VAMFR 027 | Interview with Erica Mendez, Part 1

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VAMFR 027 | Interview with Erica Mendez, Part 1

Welcome to episode 27 of the Voice Acting Mastery: Field Report podcast!

You can listen to the podcast using the player above, or download the mp3 using the link at the bottom of this blog post. The podcast is also available via the iTunes Store online. Just follow this link to view the podcast in iTunes:

http://www.vamfieldreport.com/podcast

This episode is the first part of Tom Bauer’s interview with his good friend and rising talent in the voice over industry, Erica Mendez.

Erica has made amazing strides in the last few years of her career, namely in the realms of video game and anime voice over. She is probably most famous for her voice acting work as Gon Freecs in the 2011 anime series adaptation of Hunter X Hunter. She’s also voiced characters like Sailor Uranus in the Viz Media English dub of Sailor Moon and Ryuko Matoi in the popular Kill la Kill anime television series. Most recently, Erica has also started work as an ADR script writer for the Netflix original anime series, Fate/Apocrypha.

Tom first met Erica in a voice over class studying under Richard Horvitz back in March of 2013. It’s been a great honor for him getting to know her as a friend and performing alongside her as an actor in a number of anime titles.

In this first episode, we focus on how Erica made the courageous decision to move from her hometown of Chicago to Los Angeles to pursue her creative endeavors. We discuss how her love of cartoons and video games initially inspired her to become a professional animator. While she assumed she would be trying to find work as an animator once she moved to LA, her previous experience performing in online audio dramas meant that she was also open to pursuing voice acting. Once she arrived in Los Angeles, a number of fortunate circumstances lined up to give her the opportunity to audition for voice acting jobs!

The VAM Field Report will be released on the 1st Wednesday of every month so stay on the look out for it!

Download VAM Field Report Episode #27 Here (MP3)

 

VAM 131 | Interview with Eliza Jane Schneider, Part 1

VAM 131 | Interview with Eliza Jane Schneider, Part 1

Welcome to episode 131 of the Voice Acting Mastery podcast with yours truly, Crispin Freeman!

As always, you can listen to the podcast using the player above, or download the mp3 using the link at the bottom of this blog post. The podcast is also available via the iTunes Store online. Just follow this link to view the podcast in iTunes:

http://www.voiceactingmastery.com/podcast

Welcome to first part of my interview with voice actor and dialect expert, Eliza Jane Schneider! You may remember in my previous interview with Zach Hanks how he mentioned how much he appreciated Eliza’s comprehensive dialect classes. Based on Zach’s comments, I thought it would be apropos to have Eliza on the podcast to speak with us! Eliza has an amazingly long and diverse acting career. She started very young as an actress in both school and community theaters. She parlayed her theatrical experience into on-camera acting jobs in college and eventually into voice acting. She’s probably most famous for portraying almost all of the female characters on the animated series South Park in the years between 1999 and 2003. More recently she’s the voice of Agent Rama in the Agents of Mayhem video game, she’s played numerous characters in the animated series Sanjay and Craig, and she’s also in the animated series Breadwinners playing the Tooth Fairy. In addition, Eliza and I have also been in a number of projects together including Diablo III where I played the Male Wizard and she played the Female Necromancer, and also the Pirates of the Caribbean video games where I voice match Orlando Bloom to play Will Turner while she voice matches Keira Knightly to play Elizabeth Swann.

In addition to her many acting accomplishments, Eliza is incredibly dedicated to the study and mastery of English language dialects. While she was still in college, she bought an ambulance and travelled around the country recording people speaking in their native accents. She’s turned many of these interviews into one-woman theater performances where she reenacts her interview subjects on stage. She also studied with Robert Easton, a master of dialects who was once dubbed the Henry Higgins of Hollywood for his ability to train actors. Eliza has taken everything she’s learned from Robert and created her own unique approach to dialects and accents. I’m very happy to have her on the podcast to share her insight and expertise with all my listeners!

In this first episode, we explore how Eliza broke into the entertainment industry. We discuss her desire to be an actress from a very young age and how her experiences in the theater helped shape her approach to acting. It’s amazing how resourceful and ambitious she was in her efforts to tell stories and perform. I think my listeners can learn a lot about tenacity from hearing Eliza’s story!

If you would like to learn more about Eliza’s dialect training, please visit her website at:

www.DialectMasterClass.com

 

Download Voice Acting Mastery Episode #131 Here (MP3)

 

VAMFR 026 | Maintaining Good Psychological Health as a Voice Actor, Part 3

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VAMFR 026 | Maintaining Good Psychological Health as a Voice Actor, Part 3

Welcome to episode 26 of the Voice Acting Mastery: Field Report podcast!

You can listen to the podcast using the player above, or download the mp3 using the link at the bottom of this blog post. The podcast is also available via the iTunes Store online. Just follow this link to view the podcast in iTunes:

http://www.vamfieldreport.com/podcast

Welcome to the third and final part of a special report on maintaining good psychological health as a voice actor by our special correspondent, Maureen Price!

For those of you who have already checked out parts one and two, you’ll remember that in part one, Maureen explored how to deal with rejection in healthy and productive ways. Her guests shared their approaches to grappling with one of the most inevitable and universal experiences of being a voice actor and she’s so grateful to each of them for their honesty and vulnerability in addressing that subject. In part two, Maureen discussed ways to overcome self-doubt while in the booth as well as how to build more confidence as an actor. Her guests shared their personal anecdotes from sessions and auditions and how they find solutions to common self-doubt pitfalls. It was one of her favorite episodes so we hope you’ll check it out.

In this episode, Maureen will be discussing the best way to approach directing yourself when you’re alone in the booth and you don’t have a casting director, voice director or producer to give you feedback on your performance. Like dealing with rejection, learning how to direct yourself for auditions is one of the most common experiences we have as voice actors. It can cause a lot of emotional stress, especially when you’re all alone in the booth trying to figure out whether your performance is professionally competitive or not! In the face of this daunting and isolating experience, Maureen thought it would be helpful to get as much advice as possible from her guests and see how they approach the challenge of directing themselves.

Ideally, we shouldn’t have to self-direct at all. For many acting teachers, self-direction is a bad word! They believe, quite understandably, that an actor’s job is to play pretend as fully as they can with as little self-consciousness as possible. Trying to direct one’s own acting means that your attention is divided and that there is a part of your brain that is critiquing your performance as you try to create it. Having such a split focus can lead to stiff and mannered acting.

In a perfect world, every actor auditioning for a part would be able to audition in person for the production staff and get real time feedback from them about what they are looking for. That way the actor can focus single-mindedly on playing pretend and allow the directors in the room to do the critiquing.

Unfortunately, when there are hundreds of actors auditioning for each role in a project, it’s not feasible for the production staff to be available for every person who wants to audition. Instead producers send audition materials to agents and casting directors who distribute them to voice actors. Each actor must then take the time to analyze those audition sides, record themselves, and submit their recordings to the production staff for review. Since the majority of auditions are recorded from our home studios, developing solid techniques and approaches to directing ourselves is a necessary evil. It’s a daily challenge and Maureen is always fascinated to hear how other voice actors tackle it without getting in their heads, overthinking everything, and ending up frustrated and drained.

Maureen is very fortunate to have her four wonderful guests from the previous episode back to dive into these tricky topics with her. They’ll be sharing personal anecdotes from the booth as well as their approaches to dealing with self-doubt and that nagging internal critic. First up, she sat down with Keith Silverstein, an industry veteran whose work includes Torbjörn in Overwatch, Hisoka in HunterxHunter, and Hawk Moth in Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir amongst many, many more. She then spoke with Laura Post, voice actor and now voice director for the anime series Little Witch Academia. Laura’s voice acting work includes Big Barda in Justice League Action, Ragyō in Kill la Kill, Ahri in League of Legends, and Nozomi Tojo in Love Live! School Idol Project. Maureen also spoke with Ray Chase. Ray voices Prince Noctis in Final Fantasy XV, Master of Masters in Kingdom Hearts 2.8 and Puri-puri Prisoner in One Punch Man. Finally, she sat down with Valerie Arem. Valerie is a voice actor, voice director, and educator. Her directing work includes Persona 4 and Persona 5. She voices Francine in The Walking Dead video game, Naoto Shirogane in Persona 4, and Kyra Mosley in Call of Duty: Ghosts. Valerie and her husband Keith Arem run PCB Productions, a studio in Los Angeles specializing in video game recording. They also teach workshops that focus on voice acting for a variety of video game genres. Maureen was especially interested to talk to Valerie given her wealth of experience as an actor, director, casting director, and educator.

The VAM Field Report will be released on the 1st Wednesday of every month so stay on the look out for it!

Download VAM Field Report Episode #26 Here (MP3)

 

VAM 130 | Interview with Zach Hanks, Part 3

VAM 130 | Interview with Zach Hanks, Part 3

Welcome to episode 130 of the Voice Acting Mastery podcast with yours truly, Crispin Freeman!

As always, you can listen to the podcast using the player above, or download the mp3 using the link at the bottom of this blog post. The podcast is also available via the iTunes Store online. Just follow this link to view the podcast in iTunes:

http://www.voiceactingmastery.com/podcast

Welcome to the third and final part of my interview with voice actor, director and teacher, Zach Hanks! You may be familiar with his performances as Garnac in the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Morgan and Custis Pendleton in the video game Dishonored and Lars Halford in the game Brutal Legend.

Not only is Zach a voice actor, but he’s also worked as both a voice director and casting director on multiple video game projects. In addition, Zach has taught voice acting as a professor at the Stephen F. Austin State University in Eastern Texas. He currently resides in Atlanta where he is continuing to pursue his own voice over career in addition to founding the Voice Over Career Launch Pad, a service that helps voice over artists learn the skills they need to become business-savvy professionals in the industry.

In the previous episode, we explored major turning points in Zach’s varied career and the very practical lessons he learned from each of them. As we conclude our time together, Zach and I discuss his experience as a college professor and the most common mistakes that students tended to make in his acting classes. The time Zach spent working with those students helped him shape his current education program, the Voice Over Career Launch Pad. Zach observed that around the country there were many fine voice performance classes taught by very reputable teachers. Where he saw a lack of education was for voice actors who wanted to develop the technical and business skills that they needed to be competent and reliable in the voice over marketplace. Zach’s experiences as an actor, director, and professor give him a unique understanding of what it takes to help people get their voice over careers up and running as quickly as possible. But I’ll let Zach tell you more about all of those topics himself.

Zach’s Facebook Group: Voice Over Career Launch Pad
Zach’s Auto-Scheduler: Schedule an Online Meeting with Zach Hanks

 

Download Voice Acting Mastery Episode #130 Here (MP3)

 

VAMFR 025 | Maintaining Good Psychological Health as a Voice Actor, Part 2

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VAMFR 025 | Maintaining Good Psychological Health as a Voice Actor, Part 2

Welcome to episode 25 of the Voice Acting Mastery: Field Report podcast!

You can listen to the podcast using the player above, or download the mp3 using the link at the bottom of this blog post. The podcast is also available via the iTunes Store online. Just follow this link to view the podcast in iTunes:

http://www.vamfieldreport.com/podcast

Welcome to the second part of a special report on maintaining good psychological health as a voice actor by our special correspondent, Maureen Price!

For those of you who have already checked out part one, you’ll remember that Maureen explored how to deal with rejection in healthy and productive ways. Her guests shared their approaches for grappling with one of the most inevitable and universal experiences of being a voice actor and she’s so grateful to each of them for their honesty and vulnerability in addressing that subject.

In this episode, Maureen will be discussing how to overcome self-doubt and build more confidence. One useful strategy for achieving this goal is to develop healthy tactics for dealing with one’s internal critic: that nagging voice in our head that wants to belittle our accomplishments and dismiss our feelings. Managing one’s internal critic is a challenge that we all face as actors. If you’ve ever experienced that little gremlin of self-doubt creeping onto you shoulder while you’re working and felt yourself spiraling out of control into anxiety and fear then this episode is for you. Or if you’ve simply felt like you weren’t “enough” or that you don’t deserve to be where you are, well, we’ll explore that too. While self-doubt and issues with confidence are universal experiences, Maureen feels that they can be especially pernicious for voice actors as we frequently find ourselves alone in a recording booth with plenty of time and space to get stuck in our heads. Being in a booth means that we’re separated from the director, producer, and/or clients by a huge pane of glass. Through that glass we can see them talking about us and our work, even if we can’t hear them. If they neglect to turn on their talkback microphone, we have to stand there in the booth waiting in silence, unsure of what they are saying. Such a situation can be nerve-wracking, especially if we’re feeling less than stellar about ourselves or our performance.

Maureen is very fortunate to have her four wonderful guests from the previous episode back to dive into these tricky topics with her. They’ll be sharing personal anecdotes from the booth as well as their approaches to dealing with self-doubt and that nagging internal critic. First up, she sat down with Keith Silverstein, an industry veteran whose work includes Torbjörn in Overwatch, Hisoka in HunterxHunter, and Hawk Moth in Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir amongst many, many more. She then spoke with Laura Post, voice actor and now voice director for the anime series Little Witch Academia. Laura’s voice acting work includes Big Barda in Justice League Action, Ragyō in Kill la Kill, Ahri in League of Legends, and Nozomi Tojo in Love Live! School Idol Project. Maureen also spoke with Ray Chase. Ray voices Prince Noctis in Final Fantasy XV, Master of Masters in Kingdom Hearts 2.8 and Puri-puri Prisoner in One Punch Man. Finally, she sat down with Valerie Arem. Valerie is a voice actor, voice director, and educator. Her directing work includes Persona 4 and Persona 5. She voices Francine in The Walking Dead video game, Naoto Shirogane in Persona 4, and Kyra Mosley in Call of Duty: Ghosts. Valerie and her husband Keith Arem run PCB Productions, a studio in Los Angeles specializing in video game recording. They also teach workshops that focus on voice acting for a variety of video game genres. Maureen was especially interested to talk to Valerie given her wealth of experience as an actor, director, casting director, and educator.

The VAM Field Report will be released on the 1st Wednesday of every month so stay on the look out for it!

Download VAM Field Report Episode #25 Here (MP3)

 

VAM 129 | Interview with Zach Hanks, Part 2

VAM 129 | Interview with Zach Hanks, Part 2

Welcome to episode 129 of the Voice Acting Mastery podcast with yours truly, Crispin Freeman!

As always, you can listen to the podcast using the player above, or download the mp3 using the link at the bottom of this blog post. The podcast is also available via the iTunes Store online. Just follow this link to view the podcast in iTunes:

http://www.voiceactingmastery.com/podcast

Welcome to the second part of my interview with voice actor, director and teacher, Zach Hanks! You may be familiar with his performances as Garnac in the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Morgan and Custis Pendleton in the video game Dishonored and Lars Halford in the game Brutal Legend.

Not only is Zach a voice actor, but he’s also worked as both a voice director and casting director on multiple video game projects. In addition, Zach has taught voice acting as a professor at the Stephen F. Austin State University in Eastern Texas. He currently resides in Atlanta where he is continuing to pursue his own voice over career in addition to founding the Voice Over Career Launch Pad, a service that helps voice over artists learn the skills they need to become business-savvy professionals in the industry.

Last time, during the first part of our interview, we discussed Zach’s journey through voice acting from his earliest days starting as an actor, through becoming a casting director, a voice director, a college professor, and finally moving to Atlanta to continue his career. It was an amazing journey with plenty of twists and turns! Every challenge that Zach faced taught him so much about himself and about the industry. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend you listen to the previous episode before continuing with this one.

In this second part of our interview, we delve deeper into the different turning points of Zach’s career. I ask Zach to elaborate on the lessons he learned from each of these influential experiences and how he applied them to creating his own unique voice acting journey. He’s got some wonderful out of the box thinking that I’m eager to share with you, as well as some tough love about what it takes to be truly successful! So let’s dive in!

Download Voice Acting Mastery Episode #129 Here (MP3)

 

VAMFR 024 | Maintaining Good Psychological Health as a Voice Actor, Part 1

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VAMFR 024 | Maintaining Good Psychological Health as a Voice Actor, Part 1

Welcome to episode 24 of the Voice Acting Mastery: Field Report podcast!

You can listen to the podcast using the player above, or download the mp3 using the link at the bottom of this blog post. The podcast is also available via the iTunes Store online. Just follow this link to view the podcast in iTunes:

http://www.vamfieldreport.com/podcast

Welcome to the first part of a special report on maintaining good psychological health as a voice actor by our special correspondent, Maureen Price!

Maureen has been eager to dive into this topic ever since she joined the Field Report and she’s very excited to share her findings with all of you! When it comes to building a successful voice acting career, developing confidence, which includes learning to deal with rejection, is just as important as sharpening our acting skills or learning solid business practices. When Maureen started interviewing industry professionals about this subject, she was very curious to hear how they dealt with the emotional challenges of being a voice actor and how their approaches to maintaining a healthy mindset evolved over the course of their careers. Maureen’s tactics and thought processes for handling emotional stress have certainly changed since her earliest experiences as a child stage actor! And she’s grateful for that!

In part one of her report, Maureen will be exploring a subject that greatly affects us all as voice actors over the entire arc of our careers. It’s also a topic that she rarely hears addressed in interviews but is of great importance given how far reaching it is. She’s referring to the dreaded “R” word. Rejection. More specifically Maureen wants to explore how to handle rejection in psychologically healthy and productive ways. Since rejection is one of the most common and inevitable experiences we encounter in the voice over world, it’s crucial to develop a skill set to cope with it well. If we aren’t able to handle rejection effectively, we’re all going to have a rough go of things.

To help her explore these sometimes difficult and loaded topics, Maureen spoke with four wonderfully talented voice actors. Firstly, she sat down with Keith Silverstein, an industry veteran whose work includes Torbjörn in Overwatch, Hisoka in HunterxHunter, and Hawk Moth in Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir amongst many, many more. She then spoke with Laura Post, voice actor and now voice director for the anime series Little Witch Academia. Laura’s voice acting work includes Big Barda in Justice League Action, Ragyō in Kill la Kill, Ahri in League of Legends, and Nozomi Tojo in Love Live! School Idol Project. Maureen also spoke with Ray Chase. Ray voices Prince Noctis in Final Fantasy XV, Master of Masters in Kingdom Hearts 2.8 and Puri-puri Prisoner in One Punch Man. Finally, she sat down with Valerie Arem. Valerie is a voice actor, voice director, and educator. Her directing work includes Persona 4 and Persona 5. She voices Francine in The Walking Dead video game, Naoto Shirogane in Persona 4, and Kyra Mosley in Call of Duty: Ghosts. Valerie and her husband Keith Arem run PCB Productions, a studio in Los Angeles specializing in video game recording. They also teach workshops that focus on voice acting for a variety of video game genres. Maureen was especially interested to talk to Valerie given her wealth of experience as an actor, director, casting director, and educator.

Maureen would like to thank all of her fantastically talented guests for being so generous with their time and for their willingness to discuss these topics with honesty and vulnerability. It meant a great deal to her and she hopes that their words over the course of this series resonate and inspire all of us to continue to develop healthy approaches to the psychological challenges that come with the work we do.

The VAM Field Report will be released on the 1st Wednesday of every month so stay on the look out for it!

Download VAM Field Report Episode #24 Here (MP3)

 

VAM 128 | Interview with Zach Hanks, Part 1

VAM | 128 Interview with Zach Hanks, Part 1

Welcome to episode 128 of the Voice Acting Mastery podcast with yours truly, Crispin Freeman!

As always, you can listen to the podcast using the player above, or download the mp3 using the link at the bottom of this blog post. The podcast is also available via the iTunes Store online. Just follow this link to view the podcast in iTunes:

http://www.voiceactingmastery.com/podcast

Welcome to the first part of my interview with voice actor, director and teacher, Zach Hanks! You may be familiar with his performances as Garnac in the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Morgan and Custis Pendleton in the video game Dishonored and Lars Halford in the game Brutal Legend.

Not only is Zach a voice actor, but he has also worked as both a voice director and casting director on multiple video game projects including Company of Heroes, Saints Row, and Warhammer 40,000. In addition to all his voice over industry accomplishments, Zach has also taught voice acting as a professor at the Stephen F. Austin State University in Eastern Texas. He currently resides in Atlanta where he is continuing to pursue his own voice over career in addition to founding the Voice Over Career Launch Pad, a service that helps voice over artists learn the skills they need to become business savvy professionals in the industry. I’m very excited to bring you Zach’s story because his experiences are so wide and varied!

In this first part of our interview, we cover Zach’s journey from when he started as a young high school student interested in acting, all the way through the myriad twists and turns of his acting journey up until today. We touch on his training, the challenges he faced when he first entered the entertainment industry as an actor, the lessons he learned going back to school to get his Master’s degree, the success he had as a performer, casting director and booth director after returning to Los Angeles, and even the insight he’s gained from teaching others how to pursue their voice acting goals when he was a college professor. It’s an amazing story filled with surprises! At each step in his adventure, Zach learned important lessons that I think you’ll really benefit from hearing! But I’ll let Zach tell you all about it in his own words!

Download Voice Acting Mastery Episode #128 Here (MP3)

 

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