Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Holidays from The Adventures in Voice Acting Team!

It seems every time you close your eyes for even a moment now, when you open them again, there's more depressing news waiting for you. Santa Kills 8 in Covina, More Fighting in the Middle East, More layoffs, Banks closing.... But even with all the gloom and doom people are spreading, I just don't feel all that gloomy and doomy. (Don't get me wrong, I feel horrible about those news stories, words can't express how awful these things are....) But I just mean in general, as in, I believe that next year is a wonderful and fresh chance for lots of great opportunities. I remain filled with excitement about things to come.

And I'd like to encourage others to allow themselves to feel excited, too. There is so much positive energy out there - people who want to do good, people who want to create, and people who JUST WANT TO LIVE THEIR LIVES, and enjoy their time on this planet. Be one of these people. Don't spread the gloom and doom.

We made AiVA to encourage people. And it just so happens to be about Voice Acting. It really didn't have to be. That just happens to be what we know and love, and so it was sort of too obvious NOT to make a documentary about Voice Acting. But since it is the holidays, and a new year is upon us, I want to send out a big giant GO FOR IT! to everyone who reads this.

You know those cliches like "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!" -- well, there's a lot of truth to them. If you see gloom and doom, then that's what you're going to experience. And you're going to have a pretty bad time - it's predetermined. On the other hand, open your eyes tomorrow morning and think to yourself: Today is a new day, a new chance to do something! And if you can let yourself appreciate just how good it feels to breath the air -- just that -- that's all it takes. Start with the act of noticing that your inhaling oxygen into your lungs, and it actually feels pretty darn good when you think about it. You can start there - because if you do, you are going to start yourself on a new path. One where you are going to find solutions instead of problems, doors where you saw only a brick wall before, and tranquility and love where you saw only chaos and hatred. Try it! You'll see!

Here are a couple of photos from our company holiday party from a few nights ago. I like these a lot because they are so inspiring to me. Here in these two snapshots are a whole lot of "new found" talent: The previous year's AX IDOL winner, and this year's winner, two finalists (one of whom now has a lead role in an animated webcast series for Starz), and a couple of workshop attendees. These people believe in themselves and they went to Anime Expo and auditioned, and now here they are at the Bang Zoom holiday party celebrating.

Photo: (left to right) Pam (AX IDOL 2008 Winner, Jonathan (AX IDOL 08 Finalist), Nicole (AX IDOL 2007 Winner) and Marianne (Adventures in Voice Acting Workshop Attendee & now professional Voice Actor).

Photo: (left) Christina V (Voice Actress - got her start at a Bang Zoom Voice Acting workshop) and (right) Traci Hines (AX IDOL 2008 Finalist).

[THANK YOU! to Traci Hines for the photos!]

Monday, December 1, 2008

Patricia (Paddy) Ja Lee Plays Herself on "Lucky Star"

She'll always be the Pink Power Ranger to me...

Paddy in the booth - Studio 2 - Bang Zoom! Studios

Former Pink Power Ranger turned voice over actress, Patricia Ja Lee, plays a character in the super cute and weird anime series called "Lucky Star" - if you haven't see it yet, you should! It's like "Seinfeld" anime-style with High School girls instead of George, Elaine and Kramer....

© Kagami Yoshimizu / Lucky Paradise

Anyway, she plays a character named Patricia, who in the original Japanese version has an "American" accent. Turns out the creators in Japan are kind of infatuated with Paddy, and they modeled this character after her! So it was only right that she would play the part in the US version, and the Producers at Bandai made sure that this fact wasn't overlooked. The photo above was just taken the other day for her last session because the recording is now wrapped.

Patricia Martin in "Lucky Star" - Played by Patrica Ja Lee