“The most important thing I can teach you about voice acting is…to have a good time. People who enjoy what they do are often successful, whereas people who try to be successful do not have a good time.” That was the first thing Wren Ross taught a new class or private student.
Wren Ross, 67, passed away peacefully from metastatic breast cancer on March 4, 2021 survived by her beloved wife, soulmate, and partner of 27 years, Daena Giardella as well as hundreds of students whose lives were changed by her insightful teaching. Wren was a teacher who brought out the strength of each person and many of her students went on to enjoy fulfilling careers in acting and communication.
Wren’s life was inspired by creativity. She was a singer, actor, teacher and writer. Wren studied voice and acting at Boston University and then went on to forge a successful career as a commercial actor and voice artist. She’s recorded hundreds of commercials, documentaries, training videos as well as special exhibits in many museums. Her voice is heard at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the Senate as well as the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.
Wren auditioned for the Boston University music department and received a personal letter of acceptance and a scholarship the next day. She got her BFA and went on to perform many outstanding roles across New England. She also founded a theater company called “The Muse” which performed the literature and non-fiction of women writers at theatres, prisons, senior centers and libraries.
Wren did research into the music of the camps and ghettos during the Holocaust. She felt that the songs and stories she performed in Yiddish kept the voices alive. She sang the program for many audiences including survivor groups.
An avid knitter, Wren designed garments for many major yarn companies and her beautiful work was published in popular Yarn magazines. She created a CD of song parodies about the trials and triumphs of knitting that she called “Wren’s Greatest Knits,” which became so popular she was invited to sing the songs in a show she called “Singing With Every Fiber” for yarn festivals and gatherings across the country.
Daena introduced Wren to the beauty of the red rocks and big blue sky of the Southwest, and it changed her forever. They journeyed together through the Canyonlands of Utah and Wren was most at home in Taos, New Mexico. Wren resonated deeply with what the painter Georgia O’Keefe said about New Mexico when she first visited: “I loved it immediately. From then on, I was always on my way back.”
Wren and her beloved wife and partner Daena Giardella co- authored a book about the creative process called “Changing Patterns: Discovering the Fabric of Your Creativity,” which was published by Hay House.
Wren wanted to leave you with a line from a favorite Mary Oliver poem “When Death Comes:”
When it’s over, I want to say all my life
I was a bride married to amazement
I was a bridegroom taking the world into my arms.
When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder If I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened, or full of argument.
I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, a private Memorial Offering via Zoom will be held. After all the social distancing restrictions are lifted, we hope to schedule an in-person celebration of Wren’s life.
In lieu of flowers, Ms. Ross has requested donations in her honor be made to ICIC, an organization that drives inclusive economic prosperity (http://bit.ly/wrenrossmemorial) and Howard University in support of student scholarships (https://giving.howard.edu/givenow) to fulfill her wish for “tikkun olam one at a time,” which translates to “repairing the world one at a time.” Please include “In memory of Wren Ross” in the comment section.