Interviews: Colin Murdock (1/99)
Colin Murdock is the voice actor who portrayed the crazy character of Quickstrike on "Beast Wars Transformers". BWTF was fortunate to interview this talented actor in early 1999.
1. Please tell us a bit about your background.
In the 70's I worked for the Parks commission while I attended university. The work could be tedious so my co workers and I would listen to the radio. I began imitating the people on the radio and one day a co worker told me he thought I should be on the radio. I did a demo tape at a radio station and my frist job was announcing the news for local events, council decisions etc. Next thing I knew, people heard me doing different voices and I went on to do commercials.
2. What training did you undergo to become an actor?
I took some acting courses, but overall I sort of "fell into it" through self teaching and constantly acting.
3. What type of education would you recommend for someone to become involved in if they wish to pursue acting as a career?
If you are serious about acting, acting training is recommended. However, I believe acting is a gift. It cannot be learned, but it can be developed. Real life experience is also important. Acting is just observing and stealing things that you see. Many actors take people they know and turn them into characters.
4. What roles have you done in the past?
Darkstalkers, G.I. Joe Extreme, Vor Tech and Robocop are all series I have been involved in. I have also directed several documentaries. In 1990/91 I directed "Arctic Warriors", a documentary about F-18 fighters operating in cold temperatures in the Northwest territories. I also directed a documentary on Rick Hanson, a wheelchair athlete in the late 80's who visited many locales such as the Great Wall of China.
5. In your opinion, is voice acting more difficult than live acting?
I believe it is easier in many ways because it doesn't involve having to think about your body movements. There's only one real element to concentrate on. However, the exertion is greater since you're focusing all your concentration on the character's voice.
6. After two years of voicing Quickstrike, how do you feel about the character?
He's a lot of fun actually. All of the characters on this show have a funny "edge" to them. Quickstrike is fun because he has this false bravado but gets blasted all the time, much like Waspinator.
7. How did you come up with Quickstrike's voice?
The writers already had a pretty good idea of what they wanted. Being a Fuzor who's primarily a scorpion, the writers wanted that desert dweller/cowboy type character.
8. Do you own the Quickstrike toy? What do you think of it?
I have a Quickstrike toy and my sons have about seven or so of the Beast Wars toys too. I think the toy is neat and it even has a neat squirting action! My sons get bragging rights whenever we go to a toy store. They'll tell other kids to get Quickstrike because he's "the best" and they'll tell other kids that I do Quickstrike's voice. Of course, even with a dead on Quickstrike voice, the kids find it hard to believe. After all, Quickstrike doesn't go to Wal-mart to shop!
9. How is it working with an ensemble cast such as that on Beast Wars Transformers?
It's fabulous. I look forward to those days. Normally, if you're with average people and you're doing all these accents, they don't understand. But when I'm at the studio with the actors, it's like being with others who do understand. The energy in the studio is very intense.
Our director Sue Blu is definately the cream of the crop. She's positive, upbeat and brings the best out of people.
10. Are you amazed at all by the fan reaction to Transformers?
Yeah, I am. Ace, the producer on Beast Wars once mentioned to me that the Beast Wars Transformers take up about 20% (or something like that) of the world market share in toys! It's interesting to be part of that marketing engine. I also think that a certain quality must exist to have that type of longevity and following.