Lovely readers, I want to introduce you to someone very special – she’s the voice of Betty (and the narrator!) in the Lady Vigilante Radio Show Podcast. I am so lucky to have Bonnie as the leading lady of this production, as she is so busy and such a huge and diverse talent in the audio industry. Drumroll please, for our incredibly talented voice artist, Bonnie Bogovich!
Bonnie has very graciously answered a little Q & A for us here.
Q&A with Bonnie Bogovich!
Bonnie, can you tell us a bit about the work you do?
Hi folks:) I am an audio and voice artist and my work is mainly in the video game, audio drama, and educational media fields. I have worked as a sound designer, voice actor, voice directer, and audio post professional on a variety of titles including, (Games) “I Expect You To Die”, “Waterbears”, “Cobra Kai: The Karate Kid Saga Continues”, “Wasteland 3”, “Death and Taxes”, and “Pathfinder: Kingmaker” (Audio Drama) “The Call of the Flame”, “The Dracula Radioplay Experience”, “Codename: Blank”, “Mandible Judy”, “A Voice From Darkness”, and “Dreambound”, and (Education) “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” “Peg + Cat”, “Amplify Reading”, and “Zoo Academy/Zoo U”
What are the most enjoyable parts of being our audiobook ‘Betty’?
I love that playing ‘Betty’ gives me the chance to voice two characters… the charade she puts on for the world as the super sweet mother and Avon Lady everyone loves and knows, and the super skilled, violent, and ruthless fighter she is after dark. Also, being the voice of the Narrator as well, it’s also a fun challenge to find a happy calm storytelling voice, that still lets the ‘voice of Betty’ still stand out and shine. Oh.. and my favorite part is the fight scenes… getting to narrate and voice those is super fun:)
What does your perfect day include?
A nice hot cup of tea, a cat on my lap for half the time spent at my computer, a really fun recording session with a client on the other line directing, 2-3 trips outside to breathe and check on my garden, yoga, snuggle with my husband on the couch reading comics at the end of the day, and finishing the night with a dip in my hot tub and gaze at the stars (you can see Orion from our yard on a clear night).
What is the most fun character you’ve read/ acted?
Aida Sanantonio is a really fun villain I voice for the comedy audioplay series “Codename: Blank.” She is a stereotype/comedy clone of Carmen Sandiago, and full of evil schemes that never work out, she’s helplessly in love with the good guy, and loaded with maniacal laughs.
What’s the most difficult thing about being an audio actor/ V.O. artist?
Staying healthy ‘all the time’ is hard for anyone, but for voice artists your voice is your instrument. You have to be careful in how you schedule your sessions, as you don’t want to work on a gravelly orc character in a fight scene an hour before you voice a calm and medium voiced mother, and you have to keep an eye (and ear) on your tone, so you are always consistent on long term projects. Think of when you have a head cold, or you have been coughing all night…. does your voice sound the same as a healthy day? It’s a process, but you get used to it.
How did you get into voice acting?
I’m still not really sure when I realized that was what I was doing. In college I was always an active vocalist on musical projects, solo voice and choir, and when exploring music composition I was always a fan of playing iwth the voice as an instrument, or using voice in music concret pieces. On the other side of the arts, I was been active in independant films and musical theater for a long time. I was there as ‘the sound guy,’ the girl holding the boom pole and doing sound effects, so anything audio fell on my plate including laying down temporary audio tracks, and doing narration for project tutorials. My first ‘professional’ voice acting job where that was considered a main part of my work was doing interactive training videos for database software (sounds thrilling, right?) as I was also the person animating the slides and walking people through tests for their jobs in the application. After that I started to get more confident in being a solo performance person, after cowriting an opera titled “Evenings in Quarantine: The Zombie Opera” in which my best friend, and collaborator, Liz Rishel and I had written ourselves into the two lead characters. That forced me to come out of my shell and get less scared of being mic’d and in front of an audience. After Zombie Opera premiered I was recommended to put in a job application for a sound designer poosition at Schell Games, a local video game company. I threw together the mashup of my various arts skills including film, theater, and training, and ended up at the company for over five years as their audio lead. Well, being a smaller game company I was the ‘only’ audio person on staff for four of those five years, so EVERYTHING audio was on my shoulders. This included voice work, much of which was laying down temporary placeholder tracks so there was always audio in the game before it shipped, and most of the time my voice was ‘not’ temp… it stayed in! I really learned to hone my craft in those days at the company, developing character voices, learning to direct other voice actors in the booth, and also… learned that of all the aspects of my audio job, I loved working with voice the most. After leaving Schell Games, I started work on a variety of other projects, some sound, but most focusing on voice acting and directing, which led to many great opportunities and me forming my own company, BlackCatBonifide LLC.
More about Bonnie’s professional work:
Bonnie has her fingers in a plethora of game and audio pies! As a sound designer, she has spent over a decade designing audio on a variety of award-winning educational products, virtual and augmented reality simulations, interactive experiences, and theme park attractions. When not designing audio, she is also active as a voice actor, not just in games and education, but also the audio drama/radio drama and interactive audio fiction scene.
As a singer, she regularly performs with a variety of live and virtual operatic, choral, and musical ensembles, co-created and produced the original productions “Evenings in Quarantine: The Zombie Opera“, “Super Smash Opera“ it’s sequel “Aria Kart” and is a frequent arranger and vocalist for a plethora of video game tribute albums by record label The Materia Collective. Bonnie has served on the boards and committees for a variety of organizations including NATF – The National Audio Theatre Festivals, Great Lake Film Association, Parsec, Pittsburgh Savoyards, Game Audio Network Guild, Interactive Audio Special Interest Group, and the IGDA Virtual, Augmented, and Mixed Reality SIG. She has been a video game judge for Spillprisen, IGF, and Indiecade, an animation and script judge forGLFA, IGDA Boardgames Competition, and audio/sound text book proposal reviewer for Focal Press.
She is an active, panelist, presenter, and mentor at variety of events including but not limited to AES, MAGfest, GameSoundCon, SXSW Gaming, VGMtogether, PAX South, PAX Dev, Confluence, and GDC. She has lectured at Berklee School of Music, Duquesne University, Teknofonic, and has been an adjunct professor teaching audio games and animation at the Art Institute of Austin. Learn more about Bonnie at her website https://blackcatbonifide.com