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Atlas Talent represents Pilar Uribe

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On Turning Around--Thanks, Puss in Boots

Yesterday I got to see the first animated film I’ve voiced in a movie theatre. Usually I watch the voiceover work I’ve done on my computer, whether it’s a series I’ve dubbed or hearing a commercial on the radio. I auditioned for a role in Puss in Boots: The Last Wish over eight months ago. I won the role of the governor’s assistant. Two lines and I was thrilled. The day of the session I got to DreamWorks in Burbank early. There was a parking spot with my name on it. I felt like I was on a carpet ride. “You’re Pilar,” a young women came out of nowhere, smiling.

“Yes,” I said.

“Welcome, follow me.” Down the stairs and through several corridors. I shook hands with Joel Crawford and Januel Mercado, the directors and was ushered into a recording booth the size of my apartment. We got to work on the role. I said the lines and they coached me, encouraging me to give a different read each time. I heard laughter on the other side of the glass several times and relaxed. Whew, good. They'll be able to use something. Then I auditioned for a one-liner, and we went through the same process. This is what makes voiceover so much fun, I thought, creating something together. Suddenly the session was over. The directors were kind and funny and I took pictures with them.

I got an email a few months later to sign the contract for the work. Another sigh of relief. I realized my part would be used in the film.

I chose the day after Christmas to see the movie. I got there early and settled myself in the last row. The film was adorable: funny, heartwarming, with many wonderful messages. I heard my voice at the beginning and the very end. Then I saw my name in the credits. I started out dubbing in Miami and moved to Los Angeles for more voiceover work but the secret I rarely talked about was my dream to do animation. And here it was, 12 years later, materialized in front of me. My eyes stung.

I leave the theatre, pick up lunch at a veggie place and on my way home, decide to drop off a library book.

An old man is sitting on the bench by the entrance as I drive up to the building. It’s Boxing Day and there’s not much traffic so I figure I can get home before my writing class starts in 15 minutes. I have a soy burger in the passenger seat, the scent beckoning to me to eat. I look over. No Pilar, not yet. I open the car door, walk to the front and throw the book that’s due tomorrow through the slot. I turn to look at the man: blue ski hat, mask pulled down to his chin, and ruddy cheeks, surrounded by all his possessions. I smile quickly as if to say “here, I’m acknowledging your existence, the smile should be enough” so I can get in the car and scurry out of there as fast as possible. I drive to the light and stop. I want to go home, but it’s like there’s a force slowing me down. Suddenly I see Puss in Boots in front of me with his 'look,' his manipulating eyes daring me to keep driving. Are you kidding me? A freaking animated figure? I curse, then turn around in the middle of the street to go back to the library, inciting honks and hand gestures.

“Would you like something to eat?” I call out to the old man.

“Sure,” he says, smiling.

I grab a sandwich and water at a Starbucks up the street and bring it back to the man whose smile now envelops his entire face. He takes the food, giving me the namaste sign. I back out of the parking lot as the waterworks discharge and I can barely see the road.

How the hell is it that an animated film can change my behavior? But it did and I almost didn’t turn around. Then I realized, the most important part of the day was not hearing my voice in the film but the feeling I received from that man smiling at me with ruddy cheeks.

P.S. There were two golden doodles on my street when I arrived and the owner gave me treats so I could feed them. They ended up licking my face. I would have missed that if I hadn't turned around. Thanks, Puss in Boots.

You can see 'the look' at 2:04. The whole movie is awesome 😽

Pilar Uribe
Pilar Uribe is an actor and voice talent, known for Yo soy Betty, la fea (1999), Wonderguy (1993) and Second Extinction (2020). Catch Pilar in video games, feature films, and tv shows + follow on Instagram and YouTube for more...


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