BWW Interview: Megan Hilty Talks Voicing a Character on T.O.T.S. and Starring in PATSY AND LORETTA
Megan Hilty is voicing K.C., a fun-loving and free-spirited koala, in the new Disney Junior animated series, "T.O.T.S." which chronicles the hilarious adventures of best friends Pip and Freddy, a tenacious penguin and a kind-hearted flamingo, who are the only non-stork delivery birds in-training at Tiny Ones Transport Service (T.O.T.S.).
The series was created by Travis Braun and Rob Cantor serves as the series' songwriter and composer. A soundtrack from Walt Disney Records, featuring 14 original songs, debuted on all streaming and digital platforms Friday, June 14.
Hilty took the time to talk with BroadwayWorld about T.O.T.S. and her upcoming Lifetime film, Patsy and Loretta!
How did you get involved with T.O.T.S.?
I auditioned! Just like everybody else! And it's a super competitive world, the animation voiceover world. So I was thrilled--beyond thrilled--when I got this job.
That's awesome. I didn't realize how competitive it was.
Oh, yeah. Very different--I mean, the Broadway world is competitive. It's just a much smaller, smaller, community in the voiceover world, with a lot of people. I mean, it's a great job and everybody wants it.
The show is geared toward 2 to 7 year olds, so that must be perfect for your children.
Oh yeah. They've both seen it and they're both obsessed. Particularly my daughter.
It must make it even more special to be able to make something that your kids can watch right now.
Absolutely. And my daughter just now became aware of how I'm involved in it, that it is my voice. She understands that now. So it's very, very cool to her. I'm very proud to be a part of something that's teaching my children and everybody else's children these very, very important lessons of teamwork. And celebrating our differences. And being exposed to this great music that Rob Cantor has written for every single episode. It's just really awesome to be a part of.
That's what makes these shows so important, they aren't just entertaining for children, but they're also incredibly educational..
Kids are like little tiny sponges, and they learn so much by example. So what we show them, in life and on TV, is very, very important. So I'm very proud and very, very comfortable having my children watch this show in particular.
Are there any digital effects added to create the voice for your character, K.C.?
There are no digital effects. It's just me. And it's just kind of a combination of my take on the character, what I presented in my audition, and collaborating with the director, and the whole creative team, really, on what she sounds like, and what her tone is, literally, within the team of the show. The cast of the show, I guess.
It must be so fun to get to create a character with just your voice.
Oh, absolutely! And I do other voices within the show, like I play other storks, other mothers of the babies that the babies are delivered to. I'm constantly getting to make up voices for new characters as well. I can't tell you how exciting this job is.
I know that with voice over work a lot of times you're working alone, but have you ever gotten the chance to work with any of the other stars? I know that Vanessa Williams is on the show as well. Do you have any opportunity to collaborate at all, or is it always solo?
That's kind of one of the really cool things about voice over and animation, is you can work with all of these amazing people but never, ever be in the same room with them. I have, in the past, worked on other shows where you have the whole cast in, and it's really, really fun. And there was one day on T.O.T.S that they brought three other actors. So it was me and three other voice actors, and we all got to do all of these scenes together. And all of them are major, major, very big in the voice over world. If I gave you their credits it would literally--it would be in the thousands. They're icons to me. And to be in the same room with them, and playing around with them, was delightful. And I'm hoping--we have a second season, so I'm hoping we get to do more of that in the second season. I can imagine that the performances you get out of people when you have them together in a group just adds to it. It's great when you're by yourself, too, because you're not really by yourself. You have a team of people in a booth you're working with. But, man, when you have those other actors in the room, there's some magic.
You mentioned before that you get to work with Rob Cantor. So does that mean that you'll get to be singing on the show?
I sing a lot on the show! I don't sing in the first two episodes, which my daughter was very disappointed about, but I sing a LOT throughout the course of the season, and all of the songs are--not only are they adorable, but their writing is genius. They all--you would never guess that one person wrote all of these songs, because they're all so unique. They all have very different sounds--different genres, even, depending on what story we're telling. And I'm just so excited for Rob, I'm so excited for everybody to hear these songs because they're just so special.
I do want to ask for a moment about the Lifetime film Patsy and Loretta with Jessie Mueller, because that is something that we're all really excited about.
Oh my god. You're not ready for this. You're not. First of all, my voice is very different in that film.
Was this your first time singing strictly country?
I mean, I've played Doralee in 9 to 5, so that was kind of country. In voice over a lot, and in television, people kind of think that I'm from the south for some reason. Someone told me that I actually speak with a slight southern accent, so maybe I'm just a crazy person. I'm from Seattle. I should not have a southern accent in my normal speaking life. But people assume I'm from the south all the time, and that runs true in casting a lot, too. So I don't know what that's about, but I'll go with it.
You must be excited for it to come out and for people to see this story on the screen.
We got together for a promotional thing on Friday, and they shared with us the trailer for it, and I was completely blown away. First of all, neither of us look anything like ourselves. Like, you're not gonna believe it when you see it. And it just looks amazing. I'm so excited--this year has been so amazing, to have T.O.T.S and Patsy and Loretta in the same year is like. I'm just counting my lucky stars.
I know that you were in Little Shop at the end of the last year. Do you have any plans as of right now to head back to Broadway?
Not as of now. I was telling somebody earlier that I'd love to do something onstage again. It would just have to be something real, real, real, real special. So next time I do something onstage, know that I really, really, really wanna be there.