What is your name and what is your passion/ or what is your career?
My name is Syderek Watson and my passion is telling stories through acting.
What inspired you to do what you do?
My mother used to tell me when I was little that I should be an actor when I grow up. I never really listened to her, I did not understand at the time why she would say that. I just continued being a kid and acting out crazy scenarios that came to mind. When I was in elementary school I loved coming home getting off the bus and coming inside to unwind from the day. I would go to the kitchen and make a sandwich and then sit in the living room and watch my favorite cartoon shows before it was time for homework. It was the best time because my parents were not at home yet, so I could watch TV and really enjoy myself. One of my favorite shows was The Simpsons, and not for the storyline which I did not understand at the time, I absolutely loved the characters! I would always try and talk like Homer, Moe, Krusty the Clown, Marge, and Apu. I really When I felt I could really do the impressions I would try them out on my friends on the bus, they loved it!
What is the best advice you got while you were in school while you trained to be a Voice Over Artist/ Actor?
You never know what you have to offer a character until you try. Our lives are so full of different experiences that sometimes we forget what we have to offer. I’ve received many tidbits of advice, but this one is very important to me. Sometimes you maybe approached with characters and you are not sure how to connect with them and tell that story. Limiting yourself is not the approach you should take, even if you have never attempted the choice before. Most of the times the character will teach you something about yourself or a new life lesson you have never considered. Always be open to the possibility, unless it crosses personal barriers.
What attracted you to work on Northstar Warrior Animation?
When I met Diane Pascual at a networking mixer in Los Angeles, we began talking about our careers and current events. She told me she was working on an animation project, wanted to pitch to major networks and, were seeking voice over artist for a character. She began telling me about the main character Sasha, the Queen and her feelings behind the story. Diane emitted a very positive vibe when she described Northstar Warrior and I loved the diversity in the story. At the time I had watched a few kid shows from different networks, trying to prepare myself for a nephew on the way, and noticed the content of those shows had drastically changed since I was a kid. This project sounded positive and fun for a young audience, I wanted to be involved. My ears perked up when she asked to hear some voices. Now not to blame it on the networking and constant chatter, but my voice does not fare well under pressure. I asked If we could connect later and check out my voice and she agreed. I gave her a few impressions and we talked about next steps, I was thrilled!
How has your perspective changed or grown as an Actor/ Voice Over artist since you started working on this?
My perspective has definitely grown since working on Northstar Warrior. The same respect you would bring to your work on stage or on set, you need to bring to the studio. Just because there are no lights and camera or thirty people awkwardly watching you does not mean you get to chill or relax when working as a Voice Over Artist. The same feelings and emotions need to be there, you need to be present as an actor, making your voice available to the work producing magical work.
Sample of Syderek voicing Mist.
What do you see as the future of this project?
Northstar Warrior will spark new ideas for animation, create more heart-felt storylines, and delivery better content for our younger generations. I can definitely see Northstar Warrior available via Hulu, Netflix, or Amazon. Having a story this unique and being available on-demand for today’s audiences is invaluable.
What do you think about working on a project centered on female empowerment?
It’s a really unique opportunity to be a part of something bigger and empowering for women. Working on this project has allowed me to use my voice to create something useful and relevant to the world we live in. Knowing that in today’s society there are several perceptions of women and at time these perceptions do not speak to the power a woman possesses. Mist is Sacha’s spirit guide and he is very protective of her. He cares for her, gives her direction, encourages her, and empowers her as a young woman. You never get the sense with Mist that he will ever betray Sasha or put her in danger. I am pleased that I can provide this sense of encouragement that Mist provides Sacha as I feel in reality this should be provided to women.
Do you think it’s relevant to today’s world?
We all live in America, and I know the struggles that come with being disempowered and under valued as an African-American male. In my family, my mother, girlfriend, sister, sister-n-law and I converse weekly discussing issues they face everyday. I cannot count the number of conversations I have had when it comes to different situations presented by people that challenge their worth and diminish their value as a woman. These are very smart women, loving women, and overall strong women. I know what it feels like to have everything stacked against you. Sometimes all you need is a little reminder of who you are and what you are about. This project speaks to my ability as a man to encourage and empower women.
What are your thoughts about feminism?
I believe that all women of any race should be treated equally and provided the same opportunities for success, whatever that means to them. What do you think it means to you? To me it means to empower, encourage, strengthen, guide, love, nurture, and support women. Let them know they can achieve what they want out of life, just as anyone else.
What do you think about the group of people working on this project at Prism Light Studios?
The entire cast and crew are some of the best people I have been fortunate to work with. The other actors / actresses are so talented and their voices are incredible!! I’m very thankful I’ve had the opportunity to work on this project and to continue meeting amazing people on this journey.