In July of 2006, I conducted an online survey here on AWN to find out more about you and what you wanted to know about animation. The responses were awesome and ranged from "What does it take to be successful in this business?" to "How many conversations can Tom Kenny have with himself?" I realized that I needed help to answer these burning questions, especially the one about Tom, and this triggered an idea, which was to get insights from successful artists in this industry.
I interviewed storyboard artists, directors and producers as well as animators, writers and voice-talent. It was fascinating to find out, for example, that Brad Bird  completed his first film at age 14 and that Carolyn Omine  worked as a baby photographer and sang with a rock band in Waikiki before being hired as the only female writer on The Simpsons.
I heard fun and inspiring stories about how each made it to where they are now in a long career, but I also learned what it takes to make it in a tough business and to succeed in life. All of these interviews are available here on AWN's wonderful website and I hope you find them useful. They certainly opened my eyes to what it takes to be a true professional.
Since I began this venture with a survey, I thought I might end it with one.
Yes, true, this will be my last article on AWN, at least for awhile, but I am working on putting all this knowledge to good use and sharing it with as broad a group as I can.
It is time for yet another survey and I think there should be something in it for you!
If you could please take a moment to cut and paste the following onto your own email and then send it with your personal responses to email@example.com , I will send you an autographed 8x10 of Bart Simpson AND 5 autographed bookmarkers for you to send out to your favorite nephew, son, daughter or even boss at no charge! (Don't forget to include your name, address and zip code!)
1. What is your sex? Age?
2. What is your profession?
3. If you saw a book titled Finding Your Voice, what do you think it would be about?
4. What is your passion? (Write as much as you need in order to answer the question fully.)
5. Who, in the animation industry, would you like to find more about?—i.e. successes, challenges, tips, etc.
6. Who is someone, in or out of the animation biz, that you feel sets a good example for success?
7. Who were your voice-over role models growing up?
8. Why do you like to read about other's successes?
9. What are your top 3 favorite animated television shows?
10. What are your top 3 favorite animated feature films?
11. What would you most like to achieve in the animation industry?
12. What barriers, if any, do you feel you are running into in achieving this?
13. What do you think you need to do to overcome these barriers?
14. If you could ask one question and you were seeking advice on being a success in the entertainment business or any business, what question would you ask?
15. What else would you like to know about how to become successful in the animation industry?
16. What professional in the animation industry do you feel is the most successful? Why?
17. What qualities make a "true professional?"
Thank you and THAT'S A WRAP!
Nancy Cartwright is best known as the voice of spiky-headed Bart Simpson on The Simpsons . She has voiced dozens of cartoon characters in a career that has spanned more than 20 years. Currently, she can be heard as the voice of Rufus the Naked Mole Rat on Disney's Kim Possible and Todd Daring in Disney's The Replacements. To learn more about Nancy's career, listen to her audio book My Life as a 10-Year-Old Boy