ANNOUNCEMENT – I have a Talent Agent!

ANNOUNCEMENT – I have a Talent Agent!

I am extremely excited to announce that I am now represented by Jennifer Fry and Carol Anne Prosje of Star Talent, Inc. as a Voice Actor! (If you’ve never heard them before, you can listen to my professional demo reels here.)

Being a professional voice actor has been a dream of mine since I was 13 years old and first watched Sailor Moon. It was then that I realized that there were actors behind the cartoons, and as a child actor at the time, I was determined that one day, I too would be a Moon Princess, or a colourful Little Pony, or a fiesty school girl travelling through the past with a strange half-dog warrior. Basically, I wanted to be whatever strange and fantastical thing animators and mangaka could think up.

My desire to do this for a living was solidified when I purchased a cassette tape of the English Sailor Moon soundtrack (with most songs performed by the incredibly talented Jennifer Cihi – my absolute freaking IDOL). I played that cassette to death, and more than one person pointed at my stereo and asked me if that was me singing.

Me? I sounded like the literal singing voice of Sailor Moon? Wow.

I was quite lucky, then, later in my acting training, to take voice acting classes and workshops with two separate people who were involved in the English dub of Sailor Moon. As I grew as a performer and author, I was also quite fortunate to be either an actor or fellow con guest of so many other amazing VAs, who all gave me great advice.

Since then I’ve pounded the pavement as a freelance VA for years, and with the guidance of several of those VAs, revised my demos last fall. The lockdown slowed some things down for me, but I started sending out my demos this summer, got some wonderful responses, and had the privilege to choose to be represented by Jennifer Fry.

I want to thank the following people for helping me create an amazing demo, and for pushing me to pursue VA work professionally: Deb, Rodney, Adrienne, Stephanie, Kyle, Roland, Gini, Alyson, and Kirby.

Next stop… hopefully your television screens!

JM FreyANNOUNCEMENT – I have a Talent Agent!
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Jane Eyre – Live Virtual Performance

Jane Eyre – Live Virtual Performance

I had the an incredible opportunity to join the Elora Community Theatre’s Virtual Playhouse for their Live YouTube rendition of “Jane Eyre” this week.

This was an extremely ambitious virtual production, where each actor not only totally performed their part – each from their own home – but did so in full makeup, full costume, and with having to manage all of their own tech as well. In this production, not only was each actor responsible for their performance, they were also responsible for setting up their lighting and sound in the most clear way possible, and swapping their backgrounds around based on what scene they’re in.

In a regular theatre, there’s someone in a booth whose sole job it is to change the lights, cue scene changes, and run the sound board for music and SFX. There’s a stage manager to oversee everything happening on the boards, and a crew to change the scenes and hand off props, or help with quick costume changes. A regular theatre crew would consist of someone to oversee acquiring props, making or altering costumes, overseeing hair and makeup, and working as an acting coach.

For this production, the actors were in charge of all of that – except for the directing and the sound cues, both of which were run virtually from the home of the co-directors. And while I took the lead in hair design for the cast, it was up to them to make it happen.

It was an extremely ambitious project, with lots and lots of moving parts. My script was so colour-coded with cues for myself that it was like looking at a Pride Parade every time we rehearsed. And speaking of rehearsals, there were only eight!

I am so, so, so proud of what this team and all of these creators achieved. So proud. This is one of the only theatre companies in the world (that I’m aware of) that is doing full-set, full-costume productions of plays virtually via Zoom, streaming live on YouTube. And this is especially incredible because this is an amateur troupe of volunteers.

I hope you enjoy watching what we worked so hard to achieve. (There were some technical glitches in the show, but that’s the joy of live theatre, isn’t it?) Happy watching!


JM FreyJane Eyre – Live Virtual Performance
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Little Women

It’s been a hard few months, and a busy two weeks, but my time as Marmee in the Elora Community Theatre’s production of “Little Women” has come and gone. It was ‘just capital’ to return to the stage for the first time in a decade!


JM FreyLittle Women
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Words for Wri… Actors. Words for ACTORS.

Another LIP-FLAP Friday  question and answer has produced another great blog post that I thought I should share here. This one is about VOICE ACTING.

kwramsey asked: How does one get started as a voice actor?


I will give you my answer, but I thought, since I have the privilege of calling Alyson Court (Big Comfy Couch, Beetlejuice, Resident Evil, X-Men, etc.) an occasional hang-out buddy, I thought I’d ask if she had any advice.

Here’s what Alyson had to say:


Thanks to modern technology (in the form of one’s own laptop recording device and access to millions of examples of different character voices on line), anyone can easily acquire the tools they need to start honing their skills. Record yourself and listen back. Get to know how your own voice changes depending on volume, emotion, etc, and work to control and stretch your range. You don’t have to be able to do everything but the voices that you choose to specialize in should be polished and you should be able to do them with ease and control. The only way to get good at anything is to practice practice and… what’s that? Oh, yeah, PRACTICE.

All of this can be done for free. No point shelling out hundreds of dollars on a demo if you don’t have anything good to record. Get the voices down and then make a demo and yeah it costs a bit but it’s totally worth getting your first demo done professionally- you’ll learn lots at the recording session.

Then, once you have a decent demo, start shopping it around to talent agencies.

JM: And how did you get into voice acting, Alyson?

I went to a school for the arts starting in grade 4. They used to get calls from producers so I started going to auditions. Got an agent a couple months later and the rest is history! But being one of the first Nelvana kids is probably the source of my voice career- right time, right place.

Nelvana needed kids voices and there wasn’t an established kids voice pool yet- Nelvana basically created it in Canada. So most of us truly owe our starts to Nelvana.

JM: Thanks Alyson!

You can find and follow Alyson Court on Twitter and take a look at her impressive voice acting history at IMDB.


JM Frey adds:

I became a voice actor because one of the vocal coaches I was working with in university mentioned that I had a good radio voice and I should consider it. (She worked on Sailor Moon, so I took her word as gospel).

So, I did some auditions for a local commercial-creation start up and amassed a nice little demo. Like Alyson says, I learned a lot about my voice and the art of learning to speak with a mic on the fly, while in the booth. It’s not something you can really learn without actually speaking into a mic and hearing what you sound like, what the mic does to your voice, how to inflect and breathe and not pop your consents. And how to change your voice for every character – you may think you sound different each time, but listening back, you might find it’s not all that different at all. All of that requires practice with an actual mic. I practice with a crappy mic I picked up at the dollar store, so it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg for a practice mic.

As for the art of creating voices, one of the best workshops I ever did was with Roland Parliament , and it was a free one hour session at a FanExpo. He said: “Look at the character and think of what they’d sound like. Where and when are they from? Look at their teeth, their mouths, envision how that would feel to speak around. Don’t just do a funny voice – do the character’s voice.” It is advice that I use every single time, and it’s a beautiful starting point at which to marry technique with creativity and acting.

If there’s no character image, then I make up a little story in my head about who this person is and what they look like, even if I’m doing a commercial for, say, Fabricland. (The masters have been burned. You will never hear me singing that jingle again.)

Of all the sorts of acting I get to do, I love voice acting the most. Unfortunately I also find it the most competitive and difficult to get into. I’ve never had any luck landing an agent. Pounding the pavement is thankless and unless you have a thick skin, it can be a bit heartbreatking. I’ve taken a break from it for a while, until I have enough samples to build up a new demo.

Luckily, I seem to get a few opportunities a year through friends-of-friends or people who have heard me and call me up for a gig, or people who have me recommended to them.

I would still very much like to get an agent and try to do voice acting on a more full-time basis, but before I can do that I need to build a new demo reel and start pounding the pavement again. If there are any director/producer/agents out there reading this… hey! I’m available!

You can also look into other options, like VOX or the Audible program ACX for exposure and income. But you’ll need a really good home set up to participate in these services – a great mic, a very quiet space with zero ambient noise, an editing program, and patience. All of that can be had for relatively cheap, but have to be willing to put in some money and time.

Generally speaking, there are no shortcuts into voice acting. Either you work your way in via an agent, by doing your own productions like Welcome to Night Vale, through some of the other freelance voice acting sites, or through opportunities to be recommended to people like me.

Best of luck!

JM FreyWords for Wri… Actors. Words for ACTORS.
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Ruffus The Dog’s Steampunk Adventure!

I’ve been playing it a bit close to the vest, but I’m happy to be able to announce that I am part of a GREAT kid’s feature film project: RUFFUS THE DOG’S STEAMPUNK ADVENTURE

Last May I spent a week working with an amazing group of actors, puppeteers, costumers, and filmmakers among whose credits number  beloved films and TV series like Labyrinth, The Muppet Show, Fraggle Rock, and The Big Comfy Couch, Beetlejuice: The Animated Series,  Goosebumps, and too many others to list. (I worked very hard to be totally pro and not fling my arms around Robbo every few minutes and squee “Ludo friend!”) We also worked with the amazingly talented students of Sheridan College.  It wasn’t my first time in a green screen studio, but it was certainly the biggest and most encompassing I’ve experienced, and it was my first time being surrounded with puppets, too! In just a week, the team filmed the first block of this fun, funny, and touching adventure.

The trailer is coming together, but in order for us to film the rest, we need your help.

Robbo Mills and the creative team behind this amazing computer animated and puppet-driven Steampunk feature film have 47 days to raise $32,000 – hopefully more – and that means making some noise about it!

Robbo will be adding updates to the IndieGoGo as the campaign continues – and watch the teaser trailer carefully, because it will evolve, grow, and expand.

That’s right, the more we raise, the more gets added to the trailer!

(How cool is that?)

There are already some great behind the scenes photos and production stills, so you can see that this will be a quality film for the whole Steampunkin’ family.

Please consider supporting this great artistic endeavour!


IndieGoGo Campaign || Website  ||  Steampunk Adventure Website  ||  Facebook || Fan Page  ||  Twitter || YouTube Channel

JM FreyRuffus The Dog’s Steampunk Adventure!
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