Guest Post!!~ Cons and Con Artists

29 Sep

A new pair of guest posters joins NerdLush today with a review and commentary from the recent Con Artists movie premiere. Amelia Arender with words, Jacqueline Sherrard with pictures-

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Signed poster

Signed poster

This week I entered the world of the voice actor at the Con Artists premiere at the Downtown Independent, LA.  The film is a mockumentary about “the madness of the convention circuit as seen through the eyes of two voice actors, who live in a sort of bubble of fame.” (Yuri Lowenthal)  You might know Yuri – one of the writers and stars of Con Artists – by his face (Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles, Shelf Life), but you would most certainly know him by his voice (Ben 10, Naruto, Afro Samurai).  He is not the only recognizable creator/writer behind Con Artists; but also his lovely wife, Tara Platt (Naruto, Shelf Life, Ben 10). The film follows their career as actors/voice actors, as well as the fame and fortune at the wonderful world of conventions – a.k.a. Cons( for my non convention going readers.)

“When they enter the floor of the cons, it’s as if they were Elvis; but when they leave and return home, they’re just sort of a regular person.” (Yuri Lowenthal)  Who wouldn’t want to feel like Elvis or some sort of god/goddess entering an arena??  It is the one place that voice actors can feel the rush and excitement of celebrity.  However, fame comes at a price, as we see in the film when Yuri and Tara’s relationship is strained – not only with each other, but their friends and family.  This adds to the mockumentary side of the film and the melodrama that unfolds is quite hilarious.  In all honesty, it is a very true representation of some convention guests/artists; but somehow Tara and Yuri never seem to have been as dramatically affected by fame as their alter ego film versions.  They are such humble and passionate people.

Yuri, Tara, and Boris... rock stars!

Yuri, Tara, and Boris… rock stars!

The director, Boris Kievsky – a long time friend of the couple – birthed the idea.  “It was when Boris told us the title, Con Artists, and we knew that was it! If there was a moment when this project began, that’s it!” (Yuri Lowenthal)  Boris followed his fellow New York theatre friends to Los Angeles in order to learn of their success with voice acting.  His exploration, throughout the film, into their careers and convention experiences is very hands on; which ultimately leads to his interest in voice acting.  I thoroughly enjoyed that the film was sort of guided in chapters by Boris himself, because it aided in the style.

A common question I received from the creators after the screening: did I think the film would carry over well with a wider audience – beyond the inner circles of the convention/voice acting world?  Answer: Yes!  In today’s world, conventions have become more and more mainstream due to bigger studio films/productions showcasing with massive followings.  It’s like when a Batman fan boy/girl finds every reference in The Dark Knight Trilogy that a normal movie goer wouldn’t, but that average movie goer still loves the film. The challenge now is to do everything they can to release their 4-5 year project to the world.  So let’s spread the word and show the voice acting community that they are supported in front of the camera as well!  After all, “You wanna make money? You make money!” as said by Boris’ father in the film – a favorite line of the cast.  It is a usual reaction to the life of any artist. Let’s spread the word so the wonderful cast and crew can share their voice beyond the microphone.

Steve Blum

Steve Blum

Although funny and alternate reality based, it is also a very true documentation of the fans.  “We never want to mock the fans.” (Yuri Lowenthal)  He himself was a “HUGE Nerd” (Yuri Lowenthal) and even had a fan story with Chow Yun-Fat. Yuri waited in line for an autograph and decided to hand Mr.Yun-Fat his own headshot to, “switch it up a bit.”  After Yuri explained he was an “actor and would love to work with him one day,” Mr. Yun-Fat shook his hand, and said, he looked forward to it. In that moment, those words meant the world to Yuri.  Fans can come up with some crazy things at cons.  Voice actor Steve Blum (Cowboy Bebop, Wolf’s Rain) shared about “pleasure toys” of the male and female variety which he has signed before. I suppose fans can truly share all their “secret pleasures” (Tara Platt) at cons. No matter what lengths they go to, artists and fans alike, it is clear there is a “universal excitement” (Tara Platt) about the convention community/life. A community of fans is truly a “beautiful thing” (Yuri Lowenthal) – and I am definitely a fan of Con Artists and look forward to their next feature!

Amelia & Jacqueline representing NerdLush on the Red Carpet with Tara and Yuri!

Amelia & Jacqueline representing NerdLush on the Red Carpet with Tara and Yuri!

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4 Responses to “Guest Post!!~ Cons and Con Artists”

  1. Janet Arender September 30, 2013 at 8:19 am #

    Awesome, I really enjoyed reading about the Cons and Con Artists. Its amazing talking about the real voice actors. Keep up the great work!!!!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Nerdlush Review - "Cons and Con Artists" - With pictures! | Con Artists — The Movie - October 6, 2013

    […] we didn’t have time to study for. Luckily, we made the movie, so we knew most of the answers. Hop on over to Nerdlush to read their review and let us know if we got it […]

  2. Highlights of 2013, a NerdLush year in review | NerdLush - January 13, 2014

    […] later in the year), which led to growth in the relationship- got to help on a short film! We even reviewed their mockumentary, Con Artists. Additionally, we were able to help out the lovely Kirsten Vangsness, which has led to […]

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    […] well to the convention meeting the interest of the attendees. For us, we were interested in the Con Artists panel with Tara and Yuri (we have video, coming soon). Which went above and beyond and allowed […]

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