By Danica Rivera
Full-time IB student by day, Disney Junior voice actress by night, junior Vivian Vencer has been pursuing a spot in the voice acting industry since she was eight years old.
Voice acting runs in Vencer’s family as her mother, Liza del Mundo, was an aspiring actress until she decided to settle down for a family, turning to voice acting as a replacement career.
Following in her footsteps, Vencer has lent her voice to various Disney Junior shows ranging from “Mickey Mouse Mixed-Up Adventures,” where she voices Minnie Mouse’s niece Millie Mouse, to “Tangled: The Series,” playing a young thief, Kiera/Angry.
Her first audition was for the hit Disney Junior show “Sofia the First.” Although she didn’t get the part, receiving a call-back gave her the confidence to continue. However, she soon recognized the reality of what it takes to be working as a voice actress.
“At the time, I didn’t understand that thousands of kids from all over the country were auditioning for the show even if it was for a tiny role,” Vencer said. “That’s when I realized that getting roles at all wasn’t going to be easy.”
Vencer’s voice is at a higher pitch than most voices. She tries to keep her natural voice as much as possible during auditions for children’s television shows to fit the youthful tone that is usually sought after.
Many shows seek out actors during the fall, so Vencer tries booking as many auditions as she can during that period.
“It’s difficult to describe how many auditions I have on average. Normally during the fall season or ‘pilot season,’ when I have the most auditions, I can have 3-4 auditions a week, sometimes more,” Vencer said.
In September of this year, Vencer went from voicing minor characters in popular Disney Junior shows to finally receiving a big break in playing a main character in the network’s recent production, “Firebuds.”
“Firebuds” follows three aspiring first responder kids with vehicle-speaking sidekicks that learn what it takes to become real heroes in each episode. Vencer voices the aspiring paramedic character Violet, who notably carries a Japanese and Filipino background.
“Growing up, I would always try to relate the best that I could to other Asian characters but this is really the first time I’ve ever seen or even played a Filipina character,” Vencer said.
Being Filipino-American, Vencer has gotten recognition for her newest role through multiple news outlets in the U.S. and the Philippines as well. After walking down the carpet for the show’s premiere, she was later invited to do a panel interview for Filipino representation in the media because of her character.
“It’s not only exciting for me but it’s also exciting for little Filipino girls and boys who now have a character to grow up watching that has the same background as them,” Vencer said.
With the release of the show, Vencer goes to the recording studio to record her lines every Tuesday after school further expressing her struggles between balancing work and school.
“The days where I end up recording for really long episodes have me going home really late, studying for so many tests the next day,” Vencer said. “Especially being an IB student, it’s been very difficult.”
Vencer hopes to become a speech-language pathologist after graduating high school while continuing her passion for voice acting on the side whenever possible.