You’re never too old to follow your dreams

How I found my passion in dubbing - in my 60's!

30 / 07 / 2020
Rita Mohr
Administration Coordinator

During this global lockdown period in our lives, we are being given the opportunity to reflect on all the moments, good and bad, which we have experienced in our lives to bring us to this point. In my case, here I was at the ripe “old age” of 62 thinking about exactly that… ‘Where has my life path led me up to now?’ 

I got to thinking about how every experience somehow sets you up for another, maybe even very distant experience

It dawned on me that my new journey with Content Lab is influenced even by my childhood…

I was born into a typical Afrikaans family and brought up in a mining community on the Gold Fields.  Growing up in a mining community is indeed a unique experience in itself. My childhood was filled with plenty of love and laughter and I had many friends during those; I still count many of them among my friends today. As is often the case in mining communities, they were from all different cultures – English, Italian, Portuguese and so on, but on the mines we all had to be fluent in both English and Afrikaans. Many of us even learned ‘Fanagalo’, which you may know as a typical mining language used between the mine workers and managers.

As young children and later as teenagers, we had to come up with new ways to amuse and entertain ourselves as we were far away from many of the amenities that could be found in “normal” communities.  One way kept from being bored was to arrange garage parties at different homes every other weekend – my thirteenth birthday comes to mind.  Garage Party, Oros or Kool Aid, and the seven single record “Pretty Belinda” blaring in the background.  We were up to lots of mischief in those years, although mischief probably had a different, more innocent meaning back then.

In those days, I was the one who always stood up in front of the class and entertained my friends with either a good story or with my imitation of several genres of singers.  I suppose that is where my interest in the dramatics began.  Being an actress was a dream of mine, which originated from obtaining very limited knowledge of the subject from Jamie Uys, Katinka Heyns, Gert van der Berg and Al Debbo movies.  Later in my teenage years, we would catch a school bus on a Friday evening to watch Dracula movies arranged by the school.

Studying drama or even going to university was out of the question as there were simply not enough funds available.  So, after I matriculated, I qualified as a Shorthand Secretary. Bilingualism was a prerequisite for many jobs in those days and I soon found a job, thanks to my childhood and consequent fluency in both languages.  My secretarial career then progressed into Public Relations and that is where I was roped into the task of translating and editing of Annual Reports and such documents.

After I was married, my husband and I started our own businesses and I had to acquire new business related skills.  We are still in business to this day.

My journey with Content Lab began around six years ago when I offered my services as Administrative Coordinator.  However, as soon as Content Lab gained a contract to localise Turkish content into English and Afrikaans, my “other” skills were needed and I became the in-house translator.  While doing that, I wondered…

Might I also be capable of doing voice work / dubbing should the opportunity present itself?

I found that to be able to translate these particular television series’, one has to have a good understanding of the Afrikaans culture, dialogue, humour and storytelling.  My childhood was paying off again. This work excited me and I felt that I had found my purpose!

An opportunity arose recently for me to audition for a voice part and I was successful.  It was by no means an easy task as “dubbing fit” takes a fair amount of practice and determination.  But, I had plenty of help along the way and I am willing to learn and do whatever it takes to get better and better! I am looking forward to trying my hand at more dubbing roles in the future. It feels like things have come full circle from those days standing in front of the class, projecting my voice and “acting” for an audience…

I hope my story will encourage you to keep in mind that you are never too old to learn and certainly never too old to follow your dreams! You just never know when and how they may come true.

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