Margarita Waldburger has gone from running around the noble and historic taverns of Madrid to selecting the voices that make Americans dream in their movie theaters. From Madrid to heaven… from Los Angeles. Her condition of emigrant has led her to appreciate the culture that one day she left behind, to experience the inevitable homesickness that is only cured by returning, to live incredible adventures, to study at the most prestigious music school in the world, to work with pop stars and finally to be part of the movie industry.
Behind Margarita's story lies passion, a lot of effort and a perennial smile that accompanies her in the land of opportunities. Without fear of anything, she has established herself in the American entertainment sector and she has a lot to tell us about it. Let's delve with her into the fascinating world of dubbing with the help of this young and talented dubbing casting director from Madrid.
The Journey Begins
Your family has always been linked to the world of restaurants for generations and owns some of the centuries-old taverns that are part of the history and idiosyncrasy of Madrid. What is it like growing up in taverns?
I remember spending a lot of time in them. It is a business that has been expanding over time. New places appear every year, although since I went to the United States I have lost touch with all that a little. The truth is that I never worked in them directly, but I am very aware of my father's dedication and the way in which he treats everyone in them. That has made me very human, the fact of knowing the waiters and their stories helps with that. I no longer know many of those who work in taverns, but I still remember the bar stories they told me when I was little. I love it.
It also made me appreciate the culture more. There is a lot of culture in bars, like the centuries-old paintings that hang on their walls and that fascinated me so much as a child. I remember asking myself: Who are all these people? I have realized all this here since in the United States there is not much history nor an excessive bar culture, so now I appreciate it much more than I did in Spain.
Did you ever feel like dedicating yourself to it?
No never. I was always interested in art. There is no precedent in my family, so I couldn't say where I got it from. When I was 7, I saw a concert or someone playing the celo. I remember it was a friend of a friend. I fell in love instantly and said to myself: I want to dedicate myself to this. Then I started my studies, I spent my adolescence between school and the conservatory and then university.
Have you had free time with so much studying?
The truth is that during my time at school and during the week, I didn't have any free time, not even the weekends, which I spent studying. Until I turned 18 I didn't have much free time. But the truth is that at university I not only discovered music, but also the music business and what is hidden behind the entertainment scene. In those first years of uni I did have more free time and it coincided with that moment in which you are still discovering yourself.
A Stop in Boston
How were your years in Boston?
My intention had always been to study music, but I didn't want to go to the conservatory in Madrid because it is very hard and there are not many opportunities, whether as a teacher or little else. My mother was the one who suggested Berklee to me. I didn't know what it was. When I entered her website I was amazed. I didn't know that a music university had so many options. At the conservatory they only teach you how to play the instrument and that's it. It does not exist beyond that and they forget about other important subjects such as business or, for example, orchestration for a film or things like that.
I feel like it has a lot less than the university I went to. There I took an entrance test with the cello and they accepted me. When you are accepted at an American university you declare your professional career until after your first year. That's when you choose what you're going to study. There, I realized that I didn't want to be a professional cellist since it was too much loneliness and effort. I wanted to be working with people and learn more things. I declared myself for the music business.
Fresh out of university you started to work with Brandi Carlille...
The music industry is not something theoretical but practical, so I started working with artists as quickly as I could. I started doing internships and I did four during my time at university and they were all in different categories, one was a publicist for artists, another was an organizer of musical sessions, another was a promoter of new artists and the last was management. I didn't have to manage artists, but I did assist the manager of an artist. This artist was in a very famous company and she managed many artists, they offered me to join as an assistant and I joined her online team. I arrived without knowing anything about anything and they welcomed me by taking me to a meeting with the person who would be Brandi's manager.
How was she?
It was great. Brandi was about to launch her own podcast. I helped her with various procedures and to prepare the launch and promotion of her program. I also assisted her in other types of issues. She receives hundreds of proposals for interviews and participation in events or charity. She was in charge of filtering what was convenient or not. And her manager taught me what would be worth it or not.
Have you given up on your musical ambitions?
No. I haven't left them. I want to return to them in the future, I miss music a lot. I really like the fact of still being linked to the entertainment industry and exploring the part of actors instead of artists. It is important to me the fact of to see both sides because at the end of the day, both are art and deep down it is being in what I studied, in the entertainment business.
Welcome to LA
How did you end up in the world of filming?
When I graduated from college and finished my internship, I decided to move to Los Angeles. In Boston, you only have the university and there is no entertainment industry at all. I came to LA for an internship at a record company. They didn't hire me, so I started looking for work until they hired me at Igloo Music, a post-production company that also specializes in music for films, shoots, mixes... The company also has a musical department and that made me happy. I love it, although I don't work there now, maybe in the future I'll move there. We have an annual contract with Netflix and we take care of filming in English for certain films and deal with deadlines that tend to be very difficult.
What are you looking for in a voice?
It depends on the gender and the country. What we look for in casting is first, not to always hire the same actors. Diversity is taken into account a lot here, so if it is a Korean series we have to select people from Korea who speak perfect English, who fit the genre and origin of the film and who are more or less of the same age as the character. That the voice is a little similar is a plus because it makes a difference. If there is an actor who is versatile, we love that because we get him to play his character at the same time and he can help us filling in the Walla, which is nothing other than the background voices, the murmur that you hear in the background in the typical bar scene, and with the typical one-sentence characters.
Another thing that I take into account as the organizer of the recording sessions is the flexibility of the actor to respond to the request to work with just one day's notice. That's a blessing considering we have to meet demanding delivery dates to the customer.
What kind of films do you work on?
We dub all types of films that come to us from abroad into English from platforms as Netflix or Amazon Prime. We always dub them into English. It is quite a collaborative work. There is no one to make the decisions, but consensus is sought among everyone. When we don't have time, sometimes we do hire a person to do the casting, but the normal thing is that we manage it ourselves.
How long does it take to make a dubbing?
A 90-minute film takes about two and a half weeks.
What is your favorite film of all the ones you have worked on?
It's going to be a Spanish one because since I've been away I miss Spain a lot and every time a Spanish film arrives, the truth is that I get very excited. I had a great time in Culpa Mía.
What is the film you would have liked to work on?
Nowhere, they just released it on Netflix and it's great.
How do you see the Spanish dubbing?
I see it in good shape. There is not a big difference between the dubbing that is done in English here in the United States.
Living the Dream
What do you like most and least about LA?
Phew, LA… this city. Well, I really like the industry and the work you can find and the many opportunities it offers. The issue of roles is a bit annoying, but it is true that companies give many opportunities and also give a lot of value to those who come from outside. I feel that they are very open to new ideas outside their country and in general there is a lot of work, you can earn and live very well. The negative: there is no life balance. Everything is work and I can't find the quality of life. I can't coordinate with my friends to go out for a beer, for example. I want to walk and there is nothing beautiful or historic in this city and there is a lot of traffic. That is hard.
What is the most difficult part of the emigration process?
The clash of cultures and the coldness that usually exists. I miss things that I didn't appreciate at all before, like culture. I see my migrant experience as something temporary because I have decided to be here to grow professionally for a few years and then, I would like to return to enjoy the quality of life and being in the process for contributing everything I have learned here because I want my country to grow.
What things would you take from the USA and what things would you bring from Spain?
From Spain to the United States, I would take a little more friendliness, beauty in the buildings, more bars, more sun and less traffic. And from the USA to Spain I would take the opportunities, the innovations.nes and the risks they take here by being more open to the new. Discipline is also something I would love to have there.
+ Stories in Urban Moon
This Austin City Limits has been the best we have attended. That’s a fact. The reason? There are several. The first may seem banal but it has been transcendental: weather. With temperatures below usual, we have enjoyed each concert more intensely without fear of suffering from lipothymia. Another factor has been the composition of the lineup. Contrary to many opinions on Twitter or Reddit, the commitment to fewer flashy headliners has created a fascinating variety of generations, genres, and artists.
If you haven't been able to go to Zilker Park or you simply want to feel the ACL in your ears again, we leave you this playlist with the unique and best songs that have played in this dreamy festival and a diary of adventures live there.
Half Of A Pleasure
The most anticipated concert by everyone barely lasted half an hour. The messages that came to us from the giant screens at the festival did not bode well. Some doomsayer emphasized on my side the bad fortune of this ACL after losing Kali Uchis at the last minute after a strange resignation from the artist. The signs first warned of a delay for Kendrick Lamar due to problems with his flight and then confirmed that the artist's set would be reduced. At that time we did not have more information but what we could not imagine, neither could Kendrick, is that a municipal regulation forced the festival to follow the guidelines of a strict curfew at 10PM. That situation caused the festival organization to cut off the sound of the California rapper in the middle of the concert and he had to leave while the public continued singing his songs cheerfully. A bittersweet aftertaste that does not tarnish a half hour of an intimate show, without great stridency, without LEDs but with a lot of presence of art and urban dance. Stories from the street that were drowned in the silence of a curfew.
Foo Fighters came to Austin with a clear mission and a huge commitment to the genre they represent. They wanted to pay a noble tribute to people like Ramones, DEVO, Metallica or even Beastie Boys and that's why they dedicated emotional covers to them. All for rock. Bands and artists who joined in the form of songs to this meeting of unconditional fans with a band full of charisma. They also had a gesture with the recently deceased Taylor Hawkins, to whom they dedicated Aurora. Then, the band began their parade of iconic songs until reaching the final gap with Monkey Wrench and the surprise of the night, the unlikely duet between Foo Fighters and Shania Twain in Best of you. Shania got into a golf cart after finishing her live show and went on stage to make us live an unforgettable moment, before the legendary Everlong said us goodbye.
A Unique Experience
Seeing the Yeah Yeah Yeahs live has several irresistible components. First: you find yourself in front of one of the key underground bands of recent decades. Second: Karen O is an indescribable whirlwind so fascinating that she justifies any effort you've made to get in front of her. Finally: the visual show is so impressive that you almost forget to mention how terribly good iconic songs like Maps, Gold Lion or Heads Will Roll and more recent delights like Spitting Off The Edge Of The World sound.
It's true. I was an insider at Alanis' concert. I was never a fan of her, although I was never a hater either. I have never denied her status as a nineties icon and the freshness she brought to pop at that moment when she appeared barefoot in our lives. Therefore, I was curious to see what feelings the Canadian managed to elicit from me. Her nostalgic power attacked hard my helpless emotional defenses through Right Through, Reasons I Drink, You Outgha Know and, of course, Ironic. She managed to take us far away, to the 90s, to happy times. Then I understood that that Canadian whirlwind that kept moving around the stage had the power that only great artists have to colonize your memories and make them their own. Now I'm one of them, I'm an Alanis believer.
The Present Time
There are noises that represent an entire generation. Psychedelia in the 60s, synth in the 80s, grunge in the 90s... and Labrinth in the 2020s. The present is Labrinth's moment. It belongs to him. I was able to check it along with thousands of excited teenagers. He is like a distant uncle to them who is a bit of a badass and entertains them with timeless stories and life advice. He does it with a friendly style, a language they understand and with a spectacular rhythm. Halfway between the most powerful gospel and the most refined electronic music, his music helps to create a special synergy with an artist who, beyond Euphoria's dazzling soundtrack, has managed to weave a generational moment in each of his concerts. The echo of him still reverberates in Zilker Park.
A Crowned Diva In The Park
Suki Waterhouse is pure elegance, sensuality, sophistication and good taste. There is no doubt that she is in her personal and professional prime, but she needed to prove it on a stage beyond the red carpets of Daisy Jones & The Six and the satin sheets of her famous boyfriend. It didn't take her even two songs to win over the entire festival dressed in an elegant pink jumpsuit and a suggestive pop that plays with rock and ballads in such a suggestive way that your ears can't help but feel blessed to be caressed by Neon Signs, On Your Thumb, To Love or Coolest Place In The World, dedicated to an ungrateful ex. A crowned diva in the park.
The Last Disco Queen
The disco sucks movement could not end the flame of love, good music and liberation of the genre that they wanted to murder. Jessie Ware is one of her most notable survivors. The Londoner has become a solid reference in the LGTBI+ community and the latest queen of disco. Her live performance is wonderful with spectacular dancers and choirs, a fun set with danceable songs and a unique talent to do all this with a special elegance. Without a doubt, Jessie Ware and her What's Your Pleasure?, Selfish Love or Free Yourself have been high points of this festival as has her emotional version of Cher's Believe.
The Woman With All The Instruments
Tash Sultana is a #multi-instrumentalist. She has a DIY vibe that makes her music and her live performances something unique. She is capable of playing any instrument and doesn't need anyone else to throw a cool party. Although she had brought part of her band to Austin, she was the one who performed most of her repertoire herself while she did not stop singing, constantly changing instruments, controlling the bases... A whole show that reminds us of musicians streets that have inspired her so much.
Rhymes With Meaning
Little Simz is street, she is sophistication, she is fighting with rhymes and she is pure style. All these features have led her to become one of the most radiant faces of the new British urban scene. And all of this came together in Austin where she showed off her usual style without the need for visual gaps or any type of paraphernalia to put the audience in her pocket. I love you, I hate you, Gorilla, Point and Kill and Selfhish helped us delve deeper into her bombastic lyrics and rhythms. She even dared to do a María María by Santana's cover that left us amazed. Go to see her, she's incredible. She worth it.
Gus Dapperton are cold, not icy like the Portugal. The Man, who preceded them and who are worthy representatives of their native frozen Alaska. That imposed coldness and their attitude make them a very interesting band with certain shades of charisma such as Brendan's Jagger-style dances, his moments of introspection in the grandmother's chair that he brought to the stage and the good vibes between him and his keyboardist, which made songs like Palms, My Favorite Fish or Horizons sound even better.
Rampage At Austin City Limits
Mars Volta is a mess like no other. They seem to have come from a dive that serves explosive cocktails with the essence of 70's rock, a few drops of funk, a kilo of Tabasco and a seasoning of fiery Latin rhythms. They couldn't be cooler or more charismatic. Hyperactive like few others, the band from El Paso thrives at concerts. Their songs then acquire the crazy and festive connotations for which they were composed and whose context is lost when you listen to them at home. A sonic marvel that provokes endless dances and spasmodic movements in bodies that do not know how to process its diabolical rhythms.
Echoes of Austin City Limits begin to fill Austin with a unique vibe that is felt during that year that passes between the memories of the previous festival and the promises of the next. Another edition of warmth, good music, better food, good vibes, peace, love and hymns to tattoo on your skin. During this ACL we will feel that unique sensation that nothing like good music is capable of transmitting: nostalgia. We will travel to the 90s, the 2000s and the early 2010s without disdaining the new faces that dominate the step prior to massive stardom. And all this wrapped in the natural and almost magical halo of Zilker Park. Are you going to miss it?
Join us for a colossal edition that we have summarized so you don't miss the best of these six days of peace, love and good music in Austin. Remember to hydrate. You have hydration points distributed throughout the venue and they are free. And let yourself be carried away by the music and make many friends at this festival full of good vibes. And if you can't attend, don't miss the best songs that will be played there.
The big stars of Austin City Limits
Among the headliners, Kendrick Lamar stands out. The most talented rapper of his generation arrives in Austin with nothing to prove, after a career of great songs, committed lyrics that have reflected social inequalities and racism like few others do, and a truckload of awards that have done him more justice than the recognition that the mainstream seems to deny him. His latest album Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers is the perfect culmination to a career that we will enjoy in Austin.
Another of the great attractions of this Austin City Limits is seeing Foo Fighters live. Dave Grohl's band is one of the most reliable and with one of the most worthy careers on the rock scene. Post-grunge would not have been the same without them. Their great career always helps to satisfy the rock craving that every good festival goer should have. Furthermore, being able to discover live their But Here We Are published this year is another incentive.
We close our eyes for a moment, go back, further back and we see those 90 innocents where anything was possible. We open our eyes and look at Alanis barefoot as everything makes sense again. This peak moment will find its nineties counterpart in the brilliant Shania Twain, who over the years has transcended from country icon to pop culture diva. Although, nostalgia doesn't need to go that far. We can feel a lot if we look back in search of that revival culture that flooded the charts in the late 2000s and early 2010s. Straight from that time, coming out of the Delorean, Mumford & Sons, The Lumineers, Odesza and Hozier will appear in Austin. Although, who will play the most timeless anthems in this very special ACL will be The 1975, although in this case only for the lucky ones who attend the second weekend.
Nostalgia in Austin City Limits
The Yeah Yeah Yeahs also know a lot about that concept so present in the ACL. Karen O's band introduced a very bad garage vibe to the indie scene back in the 2000s and although during the 2010s they seemed to have diluted themselves in personal projects, they have recently recovered the status of a cult band that they should never lose. The album they released last year has contributed to this, which has reunited us with those very cool noises of theirs.
Do you want a higher dose of nostalgia? Nothing better than the band whose songs and video clips seemed to come from an old tape recorded in Super 8. Meeting M83 is drinking a distillate of the best French electronics and enjoying in every sip a vignette of the most splendid yesterday. Now that time has passed we will see if that fake nostalgia becomes real.
More recent but no less evocative of a bygone era, no matter how hard it is for us to recognize it, is Portugal. The Man. The boys from Alaska are called one hit wonder without paying attention to a fascinating discography that has found in their latest album Chris Black Changed My Life the perfect fit for their characteristic sound with lo-fi overtones and captivating psychedelia. And in the middle of the park Tove Lo the girl with the great song, and better video, Habits, will appear.
The Swede reigned for a year in 2014 that she made her own, but although she never reached such high levels of success again, she has continued to release more than interesting songs like No One Dies From Love or 2 Die 4. Real nostalgia is as fascinating as fictional nostalgia. Suki Waterhouse, already famous for her personal life, knows a lot about that. To her calm and refined pop, the fake nostalgic dose of appearing in Daisy Jones & The Six has been added and that becomes another incentive to lose yourself in her calm but seductive rock.
In the precise moment
Austin City Limits usually draws from those artists who are at the perfect cooking point, right at that moment in which they are still moving in the creative freedom prior to their commercial explosion. A good example of this is Little Simz. Her unique style and her daring and original lyrics have made her a very prominent face of the new British urban scene. Like Little Simz, Gus Dapperton is in an experimental phase where he plays with the boundaries of pop and the limits of yesterday and tomorrow. His synth pop is so unique that he is heading towards pop stardom in leaps and bounds.
The one who seems to benefit from the shine of the spotlight is Charli XCX's former friend, Rina Sawayama. We have recently seen her in the new movie of John Wick, and between fashion shows and red carpets, she has had time to sneak in among the aspiring future pop diva. It will be interesting to see her candidacy live from Zilker Park. Although, the most blatant example of artists on the boil is Cori Leray. Coi is a representative of that Jersey Club that has hit it big in the United States based on bases taken from old rap anthems and a lot of impudence in the lyrics.
What you can't miss
But beyond the glittering headliners and budding stars, there are a number of iconic moments you shouldn't miss at this ACL. One of them is a generational encounter with an artist at the peak of his career. Much more than the anthems of Euphoria, Labrinth demonstrates enormous talent and a unique sensitivity when approaching all types of stories. He comes to Austin as more than just a musician and that is something we hope to see on the spot.
30 Seconds to Mars is always a safe bet beyond meeting the charismatic Jared Leto. A band that sometimes suffers from the headlines, unlike Dope Lemon, who from the opposite perspective silently dedicates themselves to creating shocking pop songs. From Australia with a love for Indie, like Tash Sultana. The latest underground revolution, she arrives in Austin as an icon of an alternative scene that she has been revitalized as if it were the Selah Sue of the 2000s.
Two bands with a lot of road and high fashion pop are Mars Volta and Cigarretes After Sex. Both, who won't have a very long trip to Austin. El Paso is a musical place as incredible as it is unexpected. And the last of the must-sees that we are eager to see is Sudan Archives. Britney Parks is probably the most fascinating face of the new and sophisticated R&B with Soul soul and electronic body. Irresistible.
ACL is eaten and tastes great
This year ACL Eats complicates our diet by adding sweet temptations such as Tiff's Treats or Tiny Pies, two of the most iconic and delicious places in the city that will join a culinary proposal of desserts and sweets never seen before in a musical festival called ACL Sweets . But don't worry, you won't go hungry. Places as exquisite as Shawarma Point, Southside Flying Pizza, Shake Shack, Lambas Indian Kitchen, Four Brothers, Chi'lantro or Austin Pizza will demonstrate the high quality of local cuisine and its immense variety. Cuisines from India, the United States, Korea, Mexico, Venezuela or Lebanon will be present in a festival that sounds good and tastes better.
Welcome to Austin City Limits!
Don't miss anything about the festival through our social networks. See you at Zilker Park!
+ Music at Urban Moon.
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