Check out 5th Grade Challenge on Audible!

“Ted, the 5th grade genius and Veronica, his arch-rival, are constantly pranking each other. When the pranks spill over and ignite a grade-wide war, the teachers organize a girls vs. boys competition.”

This is a project I’ve been working on during 2020 with author Jamaal Fridge! I absolutely loved voicing his characters and discussing his work with him. It was so much fun and such a great learning experience as both an actor and an author!

You can find the audiobook on audible and read along!

Novel & Editing Update

Howdy Peeps!

I’ve been working away at my last few edits before I go into my full read through of my manuscript. It’s been so much fun. I can’t wait to share this book with you all.

I’ve also been reminding myself to record these last few edits. I nearly forgot! I really want to document this portion of the process because well…this is my novel debut! It’s exciting and honestly it still feels like a dream. I’ve written so many stories over the years it’s incredible that one of them is going to be published. My characters won’t just be mine to laugh and cry with anymore. It’s crazy the more I think about it.

I’ve adored stories my entire life…they have this ability to connect you to people fictional or not through so many mediums. There are so many wondrous places to travel, things to experience…and stories provide all of that adventure. I hope the stories I tell whether it be someone elses through my career as an actress or ones that I tell myself as an author bring some warmth, fun and adventure into someones life.

Stay safe,

Ardin.

Projects, Planning & Productivity

The weather’s been weird lately. One minute it’s boiling the next the wind is so strong I can barely open the car door without it slamming back in my face.

Windy days aren’t exactly fun when you decide you want to wear your hair out either. If I wanted a bowl out, I would’ve used a hair dryer! Sigh…of course the heat isn’t always friendly to hair either is it?

One thing that is nice about this bizarre weather is that it’s spontaneity inspires me to be more productive. The unfortunate thing is that with all I have on the go, I probably need to invest in a personal calendar. My phone just won’t cut it. I’d like to try and manage all of my projects effectively, whether that be recording which is currently my #1 priority (I’ve been recording an audio book this summer and it’s been so much fun!), or editing.

I also just started working part-time along with my job as a voice actor and the editing I do occasionally on the side. It’s nice to be working again, since the media industry is still adjusting to the changes happening during the pandemic. I’m eager to get back into the studio but I’m being as patient as possible and I’m making the most of the gigs I’ve been getting here and there during this pandemic. Plus my part-time job is loads of fun! I spend all day surrounded by books!

I do wonder if it’s possible for me to become more productive? Especially on my days off. Of course it’s important to take a break every now and then but when you have goals in mind, it’s good to stay on top of them. I try to set miniature goals for myself, of the things I’d like to accomplish in a week. I have a few set for this coming week. I’d like to get lots done in the next couple of days, but I also try to be realistic in what I can accomplish within a short span of time.

I have a habit of trying to do too many things at once which can at times be overwhelming, so I know that in order to counteract that, I have to make time for myself every so often so that I don’t burn out.

In terms of editing right now, I’m a lot further behind than I would have liked and what’s frustrating about that is the fact that I’ve got 3 chapters and 2 scenes to go. I’m at the end of the race with this 3rd round of edits but I chose to put it aside to complete other things. I think that by planning out my day and getting some sort of routine going for my editing, like I do for my at home recording sessions, I could probably get through these last few chapters more efficiently. Of course I still have to do a full read through before returning my corrections and my approvals back to my editor but I think once I get the last bit of editing done I can relieve some of the weight on my shoulders.

This is my debut. I just want everything to go smoothly.

Speaking of writing, I thought I’d do a little survey out of curiousity. If you’re a writer yourself, what is your writing style?

Back in the Studio

Yesterday was my first day back in the studio!

It was weird not having everyone around, but everything went smoothly and we had a great recording session.

I got to see the animatic for the show, which was absolutely fantastic. I hadn’t seen any concept art for my character prior to that, so when I saw her I instantly fell in love! She looked exactly as I imagined!

I really missed going in and recording versus being on my own at home. It was nice having a change of scenery.

Exploring MoCap with Pascal Langdale

At the end of February, I had the privilege of taking a MoCap class through The MoCap Vaults, with Pascal Langdale.

I haven’t done any sort of theatre in the last few years, so it was definitely different than what I’m used to—standing in a booth behind a microphone.

mic radio GIF by Clara MacDonell

For a moment I became self aware of my own body and my movements. I started to question how I walked, how I stood, what gestures I commonly associated with what emotions. These were things I hadn’t ever thought about. I think about them while I’m writing characters, but usually, as a voice actress I think more about how my character feels, what they are thinking and what they sound like. It’s less outwardly, and more internal.

school of rock curly hair GIF by Nickelodeon

Pascal had everyone in the class do mask work. When I put the mask on, to be honest, I couldn’t stop from giggling. I wore my hair out and released getting a mask over my head would be a little challenging. I’ll try to remember to do a ponytail or something for next time. While wearing the mask that self awareness grew, but I didn’t feel self-conscious or awkward. Instead I felt free…and less restricted. I didn’t care how silly I looked. I just cared about being authentic to my portrayal of movement. I wanted to be in that character, for that moment.

walking big and tall GIF

After the masks came off for our other exercises, I felt comfortable. I got to play characters of all types, and it never occurred to me that I couldn’t because I was a 5”1, female with a young voice. During one of our earlier exercises, before putting on the masks, Pascal had us create hero poses. While assessing mine he said, “You are big, you are strong, and you are confident. You have mission and purpose,” and it resonated with me throughout the remainder of the class.I’ve always been so used to being little, that I’d never thought of myself as being big…or at least playing a big character.

Then Pascal had me play a dragon.

elder scrolls dragon GIF by Bethesda
I’ve never been a dragon before. I tried to think of how they moved, how they slithered about, how heavy they were and how to sound like I was actually breathing fire from my lungs.
My knees were pretty dusty afterwards, but there was something really fun about playing a giant, that walks around on all fours and has these massive wings.
My voice carried out, in a way that only my body and movements could help me create. It was such an amazing experience.
There is definitely nothing like trying to breath fire.
game of thrones dragon GIF
MoCap is such a cool stream of acting because, like Voice Over you can become anything, but it’s the physicality of it, that makes it interesting. You have the freedom to really transform into something new. Characters that are human or aliens or dragons, male or female, young or old…and it’s the actor’s ability to create something believable in this playful space that is truly fascinating.
I had such a wonderful experience in this class, working through scenes with everyone and doing these exercises. It was truly amazing. I hope I get to explore this medium more in the near future.
Happy Full House GIF