I spent the last weekend in March at Deneice and John Leigh’s little convention *cough cough* Anime Matsuri! WOW! What a spectacular event! They may have ruined me for all other cons with their amazing preparation, team of volunteers and masterful execution of an action packed con! Know that I joke when I say little because it was HUUUUGE!
Deneice and John are so amazing they (well Deneice did, she’s in the middle) picked me up in this (pay no attention to the giant sweat stain under my arm):
So without knowing it, I was on the same flight as one of the funniest women alive. A Miss Janet Varney whom you might know from a little cartoon knows as The Legend of Korra caauuuuuse she IS Korra!
We met in the airport in Houston and hit it right off! She and I had a leeeeettle fun in the Limo:
I immediately fell in love with her sassy sweet and honest disposition! I had a blast hanging with this ray of sunshine on Friday and Saturday! If you got to her panel you know what I’m talking about. She is HILARIOUS! wait there’s a link…. Here watch her and enjoy, dunno if it translates as well on video, but live it was fantastic: Janet Varney Video
Yah, I hope to see her again if the fates allow. But even if I don’t I feel so lucky to have gotten to spend the time I did. I hope you all watch Korra and all the other comedy live action stuff she’s in! She’s fantastic! We roamed the con, bought stuff, ate and laughed a lot! I even got to go to her panel since mine was in the same room right afterwards!
There were so many people at this convention that I have heard of but never met in person. Like Johnny Yong Bosch! I was so disappointed we didn’t do a P4 panel together! But let’s be real this King of Cons was a tad scheduled within an inch of his life! Not only was he there as a Power Ranger and VA but his band Eyeshine was performing all over the place! They are terrific by the way!
Needless to say I DID get to at least meet him in person and have a few short and quick conversations. I can honestly say I genuinely like him. He had a great clear energy and I loved how he was with the fans. A real stand up guy. He was funny and silly and sweet. I know millions of girls are jealous that i got this picture with him too! But the BEST PART was on Saturday morning when I walked into the green room Johnny was holding his guitar and started singing “Good Morning Erin!” and did a whole song about wishing me a good day! His band even joined in! Totally started my day with abundant amounts of love! I heart him so much for that!
You can see more of Johnny and all his appearances here: Johnny’s panels …. One day we will get to be on a panel together (hopefully with many P4 actors) that would be amazing! Somebody get on that!
On my panel which was also videotaped and put on the same page but at the bottom here: Erin & Kyle together I decided to invite my friend Kyle Hebert to join me. Why? Because what’s the point of being at a con and having all this time you can spend with co workers that you never get to see but not see them because Cons are too polite to book us on panels together. FORGET THAT! I don’t need my own panel! I prefer being with my co workers and sharing our stories and answers together! That is creating memories that last forever to me.
So that’s what I did and I loved it! Kyle is such a gentleman and is so laid back. I adore him. Highlights of the Convention with Kyle included the improv show friday night but more importantly the hour we laid on the floor when his previous Dragonball Z evolution panel got cancelled due to tech difficulties. We just laid on the stage trying to rest up thinking we would never be able to do improv past midnight! certainly not be funny.
Low and behold through the magic that was Mike Macfarland, Matt Mercer, Carli Mosier, Becky Young and Marisha Ray we managed to feed off their amazing energy and pull off one of the funniest improv shows I’ve ever done last minute with a cast I had never met. It was fantastic! And I finally got to meet Mike, Carli and Becky! I had met Matt and Marisha playing paintball in LA so those were the folks I knew! If you were there that night thank you so much!
It was such a terrific crowd! I know that’s why things ended up being so funny! I wish I could share more about what happened but it was a late night show and meant to stay at the Con. Let me just say I got to know Carli Mosier very intimately VERY QUICKLY! LOLOL!
Since Janet had to leave Saturday Mike McFarland picked up cracking me up where Janet left off! If you have never met him in person you must! He is a Comic Genius! I truly mean that. His timing and abilities are mind blowing! A real comedy star. I was dying from laughter every time I was around him. Thank you so much Mike! What a gift.
OH YAH! I forgot to mention all the Chie’s!!! There were 4 Chie’s that I saw! YAY! Apparently a Parasoul also roamed the event but she didn’t have the time to come and meet me. Bummer! but here are my Chie pictures!
Note the hilarity of Pedo Bear behind the picture on the right! Janet took the pic on the left and Kyle took the pic on the right! I am so honored that they chose Chie for their cosplay! YOU GOTTA EAT MORE MEAT!
Holy Smokes! I ALMOST FORGOT THE BEST PART!!! I MET AN EGRET! A REAL EGRET!!!
Saturday was fun with my panel, sadly it was just me this time, and meeting fans at the signing and photo op portion of the day. I really got to meet many of you and spend some time talking. That is one of my favorite parts.
Saturday night got awesome with the Anime Radio and I met Stephanie Young Brehm too! Kyle Hebert is a panel idea genius and borrowed this idea from some other successful cast read thru panels but OURS were to 1940 original Batman comics!!! AND THEY WERE HILARIOUS!!! Many of you know I perform in LA with a comedy troupe that performs classic 1940′s radio plays so this was right up my alley and it did not disappoint! So much fun!
Saturday night got even MORE awesome when I went to watch Johnny Yong Bosch’s band Eyeshine perform AND Stephanie Young Brehm ALSO performed with her husband animator David Brehm! They were Amazing!!!! I have a pic of Johnny, see if you can make him out, my phone didn’t zoom.
I sat with Mike McFarland and other Anime Matsuri special guest Kelly Hu. Then we all hung out backstage for a while and talked and joked and tried to decide what we should do next. We ended up going to the Hotel bar for drinks. (if you know me, you know i only had water). But here is a pretty good shot of us all backstage. A little fuzzy but we made the poor dude take a picture with each of our phones so only one shot at a time made it. In case you don’t know who is who. From left to right it is Johnny, Stephanie, her husband David, me, Mike McFarland and Kelly Hu.
We sat around chatting at the bar for a while but both Johnny and Mike had to leave for other engagements which left me, Steph and David and Kelly. Poor David had to sit and listen as us girls started to gab it up talking about our Dogs and Life. We had a great time. Kelly thought it was neat I had her name tattooed on my arm, as did I, so she had a pic taken with her phone for posterity and it is now, hands down, the best picture ever taken of me ever. So know if you meet me in real life i don’t really look like that. Only through the Filter of HU do I shine that brightly!
If you want to know what the HU means to me just go to this page here: HU Song
Sunday I didn’t have any panels and my flight flew out late so I had time to walk the dealers floor and bought tons of swag from the Sanshee booth. The ONLY booth selling stuff I worked on. sidenote: if you are a dealer going to a con, wouldn’t it make sense to stock up on items that the ‘guests’ are in. People buy it all to get signed and the artists themselves will drop plenty of dough to by stuff with their characters on them. But alas, it seems no one has figured out this logic and luckily for me Sanshee was there to take all of my money.
I even bought stuff for the other skullgirls. Pins for everyone and a t-shirt for Cerebellum and Peacock, since they were the only ones with shirts… so far. The Sanshee people assured me more are coming. I also bought a Catherine shirt for me and 2 persona 4 shirts. YAY! oh and a Parasoul poster.
The rest of the time I spent talking to the amazing team of people who staffed the event. They were UHmazing. The fella who was assigned to ‘handle’ me was David Phan and he did a terrific job of keeping me informed of all my duties, getting me to places on time, keeping me on track and watered and fed. Thank you David and all the people who worked with David. Shams, Kendra, Albert, Jennie and Patrick were the ones who worked with me the most. I had an amazing time. OH and I almost forgot to mention I kept bumping into The Lady Spade in the Greenroom! Her and her adorable ladies always looked amazing and were just the sweetest girls ever!
Here’s David (such a sweetie having to put up with me!) with me right before I flew out. You can see half of Kendra’s face on the left! Thank you Anime Matsuri for being so professional and loving and so much fun! I hope to make it back one of these years! Until then if you want me to attend a con near you, email that con and give them this website as a way of contacting me. I would love to meet more of you and get more of your stories! I feel this might be the best part of my job.
I spent the entire day sleeping and in contemplation. This week has been one of the most amazing weeks of my life. I got the opportunity to be apart of something so much bigger than myself that I feel Life just got a whole lot more interesting.
Starting with the Live Stream a week ago at Salty Cupcakes where I showed up to support the little independent video game I’m in called Skullgirls, get into EVO by raising the most money in a donation competition. Winner got 8th spot in EVO.
From the first day I auditioned for Skullgirls I had a soft spot in my heart for it. The design had me in love upon first sight and I didn’t care that they wouldn’t be able to pay me my regular rate for VO. I knew I wanted to help bring to life this dream that someone (Alex, Mike and their team of Angels) had created.
So when I got hired by Mike Z and Alex Ahad under the VO direction of Cristina Vee I was happy to do all I could to help promote the game. For the last year, it’s been brilliant to watch how so many others also feel how I do about the game and in one short year we built a real community of people passionate about the game.
I have done what I can in the limited ways a voice actor has to promote the game. But the fund raiser had real potential to get the word out about Skullgirls, as well as raise money for an important cause… Breast Cancer Research.
I am at the age where friends of mine have been diagnosed and have fought through many types of cancer including Breast. I am one of the blessed humans because all of these loved ones have survived their fight. The loved ones of others haven’t been so lucky. It was an easy switch inside me to turn on…. something clicked…. I had to put all my heart and soul into supporting those in this event.
Because ultimately it’s all about LOVE. Love for my job, love for the people who create animation, love for people who create video games, love for people who play video games and watch animation. Love for friends and family. and even Love for the Human Race.
I haven’t felt this kind of communal love before. Certainly not to this degree. It was a real struggle for us to get in the competition and stay in it. Every time we asked for a donation, in my minds eye I saw thousands of College students donating their grocery money for the week. So many people sacrificed for this little indie game.
I have no words to describe how honorable that is. How incredibly LOVING. How AMAZING YOU ALL ARE! all of those words fail at what I’m feeling inwardly.
What felt even more impossible was how old the competition was and how huge their fan base expanded. It really did feel like David vs Goliath just because our Skullgirls community didn’t have the resources of the competition. We had to get creative!
Mr. Fanatiq and Danny who did a 15 hr stream of which I joined 10 hrs of, amazing. Kyle Hebert for donating his own time, even though he isn’t in the game itself and raising thousands of dollars that night by doing endless VO requests, AMAZING! …..
Kaiji Tang getting a Skullgirls tattoo because he promised if we hit $25k he would…. Alex Ahad DESIGNING Kaiji’s tattoo, AMAZING.
Last night ALL OF YOU DONATING $50K IN ONE NIGHT………….O_________O MIND BLOWINGLY AMAZING!!!!!!!
From the instant fanart, to the letters of appreciation, to the personal stories told to me of Breast Cancer affecting your lives…. I have so much love for you I feel like you are all part of my family now. We went through something together. Hours and HOURS of an amazing LIFE EXPERIENCE where I truly believe we changed the world this week. We added so much more LOVE to it, that I know somebody’s life will be saved.
Because ultimately WE RAISED OVER $78, 780 FOR BREAST CANCER RESEARCH and as a community of fighting game fans WE RAISED $233,000 that is MIND BLOWING!!!!!!! I want to again share the beautiful closing thoughts Mike Z had at the end of last night.
*Fantastic news, everybody!
While we didn’t win the Evo fundraiser, your truly phenomenal support of Skullgirls still managed to get Evo’s attention.
The Skullgirls side-tournament will now have official support from Evo: dedicated stations in the Bring-Your-Own-Console area, a Top 8 stream, and they’ll be adding $1000 to the prize pool!*
Below is my image journal of the weeklong experience of getting the little game that could to EVO… I don’t take enough pictures, I know so many people are missing from my photos like Alex and Mike Z… but I prefer to live my life first hand and I used my time to get to know them both a little more. But I did capture a few moments and received some brilliant artwork that needs to be permanently documented all together in this blog. A Big Thank you to all the artists Rtil, Kinuko, Persona, Roger Dog , Ian Chase aka Delicious Orange Art, RedMuttFightingGame and the ones’ whose names I couldn’t find. (feel free to let me know who i missed)
THIS IS AN ADDITION WRITTEN ON APRIL 3 2013. MONTHS LATER AFTER ALL OF YOU BANDED TOGETHER FOR THE INDIEGOGO CAMPAIGN AND RAISED A WHOPPING $829,829.00 FOR 5 ADDITIONAL DLC CHARACTERS, STORYMODES AND MORE!!! AGAIN, YOU HAVE PROVEN YOU ARE AMAZING AND HONORABLE AND THE BEST COMMUNITY I HAVE EVER HAD THE HONOR OF BEING A PART OF!! I LOVE YOU ALL SO VERY MUCH AND AM GRATEFUL THAT I GET TO PLAY THE ROLE OF THE PRINCESS FOR CANOPY KINGDOM.
I decided to wait until the new year for my next post for a couple of reasons. One, big changes were happening in my personal life. Two, a big event occurred in my professional life but felt too good to be true that I needed to sit with it for a while……And still do, really.
I am not going to go into these 2 things in detail because I still feel they are such new growth that they need gentle tending to as they grow and become stronger. What I can do is go into what these events mean to me. They have made me look for more within myself than I had previous thought possible.
I realize that most human’s limit themselves somewhere or other and I am most definitely one of them. The Universe has given me the opportunity to push past these illusory limitations to find a store of strength, ability and creativity I had not thought possible for myself. I’m not saying that I’m quite there yet, but I am no longer in the comfort zone of my previous limitations.
Currently I am in the uncomfortable zone of self-doubt while in motion. Biting off big new areas of Life that I once thought were never for me. I am moving forward with faith (I have received numerous waking dreams letting me know I am exactly where I’m supposed to be), adventure, and courage. For anyone who has ever worked with Rune Stones, if I were to pull a Rune on my current situation I am quite certain it would be the UNKNOWN. Because I am starting down I path that is unfamiliar with me, not knowing where it will lead.
I’m still doing voice over work of course! But in order to achieve the goals I have set for myself I have to shed my old limitations and walk boldly forward into areas as a performer that I have never done before. I have to put myself out there in my work in a manner no one has previously given me the opportunity for.
2013 is filled with new opportunities for me that I don’t want to blow. I want to do my very best, both personally and professionally. I find I have a huge fear of F%$*#ing it up. But I suppose most of us do. I’m afraid I’m not qualified to step into these bigger shoes that I have laid out for myself…. which most of us fear, as my dear friends remind me.
But I am moving forward in spite of my fears because I am incredibly blessed to have walked the path I have, with the challenges I have had the opportunity to face and creatively work through. I am ready to push myself beyond my limitations and rededicate myself to the things I love most in life. That includes you. I love my connections with other people. I find them sacred and important.
There are people who have appeared in my world for only moments that have deeply affected me by the love they gave. This is what life is all about for me. To give and receive Love. I rededicate myself to that. I choose to fill these new adventures in 2013 with the most LOVE I have to give.
I trust that this ship on the ocean of love and mercy will lead me to amazing new places I never could have dreamed of for myself. I promise to do my very best at all times and work on shifting negative and limiting beliefs and attitudes to more loving and adventurous ones.
I will continue to sing the HU daily to open my heart to be able to give and receive more of this Divine Love and creativity that flows through all of you and all around. I am scared, excited, tentative, anticipatory and grateful.
If you are up for this adventure I look forward to doing it along side of you. I look forward to look at you on the bow of your ship from the bow of mine encouraging each other forward through this amazing and vast ocean of Life. There may be storms but we can handle them! Let us strike forth with Love, Courage, and Honor.
Let 2013 be the year we become who we know ourselves to be.
May the Blessings Be
What a wild year 2012 has been and its not quite finished yet. Work has been much slower than last year but so much has happened!
This year I got to take over the role of Chie Satonaka for the Persona 4 franchise and I fell madly in love with her!! I got to discover her recording P4: arena and really get into her for P4 The Animation and Ultimately claim her with P4: Golden. I know for a lot of P4 fans the voice is a big difference from Tracey’s original read. Well it is. I am different than Tracey. My take on Chie is a whole lot like me playing myself as a teen. I was that energetic, and excitable and HUNGRY! LOL!
Next let’s talk Wild Grinders, My first official cartoon series since Ed, Edd and Eddy! Airs on Nicktoons and is aimed for the younger generation of kids with a whole lot of references to classic animation for the parents watching too. My favorite job to date because of the immense range I get to play on the show and how big my characters are on it! I rarely book ‘Leading’ roles. I am no Laura Bailey.
I am a character actor and tend to book supporting, wacky roles. Well this show makes me feel like I’m a lead when I’m not. I ADORE playing Rob’s arch nemesis Stubford and his Older sister Denise!! I am even falling more and more in love with how well my Patti (Rob’s mom) plays off of Rob’s Dad Gene (voiced by Rob). They are becoming my favorite cartoon parents of all time!
No one seems to know about this show yet, and many older teens hate on it, but i find older teens hate on almost everything cause being negative is easy. If you have watched this show and enjoyed it, know it fills my heart with great joy. Because with the amazing cast including the genius of Yuri Lowenthal and Kel Mitchell nothing but love went into the making of it! Love that is waiting for an audience to find it and receive it!
Now all year from my end, Monster High has been on a hiatus. So other than Comic Con I haven’t really thought about it until this week when after all the diligent hard work I did on the show last year finally comes to fruition with a WHOLE WEEK OF MONSTER HIGH ON NICKELODEON!!! It feels so good to have 2 shows on an amazing cartoon channel.
I wish it was a television series! The execs have asked to turn it into one, but the higher ups have said no. However, I believe with fan support anything can change. And one fan went so far as to create a petition to show how many people support the idea! If you want to help her prove there are numbers of fans who would tune in be sure to sign it: SIGN PETITION HERE
I can’t believe I have gotten to play 6 amazing characters on Monster High. I get asked a lot who is my favorite… but really, how can I choose?!!! Abbey is the funniest to me, Spectra the Ghouliest, CA Cupid is the Loveball, Scarah speaks to my Irish roots, and Rochelle represents my French side! Oui je parles Francais! Claire is simply brilliant and I love her! AND I LOVE THAT SHE GOT TO KISS JACKSON!!! Played by one of my BFF Cindy Robinson !!! Sorry Jackson+Frankie fans.
So all in all I think it’ll take a whole lot more than 6 Monster High characters to capture all the different aspects of my personality! LOL!
Surprises for 2012 have been how successful Skullgirls has been! YAY!!!! A bunch of fans and I think that Skullgirls should have it’s own tv series and air on Toonami!!! But someone will have to make a petition for that to see if there is any real interest out there.
How amazing is it that League of Legends has dominated online gaming! YYYAYYYY!!!! I also got to record a few epic titles in gaming this year but they haven’t been announced yet. I have also been working on a new anime series that hasn’t been picked up anywhere yet. AND I was working on a new animated series (where I booked a lead) but it got put on an indefinite hold….
OH but I do get to go to a screening of an animated feature I’m in next week! I really play a sidekick in it making noises like R2D2 but oddly it was a real terrific character!! Hopefully it airs in theaters in 2013!! We’ll see.
A lot of projects I thought I’d be busy with just didn’t happen. But that’s life…. the tide goes in the tide goes out. Last year I was so busy I could barely breathe! This year I’ve had time to break a foot, heal from it, help my dog get back to health and spend way too much time online getting to know all of you! Which has been a real blessing! So thank you.
I don’t know when the tide will change again and I’ll be too busy to breathe. But I do know I’m terribly excited to start my official round of Conventions that I have booked over the next year! If you want me to visit a Con near you, email them and let them know. My Con Booking agent info is on the contact page of this site. I’m ready for a year of travel for 2013!! So let’s get that going!
So mostly I’m at home with my man and my dog, sending out auditions and hoping for 2nd season on Wild Grinders, more Monster High projects and for some new and exciting shows that are on the horizon but I don’t know about yet.
The best part of 2012 has been to watch the people I love the most in this world blossom! My man booked an animated feature and my best girls are BLOWING UP with bookings and jobs! I can’t thank them enough for keeping me entertained with their good news and out of my own head!! LOL! I’m grateful to have front row seats and be the cheerleader for them as they have been for me! WELL DONE EVERYONE!!! KEEP UP THE AMAZING WORK!
For all of you reading this… thank YOU! I appreciate that you take the time to check in on what’s going on, even when not much is. I appreciate that you are on your own journey to achieve your own goals. And maybe like me, some of you aren’t getting much movement on the outer. But know, like me, it means that you are growing the most on the inner! And that’s equally as important if not more so!
It’s times like this that I know I’m building strength, health, endurance, perseverance, patience, kindness, tolerance and love. Life doesn’t get any better than that!
<3 Baraka Bashad – May the Blessings Be
There are 3 important laws in life I try to live by. The First 2 are Maybury’s Laws.
1. Do all you have agreed to do
2. Do not encroach on other persons or their property
and the last one is the Golden Law
3. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
They may seem simple but life can make them complicated pretty quickly when anger or righteous indignation kick in.
For example when I was young and working at my job at Dairy Queen (my first job ever at 14) I broke all the laws for sure! By taking the job I had agreed to do a certain amount of duties for a certain amount of pay. My job was to collect money and provide the customers with tasty ice cream or brazier goodness. Sounds simple enough.
But being my first job and being excited it was a popular food joint I found myself wrapped up in my ego and would give food away to friends for free and would over indulge in a ridiculous amount of the food myself.
You might think I didn’t do anything wrong. But it was wrong. I didn’t pay for any of that food. The owner did. The owner was kind enough to let the staff eat their for free while they worked, but I abused that privilege and ate more than a fair amount of food. I wasn’t the only one so I justified my behavior by thinking ‘everyone was doing it’. But deep inside I knew I was really stealing. Because as law 3 states, if it was my DQ I wouldn’t want my employees doing that to me.
Someone had to pay for what I ate and gifted and I didn’t care cause I thought it wouldn’t be me. But it was actions like this that led to the karmic repercussion of money troubles in my life later on. Karma is the life law of Cause and Effect, you don’t have to believe in it but like the law of gravity it works whether you believe in it or not.
There is nothing to stop us from doing what we want to do even if it is dishonest. BUT we will have to pay for it later. And I can say by experience that it felt like I payed for it 100 times over.
Ah it’s just a coincidence! you might say. You may be right. However, when I was going through these horrific money issues I was also practicing singing the spiritual word HU . Its an ancient name of the Creator of LOVE that is sung as a love song. I sung it to open my heart to give and receive more divine love in my life but it also has some amazing side effects.
I find that when I sing HU answers come to me from my inner self that explains problems or challenges in my daily life now.
At the time of my $$ problems I sang the HU and a list of incidents where I took liberties with the property of other people came to me. When these memories came to me, it explained to a T why I was having these problems. It didn’t make the problem go away but it did make it easier to swallow. With each financial blow I would say “oh, there’s the first month at DQ” and so on… like paying back an old debt that had gotten much to large.
I believe I could have avoided this karma if I had only 1. asked permission of the owner for the extras I took or 2. not taken what didn’t belong to me because I didn’t pay for it or 3. pay for it
All of this comes up for me because of all the piracy and breaking of confidences that goes on by fans about the shows and games that they love.
One of my best friends is living through a nightmare because a fan decided to post publicly a private chat conversation between the two of them that happened when my friend had received some bad news and was feeling very vulnerable. .. he also spoke vaguely about his job and the stress going on there, without mentioning any names of the project he was on.
The fan who should have been honored that such a big star would confide in him, abused that moment and without My friends permission posted the entire conversation as an Official Interview…. Which also broke the NDA he had signed with a gaming company… because even though he didn’t mention the name of the project, he is famous enough that fans automatically assume what it is and what the fan posted quickly turned into epic gossip about the project which sent the BIG GAME COMPANY into a tailspin.
Also the COMPANY had no proof that the actor wasn’t doing an official interview.
ALL OF THE BLAME LANDED ON THE ACTOR. He is still dealing with the nightmare… he is on the verge of being blacklisted… he is being forced to finish out his contract WITHOUT PAY for the next 5 months ALL BECAUSE HIS CONFIDENCE WAS ABUSED BY A FAN.
The fan has no idea how far things have gone. or that my friend’s health took a horrific tailspin because of all the stress of so many companies and agencies using him as a scapegoat.
I am mortified that this happened but I take it as a warning that not all people follow these laws that I try to live by. It will affect how I interact with fans, of course.
This is the reason Mattel has forbidden its actors to talk about the projects we are on. I can’t blame them! Somehow people feel because Mattel is a huge corporation that makes it ok to steal their content and post it elsewhere without Mattel’s permission. Or leak information about projects hundreds of people have been working for months or sometimes years.
I have had the personal experience of booking a lead in an amazing new Anime series and after releasing the first 3 episodes the piracy was so ridiculous that the company shut down the whole production due to loss of revenue. Translation: I LOST MY JOB BECAUSE FANS ABUSED COPYRIGHT LAWS
Fans who didn’t post the content but watch it are still breaking these laws, the content does not belong to you, and the person who owns it has not given you permission to watch it unless you purchase it yourself or view it in the designated and approved areas like a network on TV or an ‘official’ website.
This is why there is such a huge backlash of copyright laws trying to over take the internet. All because too many people didn’t have the decency to do the right thing and pay for content that doesn’t belong to them.
If you are an artist I know you understand because folks abuse our creations all the time without our permission. Even I post Fan Art I find on Tumblr on my facebook that I don’t know who the artist is… although I hope through fans and such that all artists eventually get the credit they deserve!!! I’m hoping to promote the artists ultimately but I’m sure that I’m breaking the second law when I post art without the credit on the art. I will have to pay for it, I’m sure. Maybe that’s why I buy so much FanArt to make up for it.
I certainly don’t want a company I worked for to use any recording I have done without my permission or proper compensation. I realize that most youth under 30 aren’t making $$ off of what they created so they lack the respect of the creation of others.
The bottom line is ALWAYS ASK PERMISSION… you would be surprised at what can happen. People do say yes, you know! and if they say no respect that and do as they ask, they have their reasons! Not only does it feel good but you prevent paying any debt to the universe later in life.
OR pay for the stuff you love! It’s easy, it feels good and it keeps the cycle of creating quality content coming to you.
So if you want to try and live by these laws too remember:
1. do all you have agreed to do 2. do not encroach on other people or their property
3. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you
I want to dance with abundance
A soft and beautiful motion
Where love replaces everything
And trust becomes an ocean
The flow is strong and steady
The music never ends
Rhythm from deep inside me
And I share it with my friends
Til we all dance with abundance
Our feet still on the ground
We play in our field of dreams
As we listen to the sound
Of ten thousand purple flowers
And a million blades of grass
And a hundred million snowflakes
Each unique down to the last
If the world danced with abundance
We could stop our jealousies
And our fear and doubt of losing
Who we think we oughta be.
I think I will dance with abundance
Though I might step upon its feet
Cause with practice I’ll get better
Til I never miss a beat.
So I thought I’d share a little about what I’m learning in my life journey right now. I’m grateful that I’m at a place where I don’t feel too embarrassed to share this so publicly. I felt moved this morning to write it out and own up to it, so here it is.
There are interesting occasions in my life when someone who is a friend strangely becomes someone I am uncomfortable with. I don’t know how it happens, it seems so gradual and natural that I’m generally quite surprised when I find myself avoiding contact with them at some point.
Usually it’s one person at a time with breaks in between. Right now I’m on a break. Thank Goodness. But this break has given me an opportunity to reflect on the cycle that occurs with humans I love and respect.
When the cycle starts I use it as an opportunity to look at the areas of myself that I’m not in love with. (don’t get me wrong, I don’t do it with a happy smiley face of “oh great, now i can work on myself” usually i’m pissy and grumbling)
I have found that if there is something in someone else that I don’t like that it is because it is an aspect of myself that I don’t like. In other words, usually I’m doing that exact thing but I don’t recognize it in myself yet but BOY do I ever see it in others.
So then this must be the time to look at that aspect, forgive it and own it and love it. Practicing giving that person love in my imagination and blessing them and wishing them all their dreams, as hard as that can be at times (i generally do it through gritted teeth), always helps the feeling of avoiding them subside and the distaste I developed towards them disappear. Then the love between us is able to flow once more.
I never tell the person what’s going on, for I feel they didn’t really do anything that THEY need to change, it’s me that needs to be worked on. I generally let them know I’m busy working on something at this time and am unable to connect with them as I have in the past. I also have to keep myself heavily in check when speaking to others lest that distasteful side of myself says something I will regret about someone I ultimately love.
This is not an easy process. I find it incredibly painful actually because there is a side of myself that wants to vilify the person, blame them and tell the world how horrible they are for absolutely no reason, when it is absolutely untrue.
I have done this enough to know that in time and with the imaginative technique I use, that it will pass and in the end I will love myself more and let go of hating areas of my personality.
Interestingly enough, on this break I have been amazingly aware of how many people are having this experience with me. Quite a few actually. I have been able to recognize it upon eye contact. That if they could have avoided me, they would have. Of course, for some people in my work world I have felt this from them for years now. I don’t judge it, because I understand it. I don’t take it personally because I realize it’s from them since they don’t really know me at all.
The strange thing I’ve noticed with some new people to join the ranks of being annoyed by my presence recently, is that I feel sad about it. Sad because in all cases I adore and respect them. I want to share my love and celebration of their awesomeness but they can’t receive it because they have a distaste for me. For many of these people this will not change for I am completely aware that they feel it has nothing to do with them, I am simply someone to be avoided and annoyed by.
So fascinating to be aware of it from this perspective… so for the people who I have had this experience with, I now understand how it must feel to have me resist their love and respect. It feels sad and I apologize.
It also saddens me that is has to do with people I work with. People who it would be so fun to work beside if the feelings were different. But as it stands, I try to respect their feelings and keep my distance as much as possible. But sometimes I can’t help but let the love and respect for their artistry slip out. I apologize for annoying them further LOL! (i know how that feels)
The gift of getting through this experience is the reconnection with that person. Feeling the love flow freely and being able to have fun together again, or for the first time if it was someone that rubbed me the wrong way before I even knew who they were.
As challenging as these experiences are, from both sides of the coin, I have to say how grateful I am that the work I’m putting in to develop my awareness around it is really paying off. I am grateful to my spiritual exercises and singing the HU where most of my ‘Aha’ moments come from. I can see myself detaching more in a loving way to handle these things with balance.
I am not a humble person, humility seems to be an impossible state of being to me. And I am grateful everytime I am put in check by life, reminding me we are all having this human experience, we are all experiencing these challenges in our own ways and we are simply Humans Being, so let us be.
Thanks for taking the time to read. May the Blessings Be.
This is gonna be a long one, so i’m not gonna bother editing it really. forgive the non capitalizations which is my biggest bad habit.
I generally make the pilgrimage to SDCC every year if I can, whether I have something to promote or not. Why? because I can get in as a pro and there is SO MUCH TO SEE! It’s really the only time I get to hang out with the artists and talk with them and hang out and learn from them. For me its a Mecca for Artists of the Comic and animation genre.
When I’m not ‘working’ I usually go to panels that are totally unrelated to VO. I like to sit in on how artists create their stories, their character development… actual drawing. That world seems so removed from mine during the regular working week, that I LOVE to dive in at Comic Con and see the other side of the planet.
But for Comic Con 2012 I did not get to play at all really. This was a working convention for me, mostly for Monster High, which I loved! It all started wednesday night when we arrived and went straight to the con. I’m used to Wednesdays being mostly for professionals and expected it to be relatively empty for preview night.
Things have CHANGED. It was now preview night for anyone who bought their tickets last year. I went this early because I was on a mission to by some Scarah Scream dolls for some of my loved ones. (Since I play Scarah, it seemed like a big deal to secure the dolls for my sister and nieces etc…) I was shocked to learn after waiting in LINE for a half hour that PROFESSIONALS were forbidden to buy the dolls on preview night! WHAT?!!! I had driven all that way and waited in countless lines and its even the doll I voice and it seemed it was not going to happen for all my loved ones!
Luckily, the universe stepped in and provided generous and kind Souls who all volunteered to get the dolls for me! So one woman joined me in line and together we secured the dolls! YAY! I have forgotten her name but I remember her face, so Thank you to you again if
you ever read this!
Then it was off to the hotel and get settled in. I always stay in Chula Vista away from the craziness of the crowds. I like it cause I get to take the train in, which is really fun to me. We went to bed early because I had thursday off and it was going to be my only day to play around.
Thursday morning I get all dressed and ready, I sang HU like I do every morning and put out to the universe that I would love to see cosplayers of my characters… especially Parasoul or Chie because I didn’t expect to see them. I left my boyfriend in the hotel to get some work done from his computer and set off for my own adventure.
Waiting at the station I admired the cosplay costumes of the folks standing around also heading to the Con. Very creative stuff even if I didn’t recognize them. Then the train pulled up with its 6 or 7 long cars. I stood around the middle so probably was going to get on the 3rd car.
As it slowed to a stop with the glass doors in front of me, I could see all the bodies filling the car inside. I got a quick flash of a particular shade of green that both got me excited and made me think “Nahhhh” at the same time. The car door opens and to my shock and amazement THERE WAS CHIE STANDING RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME!!!!
*sidenote* I took over the role of Chie at the beginning of 2012 and have spent the majority of this year working on the Persona 4 franchise. She has quickly become one of my favorite characters of all time because her part is so large and there was so much to get to do with her.
Needless to say I freaked out! I ran into the train and started fangirling all over Chie and her friend dressed as Yukiko! I just couldn’t believe this miracle on my first official day at Comic con! We went over all the amazing things that had to happen in order for this to manifest! I love LIFE!
We chatted and took pictures and then parted ways. I rushed into the Con heading directly to PCB Productions booth (I recorded the majority of P4 stuff with them) waving my phone and the pic on it screaming like a highschool girl. YAY!
Once the excitement died down a little. I was able to refocus and take the time to visit with Val and Julia Arem then off to Hyperactive Monkey’s booth to visit Jerome Lu who Mel and I are huge fans of! Then I got word that fellow Monster High cast member America Young was going to be on Stan Lee’s panel so I hurried off to secure my place in line for that event.
I stood in line for over an hour but it was SO worth it! I got a great seat near the front and out walked Stan Lee, Mark Hamill, the model that won season 1 of ATM, another woman i’m not familiar with who builds amazing crafts and props and stuff and of course, MY GIRL, AMERICA YOUNG!!!! Who immediately walked over to the mic and said “i can’t believe i’m on this panel”.
The panel was terrific. It was about Stan Lee launching his new channel - Stan Lee’s World of Heroes – and they showed clips from all the BRILLIANT shows that are going to be on it. I have to say, I went to support America but was immediately enthralled with the content I was seeing and plan on tuning in regularly to the channel to see more! My favorite part was when Stan introduced America Young’s series Geek Therapy. I got to see America on the big screen being hilarious and then talk about her show along with Stan Lee. BEST DAY EVER! I even cried… i did. It felt like I was witnessing something immense. so everyone please tune in and support America’s show. I know you’ll love the other stuff on the channel too!
At the end of the panel I got to run and hug America and then I headed out. I actually can’t remember what I did after that because i was so high of the experience. Oh wait! I found Debi Derryberry signing autographs and sat with her for a bit. I do remember a little later getting back on the train and heading back to the hotel to rest up because Friday was going to be a big day for me.
Friday morning at the con started with an interview at the Mattel booth along side Ashley Lotecki who was cosplaying as CA Cupid. I know the interview was ridiculous because I was so busy fangirling over Ashley I’m sure I looked ridiculous! But it was sooo exciting!!! I had never seen a cupid cosplayer before!!! I expected to see Abbey’s! and Spectra’s!
Next I grabbed Monster High’s #1 fan Julia Arem and along with Mel we went for lunch to prepare for my panel that afternoon. We wandered the con a bit, visited Jerome together to buy some Monkey Kung Fu items and take a pic. Then headed to the panel. We had to wait outside for a while and there was a little line waiting to get in.
I remember thinking, “oh, it’s a little line the room probably won’t fill up then” There were some great cosplayers so I took some pics, I got the run down from PR about what I could and could not talk about. America Young and Debi Derryberry with the rest of the Mattel Monster High team all gathered together to enter the panel. Garrett Sanders the creator was of course among them.
When it was time to go in we were all gob smacked to learn that the room was already full. Apparently fans had been sitting through panels all morning holding their seats for OUR panel! Little kids all cosplayed up, sat through hours of other panels just to see us!
**I felt bad for the other panels and people who wanted to see them… Note to comic con- There has got to be a better system**
Regardless, we were ushered in and the room was PACKED!!!!! Mel and Julia didn’t even get VIP seats we were hoping to give them, they had to stand at the side! America Young didn’t get to sit with us on the panel because the Con had some sort of rule of only having a certain amount of people on a panel. Ours was made up of Garrett Sanders (the creator), Designers Rebecca Shipman and Natalie Villegas, Eric Hardie copywriter (and the reason behind Abbey’s awesomeness), Ira Singerman who produces the entertainment part of MH and Debi and me. It seemed silly we couldn’t get America up with us. But Con rules. Audu Paden was the officiator and he directs and produces the shows as well as voices Manny Taur and Ghoulia.
The panel was FANGTASTIC! We got to hear from the creators and designers, they showed previews of Ghouls Rule which comes out on DVD in the fall and looks AMAZING! I couldn’t stop gazing over the crowd and the amazing costumes and just ALL THE LOVE!!!! It really moved me. I felt so grateful that I got to represent our team in the VO field there. We have such a huge cast and I am only a small part of all the talent involved in Monster High.
Debi and I yukked it up doing our character voices. Fans asked brilliantly poignant questions to the Mattel team. And most importantly asked why don’t we have a proper TV series!!!! Not that they got a great response. But It felt momentus that the fans were all in a room in agreement about what they wanted to see! Where they want MH to go! I mean, the folks working the con had never even heard of Monster High and were blown away by the panel and the turnout!
Baby steps. Although the dolls are popular the show is still growing and building its fanbase. We aren’t anywhere near the recognition of My Little Pony. And I got to really see that. I got to feel how many people haven’t heard of us. and how we are still the little show that could. So I want to give a huge Thank you to every Soul that showed up to the panel. And ALL THE PEEPS WHO DIDN’T GET IN!!! There was a huge number of folks who never got in! Monster High’s first panel at a Convention was a huge success. Hopefully next year we will keep on growing and get an even BIGGER ROOM!
It was there that it was officially announced that I play Scarah Scream. It wasn’t until Saturday that I could announce I also play Rochelle Goyle too.
I finished off friday by attending Yuri Lowenthal and Tara Platts panel on their amazing live action webseries Shelf Life! Then Mel and I attended Spike and Mike’s twisted animation festival because a couple of shorts I was in were possibly going to be screened. We watched for about an hour before one of the shorts aired, and I got to see my name flash on the screen. It felt epic, even if our short was one of the many that got booed. LOL! That’s Spike and Mike’s for ya!
Back at the hotel I planned on sleeping in late because the autograph signing for Monster High wasn’t going to start until 3pm on saturday. But I got a message from Frankie Washburn saying there was some sort of SKULLGIRL event going on somewhere in the con. So up I got, dressed i did and back to the con I went.
It turned out in the bowels of the con there are rooms where gamers unite and play tournaments of games. Apparently, if enough people turned up the event was going to be a tournament of Skullgirls. I told the folks running the room that I played one of the characters in the game and I came to crash the party and yell out lines at the players. But not enough people showed up to do a tournament really. So the volunteers signed up, they signed me up and with the few gamers that joined in we had ourselves a Skullgirls tournament!!! That was a blast! I had so much fun. I even managed to remember some of the stuff Mike Z and Kaiji had taught me and made it to the 2nd round!!! But eventually I got bested by Andy who knocked me out of the tournament just in time! I had to run to the Mattel booth for the autograph signing.
This is one of my favorite parts of the Convention. Not the actual signing of stuff, but the getting to meet face to face with fans of the show and share our appreciation for each other. The love that is exchanged fills my heart tremendously. Looking into the eyes of people who support your passion is such a gift. It seems so special that we should meet, since the majority of people watch the show anonymously usually and many never learn who it is that voices the characters they love.
I loved sitting next to Eric and America listening to them talk to the fans. I wish I could have a doll of Eric. He cracks me up! I adore him! Anyways it was great. and afterwards I was pooped. I don’t quite understand why I was so exhausted because I really only worked for 2 days and it was work I love to do. But I was absolutely wiped out. So Mel and I went off to eat dinner and head back to the hotel to relax and process all the events that occurred.
There were a myriad of other experiences I had as well, but they are more private for me and the Souls who shared them. You know who you are and what happened. Those experiences were amazing and magical and I will never forget them. Thank you for playing with me.
Unfortunately there was nothing organized for Wild Grinders this year, but I think it might have to do with the fact that the creator just had triplets a month ago and has his hands mighty full. (hopefully we’ll get a second season and make it to the Con Next year) But I did see flashes of WG clips above the Nickelodeon booth which made me very happy!!
That’s all I can recount from SDCC this year. I hope it made sense. It’s hard to write about it seriously. I’m still absorbing everything I learned. But needless to say, this adventure only renewed my mission to get to more conventions and to keep meeting more of the fans who support what I do. I could really feel that cons are a great opportunity to give back to you, in a small way, the love you are always sending to me. It feels important to me and sacred.
I promise to always do my best in my job and to get to conventions. and keeping in touch via Social Media. I don’t know what it is exactly but I think the agreement is for all of us to support and give encouragement to each other so that we can all reach our full potential in this life through creative means and sharing.
Thank you Mattel for making this con a positive experience. Thank you Julia Arem for inspiring me and playing with Mel and I. Thank you to all the fans who stood in line for any amount of time to support the shows you love.
Baraka Bashad - May the Blessings Be
Every voice artist is constantly bombarded with the question ‘How did you get into voice acting? I wanna be a Voice actor? How do I do it?’… Which is really 3 questions but they come out so fast it feels like one.
I loathe answering this. Because who am I to tell you your path to a career. Mine is so unique to me that I’m positive no one will be able to do it the same way. I am also pretty sure that could be said for every voice actor. So, what do I tell you?
Let me start off by saying that everything I type from this point on is coming from my beliefs that were formed based on my personal experiences. It doesn’t mean I’m right, or that what I say in any way would apply to you. It just means I’m a little stuck in a particular perspective due to these beliefs. And any or all my beliefs could change in an instant.
I’m a Voice Actor because at the age of 3 I started acting. I have been acting so long, that I have explored every form of acting there is. When I was a kid it never mattered if I was paid or if I became a professional, I never really thought about it. I just knew I had to act. So much so, I created tons of stuff for me to act out. I re-enacted all my favorite movies. I made up skits, plays, sketches, movies, vaudeville acts etc….
I have been acting so long that I know there is no mastery of the craft really. Only constant improvement and learning and experimenting. So when someone in their 20′s asks me how do they do what I do, the honest response in my head is always “you can’t” but that’s because I always assume, that if you are asking me, then you haven’t been working at it as long as I have.
Not to say you have to, but of course I have an opinion on that based on my experience.
So my opinion aside, to become a voice actor it takes many, many, many hours of practicing acting. That’s it. However you go about getting that practice is up to you. Classes, joining a theater, acting school, VO training, singing lessons. I can’t be the judge of what will get you there, but that’s what you have to do.
Buying a ton of equipment will not book you work. Being in the union will not get you work. Knowing every successful voice actor on a personal basis will not get you work.
Being an amazing actor WILL GET YOU WORK.
So, don’t rush it. Don’t force it. Don’t get all crazy with it if you haven’t put in the hours of practice yet. If you are at the beginning or middle of your hours of practice then DO get together with other aspiring VA’s and practice even more! Do join voices.com or voices123.com and apply for the low paying non union VO jobs and get a little money while you practice.
The Voice Over talent pool on this planet who are the top performers are AMAZING ACTORS. Mind blowingly brilliant. Please keep that in mind. This is your competition. If you are still in any way green, why would you join the union to compete directly with these people?
Spend your time getting so good that the transition is effortless. When the time is right the Union will knock on your door. Let life happen naturally. Booking something before you are ready will only shorten your career. Voice over is a long term career if you go at it right.
When I booked Ed, Edd and Eddy it was my first VO audition but I had been acting since I was 3. I mean ACTING. Millions of hours were spent honing my ability to create characters. Thousands of hours were spent on vocal classes and learning my instrument and that was even before I thought about doing VOICE acting. I was already using my entire body to create unique and wacky toon like characters. So all that preparation met with opportunity and EEnE happened for me.
It wasn’t luck. It was preparation.
That’s what I’m telling you to do. And think outside the box. THERE ARE A MYRIAD OF FACETS TO VOICE OVER. I only represent a smidgeon. You don’t have to book a series, or get on an popular shooting game to have a career. Have the courage to create your own path. Create your own work.
All anybody really wants is to work on something they love with people they love. So be sure to include the people you love on your journey. Especially if they have a similar dream to you. Helping others manifest their dreams helps get your mind off of yourself and lets “LIFE” do what it does, which is plot for your ultimate good.
It is so much easier when we get out of our own way. Ordinary things done consistently produce extra-ordinary results. So do your vocal warm-up daily. Learn the CRAFT of acting. Get inspired and create things that helps showcase someone else.
This is all I have to offer. Take what you like and leave the rest.
May the Blessings Be.
I am in the process of amazing changes in my life. I have always been an adventurous Soul, always welcomed change and I think this feeling towards it has helped me develop the belief that the UNIVERSE IS PLOTTING FOR MY ULTIMATE GOOD! (and yours too!)
The first part of 2012 was spent, for me, healing. There was a whole lot of unsupportive energies that needed to leave my universe and that required a quietness and time to heal. Luckily, I broke my foot! So I had no choice but to sit back, relax and let go so I could heal. It gave me time to spend time with my Loved one, Mel, my puppy and myself.
I started getting back to the basics of living without getting caught up in the busyness of work. WHAT A GIFT! But as of this week, it has all shifted. I’m back into the busyness HEAD ON! at least for the next 4 weeks. I feel ready, and strong and INSPIRED!
I can’t express how much I love what I do. I have been doing it since I was 3yrs old and I can’t get enough of it. When things slowed down at the beginning of this year, I was kicking and screaming like a kid being told they have to go to bed so their body can get some rest. But like my Mother, the Universe is always right. I feel like it’s morning and I’m rested and ready.
One of my favorite events that is going on right now is the whole taking over of the role of CHIE for Personna 4. I can’t believe how perfect a character she is for me! It blows my mind every time I record something for her.
The deepest part is that my boyfriend Mel is a HUGE Classic Kung Fu Movie fan. So much so he built a website for other fans www.kungfu-movie-madness.com During the building process of the site, we watched tons of movies together. He taught me as much as he could about the whole Kung Fu movie scene. I even wrote pages for his site having developed my own appreciation for these movies.
AND NOW I PLAY A CHARACTER WHO LOVES KUNG FU!!! Crazy! I even knew which Kung Fu artist would be her favorites! Hwang Jan Lee and Tao Tang Liang from “The Hot, the Cool and the Vicious” cause he has amazing Kicking Kung Fu! The brilliance of this preparation for playing Chie reminded me of another classic film “The Karate Kid” when Mr. Miyagi kept telling Daniel “Wax on, wax off”
My whole life has been Wax on, wax off. I end up doing things that don’t make any sense at all but then life continues and it makes PERFECT SENSE in the grand scheme of things, that I never get to look at. This makes my life a HUGE ADVENTURE, that I love living. I am so grateful that I get to play everyday, with the most Shining and amazing Souls! And I don’t just mean at my job.
I love that the folks who dig my work actually take the time to find out who I am and THEN go so far as to create art of the characters! What an amazing thing! It is the BEST side effect of my job EVER! It’s amazing to think about the immense creativity starting with the individual who came up with the idea of a video game or cartoon then all the talent it takes to make it from animators, programmers, QA testers, Voice talent etc… THEN for it to trigger even MORE creativity in the witnesses of these creations…. so inspirational. The gift that keeps on giving. AMAZING.
I don’t know if I’ll still be busy after the next 4 weeks, but I do know that whatever happens, it will be filled with Love and Contentment because of the people who are in my life. The best change is all the new Souls I get to meet. Thank you so much for your time and support. Thank you for even coming to this site. That blows my mind that you would take your valuable time to do so.
Here’s to the Future and More Change!!!!