Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Excuse me; No More Miss Nice Girl

Excuses Excuses.

I have a tendency to make excuses for why I "can't" do something. Weather  it's working out (I'm too busy, too tired, too fat so people will make fun of me if they see me trying...) or more importantly, reaching out for help with my career. I tend to shy away for asking for favors, meetings, even taking people up on their offers to help. I guess I feel like I don't want to waste their time, or that they are more important than me and I will annoy them with my questions, or they were "Just being nice" when they offered. 

Well, I've decided I'm done being nice and making excuses. Let this serve as a warning, that if you offer your help, I'm gonna say yes. I am gonna nail down a date with you to meet, to ask you questions to buy you a cup of coffee in exchange for picking your brain. I am going to email you, call you and keep reminding you I exist, because I want to develop relationships with people who are doing what I have a passion for, and find out how they got there so I can get there too.

And here's my promise in return: I will help others. I will share the knowledge I acquire with those who are a step or two behind me. I will not be selfish with my knowledge or abilities. I will pay it forward, pass it on, and be gracious and grateful for the opportunity to help someone. I will be approachable and generous with my time. 

So there you go, no more excuses! 

Be sure to tune in to Talkin Toons today with Rob Paulsen and I, with the INCOMPARABLE Bob Bergen. Porky PIG y'all!!!

Now, excuse me while I go for a run. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Weekly Wednesday Blog!

I know I said Tuesday was Blog day, but I changed my mind. Wednesday will now be blog day. I have a reason though!! Wednesday evenings is when Talkin' Toons airs on and I can tell you all about our guest for the week!!

This week: Lara Jill Miller!!

That's right all you mom's with you kids, Lambie from Doc McStuffins herself! No Kids? How about Naruto fans? Because she is Matsuri too! Naruto not your thing? Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! then, or Curious George, Digimon, GENERAL HOSPITAL??? I mean come on people, Lara has something for everyone, AND she's sweet as pie to boot.  Please join us on the live stream tonight at:

Or you can download the podcast only on iTunes or the FREE Talkin Toons app for Apple and Android devices, on Friday!

In Abby news, I am working on a few corporate VO jobs and looking for a new agent! Putting together a new website and animation demo...just plugging away at this job I'm so blessed to do! Tune in to the podcast tonight at 6:30pm Pacific and ask Lara your questions! Or Me or Rob, because we're always there too!

Lots of love!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Finishing what I started.

We're going to ignore the fact it's almost been a year. I recently read a blog post from a friend (who I hope is reading this) that talked about not finishing what we start. I am guilty of this. Obviously. With lots of things really, but on really pursuing the "Business" end of my art.

As an artist, we like to believe all we need is that art, and we will be completely fulfilled if we just get to do our art, all the time, and at whatever cost. But fast forward, and add: A husband who works WAY too hard to make sure you can be an artist, a couple of car payments and a son? My focus as an artist needed to shift, to an artist who values my worth, and stops working for free.

I use the same excuses everyone else uses, and I am trying to own up to it. I'm too busy, too tired, business isn't "my thing" I just want to do the acting part... too BUSY...but the fact remains that if I want to be a well rounded VO Artist, I need to open myself up to that really REAL half of my job. Or really 3/4 of my job. No one is going to make my website for me. No one is going to populate my Twitter account for me. No one is going to promote me being on the Talkin Toons podcast for me. I have to make the choice to be my own advocate, my own manager, my own cheerleader, and my own social thermometer. So, I am making that choice. Here I am, talking on this public forum about my faults, and my journey so I can motivate other, so I better f***ing motivate myself.

The last year has been a crazy one of ups and downs. Some really REALLY amazing highs and some pretty hard lows. I shall re-cap:

I got a 3 month trial with an awesome agent. She sent me amazing auditions I had never dreamed of getting on my own, Disney, WB, Cartoon Network and everything else.

She let me go.

I was on a run when she called, to tell me that "at the moment" I wasn't a right fit for the agency. THAT will teach me to work out...

But I have come to terms with the fact that it is a GOOD thing to be let go from an agent who doesn't or can't do the work you need them to, in order to get you the work you work so hard for. I know I will find the right fit, I just can't let this set back set me ALL the way back :)

Last we spoke, I had just gotten to meet one of my heroes. I was totally motivated, a little intimidated and incredibly grateful to have such an opportunity. They say you should never meet your heroes, because they are never what you expect. This was half true...Rob Paulsen has turned out to be WAY MORE THAN I EVER EXPECTED. I was excited that he was so nice when we met, I was more excited that he was willing to chat with me about my dad, and working with him. Did I ever expect he'd agree to be my hands on mentor?? HECK NO! Is he? yes. I'm incredibly blessed to say he is now my go to for all question VO. I mean Jesus Christ?! Who else can say Rob Paulsen is their personal mentor?! Very few I'd say.

Not only is he my mentor, BUT, I get to WORK with him each week on his podcast Talkin Toons! I am the moderator, if you send your questions to the Social Stream on Ustream, I will ask him and whoever his guest is that week! It's an amazing opportunity, and I still can't believe I get to do it EVERY WEEK!

So there is a a small glimpse into the last year. I'll be posting every Tuesday from now on!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Demos, Heros, and Choosing my Reality.


I know.

It's been a while.

I know I have used the baby excuse already, so I'll just be honest, and say I was busy, and lost some of my motivation for  a while. I had a slump where I second guessed if this is where I should be going and what I should be doing....and I lost faith. It happens! Here is how I fixed it:

Step 1: I watched some of my old favorite cartoons.

GI Joes, Transformers, Animaniacs, Pinky and the Brain, Simpsons, Futurama....really I could go on forever...But thats what I did. And I played along, and laughed along, and joked along with characters that have been there my whole life, the characters that made up my childhood. I made funny voices and sang the theme songs to my son.

And I remembered why I wanted to do this: I want to play, forever.

Step 2: I cut a new "Commercial" demo.

Yes, animation is where I want to be, but commercials pay the bills...hopefully more of them soon...So in order to book a new agent, or at least get mine to send me out more, I needed a new commercial demo. I did a LOT of research and found Chuck Duran at "Demos that Rock," and let me tell you, they do. I love my new commercial demo, it shows a range of what I like to call: "The people I have inside me," and does so, in an upbeat minute and 7 seconds. You can listen to it here:

Now cast me. Or send it to someone you know who CAN cast me :)

Step 3: Sometimes, you need a hero...or two.

Mine came in the form of Rob Paulsen and Maurice La Marche.

I know, if you're in VO they are your heros too. And because my husband is AWESOME, I got an opportunity to hang out with them yesterday afternoon while they were guests on a new show he is producing. SHAMELESS PLUG**** "Show Interrupted," is on USTREAM at 5pm every Tuesday!*** You can watch it here:

Back to blogging....So I got to meet them in person, and just chat with them, and listen to them just play, and talk, and curse, and have fun in some of the voices that changed my childhood. And they talked to me about my dad. And I was inspired. All of the dreams came back to me, and I came back to one simple thing: I want to change someones childhood....I want to CHANGE someones CHILDHOOD.

So, I un-slumped, and decided to be brave enough to go after what I want. Who can really say that? Who REALLY says "This is what I want, and WILL do!" and then refuses to settle. I have no back up plan, I have no fall back, no plan B. There is this, or failure. I chose to dream REALLY big, and show my son you can have everything you want. I choose this as my reality.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Of Demos and Memories....

Happy June everyone! June happens to be both the best AND the worst month, in my whole year. Well, maybe tied for best now, because Liam was born in March.... But I digress. We'll make a "emotional sandwich" with this....

June. Let's start with good!!

#1) June is the first month of Summer! Who doesn't love Summer!? I mean I'm super-pasty practically see-through white and I still love Summer....under a hat...dipped in a healthy coating of SPF 500...on an enclosed porch. But I love it none the less. Even though I no longer have "Summer Vacation" there is still something so fun and wonderful about the Summer months.

#2) THIS June marked my FIRST wedding anniversary. Man it's been a crazy first year, but I shit you not, my husband is THE best one. Really. If you disagree please type "James and Abby Wedding Flashmob" into YouTube, and you will see that I am right.

Now for the less than awesome part of June.

My dad died 18 years ago this June. 18 years. I barely feel OLDER than 18 sometimes, and yet I am old enough to remember something that happened 18 years ago, like it was yesterday. He had been sick for a while, and he died at 2am, 6/12/94. My mom got a phone call from the hospital, that it was over. She didn't wake us up...I remember getting myself some cereal and her walking in the room, telling my sister and I to come sit with her on the couch, and saying "God didn't want Daddy to suffer anymore." And I cried. And cried. And cried. I cried for a longtime, sometimes I still cry. But mostly? I smile. I smile because my dad was HILARIOUS, I smile because when money is really tight, a residual check comes in. I smile because my son looks just like him. And I smile because he would want me to.

And we'll finish the emo sandwich with a happy thought:

I'm getting a new Demo made! Chuck Duran is a great guy and I'm meeting with him on Tuesday before my VO workout group. A good demo is SUPER important, because it's how you get seen. If your demo sucks, you don't get work...I wanna work. Momma needs a new pair of shoes! Or twenty... Or just a massage and a pedicure.... But some spending cash, would be awesome. For now? I spend my cash on Demos. And on making my June a lil better every year :-)

Monday, May 28, 2012


I know. It's been a few weeks. I HAVE A 2 MONTH OLD. Well....almost 3 month old....but still, it's hard to find time to blog. BUT due to having new assistants, who are an EPIC help with the baby, I shall make it my goal to blog every Thursday from now on, so be sure to keep a lookout!

As you may or may not know, I have been converting my tiny, TINY, back bathroom into a home studio, to do work in. So far it is coming along VERY nicely. I wanted it to be removable, since we rent, so I got pretty creative.

I ordered an acoustic foam kit on Amazon, along with some adhesive that can be easily peeled from the wall, so its not a super hassel when we move. The foam covered the whole front area, and most of the sides, I decided I only needed to dampen the sound a bit more, so I hung curtain rod along the back wall, and hung a moving blanket from there. I got a very nice USB mic, so I can plug right into my trusty airbook...heck I can even blog AND record at the same time, though it may be difficult, sort of like rubbing your stomach and patting your head.

Where I had to get creative was covering the sink area, and the commode. For the sink, I enlisted the help of my ever talented Father in Law.  He made basically a wooden, upside-down box to nest over the entire vanity area, which will now act as a table to hold my mic stand, music stand, and laptop. It turned out pretty wicked, and very usable.

Next, the toilet. As hilarious as it may be to just use it as a chair in its original state, I needed something with a bit more height to match my newly raised countertop. Also, I don't sit much when I record, because I sound different, so the chair didn't need to be particularly comfortable or amazing. So, I got a wide-legged barstool, that sits directly over the ol' John. Simple, yet highly effective.

I'll post pics when it is entirely finished. Just a lil' more foam installation needed, and getting some carpet to cover the table and music stand. All in all, I'm pretty happy with the way  its shaping up, and I expect to spend a great deal of my "free time," (need I remind you how little of that new moms get?). I'll even try to post some things I record in there when I get a minute...and get the help I need to figure out HOW to post recordings here...I'm not so much a techno-wizard.

My studio may not be perfect, but it's my place. To work, to have some alone time. I love the way it's shaping up, and CANNOT wait to do some amazing work from it!

Monday, May 7, 2012

BotCon Part 3: The Script Reading

"I'm not worthy." That was the thought going through my head during the introductions for this year's script reading. Gary Chalk, Buster Jones, David Kaye, Dan Gilvezan, and.... Me?! It just doesn't compute. It didn't compute last year either, when it was Gregg Berger, Morgan Lofting, Neil Ross, David Kaye, and, well, me again.

Honestly, this past year of perusing this elusive dream has been many things: overwhelming, disappointing, exhilarating, too fast, too slow, hopeful, random, and amazing... And I wouldn't change any of it.

This years script reading was a little bit different than last years. In two main ways, one: I actually knew what to expect! Last year, I was a BotCon n00b and had no idea what was going to happen. Luckily, in what I've learned is just the way people are at BotCon, everyone was warm, welcoming, and wonderful. The other, was that I played two very different characters. Which meant not mixing them up, and making sure they sounded different enough. You know, taking it one voice at a time. The different enough turned out to be pretty easy, when we did our run thru, the writers and I decided Texan would be fun for Road Rage, since after all, we were in TX!

Everything ended up going pretty smoothly...we had some technical difficulties with the mics, but powered through with out much other incident. The audience laughed at all the right parts :-). Afterward, I went and signed autographs for about 45 min. (it will never feel normal being asked for my autograph. Ever). Then I had to book it to catch our ride to the airport, and, sadly, back to reality.

What I came away with by the end of all of it, was that...I AM worthy. I can hold my own. Maybe I really am finally on the path I'm meant to be on. I have a family, who is beyond supportive, and I'm doing what I love to do. I am a mom now, and what better way to convince my little man to go after his dreams, than to pursue my own.

So that's what I'm doing. One day at a time, one audition at a voice at a time.