The Reward of Exploring Practice Opportunities

Let’s start with a little background. I started dancing when I was three years old, and it quickly became the gateway to my participating in choirs and picking up a handful of instruments throughout school. I desperately wanted to act, but drama and I struggled to get along. Eventually, I decided I was meant solely to interact with music and made my peace with the situation. But the older I got, the less time I had to engage in the performing arts, and I drifted away in pursuit of a career in education…that ended up not panning out all that well.

In those last few years of trying to pull some sort of rabbit out of the hat to stay in my field, I ended up with a roommate who couldn’t tell the difference between a voice chaser and someone wanting to give voice acting a try. I explained it to him, repeatedly. I explained to him that drama was the one performing art I’d never been successful with, repeatedly. He wouldn’t listen, eventually banding together with a mutual friend to strong arm me into a pair of voiceover workshops they’d found at a local college. I thought they were crazy, but I was working on Dead Bunny at the time and figured it couldn’t really hurt. It was actually kind of fun, but nothing more came of it.

A few years later while at a particularly low point, I remembered I’d meant to investigate the local Talking Book & Braille Library. A week later, I was narrating for them. And it was fun! (Lifelong avid reader and teacher. It was kind of a good fit. *wink*) As I continued narrating for them and exploring other places to narrate, I realized I struggled a lot with characters. With my low-key personality, the small animation projects that trickled through Voice Acting Alliance at the time weren’t an option, so I decided to give audio drama a try. The idea was if I could just focus on developing and playing characters, I’d eventually be able to carry that back over to my narration work. I didn’t expect to stay in audio drama long, and I didn’t expect to be any degree of successful at it. I just wanted the experience, and maybe a little training from the audio drama groups I met.

That was three years ago. I’ve been in nearly two dozen audio dramas at this point, some of them with groups I’ve previously worked for. The drama that eluded me in childhood has finally found me, I guess, or maybe it just needed time to take root. Either way, something has changed. In November, after a couple of years of being part of award-nominated and -winning ensembles, I was nominated for an individual award in Pendant Productions’ annual Pendy awards for this scientist character I had a really good time getting into and playing.

Well, I won. The girl who couldn’t act her way out of a paper bag as a child has now won the 2015 Pendy for Best Actor in a Seminar Short. Who knew? 😉

And I’m even starting to figure out audiobook characters!

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