Fontana resident Berenice Amador was thrilled to be a significant part of a record-smashing movie debut this past weekend.
In the new animated feature "Trolls World Tour," Amador gives life to a troll named Marimba, who sings in Spanish and dances next to the troll voiced by Colombian singer J Balvin, representing the musical genre of reggaeton.
"It's a dream come true," said Amador, a music teacher and session singer who was participating in her first major film role.
Large numbers of families watched the movie, apparently anxious for new entertainment options while stuck at home, helping it set a record for the biggest digital rental release ever.
"I thought the movie was a great way to explain to the younger generation about how music came to be and how it developed," Amador said. "Its content is very much relevant today and it’s a fun film that gets the whole family engaged."
Amador said she was recommended for the role by a vocal contractor who is well known in Los Angeles.
"The team at Dream Works Animation then decided to select me," she said. "Spanish is my first language and there aren’t that many prolific bilingual session musicians in Los Angeles, so to my delight it was my calling card into the film."
Amador, who grew up in Fontana and attended Live Oak Elementary School and then Sequoia Middle School, said that her interest in music began as a student at Kaiser High School. She was voted in the yearbook as "Most likely to be famous."
Her positive memories of her adolescent years in Fontana include "going to football games, performing the National Anthem for school activities, and traveling with the choir," she said.
After graduating from Kaiser in 2007, she received her Bachelor of Music in music education from Cal State Los Angeles, where she trained her voice classically.
"I made it my mission to make myself known in the session world," she said. "I am a background vocalist; I’ve done voiceover for Disney Animation and have been behind the cameras on many film and music projects. I am currently also founding an elementary music program in Los Angeles as a full time educator."
After her breakthrough role in "Trolls," Amador is now hoping that many more Hollywood opportunities will come her way.