Vanessa Theme Ament hails from the Los Angeles film community, where she has worked as a Foley artist and voice actor for such films as Platoon (1986), Predator (1987), Die Hard (1988), Beauty and the Beast (1991), A Goofy Movie (1995), Delores Claiborne (1995), City Slickers 2 (1994), Edward Scissorhands (1990), Batman Returns (1992) and Cats Don’t Dance (1997). Additionally, she was a Foley artist on the television shows Dallas, Savannah, Knots Landing and Hill Street Blues, among others. Her first entry into the professional entertainment world was as a singer with Randy Sparks and the Backporch Majority (plus 6) for a national tour with Shirley Jones. She has performed her own compositions as well as jazz standards and musical theatre favorites at The Gardenia, The Horn and The Rose Cabaret. In 2004, her skills in Foley led to her stint at The York Theatre in the musical, Wicked City Blues, starring Jenn Colella.
After writing The Foley Grail, she earned her Ph.D. in Moving Image Studies at Georgia State University, and contributed chapters to several books on film sound, and in 2017, published her co-authored book, Hollywood Sound Design and Moviesound Newsletter, along with supervising sound editor David E. Stone. Dr. Ament is the Edmund F. and Virginia B. Ball Endowed Chair, Professor of Practice in Telecommunications at Ball State University.
An avid film lover, Dr. Ament credits her romance with the movie musical with her theatrical performances, which began at age 10, and her parents, who raised her to adore Judy Garland, Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire. She will be the teacher/facilitator for TCM’s online course on the Hollywood movie musicals this summer, and will have online discussions with film historian Dr. Wes Gehring, Dr. Richard Edwards, and Academy Award-winning sound designer Gary Rydstrom.
Most recently, Dr. Ament has directed and produced a documentary short entitled “Amplified: A Conversation with Women in American Film Sound,” through a fellowship and grant from the Virginia Ball Center for Creative Inquiry, in Muncie, Indiana.