Exclusive: Steve Blum Talks Voice Acting and Who He Would Like to Voice at Tidewater Comicon
Steve Blum comes to Tidewater Comicon discussing his successful voice acting career!
Voice acting is an art heavily reliant upon auditory familiarity rather than visual recognition. When it comes to some of our favorite animated superheroes, Steve Blum is one of the big names in the business. From “Cowboy Bebop” to the notoriously iconic Wolverine, Blum is a staple in the industry. When you hear his optimistically passionate perspective from our interview at Tidewater Comicon, you’ll understand why voice acting is an artform and how one goes about becoming a voice actor themselves.
Given his name and iconic career. We wanted to know how someone would get started on the track to become a voice actor. Steve Blum obviously had a plethora of knowledge to contribute but given the time constraints, he suggested a great place to get started.
“How does one get into voice acting? That is about a 4 hour conversation. I can give you a short answer. The short answer would be…I can go to a website called iwanttobeavoiceactor.com/…literally. It was written by D. Bradley Baker and it’s the greatest resource for the voice acting industry. I wish it had been available when I was coming in.”
Steve has been in the business for quite some time but we wanted to know specifically where his passion started. Everyone has roots for their passion but we wanted to tie the origins of that passion to a specific project. So what was the job that made Steve decide he was ready to turn his passion into a career?
“I’m not really sure when that happened, because I’ve been doing this for so long. I did it for fun. I think probably the first gig I did gave me that bug and it was a show called “The Guyver.” And I literally came in to audition because I had the deepest voice in the mail room where I was working. And the first thing I did was a creature voice, I just went in with [makes a creature noise] and from that moment, I was kinda hooked. And I just did it for fun for many many years while I worked several other careers. And then I think the show that was really a benchmark in my career, I didn’t know it at the time, was called ‘Cowboy Bebop’ and I was the voice of Spike Spiegel. That led to so many other things…”
“Wolverine and the X-Men” easily became a fan favorite but came to an abrupt halt. We knew the highlights of why the show was cancelled but we wanted to know the specifics from Steve Blum himself.
“Well first of all, thanks for liking the show Bub because we all loved it a lot. [When it was cancelled] it broke our hearts. It was one of those things where it was a political issue. It was…the rights were being held and not released from one company to the next. And it’s traded hands…that franchise has traded hands many many times over for now. It’s still in limbo. I’ve voiced Wolverine many many times over the last 12 years and every single time I’ve voiced him I have to re-audition because it’s a different production company. Marvel licenses it out to different companies. Right now I think Fox holds the rights and I’m not even allowed to work as Wolverine right now…”
Steve Blum works with both Marvel and DC. When it comes to DC he is more notable as a villain such as the villainous Darkseid. We wanted to know what heroes he would like to voice in the future or who he would have liked to have voiced in the past.
“Dude, I’d play anything they’d pay more for honestly. I’m a voice over whore…I don’t know if you can say that on here, but I am. Yeah, I love the whole genre really. And I have played a bunch of heroes too. And I have some more DC heroes that I’m playing right now that I can’t talk about so, I’m certainly not against playing the heroes. But it’s fun to play the bad guys. Doing, ‘I am entropy, I am death, I am Darkseid’ (in Darkseid’s voice)…I mean, that’s fulfilling in a really terrible way.”
Given his love for playing villains, we had to know who his favorite villain that he’s voiced thus far.
“Oh man…I’ve gotten to play so many good ones, it’s hard to say. Uh…first one that comes to mind in recent history would be Amon from “Legend of Korra.” Just because he was so understated and chilling and that freaks me out more than someone who’s advertently evil.”
Some voice actors go into the studio and remain stationary while reading their lines. On the other hand there are those that become “physically animated” themselves making the motions that their animated counterpart are making. We wanted to know which type of voice actor Steve was.
“I kinda do it both ways. I’m a very organic actor, I didn’t have classical training so I don’t have to deal with the method issues that come up for some actors. I don’t have to get my face a certain way or live in the character for too long. I can literally look at something on a page and dive right in. [With] that said, I also throw punches. Every time I’m voicing Wolverine every [makes grunting noise] that you hear, there’s a punch behind that.”
Finally we had to know the one character that Steve always wanted to voice…
“Nothing in my career has been on purpose, honestly. Other than just doing a good job and getting hired. And I’m so surprised that I get hired for the roles that I am hired for, that I kind of live in that present tense state and I’m just grateful for the now. I don’t think about the characters that I haven’t voiced. The only character, and I’ve brought this up in panels, that I thought I would have been right for just because of where my voice print is naturally, would have been Batman. But then I hear someone like Kevin Conroy do it and I was like, No, he’s my Batman. And Troy Baker did an amazing version of it and Roger Craig Smith did an amazing version of it. So even if I got to play those roles, I’d be doing something different but not necessarily better. And all of my friends are playing them anyway so I don’t really Jones for what I haven’t done. I’m just grateful for what I have.”
Steve Blum was an incredible person to speak with. His vocal talent was demonstrated throughout the interview and even with his great talent, he was completely humble and a genuinely nice guy. He proceeded to thank us for the interview, thank the fans for their support and thank Tidewater Comicon and their staff for their hospitality.