Published: 31st August 2019
This 10-year-old from Trivandrum is the voice behind your daily soaps and cartoons
Little Jo's voice is popular in Malayalam serials in which she has dubbed for both male and female child artists
Have you ever wondered the voice behind the cartoons and serials especially in regional languages? Kids out there will never forget the character Lilly in Kochu tv. You may even identify the same voice in several serials and only the role changes. Have you ever come across such interesting discoveries? Then you must meet Little Jo whose voice is popular in Malayalam soap eras and forget not Kochu TV. But this 10-year-old, Joan Anna John has a lot in her bag apart from holding a career at this tender age.
She loved talking which was one prominent necessity in this field. "It all began when a friend of ours, Kannan Amsi, who is the Production Controller of V-Tracks Digital Studio, heard her talk and wanted to do a voice test for their then-upcoming work, Rathrimazha, a popular Malayalam serial. She loved to talk and spoke quite clearly," says her mother, Seena Antony, who herself was a popular Malayalam child artist of the fame Akashadoothu. "She used to narrate stories when she was just two and a half!" Seena exclaims.
So this little one's journey was not that easy as she had to go through many hurdles. "She was diagnosed with Congenital Hip Dislocation. Following this, she underwent many surgeries. She started walking properly when she was only at the age of six and a half. We didn’t know the surgical procedures so we just wished that she would walk someday. We feel blessed now," her dad John John said.
Getting a school admission was a Herculean task as most schools refused to accept her as she wanted someone to support her while walking. That's when Former Mother Freda of Holy Angels Convent Higher Secondary School, Trivandrum, voluntarily offered to give her admission once she can sit at least on a wheelchair. Until then she was plastered from her chest to her feet to prevent the movement of her hip bone to avoid further complications. "The school included her in group dances as well and in case if she couldn't stand long, a chair was placed behind her so that she could rest. The students were taught special steps in advance for such a situation so that the audience did not realise that she was unwell," her dad said.
Her little brother, Aryan, is her best friend and he calls her Chechiamma. " Aryan plays a vital role in her life as she started walking at the age of six and a half, just to make him crackle with laughter who was about a year old then." her mother added.
Little Jo kept smiling throughout our conversation and she continues to tell us how her journey began. “One day my father told me that he was taking me for a game. I was excited. But then the minute I dropped down from the car, I noticed a dentist's clinic and I was scared," she then modulates her voice to express her fear and tried to make us gulp for a second just to show that we felt for her. Apparently, the dubbing studio was right opposite to the dentist's clinic and she was not scared of the studio. That was her very first day as a dubbing artist, and guess what? she was just eight years old then.
How does this fifth grader manage her school and dubbing as they are not two sides of the same coin? She shrugs and says " After school, acha takes me to the dubbing studio and then I come home and do my work." Well, we should appreciate her for being this organised. She has completed almost 20 projects until now and when asked for her favourite, she was diplomatic. Every dub was part of her favourite list.
This little one has much more in stock which can be part of the bucket list of any aspiring dubbing artist. She has experimented herself in dubbing for the Malayalam version of Hindi serials and we gaped in awe as she has lent her voice for male characters as well! She has not completed yet, apart from dubbing, her other interests are reciting poetry and singing.
When you are too young for a field it is important to do signature projects that make you stand out of the crowd. And what do you need for that? You guessed it right, it is the opportunity. Opportunities never stopped knocking Little Jo's door. "The same person calls her for various new projects of theirs and that means they like her in some aspect. I always tell her that she is still learning to dub and she is yet to become a professional dubbing artist and thus we help her maintain the humbleness," tells her dad proudly.
On asking about her ambitions for the future, she says that she is too young to decide it and as she is unsure of it now.