Tasia Valenza [Interview]

 

Hello, Folks! We have made it another week (if you hadn’t realized), so Happy Friday to you all! To wrap up the week, we have some very wonderful words from one of the top performers both on screen, and especially in the voice over world. It’s Tasia Valenza, Everyone! Tasia has famously voiced the legendary villain Poison Ivy in the even more legendary Batman franchise. From the games to the series, she has been there through it all. And it’s definitely not just the Batman franchise, not by a long shot. Tasia has leant her voice to the likes of Star Wars, Scooby-Doo, World of Warcraft, and so much more! For her on-screen work, she received an Emmy nod for her work on All My Children, and also appeared in our old friend, Tim McLoughlin’s, film Sometimes They Come Back, and so much more.

Tasia is currently out in the ether letting people know about her incredible new TEDx Talk entitled #GiveGreatVoice, which can be found at the end of this wonderful collection of responses. Valenza is a very kind soul who has given us all some wonderful insight into an industry that I personally thought I knew about, but now know that I knew next to nothing. I am so excited to have her grace our digital pages today, and to share her wonderful responses with you all.

So Folks, please enjoy some wonderful words from the great Tasia Valenza!

 

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What inspired you to get into the world of entertainment? Was it something that you have wanted to do since your youth? Or did you happen to find yourself in this world one day?

Both of my parents were actors, my father was on Broadway by the time he was fifteen and my mother was a professional singer so it was something I was born to do. I came out of the womb screaming and I haven’t looked back!

 

What was your first paid gig in the world of entertainment? And were there any sort of lessons learned from this experience that still affect your work today?

I started to work professionally by the age of fifteen when I was discovered by the late great director Louie Malle and co-starred opposite Sean Penn for my first professional role. Six months later, I was cast as Dottie Thornton on All My Children and I was nominated for an Emmy during my three years on that show. The lessons I learned from those gigs is staying humble, work hard, be respectful, and save your money when things are good. I learned that the hard way because I was let go after the three years on AMC, because my storyline stalled and I had to get non-acting jobs to support myself until my next professional gig.

 

For quite some time, and on multiple platforms, you have been the voice of the legendary villain in the Batman franchise known as Poison Ivy. I am curious as to what drew you to work in the world of Batman, even before you stepped in as Ivy? And how has your experience been working in this world over the years?

I was a big fan of Batman because I grew up with the original TV series with Adam West, and it was definitely part of my childhood lore. I also played a few roles in the TV animated series Batman before Poison Ivy in the Arkham Games, so I was feeling already connected to the franchise before I got that animated role. I loved the Dark Night aspect of Batman as he’s one of the only superheroes that is human and whose flaws make him very relatable. Getting to play Poison Ivy was a thrill because I loved to be able to lend my seductive sound to a multi-layered character who is considered a villainess and yet is so much more nuanced. After all (spoiler alert), she was the “shero” in Arkham Night.

 

The Batman franchise has a very devoted fan base, to say the least. I am curious to know how your experience has been amongst the fandom? How have your fan interactions been over the years?

The fans are fantastic and very devoted to Batman and very kind. I have done many podcasts with the fans and always felt very appreciated. I get requests through Cameo for Poison Ivy messages, which is fun, and I highlighted her in my TEDx talk because I love her so much.

 

 

We have spoken with a lot of folks who work in the world of voice over acting, and I always love to hear what people have to say about one question: How do you manage to personalize a character that is entirely animated, and using only your own voice?

That’s a great question, and for me, it always starts with writing. Excellent writing allows my imagination to run wild, and I can begin picturing my character and her background and intentions. Of course, having a picture also helps inform the role, and I take that information and look at the style of drawing and the audience, kids or adults, and different mediums; a very realistic video game role or broader, more animated series role. Also, because of my on-camera acting background, I approach each animated role as I would an acting role. When I’m auditioning I’m physicalizing the role in front of the mic so that energy and specificity comes through.

 

I understand that you created a TedxTalk known as #GiveGreatVoice that sounds very intriguing. Would you mind telling our readers a bit about this project?

The TEDx talk came out of my thirty-five years of using my voice as a powerful instrument of persuasion and understanding the importance of it in my personal life as well.

The success of both has been my ability to verbally communicate in an emotionally intelligent and meaningful way. I’ve seen how over the last ten years voice has been becoming less and less used in lieu of our digital communication. I wanted to make a TEDx talk to both inspire people to use their voices “by thinking like a voiceover actor” in their own lives both for their own success by speaking more confidently.

With the goal to help them reach their goals and to encourage them to use to use the tools for their professional and personal relationships. Ironically since Covid19 this “Move and touch someone” with your voice has had a more profound meaning than ever before, so the timing is perfect to have shared this video, although I had no idea at that time how impactful it would be.

 

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

I’m still doing voiceover projects, and currently, I’m narrating a Discovery ID series called My Murder Story that’s on now. I also have a free affirmation meditation app called Haven guided affirmations that is something l love to share since it’s a “Be kind to your mind app” that’s completely free and needed more than ever. (Some people think my soothing voice sounds very Poison Ivy”ish so that could be a draw to some)

But my passion for sharing what it means to Give Great Voice and teach both individuals and groups how to use their voices both powerfully and meaningfully through this novel lens is what I will be doing more. I hope to have my webinar up soon, and I post daily about the subject.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

My husband just told me a joke, my daughter just gave me a hug and my doggie just snuggled up to me. I’m smiling ear to ear.

 

Check out the previously mentioned, Give Great Voice TEDTalk here:

 

About rontrembathiii
write. write. write.

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