Spoiler note: mild spoilers if you’re not through ep 25 of Night Vale. otherwise, totally safe to read.
tl;dr - we’re changing the voice actor playing Carlos, (but not the character of Carlos!) because we think it’s the right thing to do.
Hey Night Vale… So Joseph and I regularly hear some variation of “who’s the voice of Carlos [in Welcome to Night Vale],” and our response has always been “Carlos is the voice of Carlos.”
And in episode 16 (the only appearance of that character’s voice on the podcast) you hear Carlos speak. Or rather you hear me speak, uncredited, as the voice of Carlos. That’s not that big a shock. Most fans figure it out the moment they meet me and listen to my voice. “Oh, you’re Carlos, right? I totally hear it.”
Here’s the deal. I’m not an actor. I like performing. I like speaking. I like speaking my own words, as I did in ep 16. I like the character Carlos. I don’t like performing as Carlos.
"But… but wait. It SUCKS when they change the actor who plays a favorite character. It really sucks. I don’t want a different voice. Don’t change voices! Don’t do it!"
Well, first, thank you, imaginary, impassioned fan I just made up. But here’s what sucks more than writers/creators changing an actor.
It sucks that there’s a white straight male (me), playing a gay man of color (Carlos). Look, I know it’s a voiceover, but it’s not just that. We do live stage shows, and that’s a visible role for a PoC. Plus, fans often google the actors who play each character, and what does a Latino/Latina teen think when my face might pop up (or worse, no image pops up) as the actor playing Carlos? What am I doing voicing this major character when there are so many talented, gay, Latino or Hispanic men who can/should be doing it? Why didn’t I think of all of this before ep 16? I don’t know.
But here I am: standing in the way of a actor of color getting paid acting work, and I don’t want to do that since I am neither a PoC nor an actor.
"So will you cast a new Carlos and then erase your voice from episode 16?"
Yes and no. We have cast a new Carlos. He’s an exceptionally talented man as well as a dear friend. You’ll meet him soon enough. We’re going to leave ep 16 as is, because that’s what we made. But going forward (starting with the episode of “Condos” we’re recording this Wed (Dec 18) at the Bell House), there will be a new voice of Cecil’s scientist boyfriend.
We’ll address the voice change in the script, too, but here I am telling Tumblr/Twitter now, because you guys have been so supportive and understanding of what we do, and I wanted to give you a heads up (no surprises). That’s all. Hope you love the new cast member, even though Carlos remains the same. (The recording will be made available in early 2014 - exact date TBD).
epilogue: ultimately, this show is 99% Cecil’s voice, and it will continue to be so. (So this announcement is not suggesting a bunch of Carlos appearances on the podcast, but it at least opens up that possibility).
as always, y’all are awesome. thanks.