Tomell: How freeing is it to rely on your disembodied voice as opposed to being a regular actor?
Paulsen: It's lovely. I'm hired for things with my voice I 'd never be considered for on camera.
Tomell: You've fought back from a health scare that targeted your specific skill set.
Paulsen: I'm a very fortunate fellow. Not only to have done what I do and continue to do every day, [but] to get through … throat cancer … and do what I'm doing now – perform. And the fact I can speak is a minor miracle [and perform] at the same level I did it before.
Tomell: Have you been surprised by the affection people hold for your characters?
Paulsen: The beautiful thing … is to travel around the world and meet [people] and their children who have been affected … by these characters. It's stunning and amazing that the characters have such a beautiful effect on people, and often I found that the people to whom they have the most profound effect are on the autism spectrum. I am so grateful for that opportunity – to be able to witness that.
Tomell: What has helped you bring such passion to your job?
Paulsen: I have never lost my ability to be amazed or be enchanted or surprised. One of the great things about [having] been around long enough, I understand it's the characters who are famous. But once people find out what I do, all it does is make [them] smile. I don't write the [cartoon's script], and I don't draw them, [but] I get the glory and I'm happy to take it.
If you go
WHAT: “Animaniacs in Concert!”
WHEN: 3 and 7:30 p.m. Oct. 21
WHERE: Arcada Family Theatre at Pheasant Run Resort, 4051 E. Main St., St. Charles
INFO: 630-962-7000, firstname.lastname@example.org, arcadalive.com; details on the Talkin’ Toons podcast at robpaulsenlive.com
VIEW VIDEO: shawurl.com/360t