Crew Q&A: Jeremy Freed, Anthony Izzy, and Rebecca Thomas
A special Q&A with the voice cast of Donkeyskin!
1. What is your name, what do you do, and which film did you work on?
JF: I'm Jeremy Freed. I did voice acting for the Tree Guard in the "Donkeyskin of Pentacles" short. AI: My name is Anthony Izzi. I am a voice actor and I worked on the film “Donkey Skin”. RT: Hi, I'm Rebecca Thomas, the voice actor behind Latonya in Donkeyskin. 2. Give a brief history of your experience with your role as a voice actor.
JF: I do voice acting more as a hobby than a career. I have done a few paid reads for advertisements and presentations, but most of my work has been for my own animated shorts and contributions to members of the Frederator Community Network. AI: I found an ad for the role on Facebook in the unofficial Voice Acting Alliance page. I auditioned for every male role including the prince, king, and guard. I got the role of the prince. I wanted him to sound like he lives a happy carefree life and he wants others to feel the same way. RT: I've been a voice actor for seven years now, when I first started narrating for a regional talking book and braille library. I've done a couple dozen audiobooks, some available through Audible, and a few dozen audio dramas, but this is my first animation project.
3. What was your work pipeline like?
JF: Kelsey first sent out an open call for auditions with some sample lines. I did a recording of a few characters and sent them to her over e-mail. She chose me to play the role of the Tree Guard and sent those lines to me. I then recorded those lines and sent them back to her for feedback. For this role, there was just one line and she accepted the first take, but often I'll wind up going back and forth a couple of times with the director and supply two or three takes of some lines. AI: I was new to the voice acting game when I auditioned. It’s one of the earliest roles I had.
RT: On a normal day, I typically spend my mornings proofing and editing work from current projects. Because of my household's schedule, I'll spend the evening planning out the night's recording session, based on what needs to get done when, and then record after everyone goes to bed. If I'm producing or promoting a project, then I'll do cover art and social media content in the afternoon or during breaks.
4. What was the easiest part?
JF: The easiest part is that this is so much fun. I love playing characters and acting. AI: The lines I was given were pretty short. RT: This was actually a fairly easy project to work on.
5. What was the hardest part?
JF: The hardest part is having to act by yourself. I do this from a home studio, as do all the other actors. We're not in the same room, so we have to imagine how the other characters are speaking the other half of the conversation. Sometimes it comes out great, and other times you have to do a couple of takes to make it work together. AI: Getting the emotion down right for my last line “I already did”. It had to sound romantic and reassuring, so I rerecorded that sentence the most. RT: The hardest part was dodging the airplanes. (I live near a large airport and two military bases. Air traffic abounds.)
6. What was your favorite part? JF: I love seeing the whole thing come together. As you read the script, you have a picture in your head of how the scene looks and how your character is moving and interacting, but at the end of your session you just have a raw sound file. It's exciting when everything comes together and you have that finished, edited scene, and your voice comes alive with this character. You can then finally look at that character and say, "That's me!" AI: Saying my last line. It was a sweet scene and it felt good to say something uplifting like that. RT: My favorite part was just getting to work on this project. I liked the story, and the idea behind the project. It was great to be offered the chance to contribute. 7. Do you have words of wisdom for anyone who might want to do what you do? JF: Take your time. Get some training. Get the right equipment. Accept advice from experienced people. And finally, it takes time and luck to "make it." So, be delighted with every role you play and put everything into it, no matter how small or big the character and audience. AI: Self-doubt and jealousy will lead you to your downfall. You need to like yourself more and not be afraid of failing, otherwise, you won’t get anywhere. RT: If you want to be a voice actor, learn acting as soon as you can. There's this misconception that if you have a voice, you can be a voice actor. But really, the acting comes first. Always. Once you've cleared that hurdle, focus on projects that resonate with you and would make you happy to admit you worked on them, and have fun.
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