VAM 077 | Interview with Grace Rolek, Part 1

VAM 077 | Interview with Grace Rolek, Part 1

Welcome to episode 77 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:

In this episode, I interview the very talented young voice actress, Grace Rolek. Grace and I met while recording the animated show Steven Universe for Cartoon Network. I was immediately impressed by Grace’s skill and her professional demeanor. I became even more impressed when I realized that Grace, who is now 16, had been voice acting since she was about 5 or 6 years old! From her roles in Mulan II and Final Fantasy Advent Children to playing the voice of Lucy in the Charlie Brown special Happiness is a Warm Blanket, Grace has done an amazing range of work for someone so young.

As a voice actor and a voice acting mentor, I’m often approached by young people who worry that they are not old enough to voice act professionally. While I always assure them that it’s possible to voice act at any age, Grace is living proof of that statement. She was generous enough to spend an afternoon talking with me so I can show my listeners what it takes to begin and maintain a voice acting career at a relatively young age. I’m very grateful to her for taking the time to share her experiences with all of you.

I’d also like to thank Andrew Feliciano, the owner of Voicetrax West, for allowing us to record this interview in his studio. Voicetrax West not only provides professional recording services to the LA area, but offers voice over classes as well. You can find more information on the VoiceTrax West website.

Thanks for listening!

Download Voice Acting Mastery Episode #77 Here (MP3)


13 Responses to “VAM 077 | Interview with Grace Rolek, Part 1”

  1. Eric Rivera says:

    Connie? From Steven Universe? And you’re playing her father? The private security guard?

    I can’t wait for the next episode. When I get nervous, I try to control my breath. It’s another thing I picked up from my DDP Yoga. It’s all about how you adapt, react, breathe, and take action. A “life is 90% how you react to it” sort of thing.

    Thanks to you and Grace for your time and wisdom.

  2. Mike V. says:

    It’s comforting to know that even professional voice actors/actresses still feel nervous when auditioning. It’s also great to hear from a young up and coming VA like Grace. Thank you for taking the time to do this podcast. I learned so much about voice acting from listening to it.

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      Yes, we definitely do. The nervousness is less than when we started, but it’s still there from time to time.

      Glad you’re enjoying the interview so far.

  3. Anthony Berbey says:

    Thank you sir for expressing your insight on the voice acting industry. I truly enjoyed the episode. I am proud that a voice actress like Grace had the opportunity and parental support. One time when i read Sun Tzu’s the Art of War, i read it out loud to practice my voicing, but my mother told me to, “Read it in your mind, Anthony I don’t want to hear it. When my sister’s friend came over to house to hang around with her, I told her about the book and i even read a line to her and she said, that I had a great voice for it. My literature teacher also told me that i had a great voice and asked me to perform in a poetry slam competition and perform for the high school freshmen in the school’s talent show. I contemplated about voice acting because it is something I had dreamt of doing ever since I watched anime such as Rurouni Kenshin at age 7. And my aunt would support me in my Voice acting goal, but not my mother. She said, “Voice acting will not bring you anything.” My own mother would say such discouraging words but i am determined to prove her wrong because I believe ambition and determination and expert performance is the tools I will need to achieve it as well as contributing to the project and dedicating yourself to it.

    • Anthony Berbey says:

      I still believe that I have a long way to go and I will need as much help as I can get from mentors like you and to learn from my voice acting peers as well.

      • Crispin Freeman says:

        That is why I created the podcast, to help those who were interested in becoming voice actors. You are welcome to take class with me as well if it fits in to your schedule and budget.

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      It sounds like you’re committed to pursuing voice acting or performing in some fashion. I hope you’ve had positive experiences doing your poetry slam event. It is important to read aloud. If it disturbs other members of your family, then you’ll just have to find a place or a time when you can be by yourself and practice out loud without disturbing them. If voice acting truly fascinates you, you will find a way to practice it and develop your skills.

  4. Meghan (Meg) says:

    Thank you for sharing an interview, Crispin-Grace’s story is very interesting 🙂 I have seen the sneak peeks and trailers of Steven Universe and I’ve been thinking about it in my head- ‘Wow, it looks just those characters from Osamu Tezuka’s manga.’

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      I’m glad you’re enjoying the interview. I hadn’t thought that Steven Universe looked like Tezuka’s character designs, but I can see the similarities now that you bring it up.

  5. Kalyn McCabe says:

    Wow… Someone so young. Makes me jealous just thinking about it! But I’m glad she’s doing well in the industry.

    Looking forward to the next podcast!

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      I understand. She was acting professionally before it even occurred to be to try it myself. Hopefully you won’t beat yourself up about it though. The most useful thing is to see what mindset she needed in order to succeed at such a young age. Even master chess players read books for beginners to figure out the mindset of someone just starting out. It can help illuminate the process.

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