Inka Magnaye believes Filipino voice talents deserve to be seen as ‘superstars’ after ‘Blue Beetle’ stint
“You know how big voiceover talents are in Japan? They’re celebrated like superstars. I want that here,” said Inka Magnaye, the voice talent and content creator who was cast as the Blue Scarab, also called Khaji-Da, in the superhero film “Blue Beetle,” the first Filipina to have done voice-over work for an international film.
The superhero film revolves around the life of Jaime Reyes and how he navigates the world as the titular “Blue Beetle.”
During an exclusive media roundtable, Magnaye said that being personally selected by Warner Bros. for the role is a “dream come true,” but she hoped that her recent stint would “trickle down” to the local audio production industry. Her dream, she said, is for the Filipino voice talent community — where her parents are also recognized members — to flourish and be known internationally, just as how voice talents are being recognized in Japan.
“Sinusubaybayan nila ang roles ng voice actors (People look forward to the roles of voice actors) in Japan and they’re invited to conventions. And people cheer when they come out. I want that for voice actors here because they deserve recognition,” she said.
Already a veteran in voice production even at her young age, Magnaye is behind several commercial campaigns, including that of Philippine Airlines, voicing its on-board safety announcements at the height of the pandemic. Since then, her career has soared to new heights.
“I’m not just made by my parents,” she said, referring to Jeremiah Jr. and Lindy Pellicer, former radio DJs for GMA’s Barangay RT 99.5, but who, in their heydays, have also voiced numerous local and international campaigns.
“I’m made of all these veteran voice-overs that I have met and worked with. And I hope that international outlets [would recognize] the many wonderful talents that they can tap in the Philippines — not just me,” Magnaye continued.
Now a voice talent royalty in her own right, Magnaye is now thrust in the limelight, being the “currently most exposed” voice talent in the Philippines. But with so many amazing voice talents in the Philippines, she said that she is not in the position to tell them or the industry how to improve. If at all, she said the industry has been around for such a long time, and it’s making big steps forward.
According to her, the industry has become a community of talents sharing their knowledge to fellow talents — their way of protecting themselves, and, at the same time, recognizing their worth.
As a result, Magnaye believes that landing the role of Khaji-Da in the movie’s local release is a sign that the local voice-over industry is getting the “spotlight that it deserves.” “I’m happy to do that. But their talent and skill stands on its own,” she added.
Magnaye was originally meant to lend her voice only for influencer engagement for “Blue Beetle” in the Philippines. But Warner Bros. marketing lead Bonch Santos told INQUIRER.net that she was chosen by the film distribution company to represent the country, aside from being selected to dub the lines of the character of the Blue Scarab for the Philippine release of the movie.
Originally, Khaji-Da’s voice was done by singer-actress Becky G in the film’s original version.
And while being the Scarab is the opportunity of a lifetime for the voice talent, Magnaye said “seeking discomfort” helped her deal with the pressure that comes with the role. “If I’m afraid of something, then that’s probably where I should be because that’s where I need to grow.”
“I just had to jump in there and be, ‘This is where I gotta be. This is where I gotta grow.’ Not to mention that it’s an opportunity to experience humility because it’s something that I’m unfamiliar with. When you stay in your comfort zone, you become, ‘I’m here. This is where I’m good at.’ Then let’s do something that I’m not good at and let’s see where we can go from there,” she said.
The voice talent also hoped that her “Blue Beetle” stint is an opportunity for her to get into more voice acting opportunities in the future.
“I do a lot of commercial voice-overs and reading from scripts. To delve into voice acting is something that I want to do more of because I started filming for a teleserye,” she said, although she has yet to disclose more details. “So now, acting is something that I’m trying to get into ‘cause it would enrich my voice over experience and skills.” EDV
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