Plano Profile May 2011 : Page 36
communit L B: SUPERHERO Former Collin College student ﬁ nds her voice BY HEATHER DARROW 36 PLANO PROFILE. COM MAY 2011
LAURA BAILEY IS A SUPERHERO. She can fl y through the air, harness microwave energy, and shoot flames. She can shrink to pixie size and sprinkle magical dust, save lives as a ruler and sorcerer or visit her homeland where she takes to the sky on a colossal, violet manta ray. Bailey is an animated individual—to say the least. Her voice brings characters including Firestar (Marvel), Tinker Bell (Disney), Jaina Proudmoore (World of Warcraft), Naruto (anime series), and the hydroencephalic sea monkey Kilowatt (Space Chimps 2) to life.<br /> <br /> Superheroes lead super busy lives<br /> <br /> Like most crusaders, Bailey leaps from one challenge to the next. This voice actor starts the day as a hyper little boy, uses her lunch break to drive to another studio to adopt the persona of a sultry video game vixen, and ends the day with audition recordings ranging from British elves to aliens. Bailey is well known in the anime and videogame worlds, but her repertoire also includes several movies and television shows including Mr. Brooks (Kevin Costner and Demi Moore), Staircase Murders (Treat Williams and Kevin Pollak), and Monster High (Lagoona Blue).<br /> <br /> The shy alter ego <br /> <br /> As a young girl, Bailey sang Disney songs in the characters’ voices and even mastered Bryan Adam’s raspy sound, but her venture into voice acting really took off at Collin College. Initially, Bailey was timid. After taking dance, theater and voice classes, she performed in plays and musicals and began working in the industry.<br /> <br /> “I was watching the making of Dawson’s Creek and they were interviewing Katie Holmes, and I realized that it was possible for me to do that. I researched schools, and Collin College rocked.The theater department rating was so good that I didn’t see the point of going anywhere else. Collin College opened the doors for me. Professors Brad Baker and Gail Cronauer have so many connections.<br /> They got me auditions and gave me confidence. I learned about acting, diction and dialects. If I had not taken the classes, I would not be where I am today.”<br /> <br /> Superpowers <br /> <br /> Like a true superhero, Bailey was unaware she held the power to change lives. When she played Tohru Honda on the anime series Fruits Basket, she discovered her work had global impact.<br /> <br /> “I played a 16-year-old girl who lost both parents but was positive and selfless and worked to make everyone’s lives better.People that lost loved ones said the character got them through the day. One girl told me she had Asperger’s (a form of autism). She said she had difficulty expressing emotion, but after watching the show she was able to see the facial expressions and verbalize emotion.The show made it come together for her, and she is higher functioning now.” <br /> <br /> For Bailey the perks of her career include traveling to different countries for anime conventions and filming video games.<br /> <br /> “To create the characters’ actions, you wear these motion-capture outfits with reflective balls. You are on a green screen, and they can pick up audio and movements at the same time. It’s a lot of fun to do even though you look ridiculous,” she said laughing.<br /> <br /> What could be better than laughing your way through a day? Well, for a Superhero like Bailey it might be recording with your fiancé, the Incredible Hulk/Human Torch.Perhaps, just knowing the best is yet to come is the ultimate satisfaction.<br /> <br /> “Several years ago my goal was to support myself as an actor. I feel like I am there. Now, I would like to get to the top of my career.” Listen up, folks. Here she comes.<br /> <br /> Freelance writer Heather Darrow is a frequent contributor to Plano Profile.