Great things can happen when given the space and encouragement to create. The Whitefire Theatre has given artists this platform since 2012 with their annual SOLOFEST – a festival of one-person shows, or solo theatre, that is a celebration of the solo journey.
Whitefire Theatre’s SOLOFEST has grown into the largest solo theatre festival on the West Coast. This year there will be 60 shows in 70 days! The SOLOFEST has launched more than 250 solo shows since its inception!
Returning to SOLOFEST 2019 is Carla Delany’s award-winning show “VOICES” – a comedy about a voice-over actress discovering her own voice! Carla takes us on the road to how the show came to be.
How did you get your start in the entertainment industry?
I got started in show business doing community and regional theater in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where I’m originally from. My love of theater lead me to study musical theater at Point Park University. I earned my Actor’s Equity Card when I was cast in Gerard Alessandrini’s “Forbidden Broadway,” the long-running musical theater parody touted as “The SNL of Broadway.” Every night, the cast would sing and dance on stage as legendary greats like Liza Minnelli, Judy garland, Carol Channing, Barbra Streisand, Kristin Chenoweth, and dozens more!
After the show one night, I was approached by a voice-over actor who essentially told me, “Quit your day job!” I had no idea I could make a living at celebrity voice mimicry, or voice matching, as it’s called in the voice-over world. Chances are, you’ve heard my voice in animation, video games, commercials, and theme parks around the country. Some of my favorite VO jobs have included voicing Carol Brady in an infamous Snickers Super Bowl commercial, voicing Sarah Palin on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, voicing Bart and Lisa Simpson for Family Guy, and voicing Martha Stewart in an outrageous “DIY condom-making sketch” for Conan. Half the adventure is never knowing who I might need to sound like on any given day. In “VOICES” I take the audience into the fun world of voice-over and voice matching, but the show also explores deeper themes.
In 2015, I was diagnosed with a thyroid condition called Hashimoto’s Syndrome. I was surprised to learn how many women in America are affected by thyroid conditions. This led me to become interested in the connection between my mind, body and spirit. Ironically, the thyroid is found in the throat and can directly affect the voice. I couldn’t help wondering if there was a connection to thyroid deficiency and the way woman communicate…or don’t communicate. My play “VOICES” is a playful and comedic look into these questions.
How did you become interested in creating a solo show?
I was first exposed to the power of solo theater through Lily Tomlin’s “The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe”. I remember sitting in the audience of the Broadway revival, being blown away by what I was watching. “It was like Lily was performing magic on stage. She used no costumes, no props, yet she created an extremely vibrant, comedic, and deeply humane Universe right before the audience’s eyes! I was hooked after that.” I was the type of kid who loved any kind of imagination game and for me, solo theater is all about letting your imagination run wild! In my one woman show “VOICES” I play more than 35 different characters, often switching at lightning speed. It really is like performing a magic act, channeling all these different people and places in, essentially, a blackbox theater.
What’s coming up for you?
What’s next for me? Well, I’m currently writing a new solo show that explores the themes of spiritual abundance and how our net worth is directly affected by our self worth….and yes, it’s a comedy, lol. I’m also writing on a scripted podcast about anti-superheroes, and this spring, my voice will be heard in several new feature films!
What is some advice you like to give folks entering the world of entertainment?
Best advice: KEEP GOING!!! No, seriously…keep going! It’s the old adage; if you stay in it long enough, you will eventually get where you want to go. Also, have fun and don’t compare yourself to anyone else, (it takes away from the fun). We are living in a time where we are really only limited by our imagination. So invent! Be creative and do what makes YOU feel inspired. I wrote a solo show. You might film a music video on your iPhone. Connect to your sense of play and you’ll always be on the right path!
“VOICES” is a one-woman comedy about a voice-over actress discovering her own voice!
Carla Delaney can mimic any voice; Betty White, Drew Barrymore, Bart Simpson…to name a few. But using her own voice, now that’s another story!
In this playfully poignant production, Carla meets the surprising voices of her head, her heart, her snotty respiratory system, and over 30 more, making her ask the question “is it noisy in here, or is it just me?”
Thursday, March 14 at 8PM
Whitefire Theatre Solofest
Address13500 Ventura Blvd.
Sherman Oaks, 91423
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