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Senior Leo Ferary begins voice acting journey

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Bringing characters to life

Senior Leo Ferary practices his voice acting during block lunch.

Senior Leo Ferary practices his voice acting during block lunch.

Photo by Stephanie Rosas

Senior Leo Ferary practices his voice acting during block lunch.

Photo by Stephanie Rosas

Photo by Stephanie Rosas

Senior Leo Ferary practices his voice acting during block lunch.

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Breathe in, breathe out.

For hours in front of a screen, different mixes of accents escape from his lips as he attempts to find the right one. While trying to find the perfect accent to match the character’s charming personality, a southern Irish accent with English tones makes an appearance. With the script on screen, he prepares to speak into the mic.

Senior Leo Ferary began voice acting after hearing a Dungeons & Dragons podcast with fellow voice actors Matthew Mercer, Travis Willingham, Laura Bailey, Taliesin Jaffe and Ashley Johnson, who showed him how enjoyable and relaxing it could be. After hearing Ferary create unique voices, Montana State University student Trent Gonzales asked him to voice act in his anime series, “Khasimeer’s Awakening,” as Korio Dently in July 2018. This new hobby has helped him open up and become more charismatic.

“I felt surprised that my friend had wanted me to voice act [Korio but] I was [also] worried I wouldn’t do good or I would disappoint him,” Ferary said. “I was pretty anxious, to be honest, it was my first time [voice acting]. [So far], I’ve learned better grammar and speaking; I’ve [also] gotten better at speeches and talking as a whole.”

Since Ferary was young, his mom, Karlie Herman, has seen how he has become comical with telling stories while adding accents and emotions. She wishes to see him succeed in anything he does through his own goals and choices.

“I always thought Leo would be good at acting [since] he has always been creative and imaginative in his storytelling, but he is sort of shy [and] reserved in public,” Herman said. “I never even thought about voice acting until he mentioned it.”

After Ferary’s passion for voice acting sparked, it brought his girlfriend senior Sarah Ross to start trying out different voices and accents, which she found exciting.

“[Although] I didn’t show Leo voice acting, I [did] notice [his] passion for voice acting while we were playing Dungeons and Dragons,” Ross said. “He’s our dungeon master, [so] he does different voices for all the characters we meet. He realized making character voices was really fun and rewarding for him.”

Ferary came to love the creative freedom and enthusiasm with improving lines in the moment that voice acting brings.

“What inspires me about [voice acting] is that I get to inspire others,” Ferary said. “I get to be the voice for characters people may relate to or look up to. For a lot of people growing up, they need that character there to know they aren’t in this alone.”

After being introduced to Ferary, English teacher Stu Hollowell saw how dedicated of a person Ferary is after seeing his artwork. Because Ferary is able to lead a group and is able to communicate with anyone, Hollowell believes he can succeed in any industry he would want to find himself in.

What inspires me about [voice acting] is that I get to inspire others.”

— senior Leo Ferary

“He’s never been a student of mine, so I haven’t been able to see his growth but I love that he’s taken an interest in voice acting,” Hollowell said. “He’s [also] become more knowledgeable and I’d like to think that’s in some part due to our conversations and the things we’ve talked about.”

Ferary found voice acting brings a great deal of freedom with his time, workplace and the creativity it has which made him want to keep pursuing it as a career. He plans to achieve this dream by further learning the rules of diction and familiarizing himself with the variety of accents.

“I hope to get an internship in Funimation, an animation dub studio in Flower Mound, Texas,” Ferary said. “After that, I hope that it could get into a good point in voice acting with job offers. Eventually [I want to] get into the competitive part of voice acting, which is looking for jobs in video games and animations. I’d love to voice act for either of these to see what kinds of things I can achieve.”

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