Saturday, December 30, 2006

A Look Back, A Leap Ahead

In two days it will be 2007, a concept still hard to believe! 2006 has been a wonderful whirlwind of a year for my family. Chris and I were finally married this year, a 9lb puppy came to live with us, and I changed my career. Much has happened, and yet much has stayed the same. Chris signed on for two more years as a morning meteorologist in Charlotte, and we have fallen easily into a fantastic married life. Our families have remained, for the most part, happy and healthy. However, we do look back with sadness at the untimely passing of Chris's step-brother Doug and our dear Uncle Casey, who we miss terribly.

2006 was the year I decided to take the leap into full-time voice acting and being a television spokesperson. Terrifying, and yet so gratifying to make an eight year long dream come true! After leaving morning radio in September, I was immediately cast in 2 new anime cartoons. I've learned so much about how animation has changed since my days on DragonBall Z! It's more challenging now, but also more rewarding when it's finished. I've learned how to audition for jobs on-line, and have already booked and recorded for a company that found me at! I've spent a small fortune on electronic equipment and royalty free music, but hope to have a return on my investment in the year to come. There is much more competition in the world of voice over today than there was eight years ago. That being said, I am confident I can still make my mark!

I look forward to 2007 with great anticipation. We will begin the year with a snow-skiing trip with our family in New Mexico. When we return, I plan to put together a new character demo and install a phone patch in my studio. I also plan to go digital with my television commercial demo and add a section to my website devoted to television advertising and infomercials.

As I look back, I am thankful for the many blessings in our lives. To have a family you love, and a job you enjoy is a gift I do not take for granted! I hope I am able to give back as much as I have received with professionalism, knowledge for others, and a deep devotion to God, family, and friends.

The world is changing every day, and I hope we all remember to slow down and appreciate our gift of time! To each of you, I wish all of the love and happiness 2007 can bring! Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

A Case For Characters

I've had so many adventures since beginning my new full-time career as a voice actor. I've been very blessed to have met some amazing talent recently and develop life-long friendships with other voice actors. It's been a whirlwind since I left my job as a morning show co-host on the radio in September. I've learned to set up a home studio, to audition for jobs on-line, and to narrow down the areas where I believe I am truly gifted.

In fact, discovering my 'area of expertise' has been the most eye-opening challenge I've faced. I've come to realize I am not gifted in the areas of 'sexy, sultry, professional, corporate, warm, motherly, etc, etc'. I cannot sound even a day over the age of 25 no matter how hard I try or how old I get! Of course, these are the exact words I most often see used by companies seeking voice talent. Which leaves me in a bit of a pickle.

If I owned a corporation and needed a voice message recorded, I would find a man or woman with a warm and professional voice to represent me. Therefore, I can certainly respect and understand the need for this type of voice actor.

However, contrary to what many have tried to tell me recently, I do believe there is also room in this industry for the type of tiny voice that makes you smile. The 'animated-storytelling-young-hip-friendly-natural-everyday' voice actor that specializes in character voices (but has been told the work will be almost impossible to find). Why do so many people believe that if you aren't blessed with the voice of Demi Moore, you might not make it in voice acting?

The majority of feature animated film rolls go to Hollywood actors. It's how they entice an audience. I understand that. This shouldn't mean all character voice actors should find a new line of work! Casting for major television cartoons is usually done in LA or NY, but shouldn't there be cartoon work for a person out in say...North Carolina??

So, I've decided to make it my mission to make a case for characters!

Some of the most memorable commercials on television revolve around characters...'Where's The Beef?'...'Wazzz Uuup?'...'Bud, Why, Zer!' (as said by a very talented trio of frogs) Yet, so often I see scripts for commercials that don't challenge voice actors...if it can be imagined, it can be voiced!

If it works on TV, why can't it work on the radio...voice mail...podcasts...the list can go on and on! Sometimes I miss the days of the early Radio Disney (where I once worked on the air and as a writer). We believed deeply in the philosophy of 'old radio'. Sound effects and voice actors once created entire soap operas, series...and inspired imaginations! We used that one thought to create features, shows and commercials that made our listeners think and laugh! I did an entire radio show on board a spaceship called The Intergalactic Boombox that orbited the Earth- and no one doubted that we were actually there! One of my favorite pastimes is to record short audio clips in which each of my characters have a conversation with one another. It's silly- and I love every second of it!

I do wish that more scripts were posted that allowed actors to create and develop a character that would stand out and get noticed. If only more companies realized that voice actors can do more than 'pronounce words with a non-regional dialect', they can act...they can sell!!

Character voice actors are a necessity as much today as they were 50 years ago. Yet, I see so little being done to seek them out- to allow them to create. Character voices don't just consist of 'mom, teen, child'. The sky really is the limit.

I'm still waiting for that one job post that says something like: 'seeking voice actor that can create a character that sounds 13 years old, short, slightly overweight, with long hair that gets caught in her mouth at times, she is usually sweet but with a quick temper, wide eyes, mild lisp, born in North Dakota but spent time in Georgia, speaks loudly but gets embarrassed easily...oh, and she has braces'.

Now THAT would be fun!!!!

If it can be can be voiced.

What's In A Name?

I was married on April 22nd, 2006 to a wonderful man named Chris Suchan. For nearly 30 years now, I've been known by my real name 'Kara Edwards'. Since I am a strong and independent woman, there has been much thought over the past several months as to what to do with my name. Change it? Leave it? Hyphenate it? What is a newlywed to do? Other strong and independent women have changed their names while many others have not. Type 'Kara Edwards' into any search engine, and there are many interesting things to be found. Type 'Kara Suchan' into a search engine, and you will learn all about my husband (I write with a smile).

As you may imagine, I have received many opinions from friends and family as to what my new name should be. My amazing (and traditional) in-laws would love to see me become a Suchan. My mother would love to see me as a hyphenate, and my clients would prefer me stay the same for tax purposes!! Of course, there's always the 'change it but go by Edwards' thought process...but that's too confusing and private for me!

There has been much discussion and belly-aching over the last few months, and today...I decided to take a stand!! I finally made a decision and made it happen before I changed my mind! It's official...I'm now...

Kara Janet' Edwards-Suchan!!! (middle name pronounced Jun-nay)

Of course, nothing in my life will change, world peace will not be acheived...and I will still professionally be called Kara Edwards. However, my husband is thrilled to have me as a half-Suchan, and I'm thrilled as well! It's long, obnoxious, painfully difficult...and perfect.'s not the name that matters, it's the voice behind it :)


Thursday, December 21, 2006

Why Not Blog??

It started with an e-mail. Stephanie from had asked for reviews of some new commercial scripts. I decided to throw in my two cents...that weren't worth nearly that much! Stephanie sent me an e-mail response thanking me for my review. In her nice note, she mentioned possibly doing an interview with me in 2007 that would explore my long forgotten career as a Radio Disney personality and feature writer. I immediately shot back that it wouldn't be terribly interesting, but I'd be happy to oblige!

It only takes one tiny seed to grow an apple tree, and you are now partaking in the fruits...pardon the expression.

This is my apple tree...the outlet for my thoughts. Thoughts about the voice over industry, the endless frustrations involved with building a home studio, and other various ramblings that often come to me just as I'm falling asleep.

Many people I know and admire have blogs. I enjoy reading them, and thought- why not?-what's one more blog among the millions of others? Who knows...maybe I do in fact have something interesting to offer! Only time will tell...

In the meantime, please visit the blogs of my new friends Brian Haymond, Bob Souer, and I promise they will offer morsels worth your time!