A Ladner native’s work as a voice-over actor has been recognized in the theatre capital of the world, with two national awards given out in England.
Debbie Bridge, who also lived in Langley and went to Aldergrove Secondary and graduated with a music degree from UBC, was named E-Learning Artist of the Year 2021, in the U.K. Enterprise Awards.
But that wasn’t the only accolade in England from last year. Bridge was also named Voice Over Artist of the Year, by the same organization.
Bridge used to be a professional dancer in Vancouver although she was focused on singing. She’s also a professional opera singer and actor.
“So that’s really useful for voice over,” she said in a recent interview from the U.K.
She relocated there in 1996 after finishing university and has been there ever since, with frequent trips back home.
Many people in the voice-over industry, which involves narrating scripts that explain everything from how to tile a bathroom to cooking a turkey, are not trained in acting, so voice-over artists with a wider skillset are sought.
“These days it seems to be changing and they’re looking for more diverse backgrounds,” she said.
Last year, Bridge worked for a major film, a thriller titled Memory, starring Liam Neeson and directed by Martin Campbell, who also directed the James Bond movies GoldenEye and Casino Royale. Neeson plays a contract killer who is struggling with dementia.
Bridge’s role, though she hasn’t yet seen the movie, is making the sounds of Davana Sealman, played by Monica Bellucci, drawing her last breaths in a death scene.
“I’m the person making these sounds, not her,” Bridge explains.
Her specialties are commercials, explainer videos and e-learning, but her passions are animation, children’s narrative and video games, she says on her website.
“So my dream job is to voice villains and crazy critters for the animation and games markets,” she said online.
She really wants a role in a Disney animation movie.
“Let them know I’m available,” she said joking.
Animation allows an actor the biggest characters, and allows voice-over actors full expression over their talents. A role in a video game is another goal because the stories and characterization just keep improving in that medium, Bridge added.