As the year concludes and we get ready for a new year of studies, new blog and new years resolutions, we have announced our Instructor of the Year in Film and TV studies.
The winner for 2012 is none other than Janet Wilcox.
Instructor Wilcox, who has taught for UCLA Extension for nearly 10 years is one of the most respected and highly scored instructors throughout UCLA Extension. She has taught Voice Over classes online and in the classroom and teaches throughout the year. Her next class will be an online Voice Over class. There are still a few spots remaining, so you still have a chance to enroll!
She was kind enough to share her thoughts on her teaching and being recognized as Instructor of the Year.
What made you want to go into your respected field?
When I started as an associate producer at HBO my boss said, “Janet you have a nice voice why don’t you read this?” That experience was so fulfilling and so much fun I wanted to do it again. I took classes and did a demo and then got more voice acting opportunities. I acted in TV and film production classes in college and graduate school and was always told I should be an actress but I wanted to be a director and so I didn’t pursue acting. Eventually I did also do the acting after working at VO (Voice Overs) for awhile.
What work influenced you most during your professional development?
Working in Television was invaluable. As a writer/producer, I directed talented voice actors and celebrities. There’s nothing like learning from the pros! Plus I worked with producers who eventually hired me for VO too. I also think being in New York City and having traditional singing, acting, dance, and improvisation training was incredibly important for my voice‐acting career. Opera technique comes in handy whether doing an improv show in a comedy club, acting in theatre, or performing broad VO character parts. Getting a weekly VO gig doing the Lifetime Billboards was wonderful. There’s nothing like doing something every week because you build up performance chops. In addition, theatre training also came in very handy when I did the live event VO for Nicole Kidman: An American Cinematheque Tribute. In addition, my theatre and voice training paid off when GiGi Audio Books asked me to bring twenty‐nine characters to life for my children’s story Fifi of Fifth Avenue.
What inspires you to continue to provide excellent instruction to your students?
Experience has taught me so much in my VO career but transferring that knowledge to a class of individuals is always a source of inspiration. Getting a student to acquire new skills and unlock hidden talents is exciting. Finding new ways to bring a performance to a higher level is very gratifying.
Can you compare how feel now compared to your first class that you taught?
I don’t think the desire to impart knowledge ever diminishes, however, you learn so many shortcuts to getting things done more efficiently the more you teach. You also can be more spontaneous and in the moment with more experience. On the other hand, technologies and techniques change so you’re always teaching something fresh to keep up with the changing times.
What does winning the 2012 Outstanding Instructor Award mean to you?
Winning this award is an incredible honor. I am grateful that I have been able to share something that I’m passionate about with my students. Passing on voice acting techniques to my students is a tribute to the many talented people I’ve worked and studied with and I feel privileged to have the opportunity to teach at UCLA Extension because it attracts such talented and motivated students.