#glass4good: Meet Barry, Townsend, Cam and Rob

In life, you’ll meet characters. Tons of ’em. Yesterday I met four guys, legends if you will, who do some pretty amazing things for a living… and you know them too! First, we set the scene. Marker, camera speed… ACTION!

Of the many things I do in a given day, I work for a blog called Central Florida Top 5 where I help provide multimedia and social media coverage of events and more. This weekend we were invited to stay at Nickelodeon Suites Resort to experience their Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Retro Weekend, part of their #SummerOfShell celebration. We are incredibly privileged to be invited to attend great events like this, and do so several times a week. This weekend, admittedly, our Editor Ken Storey and I were only slightly excited. (Are you KIDDING?! We giggled like preschoolers and totally reverted back to our much younger selves!) Our experience was SO much fun, even as an adult, I didn’t want to leave the hotel! You’ll get to read more about our wonderful experience very soon on Central Florida Top 5 and hear about it even sooner on Orlando Tourism Report‘s latest podcast! Cut, print, moving on to…

I had the privilege of speaking with some especially rad dudes; Barry Gordon, Townsend Coleman, Cam Clarke and Rob Paulsen the voices behind the original animated cast of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon (among many other characters). During a press Q&A, someone asked “Are there any lesser known perks to being one of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?” This started a discussion that really resonated with me regarding giving back. It’s a curious thing how a single smell or sound can take one back to a happy memory. When the guys started doing the Turtle voices, I was immediately transported back to random memories from my childhood; dancing in my living room to the TMNT theme song, reading tons for Pizza Hut’s Book-It program just so I could get a certificate and our class could get a free pizza party, tracking down Turtles kids meal toys with my mom, with purchase VHS tapes of episodes… just a flood of moments I thought I had forgotten! All this from four voices who happened to be standing right in front of me! My 10 year old self (and now my 30 something year old self) were both doing internal backflips!!

If all these memories came alive for me, imagine what they can do for an ill child. The flipside to that coin is equally as fulfilling, if not more so. Townsend Coleman (voice of Michaelangelo) says, “As the show has grown, we’ve gotten to find out how much it’s meant to people when they were growing up, and the lessons that they would take away from many of the stories of the Ninja Turtles. We had no idea when we were recording the show. It’s amazing and humbling to see.” Rob Paulsen (Raphael in the original cartoon and Donatello in the latest) agrees, “It’s an incredible honor to be able to, not only to work on something that achieves iconic status, but all of us have had the really good fortune of spending time with families and children. Whether it’s in person or on the phone in some pretty diabolical circumstances in which they open their hearts to you and they sort of allow you in to share what can be a very difficult circumstance. The Turtles, through us, end up making those kids smile and the parents often more than the kids.” Barry and Cam share a couple of really beautiful stories below…

It was an incredible honor to meet these guys (and the Turtles)! Huge, special cowabunga thanks to Barry, Townsend, Cam and Rob for taking time out to share these moments, also to Beth and the team at Nick Hotel for making it happen! Shout out Michelle and Miki at Cowabunga Corner, just ’cause. That’s a WRAP! (Ninja… ninja.. RAP!)