Not many people know this, but I have always had this dream of joining the gang at Sesame Street. A childhood dream of working with the Muppets grew into a woman’s dream of being the voice of any one of the cuddly Ewoks. When the notice on the Enfiniti Academy Voice Acting for Animation Workshop came up, I was both nervous and excited; nervous to start learning something that I had never explored before, and excited at the possibility of discovering hidden talents.
Each trainer brought their own unique view, experience and techniques to the workshop. Working in small groups gave us a chance to connect with every trainer. A great bonus is to have at least four coaches sharing their tips and giving feedback, making each practice session more meaningful. Learning how to find my different voices would probably be the most surprising (and amusing) for me. I definitely value all warm-up techniques now, especially since each breathing exercise can be a discovery of a new voice.
The diversity of the group of fellow learners was also refreshing. Being together with children and child voice actors, college students, animators, educators, theatre actors, and other people like me who are not in the performing arts industry gave different perspectives to character development and added more fun to our lunchtime conversations.
What I found most exciting was the process of creating the character by interpreting the script. Picturing what the character may be feeling and experiencing unlocked the door to creativity. Being that character and sharing my own version of those characters in front of everyone in the workshop needed an extra confidence boost. In my professional work as a management and leadership consultant, I am familiar with the pressures and expectations of presenting to a group. However, almost everything in the three-day workshop pushed me out of my comfort zone: the voices in my head would now have to be heard in the room - out loud! That’s when having a supportive group of fellow learners and patient coaches helps. Knowing that everyone is in the same boat, where ultimately we would all be in a studio booth to record our own demo with a professional, we encouraged each other. I already started missing the friends I made in the workshop even before the last day ended!
I watch more cartoons now, and appreciate every squeak just a little bit more. For those thinking about exploring voice acting, I say go for it. The techniques have also helped me enhance my own communication, especially in how I listen and observe. Besides - where else can you experience being a hero, a damsel in distress, an anti-hero, a sidekick, and more, where the only limit is your imagination?