Tales of TMNT Guest 2

In January, I shared some stories of when I met some of the TMNT Guests.  People seemed to enjoy these stories. So here I am to share a few more of the TMNT Guest stories.

Meeting the people behind Ninja Turtles has always been a big deal to me.  If anything I want the opportunity to say “Thank You” for the work that they put into their history.  Though I find myself interested mostly in writers, artist and actors, since those are fields that I have dreamed of taking part in.  So when I was originally going to events, it never hit me that I could meet Producers, animators, toy designers and more.  There’s a huge range of people that make the Turtles what they are today, and here are some stories of how I met some of these people.

This first story is really how I met two TMNT guests.  I heard of this convention because Cam Clarke, the voice of Leonardo in the original cartoon series, was going to be there.  So I drove to “Another Anime Con” in Dover, New Hamsphire, only to get there and learn that Cam’s panel was on Friday only and I missed it.  Though with enough people saying that they missed it, the convention set up a second panel for their voice actors.

One of the dealers that I was hanging out with came for the panel as well, as we sat there wondering why it hadn’t started.  My friend stepped out in the hall for a few moments, then returned to tell me that Greg Finley was there and that he also worked for TMNT.  So I went out into the hall to meet him.

I talked with him a bit, his name is not in the credits of anything.  Though he did work on the movies as a background voice actor, filling in noises for Foot Soldiers, speakers and other such things that needed to be filled in.  If I knew that someone who worked on the movie was going to be there, I would of brought my movie dvd cover to be signed, though he was nice and signed my Turtle T-Shirt for me.

Cam came over while I was talking to Greg.  I told him I'll see him in the panel room, and went back in to sit down.  Though some of the con staff got Cam to come in their office over outside of the panel room having him sign stuff.  They should've had that done at another time, since he was already late to his panel.

I ended up going back out in the hall to talk a little bit more with Greg until the time finally came for us to re-enter the panel room. At that point I got to start talking with Cam about the tour Turtle stuff, like the fact that he got that gig because they came to him to do it. He was friends with one of the main guys behind it.  He was about in shock when he saw pictures of my room, he even called Greg over to look at the pictures.  He signed a few things for me then.

The panel ended up being in a circle setting, a much more personal setting with the guests which I've seen done a few other times, though doesn't make for good video since there's no mic or center focus.  We got to hear many stories from both Greg and Cam.  Cam was talking about how people use to have them talk to their kids on the phones  and how it would be odd when doing a bad guy. He did Rocksteady saying something along the lines of "Hope yous get better soon kid".

Cam also talked about how he was in line for the original movie and figured he'd let the kid next to him know who he was.  In Leonardo's voice he said "Hey I'm Leonardo" and the kid replied fastly  "Right and I'm Donatello".  It totally caught Cam off guard, now he doesn't do the voices in front of kids, though will do it on the phone.   Though really his voice sounds a lot like Leonardo's voice.

Another story he talked about, was something I heard sort of beforehand, that Cam and Townsend Coleman were both trying to get the role of Michaelangelo.  Though when the choices were being made, the voice director was changed and it just stuck with Townsend being Michaelangelo.  Cam was a little jealous of that, admitting that Townsend made the most because of side gigs and stuff.   He didn't really feel right being the hero type that Leonardo was  and it took him a bit to be able to really settle into that role.  He prefers playing villains.

After the panel they took pictures with people, signed more autographs. Cam had to go get official pictures taken and after that was done he came back over and signed a few things for me.  He also asked to keep a couple pictures of me in my room, so I let him have them.  That was an amazing meet up, getting to meet Cam and someone that I was not planning to meet.

Cam is not the first voice actor I’ve met that plays Leonardo. I’ve also met the voice of Leonardo for the 4Kids series, Michael Sinterniklaas.  Here’s the story of how I met Michael at Anime Next 2003.

It was October 2003, I was working at my factory job.  The long hours was hard, but the pay checks made the job worth it, as I was getting in 68 hours a week.  The over time was required, 12 hours on week days and 8 hours on Saturday.  Free time was not something I knew of at that time in my life. Though when my friend, Brinatello, told me that two Turtle voice actors for the new series was going to be at a convention, I knew I had to make my way there.  Though she told me with less than a week to plan the trip.

For that week, I worked at planning the trip.  I would only request Saturday off of work, rent a car, and get a hotel room for one night.  I got a good friend of mine, Shadow Wolf, to agree to come along for the ride, as it was my first time driving to New York.  I got up early on Friday morning and went to pick up the rent a car, a Ford Taurus, and brought it home and packed it for the trip.

I worked from 2pm to 2:30am, then picked up Shadow Wolf around 3am and went shopping for food to bring on the trip.   We were on the road at 4am and we got into the area of the convention around 3pm, but I got lost.  It was not in New York City, but was in one of the areas very nearby.  We finally found our hotel, then I got lost again trying to find the convention.  A GPS back then would of been nice.

When Shadow Wolf and I got there it was around 5pm, we got our badges for the convention and learned that the 4Kids panel was at 6pm.  This was my first time ever getting a chance to meet voice actors for Ninja Turtles, so I was excited as I made my way to the panel room.  The guests listed for the panel was Mike Pollock, Marc Thompson, Wayne Grayson and Michael Sinterniklaas.  Though when I got in there, only three of the voice actors were sitting up front.  I looked at the book to help with photos of the actors to know who was who, but the book had two photos out of place.  They had Wayne Grayson with Marc’s picture, not knowing this I went up and embarrassed myself as I was telling Marc how much his character is my favorite character in Ninja Turtles.  He asked me who I thought he was.  I held up the program and he pointed at Wayne.

Now with the mix up out of the way, I got to talk to the guest up front for a short time before the panel started.  Michael was late as he was doing something in another panel room.  The panel itself was great, I learned that Mike Pollock was Garbageman and Marc Thompson was Casey Jones.  All four voice actors there worked on Ninja Turtles!  Wayne shared how he was a Ninja Turtle fan before working on TMNT, and now he is Michelangelo, his favorite Turtle.  Michael shared the story of how he got the role of Leonardo, a surprise to him.  He thought for sure he’d be more fit for any of the other Turtles, when he crashed the auditions.  I asked many questions during the panel, and there were a lot of laughs.

After the panel was an autograph session.  I ran and got my Turtle costume on, and came in wearing a black cloak over my costume so they wouldn’t notice me till I was right up to their table.  The plan worked, as Shadow Wolf video taped my adventure up to see the guys.  I posed for photos with the fans there and hung out for awhile.   After this was going back to the hotel, I didn’t get to bed that night till near midnight only to wake up at 5am, get cleaned up and pack the car back up.  We ran to the convention for a 10am 4Kids panel, and went to the autograph session after that.  I did not want to leave so early, but I had to be back at work on Monday so we said our good byes.

The road trip home was long, as I got back to the house at 7am, we unpacked the car and took it back.  Finishing up, just in time for me to go straight to work for a 12 hour day.  It was a weekend of no sleep, but the memories there were amazing.

Here I just shared the story of how I met a total of six Ninja Turtle guests.  All of which are wonderful people.  Both of these stories is something anyone can take part in.  Conventions are open to the public, if you find away to there.  It always depends on how much you want to do this.  Saving $20 from each paycheck for a year could help you save up enough to go to a convention.  Conventions are all around the world, on the TMNT-L Forums we list any that we learn of which has Ninja Turtle guests.

Do you have a story of meeting a Ninja Turtle guest that you’d like to share?  We’d love to hear your stories.  Or do you have questions about meeting guests?  Feel free to share and ask questions in the comment section below.

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