INSIDE THE VOICE ACTOR’S STUDIO: our undying gratitude to Traxer Bret Parker, and special guest NATALIE LYON, casting director for Pixar Animation Studios, for another unforgettable night in our ongoing guest lecture series! Natalie was an instant hit with her generosity and expertise, making for a wonderful evening of “a-HA” moments and behind-the-scenes insights on the voice actor’s role in putting an animated feature together. Just ask a few of those who attended:

“I had so much fun on Friday and can’t stop talking about it… Thanks so much to everyone who made the event happen!” – Elena Hollander

“Natalie was an interesting speaker with relatable insights. It was nice to hear her reinforce many of the things we have learned in classes – edit your clips before sending and don’t send the flubs. One really good take away was to be yourself on the auditions, if you fit the character they need, the casting director will know.” – Susan Sullivan

“…But the biggest thing was just the question, ‘does this voice sound like it’ll come out of that character?’ The right voice is the one that fits. Doesn’t have to be crazy accented or bubbly or anything- it just has to fit. That’s going to inform my choices from now on!” – Alex Drude

“Natalie Lyon gave me a true expert’s and insider’s view on how she views their movie projects and how Pixar puts their heart and soul into them… I was also intrigued to hear about how ‘Coco’ was so difficult to cast because of their focus on authenticity. It made me very excited to think about trends changing in the entertainment industry – where more opportunities are being created for people of color and that our stories are being told with a respect for our cultures. It feels great to hear that, because it’s very different from how I felt about opportunities in our business 10-15 years ago!” – Ning Recio

“Natalie was delightful, knowledgeable and prepared. I very much enjoyed hearing her!” – Pat Conley

“Great Actors studio tonight! Vicki, you were a delight and well informed – and Natalie, was very ‘real’, which made it even better. “ – Mary Donatelli

“The main takeaway point I learned was that there is such a thing as a ‘scratch track’, in which voice actors can voice animated films, and NOT have to be union to do it. No, we will not be the final actors, but it’s work and how is that ever a bad thing? “ – Stacey Anderson

“Voice acting appealed to me because I could be judged on the quality of my work, not the color of my skin…but WOW what a concept, the color of my skin may one day in fact, prove to be an advantage. I await the day…and it seems that day has come for some of our fellow actors whose voices now grace the big screen.” – Emiko Susilo