My Own Mistake

Torian's Mistake

May 29, 2023 Christy Spadafore and Stacey Kimble Season 1 Episode 9
My Own Mistake
Torian's Mistake
Show Notes Transcript

When opportunity comes knocking, you've got to answer! But is there such a thing as answering too soon? Torian Brackett joins Christy and Stacey to talk about about his mistake and what he learned from the experience. There may also be talk of Vespas and musical theater!

Wow, has this guy done a lot of great work. Check out Torian's amazing website at https://www.teebeevo.com/

Intro and outro by Vince Eury - https://www.vinceeury.com/

The song "My Own Mistake," © 2023, written by Christy Spadafore, performed by Christy Spadafore and Stacey Kimble.

Got questions or comments? Email us at Info@MyOwnMistake.com

Christy Spadafore  

Hi, Stacey.

Stacey Kimble  

Oh my gosh. She said hello to me first. I'm so excited. Hi, Christy. How are you this week?

Christy Spadafore  

I'm okay, getting over a cold. So yesterday I sounded like Bea Arthur. That was kind of awesome in a way

Stacey Kimble  

Oh, I like Bea Arthur. And then there's Maude. She was great..

 

Christy Spadafore  

I'm very excited about today. And our guest. He was actually one of the first people I met in voiceover when I went to conference. I think you were the first but he was one of the first. So Torian bracket is our guest today. Hi.

 

Stacey Kimble  

We're so excited that you're here with us today.

 

Torian Brackett  

I'm really excited to be here.

 

Stacey Kimble  

You are a man of  - you do it. Okay. First of all, musical theater. Oh my gosh, I am just loving this. Let's start with your musical theater background. 

 

Torian Brackett  

Yeah, well, I really got the bug. In undergrad I had done a little performing. When I was younger. I was actually I was the lead in my sixth grade elementary school play.

 

Christy Spadafore  

Lots of great people get their start there.

 

Torian Brackett  

Yeah, way back when and then it kind of just stopped as I was going through all my other education. But when I got into college, and you know, I had those options open to me. I took a couple of theater classes. There are a lot of clubs where you could do little musicals and things like that. And I was like, Wait, this is fun. I kind of have a knack for it may be job slash career. So I really leaned into it as like an upperclassman and I had intended on doing some other things. I was a linguistics major in college. And so I wanted to teach English abroad and maybe work at the UN I was I was studying Japanese at the time. But I got wait listed for the program that I signed up for. And my life kind of like fell into this directionless void where I pivoted to musical theater. So while I was home in New York, I started, I lived very close to the city. So I was able to, you know, pop in and out and do shows, and pretty much from 2014 up to the pandemic, I was like bopping around working, which was really nice. It was really exciting. And I was working towards, you know, maybe Broadway one day, and then New York shut down. So that was my musical theater career right there in about six, seven years?

 

Christy Spadafore  

And is that kind of what led you more into voiceover when the pandemic happened? 

 

Torian Brackett  

Yes, so I was sitting around those first couple of months, like, this is great. I'm sure it'll be over at some point, and then it wasn't. And so, you know, realizing that I needed to be doing something particularly creative. That's when I pivoted into voiceover, which ended up being a really great decision.

 

Stacey Kimble  

But you also mentioned that you may have made a mistake along the lines in your career somewhere. So we will ask you now to come under the dome of disclosure, and tell us. We'd like you to tell us about your own mistake. What do you think was your own mistake in your career?

 

Torian Brackett  

Well, when you're starting out, you know, there's so much you don't know. So many things you wish you could have told yourself or just you know, hold yourself back like no, don't do that. Um, I got really excited about meeting a casting director early on. And they asked me - it was a workshop, I got to read for them. And afterward, they were like, hey, send me your demo. This was a video game casting director. And I didn't have a video game demo at the time. But clearly I had to get a demo out to this person. They specifically asked me to send them something, how could I not? So I went to someone who I knew was producing video game demos that seemed to have a lot of recommendations for them. I was like, I need a demo. Right now. Whatever, whatever the cost, whatever we have to do, I just need one now. So I can send it over because that's how I'm going to make it in this industry. And they were very receptive, very helpful, helped produce the demo for me, and I sent it to the casting director and I did not hear from them again for a while after that. And so I do Overall, I think it was just a little too early. I definitely needed to do a little more coaching. I could have saved myself some money if I did not go down that road. Um, but yeah, it was just I was very eager very early on in my career, and I saw an opportunity that I thought I could jump on. And, you know, maybe it's not always the right time.

 

Stacey Kimble  

Boy, this seems to be kind of this seems to be a common theme, if not the right time or too much too soon. And, and I can see, I mean, you're hugely talented, immensely capable. What was it? Do you think that turned your mistake into a not mistake? What was the turning point for you? 

 

Torian Brackett  

Well, I was able to kind of use that material that I had and show to other people that were then able to give me feedback on my acting style my performances and really helped me see where I could improve. And so it ended up becoming a learning tool, when all was said and done. And I have a demo that I'm much more proud of now. that respect. So yeah, it was it was definitely a very rushed thing, but it ended up providing the foundation to make something even more wonderful.

 

Christy Spadafore  

Have you gone back and listened to that demo recently?

 

Torian Brackett  

Yes. I should, I'll have to send you the file.

 

Stacey Kimble  

What I'm fascinated by you have I noticed on your website, and we'll put all of these in the show notes, which we always have to do jazz hands. But your website is you have an excellent website. It's chock full of goodies. And one of the things I noticed which is endlessly fascinating to me, because I don't do it and I don't know that I could. Audiobooks. 

 

Torian Brackett  

We love audio books in this house. Yeah.

 

Christy Spadafore  

You've done quite a few. 

 

Stacey Kimble  

When did that start?

 

Torian Brackett  

Well, that was actually my very first job in voiceover.  I submitted some narration samples to ACX. And an author reached out to me that was working on a, this urban fantasy novel about werewolves and vampires. It's called Tainted Moonlight. And it's this three book series. Currently, I know the author's working on others that he has me in mind for so I, you know, happy to continue working on that. But yeah, that was my first job. And it was a great place to start, because audiobooks are such a marathon. So I got a really good crash course into working with this author, and this was summer 2020. So, you know, recording a long hours in a hot new york summer booth and learning about noise reduction and things that I really needed to learn early on. It was a great little gauntlet of, of learning for me so and then being a musical theater person, you know, audiobooks kind of feel like a one man show to me. So it's a lot of fun. In that respect, I really enjoyed playing all the characters.

 

Christy Spadafore  

I am just amazed. I've done one audiobook, and it was very short. And after I did it, I went. I don't think that's for me. But I did learn a lot from doing it. So as as you said, all the same things. But I determined pretty early on that wasn't the best genre for myself.

 

Stacey Kimble  

I have a friend who describes it as people who do audiobooks are marathoners and the rest of us are sprinters.

 

Torian Brackett  

I believe that yeah, it requires so much pacing so much time management, being able to, you know, not lose your steam halfway through. And just staying interested in the topic. You know, people narrate everything from wild fantasies to boring self help. You know, you got to find a way to make it not so boring for your listener even if you yourself, don't really care. 

 

Christy Spadafore  

But it seems to me to be kind of the ultimate acting reall. I mean, we talk about connecting to a text. And that can be challenging in a thirty second  commercial. But, you know, an hours long audio book is a whole other animal. 

 

Torian Brackett  

Yeah, it's just long! So long but so fun. I really do enjoy it.

 

Stacey Kimble  

Super curious about your process, your personal process. Do you read the book a couple times to get familiar with it? How do you approach a novel when you do this?

 

Torian Brackett  

Depending on the project - with most kind of novel fantasy stuff, fiction stuff, you do want to read the book at least once beforehand, get a sense of who the characters are, where you might want to play some people in your voice, but certainly to know if there's any plot twists that you should be aware of as a performer as you're playing these characters or maybe you need to know someone has an accent that's specifically written down and you don't want to to some thing for them early on that then gets described in the third act, and you need to redo all your audio. So that's really important for the fiction stuff. Nonfiction, you might be able to get away with cold reading. But you definitely want to be a good cold reader for those things. So you're not constantly stopping yourself.

 

Stacey Kimble  

I think elearning probably follows in a little bit into that category. Some of it Christy does a lot of that.

 

Torian Brackett  

Yeah. Do you cold read a lot of your elearning stuff?

 

Christy Spadafore  

I don't, I make sure to at least read through it all before doing it. Especially if it's something that's technical or medical, just pronunciation wise, there's so much stuff I need to have ready beforehand. You rir

 

Torian Brackett  

Right, the foreign words and these fantasy authors, they're making up languages for their books sometimes,

 

Christy Spadafore  

Right! So, do  you call them and ask them? 

Torian Brackett

Sometimes they'll send you documents about names and places and things like that.

Christy Spadafore

I love about your mistakes that actually had kind of a happy ending - as I think a lot of the mistakes do  - that you've learned from it. Because when I think of you, I think of you as how great you are at improv. Because like I said, where I met you was that first workshop that I went to at OVC, a couple of years ago, that Portia Scott was leaving, and I was sitting right next to you and I was late and you let me look over your shoulder at the scripts and you were so nice. But we all went through our scripts once and Portia gave us all feedback on them, and then what we could do to change them. And Stacey -  Torian was amazing. I mean, he just went and did this improv thing that was so incredible.

 

Stacey Kimble  

Do you do a lot of improv? Torian? 

 

Torian Brackett  

No, I actually don't. I've taken like, one improv class back in New York that I you know, I need to just jump back into it and really get more confident with that.

 

Christy Spadafore  

But I would have assumed you had done a lot. 

 

Torian Brackett  

You know, I think working on stage has really been helpful in that respect you because, you know, when you're doing a live show, and there are no redos, there is no punch and roll. On the stage, you've got to just go for it and roll with whatever happens. And it really lends itself to the the improv sense. We're just coming up with stuff on the fly. And it's helpful to have a script for, you know, when you're doing musical theater, but you kind of just learned to let go, you know, whoever's watching.

 

Stacey Kimble  

Well, I know I also noticed that you've done some kids theater, too.

 

Torian Brackett  

Oh, yeah. I think the most memorable was this tour throughout the five boroughs of this traffic safety show that we would take to schools, we would get up super early and drive down to Brooklyn or Queens or whatever, to some public school, and do this show about these three kids and a new kid comes into town. He's got his headphones on, and he nearly gets hit by a car and the three veterans have to show him how to use his safety tools. I still remember like, the music is ingrained in my head we did it so much.

 

Stacey Kimble  

So you remember everything. So maybe you would like to sing a little bit of that for us?

 

Torian Brackett  

You might be the new kid in town. So here's the 411 You better look around. You need your safety tools to make it on the street. You need your brain eyes, ears hands before you use your feet.

 

Stacey Kimble  

So good. I love children's theater. I don't think there's any better way to reach kids, especially if they're the ones performing. Plus, it's a lot of fun. And I think it's an excellent way to learn theater chops. I honestly do because there's no harder audience than squirmy fourth graders and fifth graders. 

 

Christy Spadafore  

They are honest.

 

Torian Brackett  

If you are not holding attention, they are turning around talking to each other, shuffling in the aisles. It's just, you need a thick skin for these kids!

 

Stacey Kimble  

No kidding.

 

Christy Spadafore  

You do! No, it teaches you a lot. 

 

So what did you do different? So I assume you have another video game demo now. What did you do differently?

 

Torian Brackett  

Well, I think the current one focuses more on the acting than the voices. And you know, the people talk about that so much in the century that the acting is what's important. I kind of understood that on a surface level. But the first one I did was still kind of like look at all the cool voices I can do. I thought I was focused more on the acting, but it was the opposite. So yeah, I really internalized that on the second one. And I worked with Keith Farley, who directed me for the demo. And yeah, he really helped me find those, those moments and those dynamics that really just bring out I feel like brought out a lot of the spots on there. So I'm very, very happy with it.

 

Stacey Kimble  

That's half the battle right there, being really proud of what you've done on a demo. I think, yeah, loving your demo is so important in this business, because you have to want it, you have to be proud enough of it to just hand it to anybody and say, Yeah, this is me right here.

 

Torian Brackett  

It can really affect you. Because if you're not, you know, if you feel like there's things you can improve about it, that's going to be in the back of your head when you go to audition. When you go to submit to an agency or roster. It's like, Well, I wish I had X, Y or Z better about my demo. And now, you know, people hear that in your reads. So true. That I love what you're putting out there.

 

Stacey Kimble  

Where are you from New York, originally?

 

Torian Brackett  

Born and raised right outside the city right outside the city. Yeah. Westchester is like right on top of the Bronx. 

 

Stacey Kimble  

So  you just moved. Tell us about this big move of yours. 

 

Torian Brackett  

So, so fresh. I landed in LA in January of this year, I was house sitting for a few months. And then I landed in my current home in Sherman Oaks. So it feels really nice. I've never really lived by myself for any extended period of time. I've always had either roommates or I've lived at home after college. So yeah, this is a big adjustment, but it feels really nice. I feel really free to like, try new things and just really come into my self as an adult. So to see where that journey goes,

 

Stacey Kimble  

Christy mentioned that you both like Vespas. So she has a Vespa. You're going to get one.

 

Torian Brackett  

I'm so ready to have a Vespa in this town.

 

Christy Spadafore  

Yes, I think you need one. It's so much fun. And everyone is happy to see you when you're on one! It's like carrying around two dozen colorful balloons. Like people who don't give me the time of day otherwise see me on a Vespa, and I'm like a celebrity.

 

Torian Brackett  

What they told me in the store was you don't drive a Vespa, you wear a Vespa.

 

Christy Spadafore  

Absolutely! It's so fun.

 

Stacey Kimble  

Are you an ocean guy is the is the beach? Are you a beachy guy? Did you grew up near the water in New York?

 

Torian Brackett  

I did not. And I do enjoy visiting the beach. You know, during the summer. I actually I spent a couple of summers in Nantucket a few years ago doing another show. And so that was a great experience and getting to be that close to the beach all the time. And during the summer when the weather's always nice. So we were we went as a cast a lot. But I I guess I don't really go that often. But now that I'm in LA I feel like I have to, right?

 

Christy Spadafore  

But everything will be better if you have a best book. 

 

Torian Brackett  

Well, I've got to get my M one license first. So I've got to start studying.

 

Stacey Kimble  

Oh it requires a special license to have a Vespa?

 

Torian Brackett  

Because it's technically I think it counts as a motorcycle above certain speeds. 

 

Christy Spadafore  

Yeah, the one that I have actually does not require one but I'm taking the class this summer anyway just so that if I, you know, need to upgrade.

 

Torian Brackett  

Or maybe want to take a friend for a ride

 

Christy Spadafore  

Dom, my husband  painted my helmet to match my Vespa. So it's like an outfit. It's like Madeline Kahn in High Anxiety. Remember how her outfit matched her car? 

 

Are you still singing at least for yourself?

 

Torian Brackett  

Definitely at home, you know, the theater, there will always be a special place in my heart for that stuff. No, when I switched to vo it became difficult to reconcile the you know, four weeks of rehearsal three weeks of a run for $300 stipend versus you know how lucrative vo can be. So you know when I can make the time for it. And I hear there's a lot of there's a big theater scene in North Hollywood out here. So I you know, I'd love to get back into it when the opportunity and the time presents itself.

 

Stacey Kimble  

You must, you must. And thank you so much again for being our guest.

 

Christy Spadafore  

 Yes, thank you. 

Torian Brackett  

Thanks for having me. 

Stacey Kimble  

Take care of yourself and your vast spa there in Southern California.

 

Christy Spadafore  

The Vespa  to come. 

 

Torian Brackett  

You'll hear all about it once I get it. 

 

Christy Spadafore  

Yes, I want to see pictures

 

And  I hope it's just a happy continues to be a happy, happy move for you. It sounds very exciting.

 

Stacey Kimble  

Next week will be our our season finale. We'll see y'all soon. Bye bye.

 

Christy Spadafore  

Thank you Torian. Bye.