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Rhona Rees and Her Many Hats

By Hannah Harlacher

How did you get started in voice?

Rhona :
I was a child actor in Australia. I’m not from a showbiz family but I basically begged my mother to let me audition! I starred in a number of TV series on camera and had worked on-mic doing ADR. At age 11 the studios/casting were really just looking for kids who sounded OK and were professional…luckily I fit that category and my voice career grew from there. In Australia most of my voice work was commercials, it wasn’t until I moved to Vancouver and really put the effort in that I broke into animation and video games. Once I moved to Canada it was a long journey to where I am now – including lots of class, coaching and countless auditions. Starting out in a new market is tough!

Do you have any other professional endeavours?

Rhona :
Ahh actors, we wear many hats – sometimes because we have to, sometimes because we love it. I’m happy to report that none of my hats are serving – I wore that one for five years and it’s brutal. Here goes:
*I work as an actor on camera
*I teach voice over at On The Mic Training
*I am a dialect coach with Tony Alcantar
*I am a reader/casting assistant at Jackie Lind Casting
*I create my own work, and this is the really fun stuff! I have two original animated series that I’m pitching with my co-creator Megan Russell. One is about fairies, the other is about zombies, and I’m passionate about getting them both made. Anyone got a direct line to Netflix?! I also create for live action. In 2018 I co-created, produced and starred in one of the six winning Crazy8s films Shuttlecock. We’re currently enjoying our festival run – we just won audience choice at Vancouver Short Film Festival. Writer/Director Melanie Jones and I are currently working on the feature adaptation!

What other personal interests do you have?

Rhona :
Part of my reason for choosing Vancouver over LA for my big move was the mountains…I did a winter season in Whistler when I was 19, as is the done thing for us Aussies. In summer I love to hike and camp, in winter it’s all about the skiing and hot tubs. I also love to travel, though a lot of my travel tends to be home to see family in Melbourne or to Sweden…also to see family (my brother lives there). Family is important to me and I have three nieces whom I adore. I thank the universe daily that I live in the era of facetime/skype/whatsapp. I’d be so much more homesick without those apps!

Do you have any noteworthy/favourite sessions?

Rhona : 
There’s an episode in Polly Pocket where my character Gwen is dressed up as a hot dog. I happen to own a hot dog costume and it happens to be one of my favourite things to wear. That session I slipped into the studio first and popped on my costume and didn’t say a word. As people filtered in to take their mics my look caused a lot of laughs and a few near-spills of coffee! I wore it for the whole session and you know, I think it really helped me get in character. I was cracking ‘bun’ jokes left right and center! Definitely a memorable session. 

What is something you want the world to know about you?

Rhona :
My film Shuttlecock is part of the Just For Laughs Comedy Short Shorts competition and will be screening Sunday February 17, 6pm at the Vancity Theatre. If you like laughing, you should get yourself a ticket: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/comedy-short-shorts-tickets-54741195389 The winning film gets to go to Montreal for the main festival – wish us luck!

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