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Monday, August 2, 2021

Madi to the Max

On the drive home from watching “Lilo and Stitch” in theaters with her father, Madison Brunoehler discovered her passion for voice impressions while she was trying to imitate the recognizable voice of the blue, cartoon alien Stitch.

Brunoehler has since become a professional voice-over actress, cosplayer and Youtuber.

“It allows me to be the silly, creative, funny voices that I’ve always liked doing,” Brunoehler said.

During her Media Arts Speakers Series presentation in the Great Hall Monday morning, Brunoehler gave advice on life, social media and the film and television industry.

Brunoehler has lent her voice talents to video games such as “Five Nights at Freddy’s,” “Warhammer 40,000” and “Dread Nautical.” She’s also starred in the web-series “Chasing Shadows” as Princess Ellianna.

As a child, Brunoehler would dress up in wigs and costumes she put together. Later she discovered that other people shared the same creative hobby as her, known as cosplay.

“I’m just going to make these characters. I’m going to dress up in all these silly costumes,” Brunoehler said. “Now it’s my favorite thing.”

Her self-run YouTube channel, Madi2theMax, has over 28.4 thousand subscribers and 300 videos that have generated over 7 million views. Her channel features live-action impressions of many animated characters, cosplay impressions and “Pun-Pressions,” where she reads viewer submitted puns in the voices of cartoon characters.

She’s also worked in voicing commercial advertisements for companies such as Amazon, Coca-Cola, Thermos and Hilton Hotels.

Brunoehler said that while she feels it’s okay for others to compromise their ethics, she has lost jobs due to not wanting to lose her morality.

“Many times in this industry, the great big scary industry, you will be told that you need to compromise your ethics and personal integrity,” Brunoehler said.

She offered advice that could help film and television hopefuls, as well as people in any other industry.

“If you have a job you’re going to do, don’t do things that will inhibit your body both physically and mentally,” Brunoehler said. “Be on time, do the job correctly and be nice to the secretary.”

Brunoehler said that she feels communicating and networking are essential steps toward reaching career goals.

“Talk to people that do what you want to do. Go to mixers. Talk to everyone in your class. I know it’s scary because a lot of us are introverts,” Brunoehler said. “Pretend you’re enthusiastic.”

Brunoehler said that she ambitiously has reached out to potential clients and employers, but that it takes a few tries before getting anywhere.

“It will take seven times for someone to remember your face, especially when they are getting a bajillion faces thrown at them,” Brunoehler said.

She also believes that it’s crucial to know oneself and one’s own capabilities.

“No matter how hard I try, I will never sound like Morgan Freeman,” Brunoehler said. “I have a very similar range to Tara Strong, so I could do a really good Timmy Turner impression.”

Media Arts Assistant Professor Ken Windrum said he felt that inviting Brunoehler to speak at Pierce College was a good way to show students that there are many different paths to follow after college.

“Anybody like [Brunoehler] who can make a living in the media industry is a good example for our students to give them a sense of what careers they might have,” Windrum said.

Windrum also believes that it’s important to bring someone on campus who has found success by having a YouTube career.

“With the internet being what it is, she represents a viable career path,” Windrum said.

For Windrum, the best advice that Brunoehler offered to students was the importance of networking and going to events featuring like-minded individuals.

“Somebody will remember you and if you’ve worked well with them, they might want to work with you again,” Windrum said.

Student Sofia Sandoval said she felt that she could relate well to Brunoehler.

“[Brunoehler] got that opportunity of getting into it and experiencing the whole thing,” Sandoval said. “She found the passion in doing that.”
In each of her YouTube and TikTok videos, Bruhnoeler doesn’t shy away from her bubbly and enthusiastic personality, which was on full display during her speech at the Great Hall.

“Hold true to yourself,” Brunoehler said. “Try and figure out who you are and hold true to that, even when everyone else is telling you not to.”

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