What’s a typical day like for you and have you done anything interesting lately?
Walk upstairs to my home office/studio between 8-9 a.m. Check to see if any new gigs or interesting auditions have arrived in my in-box, then step into my studio and start auditioning. Send bids for new VO requests, work on any ongoing projects, and spend time every day marketing. I also love to check out any websites that focus on voiceover, as there is something new to learn every day.
Least favorite part of my job is bookkeeping, but it is imperative to keep great records to make sure payment arrives in a timely fashion.
My latest venture had been the addition of ISDN to my studio, so I have now learned a new technology and am eager to see what doors that will open!
Pick one style which you feel represents you best?
Wow–just one? I guess I would say I am very approachable (so, warm, conversational), yet also corporate in a non-stuffy way. Sorry–I’m not a girl of few words…
Do you have a favorite voice artist and what do you want the world to know about you?
My favorite was a recording I did for national tele-florist in my early VO career. When I was going through the list of “press one, press two, etc.” the script said “Press hard–I like it!” I was such a straight-laced kind of gal and that line came as a shock, lol. But, I decided to just run with it, and it loosened me up to where it was one of the most fun sessions I have ever done–and I loved the risk the script-writer took with that, as well!
As for what I’d like the world to know? Well, I have a fabulous husband and four grown kids, who live in amazing amazing places all over the world to visit them!
And, my most fun fact…I won a car on the Price is Right back in the 90s! (Yes, I kissed Bob Barker…)
How did your interest in voiceover work come about and what was your first project?
Many years ago (I’ll leave that specific number to your imagination), I was involved in musical theater, where I performed with a local DJ. His line of work fascinated me, and it was at that time I decided getting paid to talk was truly my dream job! I did my homework (prior to the invention of the Internet…) and came up with a pretty bad demo. Someone heard it and decided there was some promised buried deep within those audio files, and gave me a chance. The rest, as they say, is history!
First VO gig was for Lincoln Telephone Company, our local phone carrier (long since defunct). The script had a relatively new word at the time–”cellular”. My nerves wouldn’t allow me to say that word clearly till after several tries, and I thought I’d never be hired again!
What has been your favorite voice over job to date and why?
My latest national commercial for Sunsweet, because they keep renewing the same spot, and I am getting nice residual checks:-) Nintendo point-of-purchase for the Wii series of games was a close second, because the scripts were so well written and fun to read.
Do you think having a regional accents is detrimental to your career?
I was born and raised in California, then moved to the midwest, both of which have non-regional accents, so I have been very fortunate to have no challenges in that area. I have worked with students trying to break out of their regional accents, and my advice is, if you really want to get work beyond a local level, you will need to have the ability to speak with a non-regional accent. That said, it is hard work and will require a good voice coach, or at the least, many hours of practice breaking the accent habits you were born with.
As for conversational, it is all about picturing yourself talking to your spouse, your friend, your kids, your parents, etc. Put a photo of them next to your mic if necessary. This is where you need to be a good actor, and imagine what you would speak like in any given scenario.Voice acting is much more than just reading words on a page–you need to believe what you are saying and own it!
What do you recommend, setting up a home studio or using a commercial recording facility?
Definitely home studio to be competitive in this day and age. Clients are looking for quick turn-around times and it is also important to do lots of auditioning. You need to be able to step into your studio at a moment’s notice. Working in a commercial recording facility would be prohibitive in terms of time on the road to and from, as well as the financial investment of renting out studio time, not to mention availability. Home studios are really the only option, and well worth the investment.
Any advice and recommendations for aspiring voice talents?
I teach/coach aspiring and established voice talent, and I would say the number one thing I tell beginners is do your homework to learn about the industry, and dedicate due diligence to that process before moving forward, as you will need to invest some dollars to get started. I always tell people that voiceover is a business, and requires much more than a voice and a mic!
I really enjoy Bill DeWees. He is a VO veteran and has free ongoing training on Youtube (VoiceOverRevolution.com)
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