Superwomen are marked by their uncanny ability to leap tall challenges in a single bound. Their wit flows faster than any speeding bullet. They are the dynamic marvels of our Golden Age. With so much power in their being, it is a tragedy that, for so long, our Queens have been silenced across many times and cultures. One outstanding innovator who refuses to be silenced is the remarkable LaShaunte Wade.
LaShaunte Wade is a voice actress who effortlessly wears many hats. She has crafted an impressive career through manifesting the stories of others, but today, the Spotlight belongs to her. This is her story.
JE: In comics, every character has an origin story, a series of defining moments which serve to establish them as the force of nature they are destined to become. As a pioneer in your craft, what was that initial defining moment that made it clear that this is what you were meant to do?
LW: I wouldn't say I was meant to do this. I have done a ton of other things in my life and this was another thing I've always wanted to do and because of this stupid pandemic, it actually allowed me to train properly and do what I needed to do. I enjoy doing animation and video game work, but mostly, my jobs have been commercial or corporate related lol. Go figure.
JE: As a black woman making strong moves in the voice acting industry, what has been your greatest challenge to date?
LW: Getting hired for some work. You hear all these other voices and most sound the same so you try to make sure you're different from the rest by being able to provide different voices, tones, dialects, but sometimes that doesn't help, it's still mostly all about who you know and if you're already in the circle. But I don't ever give up! I recently got hired as the lead for a robot game and it's super cute! It's funny because the lead is a baker and I professionally am a chef/baker. Lol
JE: What artist, whether personally associated with you, famous, legendary, or all the above, has been your greatest influence and why?
LW: Phil Lamarr is an influence and my coach/mentor Brendan Hunter are my two go to guys for voice acting. Phil is an amazing character actor for animation and I love his professionalism and his work process for finding a characters voice. It's inspiring and comforting and I try to use those techniques when I do my work. Now Brendan is amazing as well. He does not sugar coat anything with me or anyone in that matter and his constructive criticism makes me better each time. When we train I will be told what I I doing wrong, what I should do and how to.
The more details the better for me. The guidance from him is definitely a confidence booster and I look forward to more progression while working with him.
JE: We all experience those times where we’re uninspired or creatively blocked. What are some of your methods that you utilize to energize your creativity?
LW: I'm actually in that funk right now. Its been 2 weeks since I've done any auditions really. I just haven't been feeling it. So I've been writing a lot and doing stories. This helps me creatively. I've also been watching a lot of animes, well catching up lol and this helps my thought process and helps me get a little motivated voice wise.
JE: It seems that it's nearly, if not fully, impossible to have great success without detractors, doubters, or haters. How do you deal with haters in both social media and real life?
LW: What haters? I know I have them in every career I've had but none have been bold enough to actually speak their mind to me. So...lol
And if they did I wouldn't even care. I don't talk about how good I am. I show them, and they can't say nothing after that.
JE: As artists, the only limit to our success is our capacity to dream. Describe for our audience how you envision the moment where you’ve finally “made it?” How will your personal life be affected? Do you want both fame and riches? How do you see yourself when you close your eyes and imagine ultimate success?
LW: When I finally get the land I need to build my mini studio for indie filmmakers, then I know I've accomplished my goals. I don't care about fame or riches, I just want to be successful in my life and be comfortable. Being rich isn't all it's cracked up to be. You see these celebrities with all this money and able to do whatever they want and they abuse drugs and kill themselves. So I'll be happy with a long term financial stability.
My personal won't be affected at all. I don't really have too many friends that I am super close with and my family and I aren't that close either, so it would be my kid and me. So our lives would stay the same, just a little bit more flexible than it is now.
JE: Up until this point in your career, what has been your favorite moment of accomplishment or creation? Please describe that moment for our audience.
LW: I'm excited about writing again actually. The voice acting is new to me, I've been doing it for a year now and it's cool but I am not able to see the full effect just yet because of this pandemic. But with writing I've been lucky enough to be apart of a new anime series that will be coming out within the next year and I am working on a Syfy horror short that I will be filming in the next few months and one of my feature films that is being looked at that might be bought...so fingers crossed.
JE: To all the little black and brown girls who will undoubtedly follow in your footsteps, what’s one word of advice that you would share with them in terms of the pursuit of their dreams?
LW: Everyone is going to tell you that you shouldn't or can't do something, and that's them projecting their fears and insecurities onto you. DONT EVER LET ANYONE HOLD YOU BACK! If I listened to everyone always telling me that there's risks and that you shouldn't do this and I shouldn't do that, I wouldn't have a catering business that allows me to travel and cook for celebrities, athletes business executives. I wouldn't have met so many creative individuals that allowed me to be able to see how the film industry works and help me better myself. I wouldn't have been able to write scripts or short stories and I wouldn't have been able to help mom and pop restaurants make profits and stay open.
Til this day there are still people who try and put doubt in my head and scare me off with the what ifs, but if I had listened, I'd still be a stay at home mom with no income for myself and relying on someone and not doing anything for MYSELF.
Push hard and don't give up. All the times I felt like quitting and I didn't, something good always happened to me. It's not going to be an easy journey but the hard parts of the journey is what makes you and gives you your edge. You need to make those mistakes, you need to take those risks.