The Mousekeeters are finally coming home for a grand reunion to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the show’s debut episode and the 90th birthday of Mickey Mouse himself. Featuring cast from all seven seasons of the Mickey Mouse Club, #MMC30 is organized and produced by alumni Dale Godboldo, who is behind the Always In The Club Foundation, and Chasen Hampton in support of Give Kids The World Village, and onePULSE Foundation. Hosted by Joey Fatone, the event is happening on May 18-19 at Walt Disney World® Resort in Orlando, FL.
I recently had the pleasure of sitting down for a series of interviews with some of the Mousekeeters who are going to be part of the event, one of whom is respected voiceover artist and actor, Marc Worden, who has voiced numerous iconic characters for Marvel, Warner Brothers, and Lionsgate, as well as for several video games.
Tell us the story of how you became a MMC member.
I was working in Toronto as an actor, as a kid. I began when I was nine years old and started working in theater and television and the animation there in Toronto and our casting director, Matt Casella, came into town when I was 12 and he held auditions there in Toronto. This was the first time he’d ever come to Canada and I was very lucky to be one of the chosen few to go down to Orlando for the audition camp. That was with Ilana Miller. And that was actually when I met Chasen [Hampton]. Chase was the only person still around during the audition camp because he had to do some summer school because he was goofing off a little bit too much. That was the beginning of our friendship.
What was one of the most important lessons that you got from that experience that helped you get to where you are today?
I’d say the biggest lesson is you can never stop learning. There’s always something more for you to discover or to help you grow as an artist and as an individual. And as soon as you think you’ve figured it out, someone else comes along and teaches you something. So I would say, always be aspiring for more. You know, you only have one time around this life, and this is an opportunity for you to explore as many avenues as you can in your time.
Tell us what you’re doing as an entrepreneur or business person today.
Well, our time on the Mouse Club was really five seasons of intensive training. So when I came out to Los Angeles, it was really just like picking up where we left off. It was like, “All right, what have you got? Throw it at me.” Of course, there’s been some training out here, as well, but that was really intense. I mean, we were, every single day, putting on a performance in front of a live audience. It’s a very rare opportunity for a performer to have that experience with colleagues that you admire and look up to and hosts that you admire and look up to. It’s an unmatched experience, honestly.
So are you still actively performing in the entertainment realm? What are you currently doing career wise?
Of late, my focus has been in voiceover with animation and video games and I still do some on-camera work every now and again, but that’s really been my focus. Other than that, I just sit around in my jacket, waiting to be allowed into the interview.
Having been the voice of some very iconic individuals, are you openly able to share some of your most prestigious voices that you’ve been able to contribute to the entertainment world?
Sure. I was very, uh, excited to be a part of the Marvel universe and play Tony Stark and Iron-Man for films for Lionsgate. And I’ve done Sinestro for Warner brothers for there video games, as well as their theme park in Abu Dhabi. Too many to mention, too. I don’t even remember them all though, to be honest. I’m not really a gamer. I just love to participate in them.
At the time that you became a Mickey Mouse Club member, had your vocal cords developed into what they are today, or were you selected before that happened and then it morphed and it was like this blessing that you didn’t anticipate, or can you clarify that timing?
When I was cast, I had not gone through the change and it actually went on hiatus for my first and second season. I joined in the beginning of the third season, so it was in the highest between the third and the fourth. I was taking the operatic training in Toronto and that really aided in the transitions There wasn’t a lot of the voice cracking that normally happens when you’re going through puberty at that time. It was at the Royal Conservatory of Music and Toronto. When I came back for the fourth season, I was actually really worried that Disney would say, “That’s it for you, Marc. This isn’t really going to work anymore.” So I was quite nervous, but after a while they actually thought it was cool and they began using me some more for voiceover work on the show itself. You know, Fred had the bulk of that work certainly, but that was really the beginning of the grooming of my voiceover career under his tutelage and as needed for the Mouse Club.
What would you say to an aspiring entrepreneur to become successful in today’s age of tech and media? Please share tips.
Well, as you were talking, it brought me back to another part of our training, which I didn’t really touch on. We did do PR training because of the fact that we were representatives of this global brand. And when you were a kid, you don’t really get it, but it was something that has groomed us along this path of the performer’s life to have a better understanding of how you can be a representative and still get your point—your individual point—across. I think you always have to know your audience and you have to be respectful of who you’re representing, even if it’s yourself.
Why is it important for you to participate in the MMC reunion event? Why would someone want to attend as a guest?
For me, the most exciting thing is being able to reconnect with some dear old friends and to make some new friends while we’re there. I mean, you’re reliving your childhood. My childhood was very unique in that I was able to do what I love to do for eight or nine months out of every year, no matter what and do it with some people that became like my brothers and sisters in that experience. So to be able to go revisit those moments with those dear friends and see some people that I haven’t seen in almost 30 years, it’s pretty exciting. And to share with my kids, to be able to bring them to Orlando for the first time and show them where their mom grew up and where dad did his thing—it’s going to be pretty exciting. And I hope to get the opportunity to say thank you to the fans that want this to happen. And know that Chase and Dale [Godboldo] put an awful lot of work into pulling this together, but if it weren’t for the interest of the fans, they would have nothing to do.