School of Theater Presents 2020 Voice Over Showcase

CalArts School of Theater’s Voice-over class gives graduating actors a comprehensive overview of all aspects of the voice-over industry. Pictured: CalArts School of Theater’s 2020 Graduating Acting Company. | Photo by Jeff Lorch, Courtesy of CalArts.

Recent School of Theater graduates share their voice acting work in the 2020 Voice Over Showcase, billed as the first-ever showcase of its kind produced by an actor training program in the nation.

The work in the showcase was produced by graduating BFA and MFA students in a course taught by ML Gemmill (Theater MFA 90) and Bernie Van De Yacht (Theater MFA 89), who are also partners in ProADR Looping & Voice Casting. Throughout the course, students acquired the voice-over skills and tools necessary to quickly analyze scripts, effectively self-direct, and consistently perform on each take. Gemmill and Van De Yacht also offered advice for setting up professional home studios and navigating remote recording sessions. The Institute’s partnership with ProADR “embraces voiceover as a crucial facet of the professional actor’s career,” an asset in especially high demand due to pandemic restrictions.

Access the showcase, which launched online Aug. 13, here—categories include Producers Selection, Animation Characters, Announcements and PAs, Audiobooks, Bilingual Voices, Commercials, and Promos and Trailers.

“This year was a monumental task due to Covid,” said Gemmill. “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.”

More than a dozen graduates have since booked professional voice acting jobs, in fields ranging from commercials, podcasts, audiobooks, and video games. Among them is Pricilla Chung (Theater MFA 20), who worked as part of the loop group for the HBO drama Lovecraft Country, which premieres Aug. 17.

Lovecraft Country allowed me to get my SAG card,” shared 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.”

School of Theater Dean Travis Preston noted: “The CalArts Voice Over Showcase launches our graduates into an exciting professional landscape and has already produced opportunities for CalArts actors. 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.”

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