE Mark Hamill!!!!!!!!!!!! :D

Dimi3Infinity1 karma

When did you start recording for Young Xehanort for KH3D and, if you can, when did you start recording for KH3?

BenDiskin1 karma

I really don't remember when I started recording for KH3D. I can't talk about KH3, sorry.

tstowantingdonuts1 karma

Hi, Ben! Who's your favorite VA, both male and female right now? Not asking who the best is, since it's subjective. But who do you like the best?

BenDiskin2 karma

Probably favorite male VO: Dee Baker. Female VO? I'd say Jennifer Hale.

HungryBook1 karma

How do you pick up your jobs now? Do YOU hunt for projects you like, or do you find people coming to you because of previous work?

BenDiskin2 karma

The same way I've always picked them up. I get auditions sent to me by my agency, record them at home, email them in, and hope I get it. Sometimes people will come to me and hire me without auditioning, but those are very rare situations. I have to try out for most of the jobs that I get.

JoJolion1 karma

I'd seem you mention that you were a JoJo fan prior to auditioning for the role. Were there any cues or notes you took from the previous actor, Tomokazu Sugita, for your performance?

BenDiskin1 karma

I got a major kick out of Sugita's performance, so every opportunity to replicate his take on the dialogue, I went for it. It wasn't always accepted as the final take, but I got a few moments in there. ;)

Aenoria1 karma

JoJo is one of my all time favourite series so I am very excited to see how you pull of your parts. What was your reaction to finding out you were going to be a part of the JoJo cast?

BenDiskin1 karma

I was really happy to learn I'd booked the role, especially after having watched all of Part 1 and 2 in Japanese. I really hope I did all the English-speaking JoJo's fans proud.

twylitesfalling1 karma

Hi Ben, thanks for doing this AmA. My questions are: 1) What's your favorite parts of being a voice actor as your career? 2) What's the worst part of being a voice actor as your career? 3) Who are the people you really look up to and admire in your position?

BenDiskin1 karma

1) The jobs themselves. This is an extremely rewarding profession since you get to throw yourself away and take on a new persona every time you step into the booth.

2) The fear that sets in when you're NOT working. As an actor (voice-over, on-camera, on-stage, etc.) you're basically unemployed all the time with little splotches of employment peppered in. It can be very nerve-wracking when bills show up in the mail and you're not earning enough to pay them.

3) I think the person I admire the most as a voice actor is Dee Baker. His animal and creature sounds are second to none. If I could be 1/10th as good as Dee, I'd be thrilled. On top of his amazing sounds, he's a terrific actor to boot.

HollowBedMan1 karma

How was it working on Star Wars: The Clone Wars?

BenDiskin1 karma

It was a lot of fun! The guys who made that show are so knowledgeable about the Star Wars universe that I could listen to them speak for HOURS on it. It's so cool to see people with that much love and understanding of the franchise in a position of power. Really awesome cast and crew on that one.

dayum-son1 karma

Dude I loved punching you in the face in Tony Hawks Underground.

Realtalk though, your Takarada was amazing, but I always wanted to know, did you ever try to do a Harry Enfield impersonation for Takarada? Also has anyone at a con asked you to say "shut yo mouth and look at my wad"?

BenDiskin1 karma

Thanks! XD I enjoyed knocking out Sparrow in THUG, myself. ;)

Thank you! No. That was never a consideration for how he'd be interpreted in the dub. In fact, I only found out about the Harry Enfield song and Takarada AMV about a month or two after I'd recorded all the lines.

AHarschRedditor1 karma

I'm surprised on the lack of KND questions! I loved that show since I was a kid! What was it like working on the show? Is Mr. Warburton a nice guy? What was it like doing that teaser for him for no pay? And are you as pumped as I am if G:KND becomes a new show? I was sad to hear that CN turned Mr. Warburton down. (Alternately; is doing only small roles and addition voices a hassle for you? What's the process of that?) Either way, thanks for reading and making KND awesome!

BenDiskin1 karma

Well, it was a terrific show, that's for sure. It was the first time I got to work with some of the big-names in the voice acting industry that I'd grown up listening to throughout my childhood. It was a total trip! :D Tom's (Mr. Warburton) a great guy. He's like a big child (in only the best ways.) Always has fun ideas and great energy.

It's sad that Cartoon Network has already expressed that hey have no interest in doing more KND episodes at this time. It's hard to get pumped for G:KND knowing that it isn't going to become a show any time soon. :(

I was thrilled to do that teaser for Tom, though. It was lots of fun getting to play Nigel Uno one last time. :')

There are no small roles, only small actors. I have no problem playing a part that isn't a main character. In fact, I've had a lot of fun doing minor characters on a number of projects. It's just more experience in the booth and another opportunity to try new things.

TheInsaneRevelator1 karma

Hopefully I'm not too late to send in any questions, but here goes nothing.

Q1. Because of the recent passing of both English and Japanese voices of Master X, is it likely Square Enix might alter the story of the PS4 and Xbox One Kingdom Hearts game out of respect of Leonard Nimoy and Chikao Otsuka?

Q2. Is there a possibility that like last year's test dub of JoJo SC (the recent JoJo anime), Crunchyroll will probably allow people to view the AX 2015 preview episodes of JoJo Season 1 for a limited time?

Q3. Did any voice actors / actresses that mostly worked on American-based cartoons, have been approached by Warner Bros. (since these actors / actresses have worked on shows made by Warner Bros.) to work on JoJo before Warner Bros. decided to use voice actors / actresses that had worked on anime?

Anyways, hard to imagine this is the guy that voiced both Nigel Uno and Hoagie Gilligan Jr. (I seriously thought Tom Kenny was the one who voiced Hoagie) is now voicing Joseph Joestar.

BenDiskin1 karma

Ummm... Errrr... Well, this sorta sucks. The quick answer to all three of your questions is "I don't know.... o.O"

In detail:

1) I know absolutely nothing of what goes on with the KH storyline, so I'm just as in the dark about what they'll do regarding the passing of Mr. Nemoy and Otsuka-san. Also, even if I DID somehow know, I'd be forbidden from telling anyone.

2) Dunno. Maybe? I don't have any contacts within Crunchyroll who'd know the answer to that question. It'd be neat if they did, though!

3) I don't know, but probably not. Anime doesn't pay as well as original animation (American-based cartoons.) In all likeliness, they never bothered sending out sides to people who are know for Western animation.

I just hope you're pleased with the performance! :D

Kananetwork1 karma

This still says live so gonna try my hand here:

  • What's your list of no-go foods? I know some voice actors just don't drink caffeine anymore or cold drinks at all. Some also have issues with spicy food (despite it seeming like it cleans you out), and so on. So what are you habits for that sort of thing before you record?
  • Do you have any thoughts on P2P sites? I know this is a touchy question so feel free to skip it. I'm just always curious what everyone thinks on these.
  • Have any rituals to start your day that help with your voice (warm-ups, yoga, jogging, etc)?

BenDiskin1 karma

My habits are all horrible ones. I'm always snacking on chips/pretzels/crackers, drinking hot drinks like coffee or hot tea, having some cheese or other dairy products, etc. Basically, don't do what I do. It's not smart.

I'm not in favor of internet piracy, but the ability to share files is pretty cool. So, the technology behind p2p stuff like torrents is awesome, I just don't approve of the way it's used. In SOME cases, I understand, though. If there's no legal way you can see an anime (meaning it hasn't been licensed with official English subtitles or an official English dub) and you REALLY want to see it, I get why fansubbing is so widespread.

Nope! I just talk to myself until I sound normal. That's pretty much it. :)

Kananetwork1 karma

Thanks for the answers! I also can't keep away from caffeine despite it drying out my voice, so I'm with you there!

I should've clarified I meant P2P sites for voice over (Voices or Voice123), but thanks for being a brave champ and talking about piracy! Always think it's important for a VO to have a stance. :)

BenDiskin2 karma

OHHHHH! Oh, I get you now.

It really depends on the site. Some of those have terrible reputations for underpaying actors or creating situations where employers can just take an audition, use it for the final product, and not pay the actors. Others (like voices.com, apparently) are better about that and are typically seen as more professional.

The difficult thing about sites like these is that while they CAN present opportunities to new actors, it's hard to know if you're being paid what other people are since you're isolated in your home studio. Additionally, it creates an environment where you might wind up undercutting other people by asking for too little which creates a situation where the producers sit back and get to watch people fight for jobs by asking for less and less money.

It's a world where people are trying to do more work for less and less money. As an actor, it's already hard enough to get work without other people saying, "That guy wants $100 to do this job? Well, I'LL do it for $75!" This also creates an air of distrust amongst actors that makes things even rougher.

oldgengamer1 karma

Hello Ben, I was wondering what was it like to record Young Xehanort in Dream Drop Distance? Did you immediately love the character when you read the script? What were your influences on voicing him? Thank you for the AMA

BenDiskin1 karma

Nope! I didn't get to read any script, so I COULDN'T fall in love with him. It's an honor to play the character, but all of the acting I did for that game is the result of the Japanese director telling me how to say each line via an English translator. This is one of the few roles for which I'll rarely take any credit for. But I'm glad it resonated with you!

AlphaBaymax1 karma

Thank you so much for taking the opportunity to be communicating with your fans, we are all very grateful for sharing your virtual presence with us! :)

My questions are in regards to the Kingdom Hearts series...

What is your honest opinion about Xehanort as a villain?

What was your favourite Disney world already featured in Kingdom Hearts?

Who is your favourite Kingdom Hearts character aside Xehanort?

BenDiskin1 karma

Sure thing!

Xehanort is an interesting villain because of how much mystery surrounds him and his goals. KH3 is in production and I STILL don't truly know what his ultimate goal is. I have a feeling that in this game we'll find out that he wants to use Kingdom Hearts for something other than what he's been saying all along.

Favorite DISNEY world in KH? Darn. I was going to say "The End of the World" as my favorite world. My favorite one based on a Disney franchise would probably be Halloween Town.

I'm going to say... Luxord. Is he really my favorite? Nope! I don't have a favorite character. :D

Zeebor1 karma

Settle a bet; were you cast as Part 2 Joseph because you would, once again, be playing "young Richard Epcar" and they knew "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."?

BenDiskin1 karma

Nope. Had nothing to do with it.

If JoJo's were owned by Disney, I could see that being a possibility. Warner Bros wouldn't care if I played a younger Richard Epcar in a Disney project. In fact, I mentioned playing a younger Epcar in KH to the voice director of JoJo's and that was the first time he found out about it.

It's a coincidence.

Zeebor1 karma

It's a wonderfully hilarious coincidence. The universe is trying to tell us something.

BenDiskin2 karma

If the Universe is telling me that I'll wind up sounding like Richard Epcar when I get older, I'll take it! That guy has an awesome voice! :D

xYoungShadowx1 karma

A quick question, I did come in later in KH3D, but just for background purposes, the voice actor in the beginning of Kingdom Hearts 1 said "Sora, time for dinner!" and I assume that was Sora's mother. 1)Is that true it was his mother and 2)will his parents ever show in any upcoming Kingdom Hearts games? and lastly 3) When your in the recording studio, how does it feel to know people watch you and your facial expressions? and Thank you for doing this AMA!

BenDiskin1 karma

Errrr....

1) I don't know. I didn't make the game. 2) I don't know. I didn't make the game. 3) I don't kn... Oh! I actually DO know that one! It's not as weird as you'd think. Some directors watch your facial expressions and body language, but most of them are focused on the way it sounds rather than the way you look.

SatelliteofLouvre1 karma

What was your first impression of JoJo's before you auditioned?

BenDiskin1 karma

I didn't get it. I felt like it was a twist on the vampire hunter anime, but other than using hamon to basically punch sunlight into vampires, it felt rather typical and I didn't get why people liked it so much. I figured it out as I continued watching past Part 1, though. ;D

SatelliteofLouvre1 karma

Shhh- don't tell that to /r/stardustcrusaders

BenDiskin1 karma

I'm sure they wouldn't be TOO upset. It seems like it's popular opinion that Part 1 is one of the weakest JoJo's parts. Part 2 and 3 are what got me hooked.

Doublenyher1 karma

Tits or ass?

BenDiskin4 karma

Ass.

kristijanEX1 karma

How is the KH3 recording going (since you'll be voicing Young Master Xehanort and he was featured a lot in the E3 2015 trailer) ?

BenDiskin2 karma

I refer you to the paragraph I wrote in the initial AMA post regarding KH3. (CAN'T TALK ABOUT IT)

kristijanEX1 karma

Oh...sorry for not reading.

BenDiskin2 karma

You shall be burnt for your insolence.

... kidding. ;)

SUMMERTEENTHROWAWAY1 karma

Any relation to Tybee Diskin?

BenDiskin2 karma

Nope!

razeruk1 karma

Hi Ben enjoyed your role on SAOII. My question, for the role of Death Gun in SAOII, did you have to do anything to your voice while performing or did the audio guys just use your normal voice and filtered it?

BenDiskin2 karma

I lowered the pitch of my voice veeerrrryyyyy slightly. I basically just spoke in a menacing manner. The rest was done with computerized pitch-shifting and various audio filters.

Ghostwolf5171 karma

Any advice for aspiring voice actors?

BenDiskin3 karma

Take your time and go at a pace that makes sense for you. The industry can be VERY difficult to break into. Make sure you're not biting off more than you can chew.

minikyojin1 karma

Is there any real difference when it comes to recording for a show than recording for a video game? I would assume it's a different feel for both of them and dying to know what it's like.

BenDiskin3 karma

Well, a video game is typically recorded solo while an original cartoon show is typically recorded as a group. The main difference is the fact that for the game your lines exist in a vacuum and you're relying on the director to give you context in addition to direction. It's still largely the same experience.

Oh, except for the fact that video games frequently require more yelling than cartoons as well as the fact that you have to provide voices for all the various branching paths the character can take in a video game.

MickeySeraphin1 karma

Takarada must've been an absolute blast to voice. Do you have a favorite pimpalicious line, maybe one you just couldn't resist giving multiple takes for?

BenDiskin6 karma

I think the "NoNoNoNoOHhhhohohoho YEAHuh!" when he's taking it where the sun don't shine has to be my favorite. XD

JoeyJoJob1 karma

If it's too much to ask, what's it like voicing Joseph Joestar?

BenDiskin6 karma

It's really exciting, but I always felt the invisible pressure to not screw up the character based on all sorts of things I read online. At the end of the day, though, I have to do as I'm directed so freaking out about things like that don't help much.

EDRider1 karma

Since episode 10 of JoJo aired, can you say who voices Straizo and Erina?

BenDiskin2 karma

I can't because that information hasn't been made public by Warner Japan. (Also, because I don't know.)

JRPictures1 karma

Got a few questions actually, would have more but obviously I don't want you breaking any NDAs.

What's it like to be part of a series so hyped like Jojo's Bizarre Adventure, let alone being a part of the dub people thought might never have come? On a similar note, at least in relation to episode 10, what was the process on working on your British accent for the character of Joseph?

Out of all your anime roles, which one is your favourite and which one do you think is the coolest?

BenDiskin3 karma

It's REALLY exciting. At the AX premiere, the room (which holds around 2000) was completely packed with screaming fans. I really hope the wait was worth it. I know how much love there is for this franchise and I just hope we did a good job. Time will tell, though, I guess.

I don't think there really WAS a process for working on the accent. I've played British characters before so, accent-wise, I basically just did what already works for me.

My favorite? ... Probably Cutemon on Digimon. The coolest? Probably Joseph. XD

Julianrhobbs1 karma

What was it like for you when you got to work with Andrea Romano?

BenDiskin2 karma

To be honest, the last time I worked with Andrea was several years ago and it was a pretty fast session. It was nice, but I don't think I left much of an impression on her. She's cool, though. :)

DaLeVaS1 karma

Hiya Ben, I'm a huge fan of yours (first role I heard was Wolf in Blood Lad).

You seem to have a huge range (Shoutmon's and Wolf's voices are super different).

When tackling different characters, is there any different type of preparation you do before recording? Be it a vocal warmup technique or just a mental thing?

BenDiskin1 karma

Thanks a bunch! :D

Preparation? What's that? XD I'm the guy who'll always tell you, "Whatever you do, DON'T DO WHAT I DO."

I've heard all sorts of stuff like, "Only drink room-temperature water," "Avoid dairy," or "Eat a green apple." I'm the guy you'll see right before a session chugging a can of Redbull, cramming some crackers and cheese in his mouth, and then going "Oh no! I forgot my coffee!" and drinking down a hot cup'a joe. Basically, I'm a total idiot whose "vocal warmups" shouldn't be duplicated.

Thandius1 karma

So as someone trying to do voice acting as a hobby (fan dubs etc).

What advice would you give for auditions? I keep auditioning but don't seem to be getting parts...

BenDiskin2 karma

When you're not getting roles, the FIRST thing you want to do is check yourself.

The only person you have ANY direct control over in this industry (for fan dubs OR professional work) is you. You want to look at two things: 1) What are you like as an actor? 2) What are you like as a person.

Things that fall under the first category are:

  • Actor instinct. (When you see a line for the first time, do you know how to say it?)
  • Ability to take direction.
  • An understanding of your own limits. (Are you a good singer? No? Don't audition for roles that involve singing. Are you good at talking quickly? No? Don't audition for characters that have to be able to speak fast. Etc.)
  • Vocal range. (How many characters can you do?)
  • Age range. (How young or old can you sound?)
  • Impressions.
  • Improv ability.
  • Singing ability.
  • etc.

Things that fall under the second category are: Are you a nice person to work with? Are you sociable? How's your social networking game? Are you on-time for your appointments? Are you professional? Do people enjoy working with you? Who out there knows you? Are you the type of person who's on everyone's mind or are you just a name and voice in an mp3?

If everything checks out, it's a matter of time. If everything checks out, you give it more time, and you're STILL not getting anything, you might need a more objective opinion of the things you're doing.

Some people out there will insist to themselves and other people that they're really good and can't understand why they aren't getting work. In some cases, they really ARE good and they're just not getting lucky. In other cases, they're just kinda average as actors and don't stand out from the crowd. Others are talented as actors but have some sort of personality flaw that makes them undesirable to work with. It can be difficult to see flaws within ourselves, but it's the first thing you need to look at. Do your best to stand out in a good way. :)

ChaserJoey1 karma

How do you warm your voice up for recording? Is it easier to voice deep voice characters in the morning as opposed to later in the day?

BenDiskin1 karma

I mostly just clear my throat a bit (which is apparently bad for you, by the way) and just go.

That one's a common misconception. It's not that it's easier to voice deep characters in the morning, it's that your voice hasn't warmed up. You actually have LESS vocal control when your voice is either cold from sleeping or worn out from being up too late. Any ease that comes from "morning voice" fades away pretty quickly so it's best to make sure it's a voice you can do whenever you feel like it.

ShortySwords1 karma

Is it fun voicing Joseph? Do you like him as a character?

BenDiskin5 karma

Yes. And YES! He is the BEST JoJo! :D

manustillflops1 karma

I had to look it up to be sure, but I actually recognized your name from Just Like Dad. Do you remember anything about working with Wallace Shawn? How was he at working with a child like yourself?

BenDiskin1 karma

He was nothing but nice to me the whole time. A terrific actor and a nice guy. I was lucky to work with him. :D