Feed The Flame

I was telling a girlfriend of mine about a recent accomplishment when I noticed that I got giddy talking about it.  I was smiling ear to ear and explaining how exhilarating it was to go into the booth and record commands for a video game character.  I had such a blast!  Then seeing my character in action was a whole different level of aw, motivation, and that sweet reminder of what excited me about this profession in the first place.  This feeling, along with an audiobook I have been fully immersed in, and also a quote I saw on twitter the other day, gave me a beautiful reminder of my ultimate goal as a voice actor.  I want to be cartoon characters.  And yes, video games do fall into that category for me. 


 “Allow your passion to become your purpose, and it will one day become your profession.” 


This was the quote I read the morning that I saw my video game character in action.  It spoke directly to me.  The book I have fallen head over heals for is The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand.  I have thoroughly enjoyed the listen on Audible and have been unable to turn it off.  I won’t go into a full book review here but the characters in the book all seek their success and happiness in various ways.  I am enamored by the words and vision of Howard Roark and how his passion to create guides everything he does.  Unlike Roark, I DO want my client to be happy and do aim to please and am always happy to take direction J .  But the passion, that fire that ignites when we do something we truly love, is what I aim to continue to fuel as I build my voiceover career . 


I have held many jobs in my life. I have been a paper girl, a waitress, a life guard, an insurance agent, an intern at a non-profit, a sales and marketing manager, a teacher and now an actor.  I got my degree in elementary education and taught for 5 years after college.  When I think back to the classroom days, the best part of every day for me, was Read Aloud.  For one, I loved the idea of inspiring children to read and Inspiring them to get excited about jumping into a book and letting it take over their imagination.  That, and I LOVE doing voices. 


I would immerse myself completely in the book, making big deep male voices, tiny mice voices, accented voices, anything that brought those characters to life. 


When I started doing voiceover, and I mentioned to other actors that I wanted to do Animation, the responses I often received was something like this.... “That’s what everyone wants to do.”  “That’s almost impossible to get in to if you’re not living in NYC or LA.”  “It’s really hard to break in to.”  “Most jobs out there are not animation.”  “It’s not a realistic route.” My desire to be in cartoons never faded, but I decided to listen to the others and “be more realistic”.  I have worked in the arenas of commercials, e-learning, audiobooks, IVR/Telephony,  and most recently, my very first video game.   The embers were always there, but this specific job got the fire going again.  I laughed evil laughs, jumped around in my booth making fighting noises, played around with my evil villainess, and it was extremely satisfying.  And yes, I will gladly travel to LA or NYC or anywhere else to join a cast of actors and directors!  I would do it in a heart beat if that’s what is required for the job.  I travel for on camera work all the time!


Back to what makes us passionate, what excites us, what makes us tick….


Do you know what makes you tick?  What brings you extreme joy?  Are you doing it in your daily life?  Are you lucky enough to do it and call it work?  That is my goal.  I love many aspects of voiceover, and feel incredibly grateful to call this line of work, my profession, but getting into the booth and dropping my guard completely to cut loose and bring a character to life, is where I know that fire grows.   


I have decided to challenge myself and to create. 


Starting tomorrow, for the next 30 days, I will create a character voice a day.  I will find pictures, comics, illustrations from books, anything really, and create a voice for that image.  You can find these on Instagram and Twitter (@MarisaBlakeActs) and I will hashtag #30voicesin30days.  This is my way of pushing myself to do something every day that brings me extreme joy and satisfaction and also to showcase what I am passionate about. 


I will continue to train, but spend more time focusing on training in the animation and video game realm.  I will look into getting demos produced that showcase my ability in this arena, and then hit the ground running marketing myself to production houses.  The fire has been lit, and I could not be more excited to watch it burn bright!