kalmenson & kalmenson
"the business of voice casting"
From the desk of:
Partner & Casting Director
The Voice Over Community
Mary Kay's Family
and to Mary Kay
Who was Mary Kay Bergman?
Mary Kay Bergman graced our portals at Kalmenson for many a voice over audition.
She delivered a wide range of solid, bookable character performances from her "Fargo Woman," to her pursed lipped Marilyn Monroe take off, to the perky countergirl, to the most authentic baby sounds I've heard -- and lots more in-between. She was the consummate professional in preparing for a role -- even at the audition stage. Studying tapes of prototypes or voice matches, the night before, was standard operating procedure for her. She took the responsibility very seriously. And that effort made us, and all the professionals around her, look very good. Harvey and I salute her dedication to detail.
Mary Kay also inspired others careers, beyond her performance: she was a teacher --
for a while, on our staff.
I'd like to share a few reflections on Mary Kay from those who's lives she touched ...
REFLECTIONS ON MARY KAY BERGMAN
In my first voiceover animation class on August 14, 1996, Mary Kay told us that the word "animation" comes from the Latin word "anima," or soul. She said, when we do voiceover animation, "we give life to a voice."
It was easier for some of us to "give life to (our) voice(s)" than for others. But Mary Kay was never judgmental. She worked patiently with all of us, no matter what level we were at, and challenged us to bring physical and emotional lives to the characters we created.
She rarely spoke of her career and her sucesses, concentrating instead on teaching is the things we needed to know if we wanted to have a career in the field. Most of us didn't learn of all her accomplishments until after the class was over.
Then, I'd see her in the waiting room at Kalmenson and Kalmenson. We'd both be auditioning for some radio spot. Even though I was just starting again in voiceover, I never got that "I'm the expert, you're an amateur" feeling from her. She was always glad to see me. I remember, once, I asked her about her car, which I had seen parked out front, and she lit up and yakked excitedly for a good ten minutes about how much she loved her Saturn! Talk about being animated!
Mary Kay did give life to a voice. She helped me give life to mine. I will never forget her big red hair, big glasses and big smile.
- Judy Nazemetz
Mary Kay was absolutely the most caring and dedicated voiceover teacher I ever had ... and I've had a lot. It was indeed this level of caring and dedication which ultimately drove Mary Kay to leave us; however, it is also the reason that she remains alive in so many of our hearts and minds today. Through her loving and caring approach and her ability to make you feel special, she influenced and helped so many. You could never be just a student, but were always considered a friend. She became mine and I miss her.
- Gail Compeau
My memories of her include her energy, her encouragement, her talent. I went back to my notes from the second class regarding homework for class three. Mary Kay told us to write down "who I am" and to illustrate what she meant she did it herself, and I happened to write down her list. She identified herseld as:
I thought that was beautiful.
- Peggy Roeder
Mary Kay was funny and quirky and fragile and brilliant and unimaginably powerful. It was my great privilege to work with her, not only in various bookings, but as a fellow teacher at Kalmenson and Kalmenson. Now our little pre-class chats and greenroom conversations haunt me, as though one of them, angled the right way, might be the lost clue -- the piece that would complete the puzzle and infuse me with some sense of peace or understanding or acceptance.
The recollection that fills me the most, however is the one I have of Mary Kay's students. When our break times would coincide and I'd venture out into the hallway, her animation pupils would be gathered in clusters rehearsing or conversing. (And they were a noisy bunch!) Even in these unself-conscious moments, they were animated in the truest sense of the word, bright-eyed, energized, brimming with enthusiasm to leap into the next character, aching to return to the booth and pour their souls into the microphone. She had given them that. Her own love of the work, her own nurturing and caring for each of them, was like a catalyst that set them ablaze with the joy of her creative fire. And I find such a comfort in knowing that she lives on and on, not only in her work, but in the lives of those she's transformed through the inspiration of her teachings.
Here's to you, Mary Kay! Keep 'em laughing!
- Kit Paraventi
Mary Kay Bergman was one of my very first voice over teachers and was absolutely one of the best. She was kind and encouraging, yet honest. She was not only an unbelievably talented actor, but she also had the terrific ability and generosity as a teacher to share with her students her understanding and technique. But, most of all, she inspired me. I do not exaggerate when I say she helped me to change my life. It was because of the wonderful experiences I had in her class that I fell in love with voice over. I am grateful to her for helping me find what it is I truly enjoy doing. I will always remember her for that gift.
- Kim Mai
A Final Peace I by Danny Mann
the weary warrior
leaves his horse
(drops his rein)
his silent legions
(sense his pain)
alone he goes
beyond the meadow's
of soothing blooms
in flowing clover
his battles over.
A Final Peace II by Danny Mann
your face is etched upon my heart
so seek you solace there
in memory's light
and timeless flow
of tears and laughter ...
and know you well
the bonds shared
are cared for now
and hereafter ...
giver of life
lay down to rest
in peace forever
within my breast.
All the writings were gathered in March 2000, to be read at MKB's Memorial, by Cathy Kalmenson ... with the
exception of D. Mann's poems (sent to Dino). Transcribed April 28, 2001 by Doreen Mulman, from materials
provided by Dino Andrade, and used by permission. Page ©2001 www.mkbmemorial.com All rights reserved.