In this episode, I get to speak with Bonnie Marie Williams. She’s a voice actor at vo superhero. She is the ultimate superhero, and voiceover superhero. And she’s got an amazing journey that we’re about to learn about. She’s got a bachelor’s degrees in theatre arts and acting concentration, and she’s into a lot of cool things that I wish I had the opportunity to get into.

Our Guest

Bonnie Marie Williams

Hacks to take Away

  • When somebody telling you that you are not good enough is one of the biggest motivators if you can turn it into that.
  • Sometimes you just need to see that it can be done. And then after that, it’s like everything just picked up like I hit bottom but bounced back. It’s been going well ever since.
  • Everything takes longer than you think it will, you’re not going to be an overnight success.
  • Raised with superheroes and comic books, and also musical theater and the space program.
  • She was always involved in theatre, and always writing her own plays.
  • There are people who have your best intentions at heart, but they still want you to try to be realistic.
  • She has been in jobs where her heart wasn’t in it. And she could tell because she would just come home all the time exhausted. Because she’s putting in all that energy for something that doesn’t make her happy. Find out how she found a way out from being exhausted and unhappy.
Read Full Transcript

Junaid Ahmed 0:11
Thank you for tuning in to hacks and hobbies with your host Junaid. In Season Two of hacks and hobbies were visited by our amazing guests coming from all walks of life want to learn their story, their struggles and their journey on how they got to where they are today. So stick around.

In this episode, I get to speak with Bonnie Marie Williams. She's a voice actor at vo superhero. She is the ultimate superhero, and voiceover superhero. And she's got an amazing journey that we're about to learn about. She's got a bachelor's degrees in theatre arts and acting concentration, and she's into a lot of cool things that I wish I had the opportunity to get into. But we all know about my addiction to different hobbies. But let's learn more about Bonnie Marie Williams. Hey, Bonnie, thank you so much for taking the time and coming on to the podcast.

Bonnie Marie William 1:15
Hey, thanks so much for having me. I'm excited.

Junaid Ahmed 1:19
You're welcome. You're welcome. So Bonnie, it almost seems like we've just met but it also seems like that I've known you for a very long time. I absolutely love your passion for superhero and, and using the superhero terminology in your branding of your voiceover acting. If you wanted to know my screen name or my handle all over the internet is super Junaid.

Bonnie Marie William 1:46
That's why I was like, okay, we're gonna get along just fine.

Junaid Ahmed 1:50
And I am absolutely passionate about superhero fandom and all that good stuff and following the journeys of so many superheroes and movies, and why not. And when I saw that you were a voiceover superhero because I love like, I would totally love to get into doing voiceovers for things. And I didn't know about myself this by myself. But over time, I've learned to appreciate the power of the voice. A long time ago, when I first spoke to on the microphone, I sounded so weird. I was like, Who is this guy doesn't sound like me at all. And, and now I love I just love talking to people and and hearing myself. And I've gotten a ton of compliments about you know that you've got a voice for radio. And I was like, Really? Thank you. That's very nice of you. So tell me your journey. And if anybody was visiting mind you very well on his LinkedIn profile, then don't know exactly what's going on. But I want to hear it from the source, buddy. Tell us your story, your journey.

Bonnie Marie William 3:05
Sure. So I had family that was our family, friends, but they were considered family that were in the business. So I've always kind of been adjacent to showbiz, but I never really thought that I was going to actively do it until I was a teenager. So when I was little, I really wanted to be an astronaut because I was raised with superheroes and comic books, and also musical theater and the space program. So it's an interesting sort of combination to be raised on. So I think I could I, I would say probably so my first words, were some of the early astronauts in the program. So you know, or who are these x men and like, I could name them off of a poster that I had in my bedroom, and it was x men from the 80s when they had Mohawks and stuff. Yeah, I'm dating myself here. But so I wanted to do that. And then, you know, I was told I had to be better with math and science, and you know that there are some risks going into space. And I thought, okay, that's not for me, I'm math has never been my strength. And I'm also getting older and getting motion sickness. So maybe, you know, maybe it worked out that I didn't want to be an astronaut. I don't think I could have survived some of the tests that they have to go through. So, but now I can play one. So that's that's the cool thing. So wanted to do that. And then I didn't and then I said I was going to go into the FBI like, Okay, I'm going to do this. You know, I would be lying if I said that Dana Scalia from The X Files and have at least a little influence in that but also Sandra Bullock and Miss Congeniality, underrated movie, in my opinion, and, you know, then I realized some of the as I was looking more into it, that it was going to be a little bit heavy psychologically, depending on what you were going to be working on. And I said, Okay, I don't think I can sleep at night working on some of those cases. So I said, Okay, well, you know, I was always involved in theatre, I was always writing my own plays. And one of my daycare teachers probably thought they were the worst things ever, but she still said she would direct them.

And it she just was always so encouraging with it, she was never, like, get a different dream. You know, she's like, okay, you have a ton of energy, let's go ahead and put this into good use. So I was always like planning musicals and planning this play and writing this and doing this and, and so I kind of carried that with me into high school. So I took an acting class in high school, and I was doing some of the scenic work backstage, and I kind of lost my confidence when I was around 14 or so. So you know, it, it's puberty and adolescence, and you're starting High School. And, you know, if you already not feel like you fit in anyways, which I think is kind of a universal theme. like nobody really feels like they fit in. So, you know, I was doing some of the backstage work. I was doing scenic painting crew work. And then I had talked to my acting teacher, and I said, Hey, like, you know, because she asked me, Why aren't you auditioning? I said, I don't think I'm good enough. And she said, No, Bonnie, you are good enough. I want to see you at auditions for our play in the fall. Yeah. And so I did. And then I got a speaking part. And it was really cool. And it kind of gave me my groove back in a way. And so I started doing that. And then I would say, by the time I was 16, I was set. I said, No, I'm going to be an actor. And I'll do you know, I'll do the hard work. And I'll do it to get there. And I'd always wanted to be involved in the art somehow. Yeah. And I knew that was where my future was going to be. And I say this with love. You know, there are people who have your best intentions at heart, but they still want you to try to be realistic. They'll say, Well, you know, you can't make it as an actor. And I say that out of love. So what if you go into this instead? What if you do this instead? where you're like, Okay, I know. You mean, well, for me, I understand. You're saying these things out of love. But I know that this is the right thing for me to do. Yeah. So you have to keep listening to that inner dialogue. And I've talked myself in and out of it so many times. So I went to college to become a theater major. And I said, Okay, when I'm done with college, I'm going to go to New York, and I'm going to be on Broadway. And you know, I'm going to be in beauty, the beast, and I'm going to be in wicked and all these dreams that I had. And I had my friend of mine in the theater department was working at the college radio station. She said, Hey, you know, do you want to do a commercial with us? I said, Sure. What, what do I have to do? She said, Well, it's for one of the local Mexican restaurants, you just have to act like you like Mexican food. And I said, it's not even acting.

That'll be really hard. But that was my first time behind the microphone. And I thought it was really cool. But I didn't think anything of it with the way that things were going. I was like, Okay, I'm going to graduate, and I'm going to go and then, you know, I had some family things come up, that kept me a little bit closer to home. So I said, Okay, I'm gonna, you know, move into the city proper on my own. And I'm going to do that. And I'm really going to give it my all. And I was doing, you know, TV and film, I was doing some cool stuff. But it didn't give me that feeling that I had when I was an undergrad doing Shakespeare or doing musicals. And I was trying to find that feeling again. Yeah. And I went from different day jobs, one to the other. And eventually, I ended up at a PR firm, which was really cool. It was very different. And they're celebrities coming in all the time, you had to be cool. So you have to just treat people like they're normal. Not like they're celebrities. And you know, it was a cool job. But then that job ended. And I was going through some really rough, like personal things. And I thought, what the heck do I do now? And a friend of mine who just kills it in voiceover, she said, Hey, and I met her doing theater. She said, Hey, I think you'd be really good at it. Do you want to come into my booth and give it a try? I said, Okay, like, I'll try anything once. And just having her throw things at me and improvising behind the mic and doing these different things. I had so much fun with it. Yeah. And it reminded me of that feeling that I had when I was pursuing theatre as an undergrad. And I say, wow, I have to pursue that like that feeling. Yeah, it, it's when you know, and it clicks. I said, Okay, this is what I need to be doing. Like, I kind of kicked myself for not getting into it earlier. But I didn't know that people could. I didn't know it was a job. I didn't know it was a form of acting. And like, it's one of those things that wasn't really talked about a lot like you would see, you know, behind the scenes features on Aladdin, and it would be Robin Williams, but you don't think that it's maybe not a celebrity doing? Yeah, so yeah, so that's when I got started with that. And life, you know, took me on some twists and turns. And now, I'm out here in North Carolina, and I'm doing it full time. So I never would have thought, you know, as a 16 year old sophomore in high school, that who wanted to be on Broadway that I would be doing voiceovers now, but there's nothing else that I would want to be doing again, you know,

Junaid Ahmed 10:14
that's so cool. That's, that's an amazing journey.

But I see a lot of points where, you know, you you made the decision. And you mentioning, you know, how a lot of people have, quote, unquote, their best interest about what you should be doing?

Bonnie Marie William 10:22

Junaid Ahmed 10:22
And I think one of the reasons is because they know that you're going to change, or you're going to be doing something that they won't have access to you.

Bonnie Marie William 10:26

Junaid Ahmed 10:26
And you're going to be different person, are you gonna, you know, you're going to have different people that you're going to be hanging out with, and they want to lose you. And, and it's really interesting, because I hear that a lot, right? And anybody you talked to who's pursued their passion, you know, has has had that exact same conversation about No, no, you shouldn't be doing that you should be doing this. Because there's a lot of money here, there's a lot of blah, blah,

Bonnie Marie William 10:57
it's steady, it's secure. It's a normal thing that, you know, it's like if you're experiencing any sort of difficulty, especially when you're creative entrepreneur, like there's going to be difficulties. But anytime you might vent and just say, Oh, my gosh, this is so hard. And they'll say, Well, you know, what, if you just go into this instead. What if you do this instead, like I don't want to do that instead?

Junaid Ahmed 11:11

Bonnie Marie William 11:12
my heart wouldn't be in it. And I've been in jobs where my heart wasn't in it. And I could tell because I would just come home all the time exhausted. Because you're putting in all that energy for something that doesn't make you happy.

Junaid Ahmed 11:49
Exactly. It's almost like telling a child who's been crawling for, you know, past year or past six months or whatever. No one could. I didn't keep track of it. My child started crawling. But you telling them Don't try to walk is too hard for you keep falling down.

Bonnie Marie William 12:08
Yeah. So bother trying to walk

Junaid Ahmed 12:10
just don't just crawl you get they

Bonnie Marie William 12:12
I don't want to see you get hurt anymore. I don't want to I don't want to see you struggling suggest, you know, and people mean, well, but I think there is also that sense of, of a loss of control, like you said, and I mean, I've had people trying to talk me out of it forever. And there have been some where it was out of love and others were it was out of whatever it was with them telling me I wasn't good enough. And let me tell you, somebody telling you that you are not good enough is one of the biggest motivators if you can turn it into that.

Junaid Ahmed 12:42

Bonnie Marie William 12:43
I had an ex boyfriend, like I loved him dearly. And he told me that and he denied it later, of course. But he told me that he didn't think that I was good enough, and that I wasn't what la wanted,

Junaid Ahmed 12:56
oh, man,

Bonnie Marie William 12:57
Because he was trying to control me. And you know, now when you're doing really well, and what you want to do, like his voice was in my head when I got cast in my first play inside of the city. And it was like, Yeah, you're telling me I'm not good enough while I'm doing it. It's one of the best, like one of the best feelings is when you do what other people said you couldn't do.

Junaid Ahmed 13:23

Bonnie Marie William 13:24
It's a good motivator.

Junaid Ahmed 13:25
It's a good it's a great motivator. You're absolutely right. One of my friends, Michael Lyons, he said, You have to just go and do it.

Bonnie Marie William 13:34

Junaid Ahmed 13:35
And a little voice in your head, pay attention and put in motion things that eventually going to get you there. And what's really interesting is I learned about meetups a lot later in life. Like all my experience was through, either working within companies and learning about what people did, or having a lot of family. Like, we had tons of family growing up in California. But then I learned about And I was like, what, there's people that are talking about this stuff like photography, I was absolutely you know, so I met these met people that are also doing photography. So going, like, I opened myself to learn more. And I made those connections and got more out of like photography and filmmaking. And like going out and meeting people who are already doing what you want to do is the best way, like a lot of people that are telling us Oh, the best thing for you to do is this is because that's all they know. Right?

Bonnie Marie William 14:42
Yep. Yep.

Junaid Ahmed 14:43
And the one question that's always in my back of my mind, and I don't want to ask them because it's rude. It's like, have you done it before? Yeah, exactly. Have you done what I want to do? No. Well, then how do you know that? That's the best advice for me.

Bonnie Marie William 14:57
Yeah, totally. You being able see that it can be done, like you said, is like, well, they're doing it. Why can't I do it?

Junaid Ahmed 15:05

Bonnie Marie William 15:06
You know, they've put in the work. Why can't it be me?

Junaid Ahmed 15:09

Bonnie Marie William 15:10
You know, it's so just a few months ago, kind of late summer, early fall. Last year, I kind of lost my groove a little bit because I was working a day job that had me working some pretty crazy hours, and like getting ready for the wedding, and doing all sorts of things. And I was feeling kind of emotionally vulnerable. Yeah. And I had an experience that just deflated me, like, I was ready to quit. I was so deflated, I was just tired, you know, there was so much going on. And I was just feeling so defeated. And then I talked to a friend of mine who I've looked up to her for a long time since I started doing voiceover. And she became a friend of mine just through life circumstances, and also one of my coaches, and like hanging out with her. And just like she helped me kind of get my mojo back, you know, and like, I told her, I said, You don't even know like how much it means to me like being around you and being seeing that you're doing it. And she said, You know, sometimes you just need to see that it can be done. And then after that, it's like everything just picked up like I hit bottom but bounced back. It's been going well ever since. So it's that, you know, you just have to see that somebody's doing and if somebody else is doing it. Yeah. Especially if they're coming from worst circumstances. And you can't you do it.

Junaid Ahmed 16:31
Exactly. Yeah, exactly. It's like all every mind is exactly has the same capacity to learn and execute. So if somebody can do it, then obviously I can to.

Bonnie Marie William 16:45
Exactly, yeah,

Junaid Ahmed 16:47
I love it. I love it. And that's what brought me onto you know, being a podcaster. I've been wanting to start a podcast since 2012. And myself and to my cousin big we started the podcast to, we ended up with four episodes, but being in different time zones, they were in LA, I was in Colorado being different time zones, not finding that right time to to record the episode just got harder. But then last year, I made up my mind, I said, I have to do this, nobody else is going to do this for me, or come out and be like, All right, let's do it. This is what you wanted to do. I'm here. Started, nobody gonna do that. Nope, do it on my own. And luckily, around that time, a friend of mine came up to me. And he said, You know, I want to start a podcast, what do I need to do? So I started doing my research all over again, I ran into anchor and I was like, Oh my god, I can do a podcast directly on my iPhone. I don't need all this extra gear, I can just start. You know, I started. And then that's the thing, right? Nike said 2030 years ago, just do it, you're going to figure out the problems you can have solve them, you just got to start moving, taking that first step. And that's what I did. And that's like, a year later, I'm still doing it. Because I love it. It gives me so much fulfillment when they learn the stories of my professionals like yourself and people who are going after their dreams and making their superpowers and to what they do as an everyday thing. I just love those stories. Those stories. Absolutely. Yeah, the other thing that also triggered is last year turned 42. And I was like 42 is the ultimate answer.

Bonnie Marie William 18:33
It is it is

Junaid Ahmed 18:37
I have to do it. It has to be this year. And you know, I'm, I've got the podcast. I'm a published author in in one book and working on another book, and then working on my own book, eventually working on it a video course on how to use your smartphone for video production. So Well, that's all things going. Yeah, I got a lot of things going on. And oh, I also love acting, and I did, I signed up on this app called backstage. Mm hmm. They were looking for baby boomers to star in this Kaiser Permanente ad. So I put in my audition request, and they were like, come on down. And I got to be in this commercial to be to be an actor or somebody who who's heard their knees and there are the hospital. So that was that was pretty fun. You know, getting makeup, or like Auntie Chan stuff put on your face, your face doesn't shine with all his lights. It was a pretty cool experience. And I want to do more of that. And I just haven't been so busy with so many things. I haven't had a chance or been picked up yet again, for more work. But I know there's a lot more avenues that I can go after if I did want to do more with acting. And

Bonnie Marie William 20:00
exactly. And backstage is a good way to go. Like that's, that's where you go for a lot of the bigger casting calls. And I mean, that's one of the things that you do when you want to be an actor is you pick up backstage, because you get all the articles, you get all the casting calls, you know that that was a great way to go. And it's the fact that you said, Okay, I'm gonna I want to do this. So I'm going to do it. And I'm going to put it out there because like you said, it's not going to come to you if you just keep thinking like, okay, exactly, I'm here. No, you have to make an investment.

Junaid Ahmed 20:31

Bonnie Marie William 20:32
of your time, your everything. Yeah,

Junaid Ahmed 20:34
absolutely. And so today, I took a Lyft to come back home after I drove my car off. And I was talking to the Lyft driver. And he was like, I'm searching for an IP, intellectual property. That an idea that's, you know, that I can monetize on. So then they asked him, Are you documenting whatever ideas are in your head? He's like, no, whenever I search an idea, there's already somebody doing it. I was like, Well, that didn't stop Walmart, from coming up. And you know, overcame Kmart's business didn't stop target to continue to be a grocery store, or they didn't stop Lyft from starting their own thing, even though Uber's around, there's like tons of different companies doing the same thing. You just have to get out there and make your mark, you know, document it, put all those ideas from your head onto papers, then you can have a look at it from another perspective.

Bonnie Marie William 21:35
Exactly. Because I think people get afraid of doing that. Because then it's out there, then they're facing it. And then the fear takes over, you know, so it's that, well, if I keep it in my head, nobody else is going to see it. Nobody else is going to make fun of me. I don't have to act on it. But I want to do it. But that fear takes over.

Junaid Ahmed 21:52
Yes, absolutely. And fear is good in some areas. But then fear of being a failure, and not doing it is as well as a failure in itself. Mm hmm. Really good point. See, I love this conversation. It's it's opening up my mind in a way that it's already open. But it's like we're on we're on the same wavelength, totally gone through the same journey of facing the people and then putting those ideas on table and on the paper. And here's the thing, right, you got to spend more time on that discovery on that pre production of what you're planning on getting out there.

Bonnie Marie William 22:36
Totally. Yeah, it everything is going to take longer than you think it will. Everything takes longer than you think it will you're not going to be an overnight success. Yeah, you're planning, you just have to get it out there, you have to start putting the steps in place. And there is no other way around it. But my website took me longer than I thought it would. But I had to I knew what I wanted. I just did know how to articulate it. So it was trial and error. It was so many different drafts of graphics and colors. And then finally when it clicked and I got what I wanted, I said okay, it only took me 40 tries, but I had to start putting it out there and I had to start putting things down so I could see it. And I could say that's it. That's not it. Keep that scratch that, you know, but you have to start putting the pen to the paper and really trying to articulate what it is that you want what it is that you're trying to create.

Junaid Ahmed 23:31
Exactly. So right. Cool. So I've had a website for my company for the longest time. And I had, I think I put it up in 2004. And then I hadn't updated the website in a long, very long time. And I was like, Well, that doesn't represent me anymore. And then I just shut it down because well, I need to work on what working on those drafts. And you said it took 40 tries for you. Just like 40 right? Just like it took Thomas Alva Edison so many tries before he could come up with the light bulb.

Bonnie Marie William 24:10
Yeah, right. And a big part of it was Yeah, it was having to rebrand myself as a voice over talent and not just theater and stage. And so was doing that whole journey of like, reading a book on branding by Celia Siegel, I highly recommend it for creatives, but especially for voice actors. Not getting paid to say that I just really enjoyed that book. And it was so eye opening because it it kind of reaffirmed everything that I knew I wanted to present, but I can't sometimes you need to hear somebody else say it, you go, okay. That is right. Like when somebody else says exactly what you're thinking, you're like, Okay, I just needed to hear it from somebody else. Make sure I'm not crazy that this is what I do. But it was you know, the rebranding process and making sure everything was cohesive, but it takes time, you know, and sometimes you have to burn it all down and rebuild, you have to scratch everything and start again, from the bottom on a new foundation. And it's a little scary to think oh my gosh, I have to start all over. But then, if you look at it on the flip side, it's like, wow, I get to start all over and create something entirely new. Yeah, thing that can be amazing. And there's no limits to what I can create now, because I don't have anything holding me back. Absolutely.

Junaid Ahmed 25:27
And man attended VIP film, some film and TV summit couple weeks ago. And john Lee, he's a he's a producer. And he's saying that a lot of these TV shows and movies. The script has gone through at least 60 to 70 drafts before it's even, you know, considered finished. Hmm. I was like, wow, that's insane. Yeah. Because you gotta you gotta take it from all the filters, and clean it up. To get that point across. And listening to the story of Pixar and Toy Story, when they took the first draft to Disney. Woody was a very, very cynical person, very important person. And then they're like, All right, we're going to go back and tone that a ton down. And then it will still get that little glimpse of meanness, right? In the movie. But then it's, it's just so well balanced. That Toy Story just took over hearts and minds of like, everybody that watched that movie.

Bonnie Marie William 26:47

Junaid Ahmed 26:48
And, but we have to start. That's the key point here. You've got to start if you want to do what you love to do. And get it out there, man. Cool. It seems like we've been talking forever, but it has even past that much time. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing.

Bonnie Marie William 27:10
I think it's a good thing.

Junaid Ahmed 27:12
Yeah. Okay, good. I'm not crazy.

Bonnie Marie William 27:15
No, no.

Junaid Ahmed 27:16
All right. So some questions that I usually ask my guests is really, and they opened up more portal doors, for sure. What is one hobby that you wish you got into?

Bonnie Marie William 27:29
I feel like I've tried a lot of different things. And I like trying different things. I don't like to limit myself. So I think I'm going to answer this. I really wish I understood what the heck my husband talks about with his work. Like, he does a lot of tech stuff. And I wish I had more of an understanding on that side of things. So I guess I would say like, follow him around for a day at work and say, Okay, I want to be able to understand what it is you're talking about. I think he had said, Oh, you know, if you knew how to do this, we would be able to hire you for it. But I don't know how to do any of that. So I think that would be really cool is to go follow Him and some of the other guys at work and just say okay, like, I'm going to try to learn this, but I I honestly think my brain would explode.

Junaid Ahmed 28:15
I don't think your brain was explode our brain creates 1400 new cells are neurons every day. So you can dedicate them to learn that. I mean, just saying.

Bonnie Marie William 28:28
I could but I don't it would be a hobby think at that point.

Junaid Ahmed 28:31
No, no, it's not a hobby anymore than

Bonnie Marie William 28:33
Yeah, it would be it would be I don't know, I think then I would become a little competitive. like, Okay, I'm gonna do this better than you and like, you know, cuz I'm, I am a little I'm slightly competitive by nature, but I'm the most competitive against myself. Okay, except when he and I play board games. It's, it's Game on. So we're both fairly competitive at that point. Like, I don't let him win. So, yeah. So I think maybe maybe some of that maybe more of the tech side of things. Like I used to build websites for fun when I was little. And then as I got more into theater, I stopped doing that as much. Now it's like, oh, I, when I was making my website, I kept thinking to myself, man, if I had just kept this up as a hobby, it would be so much easier. You know, and I was trying to build it. And he said, you know, but you said you used to build websites when you're younger? I said, Yeah, but not with WordPress. You know, I was like ham typing HTML code, like this is different. So I think I would have benefited me to keep that up. But you know, I didn't know, back then that the internet was going to be the crazy thing we have now. And, you know, so I, I try to show myself a little grace with that and and try to maintain something with that. But we'll see. That's my answer.

Junaid Ahmed 29:49
Nice. Perfect. I love it. All right. Next one. What is your favorite? And this is my favorite question. What is your favorite movie or TV show?

Bonnie Marie William 29:58
So will answer both favorite movie Beauty and the Beast, but not the live action one the animated one from? Yeah. And it was really cool. Because page O'Hara who played Belle came to Raleigh super con last summer. And I said, if I'm going to meet anybody, it's her. And I was so like, I was shaking. I don't know if I've ever, you know, fan girl that hard for anybody before. But I was like, Don't cry, don't cry, don't cry. Don't be that like, I've met Carrie Fisher. And I was like, I didn't cry in front of her. But I completely cried in front of page O'Hara and she was the nicest person. And it was just an amazing experience. Because I said, you know, you were my favorite Disney Princess. Like, that's the first movie I ever remember going to see the movie theaters. And it just left such an effect on me. Because contrary to my pictures, I'm not a natural blonde. I'm a brunette and seeing Bell up there. Like, I learned how to read at an early age. And so it was seeing this beautiful, intelligent, strong, brave woman who had a beautiful voice to go with it. And who cared about her family and she wasn't willing to conform to society standards and see that as a little girl was like, wow, that could be me. Like I had never identified with a character like that. So you know, getting to meet her and telling her like, not only are you one of my voice acting heroes, but you're also one of my musical theatre heroes. It was a really cool experience. And they always say like, never meet your heroes. But I think they lied. Because the nicest and she's like, Oh my gosh, you have such a nice smile. Oh my gosh, I love you. I was like, cool, told me she loves. It was really cool. And so I have the autograph from her in my office. And it's one of the first things I see when I go in to my to my studio tour. So that's my favorite movie for many, many reasons, which I won't go into. And that's kind of the background on that. But my favorite TV show hands down all time is Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Oh my

Junaid Ahmed 32:06
god, I grew up watching that show.

Bonnie Marie William 32:09
Yeah, same same. And it just left such an effect on me. And like I collect Buffy merge, like I'm like, it just it got me through so much growing up and like a difficult time growing up. And still got me through some really difficult moments as an adult. And the writing on it is brilliant, and the character arcs. And I just love everybody's character arcs from seasons one through seven. And, you know, I definitely relate to Buffy in way too many ways. And I don't think it's a bad thing. Like they show that she's not a perfect person. And that's what I really like is like, Look, just because she's the chosen one doesn't mean she doesn't have issues. Exactly. You know, but everybody's redemption arcs. And the way that they grow is just, it's just so good. And I actually told my husband, I said, you're gonna watch all of this. All of Buffy with me before we get married. He laughed, and I said, Oh, you think I'm kidding. That was like a prerequisite like, you watch this. He did. And then he began to really, really enjoy it. And we were watching it. And he said, Yeah, I can see how the ways that you identify it with her. And I was like, yeah, it makes more sense out of me. I think it explains a few things about how I operate. But it's, it's my favorite. I like it's just such a good show. The metaphors, just everything it you know, still holds up pretty well. Some of the 90s references.

Junaid Ahmed 33:40

Bonnie Marie William 33:41
but it's just so good. It's so good. And it's so empowering. And, you know, when it ended, I cried. I was just I remember sitting in front of my TV staring up at it in my bedroom back home and just like crying. What do I do with my life?

Junaid Ahmed 33:57
That's so cool. So much. Fun fact, when I first moved to the United States, Buffy the Vampire Slayer was the first show that I watched on a weekly basis.

Bonnie Marie William 34:12
Oh my gosh, that is incredible.

Junaid Ahmed 34:14
because growing up in Saudi, we didn't really have regular TV we, we watched, used to get full house and night writer. But But Buffy the Vampire Slayer, you know, I'm actually following through the story. And it's mainly because I live with my cousin, my girl cousins, and they love watching that show, among other shows that they would watch that I didn't approve of like 77 and, and the other soaps.

Bonnie Marie William 34:42
the WB shows. Yeah,

Junaid Ahmed 34:44

Bonnie Marie William 34:45
WB 90 shows, man.

Junaid Ahmed 34:49
Yeah, so Buffy the Vampire Slayer was like, all right, this guy action. It's got vampires. I'm totally down and watch.

Bonnie Marie William 34:56
Yeah, it was just so good in it. I love that it turned the the typical, you know, oh, no, this girl is going to walk into an alley and these vampires are there and then No, no, it's not what you think it is. Because she's gonna kick their butts. You know? And like, Ah, it's just so good. That and Buffy brings people together. I've made friends because of Buffy. They're like you like Buffy. I like Buffy. I said, Okay, well, now we're friends.

Junaid Ahmed 35:23
Now we're friends forever. It's true, though. So very true. Absolutely. And I am jealous that you got to meet Carrie Fisher. I mean, I got into Star Wars one after I moved here. But I didn't you know, I didn't watch the original ones when they first came out even though I was really young. But that's really cool that you got to meet her. And you know, tell me a little bit about that.

Bonnie Marie William 35:46
Absolutely. Anytime somebody wants me to tell them I do because it was one of the best days ever. Like, you know, my weddings up there. But like Carrie Fisher me. It definitely gives it a run for its money. So this was 2015 at Star Wars Celebration in Southern California. So they have Star Wars conventions throughout the country. And I think they have one in California and one in Chicago. So this was the California one because it was like an hour away from me. So I said, Of course I'm going to go as I had always wanted to meet her like Carrie Fisher has been and still is one of my heroes, since I was little like, I just love how she says look, you can have issues, but you can't let them keep you down. Like try to find the humor in the things that suck. And I think that that's really powerful. It's a very powerful statement of you know, reclaiming your power and saying, okay, just because I have this, that doesn't mean it has me. Yeah, I think it's just very motivating. And she's hilarious and intelligent, just nuts. So I saw that she was going to be at the celebration. So I said, Yeah, I'm going so got my ticket, got an autograph ticket, and I saw that they had a photo op with her and Mark Hamill and I said okay, like, this is my birthday present to myself like this does not happen very often. But I'm going to give her the majority of my money, but I still want to be able to do this Skywalker twins photo op, like, this is something I can show my kids one day, so so waited in line to meet her. And she was a few hours late. But I said that's fine. Like I'm sitting here. I'm not going like I'm here to see her primarily. This is who I'm here to see. And I went with a couple friends of mine. You know, as we're getting up to the front, I'm kind of starting to do like the hand shaky like the What do I say to her because everybody's coming up here going Princess Leia, I love you like, she doesn't want to hear that. So what do I say? What do I say? Yeah, I had that inner monologue going. And I get up to the front. And she just looks at me and says, Hey, how's it going? And I went, uh, I don't know what to say to you that nobody else has said before. And she just looked up and went, well, that's a good place to start.

I was like, Oh my god, okay. I think I have used her. So she had her dog next to her. And so she's signing my autograph. And she says, Oh, this is my dog, Gary. And I'm like, Hi, Gary. You know, super cute and his tongue sticking out of his mouth. And he's Eunice. And I had read an article about how she would sprinkle glitter on people at conventions. And so I said, Okay, this is your chance, like, ask her now. And I said, Hey, so I've heard that you sprinkle glitter on people, like if you have some, would you mind? She says, Oh, yeah, let me look in my bag. I probably have some. Just like waiting there. And my friend is looking at me next to me. And she's like, I want glitter too. And I said, Sarah, this is my moment. So and of course, she finds him. She's like, okay, bring me your head come here. And so she sprinkled some on my head. And my friend was like, Me, too. Me too. So she's sprinkling purple glitter on our heads. And I was just like, thank you so much. I love you. And I walked away. And I was like, I didn't cry in front of Carrie Fisher. And then as soon as my back was turned, I started falling as I'm walking away, because it was just like, one of the best moments ever. So I waited for my friend to get out of line and we took a selfie with the glitter in our hair. And we're like Carrie Fisher sprinkled us with glitter today is the best day ever. It was just a cool story. And she was just super cool. And like, it's just one of those, like I said, they always say like don't meet your heroes. But the ones that I've met, they've all been nothing but amazing. So it was just one of the coolest stories. And then we took a photo with Carrie and Mark Hamill later and I swear his eyes looked right through me. It was like not in a bad way. But like, I don't know, he has really pretty eyes. And I didn't I don't know, but he just like looked at me. And it's like he could see my soul. I don't know. Other than that, but we took a photo with them. And it was like 10 seconds. And it was just it was a great way to end the day. So my thing is, is you know, people say is it worth it to go meet this person and pay the money? I said honestly, like, if they mean that much, you you absolutely should do it. Exactly. Because had I not done it. You know, she passed a year and a half later. Yeah, had I not done it? I would have regretted it.

Junaid Ahmed 40:10

Bonnie Marie William 40:11
But now I've got her stuff. I have like a little princess Leia shelf in my office. It's Princess Leia and Carrie Fisher stuff in my office. But like, cool. The photo from her is up there. The photo of us with the Skywalker twins is up there. And it's all you know, those are memories that I have to treasure.

Junaid Ahmed 40:26
That's awesome. I love it. So that takes us to a very pointed question. Who is your favorite superhero?

Bonnie Marie William 40:34
I know. And it's just I would have to say, if I had to, we're going to just work just talk comics because like, Don't try to pick on comics. Yeah, I know. But I'm like Buffy summers is a superhero. But I can't. It's like choosing a favorite child. And I don't want to do that. So I would say out of all the comics. Out of all comic book characters, I have to go with Barbara Gordon's back girl.

Junaid Ahmed 41:04

Bonnie Marie William 41:05
Yeah, like as much as like, I love Bruce Wayne, we got the same initials, which I realized. A year ago, I was like, wait a minute. Barbara Gordon, ever since the Batman TV show it and I mean, like the Adam West with Barbara Gordon. Like, ever since then, because I grew up, you know, watching that too. And she's always been very much like I am my own person. And Batman, you can't tell me what to do. I really like that in the character where she says, you know, just because like you think you own the bat symbol, but you don't like I'm going to do this because I want to and she's so smart. And she can kick butt. And I've just always really liked that about her. And again, like, you know, in some of the things that happened to her in the comics, when you have a character that's been through some really hard things. Yeah. And they're able to turn it around and find strength in it. I really, that's like an underlying theme with characters that I really like. And you know, she went through some really traumatic events, but was like, Okay, I'm not going to let these things stop me. And I'm still going to find a way to serve others and to do good, but I'm going to have to do it on these terms and do it on my terms. And I just think she's just the greatest and she's very underrated. And I really just want a live action Bad Girl movie. like can we make this happen, please?

Junaid Ahmed 42:26
Well, you know, they represented Barbara Gordon, really nicely in the lego batman movie.

Bonnie Marie William 42:33
They did. They did.

Junaid Ahmed 42:35
Awesome job.

Bonnie Marie William 42:36
They did. But like I want like, live action. You know, we were going to get one and then it fell through. And I know and it was going to be Joss Wheaton. Oh, no. Yeah. And so I was like, over the moon when I was saying like, okay, the guy who created my favorite show ever is going to be, you know, helming the background movie. And, you know, stuff happened and it fell through and now it doesn't look like they're going to do it, but I really want them to and I want it to be good. Like, if we could just get a bad girl movie that's in the same caliber as Wonder Woman. I just like I feel like I could die happy.

Junaid Ahmed 43:12
Yeah, I know to me. So I don't know if you watch the TV show Arrow and Flash and

Bonnie Marie William 43:20
I haven't seen them in a long time.

Junaid Ahmed 43:22
Okay, so they have I think they have Barbara Corcoran in one of the episodes.

Bonnie Marie William 43:27
No, no, it's Kathy Cain. It's bad woman. Oh, it's Cathy Cain. It's Yeah, it's okay. There's Bad Girl bad woman. It's okay. Yeah, it's

Junaid Ahmed 43:36
so totally different characters. Bat Girl.

Bonnie Marie William 43:39
Yes. Oh, yeah. The first one there's been like a few different Bad Girls now but should know about woman's getting her own TV series. Hmm. That would be awesome.

Junaid Ahmed 43:50
Is it CW doing it

Bonnie Marie William 43:51
it's CW I believe they're doing it as a spin off. So behind on all of that, like I'm so behind on so many shows. Cuz the wedding and working is Joe.

Junaid Ahmed 44:01
Yeah, I totally get

Bonnie Marie William 44:02
taken over. But I gotta catch up on what just came out. Cobra Kai season two. I gotta catch up on that. Oh, that just got released. And I love season one. I love The Karate Kid movies. So I'm excited for that. That'll be my next finish watching start watching thing.

Junaid Ahmed 44:20
Well, you just gotta start.

Bonnie Marie William 44:23
I know. Tell it to my schedule.

Junaid Ahmed 44:26
Schedule. Get me a

Bonnie Marie William 44:27
clone. It'll be fine. I'll have them do the work. I'll watch.

Junaid Ahmed 44:30
For the longest time. For at least 20 years. I've been like, I wish I had a clone. He can go to work. And I could do all these fun things. And then we can switch off. Yeah. And the end of the day, you can have a mindmeld or whatever. That'd be so funny. Alright, last question. If you were a board game, what would it be?

Bonnie Marie William 44:51
I want to say monopoly but like that ruins friendships. So it just like my sister in law says that she will never play Monopoly with my husband and I ever played at once when we had just gotten engaged. And she's like, now I'm not playing this with you guys. So we're awfully

Junaid Ahmed 45:11
got like 510 hotels on board. But ya

Bonnie Marie William 45:14
know, like I said, when we play board games, we get competitive. So that's a good question. You know, there was a Buffy board game, and I have it in my dining room. I know, I know. I might just have to say I would be the Buffy board game because sometimes the different scenarios I'm not saying the slayer always wins. But when I play she does. So

I just that's probably like,

Junaid Ahmed 45:44
you playing the game? Oh my gosh, it'd be so fun.

Bonnie Marie William 45:48
That could be fun. I feel like people just say, Man, she's really competitive.

Junaid Ahmed 45:54
I don't care about that. But imagine all the Buffy fans. Come flock to your videos.

Bonnie Marie William 46:02
That could be cool. I mean, I've had it. Let me see the game only goes through seasons one through four. So I think I got it honestly, 20 years ago, and the box is in shreds because it has gone with me ever live. So it's like a vintage piece of this point. But like, you have to use your smarts and you have to really be strategic with what you're doing. And there's always like new vampires cropping up and you're trying to fight them. Like I only have a stake and Willow has dynamite and we're not playing the mayor so we don't get any points for that. It's just you have to be Yeah, I'm gonna say the Buffy game because then I get to be Buffy and you have to go back and like you have to think 12 steps ahead. Oh, so you still have to take action. Who I like that. I like this question. This is cool. It is cool. Okay, everything relates back to Buffy.

Junaid Ahmed 46:58
I think we've done a really good job. So okay, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Absolutely awesome TV show. Have you followed the actor Sarah Michelle Gellar now Michelle Gellar and the different TV shows that she's been in.

Bonnie Marie William 47:12
Absolutely. I think she's great. I like I really liked her. I like the Scooby Doo movies. Yes, I said it. I thought those were fun. But yeah, all of her TV shows after that, like ringer, and the crazy ones with Robin Williams. Like I watched that anything she's in? I'll go see it.

Junaid Ahmed 47:28
Yes. Yeah. So I tried to get into ringer, and the content wasn't exactly what I like to watch and TV shows. Absolutely love the crazy ones. Yeah, the crazy ones was really fun, really fun TV show to watch. And it was a lot of fun. Cool. I love it. Thank you.

Bonnie Marie William 47:49
Yeah, thank you. This was a lot of fun. I never thought about what board game I am before. I guess we have our answer.

Junaid Ahmed 47:57
Do we do? Last question. Where can my audience find you?

Bonnie Marie William 48:02
Okay, you can find me on my website at vo, which is also basically all of my social media handles our Instagram. VO superhero at twitter. I'm at vo underscore superhero because somebody else took it a long time ago and I can't get it from them. I know. I know. It was active in like 2008 or something. Oh my god, just give me the handle. So maybe one day I can get that. But I'm over there. Yeah, I'm on Facebook as Bonnie Murray Williams voiceover superhero. So if you just type in voiceover superhero or vo superhero, you'll find me because I made sure nobody else had it. When I got that flash of insight like, no, this is my thing. I looked and I saw nobody else had a except for that random guy on Twitter. So. But he didn't have a website built on it. So I took it. But

Junaid Ahmed 48:58
very cool, where

Bonnie Marie William 48:59
That's where you can find me I like to post lots of different fun things. And always superhero related. Because you know, superheroes are so pervasive because we always want to see somebody doing something wonderful and see the potential that we could have for ourselves. So especially when you know things kind of feel like they're a little scary in the world. You know, that's why we have superheroes that remind us that we can be better and we can do better.

Junaid Ahmed 49:27
Exactly. Love it. On that note, just looking at your Insta, and Eliza Dushku from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I had a chance to chat with good friend, Tom Malloy. He got to work with her in a movie. I think he was the alphabet killer. Oh, wow. Yeah. So I was like, Whoa, small world. Yeah, that's awesome. is a ton of fun. But I absolutely had a ton of fun talking to you. Learning about your journey, your story. So many pop culture references and the mind. Frequency is like in tune right now. Totally.

Bonnie Marie William 50:11

Junaid Ahmed 50:12
love it.

Bonnie Marie William 50:13
And so much fun. Thank you.

Junaid Ahmed 50:14
Super fun. Again, thank you so much for coming up to the podcast. I'll be sure to include the links on the show notes. And people can reach you and check out your work on vo superhero com. Thank you so much, Bonnie.

Bonnie Marie William 50:31
Yeah, thank you. This was a blast. Thank you.

Junaid Ahmed 50:33
Have a good day.

Bonnie Marie William 50:34
You too. Thank you.

Junaid Ahmed 50:39
Thank you for listening to hacks and hobbies. You can find additional information on the guest today on their website, hacks and hobbies. com. Please feel free to subscribe to the podcast so you don't miss out on upcoming interviews with amazing guests.

Transcribed by

Junaid Ahmed has been a user experience designer for over 15 years. As a UX professional, he uses the user-centered design philosophy to come up with solutions. Trust the system, it works!

“People say that we only live once, but I believe in living every day!”

Junaid has been interviewing people from all walks of life on his podcast Hacks and Hobbies.