Keila Rosado is the voice of Navsana Otoah in the original audio drama The Adventures of Zolan Dart. She answered a few questions via email for this interview.
What is your first memory of Star Wars?
Seeing my cousins watch Princess Leia and thinking all the creatures on the screen looked so cool.
Can you talk about your background as an actress and share some other projects you have worked on?
My background is in music and theatre. I trained classically at a performing arts high school in New Jersey and it changed everything for me. I’ve always been a singer, but having the discipline of regular performance really took my craft to another level. I knew then that I wanted to do this forever.
There’s another science fiction project I worked on a couple years ago called Organic Portal that I played the lead in. Science fiction and fantasy are great genres because there’s so much room to innovate and be something more than just a reflection of what exists in our current understanding of time and space.
How did you become involved with The Adventures of Zolan Dart?
The director and I have been friends for a few years after we met on the set of another movie we were working on. We’ve been trying to work together for a while, I have a couple of shorts I want to cast him in. But then this audio drama materialized first so we decided to go down this route.
Had you ever voiced a new character in an audio drama before?
I used to voice characters while reading my little sister bedtime stories, but never an audio drama before. Haha
How would you describe your character Navsana Otoah?
Brian likes to describe Navsana as a mother wrangling things on the ship, but I think she’s more than that. Mothers are the life force of all living things and we need them in our stories just as much as we need them in real life, but, first and foremost, Navsana belongs to herself. As we delve more into the backstory of the Zolan Dart, people at home listening will learn how she created her own circumstances, her own code of ethics, her own values to live and work by. Over time she’s collected a band of brothers to go on the adventure with her, but it’s still and always will be HER adventure. She’s been through a tremendous amount of grief and hardship and I can’t wait til everyone gets to know her as well as I do.
I heard you weren’t a big Star Wars fan when you took this job. I’m curious if you watched any Star Wars content after you knew you would be doing this project and if so what content/characters did you like the most?
I wouldn’t say I wasn’t a fan, I just wasn’t as familiar with the franchise as my co-stars probably are. It’s kind of impossible to grow up loving the entertainment industry and not know at least a little about Star Wars. My biggest association with the stories are the lore and the pop culture phenomenon surrounding the movies themselves. It’s remarkable to see how something can impact culture on such a profound level. Even if I’m still somewhat of a beginner on my Star Wars journey, I still feel so very proud to be a part of the on-going saga and to contribute in some small way to the big picture.
How did the recording sessions work for this project. (I’m assuming it was during COVID) Were you able to be in a Zoom chat with other actors or did you record everything on your own?
I think it would have been hard to get a lot of the nuance Brian was looking for had I recorded on my own. At first he and I would get on video calls and I would record my parts with my DAW and send them over. Eventually we landed on a digital podcasting software that made everything MUCH easier.
What was the most challenging part of your work on Zolan Dart?
Honestly, I’ve always been the director when I create. I’m in love with the freedom and power that comes from directing, I need it. It’s the most natural way for me to create. So, the hardest part for me is always putting that hat on a shelf for a bit and being curious and open enough to jump on someone else’s vision and see things their way.
Do you have a favorite line of dialogue or favorite moment from the project?
My favorite part is when Navsana tells a band of pirates they’re about to be blasted from the sky. To be able to convey complete authority and assuredness using only your voice is thrilling. The voice is my favorite instrument.
Do you see more voice acting work in your future?
I do. I would absolutely love to voice a Disney animated character some day. It would be a dream come true.
There are a lot of Star Wars projects coming out in the next few years. Now that you’ve been a part of a Star Wars project are there any you think you might check out?
The Mandalorian!! I hear great things and I’m a HUGE Jon Favreau fan from way back with his independent films. Chef is back on Netflix by the way, I’m about to start it again for the 5th time.
Can you share any projects you have coming up?
I’m working on my debut musical project, an EP. Over the next couple weeks I’ll have an email list you can sign up for to get exclusive behind the scenes content on my process and more before I launch. Hopefully we can update this article with the link soon. 😉