GUEST TEACHER | Explore the possibilities of voice-over performance for commercials, animation, audio books, and PSAs.
Learn what these various voice performance arenas require from you and where you fit in them; how to choose the material that will allow you to show where you are marketable; and how to make the adjustments each script is asking of you.
Each class will include: voice and body warmup, introduction to the voice-over arena we are working on each week, voice exercises to connect with material, and solo work on scripts with individualized feedback.
Built into the class is a bonus tech chat with a pro engineer about home voice-over studios!
This class will not cover technicalities of recording on different softwares. Ilyana is an expert on the skill of using your vocal range and transforming your sound for the different areas of work and will purely be focused on that teaching. For recording, you will be able to use (at minimum) Voice Memo or a similar app to record on your smart phone. Or, we can record voice files on Zoom. You do not need to have any tech set-up to participate in this class.
This class inspires actors to explore the possibilities of their voice in the many careers within voice-over. This is also great practice for your home voice-over setup to help you feel more comfortable making audition submissions.
(NOTE: You do NOT need a professional VO set-up to take this class.)
Ilyana will be coaching each artist individually within the class. She will also be covering four main areas of voice-over work so that you can consider many VO pathways!
This class is for artists who want to explore their hidden or untapped voice talents. Discover your personal trajectory based on your unique vocal qualities and interests.
You will have so much fun unearthing what you didn’t know that you didn’t know! (Yep.)
As actors, you have so many tools to make a living with, or to simply and playfully exercise your creative self-expression. Working with the art of the voice is often overlooked by actors or considered a peripheral acting career move, but, truly, your voice is an extension of your potential!
The exercises have been designed to introduce avenues of voice-over performance that you may not have previously considered. You will also find what is unique to your voice. Let’s expand your options in the biz!
All studio classes are designed to stretch and support your complete prep process as an actor for self-tapes and in-person auditions. You will need to plan for homework time to research your assignment, prepare your materials, and practice your self-tape set-up. The more you put into the class, the more you get out of it!
WORKING WITH GUEST TEACHERS
Artists teaching artists is the inspiration for bringing Guest Teachers to the studio. This class is intended to expand your process as an actor and to reinforce your skills, confidence, and natural talent.
Ilyana is a performing artist, educator and activist. She is on adjunct faculty at her alma mater (for acting and music), NYU Tisch School of The Arts, teaching upper level voice and public speaking. She is an award winning narrator, having narrated over 90 audio books! She has told stories of women and girls lives through their struggles and successes; from the best selling Twilight saga vampire series to most recently telling the story of the only female pharaoh of Egypt, in Daughter of the Gods. One of the most inspirational stories she narrated was Nadia Murad’s memoir, The Last Girl, about a Yazidi human rights activist from Iraq who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2018 and serves as a Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking of the United Nations.
Ilyana is also a singer and producer along with her husband, James Harrell. They co-produce and perform music that is heard in commercials and films, including soundtracks for: the HBO award-winning documentary film, Separate But Equal, HBO’s Bad Parents, the film Me, Earl and the Dying Girl, and Hunters on Amazon Prime. She also co-hosts a podcast called No, I Know, on which they interview people who make a difference in their community—this podcast also airs on an NPR affiliate on Delmarva Public Media. She is the founder and executive director of the non-profit Stories Love Music, which provides creative engagement programs utilizing music and story telling for caregivers who work with elders with dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Ilyana has taught for several years in the Studio, as well as countless privates and at NYU undergrad. We finally get her back! And, this is an very comprehensive class to inspire and explore all of the pockets of voice work that you can conquer! Ilyana is extremely seasoned in the voice industry. She also has the true instincts of an actress and singer to help you translate what you already know to this new medium.
What was a difficult challenge for you as an actor?
I think a difficult challenge was trying to fit myself into an idea of “what I thought” casting directors wanted to see in me, versus being courageously and joyously who I am.
What was a crazy or silly moment on set?
Playing a mental patient in an asylum in a Steven Soderbergh film.
What is the most important quality or skill for an actor in the audition room?
Giving yourself permission to really make a choice and dive in, with a flexibility to make an adjustment if asked to.
What is the main thing you wish you knew then but that you only understand now?
Being liberated but also at ease allows your audience to feel the same.
What frustrates you as an actor in the current climate of filmmaking or of the business at large? How has this affected you directly?
Right now we are in an unprecedented time when online content is everything. This creates a massive saturation and yet a need for original and innovative artists so that the market is not just rehashing old ideas. It is sparking me to want to create more content myself!
What moment or experience as an artist do you feel most proud of?
— Telling Nadia Murad’s (2018 Nobel Peace Prize winner) story as an audio book to American Audiences
— Founding Stories Love Music (a non profit that teaches caregivers of seniors how to use music and story telling)
— Getting my podcast No, I Know on the radio right after This American Life (NPR)
— And lastly, co-producing and scoring the documentary Separate, But Equal (2011 HBO Best Doc Prize)
Who do you really look up to in your field and why?
Any performer that is both an artist and activist.
Why did you choose this class to teach?
The voice is my main vehicle in all my work. Whether I am singing on a film or television soundtrack, narrating an audio book, hosting my podcast or teaching a class, the VOICE is the way into the work. I have taught this work at NYU and privately, and it inspires me to hear people’s voices transform and creatively shape shift. In the state of the world currently, being a good communicator as both a human and an artist is more vital than ever.
I had been wanting to explore Voiceover for such a long time, and this was my first real class or serious attempt in it. So the categories for each class, the amount of time we each worked, was truly all fantastic for me. I absolutely walked away feeling like I could *do* this, and could seriously offer a few things within this world. My favorite moment was reading my audiobook excerpt. The subject matter and tone felt right as soon as I came across it, and I was able to put all of that into the microphone.
I didn’t previously have any idea about the various areas of voice over, and now I have a pretty clear idea of which areas I am drawn to most. I exited the class with a sense of direction and excitement toward specific areas of voice over which was incredibly helpful.
I have been struggling a lot as an artist in covid and she is so open and teaches w/o judgement and it really allowed me to open up again.
There were lots of very helpful and interesting information and ideas that Ilyana shared with us 🙂
Her guidance as to how to prep for each v/o style was empowering.
I’ve been wanting to get braver about voiceover. This class made me feel like I have the skills for a demo reel. I learned about what I gravitate to. I also learned that my voice can handle certain character types that my look doesn’t as much.
It’s not an easy feat to create one complex and beautifully written novel by weaving together multiple characters and their stories. Debut novel Disappearing Earth accomplishes it. It’s also not easy to bring a novel like that to life in the audiobook, but award-winning narrator (and singer, lyricist, and multimedia performance artist!) Ilyana Kadushin brilliantly does.
When I offhandedly mentioned I’d never read Twilight, it was met with shock and indignation. […] Seeking companionship for my government-mandated walks, I downloaded the first audiobook, narrated by Ilyana Kadushin, thinking I would consume all 12 hours in manageable chunks.
Anyone who has read the four-book saga will know how foolish I was.
Full disclosure—please note that we do not guarantee that actors in these workshops will be hired for any project that we might direct or cast. We do guarantee supportive honesty and open sharing of knowledge. We teach and coach because we enjoy supporting actors as they develop their process of working within the audition room. We seek to build their knowledge about the business of auditioning.