Creating Characters

Wow! I didn’t realize so much time has passed since I last posted in December!  Well, here I am with an update on the last 3 months.  There have been many changes in my life in the last few months and, at times, it’s been a struggle to keep up.  I’m the first to admit that I don’t deal with change gracefully, which is at odds with the fact that I’m very adaptable.  I think it just takes time for me to make the adjustment.

In November and December, the major change I was dealing with was the purchase of our new house and the move into it.  Oh, and the holidays, of course.  Right, and the tanking economy.  Well, the move was actually pretty smooth (thank you, Kage!) and my AEH and I had a great time painting and making the space an expression of ourselves.  We also worked furiously to get the place presentable in time to host the family for Christmas dinner.  It was worth all the work — dinner with the family was an amazing gift!  As for the economy, well, I guess we’ll have to see how it plays out.  I’m definitely concerned that it will impact my VO career and the number of available jobs out there, but it’s not going to stop me from pursuing my dream.  In fact, I’m more inspired than ever to make my VO career a success!

To help me focus and achieve my goals, I’ve been meeting with Amanda Gerrie of Pathways Career Consulting.  I first met with Amanda in July 2008, and she’s been such a strong figure of support, encouragement, and guidance.  Amanda encouraged me to talk to my talent agent to help me define some of the steps I would need to achieve my long-term goals.  After getting that crucial input from my agent, Amanda and I created an action plan to take me through the next year.  If you are thinking about changing careers or need some guidance in your current career path, I highly recommend Amanda Gerrie.

One of the steps my agent recommended was taking a few classes to develop character voices.  I’m very strong with commercial work and narration; I don’t have as much experience with character work.  I’ve worked with Elaine Clark and last September, I took a character class taught by Terry McGovern at her school Voice One.  In early February, I was working with Elaine again and I asked her which classes she would recommend.  As it turned out, there were a few classes coming up in the following weeks that would help me out.  3 of my last 4 weekends have been spent in class at Voice One.  I started out with Articulatory Flexibility and Dialects.  The following weekend was a second character class taught by both Terry and Elaine.  Then, just this past weekend, I took another character class taught by Bob Bergen, the voice of Porky Pig!

Bob brought in scripts from different projects he had auditioned for or worked on over the years.  One of them was Defenders of the Earth, an animated television series from the mid-80s.  In class I played Jedda Walker, daughter of The Phantom.  Here’s the intro to the cartoon:

I have grown so much in the past few weeks.  I can’t say enough good things about Voice One and the stellar instructors Elaine makes available to her students.  Bob Bergen in particular is an amazing teacher.  He brought out incredible performances from each student in the room and taught us so many aspects to creating characters.  Now my brain feels like it’s overflowing with all the information I learned.  I don’t plan on taking another character class until May, but I’ll be working as often as I can until then, practicing and developing what I’ve learned so far.

There’s more to say, but I’ll save it for another post.  Soon, I promise.  Thank you so much for your continued support.  I’m going to continue needing it, especially in the coming months as I pursue my VO career even harder.

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