David Kaye – The voice of your childhood
There are some voices that are part of our childhood. They are the voices you hear and they immediately transport you back to the days of our youth when things were simpler and the only thing that really mattered was waking up in time to watch your favorite cartoons on Saturday morning.
David Kaye is one of those voices.
You will know his voice even if you do not know his name. The actor has an incredible resume to his name. Not only is he the voice behind Racoome in “Dragon Ball Z”. Max Tennyson in “Ben 10”, Clank in “Rachet & Clank” and Arishem in “Eternals”, but David Kaye is the only actor to have given voice to both Megatron and Optimus Prime in the ‘Transformers” television shows.
We were thrilled to speak to David Kaye about his career and some of his most memorable work.
David, could you tell us a bit about how you got into your work?
I started in radio when I was probably about 17 years old in my hometown in Peterborough in Ontario, Canada. I was always interested in radio, ever since I was ten years old I got a tape recorder for my birthday. I started off by doing a bit of off-camera voice-over work for cable shows. My grandmother had a show with a local cable station, and I started volunteering there on the switchboard. It wasn’t until I met the morning news announcer from my local station who gave me a shot that I really decided to get into radio work.
What do you like most about doing voice acting over on-camera acting?
You know, the thing with acting on-camera is that you have more limitations. Your boundaries are set by the way you look and that is what the characters you can play are based on. For example, when I was working more in acting on-camera I would get a lot of roles where I would play news announcers because apparently, I look like a reporter and I would get tired of that. However, if I am behind the microphone I can be anyone I want to be. It’s like the whole world opens up and there are absolutely no limitations to the characters you can play.
You are the only person to have played both Optimus Prime and Megatron in the “Transformers” universe. Could you tell us a bit about your experience with the Transformers fandom?
They have been incredible. It’s so powerful when people come up to you at these conventions and say to you “You were part of my childhood.” It’s such an honor to be told something like that, it gives me goosebumps every time someone says that to me. The whole experience was really something wonderful, and it continues to be wonderful.
Do you have a most memorable moment from your voice-acting experience so far?
It would have to be the day I met both Mark Hamill and Stan Lee. It was a day I was working at Disney on “Avengers: Assemble” and they both happened to be there. There was a cake for someone that day so we all gathered together to sing. So I had birthday cake with Mark Hamill and Stan Lee! It was incredible, meeting those two legends on the same day. I’m so glad I got to meet Stan before he passed.
What have you got coming up next?
There’s a few things coming up which I’m not able to talk about just yet, but I’m continuing my work on “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver” and there’s a few more voice-over and commercials I have coming up. “Farzar” is currently streaming on Netflix, which is an adult company and it’s hilarious. It was so much fun to be a part of.