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Arnold's Army
Sunday
Sep162012

Arnold's Voice Twin Does Yackety Yack with TAFs!

By now you're probably all familiar with the Schwarzenegger.com contest to win an opportunity for The Austrian Oak himself to leave a personal phone message for YOU! Well, odds of winning will be great but you should certainly try! However, when the contest is all over and if you find yourself in a funk that you did not win, we have the perfect solution! Arnold fan Joe Gaudet is your PLAN B to get a pumped-up phone recording!

Recently, we at TAF's came across an aspiring voice actor named Joe Gaudet who does a deadpan Arnold. And we mean deadpan. If you close your eyes and listen to some of his work, it's almost impossible to tell the difference between him and the real Schwarzenegger, right down to Arnold's signature laugh. Let's face it, at one point or another we have all tried using our heavily accented (and usually poorly imitated) Arnold voice. Whether attempting to recite our favorite Arnold movie line or just trying for fun, most of us do a mediocre 'Arnold', at best.

We were so intrigued by Joe that we wanted to know more about him so we asked him to answer some questions for us about himself and his career. You can read the full interview below. And as an added bonus, Joe was nice enough to record a special Schwarzenegger salute for all of us here at TAFs. Be sure to check it out after the interview.

TAFs: How did you get into the voice impersonation business?

I'm an actor first and foremost. I've always had the ability to imitate friends and family. As long as I can remember, I've always studied other peoples' movements and speech. It became habit to me. That's why I wanted to become an actor.

I would always make my own recordings at home with a tape player and sound effects CD I found at a thrift store. I would do fake interviews and record all of the voices and tell stories like that.

It wasn't until I was about 23 that I started getting inter voice overs/ impressions seriously. I starred in a film directed by who is now the creator of Fizzy's Lunch Lab(the PBS 3 time Emmy nominated animated web series I voice) He heard me doing voices on set and thought I'd be a good fit to audition for his new project he's working on.

It was a happy accident that I came into impressions as a source of income.

TAF's: Awesome! You do one of the best Arnold impersonations we've ever heard. Why did you choose Arnold as someone to master and how long did it take you to do so?

It's funny. With any voice I attempt to master or try, MOST of them are by accident. Schwarzenegger came by accident from yelling one day with my buddies. They were like, "holy shit! That sounds just like Schwarzenegger!" So I started practicing more but the voice was too high pitched. Think "Pumping Iron Arnold" He was young and I wanted to study EVERY aspect of his voice. So I watched interviews and movies and learned there are 3 versions of him. The Pumping Iron Arnie...The late 80's to mid 90's Arnold. And politician Arnold. Each sound different.

As far as mastering it, I'm still not there. I constantly work on ALL the voices I do. I'm never satisfied with my work. I'm proud, but never satisfied.

TAFs: Who is your favorite celebrity to impersonate and why?

It's hard to choose one to be my favorite because I do so many. Each has their own fun quality. ANYTHING sounds hilarious as Schwarzenegger. But Michael J Fox is someone I love to do. My yell is very similar to his. You'll probably see me in public yelling, "DOC!" at random times. My wife REALLY loves it...(note the sarcasm).

TAFs: Have you ever done any of your impersonations for the celebrity that you're impersonating? If not, who would you most like to do one for?

Not face to face. Although Ice T and many other celebrities have tweeted me saying they thought my Ice T impression and Schwarzenegger impressions were great.

I'm not sure I'd want to do the impressions to their faces because I have that fear of sounding NOTHING like them in person. Arnold would roll his eyes I think because he's heard every crappy impression of him before I'm sure.

Michael J Fox is the reason I wanted to be an actor when I was a little kid, so if I had to pick one, it would be him.

TAFs: Where do you see your talent in voice impersonations going? Movies? TV? Audio books?

I would LOVE to be able to quit my 2 jobs and be a full time actor/ voice actor. That's my main goal in life. I've been chasing this dream for over 10 years. I've had small successes and tastes of the "big time". But every time I get close, something falls through.

Having a career like Josh Robert Thompson would be amazing. I definitely look up to him in this business. He is an absolute genius when it comes to voices and improv. His chemistry with Craig Ferguson on The Late Late Show is unlike anything on television. He's a guy who deserves his success. He works extremely hard and does things that HE wants to do. He's always in control of his art.

Working two jobs and pursing acting at the same time has taught me a lot. I don't want to be that cliche actor who struggles to pay rent and bills. Yes, I struggle to pay bills, but every other person out there has that, too. I have a great wife, house, friends and family. I think it'll be THAT much better when I do hit big success in my career because I earned it through hard work and determination.

I would love to do an action movie or a big Hollywood production someday. For now, I'll just continue working and chase my dreams. Acting is acting as far as I'm concerned. I don't have to be famous, just make enough money to do what I love and support my family.

TAFs: You know we have to ask: what are your top 3 favorite Arnold movies?

Terminator 2, True Lies, Last Action Hero.

TAFs: Excellent choices Joe! Thanks for your time!

And if you're interested in hearing more of Joe's amazing impersonations mentioned in the interview, you can follow him on Twitter using his name, @iamjoegaudet. Now enjoy the audio file that "Arnold" left for us!

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