On Friday, October 10th, the voice directing legend Andrea Romano took to the stage at New York Comic Con to discuss her illustrious career and her advice to aspiring voice actors. The eight-time Emmy Award winning director was joined by Greg Cipes, the voice of Beast Boy in Teen Titans and Michelangelo in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles tv series, who stopped by the panel to discuss working in the animation voice over industry.
Romano, herself once a struggling actress, got her start in the industry while working as an assistant to voice agent Don Pitts. From there she went on to work at the Hanna-Barbera, the studio known for Scooby-Doo and The Jetsons, while freelancing with Disney television animation on shows such as Bonkers, DuckTales, and Chip n’ Dale Rescue Rangers. She now works as a freelance voice director, and her filmography is extensive, including Avatar: The Last Airbender, The Legend of Korra, The Boondocks, Pinky and the Brain, Animaniacs, and Tiny Toon Adventures. In general, she is working on at least five projects at a time, once even juggling eleven projects all at the same time.
Nicknamed “Velvet Hammer” by the actors she works with, Romano calls making a comfortable environment for the talent to feel safe to create and work as one of her biggest goals when working on a show. She emphasized the importance of taking acting classes before trying to make a start in the realm of voice acting, saying that creating an emotional and believable character goes far beyond just being able to do a voice. Romano is generally regarded as one of the most iconic voice directors and voice casting directors working in the animation world today and is known for giving many actors’ their first big breaks. Greg Cipes, whose very first professional audition was in front of Romano for the role of Teen Titans’s Beast Boy, said “I was green…Andrea fought for me. I got the role.”