For many years it's been my good fortune to earn my living as an actor, singer and writer.
I arrived here in California, armed with a B.A. Degree in English literature from Central Missouri State, and signed up to take acting courses at Los Angeles City College. I studied during the day and worked the night shift as a waitress to pay my bills, later teaching 5th grade at a private school. In the Voice Production class at LACC I learned to speak articulately, using good breath support, vocal placement and dynamics. This class became the foundation for a long and lucrative voice over career, and is a key aspect of Mind Magic.
One of my first professional jobs in live theatre was performing with the L.A. Moving Van And Puppet Company, where I not only put my acting skills to work, but also learned how useful a hand puppet can be in capturing and holding the attention of audiences of all ages and kinds. Supported by the city, our acting troupe presented various multi-cultural shows for elementary schools and recreation centers, emphasizing the importance of imagination as entertainment and as a crucial element for problem solving. During those years, I realized I had a gift for creating a wide range of characters through my vocal skills, and as the LAMVPC’s funding came to an end, I began studying voiceover with the late, great Daws Butler (Yogi Bear, Quick Draw McGraw, Captain Crunch, etc). His emphasis on listening and taking the written word off the page with the voice, and transforming it into visual imagery proved to be an invaluable tool both in moving my career forward and in planting the seeds for Mind Magic ™. I was soon working as a full-time actor, giving vocal life to characters in film, radio, television, commercials, toys, and games (Please feel free to Google or IMDB me for specifics).
As my career blossomed, I wrote and created songs for animation and developed and performed an original one-woman musical, “A Life Is A Celebration Potholes And All.” But I missed the wonder of performing for and interacting with children I had experienced with live theatre. So, when the opportunity to work as a volunteer reader at McKinley Elementary School in Burbank, CA came my way, I jumped at the chance! Later, along with reading, I added some threatre games and songs and articulation and speech exercises to my time with the kids. Inspired by my VO teacher Daws use of old radio shows to emphasize the power of the imagination and the spoken word, I finished writing a cliff-hanger serial I had started years before called “Angelle And The Magic Pen ©. This read-aloud book is specifically designed to stimulate visualization as a useful component in developing language skills, and it is the centerpiece of what blossomed into Mind Magic ™. Over the years, based on the needs of the students and California Language Standards, I have added other exercises to aid with grammar, writing, breathing, character building and problem solving: all of which are aimed at helping children read and comprehend better, while nurturing self-esteem. Each new class provides varying and intriguing challenges, stimulating growth for the children, for Mind Magic ™ and for me.
Mind Magic ™ is a non-profit 501 c3, and while it continues to bloom, it could use some funding for materials. Your contribution is welcome and appreciated.
Thank you – Mona Marshall