Our inspirational speaker this year is ELIZA JANE SCHNEIDER.
“It’s not what you say but how you say it!”
Eliza Jane Schneider is a dialect expert, actor and voice coach for the stars. She is known as the “Woman of a 1,000 Voices” and has been the voice for most of the female characters on Comedy Central’s South Park.
Ms. Schneider will address often overlooked nuances in communication, what we can determine from them, and how to use our voices to our advantage.
Eliza Jane Schneider, will be starring as Oprah Winfrey, Tori Spelling, Beyonce, Giselle Bundchen, Michelle Obama, a Cyborg Brittany Spears, and a Ugandan adoption agent who won’t give Angelina Jolie a baby (among others), on the hilarious new animated sketch show, “POPZILLA!”
Eliza Jane Schneider has taught and recorded dialects all over England, Ireland, Scotland, Australia, both Islands of New Zealand, all 50 United States, South Africa, the West Indies, Russia, Israel, and France, to name a few. For five years, she voiced 8 Series Regular characters (Wendy, Shelly, Principal Victoria, Mrs. Marsh, Mrs. Cartman, Mrs. McCormick, Ms. Crabtree, The Mayor) and hundreds of additional voices for Comedy Central’s hit animated series “South Park.”
Her critically acclaimed one-woman, 34 character show, “Freedom of Speech,” won the “Best Solo Show” award at the New York International Fringe Festival, then ran Off-Broadway at P.S. 122, and was ultimately moved to the The Public Theater. The popular show continues to tour, selling out venues from CitiStage Symphony Hall in Massachusetts to The Washington Center for the Performing Arts.
Recently profiled for her dialect research and character acting on the International BRAVO! Network’s “Arts & Minds” program, alongside “Sting,” Eliza Jane Schneider has created multiple dialect characters for MTV’s animated series, “3 South”, NBC’s “King of the Hill,” Cartoon Network’s “Squirrel Boy,” the Mel Gibson film, “What Women Want,” and PIXAR’s smash feature, “Finding Nemo.”
On camera, Eliza Jane recurred on UPN’s “Girlfriends” as a white girl, surprisingly fluent in “Ebonics.” She also recurred as a Russian on NBC’s “Spy TV,” and is known in over 60 countries as series regular “Liza,” on CBS’ “Beakman’s World.”
Founder of the Eliza Doolittle Dialects school, Ms. Schneider has been coaching actors for dialect roles in film and television in Hollywood since 1992. She published her Distinctions in American Southern dialect collection in 1999, and is currently compiling the rest of her dialect research from around the world into instructional materials for actors.
Touted as Hollywood’s premiere professional dialect expert in both voice acting and coaching, she has taught Dialects and Accent Reduction at Brown University, Trinity Rep, The ONeill Theater Center, Word Bridge Playwright’s Workshop, The Famous Radio Ranch, The Learning Tree University, and Dolores Diehls Voice-Over Academy, and was the Master Dialects teacher at The American Federation of Radio and Television Artists (AFTRA) in 2008, the Screen Actors Guild Conservatory at the American Film Institute in Hollywood in 2009.
Fascinated by sound all her life, at age 7, Eliza Jane was recognized as a violin virtuoso, studying the Suzuki ear-training method at the Eastman School of Music, where she also studied classical voice. By age twelve, she had gotten her Equity card playing an English role in “A Christmas Carol” and an American Southern role in “Inherit the Wind.” She has since performed in dozens of plays, including the title roles in Antigone and Agnes of God (for which, at age 17, she won Rochester, New York’s “Dionysus Award” for “Outstanding Performance”).
Schneider studied theater at Northwestern University and UCLA, where she graduated with a BFA from the World Arts and Cultures Department in Theater. She wrote her senior thesis on American regional dialects, and then participated in the Dialect 2000 conference at Queens University Belfast. Some of her recordings were used in the creation of the book resulting from that conference, Language Links: The Languages of Scotland and Ireland. She was then an invited guest at the joint meeting of the Northern English Dialect Societies in Yorkshire.
Eliza Jane Schneider continues to traverse the globe. She has recorded over 7000 interviews with native speakers of variant forms of English throughout the world, and is one of the top dialect coaches, voice actresses, and fiddle players in Hollywood. For info on Schneider’s playwrighting and music credits, visit www.elizajane.com.
Schneider is a New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) sponsored playwright who has developed her plays with dramaturges at the prestigious O’Neill Theater Center in New London, Connecticut, and WordBridge (www.wordbridge.org).
In 2007, her play, “Sounds of Silence: A Documentary Puppet Musical Farce about the 2004 Election in Ohio,” was developed and performed at “WordBridge” playwright’s conference with a cast of 11 at Clemson University in South Carolina.
Her solo play, “USA 911” was critically acclaimed all the way from Madison Wisconsin to Kilkenny, Ireland, and won her inclusion in the California Arts Council’s Touring Artist’s Roster. Her first solo play, “Road Trip” won her a Drama-Logue Critic’s Award for Outstanding Performance.
In 2000, “Blue Girl,” her science fiction rock opera about the return of the goddess, won the LA Weekly’s “Best of LA” award, and in that same year, she also starred in “Blue Girl” at the Mogodor Opera House in Paris, France as part of the 2000 Millennial New Year’s celebration, with former cast members from the Cirque Du Soleil.