Here at Such A Voice, we bring together some pretty incredible professionals from all different parts of the world to provide our students with a top voice-over education. Our staff members have such a wide variety of backgrounds and unique personalities. From working VO actors starring in movies, video games, and national TV commercial campaigns, to producers spending their days working on voice-over demos as well as broadcast voice-over work, to copywriters, casting directors and many other industry skills in between! We genuinely love bringing our expertise and our experiences together to create the best programs for our students.
For this week’s staff spotlight, we’d like to introduce you to Bekka Burton, our copywriter, copy editor, and scriptwriter.
SAV: Hi Bekka! Thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to tell everyone a bit about your background and how it applies to what you do at Such A Voice.
Burton: Hello, thanks for the opportunity! My background is the English language really. I studied creative writing at Champlain College (many moons ago), I’ve been an English language teacher for the past five years (teaching in Costa Rica, Panama, and now Spain), I’m currently studying a Diploma in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), and I’ll be starting my Master’s program in Linguistics next Fall at the University of Buffalo. Here at SAV, I write copy for the website as well as scripts for our students, and I also edit everything that goes “live” on the website. I speak Spanish and sometimes get the opportunity to either translate or write scripts for Spanish speaking students too, which is a really fun challenge for me!
SAV: What kind of content do you like to write the most?
Burton: What I really love is nature writing. I am not a city person; I need nature and I love hiking and observing what’s happening around me and then writing about it. Sadly, I haven’t written anything like that for quite some time. Life and work get in the way. Check out the short story, Living Like Weasels, by Annie Dillard. I like writing stuff like that.
SAV: What is a funny tidbit of information about you that not a lot of people know?
Burton: I collect Mexican “calacas,” the ornately painted Mexican skulls that are really common during their holiday El Día de los Muertos. Whenever a friend goes to Mexico, I always request they bring one back for my collection!
SAV: What is a recent book that you have enjoyed? What did you like about it?
Burton: Because of the all-consuming Diploma course I’m taking at the moment, the books I’m reading are all textbooks on English grammar (dryly written, but I actually totally geek out on it and love learning what exactly an adverbial phrase is as opposed to an adverbial clause!) or how to teach English, how languages are acquired, etc. But, you’re probably a bit bored by that so a book that I read pre-Diploma course that I loved was, All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr. The story takes place during WWII and one of the characters is blind. The way Doerr uses all that character’s other senses to describe how she “saw” was just spell binding. I couldn’t put the book down.
SAV: If you could live in any period of history, when would it be?
Burton: During the reign of King Henry VIII! I love reading books that take place during this period in history. I find the way they lived very fascinating. I once visited Hampton Court Palace outside of London and thought it was the coolest place!
SAV: What fictional place would you like to visit?
Burton: The Castle at Winterfell ruled by House Stark (but only if Jon Snow were in residence, haha) but I would never go beyond the wall. If you’re not a Game of Thrones fan, you have no idea what I’m referring to.
SAV: If you could host a talk show, who would be your first guest?
Burton: Beyonce, hands down. Although I’d probably be so starstruck, I wouldn’t be able to function. I’ve seen her twice in concert (Toronto and Barcelona). Her shows were mind blowing.
SAV: Out of all the places you’ve traveled to, where has been your favorite?
Burton: This is a very difficult question to answer because traveling is my passion (apart from English grammar). I have to narrow it down to three categories: mountains,cities, and towns.
Mountains: The Dolomites (the mountain range in Northern Italy that forms part of the Southern Alps). I’ve been there twice to go hiking and snowshoeing.The mountains there are just wild and breathtaking.
Town: Innsbruck, Austria. I’ve been there countless times because I have a very dear friend from there. It’s so charming and beautiful. It’s surrounded by 360 degrees of mountains.
City: Amsterdam. The history, the canals, and the bikes!
SAV: If you were to create a slogan for your life, what would the slogan be?
Burton: It’s not a slogan, it’s one of my all time favorite poems which is a haiku by Mizuta Masahide.
Barn’s burnt down
I can see the moon.
This resonates for me on many levels. One, I used to be an organic farmer in Vermont for eight years, so I know the importance of a barn and how it basically represents your livelihood. So if that barn burns down, you’re screwed. However, to me the moon is sacred so if you feel you’ve lost everything (your “barn” has burnt down), there is still something good that you can find within that loss and that’s your moon.
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