Valencia, CA—August 13—In the age of Covid 19, even actors are working remotely—and many find they need to enhance their skills in this new professional climate. Voice-over is an in-demand skill that gives an actor a competitive edge. In Spring 2020, the School of Theater at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), offered the class Voice-over to its graduating BFA and MFA students. When the Institute closed for the pandemic, the class continued remotely. Now, the results can be heard in the first-ever voice-over showcase produced by an actor training program.
The showcase launches online on August 13 and can be accessed here. Categories include the Producers Selection, Animation Characters, Announcements and PAs, Audiobooks, Bilingual Voices, Commercials and Promos and Trailers.
Class instructors ML Gemmill and Bernie Van De Yacht are CalArts alums and partners in ProADR Looping & Voice Casting. Their goal was to help students apply acting their training to the voice-over skills needed in all aspects of today’s industry—looping, ADR, narration, audiobooks, animation, video games, commercials and podcasts. Students acquired the voice-over tools needed to analyze a script in minutes, direct themselves effectively, determine the appropriate delivery of written copy and perform consistently on every take. When students began to work from home, Gemmill and Van De Yacht mentored them on best practices for setting up professional quality home studios and navigating remote recording sessions.
“This year was a monumental task due to Covid,” said ML. “We worked above and beyond to virtually coach our students through remote recording to complete their VO reels. In addition to their regular class time we gave each student three private one-on-one virtual sessions. Their confidence soared.”
Several students have already booked professional work and representation. Working remotely from her home studio, Pricilla Chung was part of the loop group for Lovecraft Country, which premieres on HBO on August 17. “Lovecraft Country allowed me to get my SAG card,” noted Chung. “We had learned to do loop grouping sessions remotely in class and ML coached me before the Lovecraft Country looping session. To prepare for improvising on cue, I learned the vocabulary of the series’ Korean War-era characters and medical terms for voicing nurses.”
So far, over a dozen students have book professional voice-over work in several areas of the field: looping, commercials, audiobooks, video games, and dramatic podcasts. “The CalArts Voice-over Showcase launches our graduates into an exciting professional landscape and has already produced opportunities for CalArts actors,” said School of Theater Dean Travis Preston. “It is one of many professional opportunities that defines the CalArts School of Theater's commitment to fostering professional acting careers at the highest level.”
CalArts School of Theater is dedicated to the development of new voices and new forms. It is one of the preeminent theater training grounds in the country, designed to educate the whole person and to prepare fully equipped theater artists to transform the field. Each unique Program gives students the flexibility, skills and critical thinking tools to navigate a rapidly changing field and to pursue their professional goals with maximum agency. As the School is based in Los Angeles, the epicenter of film and media production, the curricula give considerable attention to students having the versatility to succeed in a variety of media.
California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) has set the pace for educating professional artists since 1970. Offering rigorous undergraduate and graduate degree programs through six schools—Art, Critical Studies, Dance, Film/Video, Music, and Theater—CalArts has championed creative excellence, critical reflection, and the development of new forms and expressions. As successive generations of faculty and alumni have helped shape the landscape of contemporary arts, the Institute first envisioned by Walt Disney encompasses a vibrant, eclectic community with global reach, inviting experimentation, independent inquiry, and active collaboration and exchange among artists, artistic disciplines and cultural traditions.