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Finding your voice

Students flocked to convocation on Monday expecting to hear an impersonal talk from Jason Marsden, but what they got was an interactive experience they will remember for life.

Marsden, an American screen and voice actor popular for his roles in “A Goofy Movie” and “Boy Meets World,” gave a few lucky Belmont students the chance to try out the life of a voice actor.

As an only child, Marsden says he spent quite a lot of time playing by himself and became obsessed with imitating the voices of the action figures he collected. Each voice had to be authentic, Marsden said.

Around the same time, Marsden’s family moved to Irvine, Calif., where his parents encouraged him to pursue an acting career. They signed him up for a 12-week workshop that covered all of the basics of acting and, upon completion of the program, found him an agent who signed him instantly.

Today, Marsden boasts an impressive resume, having worked both on-screen and off as a voice actor. Though he has participated in both sides of the acting realm, he prefers doing voice work.

“I have a big ego. I love to see myself on screen, but voiceover work is just so much more fun. It’s so much less pretentious,” he said.

He added later that most of the enjoyment comes from being surrounded by people who are relaxed and have a similar sense of humor. In this job you have to have “no inhibitions; you have to be willing to make a fool of yourself,” Marsden explained.

After offering this advice to the gathered crowd, Marsden asked for a some volunteers and allowed four Belmont students the opportunity to practice voice acting for a mock audition. He had the students change their accents, pitch and rate of speech, as well as asking them to mimic animal noises and various other sound effects.

Marsden concluded his session by speaking in some of the voices that are most often associated with him, ending with the much anticipated voice of Max Goof from “A Goofy Movie.”

“Max Goof was my first cartoon crush. Hearing him do that voice made me feel like I was a child again,” said Belmont junior Austin Williams.

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