Michael Benyaer Dialogue Early
The following was yet another correspondence with JQMLer Ina-chan.
and i've just come across your web page, when an old roommate of mine told me about your web page. wow. well to let you know, i'm alive and well and just moved back to los angeles. i have done some work since you've last checked. i just acted in an episode of "dark angel" i am currently starring in a 800callatt commercial where i play a photographer. i just did a regular voice on a new animated series for next season, "sitting ducks" for universal.
now, who are you? where are you? and how old are you? and how did you get all of that info on me?
okay, ina, it's really weird, i just spoke to quentin and told hima bout your site, and of course he knew it and told me he contacted you. i know quentin from when we worked together on the jq game, (he was from the new cast and i was the only one from the old) and we've remained friends. i'm originally from vancouver canada, as you might know, and have been moving back and forth between there and l.a. since i did jq in 95-96. i'm very flattered that you like my acting and my characters. now that i know you're canadian, i understand you're into reboot, since ytv aired it all the time. you wouldnt know sitting ducks since it hasnt aired yet, we just recorded it, its for next fall and it's also cgi. i've done some guest voices on shows in vancouver, "nascar" "journey to the center of the earth" and i'm doing voices on "Ranma" and "gundam wing" too. but my voice over really suffered over the last several years as i was struggling to get a foot in the door in movie and t.v. acting in l.a., but now i've re-established my ties here and intend to
do more v.o. anyway, you can ask away any questions you have!
- I know your old credit for Ranma... are you playing another character there?
i'm still playing "hikari gosunkugi" and whatever incidentals they have me do while i'm there.
- You were in "Gundam Wing"?!?!? WAI! Who did you play?
i just started recording this character, "M'quve" who's very foppish. it should be airing soon i think.
- And thank you so much for indulging the whims of an obsessed fan! ^_^. I'm planning on posting your replies on my websit and the JQML, is that okay with you? If not, just tell me. 'Kay?
it's ok to post my responses, but please don't share my email address with anyone else. thanks.
- Hmmm... Lessee... I guess I would start with if a stranger would ask who you are, how would you introduce yourself? Who is the man behind the voice? ^_^.
I am Michael Benyaer. I am an actor, writer, entertainer. I'm a regular guy who happens to get lucky enough sometimes to do what he wanted to do since he was a kid.
- What were the influences in your life that made you decide that you want to have a career in show business?
Ever since i was a kid i wanted to be an actor. i'm an only child so i was pretty much forced to entertain myself if i wanted to have fun, when other kids werent around. the t.v. was like my friend, and i would do imitations of the characters (animated and real) i saw. i did my first community play when i was 9, and took some acting classes then too. i did school plays, and when i was 16 got an agent and havent looked back yet!
- How did you get involved with the Jonny Quest/ReBoot project? How was auditioning for the part like? Do you know who else auditioned for the part?
The story for how i got jonny quest is pretty serendipitous. I was 24 and doing a lot of cartoons in vancouver, where i was born and raised (at that time, "Reboot", "Hurricanes" and "Exo-Squad") and i went on vacation to l.a. to visit some friends who i'd helped with a t.v. script idea. we had a practice pitch on an agent who suggested i read for this animated series "where they need a real middle eastern guy" to be the voice of some famous character. well, i looked into it and i read for "hadji" who was EAST INDIAN, and i got the part, after several auditons, and got my visa that allowed me into the states, and also after a year, my green card, that let me stay in the u.s.
- What was it like playing Hadji?
It was truly a blast. the cast i was in was comprised of mainly film/t.v. actors, George Segal, Robert Patrick, J.D. Roth, and i also got to work with Frank Welker, who is amazing. every week famous performers would come in like, Mark Hamill on my first day!, Tim Curry, Roddy McDowall, Marc Singer, Jeffrey Tambor, the list goes on... It really was a childhood dream come true. i was working at Hanna-Barbera, the name I would see on my favorite shows as a kid.
- (This is a curious question in my own part) Do you watch your own shows when its finished? If you do, how does it feel like to see the finished product?
I try and watch and/or tape them. sure. it's cool to see how it turns out. the animation always adds to what you were doing, and the music of course. it's a real treat.
- Who is your favourite character of all the voice characters you played and why?
This obscure character, "Guy number 1" on an episode of G.I. Joe..no i'm kidding. i think my favorite would be "Hadji" only because of the amazing ride he took me on...to l.a., got me into the u.s., met with so many great people. But "Bob" from "Reboot" was fun too, as I got to work with Andrea Romano, who recomended me to the agent that got me Jonny Quest.
- If you are to pick any character you played or from a show you were involved with, who is it do you think is most similar to you?
I think perhaps "Bob" is similar to me in that he's a bit of a wise-ass, but thats about it.
- Did you ever watch the 60's or 80's JQ series growing up?
I did see it in syndication, and i remember the 80's version. But, I wasn't that into it.
- If you did, which one was your favorite episode? Who is your favourite character and why? How did you feel about the updated changes that the TRA series did on the original series?
I think the new series was very well written and very ambitious, and i think the show will continue to be watched and enjoyed for years to come.
- Which TRA/ReBoot episode did you find most memorable? Your favourite scene?
My favorite episode was the Dungeons and Dragons one, it was funny and had a lot of stuff in it, and we got to throw some verbal improvs into it, and it allowed "Bob" to be a "Thieff? A THIEF?" it was very funny. Also happened to be written by a friend of mine, Jono Howard, who now writes for "Ed, Edd and Eddy"
- What is your stand on the ongoing, never dying issue with the possibility of whether Jonny and Jessie or Hadji and Jessie ending up together as adults? (This is a given, heated, never-ending debate...I would love to know your opinion).
That's news to me. I sure hope Jonny and Hadji don't get together. But maybe, just maybe Jonny should get a little action from Jesse.
- Are there any amusing anecdotes relating to Jonny Quest (or any other show you've been involved with) that you would like to share?
See answer to question 1.
- Do you have any contact with any of the other voice actors from TRA or know how to contact them?
I see most of the cast from Reboot when I'm in vancouver, it's a smaller community, and we work together all the time. I still stay in touch with Quenton Flynn, who played Jonny in the second series, mostly because we are similiar ages, have a lot of similiar interests, and he is genuinely cool guy.
- Are you currently working on any projects that we can look forward to and that you can share with us?
Yes, I did some voices on "Ranma" and "Gundam Wing" and have just finished recording the voice of "Raoul" on the new C.G.I kids show for Universal "Sitting Ducks". I play an annoying Latin crow.
- What advice can you give to your fans who would like to take their chances in showbusiness or voice acting?
Don't. It's a fun hobby. But the odds of making it, or even making a living are so hard I think people should do it for fun, and get steady jobs elsewhere.
- Again! Thank you for indulging me!
No problem! Have Fun! and Keep Watching! -- Michael Benyaer