The phrase “working actress” has changed quite a bit in the era of video games, crowdfunding, and webseries. Today, we’re chatting with Tara Platt, a Renaissance-woman creative who’s tackling the multi-faceted world of entertainment.
1) In addition to being an actress and a voiceover artist, you are also a writer and producer. More and more frequently, I’m seeing friends and colleagues take on these multiple personas. What’s the personality trait that ties all these jobs together? Generally speaking, we don’t think of the person behind the camera or mic to have the skillset to be in front of it, too.
If there were one trait I would say relentless determination. Honestly the reason I “do it all” is out of necessity not necessarily because I have unbridled passion for all areas equally ;)! I love acting and creating and often in order to get my ideas out there I have to just do it myself from the ground up!
2) I’ve been seeing a lot of headlines about voice acting and voiceover work here in LA. I don’t think a lot of people know just how much work goes into recording dialogue for a cartoon or video game. What’s a typical day in the booth like?
It is super varied depending on the type of job you might be working on (commercial, video game, narration, cartoon etc). But most sessions are 2-4 hours and there is the driving to and fro, vocal warmups and auditioning as well. And Yuri (my husband and fellow actor) and I try to be as prepared as possible for work so we read scripts ahead of time if available. Now we also do motion capture/performance capture so, much like on camera work, there is memorization and preparation prior to your session. I love working on original animation where you get to record with your fellow actors, while video games can be fun if you have a great character you can delve into over multiple sessions even though it can be vocally stressful. Commercials can be super fast especially if you just have a line like “yum” haha!
3) You also have a new webseries debuting. Can you tell us about it?
Yes! We are still in post on it but it is a fun-filled story of an unlikely friendship between a children’s book author and a drag queen. It is called Whatta Lark and we are currently shopping it to find the perfect home for it!
4) By now, I think consumers are aware that webseries and indie projects aren’t successful on luck alone. Do you have any tips for how people can get into the “hustle” mindframe of becoming content producers?
I think it is about follow through. There are so many steps in the process from conception to creation but I think the most important part of work is finishing it. I see too many people get sooo close to the finish line and give up, lose interest or energy and stop. The hustle is really the mindset that you have to cross the finish line with each and every thing you set out to create. And if you don’t know how to do it find someone who does or learn. I’m a big proponent of learning if you don’t know!
5) You’ve also written an interactive children’s book. Can you tell us about the process of creating and funding it?
For me the creation of ideas is easy – that’s the fun part, brainstorming and play. I had this idea for a story of a traveling Romani girl based on stories that Yuri and I tell each other while we travel and I fell in love with this character. Then I wanted to explore the world she lives in and the book Zartana was off and running. I moved ahead with creating the type of book I had always wanted (complete with removable instructions and tidbits which made it feel like a journal.) Then through my process of hiring the artists and printing I realized just how expensive an endeavor I had gotten into so I decided to see about crowdfunding printing costs – basically having folks pre order the book so I knew how many to make while already getting the funds to pay the print costs. I was thrilled to more than cover it with the IndieGoGo campaign and I still have folks order the book online thru the in-demand option.