Durham Chronicle Volume XLIV, Issue 11
26 The Chronicle April 10 - 16, 2018 chronicle.durhamcollege.ca Community Durham Storytellers: Folklore in action Tiago de Oliveira The Chronicle Durham Storytellers is fighting to keep the flame of oral tradition burning hot in a culture plagued by mass media distraction. It’s an organization that, in short, tells stories. It operates in the region as a non-profit and spends its time entertaining and educating audiences. Kathleen Smyth is chair of Durham Storytellers, which changed its name from Durham Folklore Society in July of 2017. “More than anything, we would like those traditions to continue in a younger generation,” said Smyth. She said storytelling is not limited to legends and curiosities of Germanic fairie tales. She says it applies to the everyday anecdotes and water cooler conversations regular people incorporate into their daily lives. Durham Storytellers offer workshops to help people improve their storytelling and public speaking abilities. The group also does presentations and shows for audiences both for the purpose of maintaining the spirit of oral tradition and to inspire and give hope to people who, according to Smyth, “need a good story.” Smyth said Durham Storytellers go to women’s shelters and hostels to inspire with stories of strong women. “They will talk to us afterwards, ‘Oh, those were fantastic stories. I loved those stories,” she said. “It really made me feel a little bit better.’ We’re taking away the things they deal with on a day to day basis and taking them to another place.” The group held its first meeting in September of 1990 when it was founded by George Blake, who passed at the of 95 in January. Blake was an active member of the community who also founded Storytellers of Canada and was recognized with the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award from the African Canadian Achievement Awards. Smyth said Blake had an incredible passion for storytelling and always walked into meetings excited about what stories the organization Kathleen Smyth, chair of Durham Storytellers. would be working on next. Blake was born in Jamaica. Smyth said a large part of what drove him to start the Folklore Society was his upbringing in an oral tradition based culture. “That’s where he decided, ‘I’d like to do this here, I’d like to tell my own stories. Folklore from where I came from,’” said Smyth. “With three or four friends they decided they would get together and tell stories…I think the first place they started up was a bar.” The stories the group tells today are varied. Usually the theme or central message of each story coincides with a specific event they are catering to, for example, World Storytelling Day which occurs annually on the March equinox. This year’s theme was the ‘Wise Fool.’ Stories the organization shares during this event will use that character archetype in their tellings. Durham Storytellers meets on How to get your crush in 10 days Photograph by Tiago de Oliveira the third Thursday of every month. Volunteers and visitors take part in the art of storytelling and tell stories from a host of backgrounds, languages, and eras. However, members are concerned, as the group is lacking in interest from young people. “We have an aging demographic,” Smyth said. “There are more older people than there are younger people. I think the challenge for us is to maybe become a little more involved with the college and the university, and branch out that way.” Smyth said the current digital age and the lack of personable skills is in part why they see fewer young people at their meetings. Currently, Durham Storytellers is bringing its web presence and online presentation up to date. Members hope an increase in traffic will encourage people to get off their smartphones and start building interpersonal communication skills. Claudia Latino “If you want something you never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.” An old saying by Thomas Jefferson is the approach you want to have when it comes to getting the guy you want – especially in 10 days. Although today’s society is all about using dating apps to meet people, it would be nice to meet someone the old-fashioned way, right? Here are five psychologically proven ways to get your crush to like you in 10 days. KEEP HIM CLOSE BY According to Dr. Joe Fanelli, a human sexuality and love professor at the University of Syracuse, “If you are attracted to something, the more often you see it, the more attracted you will become.” So walk by that crush of yours. Twice. Or even a third time. Eventually, introduce yourself. MAINTAIN EYE CONTACT Author and life enthusiast Mark Manson created an e-book called The Levels of Eye Contact in Attraction in 2011. According to Manson, gazing into someone’s eyes can create intimacy between two people. “Hold the gaze for 2-3 seconds without breaking it. If undesired, this level is known as the infamous “creep stare”, so make sure both parties want it,” writes Manson. Hopefully your crush has piercing eyes like Zac Efron or Brad Pitt, Megan Fox or Amanda Seyfried. This will make gazing into them a more worthwhile experience. LAUGH AT ALL JOKES Eric Bressler, a grad student at McMaster University studying ‘The role of humour in personal attraction’, believes men are attracted to a woman who laughs at their jokes. His 2005 study of 150 male students confirmed that laughing at your crush’s jokes will grab their attention. The next time they try to be funny, give the joke credit with a laugh. SMILE… A LOT Smiling at your crush can launch the ‘mirror neuron effect’. According to Neuroscientist Marco Iacoboni, when it comes to smiling the neurons in your brain react to another person’s actions. Try showing off those pearly whites when you talk to your crush. That kind smile of yours will get noticed. FIND A COMMON INTEREST Opposites attract, well, maybe not that much. According to Dr. Amy Muise, a relationship and attraction assistant professor at York University, similarities between two people can reduce any conflicts of interest. So, try and see if you and your crush have common interests. The one for you will appreciate it. There’s no rule or limit of what you should do to get your crush to like you. You could easily just say it, but, that can be a little too scary. But remember, as someone once said, “Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it.”
chronicle.durhamcollege.ca April 10 - 16, 2018 The Chronicle 27 Entertainment Photograph photoshopped by William McGinn Photograph owned by Ron Rubin Photograph photoshopped by William McGinn William Colgate has a plethora of talents, being a successful songwriter, actor and lead singer of Cadre. Ron Rubin has been a voice actor for almost 40 years, with hundreds of contributions. Krystal Meadows is a Gemini-nominated voice actress, coach, director and Disney Jr. Canada's station voice. Voice acting in Canada William McGinn The Chronicle Several voice actors have worked and grown up here in Canada, starting off where everyone has started off and then creating the characters people of all ages watch and fall in love with. Have you ever wanted to be a local actor or voice actor in Canada? William Colgate, Krystal Meadows, Ron Rubin and Debra Toffan, four veterans of the voice acting industry who have worked and grown up here in Canada have pitched in to tell you the best ways to become a Canadian voice actor and what to watch for when you become one. RON RUBIN Ron Rubin has been a performer and voice actor for almost 40 years, appearing in hundreds of cartoons for Disney, Marvel Ent. and Warner Bros. as well as multiple anime series. He has also voiced countless national commercial campaigns. Some of his most notable roles include Artemis in Sailor Moon, Morph in the 1992 X-Men cartoon, Doom Buggy in Beetlejuice and Vision in The Avengers: United They Stand. KRYSTAL MEADOWS Krystal Meadows is a Gemininominated voice actress with over a decade of industry experience in animation, commercial and promo. She has leant her voice to lead and recurring roles on Grossology, World of Quest, Justin Time Go, Detentionaire, Arthur, The Dating Guy, BeyWheelz and more. In addition to her acting work, Krystal has behind-the-scenes experience assisting on a variety of pre-school animation series. WILLIAM COLGATE William (Bill) Colgate became a bar singer in the early ‘70s of a band who was born during his last year of high school and they kept performing well into university. Disco was big at the time so they went by The All-Star Disco Band to promote themselves, and during the school year and weekends they went by Uncle John’s Dirty Secret. Later on, Colgate was approached and said he has the talent to act, and became one who also does voices, including Mr. Mole in Franklin, Johnny B. Dead in Monster by Mistake and Mr. Dickenson in Beyblade. Colgate is currently the lead singer for the Canadian band Cadre. ADVICE FROM THE EXPERTS The first thing you need to do is be ready and confident to express your voice and talent. Rubin, Meadows and Colgate suggest you train with a professional in the field. Options include private tutoring and workshops. “If you’re not an actor, singer, etc. and the use of your voice is pretty well confined to normal conversation, training is helpful, in that it gives you a certain degree of confidence,” said Colgate. Meadows does coaching sessions in Toronto at Kim Hurdon Casting. She says theatre and improv are two skills highly relevant to voice-overs. “Some of the most talented voice actors I know come from a theatre background. Theatre trained actors are not afraid to use their bodies and go big with their choices,” said Meadows. Improv is because she says a casting or voice director may have a totally different take on a specific scene or the character and a big part of the job of an actor is being comfortable not knowing what is going to happen next. “You just gotta go with the flow and start playing in this new direction.” Meadows’ next workshop for kids runs April 7 - 8 and her next adult workshop is April 21 - 22. “When I was starting out, and even up until 10 years ago, there wasn’t really a lot of voice classes,” said Rubin. Now there are. Rubin teaches animation workshops and classes at Humber College, as well as coaches and produces demos. His next workshop takes place (Where he didn’t say) the last weekend of April. Melissa Altro, a voice actress who has been Muffy on Arthur for the last 23 years, and has also been the star of Pippi Longstocking and Gretchen in Camp Lakebottom, is also a voice coach and owner of Voice Pro Studio in Toronto. “Voice acting is much more about crafting characters than having an interesting voice,” said Meadows. “Make some strong choices for your character in the scene and have fun playing them! Beware of locking yourself into only one way of saying each line – this will cut off your spontaneity in the moment.” Some voice actors manage to disguise their voice, changing maybe their accent, maybe their gender, and still becoming the character. Practicing different accents and listening back can help you identify what needs improvement. “I want you to become the part,” said Rubin. “You literally have to know how to cough and sneeze and laugh and exert and everything like the character.” Altro, Rubin and Meadows also all do private tutoring if that is the preferred method. As coaches the three of them help recording demos: how you will showcase recordings of the voices you can do to agencies, advertisers and animation directors. According to Altro, “It’s better to have fewer distinctive characters than too many similar sounding ones.” She says each voice segment should be about 10-15 seconds to show you can hold onto the attitude and impersonation of the character. Once you feel confident you’re ready to go out into the field, it’s time to find an agent. “You have to have an agent or else you wouldn’t know what’s going on [in the field],” said Debra Toffan, casting director of over 60 cartoons and also a voice and acting coach. Acting agencies hear from voice casters, animation directors and advertising producers looking for freelance voiceovers and calls the performers they see fit to run an audition. If you earn a role, the agency works out payment details with the company. Agencies are not supposed to get paid until you get paid. There are two types of agencies in the entertainment field: union and non-union. ‘Union’ means you’re a member of Association of Canadian Television and Radio Artists (AC- TRA). ACTRA has guidelines, you’re paid a certain amount and there’s residuals involved. Non-union agencies generally means jobs pay $250 to $300. Sometimes you’re not required to have as much experience, but nonunion does not mean non-professional. “A lot of the work is going nonunion because some people, producers, don’t necessarily want to pay the union rates, residuals, the backend, etc…” said Rubin, who goes on to say most of what you see on Saturday morning cartoons are still union. Getting an agency to hire you may take time. Read the contract. Make sure you don’t end up working for a company that won’t let you work elsewhere or forces you to pay fees. Voicing is competitive in Canada. Be patient after an audition because choosing the final voice can take weeks to months, according to Toffan. “I’m very encouraging and supportive with my students but I’m also realistic with them. They’re probably not going to walk out of a workplace and have an agent by next week,” said Rubin. "Nowadays, the good news is there's a lot of production. The bad news is there's lots of competition." Be prepared for rejection, otherwise the anxiety will remain and without the energy and optimism, you won’t get other jobs. “In Canada, yes, you can have absolutely up to a hundred people auditioning for a part easily. Other times you go in and you book it and you start recording in two weeks,” said Rubin. So do voice actors in Canada manage to make a living with all the competition? Or do they have side jobs? Colgate is also a singer and songwriter. Meadows, Altro and Rubin are coaches, though Rubin became a coach just recently. “I have been a professional actor for 40 years and I’ve been lucky enough. I haven’t had to have a side job,” said Rubin. “There’s a group at the top that absolutely makes a living doing voicing full time…and others might have a side job.” “One of my favourite parts of being a voice actor is the range of characters to play is really wide. There is so much freedom in voiceover because actors don't need to look the part and that's incredibly exciting to me!” said Meadows. “Singing, songwriting and acting are all equally rewarding. I enjoy performing and creating and [being these things] scratch both those itches,” said Colgate. If you want to start training, you can sign up for one of these workshops online: Rubin: Ron Rubin Voice Meadows: Krystal Meadows. com or Kim Hurdon Casting Altro: Voice Pro Studio For more information on Colgate, visit Cadre The Band.com or Bill Colgate.com You can visit Toffan at Chatter Pinc.com.