Becca Lish [Interview]

 

Hello Folks! And a happy Friday to you all! Today we are sharing some words from the absolutely incredible actress, both on screen and in the world of voice over arts. On screen, Becca Lish has wonderful roles in hit shows such as Orange is the New Black, the recently returned to life hit series Murphy Brown, and will be appearing on the acclaimed series The Deuce. And so much more. But, if I am being completely honest here, the project that she intrigued me the most is, as a 90’s kid, one of the greatest animated series (geared to children, that is) Doug! That’s right Folks! The voice over actress behind the original hipster herself, Judy Funnie, is gracing our digital pages today! Aren’t you just the luckiest readers on the internet right now?

While I absolutely loved her work on Doug, I felt a strong need to learn a bit more about Becca Lish, and reached out. And boy am I glad I did! Becca is a delightful human being, and has some wonderful responses for you all below. We discuss her work on other projects like Celebrity Death Match & more. And we are so excited to have her here today. So Folks, please enjoy some wonderful words from the great Becca Lish!

 

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What inspired you to get into the world of performance? Was it a passion that you had since your youth? Or did you happen to find yourself in this world one day?

My mother took me and my siblings to see a great deal of theater when we were growing up. The regional repertory company near us in San Francisco did great work and I decided very young that I wanted to make my living working at a theater like that one. I didn’t waiver from that career goal. I acted in plays at the local recreation center starting at age 7 and continued straight through college.

 

While you do a bit of on-screen work, you have done some pretty incredible work in the world of voice-over work. We have spoken with several VO artist over the years, and I am always curious to know how you enjoy this line of work in comparison to on screen work? Do you have a preference for either one? 

In many ways, acting is acting no matter what the medium. I sometimes say that my job is pretending to be other people. Working in voice over just broadens the range of people I can pretend to be. All the elements of me that might distract from the character (age, gender, species, nationality) are erased when you can only hear my voice. I’ve voiced all sorts of people and animals through the years. Working on camera, I’ve been limited to characters that are plausible given my appearance. Voice over work can be much more fanciful.

 

What was your very first paid gig as a performer that you can remember getting? And were there any sort of lessons learned from this experience that still affects your work today?

About a year after graduating from college, I started work as a member of a resident regional theater company called Trinity Rep in Providence, Rhode Island. It was my great good fortune to work in an average of five plays a year over the ensuing decade, with a wide variety of excellent actors and directors. Resident acting companies are rare but having grown up as an audience to a great one in San Francisco, I was thrilled to become part of one as my first job. One of the most important lessons I learned was that the community of actors benefited from collective action onstage and off. It was a union job and from that day to this, I have remained engaged in union service, working toward the shared goals of our community.

 

I have to tell you that I grew up in the 90’s, from being a toddler to a teenager. That being said, I absolutely LOVED two specific shows that you worked on, for two very specific reasons. The first is, of course, Doug, in which you brilliant voiced Judy Funnie and many others. With that in mind, when you were working on Doug, where you ever under any impression that the you were a part of something that would have such a cult following so many years later?

I am not very plugged into a cult following but, certainly, working on Doug was a very special experience. It was my first animation job and a wonderful opportunity to stretch creatively. The writing and direction felt very true to the experiences of kids growing through those challenging middle school years so I was not surprised that it was successful at the time (though in a different way than the other shows in that block, Ren & Stimpy and Rugrats). I also think that the episodes Doug himself lived through are universal and timeless so the staying power of the show makes sense. Does the cult have a secret handshake I could learn or is it one of those creepy things with chanting and blood sacrifice?

 

 

The other project I loved came towards the end of the 90’s, in my teenage years, and that was Celebrity Death Match. It was such a gem of a show. I am curious to know how you enjoyed working on such a wild program. Was it as fun to work on as it was for young Ron watching in his room hoping mom doesn’t walk in?  

I did just a little bit of work on Celebrity Death Match so I wasn’t really a part of that family. I think they brought me in to replace someone else who was gone. I remember I played a zombie but I don’t recall that it was any different from most voice-over jobs. I hate to burst any bubbles but with rare exceptions you are hearing an actor standing relatively motionless in front of a microphone, alone in a recording booth. Nickelodeon’s Doug, in the early days, was a rare exception. Often Billy West, Doug Pries, and I would record the family’s scenes together as a group rather than wild (solo without context). Similarly, groups of kids like Doug, Patti, Skeeter, Beebe, Connie might have a group scene so several of us would be in the booth together at Pomann Sound on West 46th Street, where we recorded the show. I learned so much from Fred Newman and Billy West in those sessions.  They were very generous colleagues.

What does the future hold for you? Anything you would like to plug to our readers?

Lately I have been doing quite a bit of television work, playing small parts in some of the many shows that shoot in New York. This winter I did little bits on episodes of Orange is the New Black, The Blacklist, Younger, New Amsterdam, Sweetbitter, the Murphy Brown reboot and a handful of other series. These roll out slowly over time so some of the others won’t air until later in 2019.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

African dance class – a very sweaty smile!

About rontrembathiii
write. write. write.

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