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Tamara Ryan

Thus far, I interviewed some pretty cool filmmakers, wrote a feature on a photographer’s artwork and showcased some creepy cool dolls that can be featured in your next horror movie!

So now, I am going to switch gears and feature those artists that give life to the characters you watch in animated film/television series or your favorite video games. These talented artists are known as voice-over actors who share their unique voice-over ability in entertaining us. Some of these actors you already know, such as Seth MacFarlane, creator of Family Guy, American Dad and The Cleveland Show; Hank Azaria, who voices numerous characters in The Simpsons; Bruce Campbell providing the voice for Ash in three games based on the Evil Dead film series: Evil Dead: Hail to the King, Evil Dead: A Fistful of Boomstick and Evil Dead: Regeneration along with a slew of other games and films. These are just a few of the many talented actors working in the industry and now I want to introduce you to one more talented actor. Her name is Tamara Ryan.

How did I find out about her? Lets just say her incredible marketing skills made me stumble upon her twitter profile @TamaraRyanVO. I was then blown away by her voice-over work featured in her demo reel on her website along with her encouraging advice to those breaking into or already in the business.  So, if you are thinking about lending your voice to a cool video game, animated feature or are looking to hire a talented voice-over actor, then Tamara Ryan is your gal! I had the pleasure in interviewing Tamara and you can read it here.

Question: Voice-over acting is not an easy business to get into. How did you get yourself into the field and stay successful?

There's several ways you can go about getting into the business, and everyone has their own path. For me personally though, I was living in Kansas at the time I decided I wanted to do VO as a career. I knew Kansas wasn't going to get me very far, so I researched reputable voice over "schools" and found Voicetrax in San Francisco. It's the best decision I could have made. Voicetrax is almost like a college for voice acting. I learned from the best teachers, and they helped me make a demo and introduced me to local agents. Staying successful is another matter though.  Agents can only do so much for you and if you rely solely on them for gigs, you'll find yourself twiddling your thumbs. I'd say 95% of what I book is from my own networking and marketing. It's a tough skill to learn, but vital. At least for me anyways. :) 

Question: I listened to your demos and you have a range of voices for different characters. Did all these voices come naturally to you?

In a sense, yes. Your demo should always show your strengths, so if I were to choose a voice that's not easy for me, it'll be a weak point to potential clients. But besides that, it's hard to say that they're "natural" exactly. I've been acting and singing and generally being goofy for a long time. So in a way I've been practicing these voices without knowing I would one day put them to good use. 

Question: What is the most favorite voice-over work you have done and which industry is your favorite? Video Games, Animation, etc.?

My favorite work that I have done so far is a character named Betty in an awesome game called Solarix. She's insane, playful, and will snap at any moment. She was just so much fun! I really love villain characters like that because they're way more interesting than the usual sweet and kind love interests. As for industry, I guess I'd have to say video games since that's what I’ve done most of. I've done a couple anime series now and it's really awesome! But oh man, it's tough work. There's an entire other set of skills that you need to learn. As for the more traditional animation roles...well, I haven't done any of that yet, so I'll let you know. Lol.  

Question: Do you do any preparation before your audition?

If only I could just wing it! Haha. But yeah, it's super important to ask yourself all the acting questions. Who am I? Who am I talking to? Why am I saying what I’m saying? Where does this scene take place? When does this scene take place, etc. If you don't do the homework, you most likely will not be confident in your acting choices, and that will come through in your auditions. 

Question: Is there any advice/tips you can share to people who want to get into voice over work including those who are already in the business?

For the one's just starting out, I'd say take your time. It can be really easy to get swept up in your excitement to start trying to break into the business, but if you are trying to leap several rings on the ladder at once, you could end up hurting yourself. For example, creating demo you made yourself at home and then trying to submit that demo to an agent is a quick way to not be taken seriously. Or, paying top dollar for a demo when you've only taken one or two acting classes will cost you down the road. Because most likely you will have improved in a years time, and then that demo you just made is no longer a good representation of your skills. When in doubt, ask your teachers and mentors, they will let you know when you are ready to take the next step. 

For people who are already in the business? Never stop practicing! I'm sure I don't need to say that though since most creative people have the same outlook of "I could be better". So perhaps instead I'll say something like "don't compare yourself to others." Everyone is on their own path, and some people shoot into stardom like they've got a rocket on their back. But that doesn't mean you're not doing well too! Whenever work starts slowing down and I start doubting myself, I always remind myself how far I've come. Remember your achievements and be proud of them, no matter what.    

Question: I see you are based in California. Do you tend to find more work in California and do you find there to be certain cities/countries have a high demand for voice-over actors?

Location is a big factor in finding work depending on what kind of work you wanna do. If you want to be on Cartoon Network for example or work in anime, you absolutely need to be where they are. Other than that though, working from a home studio is quickly becoming normal. You can find plenty of indie game work from wherever you live, and every town has local businesses that need commercial work done.  

Question: Before becoming a voice-over actor, what did you do beforehand and what was it that made you pursue voice-over work as a full-time career?

Well, let's see. I was a huge theater geek in high school and was already into video games and anime. In college I co-founded Naka-Kon, the first anime convention in Kansas and helped run that for a few years. What made me pursue voice over was actually due to Newgrounds.com though. I had played a game on there and I noticed a little comment from the creator about needing voice actors. At the time I just sent it out for shits and giggles, but then a year later I got an email from him asking if I wanted to audition for a new game. From there he pointed me to the voice acting club forums, and that opened me up to a whole new world. I started auditioning for a bunch of stuff and just fell in love with it. That's when I told myself "No matter how long it takes, I'm gonna be a voice actor!"

Question:  Is there any famous voice-over actors you admire/aspire to become?

Charlie Adler is simply amazing. His energy and love for the craft is just so infectious! I take classes with him whenever I can. 

Question: Can you describe a typical day at work?

Typically I get up and answer emails/send out demos while I have coffee. If I have any booked gigs I can do from home, I record those and then start on auditions. Then it's back to finding more people to send my demo to. :) 

Question: Tell us about your next exciting project?

Oh man! I wish! Some big stuff is coming out and I can't wait to be able to share it with everyone, but sadly not yet. For recent projects though, I am very happy to have voiced the character "Falan", plus some additional roles for Magi: Adventure of Sinbad! It's out on Netflix, so go watch it! Lol. 

Question: Are there any projects that you would like to be part of that are creepy and cool, such as a horror video game, cartoon, etc. If not, and you had to create a creepy and cool voice, can you share a demo of what that would sound like?

Here's a clip of my character Betty from Solarix, who is I think a bit creepy/crazy.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKi-tb_UxUk&t=0m32s

If you want to know more about Tamara Ryan or hire her for your next project, you can reach out to her on her website at www.tamararyanvo.com, follow her on Twitter (@TamaraRyanVO), LIKE her page on  Facebook at Tamara Ryan Voice Over and Subscribe to her YouTube Channel

ENVY: One Sin, Seven Stories, An Installation Exhibit by Adrien Broom

 Adrien Broom

Adrien Broom

Artwork mixed with subtleties of eeriness, dismay, gore, somberness and loneliness have always appealed to me because it is a visual reflection of my darkest and innermost thoughts and feelings. Any artistic piece of work, whether it is a painting, photograph, popular film or television show beautifully displayed with a flare of eeriness and creepiness intrigues me. These are the things that excite me. These are the things I consider creepy and cool.

How did I find out about Adrien Broom and her installation exhibit ENVY: One Sin, Seven Stories?

Well, let me first start off by saying that I am not an art critic or art snob. I do not have a Rolodex of “Must-See Artists.” It is just myself breaking away from my monotonous daily routine of going to work, home, waking up and going to the gym. I embarked on a journey of discovering all things creepy and cool and I started this adventure through Google Search. Yes. Google Search.  Along with my now spur of the moment and adventurous spirit of “I feel like seeing uncanny artwork today.”

Who Is Adrien Broom?

“The worlds I create are physical structures with personalities all their own that interact and become characters in the stories themselves. I am fascinated by the contrast between adult and childhood imagination, and am constantly trying to balance between the two in my work.”www.adrienbroom.com

Adrien Broom is a contemporary fine art and commercial photographer. Her art implies to childhood fantasy themes with young women as the protagonists. She is a multimedia artist,  who describes herself as a storyteller that builds life size and miniature sets. She resides in Brooklyn, NY. Please visit her website www.adrienbroom.com to watch behind the scenes footage of her exhibit along with her other artistic pieces of photography.

ENVY: One Sin, Seven Stories An Installation Exhibit by Adrien Broom at The Hudson River Museum in Yonkers, NY.

Now before I get into Adrien Broom and her fabulous exhibit, let me answer your first question: Where in the hell is The Hudson River Museum in Yonkers, NY?

Yonkers is a small city located in the Hudson Valley in Westchester County, which is about 30 minutes outside Manhattan, whether you drive or take the train from Grand Central Station. Now everyone I know, embarks on small adventures in the city to discover eclectic works of art, meet new filmmakers, discover new or popular museums, whatever it may be! However, the road to all things interesting and cool is not the next stop on the subway.

 The Hudson River Museum

The Hudson River Museum

The Hudson River Museum, located in Trevor Park, is a quiet property in Yonkers, NY and sits alongside the serene waters of the Hudson River. Once on the property, you will embrace its beauty, peacefulness and oh let me repeat this again: PEACEFULNESS. If you are from the city, crave to venture out of the rat race, but don’t know where to go and want to view exquisite art, hear birds chirping, and not see pigeons crapping. Then hop on the Metro North Train or rent a zipcar and travel to the Hudson River Museum. It is the largest museum in Westchester County and includes six art galleries, the Andrus Planetarium, and Glenview Mansion, which is a historic house museum of 1876. It is a museum with a unique combination of artistic and entertaining content that satisfies all tastes. See for yourself by viewing the picture below.

What is ENVY: One Sin, Seven Stories, An Installation Exhibit by Adrien Broom:

This exhibit was displayed from June 6- September 2015. It filled three galleries with 58 large-scale digital color prints, three reproductions of stage sets used to shoot some of the photographs and installations. It brilliantly illustrates ENVY—a human being’s hidden sin of jealousy and discontent towards a person’s traits, status, abilities or rewards—by intertwining it with characters and scenarios from classic fairy tales whose plots are driven by the deadly sin, ENVY. The ENVY exhibit is part of Broom’s series, “The Seven Deadly Sins.”  “The Seven Deadly Sins” was the first joint programming effort by the Fairfield/Westchester Museum Alliance, a consortium of eight institutions established in 2009 to share resources. Alliance members participating in “The Seven Deadly Sins” are the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, the Bruce Museum, the Hudson River Museum, and the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, the Katonah Museum of Art, the Neuberger Museum of Art and Wave Hill.  Broom had different exhibits each capturing the other deadly sins, such as Cinderella, Snow White, The Singing Bone, The Black and the White Bride, The Three Little Birds and Beauty and the Beast. The photographs feature well-known people, who portray the characters in these popular fairy tales, such as the Firestone Sisters, who, here, are the Black and White Brides, from the Grimm fairy tale, or, Chef Mario Batali, as “King,” or not ruler in the fairytale.

Because of my travel schedule, I was disappointed that I was not able to visit the other museums featuring the rest of Broom’s “Seven Deadly Sins” exhibit. However, I was fortunate enough to see the ENVY Exhibit displayed at The Hudson River Museum, which highlighted the fairytale Snow White.  A tale about an evil queen’s obsession with her stepdaughter’s beauty, who would do anything to be the fairest beauty in the land. It is a tale of beauty and power oozing with the drippings of this deadly sin, Envy.  

When I stepped into the exhibit, 2 mannequins suspended from the ceiling, greeted me.  The two suspended mannequins, one wearing a white-laced dress and the other wearing a black-laced dress, faced each other in what appeared to be face-to-face combat, or what is entitled “Dance of Death”. This to me, symbolized the battle between good vs. evil; distaste vs. fondness; jealousy vs. unresentful; ENVY vs. LOVE.  

 "Dance of Death"

"Dance of Death"

 

As I walk down the stairs, I was mesmerized by the large photographs and glass exhibit, each a representation of the elements of the deadly sin, ENVY. The mirror—self-love; the poisoned apple—symbol of sin and evil as in Adam and Eve; the glass coffin—a fragile beauty.  This artwork summed up my innermost feelings in an artistically eerie way. I tend to be a narcissist, yet vulnerable with my emotions when there is someone deemed worthier than I, thereby compelling me to  succumb to anger or rage.  I know… I need therapy. Below are some pictures I took of the exhibit. You can find the rest of her photos from all her exhibits on her website here

After, viewing Broom's exhibit, I never took into account this deadly sin. I always considered murder, adultery, and dishonor as the most deadly sins, but viewing this artwork reminded me how treacherous the sin, ENVY can be. Yet, it is a beautifully hidden sin within every human being.  

Broom is a fantastic artist and I am so glad I discovered her and her exhibit, ENVY: One Sin, Seven Stories, through my trusted Internet friend, Google. I look forward to viewing her latest work and upcoming exhibits.  She is a multimedia artist, who beautifully intertwined the heart of a classic fairytale with a flare of dismay, which made me consider this artwork creepy and cool.