"It's a rare book that gets you laughing and crying at the same time," Kate Rudd says of John Green's YA novel, THE FAULT IN OUR STARS. "The book was really a visceral experience for me--it was the kind of book that I would have read at home, in private, because of the crying," she confesses. "I'm kind of an emotional person anyway, so the engineers and the directors are used to me. I think there were at least 100 pages where I was physically crying, and not trying to show it in every moment, but you can't always keep it out of your voice. Sometimes it actually serves the script, because of Hazel's breathing issues. So if at times I was a little breathless from the story, it was okay."
When Rudd began recording audiobooks two years ago, she did almost exclusively YA titles. "I don't know if it's just because my voice was still a little bit younger--I'm only 31. I really like young adult literature. I think it's some of the smartest writing that's out there, so it's been really satisfying to be able to tell those stories." Rudd's mom was a librarian, and Rudd says she naturally grew up with a love for books. "She didn't ever tell me that because I was a certain age, here's what I needed to be reading. She just had piles of books, and I went picking and found things that were interesting to me."
Rudd, who lives in West Michigan near the Brilliance Audio studios, happened upon narrating as something to supplement her acting career. "There's a lot going on here in terms of short films and independent films. There's not a lot going on here that would be enough for all of us actors to support our families on. There's enough to stay active and to occasionally catch a windfall, but a lot of times we do it because we love it and because we are hearty people."
But she discovered that audiobook work was a passion. "I'd like to do this until I'm old and gray. In the beginning, this was a temporary stopgap measure--I needed a job; I'm an actress; I'm trying to raise some kids; here, this is close enough; I'll do this for awhile. That was my attitude going in. I quickly fell completely in love with it and found it to be so surprisingly gratifying, and if I can find a way to do this forever, I will."--Jennifer M. Dowell
Photo © Jennifer Reyes
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