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Voice Coaches Radio #529 – It’s a Bird, a Plane, It’s Kendall Segovia!

Welcome to a brand new episode of voice coaches radio. My name is Marissa and it is officially superheroes. While yesterday was superheroes day, we'll call it superheroes week, but this is a great week for this to be happening because this transitions right into my guest today, who happens to be a former student of voice coaches.

And that is Kendall. How do I pronounce your last name? Segovia, for whatever reason, I always wanna put an R in there somewhere like Segovia, but that's not it. And I'm wrong. , Segovia, Segovia, like a Sir Segovia, I dunno, uh, whatever. Uh, but , that being said, I mean, this is a great week to have you, because. You just got done about a month or so ago doing a character demo with us.

And there's a lot of students that come on through the program. And I think what's different about you and some students is like, I think you have no shame whatsoever. But it's a beautiful thing. I say that as a compliment because a lot of people want to do characters. I receive it as a compliment. I receive it as a compliment.

Good, good. Thank you. Because they want to do things like character work. They want to do things like animation and video games, but then they're a little bit too scared to actually do it or they're not really sure how. And I mean, let's just talk about how much fun doing your demo was. First, because I mean, it was for me as the producer, you know, what happens is, is the voice coaches studio, the way it's set up is like, you're behind me.

So like, I can't see you as you're doing this, but I can picture the character in my head. And like, I was, you know, I was drawing like some of the characters as like what I was picturing. And, um, and then I would turn around and I saw you and I'm like, well, that's not a little cowboy. Um, Transcribed by https: otter.

ai It's not a Yosemite Sam. Um, but tell me how much fun you had prepping your demo and how much fun you had doing it. Oh man. I had a, I, it was a blast. It was a total blast. Um, you know, , after actually recording it, I was like, I think I had almost too much fun. And I was, you know, we were only, you know, I was only in there for, you know, An hour and a half or so in the, in that sound booth.

And I was exhausted because, and not just because of the recording is because we laughed so much from laughing. Um, uh, the prep work was, was really fun because, but it was also, I mean, it was difficult because you don't, you know, like in our, in the training and the lessons that we get, they say, you know, don't rehearse too much.

Don't memorize too much. And so that was difficult me, difficulty. for me because coming from a theater background, you know, I memorize everything and I try to memorize ahead of time. So this time it was, um, it was more about, uh, just finding different voices and different characters and being sort of uninhibited and, uh, stretching my voice to kind of see what it could do.

Cause I've always, I've always known that I could manipulate my voice in different ways. And so it was a lot of fun. Looking at all of the options for, um, for my demo, be like, okay, what can I do with this? What can I do with this? But also having it kind of fit in the world of what the character was or whatever the, the commercial was with a narrative.

And I was like, does this fit, does this voice fit? And, um, Yeah, I had, I had a blast preparing for it, um, walking around my house doing different voices with my dog and my dog, George, looking at me like, well, she's lost it. That's, that's it. She's lost her mind. George is completely used to this. Okay. Like I said, I mean, him and I, we had this conversation already.

He's like, my mom's a little out there. It's okay. Um, you know, I just want to warn you before she comes back into the studio. Uh, but yeah, what, um, What I loved about your demo session. I think that, that you are somebody, maybe it's because of your background, maybe it's just because you are a creative individual, but you were definitely thinking outside the box that a lot of people don't, don't think outside this specific box.

Like as an example, the audio book that you picked, I think a lot of people wouldn't have even thought about doing a character for, you know, and you came in. And you could have easily just like, that could have been the piece where like, you know what, I'm just going to be me. You know? And then all of a sudden you turned into this like fancy British, like, I mean, it was, it was so good.

And like, when you left, like, this doesn't happen every day where you leave, like the student leaves and I'm like, yo guys, you got to come in here. You got to listen to this. And it was just like every single piece. It just, it literally sounded like somebody was different in, in that booth. Um, and, and it was yeah, no, I mean, and, and it was just amazing to, to experience on, on this end for me, because, you know, that's something that I've always wanted to do as well, but, you know, you were saying, you know, your background, you come from a theater background.

So what kind of work, because I, it wasn't just theater, you've done other acting as well. I'm right. Am I right? Like, tell us a little bit about the kind of stuff that you've done. Uh, yeah, so primarily my background is classical theater and stage. And what kind of, I mean, I've always, a lot of people have always told me that I have a strong voice and, uh, you know, when I, I've done a little bit of film, but I have a very, um, uh, characteristic kind of face.

Like I'm a very exaggerated face. I, you know, I exaggerate my facial expressions and my voice a lot. And I, you know, move my body a lot. So I was almost too expressive on film and, which is fine. Like I do just. still do film, but with theater, there's such a creative freedom and really exploring because you have such a big space to fill.

And so I think that's kind of maybe where I felt it feels comfortable in a sound room. Cause even though you're in a, in a sound booth and you're just doing, you're doing, you know, I would say just a voice, but there's a lot of creative freedom because you're trying to, you're. You're literally a radio, on a radio or a TV or wherever your voice is coming from, trying to reach the furthest points.

So, I think my theater background definitely, um, helped with just, um, reaching the furthest points possible that I could possibly reach and making it very clear and very specific. If it was muffled or if it didn't really make sense or if it, um, was too soft or if it was, you know, not specific enough, I think it would, uh, You know, it just, it just wouldn't feel as solid as it did during our demo.

But, um, I did a show last year. I was very, very lucky. I got to do a show last year and because it was during COVID, you know, we only had a cast of five actors and it was about 40 different characters. Wow. So we all had like nine to 10 different characters and. It was a total blast. And you know, I got, got to do crazy different characters.

Some of them I brought into the demo, like, like sort of our, uh, Blanche Devereaux character that sort of came out. Yeah. That was mind blowing, by the way. I would have guessed anything that the ghost of Blanche Devereaux, like, popped into your body. Uh, and like, I had a golden girl right behind me. It was crazy.

Yeah, and I think, you know, that's, that's, cause I, you, when I go into a show, or I go into rehearsals for a show, you can't have a very, um, You can't go into it having a concrete idea of what it's going to be or what it's going to sound like. So having a lot of flexibility, I think that also helps, um, kind of guide me in the night in the right direction is, is if I, if I go in and I have a concrete idea, because that changed in the sound booth when we were, when we were actually recording it.

I mean, that changed, it started out as something and then we were like, maybe she's more this way. And then it ended up being this character. And it was like, yeah, that's it. So it's having that sort of flexibility. And I have that from my theater background because things change in rehearsal, they change, you know, characters change, you find new things, you find, you discover, um, facts and ideas about a character that you didn't realize before.

And so having, uh, being able to be flexible, I think is really important. And that's something that I've been able to, um, You know, really grow in my, uh, sort of in my acting background, my theatrical background. Sometimes it takes some teamwork too, right? To like point out, point out some strengths and maybe some weaknesses or like, hey, I think that's great, but why don't you step into it a little bit more and see like what else you can bring out of it?

Cause that's what's happening with some of them. It's like, You had it, but you just needed to go like that extra step. And some people are frightened to do that, you know, but you, you're not. Yeah, exactly. And that's what having, that's, uh, you know, working in the theater world, you have a director and, you know, they haven't, they kind of have an idea, but you're definitely working with other people.

You know, you're working with a producer, you're working with a director and you definitely had that kind of director mentality. And so it was. It was very comfortable for me. And I was like, Oh, she's, even though you you're the producer, you were also my director. And I was like, it was an easy relationship for me to kind of navigate.

And I was like, Oh, okay. This is my director. This is a stage, whatever, let's just play. Yeah. So, well, as you, as you went and switched from, you know, theater and film and decided I'm going to start navigating voiceover, what did you find to be? your biggest challenge in, in this little bit of a switch because you go from full on, everybody can see you, everybody can hear you, everybody can, you know, whatever to, it's just your voice.

So what was the biggest challenge that you found, uh, throughout the program or just trying to even get to the demo session itself? Um, I think, Yeah, and I think probably a couple of the te of the technical aspects was navigating like the microphone and like, how far should I be? Should I be like right on top of it or should I step back?

Like, you know, 'cause I, I'm used to, I'm being miked, but it's, it's, it's a battery pack. Like it's right on my head, you know? It's not something that I really have to n navigate. Um, so there's definitely a, a, an aspect of technicality. that I'm still kind of navigating about like, you know, the different mics and how things sound and the clear, the clear sound and being crisp and, And then also I think obviously the rehearsal aspect is kind of something that I, you know, it's difficult to navigate.

It's, it's difficult to navigate, but it's, it's, um, it's fun. It's, it's a lot of fun to play with different voices in, in theater. and stage, you have to, you know, make sure that you're articulating very, very well so that everybody in the theater can hear you. I think in, in voiceover, there's like certain machines that you can do to kind of like crisp things up or maybe, you know, make it sound better, you know.

And it helps that you've got that microphone right in your face that it's going to pick it up nice and crystal clear, whereas somebody in the back of the theater might be like, huh? Uh, yes. No. Did you find it? Did you find it difficult? The fact that you're not seen? I didn't really find it that difficult, honestly.

Um. I actually feel like maybe it was actually maybe a little bit more freeing in the voiceover aspect because I was still able to physically, you know, express myself, not like blocking and like, you know, moving from stage right to stage left or whatever. But, um, I was still able to physically express myself just in like a postural way.

You know, I would stand differently. Um, when I, you know, was doing the audio book. Piece, I were very proper. Yeah. Then, then I stood with, um, you know, with, uh, the cowboy, the, the lip balm one. So it was, uh, you know, I wasn't, I was still able to physically express myself in a postural way. And, um, and, but I was, I felt a little, I did feel a little bit freed in the, in the voiceover because, I didn't have to wear like a costume, you know, I didn't, I didn't have to do my hair and makeup and that takes like a couple of hours, you know.

Well, you know, and all that's very interesting because I would have expected that the fact that people can't see you and you can't get an emotion across based on facial features or the way that your, you know, body is slouched or whatever, like, you know, I would have thought that that may be Created a little bit of a trip up for you, but obviously, I mean, it didn't.

so too. I would have thought so too, honestly. And so I was kind of surprised at that because that's kind of what I was expecting. I was like, Oh, I'm going to want to, you know, one all over this, the photo, the sound booth. And I was like, Oh, I didn't, you know, but I say to everybody, like the moment that you step outside a comfort zone is where you grow and where you might surprise yourself, you know, and that's what you were just, uh, realizing there.

But so. What do you, what do you do? Cause I mean, I've seen what you do, but explain what you do in creating your character. Like, cause I saw the little papers that you had attached to things and like the ideas that you thought and like, explain how this process works for you. Because I think that's probably the biggest hiccup that people come in, come into play with.

Um, you know, because They lack the experience in the first place but then it's like they really want to do this but they're not fully comfortable and they don't really know where to start. So what is usually your start? One of my starts is watching a lot of television. I watch a lot of TV. I watch a lot of animated stuff.

I watch a lot of TV shows that have a lot of Like character actors. And when I say a character actor, um, that's somebody that can kind of, you know, morph themselves into different beings and sound different ways. And, and I kind of kind of take inventory of things that I think that I can do, but I can do well, because I'm not going to put things in my toolbox that I.

I don't really think I can do very well or that I'm like, uh, maybe I could do a Scottish accent, but I know for a fact I can't do a Scottish accent. So I'm not going to have that like in my toolbox. I'm going to have like, you know, and I literally have a pad of paper. And I write down, okay, what is it that I do really well?

What are the voices that I do really well? What are the voices that I've done before? Doing a show or whatever. And I try to take inventory and this is what I do well. Like I do Southern really well. I can do, uh, English really well. I can do this, you know, and, and also Taking inventory of how, um, my pitch changed.

And this all helped from the lessons that I was taking in voice coaches, is, is finding different pitches and different, um, rhythms and paces, is how, um, and making sure that that's part of my toolbox, is when I speak in a southern accent, I'm definitely gonna slow down my tone, and I'm gonna talk a lot slower.

So... Things like that and things that I can do well and having that all in a piece of paper. And then when I go through these pieces of all of the options, that was probably, probably the most difficult part of preparing my demo was going through all of the options. Yeah, I know there's so many. There's only like 15 subjects and then I open one subject and there's like two on my list.

Um, but like going through and I'm like, okay, does this, uh, does this commercials Does this sound like something I could do? Does it immediately jump off the page to me? And is it something that I can do well? Um, and, uh, once I found the pieces that I was like, okay, I like these pieces. There's humor in it.

It's a variety. Uh, I can do different characters for them. Then I was sort of kind of, um, I think imagining, first of all, I think imagination plays a huge, huge, huge role in voiceover, because you have to be able to imagine, um, not just what they sound like, but maybe what they look like, how they walk, how they talk.

Do they talk really fast? Do they talk really slow? Do they talk really, really high? You know, uh, cause like, you know. And taking, taking what was on the paper, what was on the page and putting it into myself and figuring out, okay, what is this character? Is this an animal? Is this an actual person? Is this somebody that actually exists, you know, and, um, kind of building from there, uh, a character that could easily exist.

And I think like, for instance, the, um, frisky fresh cat food one, right. Cause it was a mouse and I'm like, okay, this is a mouse. And, you know, You know, because it sounds kind of melty. You know, what kind of sounds melty? It's kind of high. It's a high voice. You know, so, you know, I think, you know, it kind of figuring out little um, adjectives or characteristics about What fits in that world, um, of the character of the, of the commercial or of the audio book is what fits in that world and what can I do well?

Um, I think that kind of maybe answers your question a little bit. I don't know. Yeah, yeah. Well, and the thing that I absolutely loved is that you literally had a little picture that you had gotten from the internet and you had it there as like a reminder to yourself of, Yeah, that's what I have in mind.

That's something that I've done for, for my acting for, for a long time, and I don't know where, I don't know where I picked it up, I don't know if I just started doing it, but, um, for every character that I've, that I've done, I would kind of, Take existing characters that have already existed, whether it was in Disney or in TV or film, I would take already existing characters and I would, you know, print out these pictures and kind of have them on like my big, when I was doing my makeup or whatever, preparing for a show, it would be in my little space so that I could, really sort of evolve that character and be like, okay, this is some, this is a character.

These are, I take little bits and pieces from characters and kind of, you know, mold my own little. Right. You kind of like, you have a starting point and then you build your own on top of it, which is great. Yeah. And to be clear, it's not like imitating. I'm not, it's not trying to imitate. That I've seen, because I am actually not very good at imitations or imitating other characters.

Um, but when I see a visual, a visualization of something, it helps me to create that character. Like if I see a picture of a mouse wearing like a Newsy's hat, then I can. Visualize what that character sounds like more. Yeah, no, I get it. And it's really, it was, it was cool to experience and witness on, on the other end, but somebody that's thinking about doing this, somebody that's thinking about doing voiceover or, uh, you know, animation or any of that, what is your biggest piece of advice?

Do you think that maybe it's something that you told yourself, you know, throughout your. theater time or even just doing the voiceover program. Um, what's your biggest piece of advice for somebody that's thinking about tackling this? Uh, man. I think, and it's, it's, it's easier to say than it is to do, but you really just have to, um, knock down all of your self conscious sort of ideas of, of looking foolish and sounding stupid and looking silly because I look like an idiot most of the time when I, when I'm acting or I'm

Uh, you know, I, for, for years, I was a nanny and I, and I worked with kids and, um, working with kids really kind of helps you break down those barriers, but you really just have to, um, shake off all your nerves and, you know, Leave it all behind. And because it's a lot more fun when you're, when you have no inhibitions, you have so much more fun and you feel so much more freer and it sounds better.

And when you're fully committed, I think you just have to fully commit. If you're going to do animation, and if you're going to do character voices. Kind of work. You have to fully commit all in and that means you can't just kind of sort to do a character. It has to be all in fully committed and that means that means looking like a fool.

And you know, I think that's, that's always the biggest challenge for so many. It was for me. I was a very shy kid growing up straight through college. We took, it took me getting on the radio to break out of that. And. You know, I'm sure there's been many times that if somebody peeked into the radio studio while I was doing a show at some point in the last almost 20 years, that they were probably like, what the heck is she doing?

But in reality, it's like, I'm putting on a show. Don't judge me. I mean, the character has to be interesting. It has to be fun. You know, I think I find great joy and it's just making people laugh and making people smile. And if I can do that and By looking like a total fool then so be it. Day made . Well, listen, Kendall, how, how can people find you?

I know you've got a website. Go ahead and, and, uh, pimp it out. Yeah. Yeah. So I've got an acting website. It's www dot k Segovia, so that's K ss e g o v I And then, then, yeah, there's no in there. No, there's no R. There's no R. I mean, maybe you've got, my middle name is Rene, so maybe that's it. Well, maybe that's the psychic in me.

It just knew. Yeah. There you go. Uh, but, but yeah, I know that you were planning on kind of linking stuff up when you, when you got the demo. So. Yeah. I'm planning on linking my, my voiceover, uh, little websites to that. And um, so yeah, it's gonna, it's all exciting stuff. I'm excited to, to expand that part of my career.

Take care. Yeah. Well, I'm excited for you. It was a pleasure being able to do it. It's a pleasure having you on the podcast today. So thank you for making some time. Thank you, Marissa. You're awesome. You're awesome. Um, if anybody has any questions or if, uh, if anybody else wants to be a guest, maybe you're doing some stuff from voiceover right now, info at voice coaches.

com. Again, info at voice coaches. com. And so we'll have another brand new episode coming your way. Oh, there's George, uh, coming up next week. Be safe. Visit voicecoaches. com for more voiceover news and information.

This week on Voice Coaches Radio, Marissa chats with former student, Kendall Segovia who dove in head first with character work. Together, we recently recorded an amazing character demo, but how did Kendall create these characters? How did she prep to make them come to life?