Arts & Entertainment

Lessons From a 10-Year-Old Boy

Nancy Cartwright

Lesson time 11:20 min

With stories from her time on The Simpsons, working with Meryl Streep, and developing the voice of Chuckie on Rugrats, Nancy reflects on what she’s learned from her life as a voice actor and how it can be applied to any career.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Do What You Love, Man · Be a Professional · Surround Yourself With People Who Believe in You · Balancing Life & Spinning Plates · Give It All Your All


[MUSIC PLAYING] NANCY CARTWRIGHT: I'm Bart Simpson. Who the hell are you? I love sharing with people that I'm the voice of Bart Simpson, because it creates this instantly, bam, as soon as I say that, people's jaws drop on the floor, and they're laughing. They're like, wait, what? Like, you're him. And it's like they're happy. I'm happy. It's a fabulous perk of being a voiceover actor. It doesn't cost a dime to do something like that. And just everybody walks away like, oh, man, that's so cool. There's so many lessons that I have learned and that I have applied in my life. So I thought this would be kind of fun to share some lessons from this 10-year-old boy. [MUSIC PLAYING] I had this teacher once who was an acting teacher. And he said something that was brilliant. He said attitude is everything. And I thought that was fantastic. And he's right, it's like you can have all the talent in the world and just kind of have a suck attitude about it. With all that talent and with a bad attitude, I don't think you're going to get the job. You can have not as much talent, but you could be such a passionate person. And somebody who really is there as a problem solver instead of a problem, that's number one. Do what you love. It's about passion. You know if you're not passionate about it, why bother? It is a motto that I live by that if it isn't fun, I don't even want to do it. You know, have a good attitude and share all of your talent. Do both. I used to think that the definition of a professional was somebody who gets paid to do a job. That isn't what I believe a professional is. You are expected to deliver the highest quality of work that you can do. You know, a professional is somebody who delivers the goods in a big, big way. And in fact, delivers even more than what's expected. I like the idea of leaving a job knowing that not only did I do what they wanted me to do, but I gave them even a little bit more. Here's a perfect example. Working with Meryl Streep, I will tell you this, she is this consummate professional. I was so excited to work with her to see what she was going to come up playing this Jessica Lovejoy. And I'm telling you, we normally do four takes. She did 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 9, 10 takes. She just kept giving option after option. I mean, that to me was, bam. Just nobody has delivered the goods like she did. That was so impressive, to the point where it's like, OK, Meryl, we're done. We're going to lock the door and turn out the lights now. It was amazing. Another really valuable lesson that I found along the way is surround yourself with people who respect you, who appreciate you, who love what you're doing and they support you. I can't tell you how important that is. Sometimes people will make a little comment that can really sort of stick with you in a bad way. And it's so important that as an artist you surround yourself with people who believe in you, because people who truly believe in you will give you con...

About the Instructor

For nearly 40 years, Nancy Cartwright has voiced some of the most iconic animated characters on screen, including everyone’s favorite 10-year-old underachiever. Now the Emmy winner takes you into the recording booth to teach you the art of voice acting. In our first class to feature original animation, you’ll learn how to develop characters, get performance tips, and hear Nancy’s career advice. It’s time to get animated.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Nancy Cartwright

The legendary voice actor reveals her creative process for giving life to animated characters with emotion, imagination, and humor.

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