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)

 

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