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Voices Can Be Deceiving

Actress, producer, and writer Tara Platt stars as a voice-over artist for commercials, animation, and video games.

Tara Platt
Actress Tara Platt has a successful career as a voice-over artist. She is also cofounder (with her husband, Yuri) of the independent-film production company Monkey Kingdom Productions and Bug Bot Press.  Photography by Yuri Lowenthal

Center Stage, Behind the Mic: Tara Platt MGSA’99 shines in the limelight—and behind the microphone. A screen and stage actress (NBC’s Parenthood, a Los Angeles production of Romeo and Juliet, and independent feature films), Platt is also a voice-over artist for animation, video games, and commercials. Among her many roles, she is the voice of Wonder Woman in the Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe video game, but also Temari on Cartoon Network’s Naruto and the narrator for a McDonald’s commercial. Now, that’s range.

Love at No Sight: Platt enjoys voice-over work because her appearance is not an issue. “I am a five-foot-six-inch female and thin, and I look young, friendly, and chipper,” she says. “But in voice-over, I can play an evil, powerful, older sorceress—or even a male warrior.” Listen to a sample.

Getting Into Character: Training as an actor is essential to being a successful voice-over artist, according to Platt, who received a B.F.A. in theater from Rutgers. “All the mic technique in the world won’t create empathy or interest in a character,” she says. “Using acting choices to find nuanced performances and to react truthfully to the situation are much more important than mastering the technical aspects.”

Practice Makes Perfect: Vocal warm-ups are crucial. “You might be screaming for four straight hours during a video-game recording,” Platt says. Before a grueling session, she performs sirens (vocal trills running up and down scales) and lip, tongue, and teeth warm-ups; recites tongue twisters; and does breathing and articulation exercises.

Write Your Own Fate: Platt’s screenplay for acting success? “Be proud of your goals and dreams, but remember that you are a commodity, bringing something to the table that the other side might need.”
                                                                                                                                                          — Pooja Anand